People in Kentucky with rare cancers may face a difficult time getting a correct diagnosis, let alone receiving the correct treatment for their diseases. There are very few treatment options for some rare forms of cancer. Furthermore, patients may only learn that they have these rare cancers after spending a long time searching for a correct diagnosis. The rarer a disease is, the more common misdiagnosis may be. When it comes to cancer and other types of progressive diseases, misdiagnosis can make the disease far more severe and difficult to treat. Early detection is particularly significant in cancer treatment.
Many Kentucky residents could have Lyme disease and not even know it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30,000 Americans contract the disease every year. Even so, many of them will not even know it. The symptoms of Lyme disease mimic that of other diseases, making it difficult for doctors to make a diagnosis.
Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition that requires quick treatment. However, a recently-published editorial argues that new guidelines requiring sepsis to be treated within one hour of diagnosis could actually harm patients in Kentucky and elsewhere.
Doctors and nurses do not always correctly diagnose conditions. In fact, experts estimate that each year, doctors misdiagnose 12 million people, missing 20% of serious medical conditions. Kentucky residents would do well to get a second, third or even fourth opinion when diagnosed with a condition.
Between 20% and 30% of surgeons in Kentucky and across the U.S. are reported for unprofessional behavior from co-workers or from former patients and their families. Unprofessional behavior in the OR should be of concern to everyone since it raises the risk of patients developing post-surgical complications. A study linking the two has recently been published by JAMA Surgery.
In April 2013, a 68-year-old former judge for Jefferson County, Kentucky, died after 24 days in a nursing home when he failed to receive necessary antibiotics. The judge had been treated at a hospital for an infection, received antibiotics and then moved to the nursing home two weeks later. He was supposed to take the antibiotics for a period of four weeks at that nursing home, at which time he would have been fit enough to leave.
Patients in Kentucky can be seriously impacted by prescribing or medication list errors. This is one of the reasons why a group of physician assistant student researchers has developed a new patient medication interview process. It's meant to serve as part of a medication reconciliation training program for medical record technicians.
Kentucky patients and others who are diagnosed with schizophrenia may not actually have the condition. This is according to a study from Johns Hopkins University that analyzed 78 cases referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic from February 2011 to July 2017. In 54 of those cases, an individual was predetermined to have schizophrenia. However, only 26 of those individuals actually had the condition while the others were deemed to have anxiety or other mood disorders.
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.