Archive for the ‘Undiagnosed or Misdiagnosed’ Category

Are You Sure Your Child is Protected From Whooping Cough?

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Whooping cough vaccines currently exist for both adults and children. However, the vaccines are not the same and it has been reported that some children are receiving the wrong vaccine. Children who receive the adult version of the vaccine may be at risk for developing whooping cough because the adult version of the vaccine is meant to be a booster shot for someone who has already had the initial vaccine as a child.

Whooping cough outbreaks continue to occur across the country. If a medical mistake prevents a child from receiving the right vaccination then the child could be at risk. There is less protection in a booster shot than in an initial vaccination and children who only receive the adult booster may not have adequate protection against this dangerous disease.

As a parent, it is important to always ask the doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider who is administering the vaccine to read you the name on the vaccine vial to you so that you can match it to the paperwork provided by your pediatrician office before your child is vaccinated.

*Source:, A Recurring Vaccine Error Puts Infants at Risk, Michael Cohen, April 10, 2012

Study Finds Mammogram Misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer is Common

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

New research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that the risk of misdiagnosis
from routine mammograms
may be higher than previously thought. According to the study, approximately 10 women are misdiagnosed after a routine mammogram for every woman who is correctly diagnosed.

The problem of incorrectly diagnosing a woman with breast cancer is not insignificant. A woman may face invasive tests such as biopsies and significant stress if a mammogram indicates a cancer that is not really there.

Accordingly, researchers are urging doctors and patients to balance the risk with the potential benefits of mammograms and to come to individual conclusions about what is best for an individual patient. There is no doubt that cancer screening tools such as mammograms have saved lives. However, doctors are still responsible for exercising reasonable care for each individual patient so that unnecessary medical harm is not done.

Possible Breakthrough in Heart Attack Diagnosis

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Recently, researchers from the Scripps Translational Science Institute published the results of an important study in the Science Translational Journal. According to researchers, they have
developed a blood test that can predict if a heart attack is likely to happen within the next two weeks.

Currently, the failure to diagnose a heart attack, particularly among people who have
atypical heart attack symptoms or are thought to be too young to suffer a heart attack, remains a problem that can cause serious harm or death. The development of a blood test that looks at CECs (circulating endothelial cells) to determine their levels and make ups may prove to be important in the fight against heart attacks.

Heart attacks are the most common cause of death in this country with about 600,000
people dying from heart attacks each year. Our Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers hope that future studies confirm the usefulness of this blood test and that more lives are saved with accurate diagnoses.

Study Finds Delay in Specialist Referrals for Some Cancer Patients

Monday, March 5th, 2012

A recent study looked at how many times patients went totheir general practitioner doctors with cancer symptoms before being referred to a hospital or specialist in the United Kingdom. The study found that 77% of people who presented to their regular doctors with symptoms of cancer were referred to hospitals after one or two visits.

However, the results were not so consistent when it came to specialist referrals. The study found that patients who were female, young, or older and an ethnic minority were less likely to be promptly referred to a specialist. Additionally, patients who had rarer forms of cancer generally had a longer wait before being referred to a specialist.

Prompt cancer treatment can often mean the difference between life and death. Patients in the United States, like patients in the United Kingdom, are urged to be aware of the study and to request prompt referrals to specialists if they believe that their condition has been misdiagnosed.

More Women Than Men Die of Heart Attacks in Hospitals

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the results of an important study were released.

The study which looked at data from more than 1 million patients found that females having heart attacks have a higher in hospital death rate than males having heart attacks.

Specifically, the study found that 14.6 percent of women who seek hospital treatment for heart attacks die while in the hospital compared to 10.3 percent of men.

One reason for the discrepancy may be that more women present without the classic symptom of chest pain. The absence of chest pain may result in less aggressive treatment in the hospital.

Women, and the men who love them, should be aware of classic female heart attack symptoms and insist on prompt testing and treatment if a heart
attack may be occurring.