Monday, February 27, 2012

How to care for a Burn

Burns demolish skin, which can guide to us losing heat as well as losing significant bodily fluids.

Burn Accident
Plus, burns can make us susceptible to infection. While minor burns on fingers and hands are not terribly dangerous, burns on even relatively small areas of skin are capable of developing serious complications. If you think a burn of any type is significant, stop reading this and call 911 immediately.

For a video demonstration of burn treatments, watch How to Treat a Burn. To understand how deep burns look and what they do to skin.
1. Stop the burning process. Cool the burned area with cool running water for several minutes. Minor burns can be cooled with tap water over the sink. Don't be afraid to rinse bigger burns with a hose outside. Don't spray severe burns with high pressure, just let the water run over the burned area for as long as you can.

If an ambulance is coming, continue running water over the burned area until the ambulance arrives.

2. Look for blistering, sloughing, or charred (blackened) skin.
Blistering or sloughing (skin coming off) means the top layer of skin is completely damaged and infections are likely. Here is a picture of burned skin coming off.

If the blistered or charred skin is all the way around a wrist, arm, leg or ankle; if it covers most of a foot or hand; or if the blisters cover an area the size of the belly, call 911 immediately. Also call 911 if the burn is around the mouth, nose or eyes, or if the burn is on the genitalia.

3. Minor burns with reddened skin and no blisters may be treated with a topical burn ointment or spray to reduce pain. Ointments should be water soluble.

Cool water (not ice cold or warm) may also help with pain.

DO NOT APPLY BUTTER OR OIL TO ANY BURN! Butter or lard may feel cool because it comes out of the refrigerator, but the oils will trap heat and make the burn deeper over time.

4. Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for the pain of a mild burn (typically redness only). If stronger pain relief is needed, call a doctor or go to the emergency department.


1. While the burn is healing, wear loose natural clothing like silks or light cottons. Harsher fabrics will irritate the skin even more.

2. Burns destroy skin and the loss of skin can lead to infection, dehydration and hypothermia (loss of body heat). Make sure that burn victims get emergency medical help if experiencing any of the following:
* dizziness or confusion
* weakness
* fever or chills
* shivering
* cold sweats

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Polio Vaccine

Polio Introduction

Poliomyelitis (polio, for short) is a severe illness that can basis paralysis (when you can’t move your arms and legs) or even death.

Polio Vaccine

Polio is caused by a virus. The virus can be increase by drinking water with the polio virus in it. It can also be passed by close contact, such as kissing, with an infected person. Before the first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s, thousands of children got polio every year. Fortunately, the use of the polio vaccine has made the disease very rare in most parts of the world.

How can polio be prevented?

You can keep your children from getting polio by making sure they get the polio vaccine.
What is the polio vaccine?

A vaccine is used to protect you from getting a disease. The polio vaccine, also called IPV, is given by injection (a "shot"). (It used to be given by drops in the mouth.)

When should my child be vaccinated?

Most children get 4 doses of polio vaccine on this schedule:

* First dose when they are 2 months old.
* Second dose when they are 4 months old.
* Third dose when they are 6 to 18 months old.
* Last dose when they are 4 to 6 years old.

Are there reasons not to get polio shots?

Your child should not get the polio shots if he or she is allergic to these medicines: neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B.

What are the risks of the vaccine?

Most people have no problems. Some people will have some pain or redness where the shot was given. Vaccines carry a small risk of serious harm, such as a severe allergic reaction.

The polio vaccine doesn’t cause polio.

What if my child has a reaction to the vaccine?

If your child has any reaction after getting the polio vaccine, call your doctor as soon as possible. In addition, if your child gets hives (swelling, itching and a burning sensation of the skin), has problems breathing, or goes into shock (becomes weak, faint, cold, clammy and sweaty), call 911 or take your child to a hospital emergency room. Be sure to tell the doctors caring for your child the day and time your child received the vaccine. Ask your doctor to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Report form with the CDC, or you can do it yourself by calling 800-822-7967.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Have a Look here before Getting A Knee Replacement

If knee pain continuously bothers you, the viewpoint of joint replacement surgery can be appealing.

knee replacement
In fact, a new study shows that more and more women younger than sixty are opting for knee replacements. Why the popularity? And are they a good idea? We get the scoop from top arthritis experts...

Knee osteoarthritis. It can start out as an occasional twinge that eventually becomes a constant pain, making it difficult to walk, stay active or just get through the day.

And when joint degeneration starts affecting your life, you may start thinking about surgery.

You’re not alone. Knee replacements have become increasingly common among younger women, according to a January 2012 Finnish study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Researchers at Helsinki University Central Hospital found that in Finland, the number of knee replacements in people ages 30-59 in 2006 was 130 times more than it was in 1980. And women had as many as 2.4 times more replacements than men.

