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.
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.
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.
Cancer is one of the most feared diagnoses a doctor in Iowa or any other state can give. ABC News reports that around 1.3 million people are found to have this deadly disease each year. While research is being done on the causes and cures for cancer, new studies are starting to emerge which detail a different side of the problem: misdiagnosis.
If you are going in for a regular checkup or to find out what is causing some worrying health symptoms, you have every right to hope your doctor accurately and quickly discovers anything wrong. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for patients in Iowa and elsewhere to be misdiagnosed. At Galligan Reid PC, we are aware of the potentially serious complications that can result from a missed diagnosis. If your doctor does not discover an illness or says you have something other than what you have, you might miss out on timely medication or be given the wrong type of treatment. It goes without saying that the longer you wait on a serious illness, the worse your prognosis and recovery might become.
A device used to regulate the temperature of patients undergoing heart surgeries has been tied to numerous infections and a dozen deaths in the U.S. alone. The Food and Drug Administration's slow reaction to the problem demonstrates a gap in the way safety regulators evaluate medical devices for defects. Infections are a well-known problem in hospitals and may be treated as a general or background problem because of their frequency. Medical devices can be defective in ways not connected to the immediate purpose they serve. A device that facilitates an infection is defective, even if it operates in the way it was intended.
Medicine is both art and science. The "art" part is made up of the experience and training of doctors and medical professional. Sometimes, the judgment and discretion is mistaken or in error and leads to patients suffering some form of medical negligence. It may be an infection or some minor setback that adds a few days on to their recovery. For other, it may be a devastating mistake that leaves them seriously injured or causes their death.
After a medical malpractice incident, those who have been injured, or in the worst cases, died, should be owed a simple explanation. One doctor, who is also a lawyer, suggests that if patients are owed information regarding what could happen during a procedure or treatment in order for informed consent to be "informed," should they not receive an explanation of what did actually happen when something goes wrong?
Some Iowa residents may recall an IBM computer called Watson beating several former champions on the popular game show 'Jeopardy!" in 2011, but they may not know that a modified version of Watson was unable to replicate this success when it went up against a group of doctors the following year. Technology experts have long predicted that algorithms will one day replace human judgement in the area of medical diagnoses, but recent studies indicate that machines are not yet ready to take on these duties.
According to leaders at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, approximately 2,600 open-heart patients may have been exposed to a bacterial infection. Those patients had their procedures performed between 2012 and 2015, and they may have been exposed to germs called Nontuberculous Mycobacteria. The bacteria is frequently referred to as MTM, and it is a less potent form of tuberculosis.