Lose up to 23 Pounds in 21 Days with The 3 Week Diet!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY NOW
Modern Healthcare

How does Modern Healthcare touch lives?

It was a chilly winter afternoon in the early ‘80s. It was on this day among thousands of hustling passengers on a busy railway platform that I noticed Bholu. In the din of the crowded platform, I could hear vendors selling their wares with their inimitable, shrill tone. An express train had just chugged into the platform and came to a sudden halt. There were hundreds of passengers pushing their way through the cramped train doors. There were coolies trying to find suitable passengers with disproportionately excess luggage – the obnoxiously fat lady with five humungous trunks, the frail old man with the crooked hat, the army officer on transfer with luggage that could put to shame a goods train, and the stylish girl just returning home after her studies.

It was in the midst of this confusion that I saw Bholu. He was around 14 and had a wheatish complexion. Save for his deformed limbs, he was a handsome chap. He was scrambling across the floor of the platform trying to divert the attention of travellers from their preoccupation of finding their seats on the recently arrived Express train, and those trying to get out of it. Bholu was sitting on the floor with a pair of deformed hands stretched out begging for alms. His legs were a mess, twisted, deformed and weak. To move anywhere, he had to literally drag himself on the ground. Parts of his legs touching the floor had developed visible callosities and cracks, and it looked painful even to watch him find his way through the crowd. He was a victim of poliomyelitis, which had crippled him for life. Thousands of Indians have seen such a reality in the past and have dreaded its consequences.

This sight is rare nowadays, rare because the odd case one sees is mostly a reminder of days gone by when polio was commonplace. The drive to eradicate polio from India and the rest of the world has been a painstakingly continual process. India has through its healthcare system enabled the distribution of live polio vaccines through its hugely successful “Pulse Polio Immunization” campaigns. This effort has pre-emptively touched the lives of millions of Indians, who would otherwise have had to face the crippling effects of poliomyelitis.

The Role of Modern Healthcare in Prevention

Modern Healthcare is a Multi-Billion Dollar business worldwide – not to mention the various government agencies that pump in Billions to prevent certain ailments that had once become household names. Today, preventive medicine has a major role to play, especially with the complex nature of emerging infections and lifestyle-related diseases. The World Health Organisation has taken massive steps to curb various infectious diseases that had once become the bane of humankind. Modern healthcare today provides various treatment modalities that were thought impossible a few decades ago. Of the various contributions of modern healthcare that seem plausible and progressive, it is preventive medicine that has taken the limelight by promising hope and better health for future generations.

Preventive medicine has gone a long way since the discovery of vaccination by Edward Jenner, which was a key milestone to preventive medicine. Nowadays, there are scores of diseases that have found themselves under the umbrella protection of universal immunization. Small pox which had made a name for itself as a killer disease has become an iconic example of the success of vaccination. The implementation of universal immunization for certain deadly diseases is a prerogative of every government in the modern healthcare system. Millions of babies are immunized regularly preventing deadly diseases that once had caused epidemics of mass proportions.

To recall the effects of such diseases, let us not forget the highly labile nature of various viruses that have caused mortality and morbidity to such an extent that their very names augurs fear – in recent times, H1N1 influenza virus wreaked havoc causing the death and morbidity of millions across the globe! What was modern healthcare’s response to this pandemonium? Streamlined development of vaccine against H1N1 and newer variants, with an equally efficacious method of its distribution made it possible to contain the disease.

Various diseases that have now found credible preventive vaccines that change the lives of millions worldwide every day. Vaccines have found a prominent spot in every child’s life.

