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medical malpractice Archives

Peripheral artery disease and its top 3 signs

Peripheral artery disease is a condition affecting somewhere between 8 and 12 million people over 50 in the U.S. It is a circulatory disease where blood flow to the limbs is restricted by the build-up of a fatty substance called plaque in the arteries (the hardening and narrowing of the arteries is a separate condition and is known as atherosclerosis). Iowa residents should know that PAD can be known by three signs.

Surgical errors threaten patient health

When people in Iowa undergo surgery, they may face at least some risk of complications even when everything goes well during the procedure. However, in many cases, medical errors are to blame when people suffer injuries and negative health consequences after a surgical operation. Across the country, surgical errors are the second most common reason for medical malpractice claims, after misdiagnoses and other diagnostic errors. According to one study, one-quarter of all medical malpractice claims were linked to surgical mistakes, mostly during the procedure itself.

Boarding causes ER overcrowding, raises risk for patient injury

Iowa residents may notice the next time they enter an emergency room that it's unusually crowded. Overcrowding in ERs has been an issue for more than a decade. The Institute of Medicine made a report on it back in 2007, saying that overcrowding raises the risk for patient injury through delays in treatment, the delayed administration of drugs and diagnostic errors. Patients may suffer from excessively long hospital stays as a result.

Medication errors put patient health at risk

When Iowa residents visit a doctor or a hospital due to an illness, they may expect to receive a correct diagnosis and proper treatment. When they go to the pharmacy to fill their prescription, they may expect to receive an appropriate drug to treat their condition. However, in too many cases, medication errors may interfere with people receiving the care they need. In some cases, these mistakes may even lead to more serious health conditions. There are several issues that patients can look out for in an attempt to protect their well-being.

HS: a commonly misdiagnosed skin condition

In the July 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology can be found the results of a survey concerning the diagnosis of a skin disease called hidradenitis suppurativa, or HS. Iowa residents should know that in this multinational survey, 64% of respondents said they had to visit five or more physicians before being formally diagnosed with HS. Diagnoses were sometimes delayed for over a decade.

Old TBIs may cause memory loss, not Alzheimer's

In Iowa and across the U.S., many seniors as well as toddlers experience falls, which lead to traumatic brain injuries. Not a few of these older TBI victims develop memory loss as a result. Unfortunately, many doctors are quick to link memory loss with Alzheimer's disease, so these TBI patients are often misdiagnosed.

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.

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