Life Expectancy of Crohn’s Disease

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease one of the first questions I had was “Will I die from Crohn’s Disease?” That was closely followed by “Will I still have a normal lifespan?” Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory illness which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. It is most common in the last part of the small bowel and in the colon.

The symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can include abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, fever, vomiting, constipation, blood with bowel motions, skin problems and tiredness. You may not have all of these symptoms, but they can happen.

Not knowing whether your life expectancy is going to be shorter when you have Crohn’s Disease is a very real concern for many people until they find the answer. The good news is that people with Crohn’s Disease have a relatively normal life span and have no need to worry about it.

Since there have been major improvements in the recognition and management of Crohn’s in the last 50 years, the risk of major complications such as toxic megacolon has fallen below one percent. In the 1950’s the risk of death during the severest attacks of Crohn’s Disease was around 30-60%. Today these stats have fallen below 3%.

Natural treatments also have come a long way, it is now possible to easily control your Crohn’s Disease naturally. Using such things as diet, exercise and stress controlling techniques can give you full control over your health.

Both you and I have no need to worry that we won’t live as long as the general population, because we will. Even though having Crohn’s Disease can be scary you don’t need to be worried about your life expectancy. There is no reason why you won’t live to a ripe old age and enjoy all the great things that life has to offer the same as everyone else.

Health Problems – Stress is Harmful For Your Health

As we are forging to the height of progress, we are facing many thriving problems. You can name it as economic expense, crime, unemployment and last but not the least health problems. If we separate the aforementioned first three causes from the fourth one, we can conclude that those three contribute in causing health problems alone. Rising budget, thriving crime, losing job create stress and mental disorders. This results in occurrence of many health diseases.

Stress- The chief cause of health disorders

Stress and health problem are correlated to each other. A burst of stress can prevent the thinking ability of a person. You can find yourself unable to concentrate if you are in stress. If you observe through medical explanation, our frequent response of stress increases molecules which are detrimental for our heart. These are the bad form of cholesterol which is known as LDL (low- density lipoproteins). As the stress delays the clearance of these fats, their accumulation entails atherosclerosis and other heart disorders to many people.

The most evidential symptoms of stress are increased rate in palpitation, perspiration and blood pressure in the body. And very surprisingly people who indulge in extreme physical activities and exercises, exemplify the physical stress. So if you are suffering from weak heart or coronary blockage, these physical stresses can be more hazardous for your health.

Immune related disorders

Stress has a major role in depleting the immunity system. Results have shown that a stressful life can induce many health problems. Very interestingly, AIDS tends to take a vigorous form in HIV positive patients if they are subject to more stress, negative attitudes and deprived of social support. Studies have also indicated that a chronic stress can also help in developing more probability of bacteria infections such as tuberculosis and group-A streptococcal diseases (GAS).

Migraines and headaches

Migraines or headaches are very common problems caused by stress. Prolonged occurrence of stress can cause severe backache, neck pain and can also develop dizziness. Consequently you may also notice some problems with your eye- sights. Migraines can also result stress in eyes that inflict some redness to the eyes.

Chronic stress results in immune reduction which hampers the equilibrium in oxidants and anti- oxidants. It is also found that an increment in oxidants cause the rapid aging problems. Oxidants boost up electro- negative constituents in body molecules that destroy the other optimal cells. And such increased rate of distorted cells helps in developing the most fatal disease-cancer.

Stress, which has no end in our lifestyle, has jeopardized the human capability to fight the health problems. It is a root of several known and unknown problems that has endangered our life cycle. Hence many natural therapies like yoga and meditations are encouraged nowadays. These practices help in reducing stress and provides atmosphere conducive to healing for your body and mind.

Chocolate Cyst Treatment

Many people are not familiar with the term ‘chocolate cyst’ let alone know of a chocolate cyst treatment. These ovarian cysts are not pleasant to those that struggle with them. These are related to endometriosis, which is a female disorder involving the reproductive system.

These are a form of ovarian cyst, and can cause ovary symptoms like pelvis pain and lower abdominal pain. This is quite uncomfortable. Women with these find it difficult getting pregnant, and have other ovary symptoms like painful sex, and irregular periods. There are many treatments available. And it is important to find appropriate treatments for ovarian cysts in order to prevent further damage.

These cysts form from cells in the uterus that may get repositioned outside of the ovaries. They them begin to form small sac like structures that may enlarge over time. These ovarian cysts are then strengthened from the hormones released during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This may then cause more small cysts to form and grow. These chocolate cysts begin to take over healthy ovarian tissue.

