Common Errors in the Medical Care of Cardiovascular Disease
4/28/2011Errors can occur in the medical care of virtually any disease or condition of the human body. Because it is the leading cause of death in the United States and currently affects approximately 81.1 million people, cardiovascular disease-related errors can be a common occurrence and can include:
Jeffrey H. Dover
Jeffrey H. Dover
- The failure to screen for disease. Screening guidelines for CVD have been issued by multiple medical organizations, including the American Heart Association. Even so, countless patients do not receive proper screening until health and life are threatened by the onset of symptoms. This often occurs when hypertension, high cholesterol, angina pectoris or Type II diabetes are present.
- The failure to diagnose CVD. This most often occurs in the emergency room, but can happen anywhere medical care is rendered. Examples of this include the misinterpretation of lab tests, EKGs and chest x-rays; when follow-up tests are not administered, test results are lost, incorrect tests are ordered, the patient is not listened to or when symptoms are ignored. Sometimes, CVD can simply be misdiagnosed entirely.
- The failure to render proper treatment. As time moves forward, the world of medicine is constantly evolving and progressing. When physicians fail to keep up with recent therapies, the results can prove deadly. In relation to CVD, examples of this include administering out-of-date therapies for acute myocardial infarction, such as beta-blocker antihypertensive medication or excessive Heparin dosing.
- The failure to monitor patient compliance/therapeutic efficacy. Although the patient is responsible for taking medication as prescribed, physicians are responsible for monitoring medical treatment to ensure compliance and efficacy. Unfortunately, doctors frequently fail to monitor compliance and the efficacy of the treatments they prescribe. CVD can require complex treatments, especially in older patients, and adverse reactions to multiple drugs can be a problem.
Category: Medical Malpractice
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