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medical malpractice Archives

Medication errors are top cause of EHR-related malpractice claims

Georgia readers may be interested to learn that over 30% of all patient harm events involving electronic health records in medical malpractice claims are caused by medication errors, according to a recent study. The study was published in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Study: patient complications arise from surgeons' bad behavior

JAMA Surgery has published a study linking reports of unprofessional behavior on the part of surgeons with a higher risk for patient complications. Georgia residents should know that between 70% and 80% of surgeons in the U.S. never receive a complaint about their behavior. Still, that leaves a sizeable group of surgeons who do.

Study finds schizophrenia patients often misdiagnosed

The side effects of schizophrenia treatments can be significant for patients in Georgia. Powerful antipsychotic medications can affect people's overall psychological well-being as well as their physical bodies. Some are linked to weight gain while others are related to involuntary physical movements known as tardive dyskinesia. In fact, some of these side effects can be why it is so difficult for many people with schizophrenia to maintain medication regimens. Still, the benefits can outweigh the risks for people struggling with severe mental illness.

Most malpractice claims are diagnosis-related, studies find

Misdiagnosis is often to blame for hospital patient deaths in Georgia. The National Academy of Medicine concluded back in 2015 that diagnostic errors may be the third leading cause of death among hospitalized patients and may be behind the majority of paid medical malpractice claims. This has recently been backed up by the separate reports of two malpractice insurers.

Colon cancer misdiagnosed more frequently in younger patients

Georgia residents should know that clinical misdiagnoses may be behind the sharp increase in patients 50 or younger who have stage 3 or 4 colorectal cancer (colon cancer). A study from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance shows that 71 percent of patients under 50 have stage 3 or 4 colon cancer, whereas patients over 50 are more likely to be diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 colon cancer.

Many medical lawsuits involve antibiotics and painkillers

Patients in Georgia depend on healthcare professionals to make safe and effective choices about their medication. Two commonly prescribed classes of medication, painkillers and antibiotics, account for the most lawsuits involving medication errors.

Surgeon removes kidney after mistaking it for cancerous tumor

Georgia residents who are about to undergo surgery may be worried about the possibility of surgical errors. Unfortunately, errors do occur, even those that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality calls "never events" because they should never happen. Among these mistakes are wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient errors. One such never event has led to a major lawsuit settlement in Florida.

A look at what constitutes a never event

As the name implies, a never event is one that a patient in Georgia or any other state should never experience. The term has been around since 2001, and there are 29 events that are considered so egregious that they shouldn't happen. These events are divided into seven categories, such as surgical, patient protection and device events. Examples of these events include operating on the wrong person or part of the body.

About LBD

Approximately 1.4 million people in Georgia and the rest of the United States are affected by Lewy body dementia, or LBD. The disease is underdiagnosed because its symptoms are very similar to conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Many medical professionals, including physicians, are unable to recognize LBD.

How patients can help avoid medical mistakes

When people go to a Georgia hospital or doctor's office, they usually do not expect to experience a medical error. However, mistakes can happen in any part of the health care system and can involve a wide range of issues, from surgical errors to incorrect prescriptions to misdiagnoses. In fact, one out of every seven hospital patients with Medicare experience a medical error of some kind. These mistakes can vary widely in their level of severity, but they can have serious repercussions to patients.

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