Two separate reports from medical malpractice insurers have found that misdiagnosis is the number one reason for claims against physicians. Kentucky residents may be interested to hear that diagnostic errors are, according to the National Academy of Medicine, possibly the third leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Previous studies also show that misdiagnosis-related claims usually involve disability or death.
At the 2019 Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is meeting was an international guest of honor, a doctor from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. According to him, up to 45 percent of adverse medical events involve surgery patients, and anywhere from 35 to 66 percent of these surgery-related events take place in the operating room. Kentucky residents should know that surgeons, in order to avoid such events, require not only technical skills but also certain non-technical skills.
When Kentucky surgeons face stress on the job, the potential consequences may be troubling for their patients. According to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, surgeons make up to 66 percent more errors during stressful moments. The researchers used a technology to track the electrical activity of a surgeon's heart while performing procedures in the operating room. During periods of stress, surgeons were more likely to make errors. Some of these mistakes may cause tears to tissue, burns or bleeding in the patient.
A parent seeking medical care for their child in Kentucky should be able to assume that health care professionals will do everything possible to avoid oversights and mistakes. Still, there are times when human error contributes to patient safety risks. Surprisingly, a new study has found that half of all pediatric safety errors are actually attributable to electronic health record (EHR) oversights. The study is based on a review of nearly 10,000 patient safety reports over a five year period.
When people in Kentucky experience trembling in their hands or shaking when they walk, they may jump to the conclusion that they have Parkinson's disease, the progressive neurological disorder. These symptoms are characteristic of Parkinson's, and family doctors may be likely to diagnose the disorder based on a description of these symptoms. However, without a neurologist's expert opinion, people could be facing an incorrect diagnosis. There are a number of other conditions whose symptoms can mimic those of Parkinson's, but the treatment required is significantly different.
Women in Kentucky may want to learn more about ovarian cancer, especially as its early signs are often misdiagnosed or confused with another illness. When the diagnosis of ovarian cancer is missed by a doctor, treatment can be delayed, and the disease may progress significantly. One reason why ovarian cancer is known for its significant death toll is that many women are diagnosed only after the cancer has already spread. Gynecologists say that ovarian cancer takes too many lives due to misdiagnosis and a lack of awareness about the disease's threat.
When people in Kentucky take medications prescribed by their doctors, they expect to achieve improved health and reduced symptoms. However, medication errors can be serious and even deadly, and patients may not even realize that they are receiving an incorrect medication or the wrong dose. Many medication safety regulations and guidelines that exist currently do because risks are addressed after a significant incident has shown a vulnerability to these kinds of mistakes.
While technology plays a more important role in the health care system than ever, humans are still involved in nearly every aspect of care. As a result, health care mistakes occur all of the time in Kentucky. Some of the most costly errors happen due to communication barriers between doctors and nurses at hospitals and other types of clinics. Around 14 percent of Medicare recipients say they've experienced medical errors while in the hospital.
Women in Kentucky may have good reason to be concerned when they go to the hospital to give birth. While the rates of maternal injury and mortality have declined dramatically in most developed countries, the same is not true of the United States. In fact, the U.S. is the developed country with the highest rate of maternal deaths and injuries, and every year, 50,000 mothers are severely injured during childbirth while 700 lose their lives.
Kentucky residents of any age can forget things sometimes, but complex medication schedules might be especially challenging for senior citizens. They might need to take pills at different times of the day, and forgotten dosages could lead to medical emergencies. Among older people, as many as 41 percent of them have to take five or more prescription medications daily. A senior could benefit from the adoption of a pill organization strategy. A close relative or caretaker could help a senior set up a reminder system to prevent potentially dangerous mix ups.