Types and purpose of immunization

Immunization is a procedure where the immune system of an individual is protected from harmful external agents known as an immunogen. With the help of immunization, when your body comes in contact with foreign molecules, the immune system will be able to respond quickly and guard your system. Immunization is done using several different methods. However, the most common technique of all is vaccination. The vaccines keep your body geared up for any future threats, protecting it from almost all infections or diseases.

 

There are two types of immunizations. And, they are passive immunization and active immunization. In Passive immunization, the immune system doesn’t have to produce any elements to fight a disease. This is because external immunity boosters are transferred into an individual’s body to execute the same. In Active immunization, the immune system of our body creates its own defence mechanisms when it comes in contact with a germ.

 

Types of Vaccines

 

BCG Vaccine

BCG is a vaccine, which is usually given to the children to provide protection against TB or Tuberculosis. Currently, BCG is the only vaccine available that provides protection against TB and TB meningitis. However, this vaccine is not suitable for adults.
DTP (DTaP/DTwP)

 

DTP is a combination of the Diphtheria toxoid with the tetanus vaccine and the pertussis vaccine. Diphtheria and Pertussis are diseases, which can spread from one person to another. Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and sometimes even death. Pertussis or commonly known as a whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, seizers, brain damage, and death. Also known as lockjaw, tetanus can render the patient incapable of opening his mouth or swallowing.

 

Hepatitis A vaccine

This vaccine provides protection against Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is a type of liver disease, which is caused by the HAV virus. This disease is usually caused when a person consumes fecal matter of an infected person from food, drinks, etc. This disease can either cause no problems or can even cause major illness. It can sometimes lead to liver failure and even death.

 

Hepatitis B vaccine

Hepatitis B vaccine provides protection from Hepatitis B. It is a viral infection, which causes damage to the liver. It can be both acute and chronic. Hepatitis B virus is said to be highly contagious and can spread when an individual comes in contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.

 

Hib vaccine

The Hib vaccine can be used by both adults and children. It provides protection from the Hib disease. This disease is caused by a type of bacteria. Usually, this condition affects children below five. However, adults with certain health disorders can also contract this disease. When some people contact this disease, they don’t become sick and are known as the ‘carriers’. But, this disease can cause serious infections, such as; meningitis, infection of the bloodstream, pneumonia, and throat infections.

 

 

MMR

 

The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. When measles is not treated on time, it can cause severe ear infection, diarrhoea, pneumonia, brain damage, and death.

 

This vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles is a disease where an individual suffers from high fever, rash, cough, runny nose and watery eyes (sometimes red). When this disease is not treated on time, it can cause severe ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage, and death.

 

During mumps, the patient suffers from fever, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling of the salivary glands. And, if the disease becomes complicated, it can lead to the swelling of the testicles or ovaries, deafness, inflammation of the brain, etc.

 

Rubella causes fever, sore throat, rashes, itchy eyes, and headaches. If a patient contracts rubella during her pregnancy, she could go through a miscarriage or the baby might be born with some serious defects.

 

 

OPV (oral polio) and IPV (injectable polio vaccine)

 

The oral polio vaccine is a simpler method to provide vaccination for polio. It takes just a few drops to prevent polio.

 

The oral polio vaccine is a simpler method to provide vaccination for polio. It takes just a few drops to prevent polio. In IPV, the intramuscular injections are used. So, what is polio? Polio is a contagious disease, which is caused by a virus. This virus attacks the nervous system. Usually, this virus affects children under 5.

 

Rotavirus vaccine

Rotavirus is responsible for gastroenteritis. It is an infection of the intestines. When this infection occurs, it causes damage to the inner lining of the intestine. Due to this when the food passes through, it decreases the number of nutrients. This infection usually affects the children between 6 months to two years.

 

Thyroid vaccine

The thyroid vaccine helps fight thyroid fever. The thyroid fever is an infection, which is contracted through polluted food and water. Apart from causing major problems, this disease can also be fatal.

 

Why do we need vaccinations?

After taking food, water, and sanitation into consideration, vaccination is one of the most important things. Several infections, which leads to various complications and even death can be altered. Therefore, we can say that vaccination helps boost immunity.

 

Viral hepatitis: Types, symptoms, treatment, and prevention

 

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver cells, resulting in damage to the liver. With an estimated 240 million people infected with different forms of hepatitis in the world, Viral Hepatitis is gradually growing into a disease of disastrous proportions.

 

Types of Viral Hepatitis

Viral infections occurring in the liver are classified into five types, which include Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Different viruses are responsible for each type of hepatitis.

 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A occurs due to an infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV).

Hepatitis A is always an acute, short term disease and is most commonly transmitted by the consumption of food or water that is contaminated by the feces of a person who is infected with Hepatitis A.

 

Hepatitis B



Hepatitis B is an infection that is likely to be ongoing and chronic and is usually transmitted through contact with body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions etc. containing the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Having sex with an infected individual, sharing razors and injections with a person infected with the Hepatitis B infection are also causes of contracting the infection.

 

Hepatitis C



Caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), the Hepatitis C infection is also a chronic and long lasting infection and is generally transmitted through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person, or through sexual contact and/or sharing injections with the infected individual.

 

Hepatitis D



Caused by the Hepatitis D virus, Hepatitis D is also known as Delta Hepatitis. It is a serious liver disease and is not commonly diagnosed. It occurs only in conjunction with the Hepatitis B infection and is contracted through direct contact with infected blood.

 

Hepatitis E

A waterborne disease caused by the Hepatitis E virus, cases of Hepatitis E infections are mainly observed in areas with poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation, usually caused by the ingestion of fecal matter through drinking contaminated water.

 

 

Symptoms of Viral Hepatitis



Signs of acute Hepatitis, i.e. Hepatitis A appear quickly and can be noticed easily. These include:

 

• Flu-like symptoms

• Pale stool

• Fatigue

• Loss of appetite

• Unexplained weight loss

• Yellow skin and eyes

 

Chronic hepatitis like Hepatitis B and C grow slowly and any signs or symptoms may not show until the liver is damaged.

 

Diagnosis of Viral Hepatitis
During physical examination, your healthcare professional might press down on your abdomen in order to see if there is any tenderness or pain in the abdomen. Further, the following tests may be performed :

 

• Liver function tests : these tests are performed in order to gauge the proper functioning of your liver. Abnormal results in the liver tests are an indication of the presence of a Viral Hepatitis, especially if you are not showing any signs of a liver disease.

