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A lot of people turn to the internet when they get unwell. For example, in the United States, up to 81.5% of adults go online to address concerns about their health.

Experts say that children and teens are increasingly using social media for self-diagnosing mental disorders too.

The problem is that the quality of such resources varies dramatically and they can be full of inaccuracies, which can perpetuate already harmful myths.

So in an attempt to remind everyone to stay vigilant, we invite you to take a look at an online thread where doctors, nurses, and other industry professionals are sharing some of the biggest health misconceptions.

#1

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True When prescribed a course of antibiotics, it is NOT okay to stop them when you feel better. At this point, you probably feel better because most of the bacteria has been killed, except for a few which are naturally stronger. If you don't finish your full course, these will then multiply and you will have an even worse infection which is much harder to get rid of.

cimd09 , Alex Green / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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kenzieve
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

this is why antibiotics are usually prescribed with take 'so and so' a day for a specific amount of days!

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#2

Unless you're celiac or have a sensitivity to gluten, the whole gluten free fad is total b******t.

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Cathy
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes! Louder for the people in the back. If your intestines make noise it means they are happy!

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#3

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Mental Illness is a disease. Don't be afraid to seek help when you need it. So many people suffer from depression/anxiety and go through years of suffering because they are too proud to seek help.

MounaBowa , Liza Summer / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Kristal
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5 days ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's more that mental health issues should not have a negative stigma about them and then people with the issues can then feel safe to seek help

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#4

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Vaccines do not cause autism. It was simply a convenient scape-goat since every kid gets vaccines. Also, poorly done studies.

anon , Gustavo Fring / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Rosie Hamilton
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not a scapegoat, a deliberate money making ploy by immoral man. Just shows how absolutely nuts it is - it was ONE falsified study on ONE triple jab, the MMR. It was never 'vacccines' but ONE vaccine. Also completely and utterly dubunked and Wakefield was struck off and rightly so. Idiots and conspiracy theorists then jumped on it for their own ends.

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#5

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Quite a few people i've nursed have been surprised when they were discharged quite soon after surgery, and were concerned that it was too soon. I think some people presume that a hospital setting is somehow sterile and they'll recover faster there. Wrong. You're much more likely to get an infection if you stay in hospital. I'd much rather go home and be surrounded by my own microbes, thank you very much.

lexydust , Andrea Piacquadio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Anouk T
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don’t think that’s why people are surprised. A lot of them want to stay because they receive more and better care at hospital. At home they likely will struggle and not have anyone to help them 24/7

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#6

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True “If you are an organ donor, emergency crews are less likely to save you if you are badly injured so they can get your organs” No. Stop it.

TheCrawdad , Anna Shvets / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Livingwithcfs
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm a donor and if I'm in that state I'd rather they let me go and use what they can. Living with chronic illness has given me a whole new view on fighting through anything - honestly that level of pain isn't always worth it

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#7

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True You don't need to detox. Detox won't cure or have any impact on months of binge drinking. Don't f*****g detox. I get so angry when these frauds get money.

nlakes , Mikhail Nilov / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Marianne
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Your kidneys and liver detox your body. A green smoothie might be healthy, but it won't cure your body from anything.

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#8

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Not a doc but my whole family is and I'm pre-med, my parents always laugh when people say not to go out in the cold or they might catch a cold.

Being cold =/= getting a "cold."

The common cold is a viral infection that has nothing to do with being cold. However, if you are cold for a long time it can depress your immune system and leave you more susceptible to viral infection, probably the origin of the saying, but people should know better in the twenty first goddamned century.

MarleyDaBlackWhole , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Marianne
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Covid proved that point for me. I always got a cold about twice a year. Then we went into lockdown in March 2020, followed by a long time with social distancing and always wearing masks. I wasn't sick for 3 years.

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#9

I am not a doctor or nurse, but one of the biggest health misconceptions that I encounter is the difference between Lactose Intolerance and a Milk Allergy.

Personally, being allergic to milk, it is always frustrating when people say that a milk allergy and lactose intolerance are the same thing, and I will only get a "stomach ache", so I should try the food they are eating. Well, unfortunately I wish that were the case.

Lactose Intolerance is the inability to digest lactose. While a milk allergy is the body's immune system reacting to milk protein, and in severe cases (including mine) can cause anaphylactic shock, which is deadly. So no, I do not want to try your meal...

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Ace
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

True for many other food intolerances as well. So many people use the term "allergic" to mean that they have a slight reaction to a given substance that it's devalued the true meaning of the word and made thing more difficult for people genuinely allergic to things.

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#10

Not yet a Nurse but just finished an MSc focusing on infections and sexual health and hoping to start Nursing studies soon: Douching - DONT DO IT. A lot of females seem to think its ok to douche and its really not, the pH of the vagina is extremely sensitive and differs from person to person so feminine hygiene products and using stuff like vinegar or whatever are a waste of money and damaging to your lady regions. If anything they are more likely to cause infections than prevent them.

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#11

1. when you have an IV site, there is not a needle in youre arm. there is a tiny, flexible, plastic catheter and it is not going to tear through your veins and skin if you bend your elbow.