Now why do they call them chocolate cysts? These cysts on ovary get their name from the thick brown blood substance that is contained within these ovarian cysts. It looks similar to stringy chocolate syrup, thus the name. Occasionally you may experience ruptured ovarian cysts. When these cysts rupture, this substance coats the organs of the pelvic area. These include the uterus, the ovaries, and even the bladder. Damage to the tissues can occur, resulting in extreme lower pelvic pain.

Chocolate cyst treatment may range from natural methods to a complete hysterectomy. This type of treatment is usually completely unnecessary. Many people prefer to use natural ovarian cyst treatment first because doctors’ treatments are not helpful with helping the pain and discomfort. Natural methods can treat the cysts and prevent them from reoccurring. Among some of the natural remedies for these cysts involves a slight change in diet.

Fattening foods and foods with high carbohydrates increase estrogen levels, the hormone that triggers the growth of an ovarian cyst. Caffeine and alcohol will also boost the production of estrogen. Using these foods in moderation or eliminating them altogether will help to treat and prevent cysts.

Things like Xenoestrogens should also be avoided for chocolate cyst treatment. These compounds are found in a variety of places. Exposure of these toxins can be limited by taking a few precautions.

Chemicals in cleaners and some plastics should be avoided.

The best natural chocolate cyst treatment will help eliminate ovarian cysts and prevent them from reoccurring. Cysts can cause a great deal of discomfort for any woman who suffers from them. If you have endometriosis, then it is likely that you know about this type of cyst. Understanding how they develop is important, as well as finding a chocolate cyst treatment that will work to rid your body of the problem and help stop it from returning.

Understanding ELISA Kits

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a biochemical procedure in immunology that is primarily used for determining the presence of an antigen or an antibody in a sample. For years, ELISA has been utilized as a diagnostic tool in plant pathology and medicine. It has test kits that are used for cancer, autoimmune diseases, fertility, thyroid, steroid, infectious diseases and parasitology, allergy, and diabetes assays.

One of the ELISA test kits for cancer is Prostatic Acid Phosphatase (PAP), which is used for measuring the prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) in the serum and plasma of a human. The components of the kit are designed for use as an integral unit only. Therefore, the components from various lots must be separated. The Diagnostic Automation PSA Enzyme Immunoassay is also a test kit for cancer. It is especially designed for quantitative detection of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the human serum.

Another example of test kit is the Human Allergen Specific IgE ELISA Assay, which is used to quantitate and qualitate the allergen specific human Immunoglobulin E. The total IgE of the specimen is determined before performing allergen specific IgE assays. The Human Growth Hormone (HGH), another type of test kit is used for testing the fertility of a woman. It determines the human growth hormone concentration within the human serum.

There are also test kits for infectious diseases and one of these is the Bordetella pertussis IgA, which is intended to be used for determining the specific IgA antibodies against the Bordetella pertussis in the plasma and serum. The assay is designed for in-vitro diagnostic test only. Therefore, further tests need to be taken into account.

There are several manufacturers of ELISA kits and one of these is Shanghai PZ Bio-tech Co., Ltd. in China. Another ELISA Kit Manufacturer is Taiwan Advance Bio-Pharm Inc., which is based in Taiwan. Other manufacturers of ELISA kits is the Wuhan Boster Biological Technology, Ltd. (China), Green House Pharm Pte Ltd (Singapore), and Biocare Diagnostics Limited (China).

A Cure For Lupus – 10 Lupus Erythematosus Diet Secrets

We Are What We Eat – Can Diet Cure Lupus?

The old saying is still true for everyone. We are what we eat. Our diet choices have a direct effect on our bodies and the way we feel. Consuming the right foods in the right measure is a prerequisite for optimal health. That’s a key consideration for everyone, but it is particularly important for those who have diseases such as Lupus. Diet can play a large role in the way lupus’ symptoms present themselves mainly because Lupus is an autoimmune disease.

A Lupus Diet To Reduce Symptoms & Flares

Although a lupus diet is not a cure for lupus choosing the right foods can be extremely helpful in reducing lupus symptoms. A lupus diet is known to have an impact on inflammation, pain, overall mobility and stamina levels. It is also thought that the correct diet or avoiding certain foods can also play a significant factor in tackling the underlying cause of lupus, I.e.: Autoimmune disease.

