Tuesday, 30 September 2014

National Voluntary Blood Donation Day

The observation of National Voluntary Blood Donation Day in our country started on 1st October 1975, under the initiative of Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology. Since then, the 1st October of each year is being observed throughout the country as the National Voluntary Blood Donation Day.

Voluntary blood donation is undoubtedly, the highest form of humanitarian service as it is done without expectation of even knowing who it will help. There is a higher altruistic thought that motivates such action. One single blood donation actually helps many patients as blood is usually segregated into RBC’s, Platelets, WBC’s and Plasma and given accordingly for their requirement.

The need for blood is constantly increasing the world over. Apart from diseases like dengue, millions lose their lives to natural and man-made disasters. The number of people dying in road accidents is also growing. Although over 88 million units of blood are collected the world over it is still not sufficient for the 6,910 million world population which requires 150 million units annually. In some developed countries the number of voluntary blood donors is very high, like Switzerland where number of voluntary blood donors per 1,000 population figures is 113 and in Japan, it is 70 but in India it is still very low, 8 for every 1,000 population.

Against an annual demand of 12 million units, India is able to collect only 9 million units of which 70% is from voluntary blood donors while the remaining 30% is from family/replacement donors. The Indian Red Cross Society has 166 blood banks all over the country, where the voluntary blood donation is 90%. At the Model blood bank in National HQ of the IRCS, more than 90% of donations are by voluntary blood donors. However, we still have a long way to go as the need today is also for safe blood.

Non remunerated Voluntary Blood Donors are considered as the safest source of blood as they have low prevalence of TTIs (Transfusion Transmissible Infections) like HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Malaria and Syphilis.

The popular misconception that a person becomes weak by donating blood is wrong. On the contrary, there are several benefits of blood donation. Donating blood improves overall cardiovascular health as blood donated regularly helps males in particular to reduce the amount of iron in the blood which can reduce the chance of heart attacks. Additionally, it can also lower the risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke. Blood donation enhances the production of new blood cells as new cells are produced by the marrow within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one to two months. Blood donation has also been seen to lower risk of cancer including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers.

Blood donation has other obvious benefits like receiving a free prior health screening plus mini blood test. Blood is also tested for some major diseases and the donor is immediately informed in strict confidentiality if any of these tests show positive results. A blood donor by his donation saves many lives and gives hope to many whose situation may otherwise be hopeless. Blood donors give such patients a second lease of life. By donating blood one impacts not only the patient whose life may depend on it, but also all those who depend on that patient. The entire community will benefit from the spirit of generosity.

Courtesy: Indian Red Cross Society 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Blood Test Might Predict Speed of Surgical Recovery

Measuring the activity of a subset of white blood cells immediately after surgery might reveal which patients are likely to recover quickly and those who won't, a preliminary study suggests.

The researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in California analyzed the recovery of 32 patients who had hip replacement surgery. To see if they could predict patients' recovery, the researchers measured the activity of HLADRlow CD14+ monocytes. Recovery was measured by how quickly fatigue and pain decreased and hip function improved.

The investigators found that when these cells were highly active during the day after surgery, patients took longer to recover than if the activity was low or decreased. Their activity level correlated very strongly with how patients recover from surgery. The more active these cells are, the worse the recovery.

The researchers plan to test these findings in other operations to see if they can be duplicated. If so, they hope to develop a simple, inexpensive blood test that could guide patients and doctors in predicting recovery and planning medical care after an operation.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

5 Blood Tests You’re Probably Not Getting–But Should Be

Blood tests give insights into the biochemical uniqueness of a person. In fact, certain tests can find problems that standard blood tests miss, sometimes years before they happen. Below given are 5 such blood tests:

C-reactive protein (CRP). This test measures levels of CRP, a blood protein that rises if there’s inflammation in your body. It can also gauge your risk for coronary artery disease, narrowing of the arteries that could cause a heart attack. Caveat: A CRP test can’t pinpoint the source of the inflammation. Elevated CRP is one of the most predictable markers in the blood for all-cause morbidity and mortality.

The VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) panel. This panel should be done regularly instead of the standard fasting cholesterol blood test that measures total cholesterol, LDL (the so-called bad) cholesterol, HDL (the “good”) cholesterol) and triglycerides. The reason: The VAP measures over twice as many blood fats as the regular cholesterol panel.. What’s more, the VAP test is an actual measure of blood lipids—not an estimate, which is what the typical cholesterol panel provides.

