When Should You Consider Getting a Second Medical Opinion?

You’ve visited your doctor in search of answers to your most urgent medical issues. Now, your gut tells you that their response was off. Intuition holds far more value than many health care professionals will acknowledge, so it may be worth your while to seek a second opinion. Keep the following considerations in mind as you continue your hunt for answers: Your Symptoms Have Yet to Disappear If your symptoms persist even after you follow your doctor’s instructions, an incorrect diagnosis may be to blame. Don’t assume you need to continue living with pain or discomfort. A second opinion may…

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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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COVID-19 and the Increased Risk of Medical Errors

Could Doctors or Nurses Be Too Distracted By COVID-19 to Provide Proper Care For Non-COVID Patients? Health care professionals face a heavy burden in a time of COVID. Every day, they place themselves at risk of infection as they care for more patients than they’re equipped to handle. Many are alarmingly short on sleep, taking on extra responsibilities to cover for coworkers who have contracted the disease. Even if they manage to remain physically healthy, the sheer mental burden of working in healthcare during a pandemic can be difficult to overcome. Given the unique challenges faced by today’s doctors and…

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Why Is Coronavirus So Dangerous In Nursing Homes? How Can You Protect Loved Ones?

When your parents, grandparents, or other family members enter long-term care facilities, you assume that they’ll be far safer there than at home. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has destroyed this assumption. Nursing homes are at the center of the disease’s most alarming clusters. Common Coronavirus Risk Factors in Nursing Homes A variety of factors conspire to make nursing homes uniquely dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic. Age is obviously a factor, as older individuals are demonstrably more susceptible to COVID-19. Beyond that, however, close quarters and extensive contact also leave patients at risk. Sadly, many nursing homes lack the protective equipment…

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Why Viral Load May Determine the Severity of COVID Infections — And How You Can Protect Yourself

If there’s one constant during this unprecedented pandemic, it’s that our understanding of the disease is always changing. Every day brings new hope that we’ll eventually succeed in flattening the curve. Unfortunately, nearly every positive headline is tempered by sobering news. Such is the case when exploring the concept of viral load, which can tell us a lot about who suffers the most from the disease — and why. What Is Viral Load? How Does it Relate to COVID-19? The term ‘viral load’ references the amount of a given virus found within a test sample taken from a specific patient….

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Getting a Second Opinion From a Doctor: When And How to Do It

Even the most trusted doctors are far from infallible. Errors in diagnosis are shockingly common, even among the industry’s top authorities. As a patient, however, you can reduce your likelihood of falling victim by seeking a second diagnosis. This process may feel intimidating, but it could make all the difference as you pursue the best possible course of action: Top Reasons For Seeking a Second Opinion A variety of circumstances can prompt the common desire for a second opinion. Often, patients simply want more information. In other cases, however, the following factors may be at play: Doubts as to the…

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How Do Doctors Stay Up to Date on Protocol Changes? How Often Do They Fall Behind?

Change is rampant in every industry, but it’s particularly prominent in medicine, where emerging research holds the potential to dramatically alter protocol we currently take for granted. Already, the average physician visit looks little like it did just twenty years ago. Keeping up may seem impossible as a patient, but what about the doctors charged with handling a myriad of medical issues? Unfortunately, their efforts to stay current vary dramatically, as we examine below: Interactions With Fellow Professionals In today’s technological world, word of mouth remains one of the most effective means of keeping up to date with medical developments….

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How Often Do Doctors And Nurses Ignore Basic Safety Guidelines?

Today’s medical professionals undergo extensive training to prepare them for the complicated techniques and procedures that have become so common in the modern world of health care. Many, however, seem to have forgotten the basic safety protocol that have always been essential for maintaining a safe and hygienic environment. Patients are often shocked by the extent to which health care professionals neglect even the most elementary guidelines — and you’ll be as well, once you’ve seen the statistics outlined below. Hand-Washing It goes without saying that all health care workers — and really, anybody who enters a hospital or clinic…

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