 

• Blood tests : blood tests that check for the presence of Viral Hepatitis viruses may then be performed.

 

• Ultrasound : an Ultrasound of the abdomen may be performed to create an image of the organs within the abdomen. This is a useful test in determining if the damage caused to the liver is due to any reason other than Viral Hepatitis.

 

• Liver Biopsy : a Liver biopsy is an invasive procedure wherein your healthcare professional takes a sample of tissue from within your liver in order to determining how inflammation or infection has occurred to the liver and confirm the presence of the Viral Hepatitis infection in the body.

 

Treatment of Viral Hepatitis

 

The different Viral Hepatitis infections have different lines of treatment :

 

• Hepatitis A

 

Hepatitis A is a short term condition that generally does not require any treatment. Proper hydration and nutrition, along with appropriate rest and sleep are enough to get rid of the Hepatitis A infection.

 

• Hepatitis B

 

Antiviral medications are prescribed in order to cure the chronic Hepatitis B infection. These may be needed to be continued for several months or even years, accompanied by regular monitoring in order to make sure that the body is responding to the treatment.

 

• Hepatitis C

 

A combination of antiviral drug therapies are used in order to treat the Hepatitis C infection. In case of serious damage to the liver due to the Hepatitis C infection, a liver transplant may also be needed to be undertaken.

• Hepatitis D

 

Currently, no specific drug exists for the treatment of Hepatitis D. A drug known as Alpha Interferon may be used for treatment, but it only shows improvement in about 25 to 30 percent cases of Hepatitis D infections.

 

• Hepatitis E

 

The Hepatitis E infection is an acute infection and typically gets resolved on its own. As it is, no specific drug exists for the treatment of Hepatitis E. Increased consumption of fluids and proper nutrition, abstinence from alcohol and adequate rest are all advised in order to cure the infection.

 

 

Prevention of Viral Hepatitis

 

In order to avoid Hepatitis A and E, proper hygiene is recommended. Avoiding

 

• Local, unfiltered water,

 

• Open ice,

 

• Raw fruits and vegetables and

 

• Raw or undercooked oysters and shellfish

 

will help keep the infections at bay.

 

Refraining from sharing shaving implements, drug needles and toothbrushes, as well as making sexual contact with an infected individual are some ways to avoid contracting Hepatitis B, C and E infections.

 

 

20 Special Ways to Take Great Care of Your mom

 

Mothers are the most significant part of our lives. They shower us with so much love and care that it is incomparable. They weep with us when we are down and laugh with us when we are happy. They are  indubitably our anchors in life. We never take a moment to appreciate all the sacrifices they do, for us. But we must. So, read on to know 20 special ways to take great care of your mom.

 

  1. Health is wealth 

Moms always nurture and take care of the whole family. From cooking to cleaning, they do it all. However, when it comes to taking care of themselves, they tend to completely ignore that. Mothers always put themselves at last. So, when it comes to taking care of your mom, it is important to first take care of her health. Therefore, taking her for regular health check-ups (despite her blatant No’s) is something you must do.

 

  1. Ask her what she wants
    Since she is always the one doing things according to everyone else in the family, ask her what she wants to do for a change. She will definitely appreciate it. And, it will make her feel incredibly special.

 

  1. Take her out 

Sometimes, we get so busy with our lives and work that we tend to neglect our families (even though unintentionally). But, for your mum, her world revolves around you. So, surprise her with a date. Take her out to a movie or a fancy meal and spend quality time with her. Just talk to her and listen to her talk. This will make her feel on top of the world.

 

  1. Tell her ‘I love You’ often 

You know you love her. She knows you love her and you know she knows. But, do you say it? Probably not too often. A simple ‘I love you’ can light up her day. It will bring in that million-dollar smile on her face, which is definitely enthralling.

 

  1. Cook her a meal 

She has done that for you (a lot!). So, it’s your turn now. Once in a while cook for her. A simple meal will make her feel special. It can be anything. Even the basic morning coffee.

 

  1. Have Fun with Her 

    You can make your mum feel like a queen just by sharing a good laugh with her. So, make new memories with her by including a good dose of humor.

 

  1. Encourage her to try new things 

Learning new things and interacting with new people builds confidence. And, this will help your mom do well in her life. It is the first step towards success. And, this might just make her do things, which she always wanted to do.

 

  1. Give her a handwritten note 

Give your mom a handwritten letter stating all the reasons why she is the most incredible woman ever. And, don’t forget to thank her for being a wonderful parent and for being so supportive. This will mean the world to her.

 

  1. Give her the respect she deserves 

Always treat your mother with respect. She has done so much for you! She has earned it. So, treat her with utmost honor, dignity, and appreciation.

 

  1. Scrapbook for memories 

Put a little scrapbook together with some wonderful memories. Make sure you dig deep into all those old photo boxes and find something really special. Make it funky and creative and look at it with her. It will be great, going down the memory lane with her.

 

  1. Start a small DIY project with her 

You could probably redo the interiors of the house or take up some DIY project together. This will definitely help you bond better with your mother and have fun with her.

 

  1. Take her out with your friends 

Mothers love Public Acknowledgment. They love being bragged about. So, take her out with your friends, show her off in front of your friends, and give her all the credit (she deserves it). This will be a great honor for her and she will absolutely love it.

 

  1. Make her feel needed 

As your mother gets older and as you grow older, she might start feeling left out and unwanted. Yes, you know that is not true, but it is important to make her realize that you can never stop needing her. Take her advice, go shopping with her, just make sure you include her in your life.

 

  1. Loyalty 

Always be loyal to her and never undermine her. This will seriously make her feel good.

 

  1. Send her flowers 

Why? Just because. Occasionally, send her flowers for no reason at all. This will make her feel like the best mum and she will absolutely adore it.

 

  1. Buy her a special neck chain 

A lovely necklace with a special inscription will make her feel special. She will cherish it and always wear it proudly.

 

  1. Take her to a spa 

A whole day where someone will pamper you? Isn’t it great? Yes, it is. Your mum will love it. It will make her feel incredible and so very special.

 

  1. Just let her take a nap 

She could definitely use one. So, why not? You do her chores and let her go to sleep.

 

 

  1. Give her hugs 

Make sure you hug her every time you see her. This will make her feel cherished and loved.

 

  1. Tell her she is beautiful 

Everyone goes through confidence issues. So, when you tell her that she is beautiful, she will feel good about herself.

