No Cures for Major diseases

Besides the Failure to Produce a Cure the Administrative Processess and Procedures are Lacking?

The support staff for Hospitals, Rehab Facilities, Doctor’s Offices, and anywhere there are Doctors and a support staff, that is where the weakest link of our health care.

You go in for an operation for example, and the surgeon does a great job, and then you go home. Or you go to a Rehab Facility.
These Rehab Facility are about as good as the Doc in the Box medical care.
Rehab especially for the elderly is really the waiting room for God. Many if not most of the doctors at these facilities are independent contractors. There is little continuity, especially on weekends and holidays as the staff changes. These doctors usually swoop in unannounced and don’t meet any of the patients family. The doctors clock in and out like the old factory worker of the past.
Walking around some of these Rehab Facilities is like looking at some third world hospital. Those patients without family that visit them are left to the kindness of the nursing staff. Most of the staff that I have seen take little interest in nursing and look at it as a very tedious and boring job. This is a major flaw in the health care system in the US.
There should be a comprehensive process and procedure to chart what you do until the next visit. In fact, that is what is missing in many cases when you leave the doctor.
There should be no guesses as what you need to do.
What you should expect from the surgery, what prescriptions you need to get, what do and don’t and what to look for that gets you to call 911, the Doctor, or other medical help.

Obamacare doesn’t help the quality of healthcare, and this is a major healthcare issue.

A Surgical Procedure is not a Cure

There have been tremendous advancements in surgical procedures and techniques, but they are not cures to major diseases. Rather, they are solutions for specific problems. I am giving credit to these advancements, but the point of this article is about medical cures for major diseases. The sad fact is that there has been a dearth of medical cures over the last fifty or more years.
The ACA Healthcare Insurance how will it cure your disease?
The PPACA won’t create cures for Major Diseases.

Something to think about National Healthcare, the FDA and the Drug Companies, in relation to the Health Insurance Companies.

You now are forced into healthcare at the point of the government penalizing you if you don’t get insurance.

So, you get one of the many diseases that has been around longer than you have been around. You take your health insurance card to the doctor, or the hospital and say cure me.

It is as simple as that, your healthcare insurance just saves you.

Not on your life, and that may be the stakes. There have been no cures for major diseases since the FDA was given the responsibility by congress to check up on the drug companies drugs. So, the FDA is going to certify a drug that you might use, cured again. Not hardly, many of the FDA passed drug fail, and some fail to the point that the lawyer are all over them with huge damages, and class action suits.

Oh, and these drugs don’t cure disease, they are merely treatments, to ease the symptoms or make you more comfortable. Many are expensive, and a lot of them you will take for many years if not forever.

Remember the golden rule in the health industry, providing the care is their most important product because it brings in the gold. Mostly the healthcare industry is a for profit organization. Profit is how they base their success and not by saving lives.
Health Insurance is only part of health care

The big push since Barack Obama became president was for everyone to have health insurance. Health insurance only gets you to the doctor, but when you get there what then. The quality of health care regardless of health insurance is questionable.

Yes, there are treatments, and there are medical tests, and there are medical opinions. This generates hundreds of millions of drugs of all kinds to be prescribed. Many of these drugs work after a fashion. You can google your malady and get a pretty good idea of what drugs will be offered to you for your malady. Many of these drugs treat the symptoms of your malady, only a few will affect a cure.

The problem today is we have more specialties in the medical field than we had when aspirin was the king.
We have more diseases, at least it seems that way.
We have more medical specialists.
Over the last fifty years, our foods have been treated, cured, and doped with chemicals.
Our bodies and brains know how to deal with real foods, but they are confused when it comes to the chemicals and the additives.
In addition, we have a plethora of prescribed medications that are interacting with these real, and artificial foods. Suffice to say, that these challenges to our bodies can have mysterious results.

Over the years, the government and researchers have told us what they think we should eat, and drink. And over the years, it was a moving target because they realized they were wrong.

The point here is that the quality of medical care is poor, because we don’t have cures. Instead, we have procedures, and drug companies selling us questionable drugs. You only have to look at the advertisements on TV to see the side effects, and the lawsuits against FDA approved drugs.