Here are ten lupus diet suggestions that are known make a difference Although this is only a small list, it will help relieve lupus symptoms:

10 Foods Lupus Sufferer’s Should Avoid

  • Avoid processed foods and foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Don’t rely on red meat as a source of protein. Eat fish or chicken instead.
  • Maintain a low-fat diet. You can’t completely eliminate fat intake, but you should strive to avoid excess fat.
  • Minimize exposure to spicy food, which may spur flares.
  • Drink water instead of alcohol, soda pop, energy drinks and other unhealthy beverages.
  • Lower your intake of sugar and salt.
  • Decrease or eliminate consumption of refined carbohydrates and starches. Look to whole grains instead.
  • Eat more fresh, raw vegetables and fruit.
  • Focus on foods that your body can digest easily.
  • Supplement your Lupus diet with probiotics and other digestive aids.

Note: Before you implement any particular lupus diet, you should consider being tested thoroughly for food allergies, food allergies whether known or not may bring on lupus flares.

This Can Help Both SLE & DLE Sufferer’s

These ten lupus diet guidelines serve as the foundation for a smart eating plan for those suffering with both SLE or DLE as the underlying cause is normally very similar or linked. Diet plans should always be consistent with those general principles even though they are not a complete cure for lupus. Those who deviate from these recommendations may experience an escalation in the number or severity of many lupus symptoms.

Avoiding Lupus Flares When Your Eating Out

You’ll also notice that those recommendations are perfectly consistent with a variety of eating strategies for those who don’t have lupus. Diet plans of this sort may provide Lupus sufferers with a ready-made assortment of menu ideas and guidance. Plus knowing which foods might trigger lupus flares can be very helpful when eating out.

Changing one’s diet can have a tremendous impact on the way they experience the symptoms of lupus, but it would be unrealistic to believe that diet alone will provide a cure for lupus. A smart lupus diet helps on many fronts, but it’s not a cure-all.

If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus, discuss the development of an ideal lupus diet plan with your physician or a nutritionist with an understanding of lupus. You may discover that a few changes in the way you eat and prepare your meals can play a significant role in the way you feel on a day-to-day basis.

Drug Half Life and Drug Testing

Every drug has its own unique half life which can be used to determine if a person has ingested the substance recently. Whether illicit or legally prescribed, a drugs half life is the amount of time which is required for the trace concentration of a drug within the red blood cells to be reduced by one half. Simply put, a half life is the duration of time it takes for half the amount of a drug to leave the body. Heavy or consistent substance abuse will increase the half life of the drug while infrequent users will expel the toxins from their body at a faster rate.

Half lives of the most commonly abused illicit drugs follows: Regular marijuana users retain a half life of 10 days while sporadic users have a THC life cycle (the active and traceable component in marijuana) of only 2 days. The half lives of Methamphetamines are 15-20 hours while cocaine is between 1-2 hours.

The half lives of the most commonly abused prescription drugs follows: The painkiller opiates, such as Vicodin, hydrocodone, hydrocodeine, oxycontin, Percocet, and oxycodone all have a half life between 4 and 6 hours. Anti-anxiety benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium have a time frame between 14-18 hours. Drug testing for most pills ingested needs to occur quickly after consumption due to the bodies rapid rate of expulsion for most commonly prescribed drugs.

Understanding the differences between the half lives of drugs is essential when determining the best method for drug testing. Urinalysis and urine test strips work best for drugs with longer lives such as marijuana and opiates while hair follicle tests and saliva drug tests will still show traces of drug use amongst quickly expelled drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. When trying to uncover and stop substance use and abuse, considering the half lives of each drug will enable you to find the most precise drug testing kit for accurate results unique to your situation.

The Origins of Alternative Medicine

The origins of alternative medicine, also known as holistic medicine, can be traced back thousands of years to the very roots of medicine. Many millennia ago, physicians or healers would assess the sick person’s emotional condition in addition to their physical symptoms before beginning treatment. The roots of alternative medicine deal with the symptoms of the “whole” person, not merely the physical signs of illness. This is radically different from traditional medicine today.

In medicine today, people demand to be cured immediately, and the demand for medicines and treatments that do so is very high. Most physicians today are trained to assess physical symptoms and base treatments on that, without much consideration of the person’s emotional or intellectual state.

Since its inception, this has survived the ages and stages of the field of medicine. Despite the prevalence of modern medical practices, there are still millions of people worldwide that take advantage of alternative treatments for ailments or well-being. Some of these alternative treatments include massage therapy, herbal remedies, and meditation. Massage is one of the most long-standing forms of alternative treatment, and it is highly popular today as a treatment for aches and pains, and as a means of stress release and relaxation. Most people probably don’t even think about massage as a type of alternative medicine.

