Category: Critical Care

Types of Urgent Care for Children

January 18, 2018

Critical Care

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For a parent of a sick child a children’s urgent care can be a big help, especially if you cannot get an appointment with their pediatrician that day. The sick child may need to be seen that day but is not sick enough that a run to the emergency room is necessary. These urgent care facilities for children focuses on the needs of children and are better equipped to deal with the needs of children. They often provide treatment for medical conditions like fevers, eye or ear infections, serious coughs, etc.

An urgent care facility for children is where medical personnel deliver care outside of the emergency room of the hospital. Most times it is on a “first come-first serve” walk-in basis. The hours of an urgent care varies. They can extended hours, regular business hours, and weekend hours. With extended hours this can mean being open until eight or nine in the evening. Most are open on weekends to see children that are not ill enough to go to the emergency room but cannot wait until their pediatrician opens on Monday. If it is late night then you may have no choice but go to the emergency room.

Urgent care for children has a goal, which is to give prompt care illnesses, non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, and acute injuries. Many times the nurses and physicians who work in this type of setting are more comfortable working with children and treating their illnesses and injuries than they are working with adults. When a child is hurt or sick they may be more relaxed and less frightened in the calmer environment of a children’s urgent care than in an emergency room that can be very noisy and crowed. They may also be treated more quickly because in an emergency room they work with the more serious cases first so the wait to be seen can be a long time.

It can be stressful when caring for a child that is injured or ill for a parent especially if they have to wait a long period of time in an emergency room. It can help to comfort the parent knowing that there is an urgent care for children nearby that they can take their child too to be treated by professionals who have experience working with children. Having this experience can help a physician and nurse to know how to talk to a child who is sick or injured and help them relax. This can make the visit less difficult for all involved. If the child is seriously ill or injured you should take them to an emergency room.

The Roles As a Caregiver for an Alzheimer’s Patient

January 18, 2018

Critical Care

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There are many challenges that come with caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these challenges are widely known because of their portrayal in mainstream movies and television, but there are many challenges that mainstream media seldom shows. It’s vital that any caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient be aware of these often unexplored realities of the disease so that they will be better prepared for dealing with them when the time comes.

Being the Voice of Reason

The first thing that springs to many people’s minds when they think of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. While memory loss is a significant indicator of the disease, there are many other symptoms that accompany it, including difficulty focusing, frequent confusion, and delusions. Patients not only lose their ability to retain and make new memories: they also forget the most basic information that so many people take for granted, such as their names, their environments, the date, and their loved ones. This can cause them to become agitated and fearful.

A caregiver needs to respond quickly to the patient when they become upset, assure them that they are in a safe place, and answer their questions to relieve them of their uncertainty and confusion. This can become tedious because the caregiver will find themselves answering the same questions multiple times, but it is important to keep calm so as not to compound the patient’s distress.

Being a Constant Monitor

People with Alzheimer’s are not mentally able to take care of even their most basic needs. They can forget things like eating, taking medication, and safety precautions. A caregiver will need to feed regularly the patient, administer their medication, and constantly keep their eye on them to make sure that they aren’t doing something that might result in them getting hurt. They also need to frequently check to see if the patient has lost control of their bladder and bowels, since patients often forget how to go to the bathroom.

Being a Parental Figure

Patients with Alzheimer’s can resort to child-like behavior because they have lost the concepts of accountability, responsibility, and mature communication. If they don’t want to do something such as taking their medication, they can resort to name-calling, verbal threats, hostility, physical force, and other displays of aggression. It is the responsibility of the caregiver to not give in to their childish antics. They have to remain firm and calm because the patient is incapable of doing so. It might seem inappropriate or condescending for a first-time caregiver to speak to an elderly person like a parent would a child–specially if the patient is their parent–but it’s necessary if the patient refuses to accept care.