Homocysteine. This amino acid is produced by your body, usually as a result of eating meat. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. But high levels of homocysteine are associated with atherosclerosis (the build-up of plaque in arteries), which can cause heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

HbA1c. Most people are familiar with the fasting blood glucose test. But because it only measures the amount of sugar in your blood at the time of the test, your results may come back as normal when, in fact, you have pre-diabetes. A better gauge of blood glucose levels: the HbA1c test, which measures the average levels of blood glucose over the previous two to three months. The test is routinely done on people with diabetes to see how well they are controlling their blood sugar.

Vitamin D. Everyone should get a baseline Vitamin D test, specifically the 25 (OH) D test, which is the most accurate. The reason? Less-than-adequate levels are “the single-best predictor of early death from any cause. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2008 reported that people with the lowest levels of D—less than 17.8 ng/mL—had a 26 percent increased rate of dying from any cause, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Low levels are also associated with a greater risk for a range of conditions, including depression, osteoporosis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and assorted aches and pains.

Monday, 22 September 2014

കരളിനും കരുതല്‍ വേണം

കരള്‍ സംബന്ധമായ രോഗങ്ങളാല്‍ ഒരു മാസം നമ്മുടെ രാജ്യത്ത്‌ 35- 40 പേര്‍ മരിക്കുന്നു! മദ്യനിരോധനം വന്നതുകൊണ്ട്‌ കേരളത്തില്‍ ഈ കണക്കുകള്‍ അപ്രസക്തമാകുമെന്ന്‌ ആശ്വസിക്കുന്നവര്‍ മനസിലാക്കുക- മദ്യപിക്കാത്തവര്‍ക്കും കരള്‍രോഗങ്ങള്‍ വരാം. നമ്മുടെ ശരീരത്തിലെ സുപ്രധാനങ്ങളായ ഒട്ടേറെ ധര്‍മങ്ങള്‍ നിര്‍വഹിക്കുന്നതും, ചര്‍മം കഴിഞ്ഞല്‍ ശരീരത്തിലെ ഏറ്റവും വലുതുമായ ഈ അവയവം രോഗബാധിതമായാല്‍ പ്രത്യേകിച്ച്‌ ലക്ഷണങ്ങളൊന്നും പ്രകടമാകില്ല. അതുകൊണ്ടു തന്നെ, രോഗം മൂര്‍ച്ഛിച്ചുകഴിയുമ്പോഴേ 90% രോഗികളും കരള്‍രോഗത്തെക്കുറിച്ച്‌ അറിയാറുള്ളു.

മദ്യവും മയക്കുമരുന്നും ഉപയോഗിച്ചാല്‍ മാത്രമേ കരളിനു കേടുവരുകയുള്ളു എന്നൊരു മിഥ്യാധാരണ നമുക്കിടയിലുണ്ട്‌. എന്നാല്‍, നൂറിലധികം കാരണങ്ങളാല്‍ കരള്‍രോഗങ്ങള്‍ പിടിപെടാം എന്നതാണ്‌ വസ്‌തുത. പ്രായമായവര്‍ക്കു മാത്രമല്ല ശിശുക്കള്‍ക്കും കരള്‍രോഗങ്ങള്‍ വരാം. കുടുംബപാരമ്പര്യം, വിഷകരമായ വസ്‌തുക്കള്‍, വൈറസ്‌, ബാക്‌ടീരിയ, തെറ്റായ ജീവിതശൈലി എന്നിവയെല്ലാം കരള്‍രോഗങ്ങള്‍ക്കു വഴിയൊരുക്കാം.

കരളിന്‌ രോഗം പിടിപെട്ടാല്‍ തുടത്തില്‍ തടിപ്പും വീക്കവും ഉണ്ടാകാം. പക്ഷേ, രോഗിക്ക്‌ ഒരുതരത്തിലുമുള്ള വേദനയോ പ്രയാസങ്ങളോ അനുഭപ്പെടുകയില്ല. പതിയെപ്പതിയെ കരള്‍വീക്കം കൂടുതല്‍ വഷളാകും. തുടര്‍ന്ന്‌ കരളില്‍ സ്‌കാറുകള്‍ ഉണ്ടാകും. സ്‌കാറുകളുള്ള ടിഷ്യൂകളുടെ എണ്ണം പെരുകുമ്പോള്‍ ഫൈബ്രോസിസിന്‌ കാരണമാകും. ഫൈബ്രോസിസ്‌ പഴകിയാല്‍ സിറോസിസ്‌ ആയിമാറും. ഈ അവസ്ഥയില്‍ കരളിന്‌ ശരിയായ വിധം പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയാതെ വരും. ഈ ഘട്ടത്തിലാണ്‌ മഞ്ഞപ്പിത്തം പോലുള്ള രോഗലക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ പ്രകടമാകുക. അപ്പോഴേക്കും മാരകമായ വിധം കരളിന്‌ കേടുപറ്റിയിട്ടുണ്ടാകാം.