2. a few air bubbles in the IV line or in a syringe will not kill you. in fact it takes a WHOLE lot of air to be injected into you to even effect you.

3. you have a catheter in your urethra, you do not need to pee. its peeing for you. (mostly older people)

4. if a medication makes you nauseous or produces a sedative effect, you are not allergic to it. those are expected side effects.

5. your night shift nurses are not sleeping. please dont ring your call bell and say "im sorry to wake you, but...". its kind of cute, but offensive that you think im relaxing out there on a comfy bed when in reality im running around like a chicken with my head cut off all night.

6. most facilities dont do blood draws through your IV site (unless you have a port or a central line), so yes, im going to have to stick you again.

7. it is not okay to eat/drink the night/morning before surgery. they tell you not to so you dont aspirate your own vomit into your lungs while youre under.

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Kari Panda
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had a catheter once. It was weird - I didn’t feel a thing. Nothing. I was really surprised when the nurse showed up and the bag was full. I thought I hadn’t peed the whole time.

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#12

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Flu vaccinations cannot give you the flu. I know this is pretty widely accepted at this point, however the amount of people who still prescribe to this belief is pretty appalling.

rharvey8090:

The flu vaccine (the shot, not the intranasal) is dead and cannot get the flu, except in the odd cases where your body does not properly produce the immune cells to fight the virus. Similarly, the flu vaccine only protects you against the 4 strains that were predicted to be the most prevalent that season. If you got a flu shot, then got the flu, chances are it was a strain you were not innoculated for.

Enthios , Nataliya Vaitkevich / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Carrie Laughs
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep, husband got Influenza A variant going around in January this year. Ended up in Intensive care with pneumonia. He had the flu vaccine (we both did) but the strain he got wasn't covered.

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#13

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Quite common but crackling your knuckles does **not** give you arthritis.

Dr_Nope , Eren Li / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Chris Jones
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Indeed! Never cracked my knuckles - or any other joint! Yet osteoarthritis in a fair few of them!

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#14

Migraines and headaches are not the same thing. It really annoys me whenever someone says "oh man, this is giving me a migraine" because they don't know the pain of an actual migraine. The blind spots, the numbness, the nausea, the excruciating pain. Your headaches may be bad, but they're not migraines.

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Chris Jones
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5 days ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's your migraine though. Fact is not everyone gets excruciating pain or nausea with a migraine - my husband will get an aura and a mild headache and be back up at work (with d***s - eff bloody sake D R U and a G S is not a dirty word!! We'd live if it was) within a couple of hours. I will be down for most of the day and feeling odd for a few. Some people it will be longer. Not everyone gets an aura for that matter, though I always do. My friend had no idea her headaches were migraines until that's what the doctor suggested (no other neurological symptoms or nausea) and treated with triptans, which worked. It's not always as simple as people think with this one. Plus cluster headaches can leave migraines standing with the level of pain involved.

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#15

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True A defibrillator **isn't** used to restart a heart that has stopped beating. It is used to stop the fibrillation of the heart and will "reset" it to its normal rhythm. Thanks to TV shows and movies a *lot* of people have this misconception about what the device will do and what it's meant for.

Also, when the shock is administered the patient won't spasm violently. The muscles in the chest area will contract, but it's nowhere near as violent as often portrayed.

Reqol , Los Muertos Crew / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Upstaged75
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had a procedure last year where I got "shocked" because they couldn't get my heart out of a-fib. Cardioversion is the correct term. I was asleep at the time so I have no idea how it feels. But when I woke up I felt perfectly fine.

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#16

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True That all herbal medications are safe and effective. They aren't regulated by the FDA (and therefore don't require the studies for safety and efficacy) and some can have very serious side effects. Always ask a pharmacist or doctor before picking some up at the store.

cap_pill_tall , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Marianne
Community Member
5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

True! Many people seem to think that whatever is natural is automatically good for us. However, nature is not necessarily our friend. Nature has innumerable ways to kill us and doesn't care for individual survival.

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#17

Taking an ambulance to the ER does NOT get you seen faster.

For those of you intelligent enough to downvote, this is 100% true. ER's triage patients based on acuity. Just because you took a $1400 ride in, doesn't mean you won't get sent to triage.

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Nina
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Idk how the ambulance system works in the u.s., but over here, if you're not ill enough to go to the e.r. you won't get brought there. They will tell you to go the gp. (Netherlands)

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#18

I can't tell you how many times I see parents with kids who have fever and say, "I gave him tylenol but 4 hours later his fever came back".

Tylenol, Motrin, fever reducers, treat the symptom of fever, they don't cure the disease causing it!

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Nina
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wanted to ask, are people really that dumb? Then again, I already knew the answer... That's why the doctor always wants to know your temperature without painkillers!

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#19

You are NOT sitting in the ER waiting room because you do not have insurance. You are sitting out in the waiting room because there is a whole group of people that are going to die first. So wait your turn and please don't yell at us registration people... Really it's not our fault!

