How Medical Record Errors Can Put You in Danger — And How to Protect Yourself Against Them

Today’s digital resources allow for the seamless input, transfer, and retrieval of key medical information at clinics and hospitals. This facilitates more efficient and accurate care for patients. Unfortunately, even the most advanced tools are far from perfect. The same is true of the employees who manage modern software and equipment. Even simple errors can place patients at grave risk, as we explain below: Data Input While the potential for human error exists in all areas of the health care industry, medical records are uniquely prone to seemingly small mistakes with the potential for major damage. These issues often occur…

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What Are the Most Promising COVID Treatments in Development?

As we await the release of the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, we’re learning more about the top treatments for severe cases. Certain medications and therapies can dramatically improve outcomes for vulnerable patients who, even a few months ago, would have been unlikely to recover. These include the following: Remdesivir Although medical experts have tested a variety of antiviral drugs on patients actively battling COVID, only remdesivir has consistently shown promise. Previously used against dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the medication has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for severe COVID cases. A study recently published in the New England…

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Lockdowns and Late Cancer Diagnosis: Is There a Link?

  While COVID quarantines dramatically reduce the spread of the disease, they also lead to a variety of unintended health consequences. Many of these relate to delays in preventative care, with early signs and symptoms missed due to a lack of testing or because these issues aren’t as easy to spot during telehealth checkups. Below, we explore the possible link between quarantine and late cancer diagnosis: COVID and Cancer Diagnosis: What the Research Says While research on the connection between lockdown and cancer diagnosis remains limited, data published in JAMA Network Open notes an alarming drop in the number of…

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Understanding the Differences Among Influenza, COVID, And the Common Cold

  Experts and ordinary individuals alike draw comparisons between COVID and the prominent form of influenza with which we’ve dealt with for generations. These are sometimes useful, as some of the strategies (such as masks and social distancing) used to mitigate the flu can also work for COVID. Still, it’s important to understand how these diseases differ, as we clarify below: Symptoms Both influenza and COVID-19 can prompt a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. People with both illnesses may suffer: Headache Shortness of breath Fatigue Fever Sore throat In some people, however, COVID goes beyond these symptoms…

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Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part II

  Many people neglected preventative care long before the COVID era, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated the problem. We’ve already highlighted a few of the most problematic personal issues prompted by COVID-sparked delays. Next, we’ll take on a broader approach, looking at problems incurred throughout the health care system and in society at large: Increased Death Rate from Non-COVID Causes Evidence suggests that 40 percent of all deaths in the United States can be blamed on behavioral concerns such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Unfortunately, unhealthy coping mechanisms appear to be on the rise as people of…

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Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part I

  As COVID cases surged in the early days of the pandemic, many hospitals and clinics switched to “tele-health” or suspended certain services altogether. This was necessary during the initial period of uncertainty, as facilities needed time to prepare for a sudden influx of patients. Unfortunately, the lasting consequences of waiting on preventative care are beginning to appear, especially among vulnerable patients who still remain at risk of catching the virus. The following are a few of the most concerning long-term issues: Increased Risk of Chronic Conditions When warning signs of chronic health problems are caught early on, it’s possible…

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Hospitals Are Taking a Financial Hit Due to COVID — Does This Make Them Less Safe?

  The widespread economic impact of COVID caused damage in virtually every industry imaginable. The health care sector, in particular, has dealt with major losses, prompted by a reduction in elective services and the inability of some patients to pay for COVID treatment. Unfortunately, the current financial issues causing headaches for hospital staff also affect patients. The following are a few of the most notable concerns that are impacting quality of care in the midst of the pandemic: Understaffed Facilities At a time when most hospital beds are full, you might expect to see more health care workers on the…

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The Status of the COVID-19 Vaccine — And What to Know About Vaccine Safety: Part I

As we continue to deal with the uncertainty of COVID-19, one glimmering sign of hope keeps us from giving in to despair: the ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the midst of so much bad news, it’s easy to forget the remarkable ingenuity and security of the vaccine development process. The highly anticipated vaccine first reached clinical trials a record 69 days after researchers identified SARS-CoV-2 as the force behind the outbreak. Since then, researchers have maintained this breakneck pace. What does this mean for the eventual release of a vaccine? We delve into the details below: What We…

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