Welcome to the April edition of the Future Leaders Communiqué. As return readers will know, each edition of the Future Leaders Communiqué presents cases of preventable health care-related deaths and explores the systemic issues and errors identified in the ensuing coronial investigations. All junior medical officers (JMOs) working in a hospital setting will relate to these issues – I’m sure we can all recount a ‘near-miss’ situation that has stuck with us and informed our day-to-day work.
Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Clinical Communiqué. In this edition, we present three cases of patients who died shortly after being assessed and discharged from an emergency department. In each case, an evolving abdominal problem was missed, and the symptoms were attributed to other, less critical causes.
Our guest editor for this issue is Dr Hannah Cross who has just completed her second post-graduate year at a large metropolitan hospital and will commence the psychiatry training program this year. Dr Cross has a background in law and a key interest in psychiatry, ethics and forensic medicine. She writes a powerful reflective editorial about her own experiences around the issue of missed diagnoses and the dangers of making assumptions.
In our third edition for the year, we explore three very sad cases involving young children who all had relatively uncommon conditions.