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Tucson Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Blog

Alzheimer's disease: Why it often gets misdiagnosed

New evidence has emerged suggesting that those with Alzheimer's disease, who also experience some types of psychotic episodes, have a 50 percent higher change of being misdiagnosed than those who don't have a secondary diagnosis. In such cases, they note it's commonplace for these Alzheimer's patients to be diagnosed as having dementia with Lewy bodies.

Alzheimer's disease is considered a type of dementia itself. However, recent brain imaging studies of patients with known cases of Alzheimer's disease has led researchers to better distinguish it from a Lewy bodies diagnosis. As a result of their recent discoveries, scientists have come to realize that treatments created to combat these illnesses will need to be different to have the desired impact.

Many neglect accusations are waged against a Peoria nursing home

It's been just a few weeks since a 79-year-old Alzheimer's patient escaped from Immanuel Campus of Care and was later found dead after dying from a suspected case of heat exhaustion. Since then, many who have been treated at the assisted living facility have come forward demanding that both Peoria Police Department and Arizona state officials work faster to find out what's going on before someone else is injured or dies.The facility has long been used by many as they recoup from surgical procedures. One woman, who was sent to the facility to recover from what she refers to as a minor surgical procedure, notes that she wasn't all that far into her two-week stay at the facility when she contracted a staph infection.She believes that she may have contracted the potentially-deadly infection from a man she met at the facility. He had been diagnosed with MRSA. She now wonders why he was never quarantined by staff to ensure that he didn't spread his highly-contagious infection.

It was because of the quick actions both the woman's pastor and adult daughter took to get her out of the facility that doctors say she was lucky to have her leg spared from being amputated.Once the woman healed from her surgery and staph infection, she dedicated her time to finding out if others had experienced any problems with Immanuel Campus of Care. What she found in Arizona Department of Health records is at least 78 different safety citations against the facility that have been filed since 2014.One such filing resulted in a $1,500 judgment for its employees' failure to properly care for a resident's foot. That situation resulted in the individual developing an unnecessary pressure sore.

Some of the more common birthing injuries your baby may face

Birth injuries define traumatic events that occur to the baby during the birthing process. While many newborns or their mothers may suffer minor injuries during birth that soon resolve without treatment, there are others that can either linger around for an extended period of time or that can be permanent.

It's most common for birth injuries to occur in instances in a situation where the fetus has grown too large to be able to successfully pass through the mother's birth canal. At the same time, the fetus can be fairly average in size, yet the mother's own birth canal is too small to accommodate it. Other situations that have the potential of resulting in a birth injury include those in which the fetus is abnormally positioned in the womb as labor sets in.

3 types of consent a doctor should request of a patient

An article recently published by the Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants suggests there are three types of consent that a medical professional should request prior to performing a test or medical procedure on a patient. Among these three types are general, limited and informed consent.

When it comes to general consent, on a very primitive basis, it simply gives the medical provider a right to place his or her hands on the patient. This type of consent can either be explicitly provided or implied. The former may be secured by having the patient sign a document that gives the medical provider permission to treat.

How to find out if your doctor has ever been sued for malpractice

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), at least 75 percent of physicians working in what are considered to be low-risk specialties are sued for malpractice at one point or another during their careers. In contrast, at least 99 percent of all doctors working in high-risk specialties are sued at some point in time. Each year, more than 17,000 new cases medical malpractice cases are filed in the United States.

Of all specialties, the AMA, in a report released in 2010, highlighted that specialists such as obstetricians, gynecologists and general surgeons have the highest likelihood of being sued. In fact, their risk of lawsuit is more than five times higher that which psychiatrists or pediatricians face.

Could you lessen the odds of suffering from medical malpractice?

Many people fear going under the knife to correct a medical issue. If you find yourself in this group, you have nothing to feel ashamed about as medical errors do occur relatively commonly. Of course, just because mistakes do happen, it does not mean that you should expect to become a victim of serious negligence or other gross errors. In many cases, you can work to make your surgeon and other medical staff more accountable for their actions.

Rather than letting your apprehension stew and cause you increased anxiety and stress, you may wish to take steps that could potentially help you avoid becoming the victim of medical malpractice.

3 of the most common misdiagnosed medical ailments

According to a study recently released by the Institute of Medicine, it's estimated that at least one in every 20 adults faces either a wrong, missing or delayed diagnosis. While this small, 5 percent rate seems relatively incidental, it's not. In fact, it's believed that these diagnostic errors are responsible for as much as 10 percent of all patient fatalities each year.

The biggest problem with misdiagnosis is that it can lead to patients having to undergo inappropriate treatment for one ailment all the while delaying necessary treatment for another. Among the most common misdiagnosed medical ailments are heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms, cancer, strokes and drug overdoses.

Pneumonia deaths high because of poor nursing home plumbing

A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that both hospitals and nursing homes can do a lot more than they're currently doing to reduce patient deaths. More specifically, this study highlights how they can do more to decontaminate their water water systems and reduce cases of Legionnaires' disease, a deadly form of pneumonia.

In the case of Legonnaires' disease, it is caused by the growth of a type of bacteria called Legionella. It has been shown to particularly multiply at high rates within pipes or water storage tanks.

Patients need to remain proactive in seeking proper diagnoses

Diagnostic errors are best described as either either inaccurate, delayed or missed diagnoses. They are estimated to account for between 40,000 and 80,000 patient deaths in the United States each year. Despite this relatively high fatality rate, patient safety organization, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, argues that very little research emphasis or investment is made on understanding more about this alarming trend.

According to a report titled, "Diagnostic Error in Health Care," published in September of 2015, more often than not, medical misdiagnoses are only discovered after a patient has died. It's then, when these individuals' bodies are having autopsies performed on them that medical examiners determine that the patient died because of complications associated with either a delayed or inaccurate diagnosis.

Reducing your risk factor for medical or surgical

In diagnosing and treating their patients, sometimes doctors don't ask enough questions or run the right diagnostic tests. Others may prescribe the incorrect dosage or medication, or diagnose the wrong condition entirely. In other cases, surgeons roll patients into the operating room in a hurry. Instead of verifying the surgical spot themselves, they rely on someone else to do that for them.

Still others rush to close up their surgery patients and leave foreign objects inside their bodies. All have the potential to rob patients of their health if not their lives.

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