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May 2016 Archives

Ways to prevent medical errors in New Mexico

According to several studies, medical errors could cause up to 250,000 deaths per year around the country. Many of these errors are preventable. The death of Joan Rivers due to a botched surgical procedure as well as many other events have led to greater attention being paid to how these mistakes happen and what can be done to prevent them in the future.

Monitoring by pharmacists could reduce medication errors

For New Mexico patients who have HIV, it can be difficult to keep track of all the medications they may be required to take. Potential medical errors are also more likely to occur once the patient transitions from acute hospitalization to being back in the general community.

Using robots for surgery

A new development may be of interest to residents of New Mexico. A recent study found that a supervised autonomous robot performed soft-tissue surgery better than its' human counterpart.

Small surgical tools increasingly left in surgery patients

New Mexico residents may have heard reports about how surgeons are leaving surgical instruments in patients during surgical procedures. In fact, these types of accidents transpire about once per 5,500 surgeries. One of the most common objects that surgeons accidentally leave behind is sponges.

Medical errors after hospital discharge

Although time in a New Mexico hospital could be challenging because of potential exposure to various germs and bacteria, the time following discharge is actually viewed as much more dangerous for a patient. The transition out of the hospital can include factors such as obtaining prescriptions, coordinating home health services and monitoring one's surgical wounds for signs of infection. A Missouri case demonstrates the impact of a breakdown in care at various levels.

Using medical malpractice data to improve health care

Many New Mexico patients are seriously injured or die each year because of medical malpractice in the hospital or in another health care setting. A national trend among doctors is now to review data gathered from previous medical malpractice cases. The doctors and hospitals then use that information to identify areas in which they need to improve in order to prevent medical errors from happening.

Pelvic problems with deliveries by older women

Women in New Mexico and around the country may find that career goals, relationship concerns, and other issues cause them to delay starting families. In fact, the average age of a woman at the time of first giving birth has increased significantly over the past several decades. Those going through pregnancy at an advanced age could face higher risks of issues such as gestational diabetes, miscarriage and preeclampsia.

New FDA guidelines target medication errors

The FDA is taking steps to the reduce the risk of medication error, which is a leading cause of harm for New Mexico residents seeking medical assistance. The new measures consist of guidelines for manufacturers to clarify labeling and make packaging more user-friendly. Through this action, the FDA may mitigate some of the leading causes of prescription errors.

Medical errors and deaths in New Mexico

A study has estimated that more than 250,000 people die each year in the United States as a result of medical errors. If these numbers are accurate, medical mistakes would trail only heart disease and cancer as a cause of non-violent death in the country. The study was published in a medical journal and the researchers involved were from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Data was obtained from Medicare and several hospitals.

Unsanctioned drug prescriptions may put patients at risk

According to some studies, around 20 percent of all prescriptions written by U.S. doctors are for drugs that aren't designed for the problems being treated. These off-label drug usages could impact numerous patients in New Mexico and around the country. Experts suggest the situation isn't likely to change soon and that patients need to use independent resources, like FDA label search tools, to learn more about what they're taking and why.