The rest of this hub goes into more detail, but now that we have Affordable Health care, assuming that for the moment, then we need to move on to having medical cures, and better health practices. Get the health insurance companies to stop telling our doctors what we can and cannot have for medical treatment. Also, get the government to realize that the FDA is more of a burden to finding these cures, than it is a good medical watchdog.
The saying that it is not what the doctors know, but it is what they don’t know that will kill you. The same is true of the FDA, and the government.

Some of the Reasons for the Dearth of Medical Cures for Major Diseases.

There is a difference between fixing a medical problem and curing a disease. Curing a disease is when the root cause of the disease has been neutralized. A vaccine that prevents the disease in the first place is even better than a cure because you don’t get the disease in the first place. Today, many diseases are treated through medication, but many times the medication is not curing the disease, it is working on reducing or removing the symptoms of the disease, while the disease is still present. The patient lives with the diseases, but now they can deal better with the annoying symptoms being reduced, or controlled.

Fixing a diseases is mostly done with surgery, or some other like process. The source of the disease is removed, altered, or replaced when possible. A Heart Bypass is an example where the diseased wasn’t cured but the surgical bypass allows the blockage in the heart to be bypasses, and the supply of blood to continue. A cure would have been able to repair the condition, and in a sense reverse the process.

In the fixing part of the health industry there have been much improvement especially in the surgical process, as they have been made safer, and done in areas of the body and brain that couldn’t be done years ago. The state of the art medical equipment that we have today is far superior to what we had only decades ago. The surgical approach is not a cure, but a workaround the medical problem.

What we are still lacking today are real cures that go the root of the disease and reverse the process back to normal or near normal. Developing something that will prevent a disease from occurring usually doesn’t cure the person that already has the disease, but it can prevent a new person from getting it.

Not in order of importance, here are some of the big reasons for no major diseases being cured.

The federal government
The for profit Pharmaceutical Companies
Patent Law
Health Insurance Companies
Medical Schools
R&D companies
to be added to be addedLawyers and the courts

My Premise for the Statement About the Lack of Medical Cures For Major Diseases

From the days of aspirins to the modern age of NSAID (Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drugs) to the major improvements in medical technology we have made dramatic and impressive improvements in surgical procedures, but we have attained only treatments for major diseases. Neither of these advancements has resulted in a breakthrough for curing a major diseases, much less the multitude of diseases we have today.

In the ten items listed above, we have some reasons why cures are not forthcoming, even thoug we have vastly improved technology and knowledge.

I will discuss each of the items on the list as to how they impede medical cures.

Cat Not Using Litter Box? Try These Solutions

Cats are naturally clean animals. They love snuggling in soft blankets or a basket of of fresh laundry. If your cat isn’t using its litter box, there’s usually a reason as well as a solution. Whether it is a undiagnosed medical issue or just a case of dirty litter box, here are some suggestions to solve this annoying problem.

Possible Medical Issues

If a cat isn’t using his litter box, especially if he always has in the past, it’s a cause for concern. A cat with a health problem such as a Urinary Tract Infection may associate pain with using the litter box and decide to go elsewhere. You should take your cat to your veterinarian so he or she can find out if there are any medical reasons for your cat’s behavior. Cats are extremely good at hiding symptoms when they’re sick, so it’s up to you to notice any little changes in their habits or behavior and get them to the vet. If an issue is found, the sooner it’s treated, the better.

Spayed or Neutered

If your cat is not spayed or neutered, they are more prone to marking their territory by “spraying.” This is common when a new pet is introduced to the home or even if your cat sees another cat lingering outside the house. Spaying or neutering your cat can help curb spraying, as well as prevent certain cancers and unwanted behaviors such as aggression.

Litter box issues can be a common problem.
Litter box issues can be a common problem. | Source
Litter Box Problems

If your vet has ruled out medical issues as the source of the problem, the next thing to consider is the litter box. Some cats can be very picky about their litter boxes and making even one small change can help resolve the problem.

