Category: Medical

Medicus Global

The technology for Telemedicine has been available for many years but even more so now with the availability of cell phones and faster internet connections. Why is Telemedicine taking off now? With just about everyone owning a cell phone, people can consult a doctor from just about anywhere. The use of electronic health records can make it much easier for doctors to access patient records Patients are comfortable with not having to visit a doctor’s office, which is more time-efficient for doctors.

One of the important benefits of telehealth is to help reduce the cost of health care by reducing travel time, fewer or shorter hospital visits and less staffing. What’s so amazing about telemedicine is that studies have consistently proven that health care services given through telemedicine are just as good as in-person appointments. Further in some specific areas of health care such has mental health and ICU care telemedicine provides many benefits with greater patient satisfaction.

What Telemedicine is not is a replacement for the family physician, but it is a useful tool that can be used to augment in-person treatment. People want telemedicine because it reduces travel time while reducing stress and can greatly impact their families. Studies over the past 15 years have documented patient satisfaction for telehealth.

Along with telemedicine and cell phones, doctors can now offer their patients services that may not have been available otherwise. What if you are sick and it’s the middle of the night? What if you need a prescription when you are on vacation or traveling for business? Thanks to telemedicine your cell phone may just be your best friend.

Rotavirus

Is rotavirus really a big problem?

Rotavirus infects intestinal tracts of under-fives. Children who are under the age of five can get the infection more than once, but the first time is usually the worst. When talking globally, the virus is responsible for two million hospitalizations as well as 500,000 deaths of under-fives on a yearly basis. The figures are abysmal and depressing. Adults as well as older children can also be infected by the virus, but the condition will be too mild.

How does rotavirus spread, anyway?

The disease, sadly, is highly contagious. The stool of an infected child has germs that are livable for a long duration. The germs can remain for a long duration upon contaminated surfaces, such as hands. A child can catch the disease by touching a contaminated object and putting it in mouth. The spread of the virus is a primary problem in daycare and hospitals as well. The disease can spread from child to child like wildfire.

Daycare workers also help in spreading of the disease. The childcare workers, sometimes, do not wash their hands after changing diapers, I.e. the germs remain in the hands of the workers. And the workers feed other infants from the same unwashed hands. That is, by far, one of the most common causes of the disease.

What are the different symptoms of the disease?

  • The intestinal infection in infants is characterized by watery diarrhea, vomiting, low-grade fever and abdominal pain as well.
  • In most cases, bowel movements can occur close to 20 times per day. Such highly frequent bowel movements last up to nine days. That is a lot of water wastage from an infant’s body, and it is dangerous.
  • The chances of having dehydration through a rotavirus infection are thick. Having 20 bowel movements for nine days can cause severe dehydration in infants. The common signs of dehydration are deep breathing, tiredness, coldness of hands as well as feet, lack of tears and weakness.

The subsequent rotavirus infection in an infant may not have dehydration as a symptom.

How to diagnose the disease?

The infant has to get admitted to a hospital. Most of the times, doctors and pediatrists test young children for Rotavirus A. The test involves examination of the diseased child’s stool. Such type of examination, by and large, is carried out with the help of immunoassay. The immunoassay helps measure the presence of a substance (proteins or virus) in the stool.

Rotavirus vaccine has arrived to help in combating from this malady. Each child should get a dose of the vaccine. The dosage value depends upon the brand of the vaccine. The vaccination program should be started when the child is two months old. The vaccine is available in liquid form only. A rotavirus vaccine is as important as a conjugate vaccine, and it should be included within a child’s immunization schedule.

Regenerative Medicine

Thymus proteins are produced naturally by the thymus gland early in life, with most production ceasing before the onset of puberty. Also referred to as Tβ4, they exhibit a myriad of cellular functions that assist the repair and recovery of wounded tissue. These include the enhancement of new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), cell migration, stem cell differentiation, and gene expression. When the body suffers a physical injury (for example, a torn quadriceps), these proteins are found in greater concentrations near the wounded area, where they facilitate healing through the aforementioned mechanisms. Clinical studies have shown them to consistently facilitate the healing and recovery of damaged bodily tissue.

For instance, a 1999 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that the thymus gland accelerates wound healing through the process of angiogenesis. Researchers observed that treated subjects’ wounds contracted by a minimum of 11% more than control subjects’ wounds by the one week mark. Though the study was conducted on rats, the researchers concluded that the thymus gland was a wound healing factor with multiple activities.

Further, a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research showed that the thymus gland was able to enhance bone fracture healing in mice test subjects. The study found that treated mice had a 41% increase in peak force to failure and had up to 26% more new mineralized tissue than the control group. Importantly, researchers noted that the findings of their study indicated that thymus proteins played a key role in the healing of bone fractures.

