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What to do when things go wrong
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    What will be done to prevent someone else being harmed in the future

    The soul-searching analysis by Daniel McKenzie deals with the scenario where both the doctor and the patient recognise that something went wrong(1). The dynamics are different when it is only with the benefit of hindsight that it is only the professionals who realise that, all along, they have been inflicting iatrogenic harm on their patients. Even in that scenario what matters is "What will be done to prevent someone else being harmed in the future?".
    The thrombolytic treatment of ST elevation myocardial infarction(STEMI) is a case in point. That treatment strategy was initiated in 1986, and it soon became the standard of care for STEMI(2). Further down the line, in September 2020, a literature review identified 138 cases(with accompanying case histories) of dissecting aortic aneurysm(DAA) characterised by STEMI-like ST segment elevation. These cases were published during the period January 2000 to March 2020(3). Arguably, there must have been, at least, the same number of cases of STEMI-like DAA in the 20 year period following the introduction of thrombolytic treatment of ST elevation myocardial infarction. At the very least, some of those cases must have been harmed by thrombolytic treatment.
    Why does that matter in September 2020? It matters because thrombolysis is "back on the agenda" for some myocardial infarction patients with ST segment elevation(4). All this, without the precaution to rule out DAA either by point-of-c...

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