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February 2016 Archives

Some women with heart disease may receive misdiagnosis

Women in New Mexico who have anxiety might also suffer from undiagnosed heart disease based on a study published on Feb. 23 in an online medical journal. The symptoms of the two are similar and include shortness of breath, palpitations and fatigue.

Nurse-to-patient ratios affects mortality rates, study says

Patients in New Mexico hospitals and hospitals throughout the country may be safer if the nurse in charge of their care has fewer patients to care for. According to a study published in BMJ Open, the staffing levels for nurses should be no more than four patients per nurse during the day and 10 patients at night.

How patients can help to prevent medication errors

New Mexico residents put their trust in several different types of medical professionals when getting treatment for illnesses. These include pharmacists, who have the responsibility of correctly interpreting prescriptions and dispensing medications. Sometimes pharmacists make mistakes, and the consequences for the patient could be serious. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has some advice for patients that could help them to spot pharmacy errors before taking potentially unsafe medications.

Litany of complaints emerge against cancer treatment doctor

When people in New Mexico receive a cancer diagnosis, they can feel desperate for medical help. Some might consider alternatives to chemotherapy, a lure that the medical board in a neighboring state accuses one doctor of using to attract patients. This doctor now faces a review before the medical board that intends to revoke his medical license.

New proposal could help New Mexico patients

A proposal that has received the support of the former president of the Hospital Corporation of America would change the medical malpractice system in Georgia. The proposal, which is also under consideration in other states as well, would create a no-fault system that would see a case presented to a panel of experts and an administrative law judge. According to its proponents, it would result in quicker resolution of medical malpractice cases and would thus allow injured patients to receive compensation in a timelier fashion.

Infant given unneeded surgery at hospital

When New Mexico parents take their infants to the hospital for basic checkups, they expect doctors and health care staff to only perform procedures that are part of the normal checkup process. One Tennessee family, however, had their newborn mistaken for another infant, which resulted in an unneeded procedure being performed.

Medication errors with HIV antiretrovirals

People in New Mexico who are living with HIV may have to take a lot of medication to keep the virus at bay. Because of some prescribers' unfamiliarity with antiretrovirals, substantially large numbers of medication errors are made with these medications.

Miscommunication has high costs in the health care industry

Miscommunication can take numerous forms in a New Mexico hospital, but some instances are more serious than others. In the worst situations, death is a possible outcome. As researchers have found, at least 1,700 individuals in the United States perished between 2009 and 2013 because of medical communication errors. Nearly one-third of medical malpractice cases filed during that period were connected to miscommunication, and hospitals dealt with approximately $1.7 billion in costs on those claims.

Hospital medical errors among leading causes of death

Although a stay in a New Mexico hospital may be necessary based on the need for surgical or other medical intervention, it is important to be aware of the potential for adverse results. In fact, medical errors occurring in hospitals are found to be among the third greatest cause of death in the nation. According to several studies, as many as 400,000 deaths are caused each year by such preventable medical errors. Nearly as many error-related deaths may occur after patients leave the hospital.

Hospital fined for medical towel that was left in patient

New Mexico patients may be interested in learning that a hospital has been fined after a surgeon left a towel inside his abdomen during a surgery. The incident occurred in 2014 at the Community Regional Medical Center.

Health care workers can help prevent diagnostic errors

New Mexico patients may be interested in learning that about 10 percent of patient deaths are caused by diagnostic errors. The errors are often attributed to doctors sticking to an early diagnosis without considering other possibilities later on. Further, many patients simply do not feel comfortable talking to their doctors about the diagnosis.