It is estimated that breast cancer will take the lives of 40,000 women in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States during the coming year. The only cancer that results in more fatalities for women is lung cancer.
A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine raises concerns about the number of instances where a diagnosis is missed by a doctor. Of the 190 or so failure to diagnose errors discovered, approximately two-thirds of those errors were linked to incidents that occurred during a visit to the doctor.
Smartphones have become the 21st century Swiss-army knives for millions of Americans. All over Pittsburgh and across the nation the utility of a these tiny handheld devices extends far beyond communication into commerce, entertainment, and, as it now appears, serious matters of health. However, as more and more apps try to sell us the prospect of increased wellness and even serious diagnosis of conditions like cancer, problems have come to loom on the horizon.
A recent study has shown that as many as 3.5 percent of prostate biopsy specimens were switched or mistakenly attributed to the wrong patient. Though most labs only had an error rate of around one percent, certain labs had a much higher rate of mistakes.
A Pennsylvania combat veteran has recently been awarded $3.7 million by a federal judge for a VA Hospital's failure to properly diagnose or treat the soldier's post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The failure to treat is believed to have contributed to his decline and current and permanent disability status.
A court recently ruled that a radiologist was at fault concerning a misdiagnosis that likely led to a woman suffering a stroke. The jury returned a verdict of $5 million.
A female patient from the Pittsburgh area claims that a pathologist at Washington Hospital misread pap smears tests for this woman for five straight years. It was not until 2011 that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and this diagnosis came two months after she delivered a child.
Doctors and nurses providing the bare minimum while conducting tasks at a hospital would generally not be considered adequate care. A failure to follow a safety checklist or not communicating medical information can result in the injury or death of a patient.
Though reports of Lyme disease are up in the Pennsylvania area, this disease is unfortunately often misdiagnosed. As occurs with almost any failure to diagnose a medical problem, an illness like Lyme disease will only fester and worsen if it remains untreated.
Hopefully, the headlines will make it clear to Pittsburgh readers why a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis is the subject for so many medical malpractice lawsuits. A misdiagnosis in an internal care unit (ICU) is often fatal for patients.