Hospital safety and medical mistakes
It’s been a while since I posted about staying safe in the hospital, so it’s time for an updated post.
Because the problem really isn’t getting any better.
Although there’s been much effort over the last decade to increase patient safety and reduce medication errors,
medical mistakes still contribute to approximately 250,000 deaths every year.
Different sources rate medical error as the second or third …
read on Vomiting? Diarrhea? Stay hydrated
There are so many causes of nausea. Many of them cause vomiting and diarrhea, too.
But whether it’s a virus infection (gastroenteritis), a bacteria (food poisoning), hormones (pregnancy), medications (chemotherapy) or another medical condition (such as vertigo), the most important step is to stay hydrated.
Tips to stay hydrated: Break an ice cube into small pieces and suck on the ice chips. Take small sips
read on aka Single Payer healthcare
Judging from the early noise around the 2020 presidential election, I think healthcare will again be a big issue.
And it should be! Our system is still outrageously expensive and unfair.
There is a growing demand for some sort of universal healthcare coverage, a Medicare-for-all or single payer system like other countries have.
But before we vote to upend the healthcare system (again), let’s take time …
read on Nosebleeds: A common nuisance
I don’t think I’ve met anyone who hasn’t had a nosebleed at least once in his or her life. And yet, people rarely know the best way to treat them. Lean forward or backwards? Ice or no ice?
The mucosal lining of your nose is highly vascular, which is why it bleeds so easily—and so much.
This lining is also thin and easily broken. By far, …
read on February is American Heart Month
This month is American Heart Month, sponsored by the
American Heart Association (AHA).
While I think the AHA is a little too focused on meeting targets like cholesterol level and blood pressure (which promotes
overdiagnosis and overtreatment), their website has lots of information about keeping your heart healthy.
The most effective things we can do to protect our hearts (and brains) are to …
read on An apple a day…
Keeps the doctor away.
the old saying tells us. (It was shortened in the 19th century from the rather lengthy “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” )
Is it true? What are the health benefits of apples?
I personally love apples and really do eat one most days of the week, because I know …
read on Another measles outbreak
My state, Washington, has one of
the highest vaccine opt out rates in the country.
a recent outbreak of measles here, a state of emergency has been declared and legislators have introduced a bill to eliminate the personal exemption for the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella).
Washington is one of only 18 states that allows parents to refuse vaccinations for …
read on Lifestyle matters
I remember a family practice doctor once telling me
“Most of my patients aren’t sick. They’re lonely, unhappy, stressed or bored.”
His observation resonated with me.
So many somatic complaints, like headaches, back pain and digestive problems, stem from emotional upset.
Being isolated or bored or just unhappy with life leads to eating poorly and sitting too much, which in turn leads to heart disease, diabetes and depression.…
read on Skip the elevator and head for the stairs
Last month the European Society of Cardiology published
the results of an interesting research study involving almost 13,000 adults.
What did the findings show?
That adults who were in the best shape (determined by treadmill and echocardiogram) were less likely to die prematurely of heart disease or cancer than those with poor “functional capacity.”
The authors of the study equated their testing …
read on Tanning beds are dangerous to your health
It’s mid-winter, and that’s when tanning beds are most popular.
Either people want a little artificial sunshine to help them cope with the weather, or they’re heading off on a tropical holiday and want a bit of color before they go.
But be warned: Tanning beds not only increase your risk of melanoma, they also increase the likelihood of a recurrence.
For years …