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Connecticut Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Medication errors often caused by technology

Technology usage in the medical industry has dramatically increased in the last decade. Most hospitals in Connecticut make use of computerized systems to manage patient treatment information. This includes medication dosage and instructions. While the technology is designed to reduce human error and increase patient safety, it has the potential to breed new types of errors and concerns for patients.

A 2016 report on patient safety described that three commonly reported technology errors involved dose omission, wrong dose or overdose, and extra dose. Dispensing the incorrect dosage to a patient or omitting a dose may be dangerous and could lead to death in many situations. Sometimes, technology has built-in failsafe features such as an infusion pump able to automatically limit dosage based on information about safe dosage amounts.

Anesthesia errors in Connecticut hospitals

It appears that fear of punitive action may be causing anesthesia providers at some hospitals to underreport errors. A team of researchers used data from the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group as well as institutional quality assurance data to determine that the rate of error reporting from anesthesia providers appears to be much lower than the rate in other studies.

Of the 238 self-reported medication errors that were reported, which covers data from July 2006 to November 2015, researchers found that the most common types of mistakes were judgment errors. The next most common type of error involved giving patients the wrong drug. Of the errors reported, just shy of 10 percent resulted in at least temporary harm to the patient.

Identifying ankle fractures

When physicians treat people with ankle injuries, fractures are sometimes missed. Connecticut residents might like to know more about these fractures and how to accurately diagnose them.

Emergency departments commonly see patients with traumatic ankle pain. Sprains are the most common ankle injuries, but medical staff must assess for fractures. A clinical tool called the Ottawa ankle rules are typically used when determining whether X-rays are needed. These rules help physicians identify where pain and tenderness are located, and X-rays may be needed depending on where the pain is and whether the ankle can bear weight.

Misdiagnosis of high blood pressure in Connecticut patients

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75 million Americans suffer from hypertension, which is more commonly known as high blood pressure. This works out to about one out of every three adults, and the cost of treatment is approximately $46 billion a year. High blood pressure is usually diagnosed by determining the diastolic and systolic blood pressure of a patient.

If people's high and low numbers exceed a certain level, they are considered to have high blood pressure. However, it appears that many people have been diagnosed with this condition that do not actually have it.

The importance of early detection in sepsis

Sepsis is a medical condition in which the body has a deadly reaction to infection, and it can lead to organ failure, tissue damage and death. Connecticut residents who are ill should be aware of how to detect and prevent this potentially deadly condition.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 18 million cases of sepsis are diagnosed each year all over the world. The rate of diagnosis is rising annually by 8 percent to 10 percent.

Endometriosis often not promptly diagnosed

Connecticut patients may be interested to learn that two-thirds of women have a friend, family member or acquaintance who has been diagnosed with endometriosis. Even so, getting diagnosed with this painful condition can still be difficult as both patients and doctors may not be aware of the symptoms.

Endometriosis is a medical condition that is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women. It causes uterine tissues to develop in other places outside the uterus. It can result in serious pain even when a woman is not on her period. If the condition is not diagnosed, it can potentially lead to pain during sex as well as infertility issues. In fact, some women may even live with the symptoms, which can include heavy bleeding between periods and heavier cramping during periods, for years.

Diabetic kidney disease study

Diabetic patients in Connecticut should be aware of the results of a study conducted by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The study, which examined the kidney's glomerulus, showed that there are biological pathways involved in diabetic kidney disease that may be used to design early detection tests and targeted treatments.

It was revealed that oxidative stress that occurs within a certain group of kidney cells can inhibit how well a kidney can filter waste products out of the blood and create urine. However, the blockage of a cellular receptor can lessen that stress reaction. This was demonstrated in tests on mice who were genetically predisposed to have diabetic kidney failure.

Some reasons patients are misdiagnosed

Because medical misdiagnoses often occur nowadays, Connecticut patients may do well to obtain a second opinion from other physicians. Besides the fact that there are more than 20,000 different diseases, other factors can lead to a misdiagnosis.While sometimes patients are to blame for a misdiagnoses, such as if they are too embarrassed to tell their doctor all their symptoms, or they attempt to diagnose their illness on their own, many misdiagnoses occur because of a doctor's fault. For instance, many doctors become familiar with a certain disease they frequently treat and could give the wrong diagnosis to someone who has similar symptoms but a different disease.

Further, many doctors try to save their patients the cost of expensive tests that the majority of people with common diseases will not need. However, the test could be crucial for the small percentage of patients who are suffering with an extremely rare condition.

Diagnosing penile cancer

When Connecticut men show the signs or symptoms of penile cancer, it is highly recommended that they go to a doctor in order to get examined. If doctors have reason to believe that a patient could have penile cancer, they may order certain tests in order to diagnose it.

Prior to getting any testing done, the doctor may look at the patient's medical history. The doctor may then examine the area to look for possible signs of cancer or other formalities. For example, the practitioner may look or feel the lymph nodes to see if there are any signs of swelling. If abnormalities are present, the doctor may order further testing.

Failure to diagnose breast cancer in Connecticut

Cancer patients in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. have concerns about physician negligence and failure to diagnose cancer. A negligent physician or cancer misdiagnosis prevents the patient's access to accurate prognostic information needed to make planning and treatment decisions. Time is an enemy of the misdiagnosed cancer patient.

Delayed treatment of breast cancer is especially worrisome. Misdiagnosed cancer can ultimately result in the spread of disease. Patients with early stage breast cancer may have more treatment options than those with late stage cancers according to a study of false-positive mammogram results.


Tooher Wocl & Leydon LLC is a law firm experienced in handling wrongful death, medical malpractice, auto accidents, fall down claims, nursing home negligence and abuse, car crash and motor vehicle collision lawsuits. The personal injury trial lawyers handle cases throughout Fairfield County. If you have been seriously injured in Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield, Bridgeport, or anywhere in Connecticut, please call one of our litigation attorneys at 203-517-0456, or email the firm to schedule a free consultation.

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