Here is a list of some of the diseases that have effective vaccines:

  1. Influenza
  2. Tetanus
  3. Diphtheria
  4. Pertussis
  5. Varicella
  6. Human papilloma virus
  7. Herpes Zoster
  8. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  9. Pneumococcal Infection
  10. Meningococcal Infection
  11. Hepatitis A Infection
  12. Hepatitis B Infection
  13. Poliomyelitis
  14. Tuberculosis
  15. Rabies
  16. Typhoid
  17. Yellow fever
  18. Japanese B Encephalitis

Final Words on Preventive Medicine

Preventive medicine is the hallmark of modern healthcare, and its blue-eyed baby! The continual development of vaccines and cures for various diseases is second nature to modern medicine. The safety profile of vaccines has improved considerably over the years and modern healthcare protagonists never fail to sing its praises. Think of a world devoid of vaccines – you can very well picture the pandemonium caused by illnesses and death perpetrated by these major killers. Modern healthcare has provided the mechanism not only to provide these preventative shots but also a framework that makes its availability to the millions a reality. Development of a vaccine for HIV infection is underway, with some hope. Let us hope that this hope fructifies into a reality. It can touch many more lives.

In today’s world, lifestyle illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, etc. have taken prime spot when it comes to morbidity. Preventive healthcare has been continually trying to find ways to prevent if not ameliorate effects of these lifestyle diseases as well.

[box type=”note”]Thus, modern healthcare touches lives in more ways than none! To know more about how cutting-edge medical technology and modern healthcare touch millions of lives every day, click here.[/box]

Like Bholu, many others have seen through trying times in the past, but generations after them will bear witness to the progressive influence of modern healthcare in the form of preventive medicine.

Medical Malpractice Claim

Things You Need to Do Before Making a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice law can be a tricky business. It's a complicated area of the law and because it is so complex, it's important that you seek the advice of a medical malpractice lawyer that will be able to guide you through the claims process. There are various claims processes, and although a medical malpractice claim is one of them, there are a number of alternatives that you need to think about before pursuing a claim.

Stepping up the tempo from just talking to the medical professional to actually making the claim can sometimes become a jumbled-up mess. To get you started with making a successful Medical Malpractice Claim, just complete the following tasks in a step-wise manner, gradually raising the tempo to a thrilling climax.

Step 1: Talk to the Medical Professional

Before actually starting a formal claims process, it's important that you meet with the medical professional that you feel is responsible for your injuries or for your medical problems so that you can get their opinion on your condition. Perhaps they genuinely made a mistake, or maybe there was a communication error. If an apology is what you're looking for, or if you just want an acknowledgement of your condition, this is the best route.

Step 2: Make a Formal Complaint

If meeting with the medical professional isn't successful, or if they are unwilling to apologise or to offer you an explanation, the next step is to make a formal complaint against the individual. If you want to make a complaint against a GP, write a letter to the practice manager. If you want to make a complaint against a member of hospital staff, such as a nurse or doctor, or if you want to make a complaint against the hospital as a whole, write a letter to the Hospital Trust. Making a formal complaint is suitable for you if you want to complain about a specific practice or procedure or if you want an apology. Usually, the time limit for formal complaints is 13 weeks, so make sure that you act in a timely manner.

Step 3: Appoint a Malpractice Lawyer

If talking to the medical professional or making a formal complaint is not successful, the next step is to appoint a medical malpractice lawyer to act on your behalf in making a claim. The time limit for starting a medical negligence claim is 3 years from the date that you were first aware, or from the date that you could have been aware, of the injuries or illness that you are suffering from as a result of someone else's negligence. Appointing a lawyer can be almost as tricky as making the claim, so ask for references, ensure that they will frequently update you on the progress of your case and make sure that they know the ins and outs of your particular case.

Step 4: Making the Claim

In order to make the claim – and for the claim to be successful, you must be able to prove that the injuries or illness that you are suffering from was caused by someone else's negligence, and that the injury or illness would not otherwise have occurred without the intervention of that medical professional. Your lawyer will tell you whether or not you can prove that negligence and will advise you as to whether you can go ahead with the claim and whether or not they think your claim will be successful. Most malpractice lawyers will not accept a case if they know that it is not going to be successful.