Through the ages, every society has used their own forms of medicine and treatments. There is over 5000 years of history and many types of treatments that were used far and wide, and many traditional medical treatments can even find their roots in alternative medicine from long ago.

Long ago in Europe, medical issues were treated by one of two types of healers, the physicians or the folk healers. The folk healers appealed to the poorer factions of society, in that they used natural treatments that were more affordable and easier to come by. Folk healers were often highly respected in these underprivileged sections of society. Folk healers often incorporated philosophy and religious faith into their healing practices, which helped to strengthen a sick person’s mind and spirit, as well as his body.

Eventually, folk medicine evolved into the traditional medicine we are familiar with in today’s world. With each passing century, many great advances have been made in treatments and cures for various diseases and conditions.

Despite the dominance of traditional medicine in the world today, there is still a place for alternative medicine. It is alive and well, and used by many people around the world through massage therapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, meditation, and many other forms of alternative treatments. Many physicians now support many of these treatments, making them less alternative.

The origins of alternative medicine were very forward thinking. It has survived through the millennia because it has real validity, despite a great deal of ridicule through the ages. Though they do not have the immediate effect that many drugs and treatments of traditional medicine, they are a feasible option for a person to consider.

Facts About Hypervitaminosis (Vitamin Overdose) on Selected Vitamins

There are several class of vitamins each with unique chemical properties and with important biological roles to human body system. Commonly, classification of these vitamins may vary according to structural chemical composition, biological role and its solubility (fat soluble or water soluble). But whatever the biological role may it serve to human system vitamins are essential biomolecules which sustain homeostasis to organ system physiology as enzymes especially in enhancing the performance of the immune system. With this fact, it is now a norm that vitamin intake supplementation in daily basis must be considered to ensure health wellness especially those who suffer from diseases and illness; actually there are specific intake doses to each vitamin types both to water and fat soluble, if taken excessively beyond the normal dose, it will cause toxicity to organ system hence can lead to paralysis or death is some worst case. For this purpose, only selected vitamins will be viewed in terms to harmful effects that it may cause due to overdose, as well as the right dose that a normal individual must take daily; and these vitamins are C, B complex, A and E.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), is a water soluble types which plays numerous essential roles to human organ system especially in metabolic reactions and enhancement of the immune system. The recommended daily intake of ascorbic acid depends by age and sex; such in the United States, adult males should take 90mg per day while for adult female 75mg per day and the tolerable upper intake level for both adult male and female 2,000mg per day. The toxicity of ascorbic acid overdose may vary according to subject age, but the most common manifestation of ascorbic acid overdose and side effects are indigestion, skin rashes, headache, disturbed sleep, nausea, and vomiting if severe.

Vitamin B complex, this type is of water soluble comes into many types (B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B9, and B12) each with unique biological function, and plays crucial role to human organ system especially in the enhancement of the immune system, nervous system, and metabolism. The recommended daily intake of B complex may vary from types, so far the established recommendation for B3 (niacin) is 35mg/day; while for B6 (pyridoxine) is 100mg/day; and B9 (folic acid) is 1mg/day. B complex toxicity may vary, but the most common manifestation is nausea, vomiting, liver toxicity, skin rashes, and blured vision.

Vitamin A (retinol) is a essential biomolecule has numerous metabolic functions which includes vision (formation of retinal), gene transcription, haematopoiesis (blood cell production), antioxidant activity, skin health and many more. The recommended daily intake of retinol may vary according to subject age and sex. For adult males, the recommended daily intake is 900µg and upper limit of 3000µg; for adult female, is 700µg and upper limit of 3000µg. While for children age 1-3, the recommended dose is 300µg and upper limit is 400µg. Overdose of retinol can cause some adverse effects to organ system depending on the amount taken excessively; among the common effects to organ system of retinol overdose is renal failure, liver toxicity, anorexia (reduced appetite), blurry vision, vomiting, hair loss, altered mental health, muscle and abdominal pain, irritability, and drying of skin; actually there are numerous manifestations of retinol overdose from acute to chronic other than stated.

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is a fat soluble vitamin, its function to the organ system generally is very essential especially in protecting the cell as an antioxidant. The recommended daily intake of tocopherol for adult male and female is 15mg/day; while depending on the age, daily recommended intake of tocopherol generally vary. In relationship, there is no findings regarding the toxicity of tocopherol overdose to human organ system; but there are several ongoing studies are now progressing towards this path to identify the effects of vitamin E overdose to human health.

