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Can’t Miss Diagnoses – Epidural Abscess

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Learning Objectives

  • Classic symptoms
  • Similar conditions
  • Risk factor groups

Course Description

The Can’t Miss Diagnosis series focuses on diseases that are relatively rare, difficult to diagnose, and catastrophic when diagnosis
and treatment are delayed. The key to good outcomes for these diseases is to be prepared in advance to recognize and treat them,
and to address individual cases with a high index of suspicion for disorders that are infrequently seen.

Epidural abscess (EA) can injure the spinal cord by compressing it or blocking blood flow. Neurological deficits may improve remarkably when compression is relieved, but if diagnosis and treatment are delayed, catastrophic and irreversible damage can occur in mere

When you finish this course, you will know the classic symptoms of EA and be forewarned about the conditions that mimic or mask EA. You will be familiar with the all-important risk factors (nearly all EA patients fall in one of the risk-factor groups) and will have confident knowledge of the essentials of prompt treatment.

Author Information

Course development guided by the expertise of Dr. Per Danielsson, who is a board-certified internist at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. In his Can’t Miss Diagnoses courses, Dr. Danielsson shares his deep expertise in identifying endangered patients, treating underlying causes, and responding to challenging cases by navigating through a variety of therapy options. Good outcomes in these cases require swift, well-informed diagnosis and treatment.

Did You Know...

  • The number of EA diagnoses has doubled in the past 20 years (from 2 to 4 cases per 10,000 admissions)
  • Nearly 75% of EA cases are initially misdiagnosed
  • At UC San Diego Medical Center, delayed diagnosis was reduced to 10% after implementation of the diagnosis and treatment guidelines presented in this course

Course at a Glance

target audience icon Target Audience:


time to complete icon Time to Complete:

30 Minutes

contributor icon Contributor:

Swedish Medical Center

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