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Misdiagnosis of miscarriage could end viable pregnancy

 

Few events in a person's life are more filled with anticipation than that of a pregnancy. To bring a new life into the world and create or add to your family can be a tremendously exciting time. Expectant parents pick out names and decorate a nursery, as they look forward to the expected delivery date.

For an expectant mother, few situations can be more filled with dread than a sudden change in health during a pregnancy. Pain or discomfort, bleeding, severe morning sickness can all be warning signs that a pregnancy is in trouble.

 

A miscarriage can be devastating to any pregnant mom-to-be, but imagine the emotions if you were told that after you had been diagnosed with a miscarriage it turned out that in fact the pregnancy had been viable?

A recent study by the Imperial College London that was published in the British Medical Journal noted that doctors must wait a sufficient time between the initial scan and the second one used to confirm the viability of the pregnancy.

The current guidance in England was seven days, but the study found a "false positive" rate of 2 percent with that time frame. If it is done too early, it could result in ending a healthy pregnancy.

In medicine, there are what is known as "never events." These are events that are so egregious that they should never, ever be permitted to occur. A misdiagnosis of a miscarriage should certainly be considered a never event.

As the lead researcher on the study stated, "Just one misdiagnosis of miscarriage is too many."

Source: telegraph.co.uk, "Doctors diagnosing miscarriage 'too early'," Nicola Harley, September 23, 2015

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