As medical science advances our techniques for testing and treating various forms of cancer more and more patients can be saved from the disease. Missed cancer diagnosis or misdiagnosis' often result in medical malpractice claims, as reported on our Pennsylvania medical malpractice blog last week. The accuracy of a cancer diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death and to that end researchers may have found a new way of testing for prostate cancer and improving the accuracy of the cancer diagnosis in patients. Researchers in Scotland hope the genetic test will help doctors identify tumors that are often missed in routine medical checkups. Researchers are also hopeful the new technique will prevent patients from having to undergo repeated and invasive testing that can carry the risk of infections. The test works by recognizing the "halo of cells that form around a prostate tumor." Under a microscope these cells appear healthy but they also contain genes that turn off the cell's ability to protect it from growing tumors.
A recent study published in the journal Radiology showed that radiologists face medical malpractice suits at a high rate in relation to missed cancer diagnoses. The study reviewed over 4,700 claims against doctors in 47 states using information reported to credentialing authorities.
A recent study found that more than three percent of biopsy results for prostate specimens were processed in error. Some of the results were mixed up with other patients and ultimately assigned to the wrong person, others were contaminated in a way that may have altered results. The study reviewed 13,000 samples from 54 different labs.
We've covered sepsis on this blog several times in the past. Sepsis is a severe bacterial infection that can have flu-like symptoms and often goes unrecognized by busy hospital staff, but can lead to major complications and sometimes is fatal. We wrote about the tragic story of a 12-year-old boy who contracted sepsis and was not treated for it in time. Now, another sepsis case is in the news, this time the patient was a pregnant woman who recognized that something was seriously wrong.
A panel of experts recommended that doctors stop screening healthy women with no risk factors for ovarian cancer. The panel, a part of the United States Preventative Services Task Force, said that the high number of false-positives causes harm to many women who are perfectly health prior to being screen for ovarian cancer.
We've written frequently on this blog about hospital errors, which can include surgical errors, hospital infections, misdiagnosis, and a variety of other injuries. These mistakes are sometimes treated as an inevitable result of human error, but more often than not the injuries caused by the mistakes are preventable.
Lawmakers are considering a measure that would penalize doctors who do not adequately screen women for breast cancer. The bill specifically deals with patients who have dense tissue that makes it harder for traditional mammograms to detect irregularities. This often results in a delayed diagnosis and can have major ramifications for patients. Doctors would have to advise patients with dense tissue of their situation and suggest that they undergo additional testing or face a fine of $2,000.
Often when families discover that a loved one is terminally ill they do whatever it takes to make that person comfortable and happy. "If he said jump I would jump ... I was putting him first, whatever he wanted, he got," a faithful wife told reporters this week of her husband's struggle with cancer. Like many couples that are worried that their time is short, this pair compiled a list of things they wanted to do together before the husband was unable to travel or do other leisure activities.
Healthcare providers were finally held responsible last week for the wrongful death of a Pennsylvania man. His family had been pursuing a medical malpractice claim for three years after they lost their loved one due to undiagnosed heart disease.
New research suggests hundreds of patients are improperly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis each year - with harmful consequences.