Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Friday, February 24, 2006

Flesh eating virus?

So the "most e-mailed" story on the New York Times website is "Why doctors so often get it wrong" by one David Leonhardt; it tells the story of one decision support software company started by the father of a child who almost died because of a missed diagnosis:
Dr. Britto was working at a London hospital in 1999 when doctors diagnosed chicken pox in a little girl named Isabel Maude. Only when her organs began shutting down did her doctors realize that she had a potentially fatal flesh-eating virus. Isabel's father, Jason, was so shaken by the experience that he quit his finance job and founded a company — named after his daughter, who is a healthy 10-year-old today — to fight misdiagnosis.
Flesh eating virus? I've never heard of that. Probably because it doesn't exist. Here is Isabel's story from the Isabel Healthcare website:
Isabel was finally diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome and Necrotising Fasciitis (aptly described as the ‘flesh-eating bug’).
Of course, any second year medical student could tell you that toxic shock and necrotizing fasciiits are caused by bacterial infections usually staph and strep, not viruses. You'd think an article about imprecision in medicine would take pains to get it right.

Maybe another article can look at why the New York Times so often gets it wrong.

UDPATE: I emailed the author about this who responded very quickly that virus was wrong, that the web item would be changed soon and a correction appear. Advantage Leonhardt!

6 Comments:

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

Nicely said doctor! Great post! Too many times things are reported with misinformation.

 
At 6:47 AM, Anonymous 100% Mike said...

What a great way of writing things....

Just found your blog by surfing around.

I'm an trained ER-nurse living in The Netherlands and I have a web-log as well.

There's an option to translate all my blogs in English.

I'll come around again soon!

Enjoy your weekend1

100% Mike,

ER Nurse, The Netherlands.

 
At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, that has happened to me many times before and someone close to me was misdiagnosed.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

watch house it looks like it can help real doctors it helping me thick about being a MD one day but having to stay in collage for 12 is a long time but still i may be a doctor

 
At 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was misdiagnosed after have a bad sore throat and flu like symptoms i then developed a terrible pain in my index finger it was so bad i went to A&E! the nurse said i had gout in my finger and sent me home in terrible pain!
i went another hospital with now a black line running from my finger up my arm.
The pain immense i had the flesh eating bug i nearly died,i had to have the whole of index finger amputated below knuckle!
I plan to sue first hospital.

 
At 12:59 AM, Anonymous daser said...

is it true Dr?? scary... better kill that virus fast....

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