Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis

heart-1767552_1280-300x169Women are approximately 50% more likely to be wrongly misdiagnosed after a heart attack, a dangerous trend that places their lives at severe risk.

According to a new study, which focused on patients admitted to NHS hospitals in Britain, as many as 3 in 10 female patients have an initial diagnosis that is different from the final diagnosis.

There are two different types of heart attack: A Stemi attack involves a complete blockage of the coronary artery that is responsible for supplying blood to the heart muscle. However, the NStemi type of heart attack involves a partial blockage of one or more arteries. The NStemi type is more common, although both of these types of heart attacks can result in significant harm to the cardiac muscle.

Handfulls of medsMisdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis is one of the most serious medical errors, contributing to delayed treatments, wrong treatments and other possibly fatal consequences. However, one consequence of misdiagnosis that very often slips under the radar is the high risk of antibiotic resistance linked to the wrong drugs that are prescribed after a misdiagnosis.

Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions in the United States are urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and pneumonia. When a person is wrongly diagnosed, doctors may begin the wrong treatment including an inappropriate medication schedule. That generally means incorrect use of in antibiotics in hospitals or out-patient settings. When a person is given antibiotics for a misdiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed condition, the condition may not improve and there is also a serious risk that the effectiveness of the antibiotic is severely diminished.

There are reasons for the emergence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in US hospitals. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics has been pointed out as one of the reasons for this scourge. When antibiotics are prescribed incorrectly, there is a much higher risk of the development of resistance to important and beneficial antibiotics.

039711 MisdiagnosisMisdiagnosis is one of the most common medical errors in the United States. Some studies have found that the risk of a wrong diagnosis is as high as 10% to 15%. However, the question must be asked: Is there anything you can do to reduce the risk of your condition being misdiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed?

The good news is that there is! Being informed is half the battle. As an aware patient, you must be completely informed about all your symptoms and the possible diagnoses and treatment.

Begin by writing down all of your symptoms as they occur. Make a comprehensive list of symptoms so that you are able to inform the doctor at your appointment. Patients often neglect to mention key symptoms, underestimating their significance. This can open the door for a misdiagnosis. If you believe that there is something your doctor should know, tell her. Be specific: If pain is chronic, make sure the doctor knows about this. If your pain did not subside after taking a common painkiller, for instance, inform your doctor about this. Document dates, duration, treatment attempts, and observations. 

pink bandsAny type of cancer misdiagnosis is not just a traumatic experience for a patient, but also results higher treatment and hospitalization costs. And according to a new report, such cases cost the American healthcare system more than ever imagined.

According to the research, the costs of misdiagnosis of breast cancer are much higher than earlier believed. The study, which was published by the journal Health Affairs recently, found that false-positive mammograms cost the American economy $4 billion in healthcare costs every year. Apart from false-positive mammograms, cases involving over-diagnosed breast cancer also contributed to these huge expenses.

The findings of the report are interesting and very important, because they come at a time when there is concern over the perceived overuse of mammograms.These statistics are also important in light of the fact that breast cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer-related fatalities among American women. Women who get mammograms are able to catch the disease in its early stages, and may have a much higher chance of recovery.

doctor%20office.jpgExperts estimate that each year, as many as 12-million Americans visit an outpatient clinic and are wrongly diagnosed. The high rates of diagnostic errors in outpatient clinics remains unaddressed while health care experts and industry officials continue to focus on hospital-based diagnostic and other medical errors.

According to a new analysis of data from several published studies, primary clinics, doctors’ offices and other outpatient settings account for a large percentage of all diagnostic errors recorded every year. Statistics suggest that as many as 1 in 20 people who visit an outpatient clinic are misdiagnosed.

Misdiagnoses are serious medical errors because, at the very least they increase the risk of delayed treatment. In the worst scenario, they result in fatalities. A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to accurately identify a medical condition. When the patient’s condition is wrongly diagnosed, the wrong treatment may begin and the original condition may be left to worsen.
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surgical%20blade.jpgNew electrosurgery technology that makes use of a knife that can sniff out cancer cells as it cuts through tissue, is making headlines.

The knife, developed by researchers at the Imperial College of London, is based on an electrosurgery technique in which the knife uses an electric current to heat up tissue as it cuts. This rapid cutting combined with high heat results in minimal blood loss and vaporizes the tissue instantly. When the tissue is incinerated, it creates a smoke which is sucked into extraction systems. The smoke contains important information that can provide critical data about the characteristics of the tissue that emits the smoke.

The Intelligent Knife or iKnife, can analyze samples of the smoke, and determine the presence of cancer cells in the tissue. The researchers who have developed the surgical knife recently explained the technique in Science Translational Medicine, and say that the surgery has been combined with a technique known as rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry.
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cancer%20slide.jpgUnnecessary screening for ovarian cancer using a test that often produces false-positive results can place women at risk of injuries, including unnecessary removal of ovaries. Therefore, the US Preventive Services Task Force continues to recommend that ovarian cancer screenings be restricted to those cases in which the person shows symptoms of ovarian cancer, or is already genetically predisposed to the cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States, and is also believed the deadliest of all gynecological cancers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are above the age of 40, and the maximum number of cases are found in those aged about 60 years.

The current methods for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer are transvaginal ultrasonography and a test called the CA-125 test. This test is administered to determine the number of a specific type of blood protein in the person’s body that can signify the presence of ovarian cancer.
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