Cleanliness of Litter Box

How often do you scoop the litter box? If you aren’t scooping once or twice a day and fully replacing all the litter once a week, your cat may be trying to tell you something. They don’t want to use a dirty litter box any more than we want to use a dirty toilet. Try keeping the litter box as clean as possible, especially if you have more than one cat.

How Many Litter Boxes?

The basic rule of thumb for litter boxes is “one per cat, plus one extra”. It might be a little extra work to have multiple litter boxes, but some cats like their “options”. You can keep them together or even try putting one of the boxes in a different place than usual. Cats enjoy finding a litter box in an unexpected place and this may encourage him to use it. In multiple cat households, having enough litter boxes is especially important. Some cats “claim” a litter box as their own and may even intimidate another cat about using that box.

Type of Litter Box

There are so many different types of litter boxes to choose from. Some cats don’t care for covered litter boxes because they feel too confined or because it holds in more odors. If you have a large cat, make sure your litter box is big enough for him to move around. If you can’t find a large enough box in the pet store, try a clear Sterilite container from a store like Target or Walmart. You can find sizes that have similar dimensions to a litter box, but are just a little longer and wider. I use these for my cats and they like the extra space.

Type of Litter

Switching brands or types of litter often can cause a cat to stop using its box. Some people will try new brands or buy whatever is on sale that week, but cats tend to like consistency when it comes to their litter. Find one brand that works for your cat and stick with it. If you do need to switch to a different type of litter, transition over a week or two, mixing the old and new litter together in the box until your cat adjusts.

Placement of Litter Box

It’s best to keep the litter box away from heavy traffic areas in the home and not near where the cat eats. Make sure it’s in a place the cat can easily access and not in a room where the door is often closed and the cat can’t get in.

Adult Stem Cells: Facts, Research and Potential Medical Uses

What Are Adult Stem Cells?

Adult stem cells are unspecialized but very important cells that are found at various sites in our body. Most of our cells are specialized and have specific characteristics to help them do their jobs. They are generally unable to divide. Stem cells divide repeatedly to produce the specialized cells that our body needs in order to repair minor injuries.

Adult stem cells have been found in many places in the body. For example, they’ve been discovered in the bone marrow, heart, brain, muscles, teeth and gastrointestinal tract. The list of locations is growing as scientists do more research. Despite their name, the cells are present in both adults and children.

Scientists are very excited by the potential benefits of adult stem cells. It may be possible to stimulate the cells to become more numerous and more active. It may also be possible to trigger them to produce specific target cells. In the future, adult stem cells may be useful in the treatment of major problems in the body.
A Stem Cell Overview

Although most forms of stem cell therapy are not used as medical treatments yet, bone marrow transplants are. Bone marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells. These produce all types of blood cells.
Cell Potency

“Potency” is the ability of an unspecialized stem cell to produce specialized cells. There are four types of potency.

Totipotent cells can produce all the cell types in the body as well as extraembryonic tissues, such as those needed to form the placenta. Extraembryonic tissues are needed for the embryo’s development but aren’t part of its body. The zygote is an example of a totipotent cell. A zygote is produced when an egg joins with a sperm. It’s the first cell of a new individual.
Unipotent cells can produce only one type of specialized cell.
Multipotent cells can produce several types of specialized cells. For example, stem cells in the bone marrow can make red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Pluripotent cells can form any cell type in the body. However, unlike totipotent cells, pluripotent cells can’t make extraembyonic tissue.

Progenitor Cells and Target Cells

When an adult stem cell divides, it produces either two stem cells or one stem cell and one progenitor cell. The progenitor cell is slightly more specialized than the stem cell and undergoes additional divisions. The cells become more and more differentiated (or specialized) with each division. Eventually the target cells are produced. The target cells are generally ones needed by the tissue in which the stem cells are located.
The Wonder of Stem Cells
Functions of Adult Stem Cells in the Body

The job of adult stem cells is to replace cells that are damaged or have died. These cells include our red blood cells or erythrocytes, which live for only about 120 days, and our white blood cells, which are sometimes killed when fighting bacteria or other microbes. Stem cells in the lining of the small intestine produced the specialized cells needed for digestion and absorption. In the brain, stem cells can produce neurons (nerve cells) as well as the astrocytes and oligodendrocytes that support the neurons. Satellite cells are a type of stem cell in muscles.

