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NPH versus Alzheimer's: misdiagnosis is not uncommon

In Pennsylvania and across the United States, a condition known as normal pressure hydrocephalus, or NPH, closely mimics Alzheimer's disease and other types of conditions, including Parkinson's disease. However, unlike Alzheimer's disease, NPH is a treatable condition. It is estimated that approximately 700,000 people in the United States have NPH, yet many of these individuals have not been diagnosed correctly.

Lowering the likelihood of errors in radiology

Radiologists in Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, often suffer from long shifts and an excessive workload. When radiologists read an image, a cognitive bias may lead them to only look for those things they were trained to look for. All of these can contribute to missed diagnoses and other errors. Missed diagnoses resulting from a false-positive reading make up a startling 30% of all diagnoses involving CT scans and MRIs.

Nurses are vulnerable to making mistakes

Nurses in Pennsylvania and throughout the country take pride in doing their job without making mistakes. However, they will eventually make an error, and that error could have negative consequences for a patient. Each year, 1.5 million Americans are harmed by medication errors, and medication is generally given to a patient by a nurse. To avoid such a mistake, a nurse should confirm a patient's identity and physical characteristics before administering a drug.

Surgical errors linked to stress

Pennsylvania residents often feel a great deal of stress when they go to the hospital for surgery, but their doctor's stress levels may have a significant effect on the outcome of their procedures. According to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, surgeons may make substantially more errors on patients during moments of stress in the operating room. The study made use of technologies that measure the electrical activity of the heart and found that both serious issues and minor incidents could affect surgical quality.

Adverse drug events, and their impact on patients

Pennsylvania residents who take prescribed medications are most likely aware of the danger of adverse drug events. ADEs refer to any medication-related injuries, such as those relating to allergic reactions, overdoses or prescriptions. They are behind 100,000 hospitalization cases and more than 3.5 million physician office visits every year. ADEs also happen to be the fourth leading reason of death in the entire world.

More and more young people are suffering strokes in the U.S.

An average of 795,000 people in the U.S. suffer from strokes every year, and of those, 10 percent are 45 years and younger. The American Heart Association has found that stroke rates among young patients, which rose between 1995 and 1999, have risen even more dramatically from 2010 to 2014. Pennsylvania residents may wonder what is behind this trend.

Optic neuritis commonly misdiagnosed, says study

A medical condition called optic neuritis is misdiagnosed at high rates, according to the results of a study of patients referred for treatment from 2014 to 2016. Pennsylvania residents who suffer from medical conditions should be aware of the risks associated with misdiagnoses and the frequency at which they occur. The study in question was of patients at a university clinic in the Midwest, each of whom had been referred for treatment of optic neuritis.

New testing may be necessary for kids with brain tumors

The finding of a brain tumor is frightening for any Pennsylvania patient, but it's particularly difficult if the patient is a child. A parent is placed in the very difficult position of making medical decisions for their son or daughter. The conventional wisdom suggests early detection can provide the best hope for successful treatment. To receive the proper treatment, however, the correct diagnosis must be made. Otherwise, valuable time may be lost.

Avoiding pharmacy medication errors

A study published by the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that pharmacy dispensing errors account for roughly 21 percent of all medication errors affecting patients. Medication errors might be more common than Pennsylvania residents might expect, but there are a number of safeguards to protect patients. Pharmacists catch a lot of mistakes that could harm patients, according to a professor at UC San Diego's Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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