Damage to the Dental Crown – How Porcelain Crowns Help Fix the Problem

January 18, 2018

Critical Care

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Dental crowns can be both natural and artificial. Of course the artificial dental crowns are installed after the loss of the natural one. If you revisit the structure of the tooth- a bit of biology class here- the tooth is made of three main parts: the root, the neck and the crown. The crown is the part that everyone gets to see. It is the one that gets chipped and discolored. It is the one that is damage by acids and sweets. It is the one that chews; bites and tears the food. The crown does a lot of work and is subjected to a whole lot of forces and environments that can easily damage it. It is therefore very normal for the crown’s protective layer called the enamel to wear out with time.

What happens when the crown is damaged?

Often problems relating to the teeth develop as a result of dental crowns being damaged. The crown is the one that protects and strengthens the structure of the tooth. Therefore, without the crown people start suffering issues such as tooth sensitivity. Now this is a major problem all over the world. Tooth sensitivity does not allow you to live a comfortable life as you would like to. When you take something hot or cold you experience a sharp pain in the tooth.

A damaged tooth crown also opens your tooth (the live part of the tooth) to infections. The mouth is home to colonies upon colonies of different species of bacteria. These, if given an opportunity, can cause infections in the mouth. Therefore, a dental crown is very important in a bid to protect the tooth from damage by these oral bacteria.

The appearance of the tooth is also destroyed when the crown is damaged. You might not feel the pain that comes as a result of tooth sensitivity as abovementioned. You might not have an issue with infection or tooth decay but the appearance of the tooth may be affected. This is where the custom-made porcelain crowns come in to save the day.

Why porcelain is used for dental crowning

Porcelain is a very strong material to start with. The forces that your teeth are subjected to are incredibly high. It is therefore not a surprise that the enamel is worn off with time. There are other types of dental crowns but porcelain crowns come highly favored for this specific purpose- they are strong. They are able to last for a really long time when they are applied properly.

Another reason why porcelain crowns are recommended is because they resemble the natural teeth. When you have them applied, no one will ever notice that you have artificial dental crowns. Unless of course you tell them that they are artificial. It is worth closing by mentioning that porcelain crowns do not last forever. Like other dental restorations, a porcelain crown might need replacing at some point in time.

Accurate Diagnosis & Patient Comfort at the Core of Innovation in ECG/EKG, EEG, and MRI Technologies

January 18, 2018

Critical Care

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Over the past decade, researchers have made several undeniable breakthroughs in curing diseases that were once thought to be deadly and incurable. And this feat can be attributed to significant improvements in diseases diagnosis and testing.

In recent years, newer as well as safer methods of disease testing have been developed to avoid incorrect diagnosis among patients and to ensure they do not have to undergo any additional harm. Development of the latest diagnostic tests and procedures – such as electrocardiogram (ECG), electroencephalography (EEG), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – enables physicians to make accurate decisions about their patients.

Thanks to constant innovation and dedication of healthcare companies and research organizations, diagnostic testing has helped achieve tangible improvements in not just the survival of patients but also in their overall health and quality of life.

Portable and Wearable ECG/EKG Monitors a Prominent Innovation in Cardiovascular Health

The electrocardiogram (ECG) has played a crucial role in understanding cardiovascular diseases. Its wide scope of application encompasses clinical diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases, biomedical recognition, health assessment, fatigue study, and others. Ongoing research in the technology is mainly focused on accuracy of ECG diagnosis and application, big data mining for ECG, and improved ECG instrumentation.

Remote ECG monitoring systems are fast becoming commonplace medical devices for remote as well as long-term physiological monitoring. These devices are not just targeted for elderly and frail patients but also for healthy individuals merely looking to monitor overall wellbeing.

Wearable technology is one of the most prominent innovations in the field and continues to be used in everyday clinical practice.

Qardio, Inc., a global digital health company, launched a revolutionary wearable ECG monitor in January 2017. The QardioCore is reportedly the first wearable medical ECG/EKG monitor that lets users monitor heart health without any patches or wires. This innovation is a far cry from conventional ECG monitors used in hospitals, which are known to be bulky and burdensome. By contrast, this wearable device is designed for monitoring anywhere and anytime.

