Cancer comes in many forms and it is fast becoming a major killer in our society. Practically everyone in Providence knows someone who has had cancer or died from it. When it comes to cancer, the earlier it is detected and the patient starts receiving treatment for it, the higher the survival rate is. Yet patients are often victims of cancer misdiagnosis, which can greatly impact their chance of beating the disease. For these victims, often the delay in the diagnosis of cancer is a death sentence because by the time the mistake is discovered, they are in the final stage and no treatment can save them.
We all have a right to quality medical care regardless of our station in life or whether we are homeless in Rhode Island or elsewhere. When you or a loved one go to an emergency room for diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition, you have a right to expect to be treated with dignity and respect and for your medical symptoms to heard. That was not the case for one woman who arrived at a health center only to be arrested for refusing to leave the facility until her severe pain was treated.
Most doctors and physicians in Rhode Island and around the country fully understand the medical liability risks their practice presents, but there are events that can occur that will not fall under the general definition of medical malpractice, and thus may not be covered under ordinary malpractice insurance. Take for example a case recently discussed in an industry publication where a family sued a hospital and several of its staff members claiming medical negligence after their newborn child suffered a brain injury due to a case of jaundice that went untreated.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a meta-analysis recently released by researchers out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The analysis centers on rates of missed diagnosis and misdiagnosis in American ICUs. Unfortunately, the results do not bode well for patient safety.
The intensive care unit (ICU) is a frightening place. This unit is where the hospital receives its most gravely ill and injured patients, provided that they survive the emergency room and the surgical floor. Because the patients housed in ICU are so critically ill or injured, the web of care providers, testing, tubes and monitors assigned to a single patient is infinitely complex.
Despite being the leading cause of death among women, heart disease, and related heart attacks often go undiagnosed or are diagnosed too late to avoid major damage. According to a recent study, 15 percent of heart attack patients who are women will die in the hospital compared to only 10 percent of men.