Parents: Here’s How to Prepare for Flu Season This Year

It is officially flu season. Between the months of October and May, the influenza virus peaks and infects adults and children, although symptoms and severity may vary significantly. The flu is far more dangerous for younger children than the common cold, which is why the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to prepare. Listed below are some helpful tips for parents during flu season: Get vaccinated. An annual flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to protect your family from the flu. The vaccine has been proven to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization…

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Understanding False Positives And False Negatives

False positives and negatives are a huge problem in the health care industry. Most patients, however, are unaware that their symptoms could prompt incorrect or missed diagnoses. Read on to learn how and why these errors occur: False Positives The same set of symptoms can point to multiple medical conditions. False positives occur when results indicate that a particular illness or disorder is present — even when it’s not. False positives are particularly common among lab results in general practice. Many clinics are heavy-handed with ordering tests — a huge problem, given that by their very nature, these tests almost…

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Doctors Who Abuse Drugs And Alcohol: By the Numbers

The medical profession is notoriously stressful, especially for physicians and other high-level employees. Unfortunately, many self-medicate in hopes of managing the constant barrage of anxiety. This leaves both medical professionals and the patients they’re charged with protecting at risk. Below, we shed light on the scourge of drugs and alcohol in the health care industry: Prevalence of Abuse Abuse is shockingly common among doctors; in a notable study published in the American Journal on Addictions, 15.3 percent of surveyed physicians met diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependency. Likewise, research indicates that benzodiazepine and opiate abuse rates are higher among doctors than…

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Common Clerical Errors That Cause Medical Injuries: Part II

Clerical mistakes are one of the most common — and least reported — issues in the medical industry. In our last post on the relationship between clerical errors and medical mishaps, we discussed a few of the most common types of mistakes that can harm patients. Now, we dive in deeper with additional examples and statistics — several of which involve modern medical technology. Issues With Electronic Health Records Although designed, in part, with the intention of avoiding clerical issues, electronic health records (EHR) actually cause their fair share of mishaps. Often, these issues arise when transferring information from traditional…

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Common Clerical Errors That Cause Medical Injuries: Part I

Typically, when people picture medical malpractice, they think of obvious errors made during surgery. Often, however, the most harmful mistakes occur at completely unexpected points in the medical process. Clerical errors, in particular, are to blame for a shocking number of medical malpractice cases. Read on to learn about the most common types of clerical errors — and why they’re so dangerous: Mislabeling Whether it occurs in the lab or at the pharmacy, mislabeling can cause huge problems. This common error takes many forms; medical professionals may accidentally mislabel test results, diagnoses, or prescriptions. One wrong number or abbreviation can…

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The Subtle Dangers of Low-Level Falls

If you’ve ever slipped and fallen off a curb or stumbled while descending the final step on a flight of stairs, you’ve probably laughed it off as ‘not a big deal.’ But while low-level falls don’t always result in severe injuries, they can be surprisingly dangerous — particularly among seniors or those with pre-existing injuries. Unfortunately, low-level falls are becoming increasingly common. Recent analysis of data from the National Trauma Data Bank suggests that the rate of fatal falls among elderly adults increased by 55 percent between 1993 and 2003. Based on this research, experts believe that 30 percent of…

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Thanksgiving Travel Dangers — And What to Do About Them

Thanksgiving is almost here — and you’re eager to hit the road. Whether you plan on driving for a few minutes or a few hours, your journey may be more perilous than you suspect; data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates an uptick of 19 percent in traffic accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday. Read on to learn about the most significant Thanksgiving travel dangers — and what you can do to stay safe. Increased Traffic Traffic isn’t just a workweek phenomenon; Thanksgiving can spark truly frustrating jams. Combine the usual pitfalls of traffic with drivers determined to arrive…

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Timely Facts About Fall Sports Head Injuries

From Little League to the NFL, traumatic brain injuries are increasingly of concern in all levels of athletics. Highlighted below, recent statistics shed light on the scope of the problem: Injuries On the Rise Traumatic brain injuries have plagued athletes for decades, but all signs point to an increase in prevalence. Data from the High School Reporting Information Online injury surveillance system indicates that participation in main high school athletic categories increased 1.04 fold between 2005 and 2015; meanwhile, concussions in these sports increased a shocking 2.2 fold. Not Just Football When most people think about sport-related brain injuries, they…

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Are You Vulnerable to Lead Exposure? What to Know Before Working With Contractors

It is currently common knowledge that lead exposure can cause severe health problems — particularly for young children. But while lead-based paint has long been banned in new construction, it remains a considerable risk in millions of homes built before lead was widely recognized as a threat. In pristine condition, lead-based paint does not necessarily harm homeowners — but that all changes when general contractors enter the picture. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones as you proceed with home renovation projects: Lead-Safe Certification Issued in 2008 and recently reaffirmed, the EPA’s Renovation, Repair…

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The Latest on the Battle Against Antibiotic Resistance in Hospitals

Diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and tuberculosis once posed a huge threat to ordinary Americans; according to the Centers for Disease Control, these three illnesses were responsible for a third of all deaths during the 20th century. Cancer and heart disease have since taken over as the top killers, but the threat of bacterial illness has by no means left. Today, experts fear the rise of superbugs — diseases resistant to antibiotics. These illnesses are of particular concern in hospitals, where close quarters and weak immune systems leave patients uniquely susceptible. Keep reading to learn where the medical community stands…

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