Care

Reopening Dental Offices For Routine Care Amid Pandemic Touches A Nerve

Tom Peeling wanted his teeth cleaned and wasn’t going to let the coronavirus pandemic get in the way.

Luckily, his six-month regular appointment was scheduled for earlier this month, just days after dental offices were allowed to reopen in Florida for routine services. In late March the state ordered dentists to treat only emergency cases as part of its efforts to keep residents at home and to preserve limited medical supplies, such as N95 masks, that might be needed to treat COVID-19 patients.

Yet for Peeling, 62, of Lantana, Florida, the dental visit was anything but routine. He had his temperature taken upon arrival and was asked to rinse with a hydrogen peroxide solution to reduce germs before the dentist or hygienist looked into his mouth. The dentist and his assistants all wore masks.

Another change: He was the only patient in the office.

Florida is one of 40 states

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As Deaths Mount, Coronavirus Testing Remains Wildly Inconsistent In Long-Term Care

Mary Lanham’s assisted living complex in Florida tested all residents for COVID-19 — once in March and again in April — even though no one showed symptoms.

The preventive measure put her daughter’s mind at ease, since testing can detect the invisible enemy before it sickens, kills and spreads.

“We’re all struggling with this virus right now,” said Paula Lanham Hahn, whose 80-year-old mom lives at Dayspring Senior Living in Hilliard, a town near the Georgia border. “I’m sure families would feel a lot better if the residents were being tested everywhere.”

But they’re not.

At a nursing home across town, residents were tested for the coronavirus only after cases broke out. At another nearby facility, residents haven’t been tested.

On Monday,  the White House recommended all nursing home residents and staff members be tested over the next two weeks. Testing thus far, though, has been arbitrary.

As the coronavirus

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Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors As Heart Attack And Stroke Patients Delay Care

The patient described it as the worst headache of her life. She didn’t go to the hospital, though. Instead, the Washington state resident waited almost a week.

When Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary finally saw her, he discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.

The neurosurgeon did his best, but it was too late.

“As a result, she had multiple other strokes and ended up passing away,” said Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Washington. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent.”

Chowdhary said the patient, a stroke survivor in her mid-50s, had told him she was frightened of the hospital.

She was afraid of the coronavirus.

The fallout from such fear has concerned U.S. doctors for weeks while they have tracked a worrying trend: As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the number of patients showing up at hospitals with serious

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Palliative Care Helped Family Face ‘The Awful, Awful Truth’

Seattle mourned the news: Elizabeth and Robert Mar died of COVID-19 within a day of each other. They would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in August.

But their deaths at the end of March were not the same. Liz, a vivacious matriarch at 72, died after two weeks sedated on a ventilator. Her analytical engineer husband, Robert, 78, chose no aggressive measures. He was able to communicate with their adult children until nearly the end.

Clinician Darrell Owens helped the Mar family navigate this incredibly difficult time.

“You cannot underestimate the stress on family members who cannot visit and are now in a crisis mode trying to talk this through over the phone,” said Owens, a doctor of nursing practice who runs palliative and supportive care at the University of Washington Medical Center-Northwest in Seattle.

Elizabeth and Robert Mar on their first wedding anniversary in Portland, Oregon, on Aug.

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