A physical trauma can have a psychological impact and, in some cases, the reverse also may be true. A North Carolina woman alleges she suffered from conversion disorder - physical symptoms as a result of mental distress - after she underwent corrective surgery at Duke University Medical Center.
A 2005 report published by VitalSmarts and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses said that out of 1,700 medical staffers, including from doctors and nurses to administrators, more than half of those healthcare workers personally witnessed their coworkers act in ways that were medically incompetent or disrespectful. Unfortunately, this is happening in many medical facilities all over the country, including North Carolina.
When people visit emergency rooms in North Carolina, it is often because they have a serious medical problem. If the patient spends too long in the hospital waiting room or their medical problem is not treated properly once they are seen, the results can be devastating.
In a recent highly publicized example of medical error, a Dallas hospital sent home a seriously ill patient who had a travel history to areas of West Africa where the Ebola outbreak has taken thousands of lives. This serious medical error may have been caused by a flaw in the hospital's software system that did not relay the travel history to all medical personnel. These kinds of medical errors can also happen in North Carolina.
An article published on August 6 in USA Today highlighted steps taken by the federal government to restrict public access to information on eight kinds of hospital mistakes, referred to as 'hospital acquired conditions" (HACs) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Leaving foreign objects in patients during surgery and air embolisms were among those eight HACs no longer being reported publicly. Until August 2014, information on those conditions was still available via a public spreadsheet offered by CMS, but that data can no longer be accessed. CMS is now reporting occurrence rates for only 13 HACs.
For North Carolina parents, ensuring that the right medication for their children is obtained in the right amount can be a challenge. Medical malpractice and doctor error always present risks, but medication involves a doctor's order, filling by a pharmacist and then administration of medication by a parent at home. Because of the many links in this chain of administration, medication errors in children account for about 7,000 deaths each year.
North Carolina residents who are wary of surgical procedures may be interested in the case of a California woman who suffered for four years with gastrointestinal distress, bleeding and other symptoms after a hysterectomy in 2007. The woman returned to the hospital that performed the procedure three days later, and physicians did an X-ray, told her she was very constipated and then sent her home. Another visit, which stemmed from a time when the woman almost fainted at work, resulted in the hospital telling her that she had gastrointestinal issues and should avoid spicy food.
North Carolina residents may feel reassured to know that many hospital emergency rooms around the country are making changes to reduce the frequency of medication errors. Risk-laden prescription conflicts and medication errors account for more than 7,000 lives in America every year. At the emergency room of a Dallas children's hospital, pharmacists oversee 20,000 medication orders and prescriptions on a weekly basis.
A new study concerning medical errors may catch the attention of Greenville patients. According to an analysis performed by a toxicologist and published in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 patients die each year as the result of a hospital error. The study indicates that medical mistakes account for the third biggest cause of death in the country.
North Carolina readers might be surprised to learn that diagnosis problems topped the list for most common lawsuits filed against cardiologists. A physician owned insurer, The Doctors Company, examined 429 cardiology claims filed between 2007 and 2013. According to the report, the leading cause of cardiology-related lawsuits were issues with diagnosis such as delayed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis and failure to diagnose.