ഓട്ടോഇമ്യൂണ്‍ ഹെപ്പറ്റൈറ്റിസ്‌, സിറോസിസ്‌, സിസ്റ്റിക്‌ ഡിസീസ്‌, ഫാറ്റി ലിവര്‍, ഗാല്‍സ്റ്റോണ്‍, ലിവര്‍ ക്യാന്‍സര്‍, ഗര്‍ഭകാലത്തുണ്ടാകുന്ന കരള്‍രോഗങ്ങള്‍, നവജാതശിശുക്കള്‍ക്കുണ്ടാകുന്ന ഹൈപ്പറ്റൈറ്റിസ്‌, ടോക്‌സിക്‌ ഹെപ്പറ്റൈറ്റിസ്‌, ഹെപ്പറ്റൈറ്റിസ്‌ എ, ബി & സി തുടങ്ങിയവയാണ്‌ കരളിനെ ബാധിക്കുന്ന പ്രധാനരോഗങ്ങള്‍. കരളിന്റെ ആരോഗ്യസ്ഥിതിയും പ്രവര്‍ത്തനക്ഷമതയും മനസിലാക്കുന്നതിനുള്ള ലിവര്‍ ഫങ്ക്‌ഷന്‍ ടെസ്റ്റിലൂടെ, ഈ രോഗങ്ങള്‍ പിടിപെടാനുള്ള സാധ്യത നേരത്തെ മനസിലാക്കാനാവും.

ആരോഗ്യവാനായ ഒരാള്‍ ആറുമാസത്തില്‍ ഒരിക്കല്‍ കരള്‍ സംബന്ധമായ വിശദപരിശോധനകള്‍ ചെയ്യേണ്ടതാണെന്ന്‌ ഡോക്‌ടര്‍മാര്‍ നിര്‍ദേശിക്കുന്നു. കുടുംബ പാരമ്പര്യമുള്ളവരും പ്രമേഹം, ഹൃദ്രോഗം പോലുള്ള ജീവിതശൈലീരോഗങ്ങള്‍ ഉള്ളവരും വ്യായാമമില്ലാത്തവരും അമിതവണ്ണമുള്ളവരും മദ്യപാനികളും കടുത്ത മാനസിക സമ്മര്‍ദത്തിന്‌ അടിപ്പെട്ടവരും ദീര്‍ഘകാലമായി പല മരുന്നുകളും കഴിക്കുന്നവരും നിശ്ചയമായും ആറുമാസത്തിലൊരിക്കല്‍ കരള്‍രോഗങ്ങള്‍ കണ്ടെത്തുന്നുതിനുള്ള ചികിത്സകള്‍ ചെയ്യേണ്ടതാണ്‌. ഓര്‍ക്കുക. പ്രാരംഭലക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ ഇല്ലാത്തതിനാല്‍ കരള്‍ രോഗങ്ങള്‍ തുടക്കിത്തിലേ തിരിച്ചറിയപ്പെടാതെ പോകുന്നു. ചികിത്സ വൈകുന്തോറും കരള്‍ നശിച്ചുകൊണ്ടേയിരിക്കും. അതിനാല്‍, പരിശോധനകള്‍ കരളിന്റെ ആരോഗ്യസംരക്ഷണത്തിന്‌ ഏറെ പ്രധാനപ്പെട്ടതാണ്‌.

Friday, 19 September 2014

800,000 People Commit Suicide Every Year; Highest In India

More than 800,000 people commit suicide every year, or one person every 40 seconds, with India accounting for the highest estimated number of suicides overall in 2012, according to WHO's first global report on suicide prevention.

The suicide rate is the highest in South-East Asia, as compared to other WHO regions. Some 75 percent of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries, says the report.

