Uses of Medical Masks

It is known to everyone that medical masks are an important part in maintaining hygiene in the area of health care. This equipment belongs to the category of medical tools known by the name personal protective equipment or PPE. The medical masks are present everywhere in a health care establishment, right from the operation room to the general outpatient unit. Their main function is to prevent the spread of contagious diseases and thus control any sort of infections. They are critical for the promotion of health and hygiene.

There are different kinds of medical masks available in the market. Disposable medical masks have become very popular, thanks to the spread of pandemics such as swine flu, H1N1 related infections and so on and so forth. The disposable masks are very effective in flu season when there is a greater threat of the epidemic being spread. They also come very useful in all sorts of emergency situations where there is a risk of infection.

The reusable masks come off as highly useful to people who suffer from severe allergies and asthma situations. These masks which are washable are helpful for those who are highly prone to infections caused by virus or bacteria. These masks are to be chosen properly. They should be able to effectively filter out the allergens in the form of pollen grains, dust particles, fungi or bacteria that are airborne. The masks can also be used by air travelers especially in those long distance flights involving a lot of time where the passengers have to deal with many people.

The sizes of medical masks may vary from person to person depending on the age group he or she belongs to. Thus a mask meant for the adult will not properly fit a small kid. Hence you need to purchase small sized masks for children. The medical professionals especially doctors will be able to help you choose the proper kind of masks for you.

Journey of a Drug: Design to Market Seller

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

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

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

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

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

Pre-Clinical Study

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

Design of the Studies:

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

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

Phase 0 Study

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

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

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

Phase I Study

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

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

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

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

There are two divisions for Phase I study:

Phase Ia: Single ascending dose

Phase Ib: Multiple ascending dose

Phase II Study

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

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

Two divisions of this phase are:

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

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

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

Phase III Study

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phase IV Study

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

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

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

Red Flags in Choosing For Chiropractic

Having a license does not make all chiropractors competent. Like in any other arena, there are those that had luckily escaped the strict sieve of opting for a license hence they would practice their professions despite the big truth that they are extremely unworthy of it. Do not go for those people who would advertise some danger signs that may suggest the need for chiropractic care. Wake up; this is no longer the generation of the dumb!

Furthermore, try to avoid those that would ask their patience to sign a contract on lengthy treatment agreement so you could always backup when you feel that his or her particular treatment isn’t doing you any good. Beware also of those people who would promote regular “preventive” adjustments and would provide scare tactics as if your condition is something that is very grave so he or she is merely your last resort if you wish to live longer. During this case, it won’t hurt if you seek the help of other chiropractor. Do not as well go with those individual who discourage the use of scientific medical treatment like immunization and fluoridation.

Do not be fooled into believing those people who would suggest that they can cure all kinds of diseases. You can as well avoid those who would perform a routine of x-rays examination since almost all patients who seek the help of a chiropractic does not actually need them. Take caution on full spine x-ray examinations because of its large amount of radiation.

Beyond Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy in its simplest definition is the smelling of vapors for health & well-being effects, howsoever gained. This article examines a cross-section of the art and proposes a future course of direction for those professionals not wishing to be tarred with an aromatherapy brush.

Of course the fragrance of a nice perfume will leave you in a better frame of mind than the smell of rotting cadavers. The general intuitive appeal of a nice smell (etc) has launched a blind universal hype on essential oils, the mainstay of aromatherapy. Over the years it has attracted a large following of uncritical persons eager to believe good news. By contrast it has produced research well beyond the scope of aromatherapy.

Much opposition has been leveled against the wild claims that border on or even cross the line of fraud. Where there’s money to be made, there is opportunism. The truth is often the first casualty.

Then there is the medical profession. They are the stalwarts to uphold and defend the medical truth. Unfortunately there is opportunity to denigrate the practice of aromatherapy for motives other than altruism, leaving academia to the rescue. Disappointingly, much academic research is in effect unavailable to the general public as good research papers can be expensive.

