What are the “benefits” of acupuncture and does it really work?

Based in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves having thin needles placed in your skin. Practitioners say they choose specific areas of the body to modify the flow of energy in order to relieve physical or emotional ailments. They say that when an acupuncture needle is inserted into the body, the body releases endorphins that decrease sensations of pain and trigger the immune system to kick in.

Exam gloves can put you at risk for hospital-acquired infections

Getting an infection during your hospital stay is the last thing you want to deal with after combating an illness or undergoing a medical procedure. But unfortunately, it is something you need to be aware of.

Why older patients need less bedrest and more mobility in the hospital

Bedrest is toxic to older adults. That’s the lesson of a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that calls out the immobility of older patients in hospitals, bringing attention to the damage it can do. Bedrest is associated with disability, ending up in a nursing home, and ultimately, death, the authors wrote. Half of permanent disability in older adults begins with hospitalization, they said, and 2/3 of them will either be placed in a nursing home or dead within a year of being sent home from the hospital.

Medical error: The third leading cause of death in the U.S., new study says

Heart disease, cancer and …. medical errors? We didn’t see that one coming. According to findings recently published in the British Medical Journal, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. At least 250,000 deaths each year can be attributed to medical care gone wrong, the study reported. Medical errors may include getting a drug you’re allergic to or contracting a preventable infection in the hospital.

Inaccurate beliefs about black patients’ biology can lead to inaccurate treatment recommendations

Are some doctors letting skin color affect their clinical decisions? A new study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that medical students’ false beliefs about biological differences between black and white patients may affect how they perceive a patient’s pain. Researchers collected survey results from 222 white medical students at the University of Virginia.

Arthroscopic surgery may have no benefit for osteoarthritis of the knees

If you have osteoarthritis, you know the pain that accompanies simple tasks like standing up or walking. So naturally, you want to do whatever you can to get some relief and get back to enjoying your life, pain-free. You talk to your doctor about treatment options, and perhaps you've been offered the option of arthroscopic knee surgery. Let’s review what this procedure is, its effectiveness, and what other options you can consider.

Too much radiation from CT scans?

CT scans and X-rays expose patients to radiation every day. But how much is too much? Should patients be worried about how quickly they get referred to the scanner during an office or urgent care visit? Most radiation exposure occurs from CT scans. One abdominal CT equals 400 X-rays when it comes to radiation. Since the rate of CT scan ordering has grown by 50-600 percent over the last few years, some researchers estimate that 2 percent of all future cancers in the U.S. will be attributable to CTs.

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