teddy-1418744-1279x850-300x200When it comes to buying toys as gifts for your loved ones during the holiday season, you want the perfect gift that makes the child excited and happy. However, you need to stop and think about whether the toy you are gifting is entirely safe for the child.

Toy-related injuries are quite common, and in fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 emergency rooms across the United States reported as many as 174,000 injuries involving toys, including those as seemingly safe as rubber balls and balloons.

Consumer Reports has essential toy safety tips that every gift-giver should keep in mind these holidays. First, make sure the toys you gift are age-appropriate. Fortunately, all toys are now labeled with suggested age ranges that make the age group for which toy is intended quite clear. For example, toys with small parts are not recommended for children below the age of three. Small detachable parts can easily come loose and can pose a serious choking hazard to a child.

IMG_20171201_121717_214-300x196
Men and women who suffer from a specific form of diabetes are very often misdiagnosed as suffering from type 2 diabetes. This places them at a serious health risk because they do not receive the treatment that they need in a timely fashion.

According to a new study which was recently published on Diabetes Care, people who suffer from type 2c diabetes are commonly misdiagnosed as suffering from type 2 diabetes.  Type 2c is a diabetic condition of the exocrine pancreas and typically results from conditions like inflammation of the pancreas, that affect insulin production.

This misdiagnosis is common because both type 2 diabetes and type 2c diabetes are very common in persons of the same age group. However, the danger is that type 2c diabetes sufferers will need insulin therapy much more quickly than those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. This delay in treatment places the person at risk of a host of complications that are typically associated with diabetes. These include kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision loss.

christmas-lights-1518117-1279x852-300x200It’s not surprising that so many of the injuries that are reported to hospital emergency rooms over the Christmas and New Year’s season every year have to do with decorating. After all, there are many risks associated with the act of hanging up the holiday lights and decking the hall.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were about 15,000 injuries linked to decorations in 2012. Most injuries were related to lights and trees, but there are a number of other ways that you can be injured while decorating during the holidays.

In order to avoid becoming one of the statistics and requiring a trip to the emergency room this holiday season, keep these important pointers in mind.

xray-1488182-1280x960-300x225While radiologists are aware of the risks and effects of various radiological procedures, physicians may not be as informed about these risks. That lack of knowledge places patients in harm’s way.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) found that physicians in the United States practicing across multiple disciplines were far less informed about the effects and risks of radiation exposure than they needed to be. Researchers at the University Of Colorado in Denver surveyed healthcare providers from multiple disciplines over a span of two years. They found that 26% of providers were ill-informed about the expected effects of radiation exposure and risks associated with medical imaging procedures.

According to radiologists who participated in the study, it is critically important that health care providers and physicians who supervise radiological procedures or request medical imaging exams are better informed about the exposure involved in these procedures, as well as the risks and benefits involved. They must have this knowledge in order to be able to comfortably and accurately discuss all the risks and benefits of a procedure with their patients, prior to the patient undergoing an exam. The lack of a bare minimum level of understanding of safety issues involving radiation is troubling, and bodes very poorly for patients.

driving-1434211-639x424-300x200For many drivers, it is second nature, especially when they are on a familiar and long commute. Daydreaming or letting the mind wander when you’re behind the wheel, is a far more common activity than many of us realize. It is also extremely dangerous and can place you at high risk of being involved in a severe accident.

A new study finds that most people daydream while driving, and many don’t even realize that their mind has been wandering. Researchers put participants in driving simulation and monitored the electrical activity in their brains. The simulations were routine and were designed to mimic the participants’ commute home. Earlier studies also show that people’s minds are much more likely to wander when they are driving on a long and familiar route, than when they are on an unfamiliar route. In this particular study, the participants’ minds wandered approximately 70% of the time, while they were aware of the distraction only 65% of the time.