 

Why Nurses Are Important to the Community

A nurse is a healthcare professional who is responsible for the treatment, safety, recovery, and the overall care of a patient. People have a misconception about the role of a nurse. Mostly, they assume that a nurse’s job revolves around sponge bath and bedpans. However, this is simply incorrect. A nurse plays a major role in the healthcare community. After going through years of training and specialized education, nurses become a technical expert, educator, a counselor, a caretaker of the patient. Also, most importantly, nurses are the first ones who evaluate and administrate the treatment.

 

For a patient, a nurse is their pillar of strength. This is because as a patient, you spend the most time with your nurse. They will not only monitor your progress, but they will be present to help you whenever necessary. They spend a lot of time with you, hence, they realize what is good for you and what isn’t. So, when it comes to your treatment plan, they communicate all of the patient knowledge with the doctor to ensure a correct treatment and a quality of care. Nurses are the emotional anchors we need when we are admitted to the hospital.

 

With their smiling faces and a warm heart, they do their best to make us feel comfortable. From our smallest need to our biggest ones, they do it without a frown on their face. They are so giving, never expecting anything in return. Well, it is probably time that we take a moment to appreciate everything they do for us. When you are admitted to the hospital, they immediately understand all the complexities involved with your illness. They don’t waste a moment of their time and provide the necessary counseling to your family. They are trained to provide the necessary support, even during a chronic condition.

Their knowledge, experience, combined with their people skills provides the patients with a stable environment. Nursing is not an easy job. It is taxing, and truly exhausting, both mentally and physically. From the time they begin their shift to the time they finish it; the nurses are always on their feet. From caring for one patient to another, they do it without any complaints. They store all the patient’s information in their memory and come up with new ways to make your treatment more effective and efficient.

 

Being a nurse means being selfless. It means giving up the holidays with family. It means endless night-shifts and weekends. It means almost no personal life. However, despite knowing all this, it did not stop them from becoming top-notch nurses. Do you wonder why? Because that is their level of commitment. That is how much they care. When you see a nurse next time just know that they are the most giving and warm-hearted people you can ever come across. Even though they are in a high-pressure job, they are always so affectionate. They never get irritated or frustrated. In fact, they will put all their efforts to make you smile.

 

Now, you are probably wondering what is the exact job description of a nurse? Nursing duties actually vary from one healthcare facility to another. However, apart from the admin duties, taking care of the patient and the family, communicating with the doctor to come up with a plan for the treatment, and providing emotional support, nurses may even diagnose a disease and prescribe medications. They have all the medical knowledge to do that. Nurses who work in the critical care unit are known as the trauma nurse. Here, they care for the dying patient, insert life-saving IVs and injections, and they provide the necessary support to the family.

 

So, now you know what a nurse does. They don’t have a set job description. They don multiple hats, making sure the patient deserves the right treatment. Often it is a thankless job, even then, you see them smile. They are critical thinkers, action-takers, problem-solvers, and so much more. Nurses are the most important part of our community. They are simply irreplaceable and extremely valuable. They are intelligent, smart, and amazing people. Therefore, next time you are in a healthcare facility, take a moment to offer your appreciation to all the hardworking nurses. A simple ‘thank you’ will make their day.

 

Hypertension: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

 

Also known as High Blood Pressure, Hypertension is a common condition, which if left untreated might increase the risks of heart attacks and strokes. In this condition, the long-term force exerted by the blood on your artery walls is higher than normal.

 

When you get your blood pressure tested, the higher number is the force at which your heart pumps blood and the lower number is the pressure of the blood in between the heartbeats. The ideal blood pressure must be in between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. If it is more than 140/90 mmHg, then it is considered high blood pressure, and if it lower than 90/60 mmHg then it is low blood pressure.

 

Causes of Hypertension

 

There are two types of Hypertension;

 

  • Primary Hypertension

There is no actual cause for this type of Hypertension. This tends to develop gradually, over the years for adults.

 

 

  • Secondary Hypertension

This type of Hypertension tends to happen all of a sudden due to various reasons, such as;

 

 

  1. Sleep Apnea
  2. Kidney problems
  3. Adrenal Gland Tumours
  4. Thyroid Problems
  5. Defects in the blood vessels
  6. Due to medications, such as birth control pills, pain relievers, etc.
  7. Illegal Drugs
  8. Chronic alcohol consumption

Risk Factors

 

  • Age

 

The risk of high blood pressure increases for men by the age of 45 and for women, it is mostly by the age of 65. However, high blood pressure is more common in men than women.

 

 

  • Race 

 

High blood pressure is more common in black people than the white.

 

 

  • Family History

 

High blood pressure can be hereditary.

 

 

  • Obesity 

 

When you become obese, you require more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Therefore, when the volume of the blood that is being circulated increases, the pressure on the artery walls also increases.

 

 

  • Not being active physically

 

When you lead an inactive lifestyle, your heart tends to have a higher heart rate. So, when the heart rate becomes higher, your heart will have to put in extra efforts during each contraction, leading to a strong pressure on your arteries. Also, when you are not active physically, it can cause obesity. Hence, it might lead to high blood pressure.

 

 

  • Tobacco

 

Smoking or chewing tobacco increases your blood pressure temporarily. Also, the chemicals used in tobacco can cause a damage to the lining of your artery walls. This can narrow the arteries, which increases the blood pressure. Second-hand smoke can also cause high blood pressure.

 

 

  • Too much salt 

 

Salt contains sodium and when you consume too much salt, your body might retain fluid. This can increase your blood pressure.

 

 

  • Too little Potassium

 

Potassium is necessary to help balance the sodium present in your cells. Therefore, when you don’t consume enough potassium, the sodium in your blood gets accumulated, leading to high blood pressure.

 

 

  • Too little Vitamin D

 

Being Vitamin D deficient is not a definite cause of high blood pressure. However, Vitamin D might affect an enzyme, which is produced by your kidneys. And, this affects your blood pressure.

 

 

  • Consumption of too much Alcohol

 

When you drink too much, gradually, over the years, it can damage your heart. Also, having more than 2 drinks a day for men and more than 1 drink a day for women can affect the blood pressure. So, if you much, do it moderately.

 

 

  • Existing Health Conditions

 

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and High cholesterol levels can cause high blood pressure, especially as people grow older.

 

Symptoms of Hypertension

 

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure doesn’t have a sure set of symptoms. Therefore, it is sometimes called as the ‘Silent Killer’. Hence, you must get yourself checked often to avoid any complications. However, sometimes when a person is suffering from high blood pressure, he may notice excessive sweating, anxiety, problems with sleep, and blushing.

