Archive | October 2018

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Candy corn was invented in the 1817 and designed to mimic the appearance of a kernel of corn, but was made from wax, sugar, and corn syrup. The only problem? It really does just taste like wax, sugar, and corn syrup. Candy companies now sell their extra yearly inventory to Third World Countries, who use it to pave roads.”

USA Today

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development.   Usually something triggers psoriasis to flare.  The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormal fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.”

National Psoriasis Foundation

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“Spina bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It is a type of neural tube defect (NTD).”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Spina Bifida

spina3  4 

                      spina4

Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States.

Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.”

Spina Bifida happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. Every day, about 8 babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

No one knows for sure the exact cause of spina bifida but have their ideas. Scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors act together to cause the condition.

Although doctors and researchers don’t know for sure why spina bifida occurs, they have identified a few risk factors:

  • Race. Spina bifida is more common among whites and Hispanics.
  • Sex. Girls are affected more often.
  • Family history of neural tube defects. Couples who’ve had one child with a neural tube defect have a slightly higher chance of having another baby with the same defect. That risk increases if two previous children have been affected by the condition.
  • In addition, a woman who was born with a neural tube defect, or who has a close relative with one, has a greater chance of giving birth to a child with spina bifida. However, most babies with spina bifida are born to parents with no known family history of the condition.
  • Folate deficiency. Folate (vitamin B-9) is important to the healthy development of a baby. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B-9. The synthetic form, found in supplements and fortified foods, is called folic acid. A folate deficiency increases the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
  • Some medications. Anti-seizure medications, such as valproic acid (Depakene), seem to cause neural tube defects when taken during pregnancy, perhaps because they interfere with the body’s ability to use folate and folic acid.
  • Diabetes. Women with diabetes who don’t control their blood sugar well have a higher risk of having a baby with spina bifida.
  • Obesity. Pre-pregnancy obesity is associated with an increased risk of neural tube birth defects, including spina bifida.
  • Increased body temperature. Some evidence suggests that increased body temperature (hyperthermia) in the early weeks of pregnancy may increase the risk of spina bifida. Elevating your core body temperature, due to fever or the use of saunas or hot tubs, has been associated with increased risk of spina bifida.
  • If you have known risk factors for spina bifida, talk with your doctor to determine if you need a larger dose or prescription dose of folic acid, even before a pregnancy begins.

There are different types of Spina Bifida:

Occult Spinal Dysraphism (OSD) Infants with this have a dimple in their lower back. Because most babies with dimples do not have OSD, a doctor has to check using special tools and tests to be sure. Other signs are red marks, hyperpigmented patches on the back, tufts of hair or small lumps. In OSD, the spinal cord may not grow the right way and can cause serious problems as a child grows up. Infants who might have OSD should be seen by a doctor, who will recommend tests.

Spina Bifida Occulta It is often called “hidden Spina Bifida” because about 15 % of healthy people have it and do not know it. Spina Bifida Occulta usually does not cause harm, and has no visible signs. The spinal cord and nerves are usually fine.                                                                                                Visible indications of spina bifida occulta can sometimes be seen on the newborn’s skin above the spinal defect, including:

  • An abnormal tuft of hair
  • A collection of fat
  • A small dimple or birthmarkMeningocele A meningocele causes part of the spinal cord to come through the spine like a sac that is pushed out. Nerve fluid is in the sac, and there is usually no nerve damage. Individuals with this condition may have minor disabilities.
  • Many people who have spina bifida occulta don’t even know it, unless the condition is discovered during an X-ray or other imaging test done for unrelated reasons. People find out they have it after having an X-ray of their back. It is considered an incidental finding because the X-Ray is normally done for other reasons. However, in a small group of people with SBO, pain and neurological symptoms may occur. Tethered cord can be an insidious complication that requires investigation by a neurosurgeon.

Myelomeningocele (Meningomyelocele), also called Spina Bifida Cystica This is the most severe form of Spina Bifida. It happens when parts of the spinal cord and nerves        come through the open part of the spine. It causes nerve damage and other disabilities.    70 to 90% of children with this condition also have too much fluid on their brains. This happens because fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord is unable to drain like it should. The fluid builds up, causing pressure and swelling. Without treatment, a person’s head grows too big, and may have brain damage. Children who do not have Spina Bifida can also have this problem, so parents need to check with a doctor. Usually, however, tissues and nerves are exposed, making the baby prone to life-threatening infections.

Neurological impairment is common, including:

  • Muscle weakness of the legs, sometimes involving paralysis
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Seizures, especially if the child requires a shunt
  • Orthopedic problems — such as deformed feet, uneven hips and a curved spine (scoliosis)Treatment for spina bifida depends on the severity of the condition.
  • Spina Bifida Treatment
  1. Most people with spina bifida occulta require no treatment at all.
  2. Children with meningocele typically require surgical removal of the cyst and survive with little, if any, disability.
  3. Children with myelomeningocele, however, require complex and often lifelong treatment and assistance. Almost all of them survive with appropriate treatment starting soon after birth. Their quality of life depends at least partially on the speed, efficiency, and comprehensiveness with which that treatment is provided.
  4. A child born with myelomeningocele requires specialty care.
  1. The child should be transferred immediately to a center where newborn surgery can be performed.
  2. Treatment with antibiotics is started as soon as the myelomeningocele is recognized; this prevents infection of the spinal cord, which can be fatal.

