Oregon dialysis patients may have heard about a facility in their neighboring state where people might have been exposed to hepatitis B. In May, public health officials in Seattle were notified by a hospital that discovered staff were not screening and isolating patients according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some Oregon women who have breast cancer and who are planning to get lumpectomies will undergo breast MRIs as a part of pre- and post-operative planning. The breast MRIs are used in order to help the surgeons see where the tumor is located, its size and whether there are additional cancerous tumors in the breast. After surgery, a breast MRI may be used to check that all of the tumors have been removed successfully.
Physicians and health care facilities do their best to limit and prevent risks when patients need medical procedures, but there are always thing patients need to know about in case something does go wrong. Anesthesia is generally safe, but here are some ways Oregon residents who are facing the need for surgery could lower the chances of an error happening.
The radiology departments in modern Oregon hospitals feature an impressive array of sophisticated technology, but even the latest X-ray booths and MRI machines cannot eliminate all human error. Radiology mistakes can be particularly damaging when tumors are overlooked or misdiagnosed and cancer treatments are delayed or never begun. The latest scans and X-rays provide medical professionals with levels of detail that would once have been considered unimaginable, but this data does patients little good when doctors either miss important information or fail to grasp its significance.
Some Oregon residents may have heard of medical mistakes such as operating on the wrong patient or leaving a surgical tool inside a patient. Dubbed "never events" because they should never happen, a total of 29 of these types of errors have been identified. Medicare and other health plans may pay a lower reimbursement to hospitals where some types of never events happen. The Leapfrog Group has released a report stating that 20 percent of reporting hospitals around the country do not conform to its policies for preventing never events.
People in Oregon who are considering undergoing elective plastic surgery may want to research the physician and facility beforehand and keep in mind that dangerous complications can occur. In 2013, an 18-year-old Florida woman slipped into a coma after her blood pressure and heart rate dropped to dangerously low levels during breast augmentation surgery. When the Florida Department of Health examined the incident, it found that the doctor did not provide a sufficient airway for artificial breathing during his resuscitation attempts.
As some Oregon residents may know, drinking enough water is important to maintaining a healthy physical state. However, dehydration can occur and cause worrisome symptoms that can interfere with daily function. Knowing if symptoms are related to dehydration or not requires an in-depth knowledge of how dehydration happens and how it can be diagnosed.
The sound of a car alarm going off may have sent Oregon residents rushing to their windows or reaching for their phones to call the police when the technology was first introduced a few decades ago, but the sounds made by these security systems have become so ubiquitous that they now largely go ignored. This may be the case with hospital alarms as well. A Johns Hopkins University researcher has found that doctors and nurses may hear as many as 100 alarms during a single hospital shift, and she believes that patients may be in danger when their care providers become desensitized to the sound of medical alerts.
For those suffering an injury due to negligence in an Oregon hospital, a malpractice lawsuit is often the first remedy that comes to mind. One author points to a number of considerations that should be made before pursuing this path. Among other concerns are the financial and emotional preparedness of the injured person, or their representatives, and the need for competent legal counsel.