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Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog

Information regarding misdiagnoses

Misdiagnosis of disease is a major problem for the Arizona medical community, and it is one that continues to be serious. A misdiagnosis is generally considered a medical diagnosis that subsequent testing or findings have conclusively determined was in error, missed or delayed. Misdiagnosis may lead to death, and is often a contributing factor in medical malpractice suits.

According to an article aggregating the results of several studies on misdiagnosis statistics, a 2008 study of autopsies at three labs from 1999 to 2006 found that there was a serious discrepancy regarding the cause of death in 17.2 percent of cases. The study suggested that pulmonary embolisms were the most frequently missed diagnosis. Another study of autopsies performed at ten-year intervals between 1972 and 1992 discovered that the rate of misdiagnosis dropped by 50 percent over 20 years. Much of the decrease was found to be due to improved means of detecting cardiovascular disease while misdiagnosis of infections and cancers remained a serious problem.

2 killed in Paulden collision

An Arizona accident killed a motorcyclist and a high school student in a pickup truck. The accident reportedly happened on Nov. 29 around 11 a.m near an intersection.

The pickup truck, which contained three local high school students, had been traveling eastbound. The motorcycle was headed northbound when it collided with the truck.

Doctors may misdiagnose young patients exhibiting stroke symptoms

Arizona patients who are under 50 may be surprised to learn that they may be at risk for suffering a stroke. More importantly, however, they may also be surprised to learn that doctors and emergency room staff often fail to diagnose strokes in young patients, which could lead to temporary or permanent brain damage.

A study published by the American Heart Association in 2009 found that patients under 50 were likely to be misdiagnosed with disorders that include migraine, alcohol intoxication and vertigo when presented with stroke symptoms. For this particular study, researchers analyzed the data on 57 patients who ranged in ages from 16 to 50 years old. These patients exhibited a wide range of symptoms classically associated with strokes, including numbness on the side of the face, blurred vision, lack of muscle coordination and even difficulty speaking.

Mild head injuries may cause significant damage

As Arizona residents may know, mild head injuries are often deceptive. The trauma may be slight, and the injured individual may seem shaken but not hurt. If brain injury occurred, the signs and symptoms may develop gradually. The onset of injury differs from person to person.

Mild brain injury may result when the head is injured by blunt trauma or forces of deceleration or acceleration. In order to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury, doctors use certain criteria during the observational period. Primary symptoms are loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion or impaired consciousness, seizures and amnesia. Adults often exhibit headache, irritability, fatigue, dizziness and decreased concentration. Young children and infants may exhibit vomiting, lethargy and irritability. These neurological signs are not, in themselves, pathognomonic of mild traumatic brain injury, but they are useful in supporting such a diagnosis.

Use of roundabouts to reduce serious injuries and fatalities

Arizona drivers may have noticed that the state is installing more and more roundabouts at intersections, doing away with the traffic signals that used to govern the directional flow of traffic through the intersections. While many people may find roundabouts annoying, the state has good reason to utilize them more and more while phasing out the four-way stop and signal-controlled intersections.

Across the country, one-third of all intersection fatalities occur at signal-controlled intersections. This represents approximately 2,300 deaths each year. Furthermore, about 700 people die yearly in intersection crashes due to other people running red lights. While signal-controlled intersections can be a good way to inform drivers of when it is appropriate to proceed through an intersection, roundabouts have been shown to be significantly safer than such intersections.

Texting and driving dangers in Arizona

Texting or talking on a wireless device while driving is a growing problem that can result in dangerous accidents. Arizona residents may deem it beneficial to learn more about the growing issue in order to prevent possible injuries and even death.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a factor in 18 percent of all fatal car accidents in 2010. As a result, 3,092 people were killed and over 400,000 others were wounded, many suffering serious injuries. Younger drivers appear to be more at risk, as 40 percent of teens have admitted to being in a car while a driver used a wireless device to talk or text. Additionally, 11 percent of drivers ages 18 to 20 also admitted that they had been either sending or receiving a text when they were in a car accident.

Collision avoidance technology for safer roads

As Arizona drivers know, many factors can lead to a dangerous or even deadly highway accident. Even if a driver is highly skilled, unexpected maneuvers by other drivers or sudden changes in vehicle handling can lead to a collision. The driver may be incapable of avoiding such an accident in the moment, but new automotive technology could compensate for such situations and minimize the risks involved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 28 percent of highway accidents are the result of one vehicle rear-ending another. A further 23 percent are due to being run off the road, while 9 percent are caused by drivers attempting to change lanes. These types accidents can be avoided with the use of vehicle collision avoidance systems. The NHTSA found that sport utility vehicles with collision avoidance technology installed have a risk of such accidents 70 percent lower than those without, while other cars thus protected are 40 percent less endangered. If all semi-trucks were equipped with such technology, well over 4,000 crashes could be prevented each year.

Arizona car crash kills 1, leaves 2 seriously injured

A deadly Tucson car accident has claimed the life of a 62-year-old man and seriously injured two people. The crash occurred on Nov. 10 near the intersection of South Alvernon Way and West Irvington Road. The decedent was a passenger in a sedan that reportedly made a left turn in front of two vehicles.

According to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, two vehicles, a van and a BWM SUV, were traveling north on South Alvernon Way when a Cadillac sedan headed south on the same road made a left turn in front of both cars. The van and the SUV struck the sedan on the passenger side, killing the passenger on impact.

Phoenix taxi accident leaves 1 dead and 2 critically injured

Authorities in Arizona have reported that one person was killed and two others were seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident in southeast Phoenix on Nov. 8. The investigation into the car accident is being conducted by the Phoenix Police Department with assistance from the Department of Public Safety. The cause of the wreck was not immediately clear.

According to a police report, the driver of a Toyota Prius taxi lost control of the vehicle as she proceeded westbound on Interstate 10 near South 40th Street. The taxi then left the roadway, crashed through a fence and hit a utility pole before coming to a stop.

What is shoulder dystocia?

There are a variety of different problems that could arise during birth, and unfortunately, some of these incidents are related to medical mistakes. One of the most serious emergencies experienced by doctors in Arizona is known as shoulder dystocia. This occurs after the baby's head has emerged from the birth canal during delivery. It is when the infant's shoulder becomes stuck and unable to pass through.

One of the most dangerous aspects of shoulder dystocia is oxygen deprivation. This may not seem to be a concern, as it's simply a shoulder that won't emerge, but by this point, the infant is already in the compressed birth canal. If the baby becomes stuck there, there will be pressure on the umbilical cord. In the end, this can prevent oxygen from getting to the infant's brain.

*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization