Report Shows Rampant Patient Harm in Skilled Nursing Facilities

If ever there were a statistic to make your heart stop, this is it: 1 out of every 3 patients who went to skilled nursing facilities after a hospital stay was harmed by his or her treatment. A study released this week by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that this harm included infections and medication errors. The report looked at 653 Medicare patients from more than 600 skilled nursing facilities who had been …

Your Cellphone Has More Germs Than Your Toilet

It’s certainly extreme, but a recent news story points up how germy a cellphone can be. Reports say a man who stole a cellphone from an Ebola virus quarantine ward in a Ugandan hospital ended up apparently catching the virus from germs on the phone. Obviously, most of us aren’t in close proximity to an Ebola outbreak – or likely to be pinching a phone from a dangerously ill person – but germ expert Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist at …

You Won’t Believe What They Found on Colonoscopy Instruments

It’s hard enough convincing people to have a

Is Your Dentist Safe? 5 Steps You Can Take

Few people like going to the dentist, even if those tooth-yankers do rate highly for honesty and ethics. At my most recent visit, I got a referral to the gum specialist … again. Painful memories have slowed me from making the call, but healthy choppers are important, so I know I will. But thousands of dental patients in the Tulsa, Okla., area have a new reason to fear the chair: their dentist might have given them hepatitis B or C, …