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December 2015 Archives

Study shows asthma patients likely misdiagnosed

New Mexico residents who suffer from asthma may be interested in a recent study regarding the possible misdiagnosis of asthma sufferers. The study was accomplished through the European Community Respiratory Health Survey and involved more than 2,000 patients of 540 family physicians.

Hospital staff required to confirm patient ID and medication

A New Mexico patient who is given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage could suffer serious harm or even death. By using what is often known as the five rights of medication administration, hospital staff members can help improve med safety and prevent patient harm.

New movie sheds light on sufferers of concussions in the NFL

New Mexico theaters are set to debut a new film starring Will Smith called "Concussion." In this biopic, he plays the scientist who discovered the link between repeated concussions and a form of permanent brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. This dramatization has touched a sensitive area for the American sports industry, and there are reports of controversy over the film and its contents among individuals who work for the NFL.

Family seeking to take malpractice claim to the Supreme Court

New Mexico military families may be interested to learn that a family has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a medical malpractice lawsuit that involved a botched birth. The case had been dismissed by a lower court due to the fact that the mother was on active duty at the time the incident occurred.

Study in England examines weekend effect on births

According to a new study, women in New Mexico and around the country who give birth on weekdays might have better outcomes than those who give birth on weekends. However, experts caution that this is not a good reason to try to schedule weekday births and that the study, which was conducted in England, might be harder to replicate in the varying hospital environment of the United States.

Visual screening for skin cancer

New Mexico residents may be particularly prone to increased exposure to the sun during the hot summer months, and concerns over skin cancer risks can be heightened in the state. Although the National Cancer Institute notes that most skin cancers are not life-threatening, it estimates that there will be nearly 10,000 deaths in 2015 throughout the nation because of melanoma. In spite of these risks, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not routinely recommend visual screening for skin cancer in adults who are asymptomatic.

Reducing the risk of wandering patients

When patients in a New Mexico health care facility wander out of their unit, they are at risk for suffering from harm. There are some ways that hospital staff can reduce the risk of wandering patients including assessments, physical security, rules pertaining to patients who wander away and procedures for bringing them back.

Mother sues hospital over traumatic birth

New Mexico residents may be interested in a story about a woman who is suing the hospital where she gave birth to her son. Though the woman's baby did not sustain a birth injury, the woman says that her birth experience left her with constant pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Doctors may miss signs of pelvic inflammatory disease

Women in New Mexico who are not diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease in a timely manner could have trouble getting pregnant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight women who have had PID at some point in their lives have a hard time conceiving. When PID is diagnosed early, correct treatment may help to prevent complications.

Understanding the potential side effects of morphine

Morphine is one of the most common medications used to address serious pain management needs for New Mexico patients. However, this strong narcotic medication can be dangerous in excessive quantities. Unfortunately, the need for the initial administration of morphine may occur in a setting that is less than ideal. For example, morphine may be used to manage pain immediately after a major surgery such as joint replacement or spinal fusion. While the pump administration of this drug is regulated through programming, an error in that programming or inaccuracy in administering other drugs to help in managing post-surgical symptoms could lead to serious difficulties.

Problems in diagnostic testing may lead to errors

As New Mexico residents may know, receiving proper treatment for a medical condition may depend on correct diagnostic testing and interpretation of the results. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration does a review of and approves or disapproves tests sold to various labs. However, FDA approval is not required if the test is manufactured by and for use in a single laboratory. These are referred to as "waived tests".

Avoiding medication errors in New Mexico

If someone is taking a prescribed medication, it is important to understand how, when and how much to take of it. To ensure that someone understands what their medication does and how to make sure that it is effective, it is a good idea for people to ask their pharmacist about whatever they are taking. This will generally include how to take a medication, when to take it and what the expected side effects are.