It’s one of the most common medical diagnoses: influenza. We all know the signs: fever, coughing, sore throat, achy muscles, and fatigue. It’s the feel-like-a-truck-hit-me constellation of symptoms that doctors describe in the most general of terms: “flu-like.”
But what happens when your symptoms are flu-like
Smoking is “cool” again and health officials are concerned. The use of traditional cigarettes among children and teens has significantly decreased over the past few years. However, with the introduction of vaping and e-cigarettes, smoking is on the rise again. More than 20% of current high school students have reported using e-cigarettes at least once according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and these vaping products are not as safe as originally advertised.
For some, they represent a technological advancement in traffic enforcement, preventing traffic violations, making roads safer, and even saving lives. For others, they are a corrupt scheme, a dirty deal between local governments and lobbyists that screws motorists out of their money and threaten their constitutional rights. They are red light and speed cameras.
Here in Maryland, it’s homecoming season. I have three teenagers. Plans are being made for “the ask” (the over-the-top production of how one goes about asking their chosen date to attend) “the dress”, (self-explanatory) and “the ride” (who will have the most memorable limo arrival). All harmless high school fun, right? And the limo, while it may be pompous, does hold a certain “well, at least they won’t be driving” attraction for us worried parents, right? Maybe not.
In 2017, a boy scout from Maryland was cliff climbing with a friend in New Mexico when he fell and hit his head. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital where doctors told the boy’s parents that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and that his life was in serious jeopardy. After spending months in a coma and months in rehab, this brave teen is still struggling to recover from his injuries- a struggle that could last a lifetime.
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States according to a John Hopkins study, responsible for approximately 250,000 fatalities every year. Patients cannot foresee every medical error that may be committed by their doctor, but they have far more control over becoming a victim of medical negligence than they might think. Sometimes all it takes to reduce the chances of injuries or illnesses due to medical errors is choosing the right doctor and avoiding the common mistakes most patients make when settling on a healthcare provider.