Monday, August 22, 2011

New Updates on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Found this link on yahoo on ALS.. something that give hope to the many people who are having than disease.


SUNDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study contends.
Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS.
In this new study, Northwestern University researchers said they found that the basis of ALS is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Efficient recycling of the protein building blocks in the neurons are critical for optimal functioning of the neurons. They become severely damaged when they can't repair or maintain themselves.
This problem occurs in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain, the researchers said.
The discovery, published Aug. 21 in the journal Nature, shows that all forms of ALS share an underlying cause and offers a common target for drug therapy, according to the researchers.
"This opens up a whole new field for finding an effective treatment for ALS," study senior author Dr. Teepu Siddique, of the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "We can now test for drugs that would regulate this protein pathway or optimize it, so it functions as it should in a normal state."
This finding about the breakdown of protein recycling in ALS may also prove useful in the study of other neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's and other dementias, the Northwestern researchers said.
ALS afflicts an estimated 350,000 people around the world. About 50 percent of patients die within three years of the first symptoms. They progressively lose muscle strength until they're paralyzed and can't move, speak, swallow and breathe, the researchers said.
More information
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about ALS.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Keeping things Sterile

When one goes on duty at the Operating Room, the most important thing to remember is to maintain the sterility of the sterile field and the surgical team doing the procedure. This means adhering to the Principles of Asepsis by heart.

Asepsis  means absence of pathogenic organisms. Keeping things sterile means not giving a chance for infection to happen while patients undergo surgical operation. But to be able to do this, one has to understand the principles behind it.

It frustrates me when I see medical practitioners that don't understand this. My students always look up to others who work at the Operating Room for a long time. If those whom they look up does not adhere to the principles, the students will adopt such ways. And it's sad because it does not only put the patient prone to infection, it has deprived the minds of my aspiring students of what is essential and ideal to peri-operative nursing.

Principles of Asepsis

1.Only sterile items are used within sterile fields. All articles used in an operation have been sterilized previously.
 2.Persons who are sterile touch only sterile items/ areas; persons who are not sterile touch only unsterile items/ areas.
3.If in doubt about sterility of anything, consider it unsterile.
4.Nonsterile persons avoid reaching over a sterile field; sterile persons avoid leaning over unsterile area.
5.Tables are sterile only at table levels.
6.Gowns are considered sterile only from waist to shoulder level in front, and the sleeves.
7.The edge of anything that encloses sterile contents is unsterile.
8.Sterile persons keep well within sterile areas.
9.Nonsterile persons keep away from sterile areas.
10.Sterile field is created as close as possible to the time of use.
11.Sterile areas are continuously kept in view.
12.Destruction of integrity of microbial barriers results in contamination. Moisture can cause contamination.
13.When microorganisms cannot be eliminated, they must be kept to an irreducible minimum

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Carotenemia Made Him Yellow

        We went to have a medical check-up which included blood studies and ultrasound of the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and kidneys. I would have wanted him to undergo colonoscopy but he refused. According to my cousin, he has a scheduled colonoscopy when he gets back home in Canada. He had so much discomfort with it before that he didn't want to undergo colonoscopy  twice for this month.

       Having Dr. Rene Lacuesta read the results, we were glad that no liver complications were present. The yellow  discoloration of the skin was due to excessive intake of carrots, papaya and liver food. It was Carotenemia and not lver complcatin after all. We agreed to that because my cousin sorted to eating only organic food and non-acidic agents. This prompted my family to serve him carrots, either in meals or juiced, almost every hour.

       Carotenaemia or  xanthaemia is the presence of the yellow pigment carotene in the blood . This is caused primarily from too much intake of carrots or other vegetables increasing serum carotenoids. This leads to yellow-orange discoloration of the skin. It is said to be harmless  and will not be needing a specific treatment. The yellow discoloration of skin will gradually decrease as the patient takes lesser food rich in carotene.

       Dealing with cancer is never easy because of it's unpredictable progress. We have to be vigilant all the time for possible complications. Assessment will always play a big role not just to confirm the complications but to prompt us to send our patients for medical work-up. The earlier we detect symptoms, the earlier we find treatment.

        To me and my family, the early assessment meant taking away our worries, lessening our fear and continuing life's blissful perks.