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August 2008 Archives

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE -- HOW COMMON IS IT?

At some point, we have all relied on and trusted the skill, education, and experience of a physician to diagnose and treat an illness or injury. Most of the time, our trust is well placed. On occasion, however, physicians make mistakes. A set of symptoms can be overlooked, an x-ray is misread, or the physician is too busy to take the time to listen to the patient's complaints. Such incidents can cause devastating delays in treatment. In cases involving cancer, the delay can allow the disease to progress to stages that are incurable, and can mean the difference between life and death. Statistics show that around 40% of all medical malpractice claims result from the failure of medical personnel to diagnose a significant disease process.

CAR-MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT KILLS DRIVER

The driver of a motorcycle died in Pittsburgh's Point Breeze area of the city after colliding with a car. The crash happened at Penn and Dallas Avenues in the mid-morning on Tuesday, August 5th. The 29 year-old driver of the motorcycle was pronounced dead at UPMC Presbyterian Hosptial. No charges have been filed, and the accident is still under investigation.

Surgical Errors Costly

A recent study published in the journal of Health Services Research found that preventable medical errors occurring during or after surgery cost employers nearly $1.5 billion dollars a year. In addition, these preventable medical errors account for almost 10 percent of surgery related deaths. The report went on to state that 1 out of every 10 patients who dies within 90 days of surgery died because of a preventable error, and one-third of the deaths occurred after the patient was discharged. The researchers conducting this study analyzed data on more than 161,000 patients in employer-based health plans who underwent surgery between 2001 and 2002.

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Rosen Louik Perry, P.C. Pittsburgh
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