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KimB
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And sitting there giving the staff a death stare isn't going to get you treated any faster either so stop doing that please lol (former ER tech)

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#20

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True “Rubbing dirt in a wound will stop it from bleeding” While true, please never do this. Its the easiest way to get a nasty infection that will be MUCH more painful, inconvenient, and potentially dangerous than 5 minutes of bleeding ever will. Direct pressure and elevation of the wound above the heart will work just fine, I promise.

TheCrawdad , Muffin Creatives / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#21

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True "I am just big boned".....i have seen a lot of x-rays and CT scans and have yet to find a person that this holds true for.

alisonfmac , cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Roger9er
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sounds like something Obelix would say (for those who know the French comics 'Asterix').

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#22

If someone can't swallow due to a progressive disease (ie: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, etc), putting in a feeding tube will NOT keep them from aspirating.

There is a huge amount of neuromuscular coordination that goes into swallowing and the eventuality of these diseases is that this will falter. We use different food and liquid textures and feeding techniques, but eventually the person just can't be safely fed anymore. Putting in a feeding tube won't change that. The patient can (and will) keep aspirating their saliva/mucous, and probably also the tube feeding we're putting down the tube.

The kindest thing you can do for your loved one is to let them go.

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#23

Pharmacist here: generic medications really are the same as name brand in 99% of cases. Those that aren't are usually ones that are monitored and dose adjusted anyways so it doesn't matter.

Yes the FDA does allow something like a 15% tolerance when testing generics against name brand, but again, in most cases a 15% difference is not enough to have a clinically significant effect.

Also, many times they company that manufactures the name brand d**g is the same company that manufactures the generic.

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Chris Jones
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Though a tiny message of caution. The active ingredient will be the same, some of what it's carried with MIGHT not be. I've had problems with generic anti-depressants. Brand was absorbed but generic went straight through!

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#24

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True Using hydrogen peroxide on cuts isn't an effective way to clean wounds. The best thing to do is just wash the cut with water and possibly put some topical antibacterial (e.g. Neosporin) for a few days to prevent infection. Also, applying some Aquaphor or some ointment to keep the wound moist helps it to heal faster.

kindafunny , Christin Hume / unsplash (not the actual photo) Report

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clairebear
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Never understood American preoccupation of using Hydrogen peroxide for wound treatment. We use it for bleaching hair in UK.

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#25

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True If you're clinically dead and are brought back to life there's a good chance you won't last long afterward. You don't just get up and get back to life, you probably suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen for x amount of minutes.

PhotographerMan , Anna Shvets / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Becca not Becky
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And the underlying condition may not be resolved. I've seen so many people get brought back by CPR but go down again within minutes because their organs are so badly damaged by the conditions that hospitalized them in the first place.

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#26

Not a nurse or doctor, but my mother is a RN at a major city hospital here and often shares wisdom/funny stories.

After a workmate of ours suffered a non-fatal heart attack we got to talking.

She sees more people admitted to the hospital in the cardiac ward for smoking related illnesses than she does patients for smoking related cancer illnesses.

It is not often raised enough, that smoking causes almost irreversible damage to your heart and arteries, and smokers don't realise this because they are too busy being invincible to cancer.

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KimB
Community Member
5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Two of the biggest contributors to heart attacks are family history and smoking. One you can't do anything about but one you can! It takes 15 years after you quit for your smoking history to no longer be a contributing factor in your potential risk for developing heart disease.

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#27

-Homeopathy. It's complete b******t. Yet it exists and people believe in it!

-That big pharmaceutical companies are evil and only interested in money, and alternative/natural therapies will save you.
Both traditional western medicine and every other mode of medicine all want to get their product to the people (see $$$), and the practitioners (usually) have a genuine desire to help people. They all cherry pick their information, they all use the same dirty tricks as each other. However, alternative medicine that works does eventually become medicine. That way the pharmaceutical companies can make money from it and the health insurance companies can save money with it.

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#28

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True You cannot cure a cold. It is a virus.

anon , Tima Miroshnichenko / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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InfamousBerry34
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The technical name for a common cold is rhinovirus. Antibiotics which are usually used to cure bacterial diseases will not work on viruses

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#29

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True For the love of f**k, do NOT try to a cook a fever out of someone. You could get their temperature too high for the brain to handle, and you could make them suffer a febrile seizure. If they're hot to the touch, give them a tylenol and put them in a tub of cool/room temp water.

I haven't seen this happen in a while, so maybe people are learning, but those old folk remedies don't always work, and sometimes do more harm than good.

Yes; you can kill an infection quicker with high heat, but too much makes the body inhospitable to its delicate internal components (like the brain).

DeathGodBob , Polina Tankilevitch / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#30

Medical Professionals Debunk 30 Health Myths People Still Believe To Be True That 'pulling the plug' as seen on every tv show is shenanigans. It drives me up the wall to see people unplug an i.v, only to watch a person choke to death. Those b**ches are battery powered.

farnswiggle , Anna Shvets / pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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ADJ
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

IVs are unpowered, it jis just a bag of medicine hanging from hook with plactic pipe and needle. The beeping computer screen is "vital signs monitor", not IV.

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