Deserved or otherwise, alternative medicines such as Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Kinesiology, Light Therapy, Phrenology, etc. have been slow to gain traction in mainstream medicine. Within each field there may be something worthwhile. There is risk of throwing the baby out with bathwater.

Aromatherapy by semantic definition is in lockstep with things smelled, the nose being solely equipped to perceive things smelled. Thus aromatherapy armoury consists solely of essential oils. “Essential” not because we can’t live without them but because essential is merely the adjective from the noun “essence” being a vapor from a liquid at a low boiling point.

This semantic deception taken together with people such as those involved in routinely claiming these potions to cure things like ADHD, arthritis, high cholesterol, lupus, asthma, migraines, cancer, fibromyalgia confuses even more. It is there, on offer, all without the rigours of scientific validation. Long Live The Placebo!

Then there are the others making ambiguous claims that leave lots of wiggleroom such as “cleanses air of negative energies”, “restoring harmony and balance between the mind and body”, “restore psychic energy flow”, “return to one’s center and chakra”. These and more have become aromatherapy’s articles of faith in some circles. Most are seen as nonsense to the mind versed in scientific methods.

Contrast these with Moss et al in the peer-reviewed paper “Aromas Of Rosemary And Lavender Essential Oils Differential Affect Cognition And Mood In Healthy Adults” where they showed the efficacy of Lavender and Rosemary oils. 144 persons took part in the study and no one was informed of the study nature. Before and after inhalation tests included 15 words to be flashed on a screen for 1 second and participants were asked to remember as many words as they could in the space of 60 seconds. More tests were done using 20 photographs enabling researchers to test recall and reaction time.

Nominal recall improved from 5.5 for the control group to 6.2 for the Rosemary and showed little change for the Lavender. Nominal reaction time improved from a score of 246 for the control group to 259 for the Lavender. Little change was reported for the Rosemary tests. They concluded that essential oils can significantly affect aspects of cognitive performance.

Worth considering is a paper by Sayorwan et al, who, using electroencephalography (EEG), measured the changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate before and after Rosemary oil inhalation by uniformed groups of subjects and controls. Their findings provided evidence that brain wave activities, autonomic nervous system responses, and mood states could all be modified with Rosemary

Aromas may well have a placebo effect and as such it is a good thing. However it is not the smell that gives essential oils their efficacy but the compounds that comprise the oils. Compounds such as Eugenol, Carvacrol, Thymol, Geraniol, and Menthol appear to stimulate while Linalool appears to calm or relax. Then there is Eugenol, a very powerful antioxidant as well. These compounds can enter the bloodstream via the olfactory system and the lungs through breathing. The bloodstream can also be fed via the skin by massage and contact patches. Other possible routes are ingestion and intravenous injections. The latter are subject to much more research than currently appears in the literature.

In conclusion, the subject of essential oils is therefore a much wider field, rich with potential discovery. Thus it is important that practitioners who prescribe the use of essential oils in their practice divest themselves of any stigma that has grown around aromatherapy. A whole new name for their practice would help to distance themselves from any hint of quackery and dogma.

The general public may well be sceptical as a result of conflicting opinions. The misnomer “essential” does not help. Volatile Oil Therapy (VOT) as a name may engender some trust especially if the practitioners of VOT confine themselves to proven effects.

Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Laser Resurfacing Treatment

Gone are the days when you had to undergo invasive cosmetic surgery to take years off your skin. Today, laser resurfacing treatment helps to do away with wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and the appearance of pores in a faster and more efficient way. Here are a few things to keep in mind, when opting for laser resurfacing procedure.

The Time When You Have Laser Treatment Conducted

Laser treated skin is more sensitive to sun exposure for at least one year after you perform the procedure. Many surgeons recommend going in for acne scar treatment and other kinds of skin treatment during the winter months. This is because, daytime hours are shorter and you spend most of your time indoors.

