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September 2013 Archives

New ways to diagnose ovarian cancer

Massachusetts readers may be interested to know that there is a possibility that CA-125, a protein that has been used for many years to predict the recurrence of ovarian cancer, may also be an effective cancer screening tool when it is used to evaluate changes in protein concentration over time. Ovarian cancer is the second most common reproductive cancer, but the most likely to lead to death, in addition to being the most often missed diagnosis.

22q syndrome sufferers often misdiagnosed with autism

Children in Massachusetts suffering from a genetic disorder commonly called 22q may originally be diagnosed as autistic because their symptoms often mimic the disorder. Parents of children with 22q syndrome, who originally may encounter a misdiagnosis of autism, may not initially get proper care for their children even though they have attempted to provide them with the best possible medical outcomes. The 22q deletion disorder occurs when a section of chromosome 22 is missing.

Veterans Administration facing increase in lawsuits

Massachusetts readers might be surprised to learn that the Department of Veterans Affairs paid out $91.7 million in malpractice claims last year. In all, there were more than 400 payments made; the total sum was reportedly the highest paid in 12 years.

Boston women often misdiagnosed for heart attacks

Hospital emergency room personnel in Massachusetts and throughout the country sometimes miss the signs of heart attacks in women because female patients often don't exhibit the classic signs of chest pain. When women have a condition known as acute coronary syndrome, which can suddenly result in blockage of blood to the heart muscle and result in a heart attack, they often suffer from a misdiagnosis from medical professionals who do not look for other classic coronary symptoms. The delay in diagnosis can have severe and sometimes fatal consequences.

Concussion vigilance thought to be a brainy idea

Brain injury due to sports-related activities continues to make headlines in Massachusetts and around the country. According to a USA Today story, a 10-year-old girl recently suffered a concussion after she slipped from a set of parallel bars and fell to the ground headfirst.

Surgical instrument put five Massachusetts patients at risk

Five patients of a Hyannis hospital learned that they are at risk for having been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease as a result of a contaminated surgical instrument used during their procedures. CJD leads to dementia and can cause death within one year. The disease is most often inherited or occurs naturally, but a small number of people have gotten the disease as a result of contaminated surgical instruments. According to the Mayo Clinic, standard sterilization procedures don't always remove the proteins that lead to the disease.

Nurse throws away donated perfect-match kidney

Massachusetts patients who are expecting to have surgery may want to pay special attention to a case involving surgical error in Ohio. A 24-year-old woman was under anesthesia, prepared to receive a perfect-match kidney donated by her 20-year-old brother when a nurse who worked for the hospital threw away the organ.

NFL proposes settlement for players who suffered concussions

Massachusetts NFL fans may be interested to learn that the NFL and more than 4,500 players have proposed a $765 million settlement. If the settlement is approved by the judge, it will fund medical exams, compensation for head-related injuries and research.