We recently discussed potential medical risks -- such as infection, allergic reaction or additional complications -- that can result when patients are subjected to unnecessary testing. Today's posting explores the risks surrounding doctors' increasing use of computed tomography scans on patients in Oregon and nationwide.
Injuries caused by the negligence of hospital staff during the delivery process may sometimes be so severe that they foreclose any possibility of a child having a normal life. For that reason, many Oregon readers regard birth injuries as among the most tragic of medical malpractice cases.
Despite remarkable improvements in medical technology, patients in Oregon and nationwide continue to be injured by medical negligence, such as surgical errors. A new survey suggests that doctor burnout may be a prime culprit.
An estimated 10% of all visits to emergency departments in Oregon and nationwide may involve patients whose symptoms suggest acute myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as heart attack. However, that diagnosis often requires several hours of observation, and may be compounded by additional delays caused by overcrowding in EDs. A new test may offer a solution.
An internal investigation prompted by a letter from a former nurse at HCA -- the largest for-profit hospital chain in the United States with 163 facilities -- revealed that unnecessary testing may have been the norm in the hospital's cardiology department.
Medical technicians in Oregon and nationwide aren't as closely regulated as doctors or nurses. Whereas a national database exists for tracking misconduct or disciplinary actions against physicians, many states don't maintain a comparable database for technicians or even require them to be registered. That discrepancy can lead to disastrous consequences.
Drug-induced injuries remain a real threat for patients in Oregon and nationwide. Injuries can result when a person reacts poorly to a certain drug, or when a combination of drugs proves dangerous. Sometimes, a drug might be prescribed before it is safe to do so or before all of its potential side-effects have been tested. A recent example involves a line of birth-control pills sold by pharmaceutical giant Bayer.
Each year, about 17 percent of men in Oregon and nationwide will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Upon receiving this news, most men opt for aggressive treatment options, despite the accompanying long-term side effects of that choice. However, a new study suggests that may be the wrong choice.
In the war against colon cancer -- the third most commonly diagnosed cancer -- early screening and testing might be the strongest weapons. If detected early, doctors might be able to remove polyps, or growths on the colon wall, before they become malignant.