Looking to capitalize on the growing trend of remote patient monitoring, especially to maintain heart health, medical device companies are working on devising new and innovative methods of tracking patient health. One such example is startup AliveCor’s Heart Monitor. The monitor comprises a case that can be simply attached to the back an Android device or an iPhone, while the test is administered and results are revealed through the company’s mobile app AliveECG. This gives new meaning to the concept of having health at your fingertips.

Increased Focus on making EEG Technology Minimally Invasive

Generation after generation, scientists and researchers have tried to understand the human brain. The 18th century pseudoscience of “bumpology”, which believed that the shape of a person’s skull lent insights into their mental state and personality, was discredited as a science 50 years after its introduction. It was nearly a century later that studying the electrical activity inside a living brain came to be the go-to technique to understand various neurological conditions.

Although the technique, called electroencephalography (EEG), was rather invasive initially, contemporary research and modern technology have enabled the development of non-invasive methods to study brain function, pathology, and behavior.

In recent years, the many intrinsic advantages of EEG have allowed the technique to expand its application scope to include diagnosis of conditions such as epilepsy, seizures, dizziness, head injuries, brain tumors, headaches, and sleep disorders. After a groundbreaking move away from analog to digital recordings, automated and integrated computer-EEG systems have opened doors to adaptable and accessible research methodologies. These systems have also become relatively portable and cheap.

Capitalizing on recent technological innovations, Maryland-based BrainScope raised U$16 million in August 2017 to be dedicated toward research and development of mobile, non-invasive devices to assess traumatic brain injury. In September 2016, the company launched “Ahead 300”, the third version of its commercial product BrainScope One. It comprises an EEG headset and a handheld display equipment to help clinicians conduct 4 tests to determine the existence of a traumatic brain injury. These tests – two cognitive performance and two sensor-based tests – have the potential to allow the device to eliminate one third of unnecessary CT scans.

For several developing regions and countries, access to costly diagnostic technologies such as EEG means overcoming a number of geographic and economic constraints. However, penetration of the Internet and proliferation of smartphone usage has brought these countries closer to gaining access to advanced technologies. The Bhutan Epilepsy Project, for instance, has been tackling the aforementioned challenges by using a smartphone-based EEG. Developed by the Technical University of Denmark, the device and overall setup amounts to less than US$500, is highly portable, and is easy to use.

Constant Innovation in MRI Hardware and Software

Perhaps one of the most common and widely-used diagnostic/medical imaging technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been highly valued for its versatility. MRI has a wide range of applications in the field of medical diagnosis, ranging from neuroimaging, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal to angiography, liver, and gastrointestinal. And even though the effect of this imaging technique on the improved health outcome of a patient is uncertain, its role in the diagnosis and treatment of various disorders is irrefutable. Based on recent developments, GE Healthcare has been among the front-runners in MRI technology.

Innovation in design is crucial in MR technology and this can add immense value to patient-friendly medical imaging. Take the 2011 Optima MR430s, for instance. This GE Healthcare innovation marked a major leap in MR imaging as it was designed for specific targeted anatomy, be it an arm or a leg, rather than traditional whole-body systems. Overcoming the challenges of immobilization and patient confinement, this innovative scanner has helped improve patient experience. For physicians, this has meant fewer demands on a full-body scanner, smarter investment options, relieving patient backlogs, and low total cost of ownership.

In the last couple of years, however, major advances in MRI technology have been on the software side. This has resulted in more simplified cardiac imaging workflows, faster contrast scans, and allowing MR scans of the lungs.

In September 2016, the US FDA granted approval to the MAGnetic resonance image Compilation, or MAGiC, software by GE Healthcare. This is reportedly a first-of-its-kind multi-contrast MRI technique that delivers eight contrast media in a one acquisition. This is done in a fraction of the time taken by traditional imaging, primarily by allowing users to flexibly manipulate MR images retrospectively. This has led to fewer rescans and therefore considerable time and cost savings.

Cardiac MRI has been a rather limited field owing to lengthy exam times, complexity, and high cost. RSNA 2015 saw GE Healthcare introduce a new MRI technology, one with the potential to simplify cardiac MR to a great extent. The ViosWorks cardiac MRI software helps create what the company calls a 7-D cardiac MRI exam.