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Misdiagnoses are usually detected during autopsies

Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of serious medical conditions can be devastating for patients in Pennsylvania. Often, the fact that a patient has been misdiagnosed with the wrong condition does not become apparent until the patient dies and their body is autopsied. As a result, most of the data that researchers use to learn about misdiagnosis comes from autopsies.

Researchers looking into diagnostic errors that were revealed during autopsies have determined that certain types of conditions get misdiagnosed more often than others. These commonly misdiagnosed conditions include cancers, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases. Cardiovascular diseases that are commonly misdiagnosed include heart attacks, aortic dissections and strokes. Misdiagnosed infections usually concern diseases such as meningitis and sepsis. According to a 2009 study of physician-reported misdiagnoses, pulmonary embolism, drug reaction, drug overdose and lung cancer were the conditions that were most commonly misdiagnosed.

Head-on collision kills 2

According to officers with the Pennsylvania state police, two people were killed in a head-on collision that occurred on Dec. 5 around 10:54 a.m. Reportedly, the accident happened on State Route 274, or Shermans Valley Road, in Southwest Madison Township in Perry County in the 4900 block.

The state police reported that an 86-year-old man was driving a pickup truck on the road. Reportedly, the man crossed the road's double-yellow center line, crossing into the opposite lane of traffic. A 54-year-old Perry County woman was driving her own pickup truck in the other lane. The 86-year-old man reportedly collided head-on with the woman's truck.

Deadly errors on the decline in nation's hospitals

Pennsylvania patients may worry about the risks associated with medical procedures or stays at hospitals. A federal evaluation of records for hospitals shows that preventable errors have declined approximately 17 percent between 2010 and 2013. An estimated $12 billion was saved because of the reduction in errors, and deaths decreased by 50,000 patients. The greatest level of improvement occurred during the last year of the period in question.

Some of the possible issues contributing to the improvements include public error reporting, financial consequences tied to the Affordable Care Act and technical help. However, the exact reasons for the improvements have not been precisely identified. The primary areas in which incidents declined were those of adverse drug incidents and bedsores. Officials indicate that the overall data represents an important improvement in quality of care and wise spending. However, it is also noted that additional work is needed in reducing preventable and deadly errors.

Pennsylvania man killed in head-on collision

According to authorities, a Dec. 3 wreck on U.S. 11 in Antrim Township left a 76-year-old man from Greencastle dead. Authorities indicated that three vehicles in total were invovled in the incident.

Reportedly, a southbound Chevrolet Suburban was decelerating on account of traffic when the vehicle behind it, a Volkswagen Jetta with a 20-year-old driver, attempted to swerve around the SUV. However, the Jetta struck the rear of the Suburban and continued traveling into northbound traffic, where it collided head-on with a Buick Century carrying multiple passengers and driven by the 76-year-old man, authorities said..

What treatments are available for spinal cord injuries?

When a person in Pennsylvania suffers spinal cord trauma in an accident, it is important for them to receive treatment as soon as possible in order to lessen any potential resulting injury to the spinal cord itself. Immediate treatment may prevent permanent disability.

The treatments for spinal cord trauma vary. In many cases, medications called corticosteroids will be administered to reduce swelling that can further damage the spinal cord. In some cases, pressure on the spinal cord is caused by a growth, and the removal of such a growth before it destroys the nerves can improve symptoms of paralysis.

Crash on I-80 in Pennsylvania kills 2

On Saturday, Nov. 22, two New York residents were killed in a car accident in Marion Township, Pennsylvania, on Interstate 80 at mile marker 170 at about 4:30 p.m. The 64-year-old man and 59-year-old woman both died at the scene.

The New York couple were traveling in their Volvo behind an 18-wheeler on I-80; both the semi and the Volvo were slowing down due to increasing traffic. Another semi driving behind the Volvo did not slow down and hit the car from behind. The semi pushed the Volvo in to the first 18-wheeler, crushing the Volvo between the two trucks.

Fatal crash caused by loose tire striking car's windshield

A Pennsylvania man was killed on Nov. 21 when a trailer pulled by a Ford pickup lost a tire and crashed through another vehicle's windshield. The pickup driver was taken into custody, according to a police representative, and faces charges of accident involving death while not properly licensed and causing an accident involving serious bodily injury or death.

The accident occurred when a tire came loose from the F-450's trailer, traveled over Route 28's median strip and hit a southbound vehicle. The 75-year-old male driver of the car was killed. A passenger in his car did not suffer any injuries. Northbound Route 28 was closed for a couple of hours while an investigation into the accident ensued.

2 dead, several injured in 10-vehicle, 18-wheeler wreck

Responders worked for hours to free injured persons from the wreckage at the scene of a fatal accident that occurred on Nov. 19 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The wreck happened at about 6:30 a.m. on U.S. Route 222 when the driver of a semi-truck allegedly fell asleep at the wheel and plowed into nine other vehicles. A 23-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman died in the crash.

The driver of the rig was a 50-year-old man who began his shift at 1:30 a.m. A report by the Berks County District Attorney established that authorities charged the truck driver with two counts of homicide by vehicle and nine counts of aggravated assault along with several other allegations. Police did not believe the man was under the influence, but he likely underwent a blood test according to the D.A.

Common causes of Pennsylvania stillbirths

A stillbirth is defined as the intrauterine death and delivery of an infant that has developed for more than 20 weeks. It is said to occur once for every 160 deliveries and generally occurs prior to labor. However, some stillbirths occur during labor or even delivery.

In some cases, an autopsy may be performed and is considered the best way to determine why a baby died. It is important to note that there is no uniform procedure that takes place after a baby is delivered stillborn. It may be possible to ask for an autopsy even if the hospital doesn't typically perform one on stillborn babies. Doing an autopsy may provide closure, which could help with the emotional recovery.

Motorcyclist dies in crash with drunk driver

A Pennsylvania motorcyclist, 23, is dead after a Boswell Borough crash on Nov. 8. According to police, the pickup driver believed to have caused the accident was impaired.

The 56-year-old pickup driver, a resident of Boswell Borough, was taken into custody after police decided that he was intoxicated when he entered the biker's path. A police department representative said charges were pending as of Nov. 9. According to court records, the pickup driver has been charged with drunk behavior in public and drunk driving in the past.

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