Treating a Canine Stroke

Introduction

Stroke in dogs is a condition that requires immediate veterinarian treatment. Once a stroke has been diagnosed the treatments will begin as soon as possible. The treatment protocol for stroke in dogs depends on what type of stroke has occurred, and why the dog has experienced a stroke. Early diagnosis and treatment will drastically increase the outlook for a full recovery. If your dog displays any signs of symptoms of stroke, take your dog to a veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.

There are two types of strokes that can occur in dogs: ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain has been reduced and the brain becomes oxygen starved. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a vessel in the brain bursts and bleeding in the brain occurs. While strokes in dogs are not common, there are a variety of disorders and conditions that can cause a stroke to occur.

Treating a Stroke in Dogs

Treatment for a stroke in dogs focuses on supporting care, and addressing the cause of the stroke. If the stroke has been caused by an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or Cushing's disease, the underlying medical condition must be brought under control in order for the stroke to be treated. If the stroke has been caused by an injury to the brain, or infection of the brain, support care and medicines are administered.

Medication which may help to reduce any permanent effects of a stroke include anti-inflammatory treatments such as corticosteroids to control the swelling in the brain and anti-seizure medicines. Intravenous fluid therapies are also provided to help combat shock.

Recovery from a stroke can take days, to weeks, to months. It all depends on how much damaged occurred and how quickly treatments were begun. Pet owners may also need to provide support care at home for the recovery period. Fortunately, most dogs that have experienced a stroke have a good prognosis.

The Three Types of Female Alopecia

Alopecia is the medical terminology used to describe hair loss. It is an especially disturbing condition in women, since it is less publicized and socially accepted than male alopecia. There are three major types of female alopecia: androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and Telogen Effluvium.

The most common type of female alopecia is androgenetic alopecia, which is when women have thinning or diffuse hair loss at the top of the head while keeping their front bangs. What happens in this particular type of female alopecia is that hair follicles become sensitive to hormones and there before the follicles produce less hair. The growing cycle of the hair is shortened and, because of this, the production of hair moves slower (and can, at some point, stop in the area).

Causes for androgenetic alopecia are commonly hormonal. While it is not a single cause, stress can aggravate this type of female alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia by definition means related to hormones and genetics, since there seems to be some pattern of heredity (although this is widely disputed). The most common treatments are the popular Rogaine, Tricomin Therapy Spray and Nizoral. Also, antiandrogens are popular among those concretely diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia rather than any other kind of female alopecia. These drugs reverse the actions of the hormones in the body and can help stop hair loss.

When alopecia in women presents with patchy hair loss it is called alopecia areata. Aside from the hairless patches, this type also has "exclamation point hairs" that narrow closer to the scalp, hence the name. This type of hair loss can happen quickly or slowly. Alopecia areata happens due to inflammation of the hair follicles which then lose their supply of nutrients and therefore go into the shedding stage prematurely.

Causes of alopecia areata are mostly unknown, but it is thought generally that this female alopecia subtype is caused by stress, allergies, infection, genetics, poisoning by environmental exposure to toxins or trauma. The treatment for mild cases includes corticosteroid injections and treatment for intensive cases including topical contact sensitization therapy (chemical creams that may reverse the process). There is also an ointment called Anthralin. It is important to mention that it is rare for this specific type of female alopecia to be reversed.

The third and most typically harmless variation of female alopecia is telogen effluvium which is rapid, but temporary hair loss. It can get dangerous, however, when telogen effluvium triggers another subtype that lay dormant in the body and ends up being a permanent condition. With telogen effluvium, instead of the usual loss of 100 hairs per day, it can go up to 400 lost daily. Apart from hair loss, telogen effluvium can also be accompanied by pain in the scalp similar to the pain of hair being ripped out (this is called trichodynia).