Laser Treatment May Or May Not Hurt

Most patients and doctors tell you that the pain can resemble a rubber band snapping against your skin. But all in all, it depends upon the area and depth of treatment, the laser and an individual’s endurance level. Some types of skin treatment require an anesthetic injection or intravenous sedation.

Choose Your Laser Treatment Professionals Wisely

It goes without saying that skin tightening, microdermabrasion or laser hair removal is the most effective and result oriented when performed by a qualified professional. An amateur won’t be able to offer accurate and desirable results. Opt for a professional based on their qualification, experience and training.

Your Skin Reacts To Certain Medications after Laser Treatment

Make sure your practitioner is well aware about your medical history and the kind of supplements and medication you are currently taking. A surgeon, who is unaware about your situation, can unknowingly prescribe medications which can cause skin reactions. It is best to keep all your cards on the table to avoid complications and speed up recovery.

Consider Going In For Multiple Treatments

Sometimes you may need more than one treatment to feel satisfied with the results. In these situations you need to be patient, take your prescribed medications and ensure you follow the doctor’s advice to the T. Once the treatment is complete, you are sure to be rewarded as the results you obtain are long lasting.

If you are thinking about going in for a laser treatment, make sure you consult a knowledgeable and well experienced professional who knows the nuances that go into these kinds of procedures. Rest assured, you get the skin you want and look younger even though age tells you otherwise.

Personal Health Organizer – Keep Track of Your Numbers For Better Health Outcomes

Having knowledge of your key numbers is an important way to keep track of your health. In addition, it has been observed that more effective information gathering by patients, and more conversation with their physician during office visits was related to better health status.

What are your health numbers? When were they last checked? What do they mean? Are they close to normal? The answers to these questions are very important to your overall well-being. Remember, knowledge is power. This is a perfect opportunity for you to take control of your health care.

Know Your Numbers

An actively involved health care consumer should always know their important numbers. These numbers can alert you of any trends or potential risks in your health status. Here is a list of several key numbers you should have access to and track.

1. Blood Pressure
2. Pulse
3. Total Cholesterol
4. LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol
5. HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol
6. Triglycerides
7. Fasting Glucose
8. Waist Circumference
9. Body Mass Index

Your primary care physician may have other numbers for you to track. For most health conditions there key numbers you need to know. Ask your physician about the latest research related to your condition. Once you know your numbers, you can set and reach specific targets with your physician.

Taking an active role in your own medical care may be one of the most important decisions of your life. Your level of participation can be dramatically increased through the use of a personal health organizer. Use it to keep track of your key numbers for better health outcomes.

A Few Things To Know About Sport Physicals

Many parents choose to have a sports physical conducted on their children during the summer. This makes sure they are ready for another activity filled sports season while last minute, mad rushes to the physician are avoided. Although most parents know that they need to get a sports physical conducted on your child, in order for him/her to participate in athletics, there are still a few unanswered questions.

How Should I Prepare Myself For This Checkup?

Make a list of questions about your child’s health and well being, should you experience any concerns or alarming signs. Ask your child if there is anything they s/he would like to ask the examiner. Take the medical history of your family and your child’s medical history reports with you.

Do Parents Need To Be Present At This Check Up?

Minors under the age of 18 require parental consent in order to have a sports physical performed. Parents also need to fill up the health history portion of the form. All in all, it is best that you are present for your child’s physical.

Is It Required For School Sports?

Yes, most schools do need a pre-participation checkup before enrolling students into their many athletic programs.

For How Long Is The Report Valid?

The report that you get is generally valid for one year. You need to pay special attention to this duration. Students who fail to go for this checkup can be disallowed from participating in sport and athletic activities.

What Should You Expect During The Procedure?

During a procedure, a child’s blood pressure, height and weight are checked. The physician will also look at the lungs, heart and spine. The immunization schedule will be reviewed and signs of puberty will also be taken into consideration.

What Is The Difference Between An Annual And Sports Physical?

