Many in Appleton may wonder how, with the advances made in healthcare in recent years, can diagnostic errors still be an issue. Medical practitioners have numerous resources at their disposal designed to help them arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Yet despite the tools, diagnostic issues remain the most prevalent type of medical error (with Johns Hopkins Medicine reporting that 80,000-160,000 injuries or deaths occurring each year as the result of them).
If you have suffered harm due to the negligence of a health care provider, you have the right to seek monetary damages as compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. In Wisconsin, economic damages receive unlimited coverage from the malpractice compensation fund. However, according to the Washington Post, there is a $750,000 cap on payouts for noneconomic damages. Wisconsin is one of 31 states to have such a cap.
In the United States, the rate of Caesarian births has climbed to nearly 33 percent of births. This exceeds the 19 percent rate of Cesarean sections identified by the World Health Organization as associated with the most survival benefits for mothers and infants. As a result, medical experts have placed some blame on the overuse of Cesarean procedures for the high maternal mortality rate experienced by U.S. women. This country has one of the highest maternal childbirth death rates among developed societies.
Wisconsin patients and their health care practitioners should be aware of the ten strategies used to prevent the occurrence of medication errors. All medical providers should provide the five rights of medication administration, including properly transcribing, prescribing for the correct patient, ensuring the correct dosage, route and correct timing. Providers must also have a system in place to ensure medical reconciliation when transferring patients between institutions. Double and triple checking is also important when nurses are changing shifts. Chart flag processes can provide clarity during the checking process.
Men in Wisconsin might be aware that data shows the early detection rates of prostate cancer in men over age 50 has been dropping. The problem, however, is that fewer men are receiving prostate cancer screening, meaning the declining rates may not actually reflect the true extent of prostate cancer among men.
A patient who has been damaged during the course of being treated in a Wisconsin hospital may want to file a medical malpractice claim against the health care facility or provider. In order to establish that the health care provider was negligent, patients must show evidence that they were owed a duty of care and that the medical professional failed to provide the accepted standard of care during treatment.
Wisconsin readers may be interested to learn that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new draft guidelines for opioid prescribing. However, some patient advocates fear that the rules are more concerned with avoiding patient drug addiction than with providing quality care.
The problem of misdiagnosis affects patients in Wisconsin and the rest of the nation every year. Although many misdiagnoses are either inconvenient or harmless to patients, others could cause severe consequences such as the patient's death or, in some cases, unintended exposure to a contagious disease. Although the amount specifically attributed to misdiagnoses was not specified, a 1999 report from the U.S. Institute of Medicine estimated 98,000 fatalities from medical errors in general each year. A more direct figure may be available soon thanks to a new report scheduled for release this month that focuses on misdiagnosis.
Proposed legislation in Wisconsin would allow patients to film any surgery or medical procedure which they may undergo. The law would require the medical service provider to offer all patients the option of recording what happens in the operating theater. Although many conjecture that this would lead to fewer cases of surgical error, major Wisconsin medical advocacy groups have spoken out against the proposed legislation.
Wisconsin courts often hear medical malpractice cases based on a misdiagnosis by a doctor. Doctors may miss a diagnosis for any number of reasons, but there are a few conditions that go undiagnosed more often than others. Celiac disease, for example, may be difficult to diagnose because of its non-specific, vague symptoms. Celiac disease is a reaction to gluten, which is present in some foods. It can be diagnosed by a blood test.