 

If the blood pressure reaches a dangerous level, the person may experience headaches and nosebleeds. When high blood pressure is left untreated, it can cause damage to the cardiovascular system and other internal organs.

 

When hypertension continues, it can lead to complications through atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where the blood vessels become narrow due to the formation of plaque. This might cause; heart attacks or heart failure, an aneurysm, kidney failure, stroke, amputation, and even blindness.

 

Treatments

 

There are various treatment options available for high blood pressure. However, the most important part of the treatment is to start a healthy lifestyle. Doctors recommended that people suffering from hypertension must at least engage in a physical activity, such as walking, cycling, jogging, etc. for 30 minutes. The workouts must not be intense, and it is always good to check with your physician before you begin to avoid any complications. Other treatment plans include; stress management, changes in diet, and consuming oral medications.

 

Easy ways to improve posture

 

Maintaining a good posture is not only about good looks, but also about improving the overall health of an individual. How we sit, stand and walk not only affects both our health and mood but also has a huge role to play in adding to the first impressions that we make. So, stop slouching and follow these steps to achieve good posture :

 

 

  • Stand before a mirror and observe yourself, front, side and back on, in order to see for yourself where your problem is. Now stand comfortably with your feet apart, draw in your stomach, draw your pelvis up and stand with your shoulders down and back. Imagine a thread attached to your head, drawing you up to the ceiling such that you elongate and lengthen your body to the fullest capacity. Now look at your posture again and you will notice how different it is. You now look slimmer and taller. This is how your posture should ideally be. Be aware of this and make conscious efforts to maintain this posture throughout the day.

 

 

  • Work your spine by lying down on a yoga mat or any similar comfortable setting. Stretch out your arms and legs straight ahead. Now lift one arm and the opposite leg and hold this position for a count of 10. Relax this position. Take deep breaths for a count of 5, then repeat the procedure with the other arm and foot. Perform this procedure regularly every morning before you start your day and at night before going to sleep.

 

  • Develop your core strength as a strong core helps support and prop up your back and your abs, as well as tones your abdomen, thus making it easier to form and maintain a good posture. Perform the following exercise recommended by the Pilates Institute of Australia in order to build up your core strength :

◦           Stand up straight and imagine that your mid section has been replaced by an apple. Now imagine that someone has removed the core of the apple and there is now a void in the middle. You now need to pull in your midsection, back and sides, up through your pelvic floor in order to fill in this void. Keep pulling in tighter and tighter and imagine the void getting smaller and smaller. Keep pulling in as much as you can, hold and then release. Repeat this exercise everyday. Keep holding for a little while longer each time until you can hold for at least 30 seconds or more.

  • Exercise the muscles between your shoulders, known as the rhomboids. To work your rhomboids, draw your shoulder blades back and hold for 10 seconds. Then release and relax. Do this five times every day and you will soon notice a difference from your former posture as your shoulders will stay straight and drawn and not droop any more

 

 

  • The curve in your back is important to maintain a good posture. So, try to sleep in a position which helps you maintain the curve in your back. Sleep with either a lumbar roll under your lower back, or a pillow under your knees or with your knees slightly bent. Avoid sleeping with your knees drawn right up to your chest and on your side. Also avoid sleeping on your front, especially if you happen to sleep on a saggy mattress as all of these positions cause back strain and may also cause damage to your neck.

 

  • When you are in a sitting position, push your bottom to the back of the chair and sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Make this your permanent sitting posture and do not deviate from it at all. Never give yourself a chance to whittle your waist. Pull in your core and follow this sitting position in the car, at home or in the office in order to show noticeable changes in your posture.

 

 

 

  • Being aware of and paying attention to your posture is a very vital step in improving your posture in the long run. Good posture is a habit that does not come easily and needs to be cultivated until it becomes natural. Every time you sit, stand or lie down – check your posture and correct it. Ask for help from family and friends to correct your posture and keep you from slouching.

 

 

  • Learn to breathe properly as how you breathe affects your posture to a great extent. Learn to breathe more effectively using your diaphragm, taking long and deep breaths instead of short, shallow ones. Try lengthening your spine and engaging your waist muscles as well as your lower core muscles.

 

•           Constantly craning your neck to stare down at your phone or tablet is not helping your posture. Instead of holding your head down to look at your hand held devices, prop up your phone or tablet perpendicular to the table.

Top 10 first aid skills we should learn

 

Nobody knows when an emergency may strike- and when you might have to step in and save the day by offering first aid to people in need. It is essential that you know some basic first aid – some basic knowledge of first aid may somehow come handy in miraculously save someone’s life. So here are 10 basic first aid tips we should all know:

 

 

  • Control excessive bleeding : if a person is bleeding excessively, their body will not be able to form a clot and he/she might bleed all out if the bleeding is not stopped. You can control the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound and raising the affected limb above the heart so as to stem the bleeding. Pressure should ideally be applied using a sterile cloth, but you can also use your t-shirt or any other cloth available to you.

Sometimes, a person bleeding out may actually be suffering from arterial bleeding, in which case the person may bleed out and die within minutes. Arterial wounds pulsate when they bleed and the blood is generally bright red. In these cases, it is imperative to stem the wound by putting pressure on the wound immediately. Keep adding pieces of cloth to the wound if you see the cloth soaking through.

 

 

  • Chemical spills on the body : call for professional medical aid as soon as possible. Meanwhile, wash the victim’s body with a deluge of water with the nearest spray unit available. Remove any overlying clothes that may retain the chemical and prevent the washing of the skin. Chemical spills in the eye : immediately flush the eyes with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, while seeking medical attention immediately.

 

  • Treating shock : shock occurs when the brain is not receiving enough blood from the heart. A victim of shock may feel dizzy, faint or disoriented and their skin may also turn pale. Shock usually happens after an infection, illness, allergic reaction or after a serious loss of fluid and blood or even after an accident.

 

 

 

  • Hypothermia Treatment : when an individual’s body turns so cold that their cold temperature drops to dangerously low levels, their brain and muscular function will be severe. Symptoms of hypothermia include bad coordination, drowsiness, uncontrollable shivering or abnormally slow breathing.

 

 

  • Hyperthermia Treatment : at very high temperatures, a heat exhaustion or hyperthermia may set in. the victim may experience nausea, vomiting and dizziness apart from a throbbing headache and difficulty in vision as well as black spots in the vision.

 

When this happens, get the victim out of heat and under a cool shade is possible. Using a damp cloth, try bringing the victim’s temperature down. Encourage the victim to drink fluids. You only have  a few minutes before the heat exhaustion turns to heat stroke, which can be fatal.

