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January 2015 Archives

Patient fatalities from medical mistakes

When New Mexico patients are admitted into a hospital, they typically expect their doctors and other hospital staff to provide them with the best care possible. While most doctors do provide excellent care, preventable mistakes do happen that could result in serious injury, illness or even death.

Representing New Mexico delayed sepsis diagnosis victims

New Mexico residents may not be familiar with sepsis, a type of bacterial infection of the blood that spreads rapidly. Some people suffering from sepsis develop it outside of hospitals, but many contract it in hospitals after surgery. Because sepsis is an infection of the blood, it is distributed throughout the body quickly. People who are not diagnosed and treated in time may go into shock, experience organ failure and eventually die.

What is the process for diagnosing pulmonary embolism?

A doctor considers a combination of factors when diagnosing a pulmonary embolism. Standard approaches in New Mexico include looking for warning signs in the patient's medical history, and a physical exam follows next. As reported by the National Institutes of Health, pulmonary embolisms tend to be discovered in emergency rooms. The doctor on duty first decides if the patient's medical history and physical exam indicate a possible pulmonary embolism. Signs of deep vein thrombosis are looked for in the patient's legs. The blood pressure and state of the patient's heart and lungs are measured as well.

Problems that may develop long after a transplant

Having a stem cell transplant involves many risks, some of which could develop over time and cause problems long after the transplant is complete. New Mexico patients who are preparing for stem cell transplants could arm themselves with information about these potential risks to avoid being caught off guard if they happen.

Unsterilized saline solution mistakenly distributed to hospitals

New Mexico natives may be surprised about the hospital malpractice event that recently occurred in various states. According to reports, around 40 people were treated with unsterilized bags of intravenous fluids. The incident happened when the bags were mistakenly delivered to seven different hospitals in various states from an unknown source. The bags were intended for medical training purposes only and were never supposed to be distributed to medical facilities.

FDA proposal on new medical test regulations faces opposition

Some New Mexico residents may have heard of FDA plans to begin regulating laboratory-developed tests just as they already regulate diagnostic tests developed by laboratory manufacturers. These types of tests may range from routine tests for sexually transmitted diseases to tests for certain genetic markers that suggest a cancer risk. The proposal is meeting with mixed responses from industry groups.

When doctors use forceps to assist with delivery

When it is time for a New Mexico woman to have a baby, she may encounter a number of issues, including the baby getting stuck in the birth canal or the baby showing signs of stress. If this happens, doctors may need to use forceps to assist with the delivery.

Prescription errors still happen despite precautions of patients

People in New Mexico who are taking prescription medications can do many things to prevent dangerous drug combinations, allergic reactions and dosage mistakes. However, individual patients are not the only parties involved. Errors can be introduced at many points, including the doctor's office, hospital or pharmacy.

What are the severity levels of brachial plexus injuries?

Pregnant women in New Mexico might want obtain information about the brachial plexus and the injuries that could occur to this group of nerves, because there is always some risk at childbirth. The brachial plexus begins at the base of the neck and extends through the shoulders and into the arms and hands.

Medication dosage errors are common among children

New Mexico residents may not be aware about how common children's medication errors are in the United States. According to a recent study, while 94 percent of the reported errors didn't lead to the child needing medical attention, the mistakes caused 25 deaths and around 1,900 critical injuries that required hospital admission. The wrong type of medicine or the wrong dosage is given to a child every eight minutes, and the younger the child's age, the more likely for a mistake to be made.

Understanding vicarious liability in New Mexico

In a medical malpractice case, there may be more than one party that can be held liable. In addition to the doctor who may have made an error, the hospital where the error occurred could also be held legally responsible. This is referred to as vicarious liability.

Outpatient surgery centers raise concerns

When a New Mexico patient needs to undergo a procedure, they may be apprehensive if their surgery is scheduled to be done at an outpatient surgery center. With the death of Joan Rivers, a famous comedian who died while undergoing an elective surgery at an outpatient clinic, concerns have been raised regarding the safety of these centers.