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Chronic pain is one of the most difficult--and common--medical conditions. Estimated to affect 76 million Americans, it accompanies illnesses and injuries ranging from cancer to various forms of arthritis, multiple sclerosis and physical trauma.
Every year more than 5 million people in the United States spend time in intensive care units for acute injuries or life-threatening illnesses. For patients, family members and friends, the ICU experience is often emotional and confusing.
Recovering from a knee replacement is difficult under the best of circumstances, but for Herminia Briones, the year following her surgery was filled with unexpected pain, complications and confusion. Her repeated attempts to draw attention to her problems went unheeded, beginning an unfortunate and not uncommon struggle with medical error. Why do medical errors happen and how can you help protect yourself from harm?
Receiving prompt and helpful treatment for acute pain can make all the difference in the world. But lack of care or inadequate care means that the acute pain may develop into chronic agony.
Most treatments have some sort of side effect associated with them, and many of us may wonder if side effects are simply the price we must pay for a necessary treatment. But side effects shouldn't be taken lightly, for a number of reasons.
People with chronic illness often struggle to manage several prescribed drugs at a time and trying to figure out which drug is which, or when to take what.