A new study estimates that medical misdiagnosis kills between 40,000 and 80,000 Americans each year, including many living in Georgia. The report, which was recently published in the journal Diagnosis, also claims that diagnosis errors might cause serious harm to another 80,000 to 160,000 people annually.
Some people in Georgia may not be aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. With so much focus placed on breast cancer, a lot of women may not have learned very much about heart attack symptoms. In addition to the typical symptom of severe chest pain, heart attack can also cause symptoms like back pain, nausea and vomiting.
The ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization has released a report detailing the safety hazards that patients face in ambulatory care settings. Georgia residents should know that diagnostic errors were the top risk, accounting for 47% of the 4,300 safety events analyzed in the study. After this came medication-related safety events at 27% and patient falls at 14%.
Less than 1% of breast cancer patients in Georgia and across the U.S. are men, but these men tend to be diagnosed later than women are and have lower survival rates. Breast cancer trials have not included men, but now the FDA is recommending their inclusion. This comes at a time when the number of male breast cancer patients is, in fact, rising.
A study published in the medical journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology suggests that genetic testing may be useful in detecting hereditary angioedema, also called HAE, which could protect people in Georgia from misdiagnoses. HAE is a genetic disease that causes sudden, repeated instances of swelling in deep layers of the skin. It can be divided into three types. Types 1 and 2 are related to mutations in the SERPING1 gene; type 3 is caused by a mutation located in the F12 gene.
Lyme disease is a serious illness that can cause problems with joints, the heart and the nervous system. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, there are almost 300,000 people dealing with Lyme disease each year in America. Despite so many instances of the disease, it can be hard for one suffering from this illness to be diagnosed correctly. Georgia residents might like to know more about the difficulty of diagnosing Lyme disease.
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.
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.
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.
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.