Sterility in Medicine

We are lucky to live in this century, one where medicines have been developed to combat most ailments, where we can be sure that the medicines we have are safe and sterile when needed and if we need a surgery, that the tools and equipment needed is all safe, clean and germ free.

Throughout history, they didn’t give much thought to keeping things clean and sterile, but luckily today we know that it is used to promote health and to eliminate the risk of contamination. What does being sterile mean though? Well, sterility is defined as the complete absence of any viable microorganism whether on a surgical tool, on equipment or in medicines themselves.

There are a few different ways that sterility is achieved in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. The first is using steam. This technique was actually invented back in the 1880’s by a man called Charles Chamberland. He came up with the autoclave, a steam sterilizer that used water to create steam to clean surgical tools and kill bacteria between patients. Today we still use this technique to clean glassware and surgical instruments.

What about things that can’t withstand high temperatures? In the case of sensitive electronic components, plastics and cardboard that need to be sterilized, the technique is EtO or EO, and it uses Ethylene Oxide gas as the sanitizing agent.

Another way to sanitize things is by the use of dry heat. This is used for things like needles and metal instruments that can get very hot with no worry that they will disintegrate.

But what about medicines themselves? They can’t be steamed, but they can go through the process known as aseptic processing. This takes a sterile medicine and packages it in a sterile container using flash heating. It is a task that also requires the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters and dry heat. By using this technique however, drugs can be imported and exported anywhere in the world without the need for refrigeration and will be sterile when they arrive at the patient.

Sterile medicines, equipment and tools all help to provide the best care possible to us when we are sick. We don’t have to worry about contamination as the risks for it is low if all temperatures, gases, humidity and pressure levels have been accurately monitored throughout the sterilization process to ensure validity and effectiveness. Medicine has come a long way and the results are safer and more reliable than ever before.

Hernia Treatment Without Surgery Is Becoming Widespread

Generally, hernia requires surgery. But, these days, hernia treatment without surgery is becoming widespread. Yoga hernia exercises are useful for hernia treatment without surgery because it is found that over 30% hernia surgery patients end up with pain and discomfort afterwards. Inserting a foreign net can cause complications later in your 30 to 40 years of post-operation life. Instead of immediate surgery, you can try out gentle yogic stretching in static and dynamic form. This is good for gradually strengthening weak abdominal muscles as it supplies abundant amount of oxygenated blood that nourishes, activates, tones and strengthens. This in turn improves muscle tensile strength which prevent displacement of internal organs. Exercising as a solution for hernia will also safeguard that the hernia does not recur in adjacent area.

You can ask a physical therapist for guidance on exercises that fit your unique condition as patient education & training are key factors in the overall process of physiotherapy treatment. Hernia treatment without surgery will need 1 to 3 months of committed effort and patience to heal.

Piles

Piles are usually inflamed and swollen collections of tissue in the anal area. They can be of any sizes and may be internal or external. Piles are usually caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum. The blood vessels around the anus and in the rectum generally stretch under pressure and may swell, thus forming piles. The symptoms of piles are:

  • Hard stool and constipation,
  • Diarrhea and frequent bowel movements.

Doctors usually diagnose piles after carrying out some physical examinations like digital rectal examination or colonoscopy.

In most cases, piles dissolve on their own without the need for any treatment. But, some piles become severe. Read on to discover some piles treatment that will help significantly to reduce the discomfort and itching.

  1. Diet – Diet change is a must to keep the stools regular and soft. This means you need to eat more fiber, such as fruit and vegetables or bran-based breakfast cereals. You should increase water consumption.
  2. Body weight – Exercising and losing weight help in reducing the severity of piles.
  3. Medicines – Over-the-counter medicines like painkillers, ointments, creams, and pads help to soothe redness and swelling around the anus. Corticosteroids medicines can reduce inflammation and pain. Laxatives are prescribed if a person with piles suffers from constipation.
  4. Surgery – An elastic band is placed around the base of the pile, cutting off its blood supply. In sclerotherapy, medicine is injected to make the hemorrhoid shrink. Infrared coagulation is a device that is used to burn the hemorrhoid tissue. The excess tissue that is causing the bleeding can be surgically removed. Hemorrhoid stapling is done to block the blood flow to the hemorrhoid tissue. Laser surgery is the latest technique for treating piles.