Medical Dilemma: Prostate Cancer

The prostate gland is a small gland that sits near the neck of the bladder in men. At the low point of the torso, it resides just in front of the rectum at the base of the penis. It produces part of the semen fluid and when enlarged as it does in half of all men over 50 years old can cause urinary symptoms of urgency, frequency and possibly interfere with erection or ejaculation. The risk of death by prostate cancer is 2.5% of all men but remains the second most common cancer in men after lung cancer. More frequent in older men it can affect men less than 50 years of age. The Center for Disease Control confirms the reputation of prostate cancer as slow growing where men are likely to die of something else. The statistical median age of death from prostate cancer is 80 years old. Nonetheless, we are living to be much older. Controversy surrounds the screening and treatment of the disease.

For many years, the best screening test for prostate cancer in men, the PSA blood test, has been considered imperfect. Some experts say it is only accurate 60% of the time. Do you really want to depend on a tool that only works six out of ten times? If it is still the best option in your toolbox, it is not much of a choice. New information from studies regarding accuracy and outcome published by two expert medical panels in the U.S. has added confusion rather than clarity to the approach for medical screening and treatment. The expert panels confirm the long-standing concern over the high number of false positive results of the PSA blood test. Unfortunately benign enlargement of the gland so common in aging men also causes abnormalities in the PSA test. This leads to many unnecessary biopsies and even radical treatment that is unnecessary. The number of false positives in screening, negative biopsies, and unnecessary treatment is considered unacceptably high by the consensus of experts. Many patients and providers finding the PSA positive feel there is an implied opportunity and need for early intervention. Historically the PSA test was never meant to be a screening test. It was found to correlate with the presence of cancer after the fact and became a marker that could be followed after treatment to measure resolution of the cancer. It was only much later appreciated that benign enlargement of the gland also caused high levels and false positives that could not be readily differentiated from cancer without further invasive biopsy. Serious ramifications of these procedures include not only financial cost, time loss from work, anxiety, depression, impotence and altered bladder function. Yet doing no screening is equally unacceptable.

A consensus has developed around watchful waiting and observation in men who have a positive PSA test but no clinical symptoms. Observing over time and repeating the tests over extended period is more sensible in most as the disease is a slow motion cancer for the majority of men. Research around this group who have no blood in urine or semen, no urinary symptoms, only a positive PSA, the test was found to be only 25% reliable. Another study found 80% negative biopsies in the group who had only a positive PSA blood test without any other clinical symptoms or risk factors.

The experts agree that men with symptoms of aggressive disease need aggressive treatment. However, the large majority of men being screened fall into the category of no serious symptoms. They deserve patient observation, reassurance, supportive counseling and clinical monitoring rather than moving quickly to invasive biopsies and treatment. Numerous medical centers in the United States and around the world have under development new testing that will either supplement or make the PSA obsolete. I hope these breakthroughs will bring clarity sooner rather than later. In the mean time, patience and active surveillance with the help of your health care provider is the order of the day.

Alternative Herbal Medicine – Arnica Gel

Our world is pretty much riddled with sickness and disease. Sure, you heard right. Just take a look around. Pop on the local news and you will surely see something to do with a disease or illness. There's no getting away from this issue. If you are human, it is all around you. Naturally we all want to prevent ourselves from succumbing to illness. This is the reason professionals encourage certain lifestyles and practices. It's sensible to protect ourselves as much as possible. But, what should you do about the afflictions you do acquire? Take the flu or common cold for example. What do you do to get rid of these sicknesses quickly? Are you all for modern-day science or do you prefer alternative herbal medicines? You may want to investigate deeper before drawing any conclusions.

Can you think of an alternative herbal medicine that works well for you? I know I can. You see, I tend to get sore in the forearm area. This is a result of excessive typing. Certainly this could result in dreadful problems such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. However, I will not allow such a thing to happen. Now, I could use an oral medicine like Ibuprofen to deal with the tenderness. Sure, it might help a little. But, I want something that is going to treat and heal my forearms. So, I began searching for an alternative herbal medicine. Eventually I found a German alternative medicine. It is called Arnica gel. I at once liked the fact that it's all natural. Furthermore, it has been proven to heal joints and tendons. I knew it would be ideal for my aches and pains. After just one use, I was amazed at the effectiveness of this herbal medicine. I would imagine such a topical cream would make a lot of money. Since then I rub Arnica cream on my forearms each night before going to bed, and when I get up in the morning, my arms are cured and free of discomfort. It's wonderful stuff.

