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Due for a medical procedure or blood work? Maine patients, use this new tool to shop around.

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You can’t always shop around when it comes to your medical care. The back of an ambulance is no place to start Googling hospitals to find out which one provides the best and most affordable treatment for the heart attack you’re experiencing. But when you can plan ahead — think an elective procedure or imaging test — it […]

State identifies Maine schools hit with chickenpox outbreaks

Source: U.S. CDC

The state has released the names of three schools and a childcare facility where chickenpox broke out during the 2014-15 school year. While months have passed since the outbreaks occurred, the disclosure finally publicizes information that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has resisted releasing. Both the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald requested […]

Did legalizing medical pot save some Mainers from prescription painkiller deaths?

Hundreds attended the Home Grown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show in Bangor in April 2014. Brian Feulner| BDN

Maine knows all too well the potential dangers of narcotic painkillers. Many a journey down the dark path of addiction begins with a prescription for Vicodin, oxycodone or similar medications, though heroin has taken center stage in Maine’s battle against drug abuse. But could another drug hold answers to preventing overdose deaths? In Maine and a […]

How the pros kill ticks: Unwitting mice and deer get a dose of bug spray

Deer tick larvae on a mouse ear. Source:

If anyone knows ticks in Maine, it’s the researchers at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute’s tick lab. They’ve been studying the eight-legged disease carriers for 26 years, learning about the deer tick’s emergence and rise to prevalence in our state. Now they’re sharing their expertise through a new website, “This new website is specific […]

Great service, long wait: Maine hospitals, like restaurants, get reviewed on Yelp

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Before today, the consumer review site Yelp was about the last place I’d look to find good medical care. Better known for restaurant and retail store critiques, Yelp’s been among several online repositories of physician and hospital reviews that relied solely on customer feedback — or as it’s known in health care, “patient satisfaction.” Customer reviews might cut […]

Think you’re running your generator safely? You might not know these poisoning risks

Four young people from Massachusetts were found dead Friday evening in their Wakelin family camp, this log cabin tucked in the Byron woods on Bateman Lane, east of Coos Canyon and Route 17. TERRY KARKOS | SUN JOURNAL

The deaths of four young people in Byron late last week from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning was rare for the state of Maine. We don’t often see such poisonings when homeowners use generators for auxiliary power, as that group did to get a refrigerator running in an off-grid cabin, according to state toxicologist Dr. Andy Smith. But all too often, […]