Rare Disease Day is held on the last day of February each year in an effort to raise awareness regarding rare diseases. Each year, a specific theme focuses attention on an aspect of the problem, and for 2019, the theme spotlights bridging the gap between medical, social and support services. There is no way of telling exactly how many Pennsylvania families are directly impacted by a rare disease because individual diagnoses are elusive. However, worldwide, it is estimated that roughly 400 million people are currently living with a rare disease of some form.
A migraine is a neurological disorder, and its symptoms can be mistaken for those of other conditions. One study shows that only 1 in 20 patients receive the correct migraine or headache diagnosis. Below are seven conditions with which patients in Pennsylvania may have been diagnosed when, in fact, they suffer from a migraine. The opposite can apply as well. Patients may be diagnosed with a migraine when they actually have one of these seven conditions.
Pennsylvania residents who are concerned about medical malpractice should be aware of the role electronic health records have to play in safety errors. A recent study that was published in Health Affairs investigated electronic health records to determine how they contribute to pediatric safety errors. It showed that more than half of the mistakes that were recorded were related to these records.
A 2017 study using data from the National Practitioner Data Bank found that approximately 4,000 people each year in Pennsylvania and across the United States suffer from surgical "never events." These are surgical mistakes that are entirely preventable. One example is a Florida doctor who recently removed a woman's kidney during a back surgery after he mistakenly believed it was a malignant tumor.
Receiving a brain cancer diagnosis for their children can be devastating for parents in Pennsylvania. People want to make certain that their children are getting the best treatment possible so that their chances of survival might be improved. Unfortunately, a recent study showed that pathologists have a high error rate when diagnosing children with cancer called a CNS-PNET.
A medical patient only visits the ICU under severe circumstances. While this means that he or she is likely in a medical crisis of some sort, studies show that the ICU experience itself has long-term effects on the body and brain. Patients who undergo such treatment have a higher risk of delirium later in life.
When a Pennsylvania resident goes for medical treatment, there is an expectation that the care will be aboveboard, the medical staff will be vigilant, and careless mistakes will not happen. Unfortunately, they happen across the nation and, frequently, are done to those who have sacrificed for their country - U.S. military veterans. Given the turmoil at facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it is becoming all-too common to hear of allegations of medical malpractice. When this occurs, it could be the basis for a lawsuit.
Thankfully for victims of negligent doctors and other medical professionals, Pennsylvania does not have a damages cap on medical malpractice cases in the vast majority of situations. This means if a resident of Pittsburgh gets hurt because of a doctor's errors or omissions, then, ultimately, the jury decides how much the case is worth, at least with respect to damages other than "punitive damages."
When you are struggling with health issues, you place your life and trust in the medical professionals caring for you. Whether it's an ongoing illness or a sudden emergency issue, like a stroke, you expect your doctors and nurses to help, not hurt you even worse.
Medical malpractice suits are notoriously difficult to win. In fact, more people lose these cases over winning them. This fact might be unfair but it's also the truth.