The end products of stem cell division are controlled by factors inside the cell as well as by factors outside the cell. Gene expression (the turning on of specific genes), the prevention of gene expression, chemicals produced by other cells, additional chemicals in the cell’s surroundings and physical contact with neighbouring cells can all have an effect on cell differentiation as cells become more specialized.

Mesenchymal stem cells are found in various tissues. They are multipotent and form bone, cartilage and fat cells. They may form other types of cells, too, although this is uncertain.
Satellite Cells in Muscles
Stimulating Stem Cell Activity

Stem cells seem to have a limited ability to repair damage in our bodies. Under natural conditions, they can’t produce an entire organ or body part to keep us alive after we’re injured. In addition, they are more numerous or more active in some areas of the body than in others. Still, their potential to replace injured tissue is exciting. It may be possible to stimulate their activity.

Researchers hope to discover the signals that trigger a stem cell to produce specific target cells. Scientists may then be able to produce large numbers of target cells in the laboratory or large numbers of stem cells directed to produce the target cells. The hope is that either the stimulated cells or unstimulated ones that have multiplied will be able to repair serious damage in a person’s body. There have been some clinical successes using stem cell technology, but more research is needed before the technology is widely used.

An exciting discovery is that under certain laboratory conditions some multipotent stem cells can be stimulated to produce any other cell type instead of just a few types. These pluripotent cells may have very useful applications. However, the manipulation of stem cells to make them pluripotent or to direct their multipotency involves controlling genes in the cells, which raises safety concerns.
A Potential Method of Treating Heritable Diseases
Embryonic Stem Cells

In the early stages of stem cell research, cells from human embryos were used instead of cells from adults. Embryonic stem cells are still used in some research labs today.

The embryos that supply the stem cells are usually ones that remain after in-vitro fertilization. This is a procedure that helps some couples who have been unable to have children. Donated eggs and sperm are joined in laboratory equipment and then one or more of the resulting embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus. Multiple embryos are produced because the first embryo or embryos that are used may not implant in the lining of the uterus successfully. The embryos that are not needed by the couple are frozen and may eventually be used in embryonic stem cell research, with the couple’s consent.

Embryos are used for research when they have completed about five days of development. At this stage an embryo is known as a blastocyst. The inner cells of the blastocyst are stem cells. Once the embryonic cells are obtained they are allowed to replicate in the laboratory, producing a huge number of stem cells for research as they continue to divide. The fact that the cells are pluripotent makes them especially useful.
The blastocyst and its pluripotent stem cells
The blastocyst and its pluripotent stem cells | Source
Controversy and a Problem

The use of embryonic stem cells is controversial, since when the original cells are obtained the intact embryo is destroyed and is unable to develop any further. Some people believe that a new human life begins the moment that a sperm joins with an egg. Another problem is that if cells derived from an embryo are placed inside someone’s body, the recipient’s immune system may treat the transplanted cells as invaders and destroy them.
Reducing the Controversy

The use of adult stem cells is much less controversial than the use of embryonic cells because the adult cells can be obtained from a donor without destroying human life. If the donor is also the person who needs a transplant of specialized cells or stem cells, the problem of rejection is eliminated, since the person’s body won’t attack its own cells.

Adult stem cells are also known as somatic stem cells. A “somatic” cell is a body cell, or one that isn’t involved in reproduction. At first it was thought that adult stem cells weren’t as valuable as embryonic stem cells, since the adult cells are multipotent but not pluripotent. Now scientists have found a way to trigger adult stem cells to become pluripotent

Increase Your Fertility Naturally – Natural Fertility Boosters

The fertility of an individual heterosexual couple is about the odds of the female falling pregnant. Fertile women produce a viable egg each month during their menstrual cycle. The male’s fertility is determined by his sperm count. Assuming that they are not using contraceptives, a fertile couple will almost invariably conceive. Some people, however, become discouraged and stressed if conception does not occur quickly. Failure to conceive can be caused by a number of factors, some physiological, and others psychological. There can even be some physiological problems brought about by psychological issues.

