Re: Coroner alerts health secretary to another case where second opinion could have prevented child’s death
Availability of second opinions may improve diagnosis and treatment for patients who, paradoxically, never obtain a second opinion. If doctors know their work could be reviewed in real time, most will try harder to cover all bases.
Otherwise in daily practice, McCrae’s aphorism - that more is missed by not looking than by not knowing - may apply.
Options for investigation and therapy vary, but “low hanging fruit” of other testable/treatable diagnoses exist.
When disease progresses rapidly, not considering “zebras” as well as “horses” may have fatal consequences.
Even in jetplane cockpits, relying for safety on tried-and-tested checklists, two heads turn out to be better than one.
Competing interests: Dr Copeman provides second opinions.