On average, one out of every three people in New Jersey and across the nation use more than five medications at one time. On any given week, 80% of adults will need a prescription drug or take a supplement according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Those who take multiple drugs at the same time could be at a higher risk of an error that could result in significant injury or death.
Misdiagnosis is a major risk for patients in New Jersey and across the United States. In fact, a new study finds that between 40,000 and 80,000 Americans may die each year due to various types of diagnosis errors. These mistakes might also cause serious harm to another 80,000 to 160,000 patients nationwide.
According to the World Health Organization, roughly 40% of global adverse patient outcomes occur in primary or outpatient settings. This generally goes against the idea that people in New Jersey and elsewhere may have that medical errors take place in dirty or unorganized emergency rooms. However, the WHO report did indicate that there was a higher risk of getting an infection while being treated in lower-income nations.
Patients may expect to receive effective, reliable care when they walk into a New Jersey clinic, doctor's office, or hospital for an appointment or a diagnostic test. Still, there are major concerns about patient safety even when people are well enough to seek treatment on their own. According to a study by the ECRI Institute, there are four primary risks to patients who walk into a professional office or clinic for care, including errors in testing and diagnosis, medication mistakes, patient falls and security issues. The study examined over 4,300 safety problems related to ambulatory care between 2017 and 2018.
New Jersey residents should be aware that men can also suffer from breast cancer. In fact, the number of male breast cancer patients in the U.S. has risen from 0.85 per 100,000 men in 1975 to 1.21 per 100,000 men in 2016. An estimated 2,670 men will develop the cancer in 2019 alone. Unfortunately, men with breast cancer have lower survival rates than women do, and there are several factors in this.
New Jersey rheumatology doctors should use great caution when diagnosing patients with suspected vasculitis, according to a presentation at the Rheumatology Nurses Society Annual Conference. Apparently, the condition is easy to misdiagnose, leading to improper treatments such as high-dose steroids.
A comprehensive review of randomized clinical trials in three different medical journals revealed that more than 400 common medical procedures are actually ineffective. Researchers from several prestigious universities looked at controlled clinical trials from the last 15 years, which covered more than 3,000 different articles, to get their results. The researchers who conducted this study are hoping that their findings will end many medical procedures in New Jersey and other states that may be doing more harm than good.
A study conducted by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance suggests that younger patients in New Jersey and across the country are more likely to be misdiagnosed than older patients. Specifically, the study showed that 71 percent of patients with colorectal cancer under the age of 50 have stage 3 or stage 4 cancer. However, patients over the age of 50 are more often being treated for cancers at stage 1 or stage 2. One reason for this disparity may be that younger people are more likely to be misdiagnosed.
People in New Jersey with rare diseases may face an especially high risk of misdiagnosis and incorrect, sometimes dangerous, treatment. There are around 400 million people around the world affected by so-called rare diseases. In the United States, when 200,000 people or less are affected by a condition each year, it is considered "rare." As a result, these uncommon illnesses may have relatively little funds invested in research or pharmaceutical development. Furthermore, doctors may be unlikely to consider these illnesses when making a diagnosis.
New Jersey patients and others throughout the country could be vulnerable to having objects left inside of them after surgery. It is estimated that up to 6,000 patients leave a hospital with an object inside of them each year. This happens despite the fact that it is possible to prevent such an event from happening if proper precautions are in place. Needles and sponges are the two most common items that remain in a patient after a procedure.