Moreover, additional studies have demonstrated that thymus proteins have potent anti-inflammatory effects as well. A 1999 study published in Nature Medicine sought to explore the action mechanisms of Tβ4 as anti-inflammatory agents. After the study’s conclusion, researchers noted that the thymus may have far-reaching effects on the body’s inflammatory processes.

Alternative Home Medical Supply

In the recent years, there has been tremendous advancement in the field of nursing and home medical supplies. This has given a comfortable life to the patients and treating complex medical problems have been simpler at home. There are many people, who have realized the fact that aged people have refused to move to the hospital for a nursing facility. The older generation found it difficult to adjust in a hospital or a nursing home, where the environment is completely new. The atmosphere changes and adjustment in such a situation becomes a tough job for them.

The situation was not easy to accept. Often they need to share a room with people with whom they have nothing in common. The noise level is also high and patients find it difficult to adjust as they lose their mental peace. The noise level often goes high and it is too difficult to bear. Sound sleep is also affected and the patients fail to have enough rest. That is why many people consider that hospitals are dangerous places to stay during sickness. There is also immense exposure to different types of germs that extends the duration of a certain disease.

Today, the quality of life has changed for the patients, who stay at home. The patient can enjoy the benefits of the hospital by staying in the home itself. The concept is widely accepted and many families prefer this modern way of recovering the patients. Nursing care at home has become common that ensures quicker recovery of the patients.

The advent of alternative medical supply has improved the quality of life of the patients. They get the appropriate care and the correct supplies that is required to recover soon. There is also good scope to interact with the members of the family and remain cheerful. At times, they may not feel that they are ill and time passing is too easy in a homely environment.

Improve the Physician/Patient Relationship

  1. Manage expectations. Patients expect quality care from their medical providers, so it’s your duty to provide that care to the best of your ability and maintain communication at all times. Create a culture of open communication between you, your staff, and patients so people know what to expect from each other. Each patient comes from different backgrounds and have their own idea of what good patient care consists of.
  2. Make sure you and your colleagues are on the same page each day. Stress to staff members the importance of prioritizing the patient relationship. Have regular meetings to discuss concerns or issues that need to be addressed. What things can be done to improve the experience of each patient?
  3. Take a deep breath. In our busy culture you can easily get caught up in a fast pace, but taking a deep breath is a great way to relax, plus it helps you be in the moment and gives you the ability to focus on the patient in front of you instead of worrying about what needs to be done next.
  4. Build trust through transparency. Transparency means that every interaction flows from a belief of being open, honest, and truthful. Being honest with staff and patients can make a huge difference in preventing medical malpractice. Be truthful about the risks and benefits of providing medical procedures and what is happening throughout the process of care.
  5. Be nice. One may assume that this is common sense, but you would be surprised how many physicians forget this simple rule. Remember why you went into the medical field in the first place. Have fun and enjoy the journey.

About Medication Disposal

Programs have been implemented to encourage Americans to properly dispose of medications that pose a serious safety hazard if left in their residential medicine cabinet. The best and safest method of disposing of pharmaceuticals is for consumers to deliver their unwanted medications to an authorized collection site. This can be done at a sponsored scheduled prescription “Take-Back” event or any time at a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authorized collection site. The number of available drop off locations increased after DEA amended the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of and expanded the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for the purpose of disposal. The public may find authorized collectors in their communities by calling the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539.

Two of the largest pharmacy chains in our country, CVS and Walgreens, have recently launched programs to allow consumers to return their unwanted medications for safe disposal. CVS launched its CVS/Pharmacy Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, a Federal grant initiative. As part of this program, the company distributes drug collection bins to police departments and municipalities so they can set up environmentally responsible local drug disposal programs.(1) Walgreens plans to install safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores in 39 states and Washington, D.C., primarily at locations open 24 hours.(2)

Healthcare providers and other DEA Registrants can learn how to properly dispose of unused controlled substances by viewing DEA’s disposal regulations at the DEA Diversion website or at the Federal Governments Regulations website. The Final Rule of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of authorizes certain DEA registrants (manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, narcotic treatment programs, retail pharmacies, and hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy) to modify their registration with the DEA to become authorized collectors. All collectors may operate a collection receptacle at their registered location, and collectors without an on-site means of destruction may operate a mail-back program. Retail pharmacies and hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy may also operate collection receptacles at long-term care facilities.(3)

DEA will conduct its 11th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative (NTBI) on April 30th, from 10am to 2pm. Collection sites will not accept any dangerous, hazardous, or non-compliant items such as medical sharps and needles (e.g., insulin syringes), or compressed cylinders or aerosols (e.g., asthma inhalers). To find the collection site nearest you, visit the DEA website, click on the “Got Drugs” icon and enter your zip code. During DEA’s last NTBI held on September 26, , DEA and 3,800 other participating law enforcement agencies collected over 350 tons of unwanted prescriptions that could have otherwise been diverted into the hands of addicts.