Generally, more men die by suicide than women. In richer countries, three times as many men die by suicide than women. Men aged 50 years and over are particularly vulnerable. In low- and middle-income countries, young adults and elderly women have higher rates of suicide than their counterparts in high-income countries. Women over 70 years old are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as women aged 15-29 years.

Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. Limiting access to these means, and a commitment by governments to the implementation of a coordinated plan of action can help prevent people resorting to a tragic end to their life, the report recommends. Currently, only 28 countries are known to have national suicide.

The first WHO publication of its kind, the report presents a comprehensive overview of suicide, suicide attempts and successful suicide prevention efforts worldwide.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Blood test could diagnose depression in adults

Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago have developed a blood test that may be able to identify people suffering from clinical depression.

The test measures the levels of nine genetic indicators known as "RNA markers" in the blood. The blood test could also determine who will respond to cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the most common and effective treatments for depression, and could show whether the therapy worked.

The delay between the start of symptoms and diagnosis in clinical depression can range from two months to 40 months. The longer this delay is, the harder it is on the patient, their family and environment. Additionally, if a patient is not able or willing to communicate with the doctor, the diagnosis is difficult to make. If this type of blood test is positive, that would alert the doctor and is diagnosis can be easily done.

The test works by measuring the blood concentration of the RNA markers. A cell's RNA molecules are what interpret its genetic code and then carry out those instructions from DNA. After blood is drawn, the RNA is isolated, measured and compared to RNA levels expected in a non depressed person's blood.

This new blood test is not yet available because additional studies with large groups of people must first confirm its accuracy and effectiveness before it can be considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Understanding the Protein Urine Test

A protein urine test is used to measure the amount of protein in urine. Normally, healthy individuals do not have protein in their urine. However, when the kidneys are not working properly, protein may be excreted in the urine. Protein may also be found in the urine if there are high levels of certain proteins in the bloodstream. A urine test for protein may be done as a random one-time sample or a 24-hour collection sample. A urine protein test is also called urine albumin test or proteinuria.

Your doctor may order this test if he or she suspects a kidney problem. This test may also be ordered if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or as part of a routine urinalysis.A small amount of protein in the urine is normally not a problem. However, larger levels of protein in the urine may be caused by:
  • urinary tract infection
  • diabetes
  • dehydration
  • amyloidosis (a build-up of protein in the body’s tissues)
  • drugs that damage the kidneys (such as NSAIDs, antimicrobials, diuretics, and chemotherapy drugs)
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnant women)
  • heavy metal poisoning
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • glomerulonephritis (a kidney disease that causes kidney damage)
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease)
  • Good pasture syndrome (an autoimmune disease)
  • multiple myeloma (a type of cancer affecting bone marrow)
  • bladder tumor or cancer
Certain people are more at risk for developing kidney problems. Your doctor may order regular protein urine testing to help screen for kidney problems if you have one or more risk factors. Risk factors include:
  • having a chronic condition such as diabetes or hypertension
  • having a family history of kidney disease
  • being of African American, American Indian, Hispanic American, or Pacific Islander descent
  • being overweight
  • being an older age
It is important that you are well hydrated before giving your urine sample. This helps make giving the urine sample easier and prevents dehydration, which can affect test results.One of the ways protein is tested in the urine is with a random, one-time sample. This may also be called a dipstick test. You may give your sample in your doctor’s office, in a medical laboratory, or at home.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Insulin pumps 'more effective than injections' for type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition whereby the body is unable to produce or use the hormone insulin effectively, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage, stroke, and kidney, eye or heart diseases.

In some cases, the condition can be managed through diet or blood sugar-lowering medication, such as metformin. But in many cases, a patient may require multiple daily doses of insulin delivered by injection into the abdomen, upper arms, thighs or buttocks.

However, researchers from France note that around a third of patients that manage their condition with insulin injections have problems achieving the optimal level of blood sugar.

With this in mind, the team decided to compare the effectiveness of insulin injections against insulin pumps - small portable, computerized devices that deliver continuous doses of insulin through a catheter places under the skin.

After 6 months of treatment, the researchers found that the blood sugar levels of participants who used insulin pumps were on average 0.7% lower than those of participants who used multiple insulin injections. Furthermore, 55% of participants who used insulin pumps reached the HbA1c target range of 8% or less (an indicator of a patient's blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months ), compared with only 28% of participants who used insulin injections. Those who used insulin pumps also spent 3 hours less a day experiencing hyperglycemia - high blood sugar levels.