The numbers jibe with American figures: More than 600,000 total knee replacements were performed in the U.S. in 2009, says an editorial accompanying the Finnish study co-written by Jeffrey N. Katz, M.D., professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School.

The number has doubled since 1999, according to a February 2012 presentation to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which said that 5.3% of women and 4.1% of men over 50 currently have total knee replacements.

The fastest-growing age group was 45-64, Katz says.

Read on to learn what you need to know about knee replacements.
Knee Replacement Fact #1: Why They’re Becoming More Popular
Joint replacement surgery is so popular, experts say, because of reasons that include:

Technological advances. Surgeons have become more comfortable performing these operations on younger people.

“Thirty years ago, surgeons wouldn’t do knee replacements in people under 60,” says Douglas Garland, M.D., medical director for orthopedics at MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in California.

But now, “our equipment is better, and we don’t worry about [knee replacements] wearing out like we did 30 years ago.”

In the past, knee replacements used cement that commonly broke down, but today’s metal and ceramic parts are more durable, he says.

In fact, 90%-95% of knee replacements now last 15 years or longer, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Osteoarthritis strikes at an earlier age. Younger women are developing arthritis pain, possibly because of the strain of carrying extra pounds, Garland says.

Nearly two-thirds of American women are overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Obesity is the No. 1 cause of knee osteoarthritis,” he says. “And the younger and fatter you are, the earlier your joints will wear out.”

Each step puts a force on your knee equal to six times your body weight, Garland says. So gaining 10 pounds adds 60 pounds of pressure to the joint.

Women have worse knee problems than men. That’s partly because estrogen plays a role in the laxity, or looseness, of joint ligaments, researchers say. They point to rising levels of the hormone during pregnancy, which allows pelvic ligaments to loosen for childbirth.

“[Women] have a laxity in the joints [related to] estrogen, and less muscle mass than men,” Garland says. “So their joint is less stable than a man’s.”

That makes women more prone to micro-trauma – tiny injuries to the bone – which is the second-leading cause of knee osteoarthritis, Garland says.

Baby boomers want to stay active. That means older adults are suffering more activity-related knee injuries that increase arthritis risk, says rheumatologist Nathan Wei, M.D., director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, Md. At the same time, they’re more willing than previous generations to have joint replacement surgery if they think it will keep them going.

“Boomers have a sense of entitlement to a more active lifestyle,” he says. “They’re not going to let something [like knee pain] stand in their way.”

A lack of other choices. When it comes to knee pain, there’s isn’t much that can be done between conservative treatment – such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections – and the more drastic joint replacement surgery, Wei says.

“Nothing fills in the gap,” he adds. “Until we have something, like stem cells, that’s proven to regenerate cartilage and prevent [the need for surgery], we’re going to continue to see a surge of knee replacements in active people.”
Knee Replacement Fact #2: You May Be Able to Prevent It
If you want to prevent or postpone joint replacement surgery, there are steps you can take now:

Drop pounds. “Weight loss may help avert severe osteoarthritis,” Katz says.

Not only does added body weight put extra pressure on your knees, the fat tissue itself secretes protein messengers called adipokines that stimulate inflammation, Wei says.

People with knee osteoarthritis who lost 11.4%of their body weight experienced nearly 50% less pain, according to 2011 research at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Exercise. “I give patients a simple formula: Good medications, ideal weight and regular exercise equal good-feeling knees,” Wei says.

If you’ve never exercised, he advises starting out just a minute or two a day, then building up gradually. Incorporate three types of exercise: cardio (aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate), strength training and stretching.

Women with the strongest thigh muscles were 50% less likely to develop knee pain compared with those with the weakest, a 2009 University of Iowa study found.

“You need to do some type [of exercise] every day, working up to as much as you feel comfortable with,” Wei says. “Make sure it’s a habit, like brushing your teeth.”

Garland advises his patients to walk 20-30 minutes every day to strengthen the muscles in their legs and knees.

“And if you want to lose weight, walk for an hour,” he says.

But avoid high-impact exercises like jogging or basketball, which can make knee pain worse, Wei warns.

If you like tennis, play doubles, Garland suggests. “You’re not [twisting] the knees as much.”

You can find exercises designed specifically to strengthen the knees on the AAOS’ website.

Also, check out 5 Pain-Relieving Arthritis Exercises.
Knee Replacement Fact #3: It May Not Be Permanent
Knee replacements don’t necessarily last a lifetime. At some point you may need another operation, known as a “revision.”

“If we look at people who’ve had knee replacements for 10 years, 95% have had no problem,” Garland says. “But right now, we really don’t know the lifespan of knee replacements.”

The need for a second replacement is greater among younger women.

