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How patients can protect themselves from surgical errors

West Virginia readers have likely heard horror stories about patients who were victims of surgical errors. However, people may be unsure how to protect themselves and their families from similar situations when they undergo a surgical procedure.

Communication failure often behind never event surgical errors

The medical community in West Virginia classifies wrong-site, wrong-procedure or wrong-patient surgeries as "never events" because they should never happen. When researchers review information about these mistakes, they consistently identify communication problems as a contributing force. Although surgical checklists and mandatory timeouts to review a surgical plan appear to aid in the reduction of these errors, communication mistakes prior to entering the operating room could undermine safety protocols.

Conservative therapy may be best for SCAD

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a type of heart attack commonly associated with young women during and after pregnancy. Unlike most heart attacks, which occur when plaque clogs up an artery, SCAD occurs when the artery is blocked by an internal tear. Over the years, doctors have found that SCAD is more universal than previously thought and affects women averaging between 45 and 53 years of age. Women in West Virginia may want to know more about this condition.

Immunotherapy side effects and their misdiagnosis

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment involving drugs that enable the immune system to fight cancer cells on its own. Compared to chemotherapy, it leads to milder side effects, but being in the experimental stage, it can mislead doctors in their diagnoses when patients are suffering from those effects. West Virginia cancer patients will want to know what they can do to prevent a misdiagnosis.

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