How Tired Are Doctors and Nurses, Really? (By the Numbers)

Tired doctors make more mistakes. Intuitively, we know this. And we may have read studies like this one (or related news reports). Yet medical culture still glorifies 28-hour shifts and puts residents through the ringer, often forcing them to work 80-hour weeks, all on an irregular sleep schedule that makes recovery from fatigue harder. The medical field has tried in the past to address this worrying problem, but how much have they achieved in recent years? How Tired Is Your Doctor? Regulations prohibit doctors from working more than 80 hours in a week or in excess of 28 hours in…

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How and Why Do Hospitals Get Shut Down?

Hospital closures throw communities into disarray, particularly in rural areas. Shutdowns disrupt emergency health services, putting locals at risk of injury and death. While urban areas (e.g. Washington D.C.) can generally finance alternative emergency care; poorer regions often lack resources to cope, especially after disasters like storms or fires. Why Do Hospitals Close? Many U.S. hospitals simply run out of money due to declining patient rates and uninsured patients. Others hemorrhage staff and can’t support community needs. Still others flounder because of inefficient management or logistical/infrastructure problems. Industry observers worry that this crisis will worsen in the next few years….

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Which Pieces of Medical Equipment Frequently Malfunction?

Medical devices serve a vital role. When operated effectively, they preserve patient health, minimize suffering and reduce cost of care. But they don’t always work as intended. In fact, devices fail far more often than most people realize. And these malfunctions cause injuries, accidents, and far too many deaths. Manufacturers insist, doggedly, that their products are safe, even when compelling evidence to the contrary is presented. And although device recalls occur with regularity, they come too late for thousands of patients. Which Devices Are at Risk for Failure? Any device that relies on blood or body monitoring is prone to…

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Tips to Ensure Your Doctors and Nurses Take Good Care of You in the Hospital

When you go to the hospital, you naturally want to assume everyone there has your best interests at heart—and most of the time, they do. However, when doctors and nurses work long shifts and care for many patients at once, it becomes easier for touch points to be overlooked or mistakes to be made. What can you do to help your healthcare providers give you the level of care you need and deserve? Here are some tips that may help. Be polite and respectful, even when you don’t feel like it. Let’s be honest: You’re not going to be at…

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How Dangerous Is Poor Air Quality in Hospitals?

For hospitals and other healthcare facilities, maintaining a high indoor air quality (IAQ) is a must for patient safety. Most hospitals install high-caliber ventilation and air filtration systems designed to clean the air and maintain healthy humidity levels. On occasion, however, these systems may either fail or prove inadequate, endangering patients, visitors and healthcare workers in the process. What are some of the potential dangers when a hospital has poor air quality? Here’s a partial list: Airborne pathogens. Disease germs and harmful microbes that float in the air pose the greatest health risk by far in poorly ventilated hospitals. Not…

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Avoiding Heat-Related Illnesses in the Workplace

Thousands of workers suffer from heat-related illnesses during the summer months each year. Outdoor workers have a greater risk of succumbing to a heat-related illness. Statistics published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that more than 40 percent of heat-related illnesses occur in the construction industry. Employers with certain health conditions are at greater risk of dying from heat-related illnesses. How Can Employers Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses? There are steps employers and workers can take to reduce the risk of developing heat-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that employers should adopt heat safety…

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Safety First for the Fourth: Some Pool and Water Guidelines

In conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday celebrations, many families head to the pool or the beach.  As with any family outing, especially those involving water, keeping common sense safety tips in mind is critical. Listed below are a few reminders for helping make your family’s Fourth of July safer: Keep an eye on the kids – Drowning is the second most common cause of injury death for children under age 14. Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children age 0-4 in Maryland and third leading cause for those aged 5-14. Drowning can even occur when…

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Fireworks Safety Tips for the Fourth

It’s no surprise that fireworks maim and injure people every year. Just ask Jason Pierre Paul. The NFL defensive end decided to light some fireworks on July 4th of 2015. His dramatic encounter with fireworks cost him part of his hand and quite a bit of money. His dramatic encounter with fireworks will forever be the event he remembers about his life. In 2016 alone there were 11,100 reported injuries in the U.S. Fireworks can be enjoyable, but need to be handled safely. Listed below are some tips from the Red Cross to enjoy fireworks safely: Stay at least 500…

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Bike Safety Guidelines for Kids and Adults

Between the warm weather of summer and the desire to get in shape while cutting fuel costs, children aren’t the only ones riding bikes in traffic these days. Even when you have the right-of-way as a cyclist, drivers might not see you or expect you—and the results can be deadly. Following these bicycle safety guidelines will help keep both adults and children safe, whether they’re riding around with friends or commuting to work. Always Wear a Helmet Recent studies have shown that wearing a helmet while biking can reduce your risk of a serious head injury by 70 percent. It’s…

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CDC: Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak Appears to Be Over

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that the recent outbreak of E. coli (Escherichia coli) that affected romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region appears to be over. By May 8, there were 149 confirmed cases of E. coli food poisoning linked to romaine lettuce from this part of the US. of E. coli food poisoning. The CDC recorded 210 total cases during the outbreak. According to the CDC, the strain of E. coli (E. coli O157:H7) responsible for the outbreak was especially virulent and can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome. This is a potentially fatal…

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