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Sickle cell anemia is a lifelong, chronic disease that affects over 72,000 people in the United States. In most cases, there are not continual symptoms but periodic painful attacks. It can also weaken the immune system and cause other complications such as strokes. People with sickle cell anemia also typically have a shortened life span. There is no cure for this disease but treatment options are available.It is essential to seek a consultation with a medical profession i...

How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated?

How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated?Sickle cell anemia is a lifelong, chronic disease that affects over 72,000 people in the United States. In most cases, there are not continual symptoms but periodic painful attacks. It can also weaken the immune system and cause other complications such as strokes. People with sickle cell anemia also typically have a shortened life span. There is no cure for this disease but treatment options are available.It is essential to seek a consultation with a medical profession if symptoms of this disease are present. Even if a person is not currently experiencing pain or symptoms, continual treatment is necessary. Treatment will help reduce the frequency of episodes and delay the time in between them. Children with this disease are often hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics. These help prevent bacterial infections commonly seen in children. They also generally continue to take oral antibiotics until they are five years old.Advances in science are producing newer drugs to help combat symptoms, but the drug hydroxyurea is the most commonly prescribed. There have been indications that this drug may increase the risk of acquiring leukemia but no concrete evidence to this effect is yet to be shown. There are also common side effects to this drug such as painful urination and back pain.Treatment for pain is necessary for people with this disease. Those experiencing mild, short lived episodes may be prescribed a variety of non-narcotic pain medications. However, acute pain may require use of narcotic drugs to help control it. These are valuable in lessening symptoms and leading a more comfortable life, but they can be addictive. It is also important to maintain health with proper diet and exercise. In addition to a well balanced diet, a regular exercise routine should be implemented. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises are helpful to reduce stress and can also be used as pain relief. Ensure adequate bed rest and a good nights sleep.Blood transfusions are often implemented to increase the quantity of normal red blood cells. These treatments can be performed regularly with low risk. In more extreme cases a bone marrow transplant may be recommended. However, this is rarely used due to the high risk and low probability of finding a suitable donor.Continual treatment and monitoring of this disease is essential in keeping complications at bay. Although this disease generally lowers life expectancy, with proper treatment most people suffering from this disease can lead full lives. Over the past thirty years, there has been an increase in the life expectancy for people suffering from "sickle cell anemia" .

The Migraine Headache: Definition, Causes And Cures.

The Migraine Headache:  Definition, Causes And Cures.

More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches which can be classified as severe and often disabling headaches. A typical migraine headache will give a warning sign before its onset, such as tingling in your limbs, seeing blind spots or flashing lights. You will know when you are experiencing a migraine headache because they are accompanied by most, if not all of the following symptoms. Severe pain either on one side or both sides of the head, pulsing head pain, worsening head pain with any activity, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and not being able to function regularly. While seeing flashing lights or blind spots are a common warning sign of a migraine, some sufferers experience these symptoms throughout the entire duration of their headache. This is classified as a classic migraine and, along with the above conditions, the person will also experience weakness and speech problems along with zigzagging lines in their eyes. If a migraine is left untreated, the pain can last from four to 72 hours, which can cause huge disturbances in a persons normal life.Although doctors are not 100 percent sure what causes migraines to occur, there are somethings that are known to trigger these headaches. These include, fluctuations in hormones; many women claim that their migraines worsen just before a period or during menopause and pregnancy. Certain foods can also trigger migraines, such as alcohol, cheese, chocolate, aspartame and caffeine which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and most soft drinks. To avoid migraines as best you can, try keeping a diary of the foods you eat and record how they made you feel afterwards. After a couple of weeks doing this you should be able to see what foods that are triggers for you, therefore telling you which foods to avoid. Other triggers can include stress, changes in the environment and certain medications.To prevent migraines try avoiding trigger foods, as well as exercise regularly, cutting down on estrogen producing drugs if you are a woman, and quitting smoking and drinking alcohol. All of these things can help you avoid migraines, but if you do happen to get one, try over the counter pain medications or talk to you doctor about prescription drugs that are right for you. Good over the counter medications include Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin and similar drugs. If you have been drinking alcohol in the past 48 hours, you should not take Tylenol as it can cause serious liver damage. Also remember that you should never give Aspirin to a child because it can cause Reyes Syndrome (a potentially fatal illness in children).

