A Pennsylvania doctor expressed concerns about how Lyme disease is not always being identified properly. This is of particular concern during the summer months, and during a year when the rate of Lyme disease is expected to be quite high. However, since Lyme disease is an extremely common disease with potentially serious consequences, it is extremely important that it is identified early on rather than misidentified due to a misdiagnosis.
A 62-year old patient was treated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for bleeding of the brain, and it is alleged that the doctors treating him were guilty of a number of medical mistakes that led to the man dying. Though the family of the deceased filed a medical malpractice claim against UPMC and four treating doctors, the claims against the doctors were dropped in exchange for a $1.37 million settlement to the family.
A jury verdict of $78.5 million was rendered in Pennsylvania concerning the birth injuries leading to cerebral palsy. The injuries that led to this malady came about possibly because of an 81-minute delay before a cesarean section was performed.
The United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a former soldier who suffered severe brain damage due to a surgical error that occurred during a routine procedure performed at a military hospital. The soldier was admitted for appendicitis. However, when he stopped breathing while an appendectomy was being performed the staff inserted a breathing tube into the esophagus rather than the trachea.
Most patients trust that careless mistakes will not be made by their medical providers while they are on the surgical table. Happily, patients in Pittsburgh are more fortunate in this regards than certain other areas in the nation. Just recently, a surgical error that took place in a southern state may have resulted in ongoing health problems for the patient.
We've written before about how so many medical and medication errors occur due to miscommunications between staff members. Another important part of communication often overlooked is communication between medical staff and the patient.
Surgeries performed that result in infection for patients kills approximately 8,000 patients every year. And because hospitals in Pennsylvania and the whole United States are reluctant to report such surgical errors recommendations for public reporting standards of such hospital infections have been made.
Something as simple as a misplaced tube during surgery resulted in the death of a woman due to brain injury. It appears that an anesthesiologist did not note that the oxygen tube had moved during the surgical procedure and the woman was deprived of oxygen while the anesthesia was administered.
To put things in perspective, approximately 100,000 deaths occur every year due to medical mistakes. Such errors occur in Pennsylvania and across the country. What we've discovered is that even the best trained of surgeons can have lapses and make surgical errors. For example, one talented surgeon operated on the wrong side of the brain of a patient because he looked at a CAT scan that was hung backwards.
Pennsylvania's United States Senator, Bob Casey, has attempted to introduce legislation that would address a perceived drug shortage in the United States as it has felt that the nation is dealing with one of the worst drug shortages in 40-years. Such a shortage can also have unanticipated consequences that have resulted in a number of medication errors throughout the nation.