[box type=”note”]Pursuing a claim for clinical or medical negligence can be a lengthy and costly process, so it's important that you explore other avenues before making a formal claim.[/box]

[box]If you have enjoyed reading this article, you might be interested in reading a related article titled “Making a Claim for a Faulty Medical Product” which guides you through the processes and issues involved while making a claim for a faulty medical product[/box]

Hip Joint Replacement

Making a Claim for a Faulty Medical Product

Following the recent PIP breast implant scandal, more and more people are becoming concerned about the safety of medical products, including cosmetic products such as implants and medical products such as pacemakers and hip joint replacements. Faulty medical products could cause numerous medical conditions as well as undue stress to the patient and to their family. In every case, there will be more than one choice or type of product available, and so it is your doctor's responsibility to give you all of the information required so that you can make an informed decision on the product that you choose, or whether you choose an alternative treatment route.

Faulty Products

There are literally hundreds of medical products on the market, designed to replace joints, improve the functionality of certain organs and to improve the aesthetic of the body. Drugs, medicines, contraceptive devices and medications and chemical treatments are also counted as medical products. Other potentially faulty products are listed below.

  • Hip joint replacements
  • Corneal implants
  • Heart valves
  • Botox and other fillers
  • Contraceptive implants and pills
  • Knee joint replacements

Before Being Fitted with a Medical Product

Before you undergo surgery, it's important that you have a discussion with your doctor about the pros and cons of the device. If there are alternative products, products made with different materials, alternative treatment options or non-surgical options, it's important that your doctor makes you aware of them so that you can make an informed decision as to whether to go ahead with the surgery or procedure. Equally, if another treatment option could potentially work better, your doctor should make you aware of that option.

If the Product is Faulty

If you suffer with any adverse side effects after being fitted with the product, and you can prove that your illness or injury was caused by the product and that it would not have otherwise occurred anyway, you might be able to make a claim for compensation. Usually, claims will go one of two ways – against the product manufacturer, if there was a fault with the product and/or against the doctor that recommended the product if they failed to give you all of the information needed to make an informed decision.

Products can be faulty in a number of ways, and what the fault is will also dictate who will be included in your claim:

  • If the product has failed or is broken, the claim will be against the manufacturer
  • If the product was proven to be in safe working order immediately after the manufacturing process and was damaged or broken in progress or storage, the claim will be against the manufacturer and the holders of the product or the storage company
  • If the product was proven to be in safe working order but then failed due to an error on behalf of the physician, the claim will be against the medical practitioner, rather than the manufacturer

[box type=”info”]Medical product law is particularly complex as there are so many possible problem areas, so it's vital that you get the right advice from someone well-versed in this aspect of the law.[/box]

[box]If you liked this article, be sure to read my next article “Things You Need to Do Before Making a Medical Malpractice Claim” which will help you streamline the process of making a successful medical malpractice claim.[/box]

Incontinence

Living with Incontinence: Tactfully Tackling an Embarrassing Reality

Incontinence is the inability to control excretions, to hold urine in the bladder, or to keep faeces in the rectum. Simply stated, it is losing control of your bladder or bowel.

Ask about Quality of Life to a person living with incontinence, and you are sure to find it as an embarrassing reality for the person suffering from it. Incontinence by its very nature can make the person withdraw from family, friends, and avoid socialization in all its forms. Incontinence is usually a symptom of an underlying disorder and various nerve disorders, sensory loss or weakening of muscles is known to cause incontinence. Certain medications or surgery also predispose an individual to the condition. As per statistics presented by the American College of Gastroenterology, there has been an increase in the prevalence of faecal incontinence and that women are more likely to suffer from faecal incontinence. Faecal incontinence is probably the most psychologically and socially incapacitating condition in an otherwise healthy individual, but it is generally treatable.

More than 13 million people deal with incontinence daily, even though it is a correctable problem. While incontinence can be a serious nag requiring persistent attention, it need not interrupt your daily routine.

