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Surgeon mistakes kidney for tumor during back surgery

Illinois readers likely can't imagine being put under anesthesia for back surgery and waking up to find out that one of their kidneys had been mistakenly removed. However, that's exactly what happened to a Floria woman, according to a recently filed administrative complaint.

Reducing drug errors with pharmacist and patient intervention

Pharmacists are often the last line of defense when it comes to preventing possible medication mistakes that may adversely affect patients in Illinois. Yet dispensing errors could be responsible for just under 22 percent of medication oversights that may impact patients' health, according to results from one study. This doesn't mean pharmacists don't actively try to protect patients as much as possible. However, patients can be equally proactive when it comes to reducing pharmacy-related mistakes.

Study suggests link between doctor burnout and medical errors

Doctors in Illinois and other parts of the United States typically make every effort to successfully treat patients. Even so, a survey involving nearly 7,000 hospital and clinical physicians suggests that many doctors in the U.S. are burnt out and more likely to make patient-related errors. The poll covered a wide range of issues that may affect doctor performance, including workplace safety and personal issues such as depression, fatigue and suicidal thoughts.

How women are often misdiagnosed

Some women in Illinois might struggle to get a medical diagnosis compared to men. Women have a 50 percent higher chance of not being diagnosed with heart disease, and this is true even after a heart attack. They are more likely to die in the hospital after a heart attack and are 30 percent more likely to have a stroke misdiagnosed. Pain is more likely to be ignored, and autoimmune diseases, which are far more common in women, may take years to diagnose.

Pancreatic cancer treatment offers hope to early-stage patients

Early-stage pancreatic cancer patients in Illinois and worldwide could live longer with the help of a four-drug chemotherapy combo, according to a new study. The combo could become the new standard of care for patients who qualify for surgery.

Telehealth shows big potential to reduce medical mistakes

Health care providers in Illinois, especially at emergency rooms, continually face challenges when collecting information from patients about their medications and medical conditions. Ideally, emergency departments have a pharmacist who can interview incoming patients and alert other medical staff members to medication use and potential side effects. To improve access to pharmacists, one hospital experimented with a telemedicine system.

The pros and cons of LASIK

LASIK is a surgical procedure that can improve a person's eyesight. By changing the shape of the cornea, the procedure allows Illinois patients to rely less on glasses and contacts to see properly. The FDA regulates any device used to perform a LASIK surgery, but it does not regulate the doctor who performs it.

Mobile apps can help avoid misdiagnosis

For patients in Illinois going into the hospital or seeking treatment for an unknown condition, the threat of misdiagnosis may loom as a major concern. There are a number of mobile applications that aim to protect patients and improve the diagnostic process. Despite the growth in the technology, many have not been evaluated, and their impact on patient outcomes is unknown. One app that has been studied is the PTT Advisor, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some blood pressure drugs linked to pancreatic cancer in women

Illinois readers should be aware that certain high blood pressure medications could increase a woman's risk of developing pancreatic cancer after she goes through menopause. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth deadliest form of cancer in the U.S.

Radiology software can help prevent misdiagnosis

Patients in Illinois may be concerned about the danger of a mistaken diagnosis or the failure to diagnose a serious disease like cancer, especially if they have an undiagnosed illness or are preparing to enter the hospital. There can be significant consequences to a person's health if they are misdiagnosed; when people receive incorrect treatment or fail to receive treatment at all, especially for a progressive disease, their health condition may worsen dramatically and the results could even be fatal. Reducing diagnostic errors is a key priority for health care facilities that want to protect themselves and provide the highest quality of patient care.