Monthly Archives: July 2016

How to Use the Internet to Avoid Medication Mistakes

Patients may avoid medication mistakes by communicating with their doctors and conducting research on common errors. Under the correct circumstances, the internet can be a useful tool for avoiding medication mistakes. For example, some medications have similar-sounding names that can increase the odds pharmacists or nurses make mistakes. There are online tools that can help with pill identification. Keep in mind, that as we discuss using the internet, all information discovered should be discussed with your physician. Remember, all websites used should end in .gov, meaning the domains are owned by government agencies (such as the CDC, the FDA or the National Institutes of Health). A Website That May Help Patients with Pill Identification The National Institutes of Health maintains www.pillbox.nlm.nih.gov, a website that hosts a database of every medication sold in the United States. This website uses various search criteria to allow users to find medications based on imprint…
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Historical Medical Mistakes You Won’t Believe: Death of a President

We often discuss on our blog how patients affected by modern medical mistakes can be killed or left permanently disabled. Historical medical mistakes led to identical outcomes for patients. In some cases, historical medical mistakes had world-changing implications. Throughout the next several months, we are going to walk you through several examples of medical mistakes that changed world history. As you read the examples, keep in mind that these mistakes were preventable. Did Medical Malpractice Kill President James Garfield? Historians consider James Garfield to be one of the most talented and intelligent presidents to ever reside in the Oval Office. Unfortunately, Garfield was only President of the United States for four months. Born into poverty and raised without a father, Garfield represented the caricature of a ‘self-made man’. At 20 years old, Garfield worked his way through college and graduated within five years. Garfield also served in the Union Army…
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Florida Doctor Misdiagnosed Patients for Profits

A Florida doctor guilty of misdiagnosing patients to defraud Medicare was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the doctor is guilty of defrauding Medicare Advantage, a Medicare plan involving Humana HMOs (Humana is a health insurance company). The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims the doctor misdiagnosed patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a rare spine disease. Cases like this have happened before. In prior cases, doctors have misdiagnosed patients with cancer. Patients who are falsely diagnosed with cancer undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Both treatments are harmful to healthy patients. Doctors who falsely diagnose patients with cancer are often guilty of fraud. Last year, a Detroit doctor subjected 500 of his patients to unnecessary chemotherapy. Some patients experienced life-threatening infections and other illnesses due to the chemotherapy treatments. Keep in mind, chemotherapy harms the immune system. Patients who did not need chemotherapy lost immune…
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