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Connecticut Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Misdiagnosed skin conditions

People in Connecticut who visit a dermatologist's office because of certain skin conditions are likely to have those skin ailments misdiagnosed. One reason for this is that many skin conditions have symptoms that are similar to those of other diseases. Patients may also go to dermatologist's office after having received previous diagnoses from another facility and may waste valuable time in unnecessary or inaccurate treatments.

The most common type of skin cancer in the United States is basal cell carcinoma, and it can easily be mistaken for a blemish that is caused by acne. Dermatologists suggest that affected individuals should seek medical services if the blemish remains on their skin for over three weeks and is continuously bleeding, growing or changing in some manner.

Diagnosing nasopharyngeal cancer

One type of cancer that physicians in Connecticut may fail to properly diagnose is nasopharyngeal cancer. There are multiple avenues of diagnosis a physician can pursue, and the tests that they use for a particular patient will depend on the age and medical condition of the patient as well as the type of symptoms and signs the patient may be exhibiting. The type of cancer in question and the results of previous medical tests are also factors that physicians must consider when selecting a diagnostic test for nasopharyngeal cancer.

For a physical examination, a patient will have his or her lips, gums, cheeks and neck examined for lumps. The physician will use a light or mirror to search for abnormalities in the mouth, nose, tongue and throat. While the physical examination is underway, a blood test is conducted to detect antibodies for the EBV virus.

Misdiagnosing type 3c diabetes

Many Connecticut residents are familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, people should know that some doctors believe that a third type of diabetes may be routinely misdiagnosed.

This third form of diabetes, type 3c diabetes, results from having a damaged pancreas. According to one study, doctors have been probably misdiagnosing type 3c diabetes as type 2. This is concerning as the two forms of diabetes require different types of treatment.

Anticoagulants, opioids, and medication-related injuries

Some drugs that are very widely prescribed to Connecticut patients are also some of those most frequently raised in medication-related liability claims. Two classes of drugs had higher levels of claims associated with them in particular: opioid painkillers and anticoagulants, used to prevent dangerous blood clots.

While both opioids and anticoagulants are frequently used to treat a number of illnesses and concerns, there are several reasons why both types of prescription medication are especially prone to medication errors and, in particular, those causing serious consequences. The strength of the drugs mean that dosing precision is particularly important for these types of medications.

Differences in breast cancer mortality rates

Throughout Connecticut and the rest of the nation, breast cancer death rates have dropped due to medical innovations. However, a report from the American Cancer Society states that black women still have a greater chance of passing away from breast cancer than caucasian women.

Deaths related to breast cancer dropped by 39 percent between 1989 and 2015. This is attributed to women receiving better treatment and improvements in early detection.

Men and breast cancer

Connecticut men should know that both women and men have the same risk factors, which include genetic abnormalities and age, that are associated with breast cancer. Men who are between the ages of 60 to 70 are most affected by breast cancer. Men with a history of the disease in their family have an increased risk.

The indications of breast cancer in men are the same as those for women. They include nipple discharges, changes in the condition of the skin and an unusual mass in the breast area. It is not uncommon for the disease to avoid early detection and to migrate to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, before it is diagnosed.

Tongue cancer symptoms and treatment options

Oral cancer can form in different parts of the mouth. Tongue cancer is considered oral cancer when it forms on the front two-thirds of the tongue. When tongue cancer forms in the back one-third of the tongue, it is considered head and neck cancer. Connecticut residents may be interested in knowing some symptoms of tongue cancer and its treatment options.

Some symptoms of tongue cancer are similar to cold symptoms. A stubborn cold that lasts for a long time could be a sign of tongue cancer or another oral cancer. Other tongue cancer symptoms include persistent pain in the tongue or in the jaw white or red patches on the tongue or on the gums, the lining of the mouth or the tonsils difficulty swallowing or chewing, and persistent throat soreness. Tongue cancer can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Many symptoms of tongue cancer could be caused by other things besides cancer.

Making patient handoffs better

Patient handoffs are frequent occurrences in hospitals in Connecticut and the rest of the nation. They are also occurrences during which medical errors can occur. However, having a standard process that places a focus on effective communication during the handoffs can lower the chances that medical errors will occur.

Breakdowns in communication can increase the risk of medical errors during patient handoffs and is an issue that has been brought up by many organizations concerned with the safety of patients. According to the Joint Commissions, improperly handled patient handoffs were responsible for nearly one-third of all of the malpractice claims that were filed in a five-year period. The failed handoffs accounted for $1.7 billion related to malpractice expenses and 1,744 deaths.

Avoiding pharmacy errors

It is surprisingly easy for pharmacy mistakes to take place, but it is also easy to prevent these errors. Connecticut residents might like to know about why these errors occur and how they can be prevented.

Common pharmacy errors sometimes occur on the prescriber's side when listing the wrong medication or the right medication but the wrong dosage. A practitioner might also miss the harmful interactions certain drugs can have together or fail to warn patients about hazardous side effects. Other mistakes happen in the pharmacy itself. Pharmacists typically work 12-hour days during which they may fill hundreds of prescriptions. Overworked staff trying to complete as many orders as possible can lead to errors. The pharmacist also might not have sufficient training. If an error occurs on the prescriber side, a skilled pharmacist might be able to spot it before damage is done.

Court determines disclosure of HIV status is medical malpractice

Connecticut patients who are HIV-positive may be interested to learn about a New Jersey case that involved a physician who disclosed a patient's HIV status to a third party without the patient's consent. The patient claimed that the physician's disclosure violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The plaintiff was reportedly being treated for acute kidney failure. During a consultation in the plaintiff's hospital room, the physician allegedly disclosed the patient's HIV status while a third party was in the room. The patient claimed that they did not give the physician consent to discuss this medical condition in the presence of the third party. In addition to arguing that the physician violated HIPPA, the complaint also asserted that medical malpractice had occurred due to improper disclosure, harmful public disclosure of private facts and violation of the AIDS Assistance Act.

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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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