The medical profession has been on the job of uncovering what ails the human body and trying to promote healing for a lot of years. If you Google the phrase "earliest doctor" one of the things you will learn is that the first person to actually go by the official title was purported to be an Egyptian fellow back in about 2600 B.C.
Back in 1999, the U.S. Institute of Medicine dropped a bombshell on the health care industry. It reported that anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 people were dying in the nation's hospitals every year due to medical negligence and errors committed in the operating rooms, emergency rooms and recovery wards.
Readers of our Oregon medical malpractice blog may be interested to know that a previously undiagnosed disease that affects more than 4,000 Americans every year has been identified by researchers. With the help of a very sick woman, researchers have been able to identify the tick-transmitted illness.
As discussed in previous blog posts, time is of the essence to properly diagnose a multitude of medical conditions, including cancer. A failure to diagnose cancer can have serious and deadly consequences. As a result, Oregonians can suffer from delayed treatment or terminal health conditions.
The proper diagnosis of a disease or illness is of the utmost importance to Oregon patients. This ensures treatment can begin as early as possible, and prevents unnecessary patient injuries or death. The majority of Eugene residents have undoubtedly heard of Lyme disease. What may not be known, however, are the serious and painful consequences of the disease should it go misdiagnosed.
The symptoms of different diseases can be very similar or identical. For this reason, Oregonians must rely on the expertise and training of doctors and medical professionals to properly diagnose a condition. The misdiagnosis of a disease can cause irreparable damage. Not only does a failure to diagnose an illness cause a delay in treatment, but patients may also suffer from a worsened condition or even death.
Residents in Oregon and across the country often benefit from a generally high level of medical care. Yet a recent case illustrates that medical errors can still occur, despite state-of-the-art care, when human negligence or mistake is involved.
Early diagnosis of cancer is vital, as many forms are now treatable. However, if months or years go by without treatment, cancer cells can easily spread to other parts of the body. A failure or delay in diagnosis of cancer can have fatal results, and in some circumstances may result in a wrongful death claim.
The healthcare industry in Oregon and the rest of the country is generally acknowledged to be in a major state of disarray. That's part of the inspiration behind such reform measures as the federal Affordable Care Act. Among the issues that gets a lot of rhetorical and media attention is that of civil litigation over claims of medical malpractice for such matters as doctor and hospital negligence resulting in injury, misdiagnoses and even wrongful death.
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.