 

 

  • CPR: administering a CPR is one of the most useful and important first aid skills you can learn. Place both your hands on the top of the victim’s chest and push fast and hard.

Deliver rescuer breaths with the victim’s head tilted back, pinch the nose and place your mouth on the victim’s mouth and deliver long and hard breaths, until professional aid arrives.

 

 

  • The Heimlechmaneuver : the Heimlechmaneuver is a life saving trick that you absolutely must learn as when someone is choking, you only have seconds to respond.  The Heimlechmaneuver is required when a person choking on a foreign object. Patting the victim on the back will not help if they are choking on a foreign object lodged in their throat.

Stand behind the victim, wrap your hands around them, place your fist between the person’s rib cage and belly button and place your other hand above the first. Give the victim a quick upward thrust. Keep doing this until the foreign object is dislodged. Knowing the Heimlech technique can actually help you save someone’s life by preventing them from choking to death.

 

 

  • Making a makeshift sling or splint : injuries causing broken bones are a very common sight observed, especially during road accidents. In order to administer first aid to victims having broken bones, the key to a fast recovery is protecting the broken limb or bone and avoiding further damage by immobilizing the part that is broken or injured. Simply take any piece of cloth that is adequately long, run it behind the victim’s back and secure the broken limb in position by tying the two ends of the cloth together, hereby immobilising the limb.

 

 

  • Minor burns : for minor burns, immediately cool the burn in order to soothe the pain. Hold the burned area under cool water, still; not running, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain eases.

Do not break the small blisters that form on the skin as these help soothe and heal the burned area. If the blisters break on their own, carefully clean the area with an antibiotic soap and cool water and cover it up with non-stick gauze bandage. Apply a cooling agent such as aloe vera gel or moisturiser over the burned area in order to provide some relief from the pain

 

 

  • Stroke : a stroke can strike any person at any time. It is generally caused when any kind of blockage such as a blood clot etc. blocks the supply of blood to the brain, leading to a stroke.

The symptoms of a stroke include the following :

 

 

◦    Sudden drooping on one side of the body
◦    Numbness
◦    Severe headache
◦    Dizziness

◦    Difficulty in seeing out of one or both eyes.

The symptoms of a stroke may occur suddenly or gradually and at times, you may find it difficult to tell if a person is having a stroke. In order to confirm if a person is suffering from a stroke, ask him/her to smile and if while doing so, a part of their face droops or if their arms are uneven while they raise them over their head, you can be sure that the person is suffering from a stroke.

 

Call for medical help and give the victim an aspirin in order to ease the blood flow through their veins.

 

World Malaria Day

Time to act- malaria cases on the rise in the Coastal region

 

 

According to a recent study, the instances of malaria are increasing in the coastal region. The World Health Organization estimates that 438,000 people die of malaria every year, the vast majority among those being young children.The study indicates that malaria prevalence in the coastal region increased from 4 percent to 8 percent, while endemic lake side regions stand at 27 percent. Owing to the growing prevalence of malaria in the coastal region, it becomes imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the deadly disease. Here’s looking at how:

 

 

What exactly is malaria?

 

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite and spread by mosquitoes. There exist three important facets of the life cycle of the disease. These include the following:

 

  • The Anopheles mosquito that carries the Plasmodium parasite which is where the parasite starts its life cycle.
  • The parasite, having multiple subspecies, causes the disease with different severity of symptoms and responds to different types of treatments.
  • Once inside the human body, the parasite travels to the liver, manifests itself there and starts growing. It then travels throughout the body through the bloodstream and infects and destroys red blood cells.

Malaria is not a contagious disease and does not spread from person to person, but is only spread through mosquitoes.The incubation period for the disease is about 7 to 30 days post a mosquito bite.

 

 

Causes of malaria

 

The Plasmodium parasite and 4 others in this genus are responsible for causing malaria. These include the following :

  • malariae: prevalent worldwide, the P. malariaeparasite is responsible for causing chronic malarial infection.
  • falciparum: commonly found in subtropical and tropical areas, the P. falciparum is majorly responsible for severe cases of malaria, commonly leading to death.
  • vivax: found in Asia and Latin America, the P. vivaxparasite has a dormant stage wherein people assume that the infection is cured, but then infections caused by this parasite might relapse.
  • knowlesi: found in the southeast Asian region, the P. knowlesiparasite can rapidly progress from an uncomplicated infection to a severe case of malaria
  • ovale : the P. ovaleparasite is generally found throughout the Pacific islands and Africa

Symptoms of malaria

 

After a bite by an infected mosquito, symptoms can take between 7 and 30 days to manifest.

 

Cases of malaria can be classified as complicated (or severe) and uncomplicated malaria

 

 

  • Uncomplicated malaria – The most common symptoms of an uncomplicated malaria infection include the following:
  • Headaches
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting, and
  • General weakness and body aches.
  • Complicated or Severe Malaria – Complicated or severe malaria occurs when different systems of the body are affected by malaria. Common symptoms of complicated or severe malaria include:
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Severe anemia caused by the destruction of red blood cells
  • Kidney failure
  • Cerebral malaria causing symptoms like seizures, unconsciousness, abnormal
    behaviour and confusion
  • Low blood sugar

Diagnosis of malaria

 

Since the symptoms of malaria are very similar to a viral infection or to the flu, examining a recent history of travel to areas suffering from a malaria endemic becomes necessary in order to determine the possibility of exposure to the malaria causing parasite.

 

A confirmative diagnosis of malaria is made by examining the blood of the patient under a microscope in order to identify the presence of the parasite. The most widely accepted test, the patient’s blood is prepared under a slide stained with a specific color in order to identify the parasite.Rapid antigen tests may also be performed as a diagnostic test. All these tests are offered by the Pacific International Hospital and can be acquired at any time when symptoms of malaria are experienced.

 

 

Treatment of malaria

 

Depending upon factors including:

 

  • The severity of symptoms
  • Determination of drug resistance and
  • The specific species of the parasite identified,

Appropriate medications are chosen, to be administered in the form of a pill or as an intravenous injection.

 

The most commonly used medications for the treatment of malaria include:

 

  • Quinine (Qualaquin)
  • Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)
  • Chloroquine (Aralen)
  • Doxycycline (Vibramycin, Adoxa, Oracea, Atridox)
  • Mefloquine (Lariam), and
  • Primaquine phosphate (Primaquine)

Prognosis of malaria

 

With early diagnosis and appropriate administration of antibiotics, the prognosis of malaria has been deemed to be very good. The Pacific International Hospital offers an advanced and quality healthcare to the community through various programs including the screening and prognosis of malaria.

