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.
Researchers in a study released by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America found that antibiotics were used to treat approximately 56 percent of hospital inpatients, but that in about half of those cases the use was inappropriate. Additionally, it was also discovered that, in the case of patients who were given an incorrect diagnosis or an indeterminate diagnosis, approximately 95 percent were given antibiotics. Even further, approximately 38 percent of patients who were given a correct diagnosis were incorrectly or inappropriately given antibiotics.
It was stated by the researchers involved in the study that relying on intuition resulted in a number of the incorrect diagnoses and incorrect use of antibiotics. Fatigue, mental overload and previous diagnoses made by other health care professionals may also be contributing factors. The researchers believe that creating programs to assist with making correct diagnoses and when it is appropriate to safely withhold antibiotics and other forms of medication would be beneficial to both patients and practitioners.
If patients are given the wrong medication, they can potentially suffer harmful effects. If the wrong medication was given due to an error made by a medical professional, the injured patient may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine if any legal recourse is available. Expert testimony may demonstrate that such error was medical negligence.