Telogen effluvium usually happens because of stress, illness, recent childbirth or crash dieting. The causes for this alopecia in women can be divided into physiologic, injury / stress and drugs. Physiologic causes include postpartum hair loss, which is a natural condition. Typical stress factors include eating disorders, nutrient deficiencies, recent surgery or illness, infection or just plain stress. Drugs that are commonly associated with temporary female alopecia are anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, heavy metals, birth control pills, thyroid medications and antikeratinazing agents. Treatment of usually involves removing the underlying cause for the temporary hair loss which should solve the problem.

It is important to understand that female alopecia is a versatile condition with many types with different symptoms and causes for each one. Going to a doctor for a solid diagnosis is advisable and female alopecia is usually treatable with the affected female being able to lead on a healthy and normal life.

Glaucoma Prevention is Possible – With Antioxidant Nutrition

Although not widely promoted, age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma have been rising, along with all the other degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer's. Four million Americans now suffer from glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Approximately 120,000 of these people have actually gone blind from glaucoma. Ten percent of the population in America between the ages of 66 and 74 have macular degeneration, thirty percent of the population from 75-85 years old.

What makes these numbers so astonishing is that these are diseases that do not have to occur at all if people were getting enough antioxidants in their diet. Studies suggest that diets rich in antioxidants may help reduce your risk of developing age-related diseases like glaucoma.

Foods for Protecting Your Eyesight

For basic prevention of degenerative eye problems, antioxidants called carotenoids are the most important ones to consider. Carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, and deep yellow in color, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, corn, and peppers, among others. Dark-green leafy vegetables are some other good sources. The highest concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin is found in egg yolks, another reason not to avoid this incredibly nutritious food.

Dark green vegetables are other good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Think of kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, garden peas and brussels sprouts, corn, kiwi and honeydew.

If you eat a lot of foods from this list on a daily basis, you are probably giving your eyes all the antioxidants that they need for glaucoma prevention. However, I suspect that this includes a very small percentage of the population. How about you?

When Should You Supplement Your Diet with Carotenoids?

If you're not keen on these foods, or you have some already-developed symptoms of degenerative eye disease, you might want to consider nutritional supplements specifically designed for eye nutrition. A single capsule of one of these can provide you with 25,000 International Units of mixed carotenes, an amount large enough to get powerful antioxidant protection from cancer and heart disease, as well as eye problems. In order to get that much from your diet, though, you've got to eat these depths of any one of the following:

  • 3 medium-sized cooked carrots, or
  • 3 cups of collard greens
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 9 cups of cantaloupe
  • 6 cups of red peppers

You can see why taking carotene supplements can be so powerful!

What are the best Carotenoid Supplements for Glaucoma Prevention?

Mixed-Carotene Supplements Look for natural, mixed carotenes combined into one capsule. The carotene content of these supplements is usually listed in international units (IU). Look for products made from an algae called Dunaliella salina, in amounts of from 10,000IU to 25,000IU of beta carotene. These mixed carotene supplements will typically include the carotenoids alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin. You'll need at least that much to get the full antioxidant benefits from the carotenoids.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina and lens of the eye. When combined with vitamin C and vitamin E, they protect your eyes from free radical damage and improve your vision by filtering out potentially-dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Bilberry

For more protection, or for treating specific eye problems, you could also take one of the combinations that combine lutein and zeaxanthin with bilberry. These supplements usually contain 10 to 20mg. of lutein and about 1mg. of zeaxanthin. That would be the equivalent of eating about 3 cups of cooked spinach or a dozen-and-a-half eggs. The typical dose for bilberry is usually between 40mg. for preventive measures and 160mg. per day as a therapeutic dose.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is an herbal supplement that has also been shown to be extremely beneficial for eye health. This herb increases blood flow in the capillary network and repairs oxidative stress damage to the capillary walls and retina. Ginkgo is certainly a valuable part of a glaucoma prevention program, as well as for cataracts and macular degeneration.

Astaxanthin

Another relatively new discovery for eye problems is the carotenoid astaxanthin, extracted from microalgae. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants that we know of. It is one of the few antioxidants that can cross the blood-retinal barrier and bring protection to the eyes. It is said to be more beneficial for the eyes in some ways than lutein. It also works all through the body – organs and skin, and in every part of the cell.