Following 10 Tips will help you in living confidently with incontinence:

  1. Kegel Exercises: A key component to managing incontinence is Kegel Exercises for both men and women. Most doctors advocate this simple but effective technique. It involves clenching your pelvic muscles for three seconds, then releasing it for three seconds. Once you are familiar with the technique, gradually increase the number of clenches and releases up to ten.
  2. Double voiding: Another interesting technique that has proven useful is called “Double Voiding”, wherein you are advised to prolong your stay in the bathroom after voiding for a wee bit longer and trying to void again. This empties the bladder completely, hence delaying the next urge.
  3. Scheduled Urination/Defecation: Even if you don’t have the urge, make sure you go to the bathroom at regular intervals of one to two hours. This will keep you prepared for the next urge and hence, leaking.
  4. Obstacle-Free Path: Create an environment free of obstacles to the bathroom to avoid any unwanted accidents.
  5. Dietary Changes: Cut out on the incipient diuretics in your diet. Caffeine contained in beverages like tea, coffee, chocolate drinks, and carbonated drinks act as diuretic and can cause unscheduled visits to the bathroom more probable. Increased dietary fibre intake helps managing faecal incontinence and reducing dietary fibre can cause constipation, which in turn can aggravate urinary incontinence.
  6. Regulated Fluid Intake: Its simple math – Input=Output! So, take fluids as much as your body requires, but not too much to keep your visits to the bathroom more than desired.
  7. Unwanted Effects of Medications: It is all too common that a medication prescribed by your physician is causing the extra leakage. Consult with your physician to find if there is an alternative and if there is no alternative, stay home or wear appropriate diapers.
  8. Regular Physical Activity: Helps prevent constipation by stimulating muscular activity of the bowel and tones the pelvic floor. A female patient can prevent undue leakage while performing aggressive exercises by putting a tampon, which presses on the urethra to obstruct the leakage.
  9. Quit Cigarettes: While cigarettes have no direct influence on incontinence, they can induce cough which increases dribbling of urine or leakage of faeces. They may also cause constipation.
  10. Maintain proper Hygiene: Lack of proper hygiene can be a harbinger of infections – urinary, bowel or both, which in turn can aggravate the symptoms of incontinence. So, change diapers or clean the perineal region regularly.

Remember however that the above pointers cannot replace a physician. So, you are advised to consult with your physician to find out the actual cause of the incontinence. Finding the root cause of incontinence and treating it can be instrumental in your path to freedom from incontinence.

Inontinence and Sneeze

Incontinence Products

Various incontinence products are available which help to maintain proper hygiene of the individual despite these pressing problems, and help prevent infections. These include:

  • Absorbent products (incontinent pads or pants)
  • Hand-held urinals (Urine collection bottles)
  • A Urinary Catheter to drain urine
  • Tampons or other devices used in the vagina to prevent dribbling of urine.

Final Words of Advice

Persons with incontinence may often be ridiculed and ostracized in public life, particularly faecal incontinence. “The Silent Affliction” as it is often termed; faecal incontinence can be a cause of concern. Often, the family needs to provide the much needed support to get survive through each day. Urinary incontinence can be a pertinent issue as well if the cause of the problem is not found and treated.

[box type=”note”]Remember that a physician consultation and psychological counseling can allay most of the problems arising out of incontinence, and eventually improve the quality of life of the individual.[/box]

Medical Students

Clinical Rotations: Encounters of a Medical Student during M3 Year

Medical school years are the most eventful, if not the most memorable years in a Doctor’s life. Most of us will agree! You will be exposed to many different personalities during your M3 year, and your success depends upon being able to interact productively with all personality types. No, I'm not speaking of patients now. I'm talking about your fellow medical students.

Clinical Rotations – A Paradigm Shift in Personality Traits

Something about clinical rotations brings out an entirely different set of personality traits among your fellow classmates. If you thought they were aggressive during the pre-clinical years, you will be surprised at how they reveal themselves during clinical rotations. Everyone knows they have to shine. The pressure is on. You will be submitting your residency applications, and you will definitely be competing against some of your fellow students, even against your friends. And it is a zero-sum game. There are a limited amount of spots in the match. The M3 year can be pretty ugly!

At the same time, some students reveal their personality as more compassionate and kind than you might have imagined. They may appear, however, one way to the attending and may present themselves in an entirely different manner to you. Be prepared – Forewarned is forearmed!

Whatever the personality types you encounter, be prepared to accept them and move along. Remember, the change you want in the world must begin with you. Do your best at maintaining compassion and acceptance, and then, move on. There is no plus side to ruminating over the inevitable personality surprises you will encounter.

