Health care

Helping people with autism spectrum disorder manage masks and COVID-19 tests

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many new challenges for people with autism spectrum disorder. Adapting to wearing face masks and the experience of a COVID-19 test are particularly challenging, but there are strategies that can help these individuals meet the challenges.

Collaborative care: Treating mental illnesses in primary care

Collaborative care is a team-based model of integrated psychiatric and primary care that can treat mental illnesses in the primary care setting. Providing this patient-centered care in the primary care setting improves access to mental health care and reduces stigma.

Some healthcare can safely wait (and some can’t)

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Some routine or elective healthcare can safely wait a while, but putting off medical care for certain health conditions or potentially serious problems is risky.

Get your affairs in order, COVID-19 won’t wait

Because COVID-19 can affect people of any age and regardless of their health, it’s advisable to consider preparing advance care planning documents and sharing them with your loved ones and your doctors.

What’s it like to be a healthcare worker in a pandemic?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Millions of healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus have a much higher risk of becoming infected, and are being put in further danger due to shortages of protective equipment, but they continue to do their jobs while adapting to current conditions.

Is it safe to see the pediatrician for vaccines and medical visits?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Concerned about pediatric visits right now? Is it okay to wait on a child’s vaccinations or better to stick to the schedule? What about appointments for other routine matters? What is serious enough to justify the risk?

Can telehealth help flatten the curve of COVID-19?

Virtual health care is a convenience in ordinary times, but a valuable tool during a crisis like the one we are experiencing. Also called telehealth, telemedicine, or digital care, it allows medical staff to evaluate patients to determine possible treatment needs and whether they can remain at home.

Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery

Regular marijuana users who need surgery should disclose their use ahead of the procedure, because of its effects on the body and on the anesthesia medications required for sedation.

Getting sleep in the hospital

There are many things about hospital routines that make it difficult for patients to sleep well. If you find yourself hospitalized, there are things you can do to improve the chances that you will get a better night’s sleep.

Drills, needles, and pain, oh my! Coping with dental anxiety

Does the mere thought of going to the dentist make you anxious? You aren’t alone, but avoiding dental care appointments can lead to other health problems besides dental pain. But there are steps you can take to relieve that anxiety.