Stainless Steel Surgical instruments-A Misnomer

Stainless Steel Surgical instruments-A Misnomer

Over seventy-five percent of the surgical instruments available today are made of Stainless Steel, which in most respects is an ideal material. It resists rust, takes a fine point, and retains a keen edge. But the term "stainless" is frequently taken too literally. Stainless Steel Instruments do have their weaknesses. Water spotting and staining are but two. So there is really no "stainless" type of steel.Everything possible is done to make "surgical instruments" as "stainless" as possible. In many cases, instruments are "passivated". Passivation is a process which helps insure that an uninterrupted protective coating of chromium oxides is present on the surface of the surgical instrument to protect against corrosion. Since passivation is so important, let us discuss it more. By exposing an instrument to the atmosphere or to certain oxidizing agents, a thin, protective surface of film is formed on the clean surface of the instrument. This is the passivation layer. Also, through use and repeated processing, a surgical instrument will actually passivate itself further. Therefore we sometimes hear the remark."They don't make surgical instruments like they used to! My old instruments never stain. But, here is a word of caution, if a scrubbing pad is used too often the passivation layer will be removed, and the instruments will begin to spot.Actually, the older surgical instruments are extremely well protected by a very effective layer of chromium oxides, strengthened by repeated exposure to the oxidizing conditions that exist when washing, or exposure to different chemicals that are used in the cleaning process.

Vioxx Personal Injury Lawsuits

Vioxx Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury attorneys representing clients who have allegedly been harmed by the prescription drug Vioxx are congratulating themselves over a historic judgment rendered recently. On August 19, 2005, a judge awarded the family of Bob Ernst $253.4 million due to his death from the drug. Vioxx, which had been prescribed most often for arthritis pain, was withdrawn globally by its maker, Merck, after research trials showed it increased patients' chances of a heart attack. Although Merck pulled the drug off the market in September 2004, legal action against this leading pharmaceutical giant will continue and expand. Lets take a look at why Vioxx has become a litigation lightning rod.In 1998 as Merck was running clinical trials for Vioxx, company reports to the FDA stated that there were no cardiovascular signals apparent. This meant that there were no telltale signs that the drug could cause heart problems for users. Later, however, it was revealed that an internal study conducted by Merck around the same time Study 090 revealed serious cardiovascular problems as compared to patients not taking Vioxx. The study was never published by Merck as the company insisted that it was not large enough to provide definitive data.The following year the FDA gave Vioxx its approval and the drug became the second nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication [or COX-2 inhibitor] to hit the market. Celebrex, another problem drug, was the first.Merck widely and thoroughly launched a marketing campaign upon the introduction of Vioxx to the marketplace. Indeed, by 2003 the drug had entered 80 nations with sales exceeding $2.5 billion. Still, there were problems looming as ongoing tests conducted by Merck hinted of potential deadly side effects. As early as 2001, the FDA recommended label warnings be put on prescriptions warning users of potential side effects. In addition, Merck was warned by the FDA to quit misleading physicians about potential side effects.As potential problems began to surface, they served as red flags to industry watchdogs, to the FDA, as well as to personal injury attorneys who began to gather evidence to show that Merck was negligent. Indeed, web sites and advertising campaigns meant to inform and attract patients harmed by the drug were launched and fairly soon the internet, radio, television, and print media were flooded with advertisements asking those suspecting harm from Vioxx to come forward.With the September 2004 announcement that Merck was withdrawing Vioxx, personal injury litigation was well on its way to being established. By early 2005, the first cases were filed and the Ernst case became the first Vioxx lawsuit to be settled.Wrongful death lawsuits against Vioxxs maker, Merck, are expected to increase as the result of the Ernst decision. Personal injury attorneys insist that thousands of former Vioxx users and/or their families are due compensation for Mercks neglect. It remains to be seen if juries will render judgments as large as the Ernst judgment and whether courts will uphold these amounts. Nevertheless, it is certain that Merck is in for a long battle that will reach well beyond its US base.