Eyesight Combination Products

Some product-makers create antioxidant combinations specifically formulated for eyesight. These will include any number of nutrients beneficial for the eyes, including some of the ones mentioned above. What you pay for with the convenience of just one combination capsule is that the dosages of each will be somewhat lower than if they were separate supplements.

Do not Drop Out the Veggies Altogether!

Remember that carotenoid supplements will not have all of the phytonutrients that are present in the foods themselves, so do not drop out the veggies altogether! Diet is a key part of any glaucoma prevention program.

Is Chocolate Pudding Healthy?

Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cacao tree. The beans of the tree undergo a considerable amount of processing before chocolate is produced but end up with lots of antioxidants. Chocolate is believed to boost serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain, which have an uplifting effect. It also contains stimulants which increases alertness. The feel-good factor, provided by chocolate and recipes with chocolate, gives an instant lift when the energy levels are low. In addition, there are some people who find eating chocolate cake or pudding soothing because they associate it with comfort or reward from their childhood.

Chocolate pudding contains some of the same disease-fighting antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants have been proven to decrease free radicals in the blood that can cause cancers. Healthy eating is more fun when you add small indulgences such as chocolate pudding desserts and pudding pies. A recent study shows the people who regularly eat pudding or recipes containing chocolate as their main ingredient, live up to a year longer than those who avoid it altogether.

Ready to use puddings are high in quality and are ideal as a wholesome snack by themselves. Not only do they have antioxidants, but calcium as well for strong bones. They are used as recipe enhancers in cakes, cookies, pies, ice creams, and other desserts in restaurants, bakeries and foodservice establishments. The jello chocolate pudding is as good as, if not even better, than regular home-made pudding. For people who don’t have the time to prepare tasty pudding desserts from scratch, the handy and ready to eat puddings are the best option.

Instant puddings are well packed and sealed for better taste and longer shelf life these days and are perfect for daycares and preschool snacks. The portions of each cup of chocolate pudding are sufficient to be used as perfect healthy snacks for children and adults. Foodservice companies can also buy big bulk cans for serving many people at banquets and receptions. Apart from being delicious, chocolate puddings are nutritionally balanced. For people who are particular about their diet, there are puddings made of non-fat milk, which contain way less calories than the regular puddings, yet you still get the great antioxidants and calcium.

Why Diabetic Wounds Heal Very Poorly

Diabetes is one condition no one would ever wish to experience. A lot of people fear this condition than the dreaded acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It comes with many complications that keep the patients uncomfortable if proper management is not put in place. It is more pronounced in parts of the world that has poor health facilities. One of the complications is the tendency of wounds of diabetic patients to heal slowly and poorly.

Diabetics are usually advised to protect themselves particularly the feet from injury. This is because, their wounds heal very poor. The poor wound healing also has biological causes. There are basic biological phenomena that take place before a wound heals. One of the major processes involved in wound healing is the formation of a network of fibrin across the wound surface.

With the formation of this fibrin network, the wound starts looking dry while other healing processes continue under it. Regrettably, excess sugar in the blood as seen in diabetics, prevents or breaks down the formation of this fibrin network necessary for healing. By preventing or breaking down already formed fibrin network, it makes wound healing difficult.

Frequent infection (germ invading the wound) also decrees the chances of healing. It is based on this understanding that priority is given to controlling the sugar level in a diabetic patient, then making efforts to get the wound to heal quickly.

Diabetes sufferers stand to face an increased risk for neuropathy and nerve damage. This affects the sensory and automatic nerves.

To put the problem of diabetes to a reasonable level, if not cured entirely, below are helpful tips:

o Dietary management. Dietary measures are required in the treatment of all diabetic patients in order to achieve the overall therapeutic goal.

o Endeavor to exercise yourself as much as possible.

o Then grab the much talked about DIABETES CONTROL MADE EASY . A 100% safe, natural, and effective ways you can manage and even fully recover from your diabetes in as little as 90 days … and so that you never have to take insulin again, or have to suffer painfully even once again!