When pregnancy does not occur quickly, some couples immediately despair thinking of high-tech medical solutions. There are many invasive medical techniques that have been designed to increase fertility. These procedures are usually both expensive and uncomfortable for women who engage in them. These procedures are almost invariably undertaken on women. The male partner is much less likely to be invaded in the medical fertility vortex. On the other hand, natural infertility therapies are a great deal less invasive, much less expensive, and usually draw the pair closer together as they sort out the issues.

Tip No. 1 – Make Love Not War

Many people believe that keeping track of a woman’s menstrual cycle and promoting sexual activity at the optimum times of the cycle is the best way to conceive. An ovulation predictor test kit may be helpful to get timing right. A contrary view is that trying to time intercourse increases stress in the relationship and reduces the likelihood of conception. They think that lovemaking should be varied, frequent, regular and exciting, devoid of timing stress.

Sexual positions may play a role in fertility. It is thought that sexual positions where a woman’s hips are above her head is believed to aid conception. It means that the semen is less likely to leak, remaining longer in the vicinity of the uterus. If conception is the objective, avoid woman on top and doggy style positions

Tip No. 2 – Eat Right

Choosing the right diet is one of the easier and best tips to improve your fertility is to adopt the right diet. Food intake for improved fertility is much like the correct diet for weight loss. Of course, your diet should be properly balanced, low in saturated fats, sugar and salt. It should include nutrients, minerals and vitamins which help your body regulate hormones. The right diet does great things for your the reproductive system.

Your diet should include mono unsaturated fats, calcium, the full range of vitamins including C and D

The things to avoid are alcohol, caffeine and excessive amounts of saturated fats, sugar and salt

Tip No. 3 – Exercise to Procreate.

A healthy body requires regular exercise. A healthy body is a prerequisite of a healthy pregnancy. Regular exercise, combined with a balanced healthy diet, can increase your fertility significantly. The best fertility improving exercises are things like cycling, walking and swimming. However, over-exercising may reduce fertility.

Natural Remedies For Cough – Get Relief Naturally

Cough is an irritating health problem that could surely stops you from doing things that you do. Excessive coughing could surely lead you to a more severe feeling that you really doesn’t want to feel. Are you one of those who suffer from cough? Well, you might be in need of great help. Actually, there are lots of treatments that you can run to and they ranges from natural to medical.

However, there is a great difference with regards to natural remedies for cough and for those medical solutions. Natural remedies offer permanent relief while the medical ones only offer temporary relief. There is no doubt why the natural remedies for cough are the ones being used by most of the people. So, if you also want to use the natural treatments, here are some of those that you might want to try:

1. Ginger root and lemon – This is the first kind of natural treatment that you can take. You only need a ginger root and sliced or the grated fresh lemon. You can actually use both of the peeling and the fruit itself. Combine the water, ginger, garlic as well as the lemon and also the spoonful of honey. You can boil it and once done, feel free to drink some.

2. Honey and white pepper – It is another ingredient that could help you out to eliminate cough. Simply try to incorporate full tablespoon of pure honey and pinch of white pepper. Top the spoonful of honey with the pepper and deal with it orally.

3. Honey and some alcohol – Another natural remedy that you could take to ease cough is by taking a full tablespoon of honey or try to top it with some drop of vodka. Simply try to do it right before you go to slip.

4. Lemon juice and raspberry jam – It is another concoction of tea. You can pip a hot tea of lemon juice as well as raspberry jam.

5. Cayenne pepper – Try to incorporate a quarter of red cayenne pepper, quarter teaspoon of ground ginger, apple cider vinegar, honey and two tablespoon of water.

Alternative Medical Solution

Weed growing is the latest fad in finding alternative medical solutions for people suffering from terminal diseases. AIDS, Cancer, Alzheimer’s patients and others could now grow their own weed inside their home. Of course, this depends on the state you are in. Before you go to your nearest weed dealer, you should take the time to go to your local state attorney general’s website and see whether your state has laws concerning this. There are very few states which allow for home grown medicinal weed and this includes Alaska among others because of the constitutional right to the privacy of the home. In some states like New Mexico and Arizona, special circumstances like the distance to the nearest dispensary, applies. To be doubly sure, do not hesitate to contact the authorities to prevent any misunderstanding and any violation of the law.

