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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Iowa rehabilitation center receives equipment for brain injuries

After someone suffers a brain injury, their life many change in many ways. On top of forgetfulness, headaches and other physical and mental problems, brain injuries can also have a negative impact on peoples' financial future. In Polk, and other cities throughout the state of Iowa, suffering a brain injury may force someone to take time off work, which can result in financial hardships.

A rehabilitation center based in Iowa recently received equipment to help people who have suffered a brain injury recover. The equipment, which includes a $36,000 bicycle, was obtained by the rehabilitation center as a result of an organization that was founded in 2012. Over a four-year period, the foundation raised over $500,000.

Protecting your loved one in a nursing home

When parents or other loved ones in Iowa get older, it is sometimes necessary to place them in a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, mistreatment and neglect occur in nursing homes across the country, so it is important to choose a nursing home carefully. If you suspect abuse, it may be necessary to seek help. We at Galligan Reid understand the absolute importance of protecting the elderly who have suffered mistreatment.

Ultimately, you want to choose a facility in which abuse does not occur in the first place, but this is not as straightforward as it may sound. According to Fox Business, it may require through careful research and personal visits to the home. You should request references and inquire about whether the facility has ever been fined by the State Department of Health. Most importantly, do not rush the decision. However, even after your best efforts, sometimes abuse still happens. Therefore, you should be able to recognize the warning signs of mistreatment in order to stop it as soon as possible. One of the most obvious red flags is a swift change in your loved one's demeanor. Lashing out with uncharacteristic anger may be his or her way of coping with abuse.

Deaths from cervical cancer are far too common

Misdiagnosis is a troubling problem in the medical field. Certain conditions are more frequently misdiagnosed than others. In addition, some groups of patients are more likely to be victimized by misdiagnosis than others. A recent study suggests that one area where the medical field is falling short is in the diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Mortality rates and race

The estimated yearly death toll from cervical cancer is more than 4,000. The death rate, while inexplicably high, grows even more troubling when broken down along racial lines. White women suffer a mortality rate of 4.7 per 100,000. Black women suffer from a mortality rate of 10.1 per 100,000. Both rates are high, given advances in the medical field that make it possible to successfully treat the vast majority of victims. For that treatment to work, however, doctors and patients must adhere to screening guidelines and participate in follow-up care and monitoring. Screenings that indicate the potential presence of cervical cancer must be correctly interpreted and the necessary information must make its way to the client. If any step is missed, a cervical cancer patient could miss out on weeks, months or years where treatment could halt the spread of the disease. 

More than 50 people file suit against clinic for misdiagnoses

Being diagnosed with an irreversible condition can be devastating, but it is generally better to have a diagnosis sooner, rather than later. Early diagnosis may increase the options for treatment to slow the disease's progression and it gives patients as much time as possible to make decisions about their care and future.

However, an early diagnosis is only good when it is accurate. Misdiagnoses can be devastating. Not only can they make treatment ineffective or potentially harmful, they can also cause considerable - and irreparable - damage to patients and their families. This is what more than 50 people are dealing with in light of their inaccurate Alzheimer's disease diagnoses.

How common are medication errors during surgery?

While you may be like many people in Iowa who trust that their doctors are being thorough and accurate when they are administered medications during surgery, recent studies show that this may not always be the case. There can be several reasons for mistakes, but the fact remains that many medications are given in error. The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists studied 277 operations and reports on the problem of adverse drug events and medication errors.

 

Survey shows poor ownership of errors among physicians

Medical errors are a concern for many people in Iowa yet it can be very difficult to know if or when an error has actually occurred. Ideally, patients would be able to trust doctors and other health care providers to alert them if a mistake is discovered. However, some research conducted by Georgia State University indicates that this trust is not something well earned by many medical professionals.

Becker's Hospital Review explains that the research results showed a large number of physicians unwilling to voluntarily release information about or apologize for any mistakes. It was revealed that certain factors might increase a physician's willingness to be transparent about a medical mistake. One of these factors was the level of severity of the error. The graver the error, the higher the chance that a physician would open up. So too would doctors be more inclined to share information about mistakes if they believed they held a level of individual responsibility.

Cleaning practices insufficient to prevent infection

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control reveals that the current guidelines for disinfecting reusable medical scopes are not effective. The study tracked 20 endoscopes over the course of 7 months. By the end of the study, 12 of the 20 scopes suffered from microbial growth, despite having been cleaned according to current guidelines. In addition, all of the scopes had visible damage and 17 had to be returned to the manufacturer with serious defects. The study calls into question the safety procedures surrounding medical equipment in American hospitals.

Unpleasant findings

The cleaning guidelines may be insufficient because they are applied to brand new instruments. Over time, the scopes in the study suffered minor damage, including scratches and dents. Those imperfections make an excellent breeding ground for microbes. Photographs from the study show scopes with lenses clouded from accumulated biological material, brown stains, retained fluid and other debris. Instruments with these problems were being actively used on patients. 

How common is wrong-site surgery?

You may, like most people in Iowa, believe that a surgeon would never operate on the wrong area of the body, but it is more common than you might think. Becker’s Healthcare states that doctors in the United States perform up to 50 wrong-site surgeries every week. This unsettling number can be due to many factors, including distractions, verification and booking errors, and a lack of consistency with site marking, but seems to be more common in certain specialties.

 

Radiology errors threaten patient wellbeing

A new study conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery casts doubt on one of the cornerstones of modern healthcare. The study involved an analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results gathered from a number of different facilities. The same patient was sent to 10 facilities to have an MRI done on her lower back. The results of these MRIs varied widely.

Lack of consistency

An incorrect diagnosis can have an unfortunate impact on a patient's health. Vital treatment may be delayed while the patient undergoes unnecessary treatment that can do more harm than good. To be useful, MRIs and other radiological testing must provide reliable results. The results in this study showed that the testing is anything but reliable. 

Signs of a brain injury

Damage to the brain is one of the most serious injuries a person can face. Since the brain is so delicate and yet vital to the function of the entire body, trauma to it may result in life-long consequences. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors who operate on or near the brain make mistakes that may cause damage. Therefore, it is extremely important for patients in Iowa and their loved ones to recognize the signs of brain injury and report them immediately.

According to Healthline, there are several different types of head injuries. Probably the most common is concussion, which is the result of the brain knocking against the skull due to extreme shaking, a fall or a blow to the head. However, other injuries that may cause serious damage are internal bleeding, known as hemorrhaging, or clotting, known as hematoma. Several different types of injuries may lead to swelling of the brain, which is called edema. Patients who have suffered extreme brain trauma may also experience seizures.

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