So, can you think of a good reason why a person should opt for an alternative herbal medicine over one manufactured by a pharmaceutical company? How about this. We are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of these man-made drugs. It's difficult to ignore all the bad press. I certainly do not want my liver damaged by some artificial drug. Why not consider using the modern alternative herbal medicine that is readily available these days.

A little research on the Internet uncovers many testimonials from people praising the efficacy of arnica gel. According to one Amazon customer it reduces inflammation from muscle and joint strain, bruises and arthritis. This user also found it very effective in preventing bruising if applied straight after the injury or bump occurs. Existing bruises faded fast when arnica gel was applied to them.

2015 – Patient Safety Goal Review

The goals listed below are the items identified by the Joint Commission for Health Care Accreditation for 2015. Each year the JC identifies the goals that it feels will help improve the levels of patient care and safety in health care organizations around the world.

These goals were developed by a panel of patient safety experts made up of nurses, physicians, risk managers, and others who have experience with patient safety issues.

To improve the accuracy of patient identification:

1. Two identifiers should be used to confirm a patient receiving treatment or medication. All specimens and blood samples should be labeled at the bedside in order to minimize confusion. Possible identifiers could include: name, medical record, birth date, telephone number, etc.

2. In an effort to prevent transfusion errors – two identifiers should be used to match blood products and a two person verification process is used. One person must be the person who will administer the blood product, and the other must be qualified to verify blood (per hospital policy). One person verification processes are possible whenever bar coding or other forms of automated identification technology exists.

To improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers:

3. The Joint Commission recommends creating policies to define critical test results and timeframes for reporting these to the correct personnel.

Improving the safety of using medications:

4. All medications and diluents in any syringe or container are to be labeled with the name of the substance, the strength, the volume and the respective expiration date.

5. Face-to-face anticoagulant therapy risks should be reduced through patient-provider education and face-to-face teaching including the precautions they need to take and the need for regular INR monitoring.

6. Comparing the medications a patient is taking with newly ordered medications to address duplications, omissions, and interactions should be regular practice.

To reduce the harm associated with clinical alarm systems:

7. Recognizing the point at which alarms contribute to noise pollution is crucial. Alarms of all types must be identified, prioritized, and responded to on time.

Reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections:

8. Standard hand cleaning guidelines from the CDC and WHO are to be employed. Organizations should set goals and assess their compliance with the CDC and / or WHO guidelines and foster a culture of hand hygiene.

9. Hospitals should use proven guidelines such as hand hygiene, contact precautions, and cleaning and disinfecting patient care equipment to prevent the spread of organisms such as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), clostridium difficile (CDI), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE ), and multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria.

10. Evidence based guidelines to prevent bloodstream infections from short and long term central venous catheters and peripherally inserted central catheters is crucial.

11. Prevent infection after surgery using best practices and monitor compliance.

12. Implement policies to prevent indwelling catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The usage and total amount of days needed for indwelling catheters should be kept to the absolute minimum.

Identify safety risks inherent in the patient population:

13. Examine psychiatric patients for suicide inclinations. Examine the surrounding environment for features that may or may not increase the risk of suicide. Provide suicide prevention information such as a crisis hotline upon discharge to patients.

Reducing the Amount of Mistakes in Surgery:

14. Pre-procedure verification processes should be conducted – make sure all relevant documents are available and have been reviewed. Ensure preadmission testing and assessment is completed and that missing information or discrepancies are addressed.

15. Mark the correct site on the patient's body where a procedure is to be done. This is especially important for situations in which there is more than one possible location.

16. Employ time-outs prior to surgery. A time-out is a final check that the correct patient, site, and procedure have been identified. Questions or concerns are to be resolved prior to the procedure taking place.

Medicare Deadline Spurs Hospitals to Prevent Pressure Ulcers

The Announcement That Started It All

Last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it will stop reimbursing hospitals for treating eight reasonably preventable conditions – including pressure ulcers – in October 2008. That simple announcement has put hospitals across America into a state of anxiety and with good reason. Up until now, the majority of hospitals focus on the treatment of pressure ulcers and the extreme pain and life-threatening infections that follow, rather than preventing them.

Which is understandable, since the number of hospital patients who develop pressure sores has risen by 63% over the last 10 years and nearly 60,000 deaths occur annually from hospital-acquired pressure sores.

But that's not the only toll. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average stay for patients admitted to the hospital for treatment of hospital-acquired pressure sores was 13 days, with an average cost of $ 37,500 dollars per stay.

Unless hospitals can afford to continue simply treating pressure sores as they occur without Medicare to subsidize their costs, something must be done. Pressure sores can initially develop when the blood supply to a patient's skin is cut off for more than two or three hours, or is aggravated by constant pressure on the skin and tissues.