Swine Flu H1N1 – Do not Get it This Flu Season

The swine flu virus has now been found in more than half of the world, s countries. The first cases which occurred in Mexico actually originated as an infection from pigs. This triggered a slaughter of pigs in some countries which was absolutely unnecessary since the virus while it may have originated from infected pigs is mainly spread by person to person contact. Anyone who is carrying the swine flu virus is a potential threat of infection to all others he comes in close contact with.

A vital question on everyone's mind is how do you protect yourself and your family from being infected with swine flu. With cases of rising especially in Asia and with an expected upsurge of infections in the Northern Hemisphere this flu season, it is imperative that people know how to properly protect themselves. However there is no foolproof way of protection but there are a number of things you can do which will minimize the risk of getting swine flu.

Firstly as we are told repeatedly by the media it is very important to wash your hands frequently. At any time when you have handled items which have been handled by other people you should wash your hands as soon as possible. Better still carry a small bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer with you and use it whenever you can, t wash your hands. The obvious points where infection may be encountered are door handles, stairway and escalator hand rails, public transit door handles and support rails, counters and tables in fast food establishments and so on. Just a little thought about what you are handling and who may have handled it before you is a good idea.

As far as possible avoid putting your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth after handling anything and don, t handle food with hands that have not been washed or sanitized. Public places where large numbers of people are present are a prime source of airborne infection. When someone who is carrying the H1N1 swine flu virus coughs or sneezes tiny droplets of moisture laden with the virus drift in the air and if inhaled will infect you. Weaving a surgical type mask can help to avoid this if there are a lot of infections in your area. However a surgical mask is only partial protection at best since the virus can pass through it or around it and into your breathing passages.

It is a very good idea to avoid large crowds of people as much as possible. Shop early in the morning when supermarkets and stores have few people in them.Travel on public transit when it is least busy as much as you can. Again just a little thought about how you can best avoid exposure to the virus will go a long way to help in avoiding swine flu infection.

Avoid anyone who is coughing or sneezing in any public place. If someone at your workplace is showing any signs of infection they must be sent home immediately. Knowing them to spread swine flu to fellow employees will only result in more people having to stay home and may actually result in a shortage of manpower in some businesses. This will be minimized by ascertaining that anyone with the slightest sign of infection is immediately removed from the workplace.

Diabetic Retinopathy – A Leading Cause of Blindness Worldwide

Diabetic retinopathy is the disease that diabetes (more commonly known as diabetes mellitus) causes in the eye. Symptoms range from mild blurriness to complete blindness. The disease is not curable, but severe vision loss can usually be preceded with early diagnosis and treatment.

The retina is the light sensitive tissue that lines the inside of the eye. It captures light and transmits images to our brain, thus creating "vision." The retina can be damaged by a variety of diseases, for instance, macular degeneration, retinal detachments and diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy affects the retina is a couple of ways. Most commonly, retina blood vessels become incompetent and leak fluid and blood into the surrounding tissue. If the fluid accumulates in the macula, causing macular edema, vision becomes blurred. Macular edema does not cause blindness.

Fewer patients develop the more aggressive and severe form of retinopathy, namely, proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The hallmark of this stage of the disease is the presence of neovascularization. Abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the eye and other internal eye structures. This abnormal tissue can lead to diabetic retinal detachments, causing blindness. A very rare, painful, type of glaucoma may develop as well.

Retinal treatment for macular edema traditionally involves the use of laser treatment. Intravitalreal steroids and anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), delivered via intraocular injection, are becoming more of the mainstay of treatment.

Treatment of proliferative retinopathy starts with pan-retinal photocoagulation, another type of laser treatment. Proliferative diabetics can also develop retinal detachments or bleeding in the vitreous. In these cases, vitrectomy eye surgery may be helpful.

