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September 2016 Archives

Even with imaging, hernia can be hard to diagnose

Doctors in New Mexico often have trouble diagnosing inguinal hernias in patients when they do not have a visible bulge. Even when imaging techniques are used on patients with hernia symptoms, inguinal hernias are often misdiagnosed. At the latest annual meeting of the Americas Hernia Society, a hernia specialist explained why doctors cannot always rely on the results of CT and MRI scans.

Misdiagnosis is top reason for medical malpractice lawsuits

New Mexico hospital patients can be seriously injured when they do not receive an accurate diagnosis for the condition that they have. In fact, problems with diagnoses are the most common reason patients file medical malpractice claims, according to a recent study by The Doctors Company. Diagnosis-related medical malpractice claims may involve a failed diagnosis, an incorrect diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.

Cerebral palsy risk factors and prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information that some New Mexico residents may find useful. According to the CDC, cerebral palsy is a disease caused by abnormal development or damage to the brain. It affects muscle control and the majority of cases are congenital, i.e., related to brain damage occurring during or before birth.

Decline in morcellation does not increase complications

Some New Mexico gynecologists may still use a tool called a power morcellator in hysterectomies. The process of morcellation, in which a woman's uterus is sliced into smaller pieces for minimally invasive surgical removal, is a controversial one. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who had hysterectomies did not have more complications if morcellation was not used. However, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has defended the practice.

Obtaining an earlier PCOS diagnosis

New Mexico parents may be interested to learn that researchers discovered that those who have increased levels of irisin, a hormone that helps regulate energy metabolism, may have polycystic ovary syndrome. This syndrome, known as PCOS, is often diagnosed in teens who suffer from infrequent or missed menstruation.

Doctor biases may result in misdiagnoses

Some doctors in New Mexico and throughout the country may be misdiagnosing patients due to unconscious assumptions. These assumptions might be based on signals such as race, class or gender. Experts say that failure to examine those biases will lead to continued misdiagnoses even after patients die as a result.

Use of CA125 test for ovarian cancer detection unreliable

Ovarian cancer is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose, especially in its early stages when treatment could offer more benefit. Many physicians in New Mexico use a blood test called a cancer antigen 125 as a diagnostic tool. However, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that this test does not produce definitive results.

Safety checklists for anesthesiologists inconsistently applied

Some procedures performed by anesthesiologists in New Mexico require placement of a unilateral nerve block for surgeries that involve a right or left side. In this situation, there is a potential for needle placement and surgery at the wrong location. Protocols that use checklists to prevent errors, also known as timeouts, limit these errors. However, no standard approach to nerve block procedures has been established by the anesthesiologist community.

Hospital administrators can prevent diagnosing errors

Hospital administrators in the United States might not interact with patients much but can still make a difference when it comes to accurately diagnosing patients. Those in New Mexico may like to know about how administrators can prevent misdiagnosis.

MS challenging to diagnose and often misdiagnosed

Patients in New Mexico with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis might wish to get a second opinion. The findings of a new study indicate that misdiagnosis of MS may be a problem. Twenty-four neurologists who specialize in MS combined their efforts to analyze cases throughout the country. They identified 110 patients who had been incorrectly diagnosed with MS.

Medical negligence in the emergency room

Thousands of people in New Mexico seek care in the emergency rooms of their local hospitals every year. When people have to go to the E.R., they do so believing that the treatment that they receive will help them to recover from their injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, doctors and the medical staff of emergency departments sometimes make errors that harm the patients.