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What, you may ask, can an obstetric anaesthetist teach us about the practice of neurology? The answer is in this month’s Practical Neurology. If you have ever picked up the wrong set of notes or called the wrong patient in clinic, then Mark Stacey’s excellent review explains how to become aware of such human factors and to improve your performance.1
All of us make errors, mostly these are irritating, but in healthcare, error can be costly, fatal or (in the case of neurology) result in lifelong disability. A major US study indicated that 5% of patients attending outpatients annually experience a diagnostic error, and 6%–17% of inpatients experience an adverse event.2 The pressure and hence risk has never been greater for getting it wrong. For example, it took an erroneous injection of intrathecal vincristine and the jailing of a doctor before …
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