Scientists have discovered a form of dementia that mimics the symptoms of Alzheimer's but is in fact distinct from it. It is now clear that patients in New Jersey and across the U.S. may have been misdiagnosed as having Alzheimer's. The discovery also shows that many factors can contribute to dementia.
New Jersey patients know that the medical staff members who treat them are only human and can make mistakes. Many mistakes are minor or caught very quickly before they can do any harm, but some medical errors can be serious and cause harm to patients or to others. Mistakes involving contaminated materials can spread disease throughout a medical setting. A recent study indicates that mistakes made by health care workers when removing personal protective clothing can contaminate clothing or equipment with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
When people in New Jersey feel ill, they often go to the doctor to receive a clear diagnosis. Unfortunately, on far too many occasions, they may instead be given incorrect answers and improper or ineffective treatment. According to two studies, misdiagnosis is the most common reason why patients file medical malpractice claims. According to one insurer, 46 percent of closed claims filed between 2013 and 2017 were related to the diagnostic process.
The citizens of New Jersey may be surprised to learn that rare diseases affect around 400 million people globally. Nevertheless, given the relatively low number of people affected by these ailments, rare diseases are rarely researched or talked about in the public sphere, making them a mystery to today's doctors. According to some estimates, out of 7,000 diseases classified as rare, only 500 can be treated.
Most patients in New Jersey clinics understandably expect their doctors to be alert and focused. However, there are times when health care professionals may be overburdened with work. In fact, research suggests physician burnout has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and this could present certain risks for patients. "Burnout" is a term that means more than just being tired. It also refers to a loss of enthusiasm, emotional exhaustion, a lack of personal and job satisfaction and increased detachment and cynicism.
People who live in New Jersey may be one of the almost 1.4 million individuals in the United States with Lewy body dementia, or LBD. This is a complex and progressive disorder of the brain in which Lewy bodies accumulate in the parts of the brain that oversee movement, behavior and cognition. Its symptoms are very similar to well-known diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, resulting in the condition being severely underdiagnosed. There are many healthcare professionals, including physicians, who have no familiarity with LBD.
Many New Jersey patients have probably heard about medical cases gone wrong where patients had the wrong parts of their bodies removed or the wrong surgery performed. While these types of errors known as "never events" are rare, they can and do occur.
Each year, some New Jersey residents are seriously injured because of medical errors that are made when they go to hospitals or to their doctors' offices for care. One of the most frequently occurring types is diagnostic mistakes.
The high rate of misdiagnoses does not support the confidence that many people in New Jersey have in their medical providers. A Gallup Poll from 2010 showed that 70 percent of Americans did not feel inclined to get second opinions for their medical diagnoses. However, as many as one-third of diagnoses could be wrong or partially wrong according to the executive vice president of Advance Medical.
Chemotherapy is not the only option for treating cancer. Immunotherapy is an upcoming form of treatment where a drug enhances the immune system so that it attacks rapidly dividing cancer cells. As it is still in the developmental stage, its effects cannot be properly measured, and its side effects are often misdiagnosed.