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April 2014 Archives

Fungal outbreak raises questions about hospital cleanliness

When you go to a hospital, you expect the best care possible. Hospitals usually display a lot of lighter colors and white linens, almost as a way of symbolizing some sort of clean or pure atmosphere -- that this is where you go to be well. And yet, the reality is often the exact opposite. The fabrics, the air, the beds: they are all filled with bacteria and, as such, hospitals have to adhere to strict guidelines about the cleanliness of their workplace. If they don't keep the hospital clean, they not only endanger the medical staffers on hand but, most notably, they endanger the patients who are expecting that clean, pure atmosphere. And that they don't contract a flesh-eating virus.

Negligent doctors paid by Medicare after their transgressions

A disturbing matter was brought to our attention by Bloomberg, who investigated the notion that doctors who had lost their medical licenses due to misconduct were still being given money by Medicare. That's right: doctors who broke the law or were medically negligent were being given millions of dollars after their recklessness.

Mother learns of son's fungus infection 5 years after his death

Hospitals and doctors not only have an obligation to properly diagnose patients; medical professionals are also obliged to promptly inform patients of medical conditions. Doctors' keeping diagnoses to themselves is not an option.

Study: Half of outpatient misdiagnoses could cause serious harm

In medicine, early detection is often a life saver, and in many cases, the earliest opportunity to detect an illness is not in a hospital room, but in a clinic or a doctor's office during a routine checkup. It's disturbing to think, then, that each year as many as 12 million adults in the U.S. leave a clinic or a doctor's office without having been correctly diagnosed.

Emergency departments are failing to diagnose strokes

Many Americans are familiar with certain common signs of heart attack. For example, intense chest pain and left arm pain will likely cause many Americans to suspect that they may be having a heart attack. However, stroke symptoms are not always so straightforward. In fact, stroke symptoms can be so misleading that even physicians somewhat regularly commit emergency room errors in misdiagnosing strokes.

Digital devices, distracted doctors and doubtful diagnosis

Distracted-driving accidents have taken a terrible toll in lost lives and serious injuries on the nation's highways in recent years. That is why so many states have passed restrictions on texting while driving and on cellphone use behind the wheel.