Most people believe, incorrectly, that good sugar control prevails the eye disease from developing. The largest risk factor to developing the disease is the number of years a patient has been diabetic. Period.

Diabetic retinopathy can be a devastating disease. Early detection and treatment is essential to maintaining excellent useful vision. All patients with diabetes, regardless of vision, should have a dilated eye exam at least annually. Waiting until there is noticeable vision loss may be too late.

Things to Do If a Loved One Has a Stroke

For someone who is at risk for a stroke or who has had a stroke you will want to make sure that they understand exactly what a stroke is. It is very important that you know all of the warning signs of a stroke. You will see that a lot of the symptoms will occur quickly so you will want to call 9-1-1 or get your loved one medical help as quickly as possible. Even thought some of the people who have the symptoms are not having a stroke. It is important to recognize all of the symptoms, but you should also act quickly so that you can minimize the damage.

If you experience a sudden numbness in the face, arm and leg you will want to get immediate attention. A stroke may occur on both sides of the body or it may just be one side. It all depends what side of the brain was affected. There are times when the body is only affected on one side. You may also notice that the person may have problems with their speech and may have a difficult time understanding others. Also, they may be experiencing, dizziness, tiredness, and loss of coordination as a sign too. You will want to get emergency care quickly so that your friend can have a better chance. There are people who do die from a stroke.

For these reasons you take the time to write down all valuable information and leave it next to the phone. Make sure you have all the numbers that you could possibly ever need to help you for emergency problems. You may also want to enter the same information in a cell phone or write it down and carry it with you in your pocket, purse, or wallet for any occasion that you might be out and need to get emergency help.

You have to treat every stroke as an emergency. It is very important you think about getting help as if you new someone was taking a heart attack. You will also find that timing is very important. Early treatment can help you save your friends life. You will want to make sure to get treated within three hours of showing signs. You will be given medications to dissolve blood clots and you will also find that your doctor or the hospital will try to do all that they can to minimize the damage.

After a stroke you will need to give the person some time for rehabilitation. They may take several months off and learn the basics all over again. Most people are unable to do things like walking, talking, or even associating with those that they love. Sometimes it is best that you spend as much time with a person who has had a stroke so that they know that they are loved and make a good recovery.

Alopecia Symptoms – How to Know If You Are Affected With Alopecia

A lot of people can be observed with balding spots or receding hairlines. There are some who has it because of heredity, but a lot of them have the condition because of alopecia. It could be bought many reasons. They could be using the wrong hair care product or there is a problem with their diet. People who are undergoing certain medical treatments like chemotherapy are also aware to have hair loss symptoms. Most of these hair loss condition signs are treatable. Once the cause is removed from their system, the hair grows back. You too could have been practicing an unhealthy habit which could lead to hair loss. If you are not sure, there are some signs of alopecia that you need to watch out, before your hair is all gone.

The first is hair loss. If you observed that your crown is thinning out for no apparent reason, then you can be a candidate for the disease. Humans lose a certain amount of hair everyday. That is normal. But if you notice that you are losing hair in unusual number, then a trip to specialist is recommended. These experts will know what is causing it and can prescribe a remedy before your hair is all gone. Next in line for symptoms of Alopecia that needs to be monitored is baldness. The condition is defined as loss of scalp hair and is caused by many factors including drug side effects and certain medical conditions. However, if you have none of these causes and you are balding, you might already have alopecia and you need to have it treated as soon as possible.

Temporary or patchy hair loss was also observed to be signs of alopecia. Take note that alopecia does not affect scalp hair only. It is observed to be present in body hair as well. Therefore, the scalp need not only be the observed area. The effects of alopecia can be remedied if proper diagnosis and prompt medical treatment is given. It is a disease that affects many so instead of hiding or condemning it, do not be accused to consult with a medical specialist.

