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June 2015 Archives

Common MRI drug could present brain injury risk

Assumptions of safety by scientists may have increased the risk of physician error and long-term injuries for New Mexico patients who have received an MRI. The magnetic resonance imaging scan is typically performed with a contrasting agent, which is a metal that provides a clearer picture of the internal body. Though the gadolinium-based agent is most popular, in part because of an assumption of near-total excretion and hence safety, the metal gadolinium is a known toxin for humans.

Research finds common accidents may cause brain damage

Sports and motorcycle enthusiasts in New Mexico may want to take heed: Traditional understanding of brain injury has been turned on its head by new research out of Stanford University. The idea that injury to this delicate organ primarily originates in the severity of an impact is the thinking behind modern helmet design for sports and other activities. The researchers used the MRI scan to measure inter-cranial movement of the brain and found the traumatic impact is actually secondary to the force of the brain striking the inside of the skull.

Staying safe while in the hospital

In New Mexico and rest of the U.S., about 400,000 deaths per year are attributable to hospital errors that could have been prevented. An expert in patient safety at one large hospital believes that hospitals are responsible for the patients' well-being while they are there. He says that when it is possible, engaging patients and their families also helps with improving safety measures.

Study reveals that surgical errors remain a problem

New Mexico residents may be aware that the medical community has worked earnestly in recent years to reduce the number of mistakes made during surgery. The Universal Protocol was introduced a decade ago to provide a safety standard for surgical procedures, but research published on June 10 in the medical journal JAMA Surgery indicates that there is still work to be done.

AltertSpace to improve pharmaceutical errors from alert fatigue

As more electronic health record platforms and health IT systems have been implemented, physicians have received more and more alert notifications. This has resulted in health care providers ignoring some alerts, which has had a negative impact on patient safety. Medical providers and patients in New Mexico might be relieved to hear about a new solution to this problem called AlertSpace.

Surgical errors caused by common human behaviors

New Mexico residents who may have heard stories about surgical mistakes such as a sponge being left in a patient may be interested to know that such incidents are so rare they are referred to as "never events." This indicates that they are never supposed to happen, but a recent Mayo Clinic study found that never events occurred in 69 out of 1.5 million procedures done at one of their facilities over a five-year period.

Information about cerebral palsy causes

New Mexico parents may want to know that researchers have discovered a stronger genetic cause for cerebral palsy than once had been thought, leading them to call for unnecessary cesarean deliveries to end. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a review arguing that up to 45 percent of people with cerebral palsy can blame genetic factors. The review was written by the Australian Cerebral Palsy Research Group. The leader of the research group and a professor at the University of Adelaide stated that courts should keep the findings in mind because many cases of cerebral palsy are unable to be prevented by differences in labor management.

4 major gynecological cancers

A New Mexico patient who is diagnosed with cancer may be required to undergo different types of treatment. Some cancers are only associated with women's reproductive systems, and without proper screening, it can be difficult to diagnose the diseases. The four main gynecological cancers to be aware of include cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and vulvar cancer.

Incorrect diagnoses lead to incorrect treatment

Some New Mexico residents may be aware that the overuse of antibiotics has potentially lead to a person's resistance to the drug. However, a recent report indicates that part of the reason some antibiotics may be overused is due to a misdiagnosis by a medical professional.

Electronic health records are becoming common

As many New Mexico residents know, electronic health records are quickly becoming standard as hospitals, other health care facilities and physician practices are routinely using them. However, EHRs are evolving in terms of physician use and training modalities. This evolution also includes the way state statutes and the courts view these records.