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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What American Doctors And Hospitals Can Learn From International Health Care Successes

The United States may be home to several of the world’s finest medical facilities, but it’s impossible to escape the fact that, in many ways, we lag behind other nations in terms of health care. Thankfully, success stories abound throughout the world. These triumphs grant hope that we too can improve outcomes. The following are just a few of the most promising developments in international health care: Rwanda’s Miraculous Health Care Transformation In just over two decades, Rwanda has transformed from a country torn apart by genocide to one of the world’s most remarkable health care success stories. This comes…

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What Are the Most Common Prescription Drug Errors?

Prescription drugs, when used correctly, can save someone’s life who is suffering from a chronic illness or health condition. Prescription drugs also have the ability to improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce the chances of experiencing serious negative side effects related to their condition. Although medication errors may be common, some of them can be fatal. According to an article by the Mount Sinai Medical Center, five common medication errors in relation to prescription drugs include: 5 Common Prescription Drug Errors Unawareness of expiration dates. Expiration dates are always printed on a drug’s label or bottle, but many…

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Tips for Staying Organized When You Take a Lot of Medications

The more medications you take, the more complicated it can be to keep up with all of them. Which pills must be taken at which times of day? Which pills must be taken with food, and which ones on an empty stomach? Which medications might interact with other medications? If you happen to take more than a couple of prescription meds, the following tips should help you stay organized. Get a Weekly Pill Organizer Your local pharmacy sells one or more pill organizers with compartments separated by days of the week—and some even include morning and evening. Get one of…

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Report: Drug Dispensing Errors Kill 100,000 Per Year

Prescription drug errors can leave patients with debilitating or life-threatening injuries. In some cases, patients lose their lives when they receive the wrong drugs at their local pharmacies. According to CBS News in Dallas-Fort Worth, who investigated the problem, prescription drug errors are responsible for an estimated 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. CBS News pulled its statistics from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. There are multiple reasons why pharmacies may incorrectly dispense prescription drugs. Poor communication, similar drug names and medications that look alike are causes of medication errors. Patients may receive the incorrect medication or the…

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Most Common Nursing Errors and How to Avoid Them

Nurses have one of the most grueling (and often thankless) jobs in America. They deal with cranky patients, field countless distractions, frequently work 12-hour shifts and often suffer from fatigue—which unfortunately also makes them susceptible to making mistakes. While most nurses have the best intentions toward their patients (even the cranky ones), the best among them sometimes fail to provide the best care—which is why patients and their families must be watchful and diligent. Let’s look at a few of the most common nursing errors to watch for. Medication Errors Administering medicine incorrectly is one of the most common nursing…

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Antibiotic Use and Misuse in Hospitals (Part 2: Protecting Yourself)

Despite repeated warnings issued by researchers, the CDC and the WHO about the overuse of antibiotics in the healthcare sector, recent numbers have shown that doctors continue to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics at alarming rates. However, there are signs of hope. Let’s continue to explore this problem and discuss what you can do to protect yourself. Why Are Antibiotics Still Overprescribed? According to Pew Research, many doctors continue to ignore or gloss over CDC warnings in their immediate interactions with patients. The reasons vary, but they can usually be tied to other inherent flaws in our healthcare system. For example, doctors…

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Antibiotic Use and Misuse in Hospitals (Part 1: Is Anything Changing?)

For years now, watchdogs and researchers have been sounding the alarm about the overuse of antibiotics in the healthcare industry causing an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria commonly called “superbugs”—a phenomenon that has been well-documented over the years. The nagging question: What has changed since this news came to light? What is being done to reverse the trend of antibiotic misuse in our hospitals? The answer: Not much, if recent news reports are correct. Let’s look at a few recent articles that reinforce the scope of this problem, along with a few signs of hope. Time: No Real Change in the…

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Children and Anesthesia: What You Need to Know

Your child needs a surgical procedure that requires the use of some form of anesthesia. It’s natural to have some concerns—after all, anesthesia involves the use of sometimes-powerful drugs to deaden the pain of a procedure or put the patient to sleep, and a child’s small body may respond differently to these drugs than an adult would. Let’s discuss some things you need to know to ensure your child’s safety when anesthesia is needed.   Types of Anesthesia Depending on whether your child’s procedure is major or minor, the surgeon may utilize anesthesia in one of three ways: Local anesthesia—numbing…

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