Patients generally have a lot of trust and faith in their doctor's skills, and when they are the victims of medical errors, they can be devastated. What sometimes adds insult to injury is the fact that they fail to receive a simple apology from the doctor or some other form of sympathy. While spoken words will not fix a physician error that has caused the patient pain and further suffering, it can help the patient feel reassured that the doctor is a caring professional.
Even in a world of advanced medicine, doctors are still found to make mistakes and act negligently toward their patients. While patients generally believe that these kinds of doctors will be prevented from practicing medicine, all too often, unqualified doctors in Rhode Island and in other states are allowed to continue to care for patients. The suspension of a doctor's license lies with a licensing board that may be reluctant to take action.
The 2005 federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act is a federal law that encourages physicians, pharmacies and hospitals to report medical errors and related information to organizations involved in patient safety by shielding these reports from becoming exposed publically. Now two unrelated cases in another state are questioning the law's reach and the outcome could affect other states, including Rhode Island.
Injuries and fatalities resulting from medical negligence are both preventable and unacceptable. The consequences of medical malpractice can be devastating, especially considering that malpractice is characterized by failure to administer a level of care that physicians are fully capable of employing.
Antibiotics, if administered correctly, save lives. However they can be hazardous and life-threatening if prescribed incorrectly. For example, inappropriately prescribed fluoroquinolones, a common class of antibiotics, were the cause of roughly 2,000 personal injury lawsuits in the U.S. last year. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections (some more serious than others), but due to various risk factors, they shouldn't be prescribed for illnesses that don't require this kind of medical intervention.
Radiation serves many purposes in medicine. It is used for tracing broken bones, lung lesions, heart defects, tumors and is treatment for cancer. However, overexposure to radiation due to medical negligence or medical necessity can also cause damage to DNA, which may ultimately result in cancer after 10 to 20 years.
Recently, an important announcement was made at an annual conference hosted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The agency's findings could significantly impact fatality rates caused by a certain infection in hospitals.
Approximately 8,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in advanced stages every year, according to TIME Magazine. Many of these men may have been spared such grim news, had their not been a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer by their healthcare providers. And yet, government regulators and physicians alike are arguing over whether extensive screening can help bring these startling numbers down significantly.
As breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, the 19th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk was a Sunday success, despite the snowy start. 14,000 walkers were expected and organizers hoped to raise $900,000 at the Providence event to support breast cancer research by the American Cancer Society.
As with many forms of cancer, early detection of ovarian cancer is key to successful treatment. Unfortunately for women with ovarian cancer, it's not uncommon for symptoms to be dismissed as related to a non-life-threatening condition, delaying diagnosis and treatment. That is one of the main reasons why ovarian cancer is so deadly. Statistics show that two out of every three women eventually diagnosed with ovarian cancer will die from the disease.