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July 2016 Archives

Study shows mini-strokes may have long-term impact

For years, mini-stroke symptoms have been considered "transient" or "temporary" by the medical establishment, but a study suggests the condition may cause long-term health problems for patients in New Mexico and worldwide. The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research, was published in the European Journal of Neurology.

Information on interstitial cystitis

Many New Mexico residents suffer from urinary tract infections every year. In some cases, bladder problems could be a sign of something more chronic. Pelvic pain and frequent urination may be a sign of "painful bladder syndrome," also known as interstitial cystitis.

New Mexican patients and disclosure of surgical error

New Mexican surgery patients may not always know if something goes wrong in surgery. A survey of more than 60 surgeons working for Veterans Affairs centers revealed that only 55 percent of surgeons reported that they had issued an apology for a preventable surgical error. The Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research study found that surgeons who had negative attitudes about disclosure also had greater anxiety about surgical outcomes and what would happen when they disclosed an error.

Duty hour restrictions on residents negatively impact patients

Surgical residents training in New Mexico need to limit their duty hours based on regulations handed down by the American Council of Graduate Medical Education. Although educators designed these caps on working hours to reduce fatigue and medical errors, one 2012 study found that complications actually increased.

Disturbing examples of medical malpractice

New Mexico residents might be aware that medical mishaps are an unfortunate reality, but they may be shocked to learn about some particularly disturbing recent examples of medical malpractice. The prospect of undergoing some sort of surgical procedure without the benefit of anesthesia would be terrifying for most people. This was exactly what happened to one West Virginia man who was not given a general anesthetic until 16 minutes after his surgery had begun. The man committed suicide just two weeks after the abdominal surgery left him traumatized.

An overview of liver diseases

New Mexico residents might not be surprised that the percentage of Americans who are obese is predicted to increase from 33 to 50 percent by 2030. With that, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an increasing concern associated with obesity and diabetes. A progression of the disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is also developing more often in patients.

Commonly misdiagnosed illnesses

Some of the most debilitating illnesses that affect New Mexico patients are also some of the most frequently misdiagnosed. Lyme disease, Celiac disease, and endometriosis all present with symptoms that are shared by other common illnesses. Patients who are not diagnosed may not be able to receive the timely treatment they require for optimal health. For example, Celiac sufferers are intolerant to gluten and experience a range of gastrointestinal side effects that are commonly associated with other illnesses.

Common errors people make with their own medication

Medication errors can cause serious problems to New Mexico residents, and not all errors are the result of a mistake by a medical professional. Often, people make dangerous errors in taking their own medication. However, there are also steps they can take to prevent those mistakes.

Two different types of arthritis

Although osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis can cause pain in small joints, they are different conditions that some physicians misdiagnose. New Mexico patients with arthritis might feel more confident about the treatment they receive if they understand what makes these conditions different.

Researchers seek to refine error tracking for surgical students

Surgeons in New Mexico hospitals go through years of residency training in which their skills are constantly assessed. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have completed a small study meant to refine testing systems. After evaluating two forms of assessment, the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills and Global Rating Scale, they concluded that error tracking needed to be improved.