Shortfall Of Comfort Care Signals Undue Suffering For Coronavirus Patients

For Jill Hofstede, whose 90-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s disease, news about the coronavirus becomes more terrifying every day.

Although the potential shortages of mechanical ventilators and intensive care beds have made headlines, Hofstede fears a surge of COVID-19 patients could deprive her mother of something far more basic should she contract the disease: relief from pain and suffering.

“I do not want her to die of the virus,” said Hofstede, 57, a mother of five who lives in Brush Prairie, Washington. Even more crucially, Hofstede said, “I would not want her to suffer.”

“There should be some right to dying with dignity, even in the midst of a pandemic,” she said.

Some experts worry that a long-standing shortage of palliative care professionals ― who focus on the physical pain and mental and

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98.6? That’s so 1800s | Health Beat

The average temperature of the human body has been decreasing by about 0.05 degrees every decade since the 1800s, possibly because health improvements have reduced inflammation. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Think the average human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit?

Not anymore, new research suggests.

“Our temperature’s not what people think it is,” said senior study author Dr. Julie Parsonnet, a professor of medicine, health research and policy at Stanford University. “What everybody grew up learning, which is that our normal temperature is 98.6, is wrong.”

That standard was established in 1851, but a number of modern studies have suggested that it’s now too high. For example, a recent study found that the average body temperature of 25,000 British people was 97.9 F.

In the latest study, Parsonnet and colleagues analyzed more than 677,000 body temperature measurements collected in the United States between 1862 and 2017.

The results showed that

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Warm up to winter squash | Health Beat

Winter squash refers to a variety of different squash that preserve well throughout the fall and into winter. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Many of us think of comfort food, rich flavors and family meals during the wintry days of the Midwest.

For others, the cold months conjure up images of crazy-looking gourds that are difficult to cook and hard to cut.

Which camp do you fall into?

If you’re in the winter squash squadron, you’re in good company. This category of glorious gourds is something I look forward to each fall and winter.

Butternut, acorn, pumpkin and spaghetti are my “go-to” squash choices, although I have been known to mix things up at the dinner table with delicata, kabocha, sweet dumpling and hubbard.

Roast, soup, salad

Make no mistake, this is one versatile vegetable. Use it for creamy soups, satisfying salads, superstar breakfasts or simple side dishes. I grew up

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