So, multi specialty hospitals have well known doctors for piles treatment where you can get yourself completely cured.

Texans Save Yourselves: Get Affordable Health Insurance Now

Even Superman should have health insurance. Amusingly, most of us who struggle with health coverage are similar to Superheroes and their woes. We encounter problems with obtaining health insurance for a number of reasons. Either our employers do not provide it, the costs are too high, or the plan does not adequately suit our needs. Superman is self-employed, does not produce an income, and has an incredibly risky profession, which includes daily injuries and a high possibility of death each day.

If Superman attempted to get health insurance from most companies in the United States, it is rather probable he would get rejected over and over again.

Some of us believe we are indestructible, like Superman, and we do not opt for health insurance because it seems unnecessary. However, a lot of people would love to have the security knowing their well-being is covered, yet simply know they cannot afford it. Regardless, whatever the reasoning behind your choice to ‘wing-it,’ is, it is crucial to your health, security and emotional state that you reconsider.

It is no secret the United State’s health care system has flaws. Politicians have been trying to amend these flukes for decades, and it is constantly an issue that resurfaces during each presidential election. While it will be some time before any revolutionary changes are observed in our system, now is the time for you to change your outlook on health insurance options.

Certain states are worse off in their status’s of having heath insurance. Health insurance companies need to come to rescue for Texan inhabitants. Texas has one of poorest ratios of those who have health insurance coverage to those who do not. Currently, 1 in 4 Texans do not. That is 25% of the population!

Every individual comes with a unique situation. Be smart. Protect yourself. Indestructible or not, you never know when a freak accident or sickness will occur and leave you broke and emotionally shattered.

Journey of a Drug: Design to Market Seller

Where do the medicines we take from chemists come from? How do the doctors know which drug is good for which disease? How the medicines really are able to cure a particular ailment they have been prescribed for? Do these questions come to your mind, whenever you buy any medicine?

Come, let us today know about the medicine development from the beginning

The development of medicine is called a Clinical Research and has different Phases. Phases of the clinical research are the steps of experiments with a health intervention in an attempt to find enough evidence for a process which the scientists think would be helpful in medical treatment.

The pharmaceutical study starts its journey from a drug design and drug molecule discovery which further progresses into animal testing and then human studies to see the drug’s effectiveness.

Drug undergoes many trials- Preclinical, Phase 0, Phase I, II, III and IV. Sometimes combined trials also are undertaken to reduce the time of development, like Phase I/II and II/III.

Pre-Clinical Study

When the drug molecule is identified, it undergoes many in vitro (test tube or cell culture) and in vivo (animal) experiments. These experiments are conducted to know the preliminary efficacy, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics of the various doses of the drug. Many drug molecules are designed at a time and these pre-clinical studies let the pharmaceutical companies decide which molecule has a greater potential in further studies.

Design of the Studies:

Trials are always conducted by following the set of steps, called the protocol, developed by the researchers to find the specific questions related to the medical product. Information from the prior studies become the base for the researchers to develop research questionnaire and objectives:

  • Participant selection
  • Number of participants
  • Duration of the study
  • Controlled or not
  • How and what dosage will be given
  • What and when the data will be collected
  • Review and analysis time

Phase 0 Study

It is also called micro-dosing trials, 10-15 human subjects are taken and single sub-therapeutic doses are administered to gather the pharmacokinetic (PK) data of the drug. This enables the company in deciding to go or no go for the further development of the drug, based on more relevant human data instead of animal data.

Such trials exceed the speed of promising drug development by establishing whether or not the drug acts on humans as expected in pre-clinical studies.

After the company decides to take the molecule of the drug forward in development, it will have to submit the data of its preliminary studies to the FDA called Investigation New Drug (IND) application filing.

Phase I Study

Also called First-in-man studies as these are the first stage of human testing studies. These are the studies which are designed to determine the maximum dose that can be administered without showing adverse effects.

Contract Research Organizations (CROs) conduct such studies in the clinical trial clinics where medical staff provides full-time attention to 2-100 healthy subjects enrolled for the study and collects the data.

These studies determine the safety (pharmacovigilance), tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK)and pharmacodynamics (PD) of the drug. The design of Phase I studies is dose-ranging also called dose escalation studies conducted in controlled clinics called Central Pharmacological Units (CPUs).

