Medical Tests That May Kill You

Posted by Ed 8 mths ago
Be Informed. Make Wise Choices.
In 2017, an article was published by James Anderson and Kathleen Abrahamson entitled, “Your Health Care May Kill You: Medical Errors.” The article once again exposed that medical errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the United States (U.S). The incredibly high number was first reported in the British Medical Journal in 2016.
This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death in America. Surprisingly, the rates in the US are higher than rates in other developed countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the United Kingdom (U.K). At the same time, apparently less than 10 percent of medical errors are reported.
An overlooked, potentially serious complicating factor of a hospital stay is the number of x-ray exams ordered that use contrast agents. Contrast materials, also called contrast media (CM), are substances used to enhance the distinction between normal and abnormal tissues, greatly improving the radiologist’s ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue densities. Ideally, CM should achieve a very high concentration in the tissues without producing any adverse effects.
Unfortunately, this has not been possible so far, and all CMs have adverse effects. Radiologists must be wary of reactions in patients with a previous history of life-threatening reactions, bronchospasm or asthma, hypotension, or shock from an underlying illness and be aware that premedication does not completely eliminate the risks of severe and life-threatening reactions in those patients.
These substances are administered either orally, rectally, or intravenously. The type of contrast used depends on the modality and purpose of the imaging the patient will receive. Material administered for MRI or computerized tomography (CT) scans is NOT radioactive. 

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