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Queens NY Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Report: Common misdiagnoses in decline but still too prevalent

As many New York patients may know, a misdiagnosis is considered to be any diagnosis that was not correct or a correct diagnosis that came too late to help the patient. One may occur because symptoms may have been overlooked or were not present when a patient was first diagnosed. In some cases, the same group of symptoms may be present for a variety of different illnesses or diseases. A recent report indicates that while the overall number of diagnoses has fallen, certain common ones are still too often missed, based on autopsy studies.

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer were two of the top five conditions misdiagnosed according to a study from a 2009 study from a physician at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. The other three most commonly misdiagnosed conditions were pulmonary embolism, acute coronary syndrome and reactions or overdoses to drugs. The results were gathered by analyzing 583 reports of doctor errors from hospitals across the nation.

Some hospital errors no longer disclosed to public

New York patients may be interested to learn that the federal government has stopped reporting when hospitals make major medical mistakes that are potentially life-threatening. According to the report, this is despite the fact that the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that they were not making these changes in 2013.

The CMS has reportedly removed the data available on eight hospital-acquired conditions. Prior to this removal of data, those who needed to have surgeries or procedures performed could check a public spreadsheet to determine which hospitals had the lowest rates. However, the website will still report the occurrence of 13 HACs such as post-surgery sepsis.

Things patients need to know about healthcare

Many New York residents probably assume that doctors have all of the answers when it comes to their health. As a result, there are many things that a patient may not know when it comes to diagnosing medical problems. Here are several things that patients should know.

Several things that a doctor may not discuss with their patient includes fatality and complications rates that are affected by when a surgery is performed. For example, patients who are having an elective surgery are more likely to suffer potentially life-threatening complications if that surgery is done later in the afternoon or on Friday. This is because the post-op recovery occurs during the night or the weekend with different staff members who may not know the patient as well. Likewise, medication error rates are likely to spike during July as this when new medical residents start their rotations.

New York nursing home's 2nd death investigated

Medford Multicare Center is under investigation following the second death in its 40-bed ventilator unit. Both women were in their 70s, and both were on ventilators. The state attorney general's office is involved in the investigation.

In October 2012, a 72-year-old resident of the home died, and, according to prosecutors, this happened because the woman was not connected to her ventilator. In June, nine employees of the center were charged in relation to the woman's death. They were charged with abuse and neglect as well as falsifying documents concerning the woman's death. All nine defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Police investigate fatal accident involving pedestrian, truck

The New York City Police Department is continuing to investigate a fatal accident that occurred when a city garbage truck allegedly hit and killed an elderly woman in West Brighton. The woman, 91, was crossing Clove Road when the accident occurred at 7:30 a.m. July 18.

The woman died at the scene of the accident where Clove Road intersects with Delafield Avenue on Staten Island. Neighbors said the victim walked to a deli on Clove Road every morning from the home she shared with her family a short distance away.

Study reveals 12 most common misdiagnosed diseases

New York residents may have heard of a recent study published by the Internet Journal of Family Practice that revealed 12 commonly misdiagnosed illnesses in the U.S. Sources indicate that improper diagnoses are more common in the medical community than medication errors and wrong-site surgery. A different study's researchers found that 28 percent of 583 reported diagnostic mistakes were life-threatening or led to permanent disability.

In the recent study, authors analyzed the results of malpractice and autopsy findings. According to the study, the most misdiagnosed illnesses include acute infections, pulmonary embolism, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, depression and strokes. Additionally, certain types of cancer, Lupus, Lyme disease, Parkinson's disease and Celiac disease are also misdiagnosed. The study found that some of the symptoms of these diseases might be uncommon or not present and thus misinterpreted for other medical conditions.

Privately owned commuter bus hits 2 pedestrians

A privately owned commuter bus involved in a pedestrian accident on July 14 in New York City. The bus did not have any passengers at the time of the incident, and company officials say that the driver was returning the vehicle to a parking facility. According to police reports, the bus hit two female tourists from Spain around 8 a.m. One suffered a leg injury and the other is reported to have an injured foot, but police suggested that both women are expected to recover.

The accident took place near the intersection of West 47th Street and 10th Avenue. The bus was making a turn when it apparently struck the women as they attempted to cross the street. Police closed the intersection afterward while they conducted an investigation.

Pedestrian killed in vehicle accident in Queens

A man was killed in Queens in the early morning of July 5 after being struck by a red Ford Focus. The accident occurred near 92nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue. According to police, the man was crossing the street when he was struck by a drunk driver who then proceeded to hit a parked car. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 42-year-old driver of the Ford was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, DWI and aggravated unlicensed operator. Police say the man has had a prior DWI conviction. He and a 35-year-old female passenger were taken to Elmhurst Hospital. They were reported to be in stable condition, according to authorities.

Momobile helps pregnant women seek assistance

New York residents may be interested to learn of a new program that seeks to reduce the number of women in the United States who die during childbirth. Currently, the U.S. ranks last in mother mortality rates amongst developed countries and 47th out of 180 countries researched. A new report by the United Nations and World Health Organization shows that two or three women in the United States die every day due to pregnancy-related issues, adding up to about 50,000 annually. These numbers may sound bleak, but Merck for Mothers has started a $500 million initiative to fix them.

Many women in the United States arrive at the hospital to give birth after receiving no prenatal care. In the city ranked as the poorest in America, only half of women receive care during their first trimesters. It is more difficult for a doctor to detect and treat problems that could arise if the woman does not seek care early in her pregnancy. This could lead to birth injuries.

New York nursing home staff accused of patient neglect sentenced

Seven staff members who were accused of neglecting a patient at a New York healthcare facility called HighPointe on Michigan all pleaded guilty on July 2. According to the report, the seven individuals were charged after a hidden camera placed in the hospital revealed that they were failing to take care of a disabled resident.

The resident, a 56-year-old individual who had Huntington's chorea, was reportedly unable to walk and remained bedridden. As a result, he was completely reliant on the care provided by the staff members. However, the surveillance showed that the staff members ignored their patient's needs on a routine basis and consistently falsified business documents to conceal the fact that they were not properly caring for him.

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