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September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month

Approximately one in five women living in West Virginia and across the U.S. is suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, according to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Association. To help raise awareness about the condition, the organization announced that September is PCOS Awareness Month.

Men should be part of breast cancer clinical trials, says FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has issued guidelines for the inclusion of men in clinical trials testing the efficacy of breast cancer drugs. This is a major step because, as men in West Virginia and across the U.S. should know, breast cancer does affect men. The percentage of breast cancer patients who are men is less than 1%, but the risk for it is still there.

Five widespread medical errors

Malpractice is the failure of a doctor, nurse or another medical professional to live up to an objective standard of care. There are five common examples of malpractice with which West Virginia residents should be familiar. If they ever become a victim of one of these forms of malpractice, they may be able to file a claim.

Study highlights the costs of a missed or delayed diagnosis

One in three of the medical malpractice cases in West Virginia and around the country that involve patients who either died or were left permanently disabled are caused by delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. That was the conclusion reached by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after studying 55,000 malpractice cases. The results of the study were released online by the medical journal Diagnosis on July 11.

Many patients misdiagnosed as having burning mouth syndrome

West Virginia residents should know about a condition known as burning mouth syndrome, which is characterized by a constant burning or tingling sensation in the mouth. Sometimes it goes together with dryness or a metallic taste in the mouth. There are many people who experience a burning sensation due to dry mouth, but this is not the same as BMS.

Study tracked errors that spread antibiotic-resistant bugs

Healthcare workers sometimes spread harmful bacteria to hospital patients in West Virginia. A study that tracked 125 healthcare workers in an intensive care unit for six months identified errors that could promote contamination by antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Misdiagnosis is a common reason for malpractice claims

The results of two recent studies suggest that between a third and a half of all medical malpractice claims in West Virginia and around the country are filed because of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose. The research also reveals that inadequate medical assessments are often the reason doctors fail to identify potentially life-threatening medical conditions.

The misdiagnosis of rare diseases

The World Health Organization reports that rare diseases affect 400 million people throughout the world. A West Virginia resident might be considered to have a rare disease if fewer than 200,000 people in the United States are affected by the same disease. There are no treatment options for most rare diseases, and for others, diagnosis comes so late that treatment may be far less effective.

Study links stress with higher risk for surgical errors

Researchers have found that surgeons are 66 percent more likely to make errors on patients during stressful moments. West Virginia residents who are about to undergo surgery should know that medical errors contribute to between 250,000 and 440,000 deaths every year in the U.S. Many of these occur in operating rooms.

EHRs linked to medical malpractice

West Virginia residents who have been subjected to medical negligence should be aware of a study that found a link between malpractice and electronic health records, or EHRs. The study, which was published in Health Affairs, revealed that more than half of pediatric safety errors were related to these records. For example, the study found that one physician ordered five times the recommended dose of a medication because the electronic health record did not alert properly.

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