One thing that you should do when you are engaged in weed growing is to be sure that you are doing so within the bounds of the law. Remember, weed for all intents and purposes is still considered illegal when it comes to federal law. You could get arrested and face some jail time should you be caught doing or planting weed without the appropriate license and registration.

Another important precept that you should remember is that you should only be using the weed for medicinal purposes. That does not mean that if you have a simple headache that you should also have the right to do so. There are specific rules on the kinds of illnesses and diseases wherein you could register for medical marijuana. Check your local state government’s health department for details. Not all diseases qualify and if you have a disease in mind that’s really causing you extreme pain, then you should try convincing your legislator or advocacy group to bring changes to the law first.

How Robotic Medical Solutions Can Automate Surgical Procedures

Many surgical procedures require a high degree of precision and a steady hand. Good surgeons practice for years to develop these skills. However, with advances in robotic devices for medical procedures, many medical solutions are being found that do not take up the limited time and expertise of a surgeon. Instead, a good number of tests and minor operations are being carried out by automated devices.

Any surgical device or tool needs to have certain qualities in order to be useful in the medical field. They need to deliver a high degree of precision and accuracy while being lightweight and minimally invasive. Robotic medical tools also need to deliver power in a very compact frame and be able to respond to the environment in which they are working. Hence, these devices require compact, high torque motors to perform operations and servo motors to create a feedback loop to ensure reliability and accuracy.

Case Study – Automated Lung Biopsy

Lung biopsies are performed to sample lung tissue to test for diseases such as lung cancer. The typical procedure calls for a physician to use a CT scanner to manually guide a needle into the lungs. The physician takes a scan and then adjusts the position of the needle. These steps are repeated up to 10 times until the needle is in its proper place and a sample can be taken. This is a long and uncomfortable process for a patient under light anesthesia.

A newly developed robotic sampling device is able to utilize a smaller series of scans and adjustments, typically only four, to automate and accelerate the process. A radiologist can perform this procedure by remote control and reduce the number of total scans, ultimately decreasing the exposure to both the patient and doctor.

System Design

In order to have an automated biopsy robot, many stringent design specifications had to be met. The key to the system is a set of four servo motors that orient the needle, power a pinion drive, and a final motor to rotate the passive roller. Each high torque motor provides a 10 Newton piercing force within a 10 millimeter sized motor coupled to a minuscule 10 millimeter gearbox.

Clearly, delivering a high torque motor that can meet such extreme size restrictions is a breakthrough in servo motor technology. The entire unit is designed to sit on a patient’s chest, so the entire device is extremely lightweight. The servo motors combine with a microcontroller to create a feedback system that allows an efficient harvesting process that cuts down on procedure time and patient discomfort.

In the highly complex and technical healthcare field, medical solutions often require serious engineering capabilities. Miniaturized, high torque motors have provided automated tools to facilitate delicate procedures. Saving time and reducing costs while improving patient care is the ultimate goal of any medical solution and is the best way to improve the current ailing healthcare system. The application of high precision components to assist the medical expertise of doctors will continue revolutionize how patients are treated.

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Tactical Medical Solutions: Fluid Administration As a Precautionary Stabilization Approach

Battlefield situations require a tactical approach to treatment because many individuals could be injured at once. Several troops could call for medical attention, but on varying levels. Medical providers have to evaluate the situation and come up with solutions as to who needs to be treated first. Some injuries could be minimal, while others are life threatening, meaning each lost second decreases the chance of survival. Those with minor injuries can often treat themselves with a first aid kit without being at risk for further complications. Those supplying combat treatment are instructed to first survey the current situation. This process allows them to determine the number of casualties and the severity of each injury.