When a patient is immobile or has difficulty moving after surgery or procedures, even the slightest friction burns created by bed sheets, wheelchairs or other surfaces can quickly turn into pressure ulcers. One problem, is that pressure ulcers can initially be hard to identify, sometimes looking like nothing more than a pink or red spot on hard to see areas like skin folds or bony protrusions.

And when they do occur, complications such as bone, blood, and skin infections, can quickly develop. Not only do patients suffer; but so do hospitals – treating pressure sores often costs more financially and in personnel hours than the measures that could have prevented them. That does not even take into account the cost of litigation hospitals and care facilities can face, for putting their patients at risk when pressure ulcers develop.

So what can we do? We need to put proactive medicine to work by transforming our basic pressure sore protocols into pressure ulcer prevention programs.

I know what you're going to say. Your facility already has a program in place to identify patients who are at risk to develop pressure ulcers. Maybe you even have a wound management professional to treat patients and instruct your staff on proper procedures. But as hospitals across the country have seen, if pressure ulcers are still occurring, following basic protocols may not be the answer.

For example, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center in Louisiana already had a better than average pressure ulcer rate. But when their quality improvement data detected an increase in the ulcer rate in late 2003, they decided to launch a Six Sigma project to address the issues. After examining the data, they were surprised at the outcome. First they determined that the tools they had been using to analyze their care were unreliable. Second, some preventative measures they relied upon, like using a specific type of patient bed, was not having as much of a positive effect of patient outcomes as small improvements had.

For example, the way smaller tasks were performed on the nursing floor. The recommended changes that came out of the project included simple shifts in procedure including reorganization of wound care products on nursing units and creating task lists for CNAs.

Additional solutions included:

  • Posting a turning schedule in patient rooms to identify need and document results of Q2H turning of patient.
  • Unit educators to address skin issues during annual competency testing
  • Reporting on patient skin issues during shift changes

The result? A sixty percent reduction in the overall nosocomial pressure ulcer rate, with an annual cost avoidance of about $ 300,000. The best way to create and implement a new pressure ulcer prevention program is to model the successful programs instituted by other hospitals, and recreate that success in your own facility.

That's why our organization has created a databank of information on pressure ulcers, causes, treatments, successful prevention programs, six sigma projects and even products other facilities and patients have found helpful. It's a great place to start.

So how does your facility rate? Can your patient's pressure ulcer rate be improved? Now is the best time to find out. With a little analysis, research and a good deal of planning and implementation, you'll be ready and able to give your patients the best skin care available. And that is what good medicine is all about!

Canine Heart Murmur – A Complete Guide

There is an estimated 3 million dogs that are diagnosed with canine congestive heart failure every year – that's a massive 1 in 10 dogs. In this article we will give you all the facts that you need as an owner to understand the signs and symptoms of a canine heart murmur. This disease is actually caused when your dog has changes that have affected the heart valves. Other causes of this condition can be due to age, anemia, disease, high blood pressure and even through inherited congenital defects. Below we have listed some of the signs and symptoms of the condition.

  • You may notice that your dog has difficulty breathing
  • Your dog may really struggle with any exercise – either not wanting to go for a walk or struggling during the walk or after.
  • Your dog may appear very lethargic and not very active
  • Watch for signs of fainting – if this happens then you need to get your dog to the vet fast
  • Examine your dogs mouth – you may notice that the tongue, gums and even the mouth appear blue in colour.
  • Your dog may appear very weak finding normal tasks very difficult
  • Watch for behavioral changes.
  • Your dog may start coughing.

There are a number of ways that a heart murmur is diagnosed including

  • Through chest X-rays
  • Your vet may take blood tests to test for the condition
  • Past medical history will also aid the diagnosis of the condition
  • The vet may undertake an Ultrasound as this can also diagnose the condition
  • The vet may also undertake Echodiagrams.

A canine heart murmur is a serious condition and needs to be fast and Effectively Treated for your dog to have the best chance of Relatively Reviews living a normal life.

Stage 2a Breast Cancer

Stage 2a breast cancer is just part of stage 2 breast cancer. In stage 2a breast cancer there are certain characteristics that distinguish it from stage 2b breast cancer. There are a few conditions of what defines stage 2a breast cancer. This small piece will cover those differentiations. In stage 2a breast cancer there can be either no tumor found in the breast but still cancer is found in the axillary lymph nodes. These are the nodes that are in the under arm or "arm pit." Also constituting stage 2a if there is a tumor but it is 2 centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes in the underarm. It is also stage 2a if there is a tumor but it is larger than 2 centimeters but below 5 centimeters and has not spread anywhere at all.