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

Non-Invasive Procedure

One of the most important aspects of HIFU is that it is a non-invasive procedure. Whereby patients living with brain tumors, prostate cancer and other conditions may require surgeries as standard treatments, sound waves, much like light ways, may be just as effective in safely destroying tumors and other cancerous cells. Studies have already reported success with high intensity focused intensity ultrasound in treating kidney and liver tumors as well as breast and prostate cancer.

Similarly, the focused ultrasound can be used as a treatment for hypertension as, currently, one of the only ways to treat this condition is through radio-frequency pulses that disrupt the abdomen’s renal arteries. However, this procedure, although not surgical, is still considered to be invasive as it requires a catheter, but high-focused intensity ultrasound that uses sound waves through a transducer outside for the patient’s body may be an effective method of treating the nerves around the blood vessels.

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound and Plaque

A team at the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota has found that HIFU may also help to clean out a patient’s arteries in an attempt to remove plaque and other buildup that might have occurred over time. If plaque is left in a patient’s body, blood clots may form and may break away from the lining of the vessel. Should this happen, the clot could potentially travel to the heart, lungs or brain and cause a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke, respectively. While physicians typically use medications or place balloons inside the vessels and expand them to help the plaque to break away, there are potential complications associated with these methods. Instead, high intensity focused ultrasound directed at a vessel for two to five seconds can help to rid the arteries of plaque.

Depression Medication Side Effects

Many depression medication side effects can be very unpleasant. They can affect each individual differently as well as different medications can have different side effects. For some individuals, depression medication side effects subside after a couple of weeks as their bodies adjust to the medication. Because the effects can be so severe, some individuals stop taking the medications.

Medications for depression can usually take a couple of weeks or more to work, which is a major factor in individual not sticking with the medication they have been prescribed. If they are feeling side effects this can increase the problem of individuals stopping their medication before there is a chance of finding it may have worked. Aside from depression medication side effects causing individuals to stop taking their medication, trying to find a medication that works can be a lengthy trial and error period. When a medication prescribed for an individual does not work after a couple of weeks they will need to try another medication until one is found to work. Individuals can lose faith that a medication that works can be found and cause them to give up trying new medications.

There are Four different types of medication used for depression, each having slightly different effects on the brain.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

Discovered in the 1950s and started being used for depression later in that decade. This medication has been proven to help with depression but can have side effects that are more severe than the newer types of medications. This type of medication is used usually as a last resort or when newer types of medications do not work. This depression medication side effects include: dry nose, dry mouth, constipation, changes in appetite and weight, blurry vision, dizziness, memory impairment, restlessness, increased body temperature, drowsiness, weakness, anxiety, confusion, hypersensitivity, sweating, sexual dysfunction, muscle twitches, nausea, hypotension, tachycardia, Overdoses can cause: irregular heart rhythms, twitching, hallucinations, delirium and coma.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

This type of medication is also an older type that has some of the worse depression medication side effects that can prove to have lethal dietary and drug interactions. Mostly prescribed for the treatment of atypical depression it is usually used as a last resort when all other medications have failed. The FDA has approved a patch form of the medication that has reduced the dangers of dietary dangers because it does not enter the gastrointestinal system. This depression medication side effects include dry mouth, insomnia, increased heart rate, drowsiness, blurred vision, appetite changes, muscle twitching and feelings of restlessness and loss of sexual desire or ability. Also, it may interact with certain foods.

Atypical Antidepressants

This type of medication is a newer type of medication that targets other neurotransmitters than serotonin. Some of the medications may target serotonin as well as other neurotransmitters or without the serotonin. The chemicals they affect are mainly norepinephrine and dopamine. This depression medication side effects include nausea, fatigue, weight gain, sleepiness, nervousness, dry mouth, and blurred vision. The side effects are less severe than the older type medications.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s)

This is also a newer type of medication that has gained a lot of popularity and has proven to work quite well. This medication works by affecting serotonin in the brain. These medication side effects include sexual problems, drowsiness, sleep difficulties, and nausea. In adults over 65, it can cause an increase in falls and bone fractures.

All medications can cause thoughts of suicide in young adults and should not be prescribed for use in children and caution in young adults. Withdrawals also can occur with all depression medications and medication should never be abruptly stopped doses need to be gradually reduced over time.

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