5 Foods That Prevent Glaucoma By Strengthening Your Eyes

There is currently very little evidence that links diet and glaucoma. However, there are a number of foods that can boost your eyes, promote healthy vision and possibly prevent glaucoma. Since glaucoma has an adverse effect on your vision it makes sense to do everything within your control to boost your vision. In this article, I will be listing five foods that can help you do exactly that.

Almonds

Almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E around and contain 26.2mg of this natural nutrient per 100g. Vitamin E is a very impressive antioxidant that can keep your eyes safe from the damage caused by free radicals. It also provides additional protection to all your body’s vital organs including our eyes, and some health professionals believe it is one of the foods that prevent glaucoma through disease prevention.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is the richest food source of the eye boosting phytonutrient rutin available. It supports strong, healthy eyes in multiple ways. For starters, it is a powerful antioxidant that protects your eyes from dangerous free radicals. In addition to this, rutin supports healthy blood flow and ensures that your eyes and optic nerve are getting the oxygen they need. Finally, some early studies indicate that rutin can directly protect against eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, making it one of the few proven foods that prevent glaucoma.

Carrots

Carrots are one of the top food sources of beta carotene – a substance that the body converts into vitamin A. A 100g serving of carrots supplies your body with a notable 8.3mg of beta carotene. Whilst there are no studies linking vitamin A with a lower risk of glaucoma, this nutrient is one of the most important when it comes to maintaining strong, healthy vision and night vision. Additionally, it protects the eyes by acting as an antioxidant.

Kale

Kale contains high levels of a very promising phytonutrient – lutein. It contains 18.2mg of lutein per 100g. Lutein is actually found in the human eye and because of this many people believe that it can prevent a wide range of eye disorders and keep them healthy. Early studies into the effects of lutein on the eye have shown very positive results but further research is needed before their effects on the eyes can be fully confirmed.

Oranges

As you probably know, oranges are extremely rich in vitamin C. A 100g serving or oranges provides you with a massive 53.2mg of vitamin C. This natural nutrient offers protection to your eyes and is also a powerful antioxidant that can shield them from the harmful effects of free radicals, allowing it inclusion into the list of foods that prevent glaucoma.

Our understanding of glaucoma is still in the very early stages. We cannot say for sure what causes it and there is also no cure. However, glaucoma is an eye disorder so making dietary choices that keep your eyes and vision strong is a good move. It certainly won’t do any harm, and may give your body the fuel it needs to fight glaucoma.

Is Whole Wheat Pasta Really Healthier?

Whole-wheat pasta is generally known to be better for you because whole-wheat pasta contains the entire grain seed. Whole-wheat pasta contains vitamins, minerals and fiber, some of which are lost in the refining process when pasta is made from refined and processed flour.

The main reason that so many people prefer processed pasta, to whole-wheat pasta, is that the processed pasta has a slightly different taste and texture than the whole-wheat variety, and many people have become accustomed to processed pasta. It is true that whole grain pasta is better for you, and offers health benefits that you will not find in processed pasta.

Whole-wheat pasta is brown and has a stronger taste than the pasta that most people are accustomed to eating. It comes in many different shapes and sizes. Some people say the differences take some getting used to while others notice very little difference.

Whole-wheat pasta is not only higher in natural nutrients but it also contains more fiber. In addition, whole-wheat pastas tend to have a lower glycemic index. What this means is that it will not raise your insulin level. This is very important if you are a diabetic or trying to lose weight.

Although people have grown accustomed to the mellow taste and texture of refined pasta, whole-wheat pasta is higher in protein, and tends to be more filling, so you eat less. It becomes lighter as it cooks and can be quite delicious when served with flavorful sauces.

It is a common misconception that pasta is a very fattening food. Pasta is not necessarily fattening as it is made from grain, which is a naturally low fat food. It is the sauce that you put on the pasta that adds the calories to the meal. If you want to eat pasta but keep your calorie count low, you could eat whole-wheat pasta topped with a low calorie sauce.

As a result of new technology, today's whole-wheat pasta has improved in the past few years to be even more palatable with better texture. Some of today's whole-wheat pasta is very tasty when cooked correctly and complimented with the right sauces.