Medical personnel are trained to maximize the number of survivors along with doing what is needed to get as many as possible back to their combat duties. Those who can still perform with a quick fix are expected to do so. After a review of the scene has been completed, the personnel must obtain a concise idea of the severity of present injuries. For example, fractured legs are common with parachuting, while a vehicle accident may entail head or neck injuries. Part of determining tactical medical solutions includes moving anyone injured to safety. If they are trapped in a burning vehicle or under enemy fire, these complications must be eliminated before treatment. Afterwards, the necessary medical processes can be applied.

IV Fluid Warmers: Why Have They Become a Military Standard?

IV fluid warmers are used when fluids must be applied to an injured person. In certain scenarios, an IV may be applied to keep people stabilized until further treatment can be given. Pain medication may be necessary to prevent additional trauma and shock. Fluids are often needed to keep the injured hydrated as they are transported to a local facility. Severe injuries might even require a blood transfusion at the scene.

All of the previously mentioned scenarios involve the administration of liquids below the average body temperature. It must enter the patient’s blood stream quickly, which can sometimes cause a sudden decrease in their core body heat. Hypothermia is the most common resulting condition during this process. Warmers allow those providing treatment to heat any type of fluid before it enters the body.

The newest IV fluid warmers are portable, disposable, and do not require wall power to operate. Advancements make it easy for this preventative equipment to be stored in a military vehicle, helicopter, or even to be carried by response teams on the field. Most devices today weigh less than a pound and can be set up in under a minute.

Those in the most critical condition receive safer treatment than was previously possible. They do not have to experience further discomfort due to the cold fluids or have the additional risk of secondary conditions affecting their initial treatment. The warming device can be sent with them for consistent drug or fluid administration. Use of warmers has greatly increased the survival rates of those injured in the line of duty. These devices are now an active part of tactical medical solutions among every military branch.

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Type 2 diabetes growing amongst elderly

Research by the Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes ( has shown that among the elder generation (over 65), type 2 diabetes is a growing problem, with 28.7% of the elderly population being affected and the numbers growing every year. Many people with diabetes are unaware they have the condition and may go years before they are diagnosed. This can be especially true for seniors, whose symptoms can be less apparent, overlooked as ‘normal aging’ or not apparent at all.
Type 2 diabetes growing amongst elderly
click to enlarge
Managing diabetes is not easy, whether you are young or old. This is owing to the fact that the disease requires a lifestyle change, and it is always difficult to change your lifestyle in any way – more so if you have done things in a particular way for many years. Medical solutions provider Medtronic understands that managing diabetes is important, but not always easy. The company is focused on designing new technologies that will make management of the disease simpler, and assist those suffering from diabetes to live a normal, happy and healthy lifestyle.

World Diabetes Day was on 14 November 2013 and with this in mind we are highlighting the plight of diabetes in South Africa, who it affects and how technology and innovation are helping.

“Managing the disease wellcan go a long way to ensuring a healthier life in elderly diabetics. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels compound conditions such as high blood pressure, circulatory disorders, heart problems and eye problems – conditions often found in the elderly,” explains Carel van Tonder, Business Unit Manager: Diabetes Medtronic Africa.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (, there were 1,978,250 reported cases of diabetes in South Africa in 2012,and there is still a larger number of people who are living undiagnosed, many of those being elderly persons. Globally, the Federation estimates that one in 10 of the world’s population will have diabetes by 2035 and that people living with diabetes will surge from 382 million to 592 million people by 2035, many in low and middle income countries and the majority under 60 years of age.

Amongst the elderly population, type 2 diabetes is becoming more prevalent. Over time it can cause problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and circulation problems that may lead to amputation. According to the US National Institute of Aging, (, people with type 2 diabetes also have a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease and are pre-disposed to hypoglycemia. Elderly people who are at risk of developing diabetes, or who have already developed the disease, may not exhibit the classic symptoms expected and this can make diagnosis difficult and age-related changes can mean that some symptoms will also be masked, or harder to spot.

Type 2 diabetes growing amongst elderly
click to enlarge
Treating diabetes amongst the elderly can present unique challenges too. Other disabilities associated with aging can contribute to the complexity of strictly self-managing diabetes such as impaired physical functioning and cognitive impairment. Elderly people are often more frail and susceptible to illness. This can mean diabetes-related complications are more common and harder to manage. Furthermore, exercise and adapting to a diet can be more difficult for elderly people, and problems can arise in these areas.

