Not every mistake by a Montana doctor or hospital qualifies as negligence. Ideally, when a patient experiences a negative outcome after treatment or surgery, the medical provider will acknowledge the problem and take action to reduce the harm. A medical provider who dodges questions about what went wrong, however, might justify the patient taking legal action.
People in Montana and throughout the country may be increasingly treated using robots during diagnosis and surgery, and researchers say that this will lead to more positive outcomes. One of those devices is a 3D-printed robot that researchers say can enter an MRI chamber and do biopsies for suspected breast cancer. In tests that involved taking biopsies from model breasts, the robotic system was accurate to a sub-millimeter degree. Currently, breast biopsies are done using a larger needle; they may require several attempts and are less efficient.
People in Montana who are exhibiting symptoms of lung cancer or pneumonia will undergo medical tests to determine if they suffer from either condition. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, a plan of treatment will be administered.
As an increasing number of adults are diagnosed with diabetes in Montana and across the United States, some are incorrectly diagnosed. A certain subset of the population suffers from a lesser-known type of diabetes that is related to pancreatic disorders and requires different treatments than types one or two.
Breast cancer deaths have decreased by 39 percent between 1989 and 2015, according to a report by the American Cancer Society. While this is good news, the report also noted some racial disparities. For example, African-American women are 39 percent less likely to survive breast cancer than white women. It is a problem that affects Montana residents; although, the highest death rates among black women are in South Central states, Mid-Atlantic states, and California.
Some Montana patients have developed cancer in part of their mouth. Tongue cancer often forms in the squamous cells that cover the surface of two-thirds of the tongue. Cancer that forms in the remaining one-third of the tongue, which is located in the back of the tongue, is considered to belong to a group of neck or head cancers.
Physicians in Montana might fail to identify rare and potentially deadly diseases like osteosarcoma of the foot. Most cases of osteosarcoma afflict teenagers in other parts of the body, which adds to the difficulty of recognizing the malignant tumor within the foot. This form also typically strikes adults.
While any Montana resident who has a history of substantial sun exposure is at risk for developing squamous cell carcinomas, there are others who have an increased risk of developing the disease due to genetics. Further, those who have suffered from chronic skin infections in the past may also have an increased risk for squamous cell carcinomas.
Montana residents rely on their doctors to accurately diagnose their medical conditions and prescribe appropriate treatments, and they may pursue civil remedies by filing medical malpractice lawsuits when they are harmed due to the negligent behavior of their health care providers. One such case was resolved earlier in 2017 when a jury in Missouri awarded almost $29 million in damages to a woman who had been left permanently disabled because of a misdiagnosis.
With the fact that about 12 million people across the country experience diagnostic mistakes in outpatient care annually, according to the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, Montana patients who want a second medical opinion may enjoy telehealth and telemedicine services. This is a convenient way to communicate with physicians and has become increasingly popular.