The operation involves closing the opening in the spinal cord and covering the cord with muscles and skin taken from either side of the back. The most common complications are tethered spinal cord and hydrocephalus, which can have very severe consequences.

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“The immediate cause of sudden cardiac arrest is usually an abnormality in your heart rhythm (arrhythmia), the result of a problem with your heart’s electrical system.”

MAYO CLINIC

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more than 350,000 people each year. Anyone can experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), including infants, children, teens, young adults and people in their 30s and 40s who have no sign of heart disease, as well as more mature adults.  SCA is not a heart attack.”

stopcardiacarrest.org

SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST AWARENESS MONTH!

Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected. It occurs instantly or shortly after symptoms appear.

Each year, more than 420,000 emergency medical services-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.

No. The term “heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe cardiac arrest. While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, the terms don’t mean the same thing. Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. In cardiac arrest death results when the heart suddenly stops working properly. This may be caused by abnormal, or irregular, heart rhythms (called arrhythmias). A common arrhythmia in cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation (VFib). This is when the heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood anywhere. Death occurs within minutes after the heart stops. Cardiac arrest may be reversed if CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is performed and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.

Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

What is a heart attack? A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage. Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men.  A heart attack actually caused scarring to the heart since it causes damaging to the heart muscle tissue.

What is cardiac arrest? Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.

Arrhythmia’s can be:

Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) are below in a normal sinus rhythm (best rhythm to be in) below and if PVCs get more frequent making the rhythm more irregular it can go into a further dysrhythmias , like Ventricular Tachycardia even Ventricular Fibrillation, which could lead into a heart attack or cardiac arrest especially if Ventricular Tachycardia left untreated and especially Ventricular Fibrillation (see rhythms below).

Fast action can save lives. Find out what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrest.  Fast action can save lives.

What to do: Heart Attack Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number. Every minute matters! It’s best to call EMS to get to the emergency room right away. Emergency medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.

What to do: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated within a few minutes. First, call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services. Then get an automated external defibrillator if one is available and use it as soon as it arrives. Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.  Learn CPR  you may just save someone one day being at the right place at the right time.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death unfortunately – nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. By performing Hands-Only CPR to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive,” you can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. Learn the two easy steps to save a life at heart.org/handsonlycpr.

 

 

What is the Black Widow?

When it comes to the heart, time is critical. Blood carries oxygen to the body. When blood flow is blocked, cells can die. The more time that passes before treatment, the bigger the risk of death.

A complete blockage in the main artery that feeds the front and side walls of the heart and the septum, a muscular boundary between the left and right chambers.

“That’s a big deal” ,says Dr. Todd Caulfield, the Providence interventional cardiologist who operates on patient’s like this. “People call this the widow maker.”, he states.  Nationwide about 300,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital every year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 8 percent survive.

The heart pumps blood to the body and brain. The heart also needs blood so it pumps blood to itself, too. The heart’s blood supply is essentially three main arteries: one that goes to the front; the other that goes to the back; and the final artery that connects to the side of the heart. When one of those arteries is blocked, the heart doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen, causing a heart attack. This is simply due to the block that doesn’t allow oxygen to the heart tissue that that artery feeds oxygenated blood.  This causes ischemia (lack of oxygen perfusion to tissue).  It causes pain first (chest pain=angina) and if the block continues than it will lead to infarction meaning death of the tissue not receiving enough (partial block) or no oxygen (a complete block).  The exact same thing happens in the brain, which causes a stroke; or the foot causing first pain leading to blackish skin of the foot tissue=necrotic tissue which ends up being amputated (like in some patients with  diabetes or peripheral vascular disease).  So lack of oxygen to our tissue parts anywhere can cause death to the tissue and depending on the tissue area cause death (like with the heart, due to the heart being the engine of the human body).

Interventional Cardiologist Randy Goodroe says patients are getting treatment quicker for heart attacks, more now than ever before. So the once grim reality of suffering from “the widowmaker” – a heart attack that results in immediate death – has become somewhat of a misnomer.

It’s called a “widowmaker”, Dr. Goodroe added, because it would typically kill you if the artery doesn’t get opened fast enough.

There are two different kinds of heart attacks. One is called an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, where the artery is totally blocked (i.e. the widowmaker), and we are on the clock to get the artery opened as soon as possible. There’s also a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) where an artery is partially or temporarily blocked, and is still urgent to get the artery cleared, but not emergent.

Common Risk Factors:

Age is definitely a risk factor. We start seeing coronary disease in people who are between 50 and 60-years-old, and obviously, the older the person, the older the arteries, the higher the risk. Diabetes is another one of the greatest risk factors. Smoking is the strongest modifiable risk factor, meaning it’s the worst thing people can do to themselves to accelerate the disease process. High blood pressure and family history are also risk factors for heart attacks.

How to detect it if in the ER with symptoms & than repair it:

If a patient enters the ER with heart attack symptoms, quickly performed is an electrocardiogram (EKG) including cardiac enzymes to and echocardiogram or stress test to detect a totally obstructed artery. The artery is like a pipe or a tube., so we put a tiny wire through the blockageThose patients are very quickly taken to the cardiac catheterization lab where an angiogram is done to detect if there is and how bad the blockage is, if present.  Than with an angioplasty (balloons) at the end of the angiogram catheter break up the blockage and stents inserted in the area of blockage to get the blood flowing to the heart again.  The balloon is taken out and a stent is slid over that also has a balloon on it and once the stent goes up, it props open the blockage.  Blockage is repaired.