 

Death is usually caused due to lack of treatment, which is now a rare occurrence.The P. falciparum species tends to be the one that causes a high number of complications and has a high mortality rate if left untreated. Cerebral malaria, a complication of P. falciparum malaria, has a 20% mortality rate even if treated.

 

 

Prevention of malaria

 

The prevention of malaria includes the following steps:

 

  • The first step is to determine the prevalence of malaria in any region that you are traveling to, helping you determine which medication is to be taken as chemoprophylaxis.
  • In case your health care professional recommends the use of chemoprophylaxis, make sure you discuss the pros and cons of the medication prescribed, as well as its compatibility with any health issues that you might have.
  • Preventive measures taken in order to prevent mosquito bites include the following
  • In areas infested with mosquitoes, make sure that you sleep under bed nets that are arranged in such a way that they cover all of the bed, down to the floor, and are covered with an insecticide.
  • Apply an effective insect repellent cream to any and every part of skin that is exposed at night and even during the day.
  • Wear clothes that cover most of the skin and sport shoes that are closed, in order to reduce the amount of exposed, uncovered skin. Treating clothes with insecticides is also a great idea.

 

 

World Immunization Day

Adult Vaccinations – What They Are and Why You Need Them

 

 

How many times do you have to call in sick to work because of a runny nose, sore throat, a headache or a fever? And how many times did you blame the weather conditions, your work life or your immunity? Don’t you wish that you could have a permanent solution to your constant Influenza attacks? The answer to all of your problems is Adult Vaccination.

 

Yes, last time you got vaccinated, you were a kid, and you were being vaccinated against serious diseases like Polio, Diphtheria, BCG, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, etc. But now you are an adult immune forever from all of these diseases, right? Well, think again, because the effects of most of these vaccines tend to wear off with age. Adult vaccinations provide our bodies with an up to date defence system against diseases while acting like a firewall protecting us from unpredicted and unknown viral attacks.

 

Our immunity depends on these vaccines which are basically weakened viruses, bacteria or parts of them which when injected into our body prepares our body for a fight against a future infection. These are also known as “booster vaccination” which are re-administered into our body so that the immune system is well up to date.

 

The best person to advise you on whether or not you need to be vaccinated is your Doctor. All you need is to make an appointment and show up with your childhood medical record of the vaccines already injected. Adult vaccination which may be provided after the doctor’s consultation is dependent on age, gender, and prevalent medical conditions. Adult Vaccination available can be categorized in the following manner:

 

 

Age , Gender, Allergies or other health conditions ,Healthcare workers , Immigrants, refugees or travellers
Age for adult vaccination can be further classified into various age groups especially based on persisting medical conditions. It is generally advised by Physicians to take the following vaccines as per the mentioned classification:

 

Influenza vaccine: Physicians generally advise that the Influenza vaccine dose is injected annually.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis vaccine(TDP): Irrespective of an infection if a patient lacks documentation, or meets the required age criteria which extend from 19 to more than 65 years of age, it is advised to get a dose of the TD booster every ten years.
Varicella vaccine: This vaccine can be taken by any age group but pregnant women or people with HIV(<200 CD4+ count) and immunity hampering diseases are advised against it.
Zoster vaccine: The age group considered for this vaccine is 60 and above and includes homosexual men, diabetics, people with chronic kidney, liver or heart problems and asplenia but pregnant women or people with HIV(<200 CD4+ count) and immunity hampering diseases are advised against it.
Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine(MMR): The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella and is recommended for age group 19 to 54 but pregnant women or people with HIV(<200 CD4+ count) and immunity hampering diseases are advised against it.
PCV13 and PPSV23: 1 dose is advised for people with the prevalent medical condition or for those without any medical record of having taken this vaccine previously, it is advisable for all age groups but it is strongly advised for those above age 65 if they lack medical records.
Hepatitis A vaccine: 2 to 3 doses of the vaccine is advised for all age groups, healthcare workers, pregnant women, or people with any medical conditions especially for homosexuals or people with chronic liver diseases.
Hepatitis B vaccine: 3 doses of the vaccine is advised for all age groups, healthcare workers, pregnant women, or people with any medical conditions especially for homosexuals, HIV patients and people with chronic liver and kidney diseases.
Meningococcal vaccine: 2 to 3 doses of the vaccine is advised for all age groups with medical conditions especially if there are no medical records on asplenia.
HIB vaccine: A dose is advised for all age groups with medical conditions especially if there are no medical records on asplenia and post-HSCT recipients who are advised to take 3 doses.
Gender specific vaccine:

 

 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: HPV occurs in most sexually active adults and causes cervical cancer in women and genital warts irrespective of gender. Thus this vaccine is highly recommended for young adults. The age group for the vaccination is restricted from nineteen to twenty-six. It is also categorized by gender, that is, both genders within the aforementioned age group need to take 3 doses of the vaccine, but for males, it is not compulsory for age group twenty-one to twenty-six. But if the consulting doctor recommends it, it might be due to a lingering risk factor which is usually observed in homosexual males. Also, pregnant women are advised to avoid the Human papilloma vaccine, and they should consult their gynaecologist regarding any other vaccinations they might need to take or avoid.
The aforementioned vaccines comprise only very few of Adult vaccinations available to date.

 

The other two categories advised on adult vaccinations are Immigrants, refugees or travellers and Healthcare workers. Most countries do not allow immigrants who haven’t been vaccinated against their native diseases. Similarly, for travellers as well. Occupationally, healthcare workers should get all vaccinations since they are most prone to the diseases due to constant exposure.

 

Just like a child, adults may also experience the mild side effects like fever, redness or swelling of the injected area, headache or some nausea from the vaccines, but they are very minor and last only for a few days.

 

But the benefits of adult vaccination are far greater, as one can reduce their medical expenses, avoid life-threatening diseases, feel safer as one grows older and an overall improvement of life.

 

In short, get vaccinated today, live healthy tomorrow.

 

Why Physical Therapy is important after Surgery?

 

Usually, before a surgery, we tend to concentrate more on what will happen during the surgery and just ignore the importance of rehabilitation post-surgery. However, after a surgery, your doctor might ask you to consider physical therapy because it helps you recuperate better. Read on to know the benefits of physical therapy after an operation.

