Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide

August 2015 Archives

Lack of sleep may not affect surgical outcome

As some Oregon residents know, sleep deprivation may affect job performance. A new study looks at whether a lack of sleep affects a surgeon's performance the next day. Since some health care advocates are calling for regulation requiring a surgeon to disclose to patients how much sleep he or she had, the latest study opines it might not be necessary.

Fine line exists between diagnosis and overdiagnosis

As Oregon residents may know, health care professionals use a myriad of tools to arrive at a proper diagnosis. Today, the contents of that tool chest have expanded to include neuroimaging and other sophisticated techniques. Defining disease such a traumatic brain injury and breast cancer are but two of the areas where diagnosis is aided by new tests.

Understanding more about MELAS

Oregon residents may benefit from understanding more about the challenges physicians face when attempting to diagnose a unique medical condition like mitochondrial myopathy, lactic acidosis, encephalopathy and stroke-like episodes. Otherwise referred to as MELAS, this medical condition is described as a common mitochondrial disease, or DNA mutation, that is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting a number of internal systems, especially the muscle and nervous system.

Electronic fetal monitoring devices may cause harm

In Oregon and around the country, obstetricians often use electronic fetal monitoring devices on pregnant patients. Large-scale trials using continuous EFM were done in the late 1980s, and it became clear that EFM was not lowering risks during birth. More research in the past 20 years has also shown this, but doctors still prefer to use it because of cultural reasons that include the increased medicalization of childbirth and obstetricians' fear of a malpractice suit.

Can Toyota make hospitals safer?

As patient volumes increase in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, some public hospitals are turning to a surprising source to help them keep pace: Toyota. By adapting the Japanese automaker's production system to health care, hospital administrators have been able to cut costs and improve patient care. The philosophy could impact patient care in Oregon and nationwide.

New test may help doctors diagnose pancreatic cancer sooner

Oregon residents who have or know someone with pancreatic cancer are probably aware of how serious this disease can be. Around 40,000 Americans will die from it in 2015, out of the nearly 50,000 who will be diagnosed with it this year. Patients have better luck if they are diagnosed as soon as possible, but about 80 percent of people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed at later stages. A new study explores the option for a low-cost test that can diagnose the disease in its early stages.

Hospitals make efforts to reduce medical malpractice lawsuits

Oregon residents may be surprised to learn that approximately 1 million medical injuries occur each year. Many of these injuries are caused by doctor or hospital negligence or mistakes, and health care facilities across the country are taking proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of a medical malpractice lawsuit being filed against them. Particular attention is being paid to reducing medication errors and unnecessary surgeries, which combine to claim the lives of almost 20,000 patients each year.

Recording of surgery proposed

Some patients in Oregon and across the United States may have experienced adverse results following a surgery or other medical procedure. In response, some state legislatures have proposed that patients be able to record their surgeries. They believe that this may help to prevent errors by allowing patients to review their surgeries and determine if any of the doctors or support staff were negligent in their duty to provide quality medical care. However, there are also issues of legality and ethics involved with this kind of legislation.

New standards for patient care at nursing homes

Families in Oregon that have loved ones who are living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities may be interested to learn about a proposed rule that was recently issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. On July 16, CMS published a set of new standards that will set stricter guidelines for patient care and create more government oversight of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.


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