Dieticians and doctors will usually tell you that whole-wheat pasta is your best choice for health. You will get far more nutrition and fewer calories that you will with refined pasta.

By choosing whole grain pasta, you can put your favorite Italian dishes back on the menu without sacrificing your health.

Infections of a Surgical Wound

Wounds typically break the continuity of the skin and permit organizations to have access to tissues and cause infection.

The first thing that you might want answered is what are wound infections? By definition a wound infection is a surgical site infection or SSI. There are the following varieties of a surgical site infection or SSI.

– A superficial incisional SSI. This is an infection that involves only skin and subcutaneous tissue.

– A deep incisional SSI. This is an infection that involves deep tissues, such as facial and muscle layers.

– An organ / space SSI. This is an infection that involves a part of the body in organs and spaces other than the incision that was opened or manipulated during an operation.

This, as you can see, is a definition of wound infection which is restricted to infections as a result of a surgical incision. If you take a broader view a more general definition would be infection of a wound which was caused by physical injury of the skin as a result of penetrating trauma from plants, animals, guns, knives or other objects.

In a hospital one of the most commonly acquired infections are infections forming in surgical wounds. These are also known to be a cause of morbidity and mortality.

The next question that might come to your mind is what causes wound infections?

In simple terms an infection in a wound is the result of deposition and multiplication of microorganisms in the surgical site of a suspect host. There are various ways in which microorganisms can find their way into wounds. These include:

– Through direct contact. Here germs are transferred from surgical equipments or the hands of the surgeons or nurses to the wound.

– Via airborne dispersal. Micro organisms are deposited by the surrounding contaminated air.

– Self-pollution. This is a result of migration of the patient's own endogenous flora. These are present on the skin, mucous membranes or gastrointestinal tract to the surgical site.

The organisms that are mostly most commonly associated with wound infections include Staphylococcus aureus / MRSA, Streptococcus pyogenes, Enterococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

To be categorized as a surgical wound infection some symptoms are as follows:

– Infection should occur within thirty days of the operation.

– There is purulent discharge from the site of the surgery.

– There is a purulent discharge from the wound or from the drain placed in wound.

– There are organizations found in the aseptically acquired wound culture.

H1N1 Flu ("Swine Flu") Prevention Tips

Flu season is upon us again, and we would like to help you protect yourself from getting any type of flu this season, including the H1N1 flu, which is commonly referred to the "Swine flu". First we should define what exactly the H1N1 virus is. The H1N1 virus is an influenza virus that is causing illness in people. It is spread from person-to-person in much the same way that seasonal influenza viruses spread. They can be spread by an individual coughing or sneezing, or simply by touching something, and then you contracting that same surface. Studies have shown that an influenza virus can stay active on a surface and infect another person for 2 to 8 hours from original contact.

The H1N1 affects all people alike, but seems to be most dangerous for the elderly, young children, and pregnant mothers. More than 60% of the deaths that have occurred so far were in the age group of 50 years, or older. This is slightly lower than typical influenza outbreaks, so it seems that all age groups are affected evenly.

The signs of the H1N1 virus include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and chills. These symptoms are very similar to that of a typical seasonal flu. If you experience these symptoms, please see a physician. To make work places and schools safe from spreading these types of viruses, please remove yourself from these environments until you have been free from these symptoms for at least 24 hours.

The best possible way to help combat the spread of the virus is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly. You should also consistently wash your hands with antimicrobial hand soap for at least 20 seconds at a time, throughout the day. To help prevent the spread of other disease and viruses, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, because germs are spread this way.

Dangers of Corticosteroid Treatments for Eczema

Unfortunately, in today's society, prescription drugs, shots and lotions have seemed to become the common answer to everything however, they are quite an ideal, safe and effective long-term treatment option. Everyday more evidence surfaces of negative health effects associated with these so called safe solutions and corticosteroid treatment for eczema is certainly no exception.