 

  • Healing

 

One of the most common reasons why the doctor suggests physical therapy after a surgery is because it promotes healing. For example, when you opt for physical therapy arthroscopy of your knee or shoulder, it minimizes the scar tissue, or it helps retrain your muscles after a big surgery. So, whatever the reason is, physical therapy helps you get better faster.

 

Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts. Thus, their treatments help improve your body’s functionality and the way you feel. There are several options and variables available when it comes to the therapy. And, they create a customized treatment plan according to your condition to help you deal with your surgery in a better way.

 

 

  • Mobility

 

Surgeries performed on the lower parts of the body, such as the knees or hips need physical therapy to regain mobility. Therefore, this could mean doing the daily activities, such as walking or gardening, or it could mean doing more rigorous activities, such as running on a treadmill. The physical therapists know the various levels of healing of a patient. Thus, keeping that in mind, they design an effective plan. It will not only help you improve, but it will also prevent any injury and reduce the recovery time to help the patient return to his normal life faster.

 

  • Faster Recovery

 

With the help of physical therapy, your body will recover faster. This is especially true in the case of joint replacement surgeries.

 

Other Benefits of Physical Therapy

 

  • Reduces or eliminates pain

 

Exercises conducted by the therapist and other manual therapy techniques can help reduce the pain and even get rid of it. It also helps restore joint and muscle function, and these therapies prevent the pain from returning.

 

  • Might help avoid surgery

 

Physical therapies have the power to help you get rid of the pain to quite a great extent. And, it might even heal an injury. Therefore, it reduces the chances of you undergoing a surgery. However, if you must have a surgery, pre-surgery physical therapy is said to be extremely beneficial. It will help you go into the surgery stronger and in a good shape. Thus, post-surgery, your recovery will be faster.

 

  • Mobility

 

If you are facing trouble moving, walking, or standing, physical therapy can help you with the mobility, and it doesn’t matter what your age is. The stretching and strengthening exercises taught by the physical therapist can restore your movement. Also, a physical therapist can assist you with the necessary devices, such as a cane or crutches to help you with your mobility. They come up with a tailor-made plan for your benefit and well-being.

 

  • Recovering from stroke

 

After experiencing a stroke, it is common that a person loses some degree of function and movement. With the help of physical therapy, one can strengthen the weak parts of the body, improving gait and balance. It can also improve the patient’s ability to move around on the bed, which helps them to stop depending on someone else for even the smallest chore.

 

  • Sports Injury

 

With the help of physical therapy, you can recover from a sports injury completely and go back to playing your sport. Physical therapists design a proper plan that assists appropriate recovery from a sports injury and even prevents it from taking place again in the future.

 

  • Improve Balance

 

If you are someone who is at a high fall risk, physical therapy will help you improve your balance with exercises. These exercises will also help you improve your coordination and ensure safer walking. Physical therapists, even provide assistive devices to help you stay safe.

 

  • Diabetes

 

Exercise is highly beneficial in controlling the blood sugar levels. Also, when one suffers from diabetes, they might develop problems with the sensation in their feet and legs. Therefore, with the help of physical therapy, they can follow a proper routine and take care of their foot.

 

  • Age-related Issues

 

Physical therapy lets you deal with age-related issues, such as arthritis or joint replacement with the help of special exercises.

 

  • Lung and heart disease

 

For the pulmonary problems, physical therapy can help improve the quality of life with the help of breathing exercises and other techniques. Also, if a person suffers from a heart attack, post-treatment, physical therapy can help get back to the daily routine.

 

  • Women

 

Physical therapy also helps with women-centric health concerns such as pregnancy and post-partum care. Also, physical therapy provides treatments for; bowel incontinence, breast cancer, constipation, fibromyalgia, lymphedema, pelvic health, pelvic pain, and urinary issues.

 

 

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is performed on patients who are suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD). It is the most common type of heart disease and also the leading cause of death worldwide. It occurs due to the blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries. It can also lead to angina and heart attack.

 

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

 

  • Chest pain
  • Painful, burning, aching and feeling of discomfort in your chest also known as Angina.
  • Nausea, Weakness or dizziness
  • Breath Shortness
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Sweating

 

CABG Surgery

 

The process of CABG involves connecting or grafting a healthy vein or artery from the body, to the clogged/blocked coronary artery. The graft creates a new passage for the oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart. We have cardiovascular surgeons coming from India to Papua New Guinea, who have extensive experience performing coronary artery bypass. The surgery generally takes between 3-5 hours and requires anaesthesia.

 

There are various other names for CABG, such as;

 

  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Bypass surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery

 

The best part about the CABG surgery is the fact that it has an amazing success rate, as 85% of patients report significant improvement in their lives.

 

Types of CABG:

 

Traditional CABG:

It is one of the most commonly used CABG. It is mainly used when one of the major arteries suffer blockage and needs to be bypassed.

 

Off-Pump CABG:

This method is similar to traditional CABG, with the main difference that the heart is accessed by opening the chest bone. A lung-bypass machine is used in this case and the heart isn’t stopped. This method is also known as beating heart bypass grafting.

 

Minimally Invasive Direct CABG

This method is similar to off-pump CABG, with the main difference is that instead of making one big incision to open the chest bone, the surgeons make several small incisions on the left side of the chest between the ribs.

 

Diagnostic Tests and Physical Exam

Before CABG is performed on a candidate, the doctor ensures that the candidate is fit to undergo the procedure. A number of tests are done on the body focussing on the cardiovascular system, like test related to heart, pulse and lungs.

 

Do you need CABG?

 

Several tests are performed to understand your lifestyle, symptoms, the structure and function of your heart.

 

EKG (Electrocardiogram)

 

An EKG is one of the simple test performed on the patient to detect and record heart’s electrical activity.

 

Stress Test

 

There are certain kinds of heart problems that are easily diagnosed when the heart is beating fast and working hard. When a stress test is performed on the patient, they exercise to push their heart to work harder and beat faster, and simultaneously various heart tests are performed. The tests may include portion emission tomography (PET), echo and nuclear heart scanning.

 

Echocardiography

 

Echocardiography (AKA echo): This test helps the doctors in terms of providing information regarding the shape and size of the patient’s heart. It is done before and after a stress test.

 

Coronary Angiography

 

Coronary angiography uses special x-rays and dyes to get an inside view of the patient’s coronary arteries.

 

Recovery in the Hospital

 

After the surgery is performed on the patient, he/she is required to stay in an ICU for 1 to 2 days. Their blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels are monitored at closed intervals during this time.