Although an annual physical is the same as a sports physical, you go in for a sports physical when your child wants to involve himself/herself in a sport or physical activity. In such cases, the sports physical can be incorporated into the annual physical.

How Can I Prepare My Child For The Upcoming Check Up?

Sit down and have a thorough conversation with your child. Tell him/her about the procedure that is to be conducted and that there is nothing to worry or be fearful about.

These are just a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this checkup.

Understanding Arthroscopy Surgery

Arthroscopy can be the solution to many types of arthritis and various injuries inside the joint. Also called as key hole surgery, it is the minimally invasive procedure used to examine the inside structure of the joint for the diagnosis and treatment.

The instrument used for this is called arthroscopy. The surgeons can view the area using the video monitor to diagnose and treat the joint tissues. Majorly all the joints in the body can be examined using the arthroscopy. Apart from examining the joint if any other procedure is performed using this, we call it arthroscopic surgery. This kind of surgeries requires lesser recovery times and pain. The tissue trauma will also be minimum. Because of the benefits, it offers arthroscopy is becoming essential for many orthopedic surgeries.

In the arthroscopy procedure, there is no blood loss expected and will have no or minimal complications. Only small incisions are made to examine and insert the arthroscopy. There is no need for opening the joint fully. The incisions are relatively very small and should be maintained dry for few days. And after the surgery, the patients need to stay for little time in the hospital will be recommended different exercises for strengthening the joints.

As said above, arthroscopy is considered in treating many types of arthritis like non-inflammatory and inflammatory. For example, patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have isolated joint swelling can be benefited with this by removing the inflamed joint tissue and examining it to discover any type of infections. This helps the doctors get more information where the diagnosis is difficult just by analyzing joint fluid alone for treatment.

Arthroscopy is also used for treating many knee joint injuries like ligament strains, meniscustears, posterior cruciate ligament, ligament strains etc; not only to treat knee joints and arthritis, arthroscopy is also considered to treat and examine many hips, wrist, feet, spine, ankle and elbow conditions. The arthroscopy is used to treat the wide range of sports injuries involving hips, wrists, ankles, and elbows as well.

Using arthroscopic procedures we can treat spine conditions like spinal deformity, tumors, spine trauma, spine disc herniation and degenerative discs.

The common conditions we treat using arthroscopy include shoulder dislocations, inflammation in knees, shoulders, elbows, and ankles, unstable shoulders, cartilage tears, rotator cuff tears, arthritis and shoulder joint degeneration, shoulder capsule release, cartilage tears and many more.

Arthroscopy surgery is generally performed by orthopedic surgeons. Even though it is a low risk surgery it is highly recommended to get it done by the expert surgeons for the speedy recovery and complete results. So considering arthroscopy over traditional surgery to treat any of the above conditions will assure the patients less pain, minimal complications and faster recovery.

General Health and Well Being

Its true many illnesses are unavoidable, yet it is clear that each person has the power to improve his or her own health and well being. Eating well, exercising, resting, sleeping and relaxing, each can have a positive effect on ones health. Another key factor in a persons health and well being is the choice to not abuse alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

Doctors believe that it is the people who have a positive attitude towards life, who believe that their lives have purpose, are manageable and have meaning, have the best chance of living a healthy and long-lived life.

Before the 20the century there was very little public support for health care. The government rarely got involved and when they did it was only to deal with epidemics or to clean up slums. Much has changed since then.

The problem is staying healthy is both becoming easier and harder these days. We have a constantly advancing health care system along with the advances in technology. On the other hand we are constantly introducing hazers into out lives such as pollution and toxic waste. New and more deadly virus’s and diseases are always developing, yet our life expectancy in north America has almost doubled in the last century. Spite all the health hazards the choice to remain healthy is still in your own hands. Avoiding unhealthy situations, foods, and life-styles along with staying positive are the best ways to have a healthy mind and body.

Dental Health for Kids

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

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

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

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