Premature Closure by Brady Fickenshcer

Hereafter the first day, the term “premature closure” seems to be the concept that continues to resonate in my mind. In both stories we heard today, premature closure resulted in the death of the patient, not to mention the ripple that follows. I think I’m most bothered by this because I feel that I’ve been guilty of this myself. I’ve been lucky enough not to have had the outcomes like those we heard about today, but it’s just that: luck. I think it happens too often that when we aren’t certain, when symptoms don’t prompt us towards something more severe, when we want to avoid criticism for wasting resources, when we’re in denial that something bad could be happening, or for a multitude of other reasons, we reach towards a simple nonthreatening diagnosis and elect to watch and wait. While it’s not always the wrong thing to sit back and watch, it’s imperative to continue to use your objective data and not attempt to make it fit in the box you’ve created or ignore the data that doesn’t support your working diagnosis. It’s never wrong to take a step back and revisit your diagnosis or have another set of eyes look at the data to help direct your care.  I feel fortunate that I was able to witness the impact that some cases of premature closure have had, so that I can hopefully prevent other events that I may be involved with in the future.

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