However, there will come a time when those suffering from diabetes will be able to live a lifestyle much closer to normal which will include not having to worry about overnight hypoglycemia and knowing that their pump will look after them when they need it most. This technology is almost here. Medtronic, a global leader in diabetes research and management, has taken another step towards the artificial pancreas, with the release of its Low Glucose Suspend automated insulin pump feature within the ParadigmVeo integrated system.

This first-of-its-kind automated insulin pump automatically suspends insulin delivery temporarily when sensor glucose values reach a pre-set low level. The ASPIRE In-house Study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 73rd Scientific Sessions, report that using an automatic suspensionof insulin feature with the sensor-augmented insulin pump from Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) safely reduces nocturnal hypoglycemia without affecting glycated hemoglobin level (HbA1C). Medtronic’s Low Glucose Suspend feature is the first-of-its-kind automated insulin pump.

Dr JC van Dyk, Paediatric Endocrinologist at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, believes that one of the biggest concerns in the diabetes community is blood sugar levels during sleep. “Hypoglycemia can be catastrophic for people with diabetes, especially at night when patients are likely to be unaware of symptoms because they are asleep. This data is therefore very important because it provides strong evidence that sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy with an automated insulin shut off feature can reduce hypoglycemia at home – and it can do it safely, without increasing the patients’ risk for long-term complications by raising their HbA1Clevels.”

There are severaladditional ways recommended by doctors that can assist the elderly to manage their diagnosis. These include making healthy food choices by learning how different foods affect glucose levels. Getting daily exercise can help improve glucose levels in older people with diabetes. Have yearly eye exams.Check your kidneys yearly. Get flu shots every year and the pneumonia vaccine to keep you healthy. Check your cholesterol as high levels may increase your risk for heart problems. Care for your teeth and gums.Find out your average blood glucose level by getting a blood test called the A1C test. Protect your skin and watch your blood pressure. Besides healthcare advice and good diabetes management, it’s good to know that diabetes is one of the best-funded diseases in terms of research, innovation and technology, and every year new products are introduced to make the life of a diabetes sufferer easier and more manageable.

“The effective management of diabetes is something Medtronic is passionate about. We are focused on making life for those suffering with diabetes, including the elderly, a simple process and we believe this therapy does just that,” concludes Carel van Tonder, Medtronic Africa.

Sizwe’s Gobinca downplays CMS findings

Sizwe Medical Fund curator Khaya Gobinca has downplayed findings against his conduct by labelling them as “insignificant” after the Council for Medical Schemes found him guilty of negligent behaviour.
Sizwe’s Gobinca downplays CMS findingsThe council, which regulates medical schemes, found Gobinca to have acted in contravention of the rules of the Medical Scheme Act, which included the scheme initiating an unauthorised 30% co-payment on all options in January and introducing a higher-than-average contribution increase.

Sizwe has 60,000 principal members and 140,000 beneficiaries.

The complaint was brought in March by Sechaba Medical Solutions, which had been administering Sizwe Medical Fund.

Relations between the two organisations soured after Gobinca terminated Sechaba’s contract. Gobinca wanted to implement in-house administration as he believed the rates Sechaba charged were steep. “The council receives many complaints daily, which sometimes would favour medical schemes or members,” he said.

Gobinca accused Sechaba of not acting in the interest of its members, an allegation that Sechaba denied. “Sechaba is merely interested in the tender, which was granted without a proper procurement process being followed,” he said.

Gobinca said he would step down as the scheme’s curator after a month, but the damage caused to the Sizwe brand will linger on for years. He questioned why Sechaba had only complained to the council after its tender was cancelled.

Sechaba chief executive Grant Newton said he believed the registrar’s rulings place Gobinca as “unfit and improper” to run Sizwe. “Sechaba is currently considering its rights with a view to approaching the high court for appropriate relief,” he said.

Newton said it was unfortunate the situation had deteriorated, but Sechaba was concerned that the members’ interests have been seriously compromised.