Parents: Here’s How to Prepare for Flu Season This Year

It is officially flu season. Between the months of October and May, the influenza virus peaks and infects adults and children, although symptoms and severity may vary significantly. The flu is far more dangerous for younger children than the common cold, which is why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to prepare. Listed below are some helpful tips for parents during flu season: Get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to protect your family from the flu. The vaccine has been proven to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization…

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Doctors Who Abuse Drugs And Alcohol: By the Numbers

The medical profession is notoriously stressful, especially for physicians and other high-level employees. Unfortunately, many self-medicate in hopes of managing the constant barrage of anxiety. This leaves both medical professionals and the patients they’re charged with protecting at risk. Below, we shed light on the scourge of drugs and alcohol in the health care industry: Prevalence of Abuse Abuse is shockingly common among doctors; in a notable study published in the American Journal on Addictions, 15.3 percent of surveyed physicians met diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependency. Likewise, research indicates that benzodiazepine and opiate abuse rates are higher among doctors than…

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Common Clerical Errors That Cause Medical Injuries: Part II

Clerical mistakes are one of the most common — and least reported — issues in the medical industry. In our last post on the relationship between clerical errors and medical mishaps, we discussed a few of the most common types of mistakes that can harm patients. Now, we dive in deeper with additional examples and statistics — several of which involve modern medical technology. Issues With Electronic Health Records Although designed, in part, with the intention of avoiding clerical issues, electronic health records (EHR) actually cause their fair share of mishaps. Often, these issues arise when transferring information from traditional…

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Common Clerical Errors That Cause Medical Injuries: Part I

Typically, when people picture medical malpractice, they think of obvious errors made during surgery. Often, however, the most harmful mistakes occur at completely unexpected points in the medical process. Clerical errors, in particular, are to blame for a shocking number of medical malpractice cases. Read on to learn about the most common types of clerical errors — and why they’re so dangerous: Mislabeling Whether it occurs in the lab or at the pharmacy, mislabeling can cause huge problems. This common error takes many forms; medical professionals may accidentally mislabel test results, diagnoses, or prescriptions. One wrong number or abbreviation can…

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Five Illnesses That Doctors Often Misdiagnose

When a patient receives medical advice and recommendations, he or she can sometimes assume that the doctor is giving a perfect diagnosis every time. However, human error occurs and there are times where your doctor will make a mistake. Depending on the illness and the combination of symptoms, a doctor could misdiagnose you and the illness you have. 5 Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses Parkinson’s disease. Currently no official lab tests can confirm Parkinson’s disease. Because of this, it will be completely up to your doctor to observe your condition and make any decisions based on what you tell them. This makes…

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What Are the Most Common Prescription Drug Errors?

Prescription drugs, when used correctly, can save someone’s life who is suffering from a chronic illness or health condition. Prescription drugs also have the ability to improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce the chances of experiencing serious negative side effects related to their condition. Although medication errors may be common, some of them can be fatal. According to an article by the Mount Sinai Medical Center, five common medication errors in relation to prescription drugs include: 5 Common Prescription Drug Errors Unawareness of expiration dates. Expiration dates are always printed on a drug’s label or bottle, but many…

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How Tired Are Doctors and Nurses, Really? (By the Numbers)

Tired doctors make more mistakes. Intuitively, we know this. And we may have read studies like this one (or related news reports). Yet medical culture still glorifies 28-hour shifts and puts residents through the ringer, often forcing them to work 80-hour weeks, all on an irregular sleep schedule that makes recovery from fatigue harder. The medical field has tried in the past to address this worrying problem, but how much have they achieved in recent years? How Tired Is Your Doctor? Regulations prohibit doctors from working more than 80 hours in a week or in excess of 28 hours in…

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What to Know About Central Line Infections

Central line blood infections are responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Also known as a central venous catheter, central lines are placed in veins near the chest, neck or groin. A central line is inserted into a vein close to the heart to provide medicine or collect blood. These are not to be confused with IVs, which are generally placed near the arm or hands to provide fluids or medicines. A blood infection can occur when pathogens (a virus or bacteria) enter the bloodstream through the central line. There are multiple reasons why central-line infections may occur. Poor sanitation….

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What Could Cause a Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis?

An estimated one in eight women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Breast cancer is common in the US and throughout the world. Women who receive an early diagnosis of breast cancer can begin treatment when the disease is still in its early stages. Early treatment leads to better outcomes. A delayed diagnosis of breast cancer could allow the cancer to metastasize to other parts of the body. There are cases where women (and men) with breast cancer receive a delayed diagnosis. Possible reasons for a delayed diagnosis of breast cancer include but are not…

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Can Medical Mistakes Lead to a Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer?

Diagnostic errors are one of the most common types of medical mistakes in the US. Depending on the type of illness that is misdiagnosed, you could die or suffer a severe injury. We recently wrote a blog discussing what could happen after a diagnostic mistake involving bacterial meningitis. Diagnostic errors involving cancer can also be deadly. There are several reasons why health care providers could get a cancer diagnosis wrong. Possible reasons include, but are not limited to: Your doctor could miss the early symptoms of cancer. They could mistake the symptoms with a less serious condition. As a result,…

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