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medical malpractice Archives

Reducing stress could result in less medical errors

Studying how stress impacts a surgeon's work in the operating room could prevent injuries and deaths related to medical errors. Iowa residents might like to know more about the results of a study from Columbia University that reported that mistakes were 66 percent more common during tense situations.

New sepsis guidelines may not be helpful

According to the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, treatment should begin within an hour after symptoms of the condition are spotted. The 60-minute window begins after an individual arrives in triage. These guidelines were implemented in 2018, and they were designed to help identify and treat sepsis in emergency rooms faster. In the past, treatment could be given over a period of three or six hours. However, evidence suggests that such a condensed timeline could result in people being diagnosed with sepsis who don't actually have it.

Reasons for medical malpractice

One of the top causes of medical malpractice lawsuits in Iowa and the rest of the country is misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. For malpractice claims pertaining to outpatients, it is the number one reason. Patients file suits against the physicians who fail to diagnose them properly because of the missed treatments that resulted from the misdiagnosis and that contributed to a worsened medical condition or death. A misdiagnosis of a condition could also result in unnecessary treatment that can be harmful to the patient. In order for patients to win a medical malpractice suit that alleges misdiagnosis, they have to be able to prove that the physician failed to adhere to a proper standard of care.

Malpractice claims and the challenge of proving causation

Iowa residents are probably aware that filing a medical malpractice claim is not easy. There are requirements to be met, and there is almost always strong opposition from the other side. Before a case even gets to that stage, plaintiffs may find trouble proving causation.

How improving time outs may prevent wrong-site surgery

Every week, there are anywhere between 40 and 60 wrong-site surgeries that are performed in Iowa and the rest of the U.S. The most frequent wrong-site surgeries are orthopedic, dental and spinal surgeries. Overall, the most common type of WSS is a laterality surgery, i.e. surgery on a right or left extremity or organ.

Migraines can be mistaken for other conditions

Individuals in Iowa and throughout the country may feel a variety of symptoms that are the result of a migraine headache. However, since migraines can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, it can be difficult for medical professionals to accurately diagnose them. It is also possible that someone who is actually experiencing a different medical condition has been diagnosed with a migraine. An accurate diagnosis is critical as it can lead to proper treatment in a timely manner.

Understanding commonly misdiagnosed skin conditions

When people in Iowa go to seek treatment for skin conditions, they often want to find relief from unpleasant or painful symptoms. In other cases, they may be concerned about a more serious problem like skin cancer. Others might not recognize the cause of their skin issues and could dismiss them out of hand if they see only a small blemish, rash or pink spot. While misdiagnoses by the patient are to be expected, it can be even more troublesome when physicians also do not understand common skin conditions.

Medication errors linked to issues with electronic health records

Watching clinicians enter information into electronic health records has become a familiar sight to patients in Iowa. Although substantial effort has gone into designing the user interfaces for these electronic records, including input from health care professionals, a new study concluded that usability issues contributed to medication errors and other mistakes.

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