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

Vaccine Safety and Development in a COVID-19 World Vaccination remains our greatest source of hope during the current pandemic. However, the modern world is wrought with misinformation about vaccine safety and development. Here’s a look at projections for the COVID-19 vaccine’s progress and eventual release to the public. Spoiler: it won’t arrive nearly as soon as we’d hoped. Factors Contributing to Vaccine Delays While optimistic estimates suggest that a coronavirus vaccine could be fully tested and ready for use by late 2020, most experts believe that such a solution cannot be realistically applied en masse until several months into 2021….

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Your Partner Or Spouse Was Just Hospitalized — What Should You Do Or Avoid Doing?

Few circumstances in a relationship are more frightening than helplessly watching as your partner suffers in the hospital. While you may feel powerless in such situations, your actions can make a difference. Gather Relevant Documentation Amid physical and emotional suffering, your partner may neglect to grab necessary documents, such as ID, insurance cards, or medical records. If possible, obtain copies of these and any other documents you deem relevant. Get Informed Don’t count on hospital staff members to keep you up to date on your partner’s treatment. Your partner may also prove a poor source of information, especially when exhausted…

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Avoiding Germs and Infections at the Hospital

The hospital may be our go-to destination for treating severe illnesses or injuries, but it can sometimes be the source of severe conditions. Alarming data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that, in 2015, three percent of patients developed healthcare-associated infections. In that year, a tragic 72,000 patients with hospital-acquired infections died during their hospitalizations. Thankfully, while these infections are alarmingly common, they can often be avoided by adhering strictly to the following precautions: Select Hospitals and Doctors Carefully Rates of hospital-acquired infection vary dramatically from one facility to the next. The potential for infection can also…

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Your Parent Is Suddenly Sick And In the Hospital: What Can You Do to Provide Additional Protection?

The unfortunate reality of aging is that the caretaker eventually becomes the recipient. As an adult child with senior parents, this can be difficult to accept. This is never more evident than when your parent winds up in the hospital, where quality care can prove alarmingly lacking. Advocate For Your Parent’s Best Interests As the adult child of an ill or injured senior, you can make the greatest difference by simply showing up. Of course, given the frantic pace of everyday life, this is easier said than done. If you have siblings or a spouse willing to help out, consider…

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Computer-Caused Medical and Prescription Errors — And What to Do About Them: Part 2

Electronic health records and other digital systems represent a major source of risk in today’s health care industry. With proper oversight, however, such concerns can be mitigated. In the first post in our series on computer-related medical errors, we examined the shocking prevalence of digital-based errors in today’s health care facilities. Next, we highlight several best practices for reducing the risk of such mistakes. Solutions to the Current Problems Posed By Electronic Health Records EHRs continue to promise greater efficiency and better health outcomes, but they have yet to reach their full potential. Available solutions to today’s greatest tech risks…

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Computer-Caused Medical and Prescription Errors — And What to Do About Them: Part 1

When electronic health records (EHR) first took over the medical world, they promised to revolutionize health care as we know it. Suddenly, patients enjoyed access to a streamlined process in which consistent care could be provided across multiple facilities. Or, at least, that was the goal. In reality, however, electronic systems often lead to notable errors that compromise both patient privacy and health-related outcomes. The Scope of the Problem Medical malpractice is far more common than most patients realize, with research from Johns Hopkins revealing that over 250,000 people die every year due to preventable health care mistakes. While some…

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How Other Countries Handle Doctor And Hospital Negligence

Medical negligence is an international reality, but it looks considerably different from one country to the next. Certain types of negligence, for example, are more prevalent in some regions than others. When such behavior leads to legal action, malpractice claims may be handled differently based on local legislation. A thorough understanding of these disparities is critical not only when traveling, but also in understanding medical malpractice at home — and how targeted changes could produce better outcomes in hospitals and in court. Medical Malpractice’s Link to Health Care Quality The World Health Organization regards the prevalence of medical malpractice litigation…

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How Power Outages and Natural Disasters Interrupt Hospital Operations

Hospitals are far more vulnerable than they appear. Even a brief power outage can place patients at risk. Below, we highlight a few examples of the perils prompted by natural disasters and accidental outages: The Peril of Natural Disasters Hurricane Katrina serves as a particularly notable example of the havoc natural disasters can wreak on otherwise reliable hospitals. Many survivors recall the terrors that overtook medical professionals and patients alike as floodwaters approached Memorial Medical Center, where the power was quickly knocked out — and where temperatures soon exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Eventually, staff members were forced to evacuate patients…

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A Basic Checklist For Getting the Attention You Need in the Emergency Room

While TV shows make emergency room scenarios seem fast-paced, real-life visits to the ER may involve a surprising amount of waiting. Between wait times and slow treatments, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the average patient spends a full two hours in the emergency room. During that time, many patients feel all but invisible. Doctors may be too rushed and too frenzied to respond appropriately to their concerns. This is no time to give up, however. The following tips will help you gain the attention you so desperately need at this critical time: Don’t Minimize…

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