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Top 10 Biggest Health Threats That Get No Attention

While shark attacks, sinkholes, plane crashes, and otherAct of Godinsurance nightmares

get all the glory of media coverage, there are plenty of other events that account for

at least as muchif not morea share of injuries and deaths. They may not be glamorous

or worthy of silver screen treatment, but as causes of hospitalization (and sometimes

mortality), the numbers these health threats put up annually certainly qualify them for

at least a second thought. So read on and learn about the top ways people wind up in

the ER or the morgue, that somehow never get their moment in the spotlight.

10. Biting

Sadly, zombie enthusiasts watching the news for advanced signs of an impending apocalypse

are mistaken if they think human-on-human biting attacks are prime suspects. Even without

the involvement of undead hordes, American hospitals record more than 40,000 ER admissions

for victims of human bites every year.

A UK study of the phenomenon estimated that one person goes to the emergency department

every three days to treat bite wounds inflicted by another person; other studies estimate

that a person bites another person once every twelve minutes.

While it may be easy to write off this statistic as a subset of assault victims requiring hospitalization,

keep in mind that mostbut far from allbites result from a fight. The rest (of those that

are actually reported and recorded) occur from other such zesty activities as athletics

or intercourse. Not all such incidents get reported, but when the bounty of bacteria

and general nastiness of the human mouth results in infection, it is harder to hide the fact

that someone got a little too toothy during any activity.

9. Cute Animals

Some strange combination of Saturday morning cartoons and Beanie Babies has given people

a false sense of security when dealing with seemingly cute animals. Mans Best Friend

alone manages to send up to 13,000 puppy-lovers to the hospital annually.

Of course, humans have a tragically long track record of mistakingadorablewithharmless

when it comes to the animal kingdom. Hippos, bison, and other such lovable lugs are so

darned endearing, that thousands of human idiots manage to push them to the point of

violence every year, with hippos killing more people than sharks, spiders, snakes, wolves,

and jellyfish combined.

National Parks like Yellowstone are particularly prone to incidents involving visitors who

think all they need to know about wild animals is the difference between herbivores and carnivores,

and then proceed to get maimed while trying to take selfies with the resident bison. And

it wouldnt be a true American Thanksgiving without a parade of Elmer Fudd wannabes becoming

prey to wild turkeys.

Fact is, people are no better at living with other species than they are at getting along

with other humans.

8. Vacuums

People have come up with a variety of novel uses for vacuums, with the natural result

that theyve found a host of ways to hurt or kill themselves using the appliance. There

is, of course, the regrettable trend of curious young men who, absent any prominent social

messaging warning them of the perils of amorous relations with cleaning appliances, “were

driven to new lengths by the novelty of the experience and came to grief”, to quote

a foundational study on the subject.

But the travails of vacuums are not limited to or even dominated by hapless males; in

both traditional deliveries and C-sections, vacuums have replaced forceps as the tool

of choice in assisting in the delivery of infants, which has been shown to frequently

cause serious damage to the newborns intracranial tissue. That officially makes vacuums a bigger

threat than zombies where brains are concerned.

Making it out of the maternity ward still doesnt provide safe harbor, as children

are prone to friction burns and related injury resulting from close encounters with their

household vacuums.

7. Toilets

Human bodies were designed to squat during defecation, yet the pretense of dumping out

in acivilizedmanner led to the development of toilets requiring an upright posture. This

increased dignity is accompanied by straining, increased rates of fissures, incomplete evacuation

(resulting in buildup of residual waste and bacteria), elevated risks of chronic inflammation

and internal bleeding, and possibly even colon cancer.

Take that, third-world residents who have no alternative to squatting!

Nations of the world who invested in a more regal platform for bowel movements got a lot

more than a porcelain throne as a result: hemorrhoids afflict fully half of all Americans

by the time they hit 50, and the added time and labor involved in forcing the dookie out

when your posture is holding it in increases the amount of pressure and time required (hence

the popularity of reading on the toilet), further compounding the health hazards all

over again.

It is common knowledge that sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health. But while

the hazards of prolonged sitting have attracted all manner of attention and helpful tips,

people somehow remain much more receptive to doing office calisthenics and investing

in standing desks than in renovating their bathrooms to incorporate squat toilets.

6. Work

It isnt just our desks that are wrecking our bodies. According to the Center for Disease

Control (CDC), unintentional overexertion, otherwise known as working too damn hard,

is the third leading cause of injury in the United States. Among those aged 24-65, i.e.,

the standard working age, it is the second most common cause for non-fatal hospitalization.

Far from being a problem associated with highly physical jobs like construction or Jimmy Johns

delivery, traumatic overexertion can be brought on by repetitive motions common to desk jobs,

as well as the odd incident of trying to lift too much, or simply failing to drink enough


And before we applaud ourselves for simply being martyred workaholics, bear in mind that

hobbyists like gardeners and marathon runners are also incapable of recognizing their own

limits. So while hospitals overflow with patients who dont get enough exercise, the sedentary

can plan on sharing a room with fitness freaks who just dont know when to quit. That ought

to be a fun stay for everyone.

