Do’s And Don’ts For Getting a Second Opinion From Another Doctor

You respect your doctor’s opinion but aren’t so sure that you agree. While it’s tempting to play along, your gut may be more accurate than you suspect; a notable Mayo Clinic study reveals that 88 percent of those who seek additional opinions for complex conditions obtain either a new or refined diagnosis. Unfortunately, seeking a second opinion can be challenging even if you’re ordinarily assertive. If you’re reluctant to speak up, these do’s and don’ts might help: Don’t: Avoid Speaking Up For Fear of Being Too Demanding If you’re dealing with a serious illness or condition, don’t keep quiet when…

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Cervical Health Awareness

The United States Congress voted January Cervical Health Awareness Month. Each year, nearly 13,000 women get cervical cancer. Fortunately, it is preventable, but you have to take your health into your own hands. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes nearly every case of cervical cancer. Nearly 80 million Americans have HPV, but many do not know they have it. Fortunately, we can take decisive action against cervical cancer. Prevention A vaccine can prevent HPV infection. Both boys and girls should get the shot in their pre-teen years. The vaccine produces a stronger immune response during these years. After the age of fourteen,…

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Doctors Who Abuse Drugs And Alcohol: By the Numbers

The medical profession is notoriously stressful, especially for physicians and other high-level employees. Unfortunately, many self-medicate in hopes of managing the constant barrage of anxiety. This leaves both medical professionals and the patients they’re charged with protecting at risk. Below, we shed light on the scourge of drugs and alcohol in the health care industry: Prevalence of Abuse Abuse is shockingly common among doctors; in a notable study published in the American Journal on Addictions, 15.3 percent of surveyed physicians met diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependency. Likewise, research indicates that benzodiazepine and opiate abuse rates are higher among doctors than…

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The Dangers of Medical Record Hacking: What You Should Know

New threats emerge regularly in the health care community, but one of the greatest dangers looks little like you’d expect. It’s not an aggressive new form of cancer or an antibiotic-resistant illness: it’s the hacking of medical records. Healthcare data breaches have become increasingly common in recent years; a report from Protenus’ Breach Barometer suggests that the 477 reported healthcare breaches in 2017 impacted 5.579 million patient records. Experts believe that information obtained through medical hacks is actually more valuable than credit card data. Thankfully, medical providers finally appear to be rounding the corner on data security. Read more to…

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Tips to Prevent Overheating in the Elderly

The summer seems like an innocuous season for senior citizens—a time for chatting outdoors, grilling and playing in the sprinklers with your grandchildren. But summer heat and humidity create serious dangers. The body’s response to abnormal temperatures slows as we age, and many older adults suffer from chronic diseases that weaken their ability to self-regulate. Here are some common sense strategies to minimize the chances of overheating injuries. Stay Hydrated Heat and sun dry out the body: so rehydrate. Encourage everyone in your orbit, especially young children and older family members, to drink water irrespective of activity level. Minimize alcohol,…

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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 Can You Make Sure Your Doctor Is Really Listening to You?

One of the biggest deterrents to medical errors is to establish clear, open communication between doctor and patient—however, sometimes a doctor visit can feel like you’re just being processed through the system without actually being heard. The primary reason is that your doctor sees many patients a day, and between following established protocols and perhaps a bit of fatigue, she might be running through the checkup on autopilot. What can you do to politely break that pattern to ensure your doctor really hears and responds to your concerns? Make a List of Concerns One way to keep your conversation on…

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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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How Fatigue Can Affect Your Doctor’s Judgment—And What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

The medical profession has some glaring gaps when it comes to patient safety—and one of the biggest is the lack of protections against doctor fatigue. Hospital physicians and nurses are among the most overworked and under-rested people in our work force today. Studies repeatedly show that adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimum health. When you consider that resident doctors typically work 80-100 hours a week and frequently work for up to 28 hours at a time, you realize that they aren’t getting anywhere near these amounts of sleep. Under these conditions, even the most competent doctors…

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Risks and Dangers of Medical Test “False Positives”

A woman goes in to see her doctor for a routine Pap smear. To the woman’s dismay, the test comes back positive for cervical cancer. The doctor recommends an immediate hysterectomy—a devastating recommendation considering the woman, in her prime childbearing years, was trying with her husband to conceive her first child. Preferring life to childbirth, she agrees to the hysterectomy. Except there was no cancer. After the hysterectomy, the doctors discover the woman’s Pap smear had yielded a “false positive,” identifying an illness that wasn’t really present. Sadly, this scenario happens more often than you might think. Medical tests of…

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