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Medical Malpractice Archives

Study links 3 medical conditions to 75% of harmful misdiagnoses

North Carolina patients rely on physicians to diagnosis their medical problems accurately, and diagnostic errors delay care and sometimes lead to serious medical harm. Researchers estimate that 40,000 to 80,000 people die in hospitals annually because medical professionals misdiagnose their problems. Researchers who analyzed over 11,000 medical malpractice claims determined that the bulk of cases that resulted in death or disability arose from the misdiagnosis of infections, cancer, or vascular events.

How informed consent works

Patients in North Carolina and throughout the country are supposed to receive enough information to make an informed decision about their care. This is referred to as informed consent, and all 50 states have laws that require that patients are able to make educated decisions about their treatment plans. A patient must be told about all of his or her treatment options and the potential risks they may come with.

Common women's medical condition often misdiagnosed

Women in North Carolina often report struggles receiving an accurate diagnosis for their medical problems, especially those dealing with gynecological health. Women may go to multiple doctors and report serious pain repeatedly before receiving a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis. Even as more attention has been drawn to some of these common women's health conditions, others have remained obscure despite affecting a large number of women. Adenomyosis, a common condition of the female reproductive system, is sometimes referred to as an endometriosis-like disorder of the muscles of the uterus.

Patient and pharmacist cooperation can reduce medication errors

Millions of North Carolina residents rely on pharmacists to dispense prescribed medicine and to offer assist patients in using their medications safely. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology indicated that approximately 21 percent of medication errors that cause injury to patients are attributed to dispensing errors that occur at the pharmacy. These errors are common; however, there are multiple measures that pharmacists and patients can exercise to prevent these potentially costly mistakes.

About ovarian cancer

Every year, over 250,000 women in North Carolina and the rest of world receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Each year, 140,000 women will die from the disease. It is important that women do not mistake the early indications of ovarian cancer with medical issues that are less serious as doing so can lower their chances of having successful treatment.

Medical technologies raise new concerns about errors

According to researchers, medical errors of various types may be the third-leading cause of death in North Carolina and across the country. Various efforts to introduce artificial intelligence to the healthcare environment are often spurred on by an attempt to cut down on patient risks caused by human error. These machines often enjoy exceptional performance; one found in Oxford is reportedly capable of exceeding cardiologists' success rate in identifying a patient's risk of a potential heart attack.

scans could lead to prosPET tate cancer misdiagnoses

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers experienced by men in North Carolina and across the country. In order to determine the stage the cancer has reached, doctors use a PET scan for prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). PSMA is an enzyme that is found in prostate cancer cells and in areas where the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body. It is very expressive and responsive to imaging, making it a target for PET scans that determine the current stage of the disease.

Man claims doctor failed to diagnose his West Nile virus

North Carolina residents should know that in rare cases, the West Nile virus can cause the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment to address or prevent West Nile, but those with a mild form of the virus can take over-the-counter medications or fever reducers.

Many misdiagnoses are the result of cognitive errors

Some misdiagnoses that occur in emergency rooms in North Carolina may not be because of hospital processes but as a result of physicians' cognitive errors. Researchers conducted a study at an urban public hospital and found that 45 percent of the errors were the result of processing information wrong.

Insurer says most radiology claims involve injury or death

Around 80 percent of radiology-related medical liability claims in North Carolina and elsewhere are due to misdiagnosis, according to a new study. Worse, over 80 percent of those misdiagnosis claims involve patients who have died or suffered a permanent injury.

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