general practice diagnosis of secondary drowning
editor- i found the article on secondary drowning in epilepsy very
interesting as my brother-in-law has epilepsy, however, i was a little
perturbed to read the authors' comment, in the penultimate paragraph, that
the diagnosis may have been made by the patient's general practitioner if
the topic were more widely recognised.
i would like to raise the point that secondary drowning would not be
in my list of differential diagnoses in a middle aged patient with
shortness of breath. it is unlikely that the patient will make the
connection and offer a history so how is the GP supposed to?
i would like to know how many times the authors think we see
secondary drowning in general practice. i doubt it would be in the top ten
list of differentials in a medical viva situation either.
i note one author is a medical student, perhaps she will successfully
make the diagnosis when she undertakes her foundation year placement in
i would also be interested to hear how often Dr Cohen has seen
secondary drowning during his career. i am sure it is an important
differential in a few very select cases, but it will not be at the
forefront of my mind when i next see a breathless patient.
an interesting case, nevertheless.
Competing interests: No competing interests