 

It is common to insert an intravenous line (IV) drip into a vein in the patient’s arm. Using the IV line, medicines to control blood pressure and blood circulation are given to the patients.

 

In a few cases, patients are given oxygen therapy (oxygen supplied to the patients with the help of a mask or nasal prong) and/or a temporary pacemaker when they stay in the ICU.

 

Doctors may recommend their patients to wear compression stockings on their legs as well. The stocking help creates a gentle pressure up the leg, which in turn keeps blood from clotting and pooling.

 

Recovery at Home

 

The doctor will provide specific guidelines for the patient’s recovering at home. The guidelines are especially concerning:

 

  • How to recognize signs of complications and infections
  • How to tend to your healing incisions
  • When to call for emergency
  • When to consider making follow-up appointments
  • Doctors also provide instructions on dealing with side effects that occur from surgery.

 

What are the side-effects?

 

Side effects often go away within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, but may include:

 

  • Swelling in the area where the surgery is performed.
  • Itching or discomfort
  • Tightness or muscle pain in the upper back and shoulders.
  • Mood swings, fatigue (tiredness), or depression
  • Constipation
  • Problems during sleeping
  • Loss of appetite

 

Complete recovery from traditional CABG surgery takes around 6 to 12 weeks or sometimes more. The healing time is a lot less for non-traditional CABG.

 

Ongoing Care

 

Even after complete recovery from the CABG process, care has to be taken in terms of periodic consultations with doctors. Schedule these appointments as recommended by your doctor.

 

Useful hale and hearty counsel for post-surgery recovery-

 

  • Quit smoking
  • Eat lots of fruits and green vegetables
  • Avoid fried or junk food
  • Walk for 30-40 minutes every day
  • Do Yoga and meditation
  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure with medication
  • Join a program such as healthy eating or daily exercise
  • Boost your mood by reading your favourite book, listening to favourite music or a sunset walk

 

Our team at PIH work with you to provide the care you need for a smooth recovery. We provide outstanding outcomes to ensure as safe and as brief of a hospital stay as possible.

All you need to know about Open Heart Surgery

 

Open heart surgery is a major surgery, which takes place to rectify a damage to the heart. During this surgery, the doctor will cut open the chest and the operation is performed on the muscles, valves or arteries of the heart. The most common open-heart surgery is the coronary artery bypass surgery.

In this operation, a healthy artery or vein is attached to the blocked coronary artery. Hence, the attached artery is allowed to go around the blocked coronary artery, supplying fresh blood to the heart. This surgery is also sometimes known as Traditional Heart Surgery.

 

An open-heart surgery becomes a necessity when the coronary arteries become narrow. This happens because of a heart disease and the narrow arteries can lead to a heart attack. The artery that is attached is borrowed from someplace else, usually the chest or the leg. Open-heart surgery is also performed to repair or replace the faulty/damaged valves. The valves that are present in the heart are responsible to stop the blood from flowing back into the parts of the heart once it is pumped out.

 

The Open-heart surgery can also treat an aneurysm. In this condition, a bulge occurs in the main artery.

 

When is open-heart surgery needed?

 

An open-heart surgery is performed to;

 

  • Repair or replace the valves in the heart.
  • Repair the damaged or faulty areas of the heart.
  • To attach medical devices to promote a normal heartbeat.
  • To replace a damaged heart with a donor’s heart.

 

How is the open-heart surgery performed?

 

Pre-operation Preparation

 

The preparations for this operation starts on the previous night of the surgery.

 

  • Patients can consume normal food on the previous evening. However, they must avoid food and drink after midnight.
  • The patients are asked to use an antibacterial soap, especially on the upper body during their bath on the day of the surgery.
  • The chest may also be shaved.
  • The patients are asked to wear loose and comfortable clothing. This helps them after the completion of the surgery as they will not be able to move easily.
  • It is important to submit the complete medical history to the doctor before the surgery. This includes; the recent medication the patient has taken, illness, etc.
  • Sometimes, the patient might suffer from anxiety before the operation. During this period, it is important to talk to the doctor. The doctor and his team will surely clear all the doubts, making the patient feel better.
  • Sometimes, the doctors run a few tests before the surgery. These tests include; heart monitoring, blood samples, etc.
  • The nurse might place a line into the patient’s vein for the transfer of fluids and drugs.
  • Anaesthesia is monitored. This will make the patient drowsy and sleepy.

 

During the surgery

 

  • The time taken to complete the procedure differs from patient to patient. However, the coronary artery bypass usually lasts from somewhere in between 3-6 hours.
  • The surgeons cut open the chest about 6-8 inches. This incision is made using a blade in the middle of the chest.
  • The team may use a heart-lung bypass machine during the surgery. This machine is used to stop the heart-beat while the surgeon operates on the heart. Therefore, the hearts functionality of pumping the blood is performed by a machine for the time being. Here, the carbon dioxide is removed from the blood, the oxygen is added, and finally, the blood is returned to the patient’s body.
  • During this surgery, the doctor might choose to let the heart keep beating and the heart is held using an external device to help the doctor perform the surgery.
  • During the surgery, the people who might be present in the operation theatre are;

 

  1. The lead heart surgeon, who will direct the other surgeons for a successful operation.
  2. Anaesthesiologist, who is responsible for monitoring the anesthesia and the vital signs.
  3. A team who is responsible for monitoring the heart-lung machine and other technical equipment used during the operation. They are called the ‘perfusionists’.
  4. Nurses
  5. Other doctors

 

After the surgery/Recovery Period

  • Since it is a major surgery, it is important to keep an eye on the patient at all times. They will need a lot of support and help post-surgery.
  • The patient is usually transferred to the ICU after the surgery. He will remain there for 2-3 days post-operation.
  • A breathing tube will remain attached to help the patient breathe. The line inserted in the vein is also present to give the pain medications. And, all the monitoring equipment will remain there with the patient.
  • Once the patient leaves the ICU, he might have to stay at the hospital for some time. The recovery period post-hospital-stay will take weeks. The rest period is usually about 4-6 weeks.
  • The doctor will prescribe a rehabilitation plan for the patient accordingly. This will include; medications, exercises, diet, etc.
  • During the recovery period, the patient might go through bouts of tiredness and pain, which is normal.
  • It is also important to keep an eye on any infections. If a wound, redness, or some sort of discharge, etc. is noticed around the chest, the patient must immediately go to the hospital.
  • Also, if the patient suffers from fever, breathing problems, etc. immediate medical attention is necessary.