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October 2014 Archives

Arizona patients may be at risk of infection

Each year, 75,000 people die from infections that they receive while in the hospital, which is more than deaths from gunshot wounds or traffic accidents. On average, 1 out of every 25 patients will get an infection while in the hospital. The Center for Disease Control keeps track of six different types of infections, and hospitals in 13 states, including Arizona, were said to have a higher than average occurrence of at least one of these infection types.

Drug allergies and medical malpractice

Many New Mexico residents are allergic to various classes of drugs. A person may not have an allergic reaction to a drug the first time it is ingested. However, for people who will become allergic to the medication, their bodies react to the medication by producing antibodies to it.

What are the different types of cerebral palsy?

New Mexico residents might be interested to learn about the major classifications of cerebral palsy. Different types of cerebral palsy can be identified by certain physical symptoms in the body. These variations in the level of movement and impairment in a person's body are a result of the location of the brain injury they endured. Although the classifications may sometimes overlap, cerebral palsy is generally classified into four major types.

What is Hypoxia?

Residents of New Mexico may be interested in learning about hypoxia and its effects on the human body. Hypoxia occurs when tissue in the body does not get enough oxygen. This can then have an adverse effect on many different parts of the body. When an individual is suffering from hypoxia, he or she may notice a bluish color to their limbs, as the body is trying to direct more blood to the vital organs.

Long-term impact of increasing medical error disclosure

Patients of doctors in New Mexico have traditionally received limited disclosure from doctors concerning medical errors. The reasons for this have included the doctor's general discomfort with the process of disclosure, embarrassment and also the fear of medical malpractice lawsuits. Patients want to learn of harmful errors so that they can learn of steps to minimize the harm, but they also want to know why the error occurred and what steps will be taken to prevent its recurrence.

The occurrence of brachial plexus injury during delivery

New Mexico parents may know that some risk is a part of childbirth, but there are ways to lessen the risk and deal with emergencies. When a child is delivered, the infant's shoulders lie at an angle to the pubic bones. However, the shoulders may become stuck behind the bone. If a physician or midwife pulls downward with force, the plexus of nerves between the spine and shoulder may be stretched or torn. The stronger the applied force, the greater the nerve damage.

Cerebral palsy may be preventable

As many New Mexico parents know, cerebral palsy is a condition that profoundly affects a child's muscle coordination and motor skills. It may occur before, during or shortly after birth. CP is a lifelong condition and may affect speech, vision and intellect. Long thought to be the result of low oxygen supply to the infant's brain during birth, it is now known that other factors are involved and may be prevented with proper treatment.

How common are wrong-site surgeries?

Wrong-site surgeries are exceedingly uncommon in New Mexico and around the country. The overwhelming majority of medical procedures carried out are delivered accurately and executed correctly. However, that does not mean that no wrong-site surgeries occur. They are simply taken very seriously by both the medical establishment and the citizenry at large, so they loom larger in the public consciousness than they might otherwise.

Doctor denies coal miner's black lung, autopsy finds the disease

New Mexico residents who think they received a wrong diagnosis or delayed medical treatment may want to follow the story unfolding after a West Virginia coal miner's autopsy revealed black lung. This man and others were denied workers' compensation benefits when medical professionals at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions told courts that black lung was not present in X-rays.

Incidence of acquired infection in New Mexico

New Mexico residents may be interested in how hospitals in the state fare in terms of health care associated infections. New Mexico participates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a program used to research and monitor infections acquired while receiving care in a hospital or other facility. Medical charts and other data are reviewed to determine the incidence and progress in preventing infection using a standardized ratio. The CDC collects the data through its National Healthcare Safety Network as a means of monitoring the prevalence and prevention of health facility acquired infections.

What is a brain injury?

New Mexico residents might not be aware that, each year, medical officials nationwide encounter some 1.7 million cases of traumatic brain injury. This type of trauma occurs when an individual's brain is subjected to an external force sufficient enough to impair at least one of its various functions. A traumatic brain injury is classified as either opened or closed based on whether the skull fractures. While both types can present critical complications, a closed brain injury can potentially lead to brain swelling and the formulation of blood clots, both of which are grave conditions.

How is cancer diagnosed?

Cancer diagnoses often come after several appointments, lab tests and other exams. Some New Mexico residents facing a battle with cancer may suspect negligence on the part of one of their doctors, particularly if they are struggling with an advanced or end-stage case.

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