Usually, healthy subjects are hired but sometimes terminally ill patients like of cancer and HIV and also those who have already tried and failed to improve on existing medications.

There are two divisions for Phase I study:

Phase Ia: Single ascending dose

Phase Ib: Multiple ascending dose

Phase II Study

More than 100 diseased subjects are enrolled for a longer period study, to know the benefits of the drug along with its safety which includes genetic testing. These studies are also called as “Proof of Concept or Pilot” studies.

This is the phase when the drug’s development can fail due to toxicity or less than expected results.

Two divisions of this phase are:

Phase IIa: Pilot study, to determine the clinical efficacy or the biological activity.

Phase IIb: Dose-finding study, to check the biological activity with minimal side-effects.

A combined trial determining the efficacy as well as toxicity are Phase I/II trials.

Phase III Study

These are pre-registration trials means the data of this study is submitted to the regulatory agency through New Drug Application (NDA) for its registration. Also called Pre-marketing or Pivotal trials.

Such studies are multi-central, randomized, in large diseased population (more than 500) with much longer duration of treatment and short follow up period, to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of the drug.

Even if the regulatory submission is pending, the drug is received by the patients in case it’s a lifesaving drug until the drug can be purchased.

‘Label expansion’ that is drug can treat an additional disease, other than the disease for which the drug is already approved, may also be the reason for running the Phase III trial.

It is said that for FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) and MHRA (United Kingdom’s Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency) needs at least two trials of successful trials data to register the drug.

After these trials, the drug is approved for market selling.

Phase IV Study

These are Post Market Safety Monitoring studies done after the drug is registered. Also called Late Phase or Confirmatory trials.

This kind of study determines the long-term adverse effects on the much larger population for a very long duration (at least 2 years). If harmful effects are detected in this study, then the drug is disapproved and the company has to retrieve the drug from the market as it can no longer be sold.

The entire journey of the drug from a molecule to a market selling product takes around 15-20 years.

Dental Health for Kids

Dental care is an essential, yet sometimes neglected, aspect of a kid?s overall health. Tooth decay affects in excess of one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2-5 and half of those aged 12-15. The key to effective brushing habits in kids is to start an oral health care program early itself. Good oral hygiene habits should be insisted as early as infancy and constant right through the life. This ensures that kids are not infected with cavities or gingivitis.

The American Dental Association advises parents to start cleaning their baby’s mouth the first few days after birth. Healthy teeth and gums in kids are important for proper chewing of food and clarity of speech. Parents should schedule regular oral health appointments starting around the child’s first birthday. A pediatric dentist may be more suited to your child’s needs during the early years. After each meal the baby’s gums should be wiped with a wet washcloth. This is helpful in removing plaque that accumulates on the gums. When the baby’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.

Parents should encourage the kids to spit out the toothpaste at a young age. The other alternative for young children is to use non-fluoridated toothpaste, until they are spitting the toothpaste out. Kids require supplemental fluoride after they are six months old to help prevent cavities. At the age of two or three, parents can begin to teach their kids proper brushing techniques. Parents will need to follow up with brushing and gentle flossing until the age of eight or nine, till the child develops the capability to do it all alone.

An early visit to the dentist can educate you about your child?s oral health and proper hygiene, including avoiding nighttime bottles, proper brushing, and a diet that promotes good dental health. Parents must emphasize the importance of good, healthy eating habits and teach children how to eat properly.

Kidney Transplant – Patient Assessment Factors

When kidneys stop working effectively, you either have an option of a dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis ensures that you get rid of the waste products from your body but it does not replace all the functions of the kidneys. When you are diagnosed with failing kidneys, treatment can sometimes prevent or at least delay their complete failure.

However, with a transplant, your body can continuously remove the waste products of metabolism, and excess fluid. Kidneys also help in the production of a natural hormone called erythropoietin that prevents anemia. It also helps convert the vitamin D in food into an active compound that helps keep bones healthy. Moreover, it helps excretion of some toxic drugs. Finally, it plays an important role in helping control blood pressure.

Kidneys normally undertake all these functions. It is a known fact that kidney transplant provides patients with a better quality of life than dialysis.

Assessment for kidney transplant

There are a few very important factors to be checked before you undergo kidney transplant surgery. To begin with, you will be referred to transplant only when you are nearing or have started dialysis.