Tooth Whitening

Shiny white teeth can enhance a persons looks more than many other beauty treatments and often they are the first area that the makeover teams target on their television shows.Aside from having major teeth reconstruction, simply whitening your teeth can make you look considerably younger. As we age our teeth tend to become discolored and stained from food, coffee, tea and smoking.Tooth whitening is a very simple method that can help reduce the ravages of time and should be the first step to adding a new look to your face.There are several different methods of teeth whitening.The most basic method of tooth whitening is with the regular brushing of your teeth with "tooth whitening" toothpaste.This is a very mild method of tooth whitening and will take considerable time to reduce the discoloration of teeth that have been stained for many years.It is also the cheapest method of tooth whitening as the cost of tooth whitening toothpaste is only slightly higher than comparable standard toothpastes.A more effective method of tooth whitening is achieved at the dentists where a mold will be taken of your teeth.Once the mold is made you add tooth whitening gel inside the mold and place it on your teeth for an hour or two each day.After a relatively short time using this technique there will be a noticeable change in the color of your teeth as the gel bleaches away the stain.The main ingredient in all these "teeth whitening" processes is peroxide, which effectively bleaches the enamel and dentin of the teeth.An alternative method to teeth whitening, although somewhat more expensive is the application of porcelain veneers.This is a very costly and time-consuming procedure and it is best to seek advice from your dentist to determine whether this is the right solution for your needs.

Palliative Care : Nurses Speak Hope When Hope Seems Lost

Any Family dealing with the loss of a loved one is usually involved in the Medical Community. The ones wit the most frequent and closest care are the nurses. The nurse is there working closely with the client assess their needs as well as the families needs. Family and dear friends are coping with the many physical and emotional demands of the dying or palliative patient. It is a heavy burden to bear and bearing it can cause a deep feeling of hopelessness that blurs all vision of hope for help and improving the situation for both the Patient and the Family.A Nurse is a listening ear and not only for the client but for the family. There are a lot of fears that can be put to rest when they are voiced and appropriate and helpful solutions are presented. A nurse is A Client Advocate who will speak up and seek out help that the client or family may not know how to or be unable to themselves.When many fears have been put to rest by being able to talk them out with the Nurse and Other members of the Palliative team then the client and family will have a better sense of being in control of the process a little better and are then able to make healthier and more beneficial decisions for their care.A Client who is unable to speak for themselves is often spoken for by the family member. They may not be reading the signs that the patient may be giving non-verbally.The Nurse can come along side the Family member and help them become more aware of how to assess the needs and manage comfort levels in a safe and healthy way.Speaking the truth in kindness is a difficult thing to do. But as the Patient is priority the nurse takes this responsibility and does her best to respectfully bring to awareness the needs. She helps set up a Plan with the Doctors, Case managers and many other valued members of the health team.Often a Spouse will try to take a lot of the load on themselves and they often get burnt out and put themselves at risk of physical and emotional exhaustion. There are many Palliative resources that can alleviate the stress and help improve both client and Family members safety. For example and older woman trying to help her palliative husband to the bathroom is unable to support him if he would fall and the risk of them both ending up with a detrimental injury is high! The care giver in this case the wife would be of no further help if she ended up in hospital with a broken hip for example. This can be avoided with getting a helper in for transferring the client or for daily care like getting bathed etc.Helping the Client and Family become aware of the help they can get and being positive with them as much as possible Speaks Hope were things seem Hopeless!It Is always good to talk and ask as many questions as you need to. You can only get more information to help relieve your overwhelmed feelings if You are in this situation.

Summary

Sickle cell anemia is a lifelong, chronic disease that affects over 72,000 people in the United States. In most cases, there are not continual symptoms but periodic painful attacks. It can also weaken the immune system and cause other complications such as strokes. People with sickle cell anemia also typically have a shortened life span. There is no cure for this disease but treatment options are available.It is essential to seek a consultation with a medical profession i...