Stage 2a is a diverse form of breast cancer as you can see it can take many manifestations in terms of its' location and characteristics. If you feel overwhelmed having been diagnosed or know a loved who was diagnosed this feelings are typical. It is easy to learn about someone having cancer and then trying to learn as much as possible all at once-this happens. What is important to remember is that you should not feel overwhelmed or bad about the situation, try to approach it optimistically. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information given to you just try to organize it all on a pad and paper and get accustomed to it all. This is a good and healthy approach to take.

The survival rate of stage 2 breast cancer is quite high since it is still a relatively early form of the cancer. The individual who has been diagnosed with the cancer must seek treatment and begin it promptly though to keep it from progressing and becoming more life threatening. Seeking treatment is the easiest and smartest option you could possibly take so it is important to do this right away. Never hesitate to seek professional medical health in these situations.

Treating stage 2 breast cancer and more particularly stage 2a breast cancer can be done a number of ways. It will most likely involve a little bit of every method available. Treating the stage 2a breast cancer can involve surgery, radiation and chemotherapy or a combination of all three. The surgery would be used to remove the tumor and surround tissue as minimally invasive as possible. Radiation treatment would be used to damage the DNA of the cancer cells so they can not reproduce.

Chemotherapy would use anti-cancer drugs to interfere and stop cancer cells from reproducing and multiplying so rapidly. Many people often seek more holistic approaches as well and these can be used in cooperation with the above treatments. There are mind and spiritual treatments, nutritional adjustments, pain management and physical therapy to name a few.

Adaptive Aids For Cerebral Palsy

The sixth of our series of ten articles on cerebral palsy (CP) looks at the range of aids and other adaptive equipment that help people with CP to move about and communicate effectively. With such equipment, people all over the world are able to lead independent lives.

Equipment that enhances mobility of people with CP include crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, bicycles, tricycles and scooters. Crutches and walkers are often critical for people with CP in enabling them to get about in offices and buildings. Additionally, these tools provide the most basic form of exercise necessary to maintain a healthy body. Some may prefer wheelchairs, particularly if they intend to travel several blocks. Of these, manual wheelchairs are the least expensive, while power wheelchairs may be an option if mobility in one’s limbs is seriously compromised. Sports wheelchairs are an option for people with less severe CP who desire an active lifestyle.

Custom made bicycles and tricycles enable people with CP to exercise in a more rigorous way than walking. Such adaptive equipment enhances the movement of existing muscles, while not neglecting the importance of exercising other parts of the body. Other long-term benefits include a relatively strong immune system, and overall physical well-being. 

In some countries, scooters are specially designed to enable people with CP to travel further distances without relying on public transport. Understandably this option would be suitable so long as one’s condition allows for it. Still, it is heartening to note that the technology is available to people with CP who wish to have a more mobile lifestyle.

Besides equipment that enhances one’s mobility, there are other devices that help people with CP communicate more effectively. These include symbol boards that rely on eye-gazing or pointing rather than speech, electronic voice synthesizers that utilise algorithms to interpret the sounds emitted from one’s voice into intelligible words, and head sticks for people with CP who work on the computer but face challenges in typing words using their fingers.

Some equipment that helps people with daily living include electronic door openers in their home environment, as well as specialised eating utensils. Outdoors, there is an increasing awareness of and sensitivity to designing buildings and transport infrastructure that is ergonomic and friendly to people with disabilities. These include automatic doors, wheelchair-friendly ramps, and disabled-friendly restrooms.

In terms of education, physical equipment goes hand in hand with curricular support necessary to foster a conducive learning environment for children with CP. For instance, a child with CP may be required to learn the basic motor and communication skills before starting school. When the child is deemed ready for formal education, a standing frame can help minimise the distraction of having to maintain one’s balance, while enabling one to learn alongside one’s able-bodied peers. Additionally, a child with CP may be given more time to complete an exam. Parents or caregivers and educators will do well to work closely to help children with CP achieve their educational goals.

The overall educational environment should be one that is conducive for the formation of strong friendships with one’s peers. This would be crucial in enabling people with CP to develop good relationships with others when they enter working life, and contribute fully and positively to society as a whole.

There is room for improvement in terms of physical and social barriers against people with CP, which will be discussed in the next article. However, technology advances are sufficient for people with CP to live independently and be productive members of the workforce.