  • There is no dependency on age factor or ethnic background when it comes to assessment for a transplant. It all depends on whether you are fit enough to have the operation and deal with all the after effects of the surgery.
  • Some of the factors checked are evidence of heart disease, chest conditions and other problems. Special investigations are conducted to assess whether these risk factors are too great for transplant.
  • Next there will be a thorough discussion between the specialists such as the surgeons, nephrologist, cardiologist and the physician before the decision is finalized.
  • Once you are considered fit enough for a transplant, the specialists will explain all the risks and benefits to you.
  • Many times there is a waiting list for a transplant.
  • There will be a number of tests conducted to check whether you have had certain virus infections.
  • Well, the specialists will also ask you whether you have any close friends or family who are willing to be live donors.
  • Live donor transplants are known to give the kidneys a better chance of long term survival as compared to diseased donor transplants.

Whether you receive a particular donor kidney or not is determined initially by the blood group. It is pretty difficult to get two people to be perfectly alike, because the genes are different. It is however possible to achieve a good enough match for a successful transplant. The surgery takes around three hours and appropriate care needs to be taken post operation too. 

Bringing Scientific Rigor to Medical Research Using Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology applied to medical research can improve trust in science by creating an unchangeable, time stamped record of the research findings. Blockchain technology, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, ensures that transactions entered into a ledger cannot be changed with time. As applied to the cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC), the result is a monetary system that, cannot be manipulated by a centralized government because it creates a permanent and accurate record of all transactions. The strength of the system comes from its use of a distributed database as compared to current monetary systems that require a centralized database such as is used by credit card companies and banks. Applying this same technology to medical research increases trust in the results because just like bitcoin, the transactions (scientific data collected) are permanently archived in an unchangeable, immutable manner.

The exchange of money, just like the conduct of medical research, requires a high level of trust. Money in the past has generated this trust through government regulations and central bank oversight. Medical research in the past has attempted to create high levels of trust through peer review conducted by reputable medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Both methods of generating trust rely on a trusted central authority, either the government or a medical journal. As such, both methods are highly susceptible to fraud via corruption or innocent errors of the centralized authority. This has led to widespread distrust in medical research. Bitcoin operates differently, because it sets up a method of relying on a distributed network based upon a mathematical algorithm, rather than centralized authority susceptible to human error.

Financial transactions require perhaps the highest level of trust. People need to know that all transactions recorded in the ledger be entirely accurate and totally resistant to being changed in the future. Because blockchain technology as implemented in bitcoin has earned this trust, bitcoin has become a widely used store of value with a market capitalization of over $100 billion USD. When other cryptocurrencies are considered, the total trust in blockchain based financial systems exceeds $250 billion USD. Similarly, health care professionals need to be able to trust that data obtained from medical research is both completely accurate and completely immutable. Physicians need to know that medical research isn’t plagiarized or fraudulent in any way. Blockchain technology has made bitcoin a trusted, global currency. In the same way, blockchain based medical research will greatly increase trust in the results and as a result, improved medical care.

Aseptic Processing

If you go back in time, hygienic practices weren’t even heard of let alone carried out. Medicines were made primarily of plants and whatever else was on hand and even, during the Victorian period when pharmaceuticals became more main stream, they weren’t very worried about how sterile the compounds were.

Today of course, pharmaceuticals are big business and having a product delivered to a patient sterile and ready to go is the norm. We’re talking eye drops, ear drops, inject, infusion products and the like, all things that have to remain sterile until ready to use.

By definition, something that is sterile has the absence of any viable microorganism, and the specification is unchanging and independent of the manufacturing process of the drug in the first place. To make a sterile product then, means filling and sealing the product containers under high quality environmental conditions, with care and with the same practices in place day after day.

When you are talking foods, beverages and medicines, keeping them sterile is a process called aseptic processing. This means that the sterile product is packaged in such a way as to keep its sterile rating. It is accomplished by flash heating which uses less energy than other techniques while (in the case of food) retains more nutrients. When you are talking pharmaceuticals, the ante is upped and the procedure also includes the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters, and either dry or steam heat.

Some examples of food and drinks being in a sterile container include tetra juice boxes and drink pouches, but for medicines, they are stored in plastic or glass containers as these materials form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation of the substance being carried. Using aseptic processing means you no longer need refrigeration and it makes worldwide import and export safe and economical.