Such high levels of distraction can be hazardous behind the wheel, even though they do not involve the use of an electronic device. A driver doesn’t have to be sending a text or e-mail to be so distracted that you cause an accident. Being so mentally distracted that you fail to spot a vehicle entering from your right, or other such accident cues can prove equally devastating.

quadrocopter-1658967_1280-300x199We are now comfortable with the idea of drones delivering packages, capturing wedding photos, and providing other essential services conveniently, effectively and efficiently. In the future, we might also see drones offering emergency medical treatment to persons who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

When a person suffers a heart attack in the hospital, he has access to emergency medical treatment as the facility is fully equipped with defibrillators, monitors, medications and the other equipment necessary to minimize damage to the cardiac muscles, and place the person back on the road to a quick recovery. However, when a heart attack occurs outside the hospital, there is often no such access to defibrillators. Ambulances must race to deliver lifesaving equipment and personnel to the patient. Any delay results in an increased risk of death.

Swedish researchers believe that drones may be the answer. These doctors are investigating how drones can be used to deliver lifesaving care by providing emergency medical treatment to persons who have suffered a heart attack outside the hospital setting. According to the researchers, a drone that is carrying a defibrillator could arrive in advance of an ambulance. The difference in time could be as much as 16 minutes, which could mean the difference between life and death for the patient.

surgery-688380_640-300x200A Chicago-based startup has created a simulation technology that promises to act as a safe and realistic model for the training of surgical residents and surgeons.

The startup, founded by a mother-daughter duo, claims that they’ve created an accessible and realistic surgical model for medical students and residents. The goal is to reduce the incidence of medical errors by allowing students to practice on a simulation model that more accurately mimics the actual surgical room conditions in which residents and surgeons will later work. The company plans to have its first product, a liver surgical model that can be used for simulation of liver transplants, available on the market in the next three months.

According to the founders of PraxiCut, there are several obstacles that medical and surgical residents face when asked to practice surgery in patients. Most surgical simulations occur on cadavers, and there are several limitations involved in operating on those who have already died. For instance, there is no bleeding involved, and surgical residents may not fully appreciate the kind of complications and dangers that arise when there is sudden or unexpected bleeding in the middle of surgery. Also, due to ethical concerns, operating on animals is slowly being phased out in many hospitals.

IMG_20171125_181533_183-300x231Residents in the Muncie area have been especially concerned recently after seeing signs warning them about an increase in the frequency and length of trains crisscrossing the area. However, the railroad company in charge has assured commuters that they will not have to worry about longer and more frequent trains in the near future.

The Muncie region is already saturated with rail traffic. CSX Transportation operates 20 trains every day through Muncie, while Norfolk Southern operates 25 trains daily. CSX Transportation recently put up signs that announced an upcoming increase in the length of trains, as well as the number of trains operating in the area.

That had commuters worried because of the potentially serious issues involved. Commuters were worried about longer commute times while waiting at crossings. There was also a concern involving the risk of collisions between trains and vehicles or pedestrians due to the increased number of trains. 

baby-pic-300x240About 1% of all American childbirths occur in a home or in a birth center and research finds that there are some factors that make a home birth extremely risky.

Many women prefer to give birth outside of a typical hospital setting. These births can occur at home or in a birth center. A birth center is a separate facility within a health care system that involves midwives, and sometimes even doctors. Some birth centers may be located within a hospital.

Whether in home births or birth center deliveries, the focus is on making the actual birth as natural as possible. In fact, the popularity of birth centers is related to the fact that most women, while they do want the birth to be as natural as possible, also want access to medical care if there’s an emergency during the labor or delivery.

20171230_145109-1-225x300Patient safety advocates know that focusing on hand hygiene and enhancing communication among team members can go a long way in reducing the risk of medical errors. However, many hospitals neglect other factors that can also increase the risk of errors. Many of these factors are never discussed in hospitals or medical settings, but they do have the potential to impact performance, and adversely affect patient safety.

A toxic hospital work environment, for instance, can actually promote medical errors. According to a recent survey of more than 1000 physicians, five common behaviors in many medical settings can increase the risk of medical errors.

Laziness