Pumps enhance effective insulin absorption and increase insulin sensitivity thanks to the continuous daily subcutaneous insulin delivery.

These findings open up a valuable new treatment option for those individuals failing on current injection regimens and may also provide improved convenience, reducing the burden of dose tracking and scheduling, and decreasing insulin injection omissions

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Understanding AMH Fertility Blood Test

The AMH test (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) is a blood test to help the fertility doctor assess the woman's ovarian reserve. The test measures the levels of AMH in a woman's blood and is helpful in determining whether a woman has premature ovarian aging (diminished ovarian reserve) or premature ovarian failure.

The Anti-Mullerian Hormone is a substance secreted by the granulose cells in the developing egg sacs (ovarian follicles). When a woman grows older, her number of ovarian follicles begins to decrease; therefore, the amount of AMH in the blood decreases.A woman who has very remaining follicles will have low AMH levels and is close to menopause. A woman who has many small ovarian follicles — a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) — typically has high levels of AMH.

Because AMH levels correlate with the number of ovarian follicles, the test is a good predictor of ovarian reserve. Researchers have found that women with higher concentrations of AMH have a better response to ovarian stimulation and are likely to produce more eggs for IVF (in vitro fertilization) than women with low or undetectable AMH. Also, unlike follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), the levels of AMH in the blood do not fluctuate as much; therefore the test can be done at any point during the menstrual cycle.
  • A low AMH indicates there is a problem with the quantity and quality of a woman's eggs. Women with low AMH tend to be "poor responders" to fertility treatment — even with high doses of fertility drugs.
  • High AMH levels correlate with low cancellation rates, retrieval of more eggs, higher live birth rates and a high chance for freezing of leftover embryos.
  • Low AMH levels (alone) do not predict low IVF success rates in women under 35
  • Couples should not be excluded from attempting IVF due to low AMH values alone because live birth success rates were reasonable in these cases
AMH is only one of the tests that assess ovarian reserve. Others include blood tests for FSH and estradiol levels, the clomiphene citrate challenge test (CCCT), and a vaginal ultrasound examination of the antral follicles.

മികച്ച മെഡിക്കല്‍ ലാബ്‌ എങ്ങനെ കണ്ടെത്താം?

രക്തത്തിലെ കൊളസ്‌ട്രോളിന്റെ അളവ്‌ മനസിലാക്കാനും പ്രമേഹം നിയന്ത്രണവിധേയമാണെന്ന്‌ ഉറപ്പാക്കാനും മറ്റുമായി നിശ്ചിത ഇടവേളകളില്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ വൈദ്യപരിശോധനകള്‍ക്ക്‌ വിധേയരാകാറുണ്ടോ? അതോ അത്യാവശ്യസന്ദര്‍ഭങ്ങളില്‍ മാത്രമേ മെഡിക്കല്‍ ലാബുകളില്‍ കയറിയിട്ടുള്ളോ? നിങ്ങള്‍ ഇതില്‍ ഏതു വിഭാഗത്തില്‍ പെടുന്നവരായാലും രോഗനിര്‍ണയം കൃത്യമാകണമെങ്കില്‍ പരിശോധനാഫലം ശരിയായിരിക്കണം. അതിന്‌, നിങ്ങള്‍ പോകുന്ന പരിശോധനാകേന്ദ്രം മികവുറ്റതായിരിക്കണം. പക്ഷേ, എങ്ങനെ അറിയും ലാബിന്റെ ഗുണമേന്മ. ഇതാ, ചില നിര്‍ദേശങ്ങള്‍.

