Articles Posted in Doctor Errors

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has ruled that the new law mandating that medical malpractice cases must first be presented to medical review panels is unconstitutional.

This decision is a boost for people who have suffered injuries in the care of providers. Medical review panels add an additional obstacle to people seeking justice due to substandard care.

The law had the effect of protecting wealthy professionals and institutions from claims by ordinary people who happened to be injured while being treated.

Kentucky residents who feel like they are coming down with an illness are increasingly using on-line symptoms checkers so that they can get an idea of what is wrong with them. There are a variety of reasons for this, including saving money on doctor’s visits and being able to do it with a few mouse clicks. Another reason may be that some patients have read that health care practitioners often misdiagnose a disease.

According to a report published in October in JAMA Internal Medicine, doctors misdiagnose illnesses 15 percent of the time. In order to check the performance of actual practitioners against the online versions, researchers in Massachusetts conducted a series of tests. Comparing 234 physicians against 23 online checkers, the researchers used 45 patient cases. The cases included patient histories and symptoms but did not include test results or exams, and they ranged from relatively benign to very serious.

The researchers submitted them to symptom checkers and subsequently to physicians. The results showed that the physicians were far more accurate, coming up with the correct diagnosis as their top choice more than twice as often as the online checkers. The doctors were also far more prone to list the correct diagnosis as one of their first three selections.

When we visit our doctor, the hope is that we will leave feeling as good or better than we did when we entered the office. Oftentimes, this means leaving with a prescription for medication.

However, before we receive a prescription from our doctor, it is crucial that he or she understands our condition and how or if certain powerful drugs will help or hurt us. For instance, in recent years, there has been a growing dependence on opioid medication and anti-anxiety medication, which has led to devastating deaths and addiction rates. In light of this, federal health officials are urging doctors to be more cautious and reserved in their prescription of these powerful drugs.

The concern with these drugs is that they are very addictive and when used together, they can have fatal consequences because of their combined effect on a person’s central nervous system. Numerous stories of fatal overdoses and “slow suicides” are examined in this report in The Washington Post

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