“Rates of failure leading to revision in younger patients are two-fold higher than in older patients,” says Elena Losina, Ph.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

That’s because they run a greater risk that the first implant will fail – and, of course, they have more time to outlive the first joint replacement, she says.
Knee Replacement Fact #4: You May Not Need a Total Replacement
In total knee replacements, all three “compartments” in the knee, which are formed where the various bones meet, are removed and replaced. But partial knee replacements – in which the surgeon removes and replaces only the damaged areas of knee cartilage in one compartment – are also increasingly common.

In the short term, a partial replacement is more likely to make it easier for you to do things like climb stairs or kneel.

“Partial knee [replacement] may have better functional outcome and earlier recovery after surgery,” says Jarkko Leskinen, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland and lead author of the Finnish study.

But it’s also more likely to require a second operation, or revision, than a total knee replacement. And at that point, the joint is likely not to function as well as it would have after a single total replacement operation.

Talk to your doctor about which kind of surgery is best for you.
Knee Replacement Fact #5: How to Care for Your Knee
If you do opt for joint replacement surgery, here's how to make your knee last as long as possible:

Stay at a fighting weight. The same things that prevent knee osteoarthritis from getting worse also slow down the wear on your replacement, Garland says.

“If you’re 50 and overweight, your risk of revision will be high,” he says. “[But] if you can maintain a near-ideal body weight, that’s the best thing you can do for your joint.”

Keep leg muscles strong. “Good muscle tone [is also important] to avoid another joint replacement,” Garland says.

Many joint replacement programs, including the one at MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center, get patients up and walking the same day of surgery, he says.

Physical therapy can help, he adds. Following surgery, “we start an outpatient therapy program on machines so patients can start building their muscles back.”

But skip leg squats and lunges. “Deep knee bending isn’t good for the knee, before surgery or after,” he says. “It’s hard on the joints.”

Avoid triathlons. Physical activity is important to overall health, but when it comes to knee replacements, moderation is key, says Losina, who co-wrote with Katz the editorial in Arthritis & Rheumatism.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clothes That Monitor Health

health and cloth
A new scrap could one day watch a person's fitness using minuscule sweat model. The square is being urbanized by Biotex, a grouping of European explore institutes and companies, including the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).

Most clothing designed for health monitoring focuses on physiological measurements, such as body temperature and heart rate. This is one of the first attempts to continuously analyze biochemical signals using clothing. The team employed a novel approach for monitoring: a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic yarns woven together to channel the sweat to the sensors. By utilizing natural attraction and repulsion actions to move the sweat, the method also circumvents the need for additional power sources, which would add bulk to such a device and make it less convenient for everyday use.

Once the fabric has directed a few milliliters of sweat into the patch, the sensors determine the amount of potassium, chloride, or sodium present. Measuring these electrolytes can provide insight into a person's metabolism. By comparing the electrolyte amounts to reference measurements, such a system could indicate if the user is overexerting herself or stressed, says Jean Luprano, project coordinator at the CSEM.

Once the tiny reservoirs are full of sweat, the user throws away the chemical part of the patch, which is about 5 to 10 square inches. The patch-embedded band or shirt can be washed, and the monitoring electronics reused.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Researchers alarmed over arsenic in baby food

Europeans are abuzz with concerns about poisons exposed in store-bought baby foods.

Baby Food
Swedish researchers are reporting “alarming” levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead in rice-based infant foods, such as cereal and porridge.

Their study, appearing in the Journal of Food Chemistry, raises questions about whether rice-based products are suitable for infants.

"Alarmingly, these complementary foods may also introduce high amounts of toxic elements such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and uranium, mainly from their raw materials,” wrote the authors, from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. "These elements have to be kept at an absolute minimum in food products intended for infant consumption.”

The foods were produced by global manufacturers such as Nestle and Mead Johnson. According to the Sunday Telegraph, a British newspaper, the manufacturers insisted their products were safe.

Low levels of arsenic in foods is actually not uncommon. The question is, how much is too much?

In 2005, Scottish researchers found arsenic in rice grown in the United States. Arsenic is absorbed by the rice plant through soils contaminated with the toxin, which is naturally occurring. The U.S. has not set legal limits for arsenic levels in food.

California health department spokesman Ronald Owens said Californians should not be alarmed. Owens said the state has sampled rice in the past and "analyzed various baby food products for the presence of heavy metals that have never resulted in a finding that were of any public health significance."

Indeed, while no legal limits were broken in this latest study, the authors state that just two servings a day of the rice-based foods could expose an infant to 50 times the amount of arsenic they would get from breast milk alone. And with new uncertainties about how arsenic affects developing children, this level is too high, say the authors.

The European Food Safety Authority is now in the process of re-evaluating its safety limits for arsenic exposure in children and adults.


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