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South Carolina Medical Malpractice Law Blog

A delay in lung cancer diagnosis can affect outcomes

As with many diseases, lung cancer has a better prognosis if it is detected early. If lung cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, it is possible to cure. However, unfortunately, patients who visit a doctor complaining of telltale symptoms of lung cancer do not always get a swift diagnosis.

There are two main types of lung cancer, and these are referred to as non-small cell lung cancer, comprising around 80 percent of diagnoses, and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer can be diagnosed through a biopsy. In order for a biopsy to take place, a doctor will need to have a reasonable amount of suspicion that the patient is indeed suffering from lung cancer. This suspicion should arise from the patient being at risk due to their age and lifestyle, as well as the symptoms that they are experiencing.

Pest infestations in care facilities are an indicator of neglect

Any place where people live, pests and microbes that attack the human body tend to congregate. It is well known that medical facilities are major disease vectors, meaning they facilitate the passage of illness, disease or pests from one person to another.

However, just because such infestations and infections are common in medical and group home settings does not mean that they are acceptable, especially if they go unaddressed or untreated. When you have a loved one living in a nursing home or a similar care facility, you expect that the facility will maintain certain levels of cleanliness to protect its residents.

Do you know how to recognize nursing home abuse?

Moving a loved one into a nursing home facility is a difficult decision. However, if you know that it's best for them, you can take comfort in the fact that they're receiving the care they require.

While it's never easy to think about, nursing home abuse remains a problem in facilities throughout the country. This isn't to say that your loved one will be the victim of abuse at some point. However, you should always keep your eyes open for any signs of abuse.

South Carolina laws do little to protect elderly from abuse

A new report examining elder abuse laws in South Carolina presents troubling possibilities for those who receive elder care in the Palmetto State, as well as those who have elderly loved ones here. According to the report, South Carolina ranks poorly in a number of areas that affect how victims fight back against abuse and the overall quality of care they may receive.

If you suspect that someone you love is the victim of elder abuse, especially while receiving elder care from professional caregivers, then you must look at your legal options carefully. A strong legal strategy is sometimes the only way to keep victims' rights protected. The sooner you begin building these protections, the sooner you and the ones you love can begin to move on from the abuse.

The drive for financial profit can undermine patient care

The privatization of medicine has had some truly beneficial effects for the average citizen. For example, competition between doctors and hospitals leads to more investment in the best technology and continuing education. Where there is competition, there is potential for a higher standard of care and more drive for innovation.

However, the focus on profit and medicine has also had negative consequences for those who seek medical care. Many times, the desire to keep costs as low as possible to maximize profits can drive decision-making in a corporate hospital or medical practice. The end result is a focus on finances instead of the standard of care provided to patients.

Medical mistakes and reasons for poor patient care

The main goal of any medical professional is to give their patients the best possible care that they can provide. The profession exists to help people. Many young medical students embrace this idealism with optimism, looking forward to the day that they can work hard for others.

However, the reality is that many patients and doctors feel like people do not get the care that they deserve. The doctor-patient relationship is not as healthy as it should be. They understand that this can lead to mistakes and even malpractice, but changing the system starts by understanding how things got to this point in the first place.

Do you know the warning signs of older adult financial abuse?

After placing your loved one in a residential care facility or nursing home, you are probably watching carefully for signs of physical abuse. Bruises, bed sores and other warning signs can let you know if your loved one faces abuse or isn't receiving adequate care in a facility.

However, physical abuse is only one of the issues you should watch for. You should also be aware of the potential for financial abuse, which is far too common for older adults in assisted living facilities, especially for adults with declining mental faculties.

Delays in reproductive diagnosis can cause pain and infertility

Timely diagnosis is critical to a good outcome for treatable medical conditions. This is true both for conditions that threaten the life of the patient and those that impact their quality of life. All too often, doctors overlook symptoms reported by patients or fail to order adequate testing when patients present issues.

In the case of reproductive health issues, delays and diagnostic failures by doctors can have devastating results. In some cases, they may result in infertility issues that prevent a family from growing. Other times, the delay can severely impact the patient's quality of life or even their ability to retain a job.

Signs that your loved one isn't getting proper nursing home care

The sad truth is that nursing home neglect and abuse does happen. You can read all the reviews. You can tour all the facilities. You can talk to all the directors. Doing your research helps, but there is still a chance that your loved one will suffer unnecessarily at the home you select.

How can you see it as soon as it starts? That's the hard part. Even if you had time to visit every single day, you're still there for only a mere fraction of the time your loved one is in the facility. You cannot keep an eye on them at all times. You need to know exactly what to look for.

Cancer requires a timely diagnosis for effective treatments

Cancer is likely one of the most feared diagnoses that modern patients have to worry about when visiting the doctor. After all, there are many kinds of cancer, many of which have reputations for being painful and debilitating. More importantly, the treatments that come along with a cancer diagnosis can seem frightening to a patient.

Chemotherapy can leave somebody weak and result in a loss of both appetite and hair. Radiation treatments can impact appetite and further weaken a patient. Surgeries can take weeks to fully recover from, even if they are necessary for removing a tumor. Getting an accurate diagnosis of cancer is certainly frightening, but not receiving a timely diagnosis is a more serious concern for patients. After all, the cancer will continue growing, untreated, until you receive an accurate diagnosis.

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