സ്വര്‍ണത്തിന്‌ബിഐസ്‌ ഹാള്‍ മാര്‍ക്ക്‌ പോലെ, കാര്‍ഷികഭക്ഷ്യോല്‍പ്പന്നങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ അഗ്‌ മാര്‍ക്ക്‌ പോലെ, ഐഎസ്‌ഓ സര്‍ട്ടിഫിക്കേഷന്‍ പോലെ, രോഗപരിശോധനാ കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളുടെ ഗുണനിലവാരം ഉറപ്പാക്കാന്‍ കേന്ദ്ര ഗവണ്‍മെന്റിന്റെ ക്വാളിറ്റി കൗണ്‍സില്‍ ഓഫ്‌ ഇന്ത്യ നല്‍കുന്ന അക്രഡിറ്റേഷനാണ്‌ എന്‍എബിഎല്‍. ലാബുകളുടെ നിലവാരം ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തുന്നതിനായി ഇന്ന്‌ നിര്‍ദേശിക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുള്ളതില്‍ ഏറ്റവും ഉയര്‍ന്ന സര്‍ട്ടിഫിക്കേഷനാണിത്‌. എന്‍എബിഎല്‍ അക്രഡിറ്റേഷന്‍ ലഭിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള ലാബുകളുടെ ഗുണനിലവാരം നിര്‍ണയിക്കുന്നതിനായി ഗവണ്‍മെന്റ്‌ അംഗീകൃത ഏജന്‍സികളുണ്ട്‌. അവ ദൈനംദിന അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍, ഈ അംഗീകാരമുള്ള ലാബുകളിലെ പരിശോധനാഗുണനിലവാരം പരിശോധിച്ച്‌ ഉറപ്പു വരുത്തുന്നുണ്ട്‌. അതുകൊണ്ട്‌ രോഗികള്‍ക്കും ഡോക്‌ടര്‍മാര്‍ക്കും വിശ്വസിച്ച്‌ ആശ്രയിക്കാവുന്ന ലാബുകളില്‍ ഒന്നാമത്തേതായി ഉള്‍പ്പെടുത്താവുന്നയാണ്‌ എന്‍എബിഎല്‍ അക്രഡിറ്റേഷന്‍ ഉള്ള ലാബുകള്‍.

യന്ത്രവത്‌കൃതമായ പരിശോധനാസംവിധാനങ്ങള്‍
പൂര്‍ണമായും യന്ത്രവത്‌കരിക്കപ്പെട്ട പരിശോധനാസംവിധാനങ്ങളുള്ള ലാബുകളില്‍ നിന്നുള്ള പരിശോനാഫലങ്ങള്‍ കൂടുതല്‍ കൃത്യതയുള്ളയിരിക്കും. റിസല്‍റ്റുകള്‍ തെറ്റിപ്പോകാനുള്ള സാധ്യതയും ഓട്ടോമേറ്റഡ്‌ സംവിധാനങ്ങളില്‍ കുറവായിരിക്കും. പരിശോധനയ്‌ക്കായി ശേഖരിച്ച സാംപിളുകളുടെ ഓരോന്നിന്റെയും വിശദമായ പരിശോധനാഫലങ്ങള്‍ ഇവിടെ നിന്ന്‌ രോഗിക്ക്‌ ലഭിക്കും. മാനുഷികമായി വന്നേക്കാവുന്ന പിഴവുകളുടെ തോത്‌ ഓട്ടോമേറ്റഡ്‌ ലാബുകളില്‍ കുറവാണെന്നാണ്‌ ഡോക്‌ടര്‍മാരുടെനിരീക്ഷണം.

സാങ്കേതിക യോഗ്യതകളുള്ള ജീവനക്കാര്‍
നിശ്ചിതയോഗ്യതകളും പ്രവൃത്തിപരിചയവുമുള്ള ലാബ്‌ ടെക്‌നീഷ്യന്മാരെപ്പോലെതന്നെ പ്രധാനമാണ്‌, മികച്ച ലാബുകളില്‍ സാങ്കേതികകാര്യങ്ങളില്‍ മികവും നിശ്ചിതയോഗ്യതയുമുള്ള മുഴുവന്‍ സമയ ജീവനക്കാരുടെ സാന്നിദ്ധ്യം. പരിശോധന ഉപകരണങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ എന്തെങ്കിലും തകരാറ്‌ സംഭവിച്ചാല്‍ വേണ്ട നിര്‍ദേശങ്ങള്‍ നല്‍കാനും പരിഹരിക്കാനും വൈദഗ്‌ദ്ധ്യമുള്ളവര്‍ ലാബില്‍ ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍, ലാബിന്റെ പ്രവര്‍ത്തന മികവ്‌ ഉറപ്പുവരുത്താനാകും.