Be prepared and know that knowledge is power. Always remember that you have a job to do, and that job is patient care. Learning to adapt to different styles of management and coping among your colleagues will help you throughout your medical career. Keep your focus on the patient and his or her welfare. Everything will fall in place!

Medical Students

Medical Students at an Exhibition during M3 year

You may encounter any of the following personality types during M3 Year:

1. The Magician: Among the types you will encounter, there is always a “magician” whose patients are the easiest to care for. Their resident loves them, despite the fact that they leave early and arrive late. No one notices, except you. And it grates on your nerves. The obvious admiration the attendings display for his effortless performance might arouse envy. Get over it. Welcome to the adult world. Someone will always manage to glide by with effortlessly and with better results. Tell yourself you're learning a lot, even if he seems to know more without trying. Don't waste a lot of time agonizing over your obvious shortcomings. Care for your patients and move along. You have other classmates to deal with.

2. The Gunner: There is always the student who has his/her eye on a spot in the program through which you're rotating. They are really the gunners, and they can be totally annoying. They ask questions and they answer them before anyone else has a chance. They stay late, and shadow the residents all day, while the rest of your classmates are sharing a pizza in the cafeteria. They always appear upbeat. This is a life or death rotation for them. They volunteer for the extra scut work you were all going to end up with anyway. But now, they appear to have an unnatural enthusiasm. It's annoying, but the best approach is to learn to live with it.

The gunner is the classic overachiever. They make everyone else look insipid by comparison, but you rarely want to arrive 2 hours early for pre-rounds, and if you do, they'll already be there.  They tend to study alone, and they tend to ignore their classmates in favor of shadowing the residents and attendings (if they can get away with that!) The squeaky wheel does get the grease, however, so you can expect them to get the best spot holding the retractor during the Whipple procedure. They're the first to put in their central line, and usually they do the next few as well. You have to elbow them out of the way to get your clinical experience and procedures in.

However, you and your fellow students can enjoy talking about the gunner behind his back – Great sport during the long hours waiting for the ER to call with an admission! Don't try to beat these guys at their own game. Just do your best.

4. The Ivy League Dude: In both your third and fourth year rotations, there will often be a rotating student from another school. If they happen to be from a higher ranked school than yours, you'll immediately become defensive. On the other hand, some fourth years may see the rotation as vacation time, post match or post application period. They won't help much, but as the M3, it's your job to do everything anyway. You're learning. And besides, if you really want to emulate them, there's always next year.

5. The Improbable Friend: You may have a student on rotation with you who wasn't alphabetically assigned near you in the lecture hall for the entire first two years of medical school. This individual can often end up being your new best friend. Enjoy his/her company for the length of your rotation. Rotations seem like the latest 24-hour news cycle, but when they're over, you'll both move on. The friendship may last, but the bond will be there forever.

6. The Hapless Freelancer: I had a guy on my M3 neurology rotation that showed up every week or so between buying trips to Europe – he ran an antique business on the side – or I guess he did medical school on the side, but his gig didn't last long. He eventually disappeared, and I see him occasionally in his shop. He arranged his rotations around his travels and his tennis matches, and although these types sometimes do well in the match – this guy was prepared when he showed up – he left school only a few months short of his degree, usually not a wise choice, which begs the question if it was a choice. Don't think you should be able to do it all. It catches up with you eventually.

7. The Best Friend: The best possible circumstance is to rotate through a service with your best friend. But sometimes, that entire one on one and one on five or six can cause tension to build up. Competition is consequential, when you both have to shine to get that rec. It's hard, if not impossible to maintain the same relationship during the 80-hour workweek as you have when you meet up with your friend for a night out at the pub.

A Few Words to the Wise

So, with all the different personalities to cope with among your fellow medical students, remember to do the best you can, stay calm, and realize that things will get back to normal after you rotate off the service. You'll also have a lot of great stories to tell your children.

Th e key thing to keep in mind while running up against these “types” when you're tired and overwrought is to remember that “patient care is the goal”, and all else is secondary. If you can adjust to the pressures of living together 80 hours a week, you will all have gained experience that will continue to serve you well during residency and during your entire medical career.