Aseptic containers range in size from tiny ones that hold just a few ounces of medicine to ones that can hold eight million gallons in a tank on an ocean liner. Companies that package these medicines and the like can then send their product all over the world, knowing that once it reaches its destination, it is still a viable, sterilized product and will remain that way until it is used for a patient.

The next time you have a prescription for eye drops or have medicines administered by injection or drip, you can be sure those medicines are sterile, all thanks for aseptic processing.

How to Find the Right Health Clinic With a Personal Touch For Yourself

When you’re looking to find the right health clinic, there are several alternatives to bear in mind before you make a decision.

First of all, what is your situation? What are your goals?

You wouldn’t try to find a personal injury rehab health clinic if you’re pregnant, would you? Of course not. So the first thing you’ll need to do is define your problem. You might want to consider the right type of health care.

These days, everyone is turning to the internet to find answers. There’s no doubt that’s how you found this page.

So let’s begin there. Fire up your favorite search engine, like Google, for example. Then begin to enter the right keywords in the search box. If you’re trying to find an assisted living clinic, you might enter something like, “assisted care living facility” and begin to go over the results.

If you’re not able to find something in your immediate area, you might try to enter your city & state in the search box as well. For example, “assisted care living facility in Dallas, Texas”. Chances are, you’ll get several results you can work with.

When it comes to your health – or the health of a loved one, don’t make your final decision based on a web page. Instead, you should use the internet as a great guide to finding a list of possibilities. From there, you can start calling the local facilities to begin narrowing things down. I’d suggest that you have a good list of questions to ask the right person.

Finally, you can go and visit the appropriate clinics that you have on your final list.

6 Healthy Packaged Foods That Save You Time And Money

When choosing packaged foods, it’s important to read the labels. This can be time consuming but worth it. To save time, try focusing specifically on foods low in sugar, low in salt and high in protein. Stay away from anything containing high fructose corn syrup which is an unnecessary sugar additive. Why do we even need sugar in bread? Foods with the fewest ingredients are best. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, chances are it’s not good for you.

Marketing techniques labeling foods as Lite, gluten free, healthy or wheat may not always be the healthiest choice. As an educated consumer you should know the difference. Many so called “wheat” products may not be whole grain or made from whole wheat. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, multigrain, enriched, and stone-ground wheat flour are alternative ways of saying “refined white flour.”

To save you some time in the grocery store, I’ve compiled a list of packaged healthy foods that can also save you money. Here are 6 packaged foods that I recommend:

1. Canned beans. Opt for the low salt version if you can. Always rinse the beans thoroughly to wash away any unnecessary salt. Try to avoid beans with sauce or refried beans that tend to be high in sodium.

2. vegetables. Plain vegetables without sauces and added salt are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. Steamables are a great choice when you’re in a hurry or just too tired to cook. They are quick and easy and leave you with little clean up. They can be more expensive, so stock up when they’re on sale. I’ve found them on sale for as little or close to $1 a bag.

3. Frozen berries. Not only are they delicious, but can really save you money. Especially in the winter when berries are out of season and more expensive. Try mixing them in plain Greek yogurt. Or serving them with pancakes or French toast. It makes a natural sweet sauce. Sometimes we thaw them in the microwave, making them a little warm to pour over our pancakes. Try topping them with a dollop of Greek yogurt too. It gives it a taste that’s almost like a crepe.

4. Nut butter. If the ingredient says almonds, you have a winner. It takes some time to stir, but if you store it in the refrigerator, you shouldn’t have to stir it again.

5. Low sugar cereals. Ideally cereals should have less than 6 grams of sugar. Opt for whole grain cereal such as toasted oats and muesli. Unsweetened instant oatmeal can be thrown in the microwave for a quick & healthy breakfast.

6. Canned Tuna fish. Packed in water. This is a quick and inexpensive source of protein. I pack my tuna salad with lots of vegetables like onions, celery, carrots, vinegar, pepper and olive oil mayonnaise (it tastes just like the real thing without adding as much fat and calories).

When choosing pre-packaged foods just remember, marketing can be deceptive. The fewer ingredients, the more natural the product. Look for whole wheat flour as a first ingredient when selecting whole grain foods. Try to stay away from processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar or contain high fructose corn syrup.