While doctor and pharmaceutical companies would have you believe that their way of treatment is what you need and a method that you can trust, in all actuality, it is more often what they need to stay in business. Corticosteroid treatments have been the common option to turn to for a number of decades however, more and more research suggests that these products offer systemic and localized unwanted side effects, especially with extended use. Below are the most common dangers of corticosteroid treatment for eczema and the list keeps getting longer as more tests are done. When looking for an eczema treatment, avoid these products and opt for a natural solution.

• Cushing's Disease – It has been proven that corticosteroid products causes a severe malfunction in the adrenal glands which results in the body producing too much cortisol.

• Thinning of the skin, acne and skin discoloration.

• Obesity or extreme weight gain due to increased appetite.

• Slowed healing of wounds because your body became dependent on the drug.

• Increased sweating which can actually worsen eczema symptoms.

• Lower resistance to infections.

• Psychological problems including depression, mood swings and insomnia.

• Cataracts, glaucoma or blindness.

• Water and salt retention which ultimately causes swelling and edema.

• Osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.

• Black and blue marks due to destroyed blood vessels.

• Stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis and atrophy.

What You Need to Know

If you are using corticosteroids as a treatment for eczema, you need to know that synthetic strands confuse your hormonal glands, primarily in your brain. With extended use, your brain begins to feel that everything is an invasion on your body's system so wrong messages are received from hormonal glands which leads to an imbalance. Of course, this can become quite dangerous

Synthetic corticosteroids take over your body's neural receptors so natural healing can not occur, nerves are tensed and instead of regenerating, tissues, cells and organs, malfunction and deterioration takes place instead. Long-term use is nothing but pure destruction on your body. Is this really what you want to use for treatment for you or your child?

Stroke Rehabilitation and Exercise After a CVA

If you or someone you love has had a stroke or CVA you will have an idea of ​​the changes that can occur. Whether these changes are physical or psychological affecting emotions they have to be understood and allowed for during recovery. Some of the physical changes will be explained but do not forget the importance of helping yourself. Remember also that often at least initially, thinking processes can be affected which may make comprehension more difficult.

After a stroke either the left or right side of your body does not work properly to some degree. This has a large effect on your proprioception or sense of where your body is. You lose your ability to know where the middle is. Your brain interprets it as being towards the non-affected side because of the loss of use of your paralysed arm or leg. This has to be combated initially quite simply by making sure you lean to your affected, paralysed side. This stimulates the brain and stops it forgetting the affected side.

In the initial phases of stroke rehabilitation particular attention is paid to being able to sit up, stand up and eventually start walking. A physiotherapist is very important in guiding you through this stressful period. The stroke sufferer must be positive and help as much as possible in their own recovery. Without this active rehabilitation the chances of good recovery drop sharply. Our muscles are there to be used, not ignored.

If you have difficulty moving your arm it's essential that physical therapy focuses on your shoulder. You need all the muscles both in front and behind the shoulder to get working and hold you're the joint joint in place. Cushions or pillows are used when you're sat down and a sling of some form when you're standing and hopefully walking.

A recent new and welcome development is the use of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to speed recovery after a CVA. It is particularly helpful when used on the shoulder muscles in both building up strength and preventing shoulder subluxation.

Muscle stimulators are small, battery powered and use small currents to gently stimulate muscles. Research has shown that the brain is very good at 'forgetting' a paralysed limb, as the normal flow of information from the paralleled limb into the brain ceases. By using muscular stimulation you strata the information flowing back to the brain, which aids recovery.

An unused muscle soon becomes stiff and painful which makes it difficult to move. Regular muscle stimulation relaxes and strengthens your muscles and helps speed your rehabilitation. The stimulators are easy to use and do not require physiotherapist supervision so you can use them everyday.

They are particularly good at stimulating the muscles involved in wrist and finger movement and help to minimize stiffness in the hands and fingers. Finally remember that a positive outlook helps so much so always be encouraging and believe in your stroke rehabilitation success.