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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Anaphylaxis from penicillin

Penicillin changed modern medicine. It's a very effective medication and has proven quite useful over the decades. It's an antibiotic, so it's used to treat all manner of infections.

However, some people are allergic to this medication. They may get a rash, run a fever, have trouble breathing or encounter other such issues. Most of the time, this is not fatal. That doesn't mean it's fine if an inattentive medical professional gives penicillin to someone who is allergic, but they'll survive the incident.

Mesothelioma shows why a cancer diagnosis is so important

Those who think they may have cancer and go to the doctor for diagnosis need to get the proper diagnosis the first time. There is no room for error. There is no room for a mistake. Doctors may not be perfect, but the ramifications of getting it wrong with cancer are so dire. There may not be time to get it right.

For instance, those who have mesothelioma have a median survival rate of just 12 months. This is a fairly aggressive cancer that often shows up in the elderly. It comes from asbestos exposure, and it is deadly in a high percentage of cases.

Excessive blood loss during surgery

Some level of blood loss is to be expected during major surgery. There is no way to avoid it. The surgical team will then plan ahead to prevent blood loss and set up blood transfusions when necessary.

That said, excessive blood loss is very dangerous and often fatal, and it should be avoided at all costs. As noted by leading medical experts, "higher operative blood loss and transfusion requirements have been associated with...complications and mortality." They do note that the long-term survival rate of a patient who has excessive blood loss does not seem to be impacted, but the short-term survival rate is the concern. In other words, if the person lives through the procedure, they can typically recover, but the threat is that patients may not live through the surgery at all.

Doctors tend to miss these 3 cancers

A failure to diagnose cancer can be deadly. Much of the time, doctors want to start treatment as soon as possible, and recovery rates are far better for those who get treatment in the early stages than for those who do not get it until the later stages. If a doctor misses something and it takes months or even years longer than it should have to spot the cancer and get treatment started, a patient who would have survived may pass away.

A misdiagnosis can also be a serious issue. The patient may start a type of treatment that they don't need. In the "best" cases, this just delays the onset of proper treatment. In the worst, it may actively make the condition worse.

3 important cancer facts

Cancer is a well-known threat in the United States, a modern disease that has caused problems for medical professionals for decades. Finding a cure remains a top goal still in 2020, but it has not happened as of yet. This means that many types of cancer are still fatal.

To understand the issue and how it impacts patient care, here are three important facts about the scourge that is cancer:

  1. Cancer takes more lives in the U.S. than anything other than heart disease.
  2. A high percentage of cancer, when newly diagnosed, can be both treated and cured.
  3. It is far easier to cure cancer after an early detection. Understanding the symptoms is crucial. The earlier doctors can begin treatment, the better the outcome for the patient. This is true with all types of cancer.

Can you treat cancer with surgery?

People often talk about chemotherapy as one method of treating cancer, and it certainly is common. It is notorious for being hard on the body, as the chemo itself can make you feel sick -- as it destroys the cancer.

It is important to note, though, that chemo is not the only option. In many cases, it is possible to use surgery. Though some types of surgery do have long recovery times, many are actually easier to get through than chemo.

Catching cancer in its early stages is crucial

Doctors prefer to treat cancer as early as possible, but that does not mean they have no treatment options for late-stage cancer. They can sometimes offer various options to the patient. However, it is important to note that they may stop focusing on curing the disease.

For example, even when some types of cancer progress to the later stages, doctors believe that a cure is impossible. Therefore, they shift their focus. They begin working on relieving the symptoms that the patient has to deal with in order to make them more comfortable.

Having one melanoma increases risks for a second

If you get diagnosed with melanoma — a dangerous type of skin cancer — you should know that the diagnosis makes it more likely that you will have a second spot. This is why many doctors like to do a full-body exam after they find one suspicious spot.

For instance, one doctor saw a man who had put off treatment for years. He had a clear spot of melanoma, she said, and it was also in a very obvious location on his face.

Understanding C-section risks

A C-section is still major surgery. People often do not think of it that way since it is so common. However, it is a serious procedure that carries a high level of risk.

This isn't to frighten you out of having one. At times, doctors choose to perform a C-section because it is actually safer for the mother and child. Thousands of mothers have these procedures without any complications every year. It very well may be the best decision for your family.

The crucial 24 hours after a child is born

When a baby is born, its life is still very fragile. Experts with the World Health Organization (WHO) call those first 24 hours the most dangerous ones of their lives. On the world stage, around one million babies die annually in this short time span, experiencing just a single day of life before passing away.

Naturally, the risks are a bit lower in a country like the United States, with its modern childbirth facilities and medical advancements. For instance, about 2 million mothers worldwide had no one at all with them while giving birth. Another 40 million did not have trained medical professionals or midwives. While this does happen in the United States, it's far less common, helping to reduce infant mortality rates.

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