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July 2017 Archives

Understanding the ED triage process

People in Seattle may hear stories about patients dying in emergency department waiting rooms and worry that they might face the same scenario were they to present to the hospital in an emergent event. Many have developed a “first come, first serve” mentality when it comes to waiting for services (including health care). However, visits to the ED are not supposed to work the same way. Of the 130.4 million ED visits that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports occur annually, it may be reasonable to assume that not each of those share the same level of acuity. So how are ED providers to determine who should be seen first?

When a diagnosis is a misdiagnosis

In Washington, patients are diagnosed with medical ailments on a daily basis. Timely diagnosis of a serious and life-changing medical condition is imperative to taking steps towards proper treatment or even a cure if available. Yet, some patients are misdiagnosed and possibly at a greater frequency than many realize.

Off-label drugs and uterine tearing: Was your doctor to blame?

Pregnancy is typically a joyful and expectant time. Sure, there are unpleasant symptoms, like morning sickness and stretch marks, but most women still look forward to labor and delivery with growing excitement. For a small number of mothers, however, labor and delivery are where an otherwise healthy and perfect pregnancy can turn sour.

Detailing cases of retained surgical instruments

Most in Seattle likely understand that surgical procedures are often complex, and thus may be more willing to give surgeons the benefit of the doubt when the more difficult aspects of a procedure go wrong. Yet at the same time, there is an expectation that the seemingly routine elements (such as ensuring that all surgical items and instruments are removed from a patient before an incision is closed) will not be overlooked. As difficult as it may be to believe, however, retained surgical instruments continues to be a problem plaguing the medical industry.  

Getting a second medical opinion

Even Washington residents who have had good relationships with their doctors over a period of years might find themselves in situations when they feel a second opinion could be useful. Knowing when to seek a second medical opinion as well as how to seek a second opinion is an important way of protecting oneself and advocating for one's own health.