5. The Million-Dollar Fart

People routinely turn up at the hospital convinced that an alien is about to burst from their

chests, only to discover that the foreign body they are hosting is actually just a cloud

of hydrogen tinged with sulfur making its way down and out.

Abdominal pain (the detested tummy ache) accounts for eight million ER admissions per yearthe

leading cause of hospitalization in America. That is due in part to the huge variety of

things that can go wrong in the human abdomen, but it also includes less-than-deadly complaints

like gas. Of the eight million admissions, only about 17% turn out to be seriousa

conclusion only reached after ordering anything from an ultrasound or CT scan to exploratory

surgery, all elements of the standard regimen that could quickly turn one persons *poot*

into a seriously expensive punchline, not to mention how all the diagnostic imaging

typically increases cumulative exposure to radiation, potentially leading to further

health issues down the line.

But that isnt the only way people have found to emit million-dollar farts.

Pyroflatulence, better known as the elusive-but-spectacularblue dart”, has delighted and destroyed

in equal measure. While it is impossible to burn inside-out from igniting ones own

gaseous emissions, doing so in proximity to other flammable substances is, predictably,

explosive, and can compound the cost (financial and personal) of a single fart by orders of


4. July

This documented phenomenon is known as the July Effect: when all the baby-docs get to1

swap their med school scrubs for white coats and stethoscopes, hospitals are temporarily

at higher risk of the sort of silly slip-ups and hijinks that made Scrubs such a beloved

sitcomas well as making hospitals the third leading killer of Americans each year.

The coincidence of med school graduations in the month has been directly linked to a

10% spike in hospital errors, involving everything from mixing up medications to not knowing

how to work a defibrillator. Experts agree that if at all possible, it is best to avoid

hospitals throughout the summer and try to aim for a time when the ER is more likely

to be staffed with more experienced doctors.

Of course, if you are planning on celebrating Independence Day at all, you stand a pretty

high chance of failing to follow that advice

3. Holidays

Major holidays are a bit of a triple threat for hospitals. Firstly, surveys have shown

that nearly 1 in 5 holiday travelers hit the road to avoid family, rather than to visit

them; meanwhile, impatient travelers will exaggerate or even fabricate symptoms in order

to get select (elderly) family members hospitalized for non-critical conditions, if only to ensure

travel and other holiday plans have one less obstacle to going smoothly.

On the other hand, lonely seniors without company during the most wonderful time of

the year will check themselves into hospitals just to have company.

And finally, of course, there are the perils of drinking. Responsible revelers who drink

at home, thoughtfully staying off the roads, often end up trading a traffic accident for

a domestic one. So while DUIs are to Christmas what candy is to Halloween, celebratory day-drinking

still manages to net more than 15,000 holiday decorators, along with over a thousand burn

victims, and 1,500 cases of back strain (or lifting injuries)—all without so much as

a car leaving the driveway. Even on July 4th, Americas pyrotechnics are no match for

its thirst for alcohol as a root cause of ER admissions and injury.

2. Removing HairDown There

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to stop grooming your naughty bits.

From lasers to razors, eliminating all the hair of the swimsuit places has gone from

being a fad to fully in the mainstream. The shave-and-wax trend over the period from 2002

2010 produced just over 11,000 ER visits, but by the end of 2010 the annual rate had

climbed over 2,500. Disturbingly, the overwhelming cause of serious injury involves the use of

razors, but other hair removal techniques including waxing have also been implicated.

And while injuries during the baldening process are alarming, experts point out that removing

pubic hair also eliminates an important biological defense to disease and infection, leaving

bare nether-regions prone to staph infections, STIs, and even run of the mill blunt force

trauma. Though this trend is exponentially on the rise, it is only one of the ways we

truly suffer for beauty

1. Fashion

It is time to admit that our clothes are killing us. From high-heeled shoes to too-tight

well, everything, modern wardrobes are little more than glorified murder chambers we carry

with and on us. The desperate squeezing-in ritual that accompanies so many daily clothing

routines the world over has been responsible for blood clots, chronic pain, nerve damage,

and disfigurement.

And that laundry list of physical health problems doesnt even consider the countless psychological

side-effects of having a culture that celebrates sartorial masochism, making it effectively

impossible for anyone to meet the standards of beauty and shape without compromising health

and comfort. So even those who foregofitting inthrough skin-tight apparel often adorn

an underlying depression with looser, more forgiving outfits.

The compounding effect of the one size fits none standardization as the most horrible

fixture of contemporary fashion is hard to track, but experts attribute much of the staggering

rate of suicides and cases of self-harm requiring hospitalization, in part, to a void of self-esteem.

And while many high-performing ancient cultures (and pragmatic modern ones) manage to embrace

functional, practical, gender-neutral garb, the pinnacles of high fashion insist on preserving

monstrous mutations of gendered apparel. Almost daily accusations of misogyny, hyper-sexualization,

perpetuation of rape culture, and a generally regressive view of identity all point back

to the fashion and beauty industry.

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