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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What the Fight Over the New Study Exonerating Meat Says About Understanding And Following Medical Guidelines

Vegan and vegetarian diets are increasingly popular for reasons related to health, eco-consciousness, and animal welfare. The desire to lead an eco-friendly and humane lifestyle is certainly admirable, but those opting for meat-free diets strictly based on health may want to reconsider based on emerging evidence. Conflicting information can make it seem impossible to maintain a healthy diet, but we’re here to help. Keep reading for more information. Red Meat May Not Be So Unhealthy After All Experts have long contended that red meat is best avoided, or, at least, used less often. This medical ‘fact’ is now being called…

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How And Why Nurses Get Overworked, Overwhelmed, And Undersupported — And What This Means For Your Health

Nursing isn’t for the faint of heart. This admirable, but challenging profession can take both a physical and mental toll on hardworking nurses, who often lack the support they so desperately need. In turn, patients suffer worse health outcomes. Hence, the urgent need for the medical profession to address the following issues in modern nursing: Excessive Hours Nurses work long hours, often remaining within medical facilities long after their twelve-hour shifts have technically ended. Grueling schedules are especially common among newly-licensed nurses, with research from the New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing suggesting that over half work voluntary…

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Unexpected Emergency Room Dangers

The ER should be a place of refuge, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case in far too many hospitals, where patients are vulnerable to a whole host of surprising hazards. Infection Emergency rooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, making patients with already compromised immune systems that much more vulnerable to infection. A study of long-term care facility residents published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that five percent of those who visited emergency rooms acquired new infections. Surgical site infections (SSI) are especially common in the ER. While these infections occasionally only prompt mild irritation, some are serious…

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