Articles Posted in Misdiagnosis

Image result for radiologyA new medical course developed by a radiologist aims at training medical students to prevent the kind of medical errors caused by radiology missteps.

The radiologist, Dr. Timothy Mosher of Penn State University says he developed the course after reading a report titled Improving Diagnosis in Health Care which was released in 2015 by the National Academies of Sciences. The report had made special mention of the fact that an increasing number of medical errors, including many fatal ones, can be linked to errors at the diagnostic stage.

The course curriculum focuses on identifying the causes and environments that contribute to an increased risk of a diagnostic error, and techniques that can be used to minimize the incidence of such errors. This is the first time that a course curriculum is being developed especially to expose undergraduate medical students to the potential for diagnostic errors right in their training years, so that they have a better understanding of how these factors can affect their work as they become full-fledged physicians.

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Image result for burned outWorkplace fatigue and burnout is a problem affecting American doctors, and according to a new study, as many as half of all doctors in the country are experiencing symptoms of fatigue that actually increase their risk of medical errors.

The poll was conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, and focused on nearly 6,700 physicians. More than 10% of the doctors in the survey admitted to committing at least one major medical mistake in the three months before the survey. The researchers were also able to confirm that physicians who suffered from symptoms of burnout and fatigue were much more likely to commit serious medical errors.

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Inurse, nursingAn overwhelming majority of nurses report having to care for too many patients, and not having enough time to perform their duties efficiently and safely.

The annual survey of nurses in Massachusetts found that the biggest and most significant challenge for registered nurses in providing quality patient care was caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 77% of the nurses admitted that the strain placed on them in having to care for too many patients at a given time, definitely impacted their ability to perform their duties safely.

These challenges could also have serious and life-threatening consequences for patients. Approximately 77% of the registered nurses who participated in the survey admitted that frequent medication errors were the direct result of them caring for too many patients in a single shift. In fact, 72% of the nurses claimed that patient readmission was a very frequent and common result of their caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 64% of the nurses admitted that such unsafe assignments were directly linked to patient injury or harm.

Image result for emergency roomWhen emergency room doctors have a system that allows them to cross check their performances, it can lead to a reduction in medical errors, although not all types of errors.

Those results came from a randomized trial that was conducted in France, and involved a total of six emergency departments. Physicians in each of these departments were made to participate in cross-checks three times a day. During these checks, the physicians were required to present their cases to each other, and get feedback on the same. The results found that during the cross-check period, the rate of medical errors dropped to approximately 6.4% of patients who visited the emergency room, compared to 10.7%, during the non-check period during which patients got the standard care without any physician feedback.

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Image result for hospital patient dischargeFar too many patients every year get themselves discharged from the hospital earlier than the doctor recommends. This is a common practice, but one that may have serious consequences for the patient.

The findings come as the result of a review which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recently and finds that such voluntary, early discharges by patients are very common. Certain patients are much more likely to get themselves discharged from the hospital early, in the face of the doctor’s advice. Male patients, for instance, are much more likely to get an early discharge, compared to female patients. Younger patients, according to the data, seem to be much more likely to leave the hospital early.

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Men and women who suffer from a specific form of diabetes are very often misdiagnosed as suffering from type 2 diabetes. This places them at a serious health risk because they do not receive the treatment that they need in a timely fashion.

According to a new study which was recently published on Diabetes Care, people who suffer from type 2c diabetes are commonly misdiagnosed as suffering from type 2 diabetes.  Type 2c is a diabetic condition of the exocrine pancreas and typically results from conditions like inflammation of the pancreas, that affect insulin production.

This misdiagnosis is common because both type 2 diabetes and type 2c diabetes are very common in persons of the same age group. However, the danger is that type 2c diabetes sufferers will need insulin therapy much more quickly than those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. This delay in treatment places the person at risk of a host of complications that are typically associated with diabetes. These include kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision loss.

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.