F. Michael Gloth III, MD; William B. Greenough III, MD
To the Editor: In their article on preventable deaths, Dubois and Brook (1) arrive at their conclusions on the basis of what may prove to be an erroneous assumption: that is, that the cause of death determined from the charts reviewed was indeed the true cause. A recent study (2) of more than 2000 autopsy cases collected from 32 university and community hospitals showed major discrepancies (for which appropriate treatment of the patient would likely have resulted in his or her cure or prolonged survival) between premortem diagnoses and those determined at autopsy in more than one third of cases.
Gloth FM, Greenough WB. Autopsies and Preventable Deaths. Ann Intern Med. ;110:166–167. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-110-2-166
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(2):166-167.
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