The vice president for safety at an Ohio children's hospital was among those who spoke at a conference about patient safety on Nov. 3. The talk occurred at the 2016 U.S. News Healthcare of Tomorrow Conference in Washington, D.C. He and several others leaders from children's hospitals discussed the unique challenges of promoting safety among child patients. For example, falls, which are a major concern at most hospitals, are not a focus at children's hospitals. A more appropriate focus from a safety point of view is medication. Many guidelines around drugs are written for adults.
Many Ohio women die from breast cancer, and some of them do because their doctors failed to diagnose them in time. Three 2016 studies show promise for better identification of women who are likely to develop breast cancer, better testing and improved treatment of existing cancers.
When Ohio patients go to a doctor with a list of symptoms, the chances that they have a particular rare disease are very low. However, there are more than 7,000 rare diseases, and current data indicates that there are over 30 million people in the U.S. who suffer from at least one of them. The National Institutes of Health classifies a disease as 'rare" if less than 1 in 200,000 people in the U.S. have it.
Elderly patients that live in long-term care facilities in Ohio sometimes require treatment in hospitals. When nursing home patients are transferred to and from hospitals frequently, they are exposed to a high risk of serious harm from medical errors. According to a 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 25 percent of nursing home patients are harmed shortly after they return from a hospital visit.
Ohio patients likely know that medical mistakes that lead to life-impacting complications can occur. In some cases, patients who have evidence that malpractice has occurred take their case to court. One former doctor who acted as an expert witness in a medical malpractice case later admitted that he lied in the negligent doctor's favor. It was noted that this may be more common than many think.
Rice University researchers have developed a way to combine graphene nanoribbons and common polymer to create a product that may prove critically important in healing damaged spinal cords. There are about 17,000 new spinal cord injuries every year in the United States, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
Ohio teenagers may be less likely to have their polycystic ovary syndrome misdiagnosed thanks to a study that found links between hormones and the condition. At the yearly meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology, researchers presented the results of their study that looked at 23 patients with PCOS alongside a control group. The researchers found that teenage girls with PCOS also had high levels of the hormone irisin and higher testosterone.
Misdiagnosis is a big problem in hospitals in Ohio and across the United States. A recent study found that one in every 20 patients is misdiagnosed each year. This calculates to 12 million misdiagnosed Americans. The number of patients who die from being misdiagnosed equals the amount who die from breast cancer each year.
Ohio surgical patients may be aware that medical mistakes like operating on the wrong site sometimes occur, but they may not know that anesthetic mistakes are also a problem in U.S. hospitals. For example, wrong-sided nerve blocks sometimes occur even though many hospitals have zero tolerance policies against such errors.
Caused by inflammation of the airways, roughly 25.7 million Americans have asthma. Of those, 7 million are children, and symptoms such as coughing or wheezing may be caused by breathing in mold, pollen or other allergens. While it is unclear why people develop the condition, genetics may be partially to blame. Of those who responded to a Health Union survey, 52 percent said that an immediate family member also had asthma.