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July 2014 Archives

Medical experts want more public reports on physician errors

New Mexico residents should know that medical experts who testified on Capitol Hill on July 18 are worried about physician errors. They said that not enough is done to curb deaths and injuries that could have otherwise been prevented. One of the issues that the experts talked about is how health care providers are not doing enough to measure the adverse affects of preventable injuries. According to one expert from the Harvard School of Public Health, patients are no better shielded from negligent health care than they were 15 years ago.

Medication errors common in New Mexico

Recent research suggests that nearly half of all heart patients in the United States are taking their medicine incorrectly or do not understand the directions that were given to them regarding how to take their medication. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that 20 percent of prescriptions are never filled after a patient is discharged from the hospital and half of medications are never taken as prescribed.

The deadly dozen - failure to diagnose

A recent study indicated that more than one-fourth of diagnostic mistakes in New Mexico and across the nation either carried the potential to result in a permanent disability or to be deadly. One estimate places the number of incorrect diagnoses at 12 million in this country. The failure to diagnose several illnesses by medical professionals could mean serious consequences for the victims.

Undestanding birth injuries

Many families in New Mexico suffer when complications during pregnancy or childbirth cause injuries to babies. Birth injuries often occur due to incidents during prenatal care or a physician's failure to properly respond to or assess the patient's condition. A doctor may fail to diagnose a disorder, improperly use a medical device, perform a medical operation improperly or fail to competently asses the infant's state of health.

Assessing medication errors in the U.S.

A recent review of previous studies indicates that many children have been taking incorrect dosages, or have not been taking their prescriptions at all, due to mistakes made throughout the chain from filling out the prescriptions to administering patients' medications. Some experts claim that adopting the metric measuring system for medications would solve many problems with medication errors in New Mexico and the rest of the United States. According to the lead researcher, in order to fix the problems concerning prescription medications, families, pharmacists and physicians should collaborate.

Dealing with prescription errors

Residents of New Mexico may be interested in a recent article in U.S. News that discussed how consumers can deal with prescription mistakes at pharmacies. Pharmacists are human too, and while they are highly trained, they sometimes make mistakes in filling prescriptions. According to the article, between 1 and 5 percent of prescriptions filled at pharmacies contain some kind of error. These can include a mistake in dosage instructions or even the wrong medication in the container.

U.S. doctors often confused about Lyme disease

Residents of New Mexico may be interested to learn about the confusion surrounding the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Due to a delayed diagnosis, one man from Boston suffered with the disease for almost a year after he was bitten by a tick. Although the man was infected with Lyme disease in Spain, his experience with doctors back home has exposed some of the problems surrounding Lyme disease diagnosis in the United States.

Patients without a diagnosis turn to crowdsourcing

Patients in New Mexico, as elsewhere, go to a doctor to find out what is wrong with them. When a diagnosis is not forthcoming, some patients continue to search for an answer. One online site takes a different approach using crowdsourcing techniques.