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August 2016 Archives

Trusting a cancer diagnosis in New Mexico

A study conducted in Europe says that patients may be able to trust the results of genetic breast cancer tests when they conflict with traditional tests. This report could be good news for those who have early stage breast cancer and want to avoid chemotherapy without putting themselves at any higher risk of seeing their cancer spread. The results of the study were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research.

Why sepsis is difficult to diagnose

Some New Mexico residents may have a disease that they and their doctors cannot pinpoint, and it has affected people around the country. In New York, a 12-year-old boy fell in gym class and cut his arm. Hours later, he started to vomit and complained of leg pain in addition to developing a fever. The next day, his pediatrician advised his parents that the leg pain could have been from the fall and the other symptoms were likely the result of a stomach virus.

Understanding rare medical conditions

New Mexico residents should know that rare diseases affect as many as 30 million people in the United States and are commonly misdiagnosed by doctors. Rare diseases, which number over 6,000, are classified as any kind of disease the affects a small portion of a population. They have a variety of symptoms and disorders, which can present differently in patients that are inflicted with the identical diseases.

Dealing with the likelihood of errors in medical care

People in New Mexico expect their health care providers to deliver the best care possible. However, many factors could interfere with that goal. According to a recent study, medical errors may be one of the leading causes of death in the country. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have determined that errors are most likely to occur because of staff shift changes, administration of drugs or the transfer of patients between facilities.

Misdiagnoses related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

New Mexico residents may be interested in reading about a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects the way the body develops and makes collagen. About one in 500 to 1,000 individuals may have the condition, according to a number of specialists who have studied EDS. However, people who have the condition commonly are misdiagnosed because of the lack of knowledge regarding EDS.

Cancer patients and medication management risks

New Mexico patients have options when it comes to cancer treatment. Many patients cease to be compliant with their prescription medication instructions, skipping doses or taking the wrong amount. This is often caused by the significant number of medications prescribed to cancer patients for the management of their symptoms. While understandable, the failure to take medications as prescribed can lead to serious side effects or even death.

Pharmacy software has detected millions of drug errors

Medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes made in New Mexico and around the country each year. However, a software program is helping pharmacists identify millions of drug errors before they happen.

Study may help cancer patients in New Mexico

A team of researchers led by a doctor from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center say that they may have found a way to determine mesothelioma from lung cancer. Researchers say that those who don't have a protein called BAP1 are more likely to have a malignant from of mesothelioma. The study revealed that 45 samples of non-small cell lung cancer tested positive for BAP1 while less than half of 35 pleural mesothelioma samples contained BAP1.

Patients may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's

New Mexico patients may be interested to learn that, based on two studies, about 20 percent of Alzheimer's patients may be misdiagnosed, causing undue stress for those who may not actually be suffering from Alzheimer's. Getting a correct diagnosis is incredibly important as a delayed diagnosis can prevent a person from receiving treatment as early as possible.

Medical errors and EMR technology

For surgical patients in New Mexico and around the country, the late afternoon often presents the greatest risk of medical error. Many physicians and other care workers exchange shifts at the end of the traditional workday, leading to plenty of opportunity for information to get lost in communication. How medical professionals communicate when transferring a patient from the care of one staff member to another plays a crucial role in the rate of medical errors.

Campaign raises awareness of endometriosis

Women in New Mexico who suffer from endometriosis may experience excruciating pain that makes it difficult for them to live a normal life. Even though the symptoms of endometriosis can be so noticeable, many women who suffer from the disease do not know what is wrong. A report in the Journal of Human Reproduction found that the average endometriosis patient waited 12 years for a correct diagnosis.