How Surgeons avoid leaving items inside patients (Part 2/2)
To prevent forgetting an item inside the patient’s body during surgical operations, most hospitals today have set some strict measures and rules. Before an operation starts, the scrub nurse will usually lay all the items and equipment needed for the operation on a table, and make a detailed list of every item on the table, from big surgical equipment to the smallest clips and needles and even organic or soft materials such as gauzes.
During the operation most hospitals have shifted the task of keeping track of all items that go inside the body to the nurse rather than the surgeon, allowing the surgeon to remain completely focused on his/her task.
Once the work is done, all items are returned to the table and two nurses must each go through the list and make sure that every item is accounted for. If an item is not crossed of the list, the surgeon is not allowed to close the wound until the whereabouts of the missing item are detected and the item is recovered.
Most of us probably already know that donating blood is good for our health, but why is that exactly, how does the body benefit from giving up blood?
The majority of blood donation benefits are related to regulating iron levels in the blood, many of us have more iron in our bodies that what is actually needed, either due to bad dietary habits or due to genetics. Over time, this iron overload can cause some serious complications, such as Hemochromatosis, harming blood vessels, increased risk of heart attacks and according to some studies even increased risk of chronic liver disease (study link in the comments).
About 70% of your body’s iron is stored in the red blood cells, and when we donate blood regularly, the body needs to create new fresh red cells to compensate the lost blood, thus resetting our iron stores, and preventing the health problems related with its increase.
Please note that if you are suffering from any sickness you should check with your doctor before donating blood, as some conditions may affect the body’s ability to compensate lost blood.
Life Long blood transfusion!
When we hear the words “blood transfusion” we are probably thinking of someone who just had a car accident or going under a major surgery, and while this is true, it is also important to remember that there are illnesses that require patients to have regular blood transfusions. Thalassemia, in particular is one such illness where in many cases Regular blood transfusion is the only treatment available.
Therefore, if you are a healthy person and live within reach of a safe blood donation facility, please consider reaching out donating some blood, it might “literary” save someone’s life.
GERD (Part 1/4):
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a condition where stomach acid regularly flows up into the esophagus (The tube that transfers food from the mouth to the stomach), it is a very common condition and is usually treatable with a healthy diet and some medications, however in some sever cases it could require a surgical intervention.
GERD (Part 2/4):
The most common symptom is Heartburn (a burning sensation in the chest, which can radiate towards the neck) it may also cause a sour or bitter taste at the back of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
Occasional acid reflux is very common (especially when we overeat and lie down) and is not a cause for concern. However, if the problem persists and happens very often you should see a doctor as untreated GERD could worsen and turn into more serious conditions.
GERD (Part 3/4):
GERD is usually the result of a weak of dysfunctional “Esophageal Sphincter” (a circular muscle at the end of the esophagus) which function is to open when we swallow and then close afterwards, Acid refluxes happen when this muscle fails to tighten properly allowing digestive juices to flow back from the stomach.
Factors that can increase the risk of GERD include:
1- Overweıght or obesity because of the increased pressure on the abdomen.
3- Certain medications (like asthma medications, sedatives and antidepressants).
GERD (Part 4/4):
Treatment and surgical options:
Treatment is usually done by some medications and avoiding trigger foods (such as greasy and spicy food, Chocolate, Coffee, alcoholic drinks and foods containing tomato products).
In severe cases, a surgical intervention may be required and a Fundoplication is performed, during which the surgeon will gather the uppermost part of the stomach, and gently wrap and suture it around the lower esophageal sphincter. This helps increase pressure in the esophagus and make acid reflux less likely.
Game of Thrones Medicine!
Fans of the popular TV show, Game of Thrones, are probably familiar with the phrase “Milk of the Poppy’’. This phrase refers to a type of liquid medicine that characters would take when experiencing great pain or are about to undergo a surgical procedure. However, this medicine is not altogether fictional. The description and preparation method found in the books, written by George R. R. Martin, strongly suggests that the author may have based this drug on the real life opium poppy plant. The poppy is one of the earliest used flowers with a recorded medicinal use, as well as from which opium can be cultivated.
Opium is one of the most effective drugs today for managing extreme pain, and is essential in the making of many narcotic drugs such as morphine and heroin. Similar to the Game of Thrones’ “Milk of the Poppy”, opium too can be very addictive, which is why doctors use opium-based drugs sparingly.