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September 2015 Archives

Children's hospital patients possibly exposed to HIV

New Mexico residents may be interested to learn about a recent contamination scare at a children's hospital in Washington. Seattle Children's Hospital's Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center sent letters to 12,000 families of children who might have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis B and C during their hospital stays. According to the hospital, surgical instruments that were used on patients over the past five years were not being properly sterilized.

Recently published medical handbook may save lives

New Mexico residents might be surprised to learn that more than 10 percent of hospitalized patients suffer an unexpected circumstance such as a preventable infection, a punctured organ or oversedation. While some patients suffer severe injuries as a result, others have died. However, a newly published handbook produced by researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland may possibly help to decrease deaths associated with hospital errors.

Energy drink consumption linked to traumatic brain injuries

Teens in New Mexico and around the country who frequently consume energy drinks may have a higher risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury according to a study published on Sept. 16. Researchers came to this conclusion after looking at survey information provided by more than 10,000 7th to 12th grade students in 2013. The results of the research was published in the open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Overwork can cause pharmacists to make errors

New Mexico residents may be interested in learning more about some of the factors that typically cause the rate of pharmacists' errors to increase. Generally speaking, between providing counsel for patients, working alongside insurers and filling prescriptions, most pharmacists are overworked. In addition, most of these pharmacists actually receive more medication orders than they can process in a single workday. Recent research also indicates that the more orders these professionals receive, the more likely they are to commit an error.

Diagnosis errors in skin cancers

New Mexico parents may be interested in a study done in Boston that discussed the risk factors associated with skin cancers other than melanoma in children. Risk factors are essential to establishing a diagnosis, and dismissing them may result in a faulty diagnosis with repercussions for the patient.

Study identifies risks of medication errors in pharmacies

People in New Mexico who get prescriptions filled at a busy pharmacy should take care to confirm that they have received the proper medication. Physicians are not the sole source of medication errors, which also arise at pharmacies. A study published by researchers in Texas found that prescription errors increase in relation to the amount of orders a pharmacist fills.

Evaluating the potential for misdiagnosis

Because a misdiagnosis can be difficult to identify, New Mexico health officials may not have clear statistics about the frequency of such occurrences. In some cases, a misdiagnosis may not do any harm because the treatment selected by a physician still works for the actual problem in question. However, there are situations in which a misdiagnosis can have deadly consequences for the patient involved. As health care providers tackle this issue, it can be more difficult to identify than surgical errors like wrong-site surgeries or other medical errors.

Diagnosing pneumonia in New Mexico

Many New Mexico residents contract pneumonia each year. This illness could be caused by a virus or bacteria. It affects the lungs and can cause an excess production of mucus that blocks airways, which may lower oxygen absorption into the blood. There are several ways to diagnose pneumonia, such as x-rays and blood tests.

The symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia

A recent report by the American Lung Association on the subject of pneumonia may be of interest to New Mexico residents. Besides outlining the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the sickness, the report offers several recovery tips.

Suggestions for helping those suffering with brain injuries

New Mexico residents whose loved one or friend is recovering from a traumatic brain injury might be interested in reading about the effects of the injury and ways to assist the victim. Several tips may assist friends and relatives to understand what these people are experiencing and how they can help them as they try to get back to normal.

Dangers of overdiagnosing mild TBI

New Mexico residents with mild traumatic brain injuries may be interested to learn that there are dangers associated with overdiagnosing the condition. Some experts say that the risks around mTBI and other diseases and conditions need to be more accurately assessed. While there tends to be an emphasis on diagnosing conditions as early as possible in the belief that beginning treatment sooner is beneficial to the patient, this is not always the case.

Understanding surgery and fatigue

New Mexico residents might be interested in learning more about recent research that shows surgeons' performance may be unaffected from fatigue attributable to working overnight. Researchers from Ontario only tabulated a 0.2 percent difference between physicians who performed elective surgery from midnight to 7 a.m., and those who received an adequate night's rest. The probability of these doctors encountering a surgical issue was 22.2 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively.