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COMMENTARY: COVID-19 Diary Day 2: Insomnia -- The Mark of Medical Practice  - web md

COMMENTARY: COVID-19 Diary Day 2: Insomnia -- The Mark of Medical Practice

Don Dizon shares how he is dealing with the pandemic, knowing that despite COVID-19, people still need care, chemotherapy needs to be administered, and new patients are still coming in for evaluation.
web md - 15 hours ago
COVID-19 Hitting Some African American Communities Harder  - web md

COVID-19 Hitting Some African American Communities Harder

In states such as Michigan and Louisiana, as well as in cities like Chicago and Milwaukee, African American people are making up a disproportionately large number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, officials say.
web md - 15 hours ago
What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic? - harvard

What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic?

Millions of healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus have a much higher risk of becoming infected, and are being put in further danger due to shortages of protective equipment, but they continue to do their jobs while adapting to current conditions. The post What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 16 hours ago
No School Forces Many Medical Workers to Stay Home  - web md

No School Forces Many Medical Workers to Stay Home

About 29% of U.S. health care workers have children between 3 and 12 years of age, the analysis showed. In households without a non-working adult or a sibling age 13 or older to care for them, 15% of health care workers will require child care if schools close.
web md - 2 days ago
Mysterious Heart Damage Hitting COVID-19 Patients  - web md

Mysterious Heart Damage Hitting COVID-19 Patients

Most of the attention in the COVID-19 pandemic has been on how the virus affects the lungs. But evidence shows that up to 1 in 5 infected patients have signs of heart damage and many are dying due to heart problems.
web md - 2 days ago
Patients on Steroids With COVID-19 Might Need Rescue Steroids  - web md

Patients on Steroids With COVID-19 Might Need Rescue Steroids

Those on steroids because of known adrenal disease, and for more common ailments, may need additional 'stress' doses of IV corticosteroids in the case of severe infection with COVID-19, endocrinologists urge.
web md - 2 days ago
Lifestyle changes are important even if you take medications - harvard

Lifestyle changes are important even if you take medications

People who are prescribed medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure may be more likely to gain weight and less likely to exercise, but for those who are on such medications, it's even more important to commit to making healthier lifestyle choices. The post Lifestyle changes are important even if you take medications appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 days ago
Test for Coronavirus Antibodies Approved by FDA  - web md

Test for Coronavirus Antibodies Approved by FDA

The test checks for protective antibodies in a finger prick of blood, revealing whether a patient has ever been exposed to the coronavirus and now may have some immunity, The New York Times reported.
web md - 5 days ago
COMMENTARY: NYU Med Student Joins COVID Fight:

COMMENTARY: NYU Med Student Joins COVID Fight: 'Time to Step Up'

New York med schools asked fourth-year students to graduate early and volunteer to help battle COVID. One student discusses how he weighed the potential life-or-death decision to join the front lines.
web md - 5 days ago
Coronavirus Hangs Around After Symptoms Subside  - web md

Coronavirus Hangs Around After Symptoms Subside

It took about five days from the time patients were infected until symptoms appeared, and about eight days before they disappeared. Patients were contagious for one to eight days, the researchers said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.
web md - 5 days ago
WalMart Will Check All Workers

WalMart Will Check All Workers' Temperatures

Employees with a temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will be sent home for at least three days and may be advised to seek medical treatment. The workers will be paid for showing up for work, CBS News reported.
web md - 6 days ago
In Some Cases, COVID-19 May Harm the Brain  - web md

In Some Cases, COVID-19 May Harm the Brain

It's believed the brain can be damaged by viral infection whenever a patient's immune system overreacts to the virus. This immune system hyperactivity triggers a "cytokine storm" -- an overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds, known as cytokines.
web md - 6 days ago
How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19? - harvard

How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19?

Initial investigation into COVID-19 focused on its respiratory effects, but a more recent report describes serious cardiovascular complications in people with pre-existing heart disease. How does this underlying condition increase risk for these people? The post How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Top 10 Must-Dos in ICU in COVID-19 Include Prone Ventilation  - web md

Top 10 Must-Dos in ICU in COVID-19 Include Prone Ventilation

With new European Society of Intensive Care Medicine guidelines on caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients covering more than 50 recommendations, Medscape asked one author for his essential top 10.
web md - 6 days ago
Top 10 Tips for Diabetes Telehealth Prophetic in Face of COVID-19  - web md

Top 10 Tips for Diabetes Telehealth Prophetic in Face of COVID-19

A new article sets the stage for routine virtual diabetes visits, offering 10 top tips that will undoubtedly be of use for transforming care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and likely for long afterwards.
web md - 6 days ago
Abortion Access Shifting in Some States Amid COVID-19  - web md

Abortion Access Shifting in Some States Amid COVID-19

In addition to challenges the coronavirus pandemic already poses to women seeking healthcare, several states have included surgical abortions as restricted procedures in executive orders related to COVID-19.
web md - 6 days ago
Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain - harvard

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

The FDA has not yet released the results of its testing of the heartburn medication ranitidine. The testing method used by the online pharmacy that originally alerted the FDA may have affected their results. The post Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Taking Stock - positively positive

Taking Stock

My intention is to walk this part of my life’s journey with a tremendous amount of compassion for myself and others. To navigate with as much positivity as I can muster, to set the intention to come out the other side knowing myself more, connecting a bit more deeply with the world outside my door even if it is over Zoom, and realizing that when push comes to shove, we sure as hell do know how to come together when faced with a difficult time. The post Taking Stock appeared first on Positively Positive.
positively positive - 1 week ago
FDA Requests Zantac Be Pulled From the Market  - web md

FDA Requests Zantac Be Pulled From the Market

Six months after independent testing first raised the possibility that popular heartburn drug ranitidine (Zantac) might break down into the powerful carcinogen n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the FDA has asked for the removal of all ranitidine products from the market.
web md - 1 week ago
EPA Didn’t Tell Residents About Gas Risks: Report  - web md

EPA Didn’t Tell Residents About Gas Risks: Report

A new government report has rebuked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to tell residents about the health risks they face by living near facilities that release cancer-causing ethylene oxide gas.
web md - 1 week ago
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harvard
Is your cell phone dangerous to your health?

Is your cell phone dangerous to your health?

harvard - 2 months ago

Have you ever been walking along while looking at your cell phone and nearly run into someone or something? If so, youre not alone. It happens to me all the time. If I veer into another persons path, I move aside, apologize, and promise myself Ill be more careful. And then I return to whatever I was doing on my phone.

Maybe theres a message in this Im missing. Thats certainly the suggestion of a new study on head and neck injuries linked to cell phone use.

Which injuries are most likely and where do they occur?

Using data from 100 hospitals in the US, researchers reviewed injuries to the head and neck related to cell phone use affecting more than 2,500 people over the last 20 years. Analysis of these injuries showed that:

  • About 40% of these injuries occurred at home.
  • A direct mechanical injury (such as being struck by a cell phone or an injury related to an exploding battery) accounted for 47% of cases, while use-related injuries accounted for 53%. However, this varied by age. Direct injury was much more common among those younger than age 13Injuries directly related to use (such as distraction while texting) were more common among older individuals.
  • About 10% of injuries occurred while a person was driving and using a cell phone, about 7% occurred while walking, and only about 1% were reported while the user was texting.
  • 94% of those who did get injured required no treatment or were treated in the ED and released. While cuts and bruises accounted for over half of these cases, 18% were more serious, including traumatic brain injury.
  • The rate of these injuries has increased dramatically since 2007, when the Apple IPhone was introduced.

If the experience of these hospitals is representative of the nation as a whole, it translates to an estimated 76,000 people suffering head and neck injuries related to cell phone use over the last two decades. Even though this number is large, its less than two injuries per 100,000 cell phone users each year.

No study is perfect

This study may be the first to provide details regarding the relationship between cell phone use and head and neck injuries. However, it had some significant limitations. Keep in mind that the study focused on head and neck injuries. People with multiple injuries or more serious injuries (such as a heart attack or an ankle fracture) might not have been included in the count. Individuals who sought care at their doctors office or urgent care centers would also be excluded from this study.

In addition, information about the circumstances of an injury can be incomplete. Embarrassment or concerns about legal liability might have discouraged some from disclosing information about cell phone use when their injury occurred. Finally, information about what happened after the emergency room visit was not reported, so this study provides no insight into the long-term impact or cost of these injuries.

Some final thoughts

Cell phones are amazing. They are an instant source of information, communication, and documentation. Health apps can encourage and track healthy behaviors. GPS tracking can help parents keep their kids safe. Phoning for help in an emergency can be lifesaving.

Yet there are clearly downsides to cell phone use: distracted driving leading to automobile accidents may be the most obvious example, but as this new research shows, other injuries can be linked to cell phone use as well. There are also concerns about possible connections between cell phone use and  upper back and neck pain, as well as an increased cancer risk (an area of controversy and active research).

Perhaps cell phones should have warning labels about how to use them responsibly. Of course, this would likely just sound like common sense: put the phone away while driving, walking, running, or doing anything that requires your attention to avoid injury.

My guess is that short of legislation banning cell phone use in specific circumstances, or other major changes in our daily lives such as self-driving cars, injuries related to cell phone use will continue to rise. So, if youre reading this post on your cell phone while walking or otherwise on the move, please put your phone away and watch where youre going!

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

The post Is your cell phone dangerous to your health? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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