Some people in Iowa might have heard of flesh-eating bacteria, but they may not be aware that the symptoms indicating its presence could be confused with the flu. This happened to an Arizona woman who visited her doctor complaining of pain under her arm and flu-like symptoms. However, her husband says that within two days of the flu diagnosis, her pain was unbearable.
When Iowa patients are being treated by a doctor, they probably do not expect a harmful error to occur. However, in some cases, doctors and other medical professionals do make mistakes, and some of those may constitute medical malpractice.
Due to limited technology and the possibility of human error, biopsies for breast cancer are not always accurate. They are also known for being time consuming. This is a problem since the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations claims that cancer surgeons perform more than 1.7 million breast biopsies every year throughout Iowa and the rest of the U.S.
There are a number of mistakes that medical professionals in Iowa might make that could be harmful to patients. For example, there could be errors in dosing, prescribing or filling medications. Some patients may get infections from medical professionals who do not wash their hands as frequently as they should despite using latex gloves. Infections can also be contracted through ventilators or not taking out a urinary catheter early enough. Other types of errors involving equipment include mixing up a chest tube with a feeding tube, introducing air bubbles into the bloodstream via IV injections or syringe, and taking a breathing tube out too early after surgery.
Ophthalmologists and optometrists in Iowa have little trouble recognizing cataracts and glaucoma in patients, but other eye disorders present them with diagnostic challenges. A study of acute optic neuritis by university researchers found that eye care professionals over diagnosed people with the condition at high rates.
People in Iowa and across the United States are still waiting for HIV diagnoses that are often delayed, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Studies show that HIV detection rates are improving, but many people live with HIV for some time before receiving a diagnosis. This is often true even for people who have seen a doctor.
People in Iowa who suffer from certain skin conditions may be surprised to learn that such ailments are routinely misdiagnosed by doctors. Because the symptoms for many skin diseases can mimic other conditions, they can be easily misdiagnosed. As a result, patients might not receive the proper medical care that they need.
Many people are aware of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Iowa residents who have a family history of diabetes may be interested to know that a third type may be frequently misdiagnosed.
In recent years, an aging senior population and the increased availability of healthcare options for younger people has resulted in a growing number of Iowa residents receiving medical treatment. However, with more people visiting doctors and receiving prescription medication, the number of medication-related liability claims will likely rise as well.
Although the rates of death from breast cancer have fallen, the American Cancer Society reported that black women were still more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Breast cancer deaths declined by 39 percent between 1989 and 2015 as more advances in breast cancer treatments were made. However, survival rates between black women and white women started to change in the early 1980s and never improved.