Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ebola, The Spread Continues

As you may know, the spread of the Ebola virus is rapidly continuing as it now spreads into the United States.  Each day more and more victims are affected by the deadly virus, exposing those around them as well.  Since Ebola isn't an airborne virus it is only passed through bodily fluids upon touching others.  One of the best examples is in Liberia where the virus originated, the standard greeting is a double kiss on the cheek which has been one of the top reasons of the quick spread throughout the continent and even to the world.  Lots of family members also comfort their sick loved ones disregarding that they are most likely getting infected and risking their own life.  Because such actions are a common part of human nature also known as "Intentional Comfort Touch"(Dr. Ann Connor, associate professor at Emory's School of Nursing), the fatal virus is continuing to spread like wildfire which is now spreading Ebola farther than just the continent of Africa.  "Humans have an enormous capacity for adaptation," "Im not sure how much adaptation they have left, its as if they were getting hit while they were already down," said Dr. Connor.  The doctors and nurses even take heavy precautions while treating patients by wearing multiple layers of disposable clothing and sealing up the gaps with tape to prevent any chances of exposure to patient contact and bodily fluids.  However, American nurses and healthcare workers down in Liberia have taken many precautions from getting exposed to the virus, but somehow it has still affected a large portion of the workers at an estimated 47% fatality rate; theres  even been cases scattered throughout the states beginning in Texas and Massachusetts.  Who knows how far this deadly virus will continue to spread?  

EVERA.  Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Heart Scans, Can They Cause Radiation Risks?

Ever have your heart tested? Well over the past couple decades medical imaging has become more and more when testing, diagnosing or treating patients for heart disease.  Unfortunately, since these tests are producing better results each year, they are also being used more frequently on heart disease patients. Tests that include radiation are nuclear stress tests, cardiac CT scans and fluoroscopy. "Heart imaging procedures account for almost 40 percent of the radiation exposure from medical imaging," said Dr. Reza Fazel, chair of the statement writing committee and cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  Now since doctors don't want to perform unnecessary heart scans they check to see if the patient meets a certain criteria through a few questions:
  • "How will the test help diagnose or treat the heart problem?"
  • "Are there alternatives that don't use radiation?"
  • "What are the levels of radiation exposure, how will it affect the risk of cancer later in life and how does that compare to the risk from other common activities?"

After evaluating the patient, doctors will either perform a heart scan or a better treatment with out radiation.  Even though the radiation risk is small, doctors will be able to further minimize risks for the patient.  Other factors to consider are the tests accuracy, availability, cost, convenience as well as other risks aside from radiation.

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.