പരിശോധനാഫലങ്ങള്‍ ഓണ്‍ലൈനില്‍ ലഭ്യമാക്കുന്ന സംവിധാനം
പരിശോധനാഫലങ്ങള്‍ ഇ-മെയില്‍ വഴിയോ മെസേജായോ സൈറ്റില്‍ തിരഞ്ഞാല്‍ ലഭ്യമാകുന്ന വിധത്തിലോ രോഗികള്‍ക്കു ലഭിക്കുമെങ്കില്‍ അത്‌ അവര്‍ക്ക്‌ അങ്ങേയറ്റം സൗകര്യമായിരിക്കും; പ്രത്യേകിച്ചും ഇന്നത്തെ തിരക്കുപിടിച്ച ജീവിതശൈലി പിന്തുടരുന്നവര്‍ക്ക്‌. വീണ്ടുമൊരിക്കല്‍ കൂടി ലാബില്‍ പോകുന്ന അനാവശ്യയാത്ര ഒഴിവാക്കാം, സമയവും ലാഭിക്കാം. വീട്ടില്‍ വന്ന്‌ സാംപിളുകള്‍ ശേഖരിക്കുന്ന സംവിധാനവും രോഗികള്‍ക്കു പ്രയോജനകരമാണ്‌.

ഡോക്‌ടര്‍മാരുടെ സേവനം
നിങ്ങള്‍ തെരഞ്ഞെടുക്കുന്ന ലാബില്‍, അഭിപ്രായങ്ങളും നിര്‍ദേശങ്ങളും നല്‍കാനായി വിദഗ്‌ദ്ധ ഡോക്‌ടര്‍മാരോ ഡോക്‌ടര്‍മാരുടെ പാനലോ ഉണ്ടെന്ന്‌ ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തുക. ലോകവ്യാപകമായി അംഗീകരിക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുള്ള നിലവാരം ലാബിനുണ്ടെന്നും ഉറപ്പാക്കേണ്ടതാണ്‌.

രോഗ, ചികിത്സാ നിര്‍ണയത്തില്‍ ലാബ്‌ പരിശോധനാ ഫലങ്ങളുടെ പ്രസക്തി വളരെ കൂടുതലാണ്‌. അതിനാല്‍ തന്നെ പരിശോധനകള്‍ മികച്ച ലബോറട്ടറികളില്‍ തന്നെ നടത്തുന്നത്‌ പിഴവില്ലാത്ത രോഗനിര്‍ണയത്തിനും വിദഗ്‌ദ്ധ ചികിത്സയ്‌ക്കും അത്യന്താപേക്ഷിതമാണ്‌.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Hourly 5-minute walks benefits arterial damages due to sitting

The harm to leg arteries caused by sitting for hours can be easily reversed with hourly 5-minute walks, according to new research findings of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Sitting for prolonged periods is associated with risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic disease, such as higher cholesterol levels and greater waist circumference. Because muscles are slackened when sitting, they do not contribute to pumping blood to the heart. This causes blood to pool in the legs, damaging the endothelial function of arteries and impairing blood vessels' ability to expand.

The researchers found that, while sitting, the dilation and expansion of the arteries were impaired by up to 50% after just the first hour. However, there was no decrease in arterial function among those who walked for 5 minutes each hour. The researchers think this is because the increase in muscle activity aided blood flow.

There is plenty of epidemiological evidence linking sitting time to various chronic diseases and linking breaking sitting time to beneficial cardiovascular effects, but there is very little experimental evidence. Now researchers have shown that prolonged sitting impairs endothelial function, which is an early marker of cardiovascular disease, and that breaking sitting time prevents the decline in that function.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Understanding Allergy Blood Test

An allergy blood test looks for a specific type of antibody (called immunoglobulin E — IgE for short) that your immune system produces when you come into contact with a substance that you are allergic to (an allergen). Allergy blood tests are called serum allergen-specific IgE tests, but were previously referred to as RAST tests (radioallergosorbent tests) after a previously popular laboratory method of performing these tests.

There are 2 steps to developing an allergy. Initially, your immune system mistakenly identifies a substance that is normally harmless (an allergen) as harmful, and produces a specific IgE antibody to ‘fight’ it. This process is called ‘sensitization’. Then, when you next encounter the allergen, the IgE recognizes the allergen and an allergic reaction occurs. IgE attaches to cells called mast cells, triggering the release of chemical called histamine. Histamine causes the allergy symptoms that many people will be familiar with: rash or hives; sneezing; blocked or running nose; itchy eyes or wheezing.

Common inhaled allergens include pollens, house dust mite residue, moulds and animal dander (skin particles). Common food allergens include proteins in eggs, peanuts and tree nuts (such as walnuts), fish, shellfish, milk, wheat and soy. An allergy blood test can look for IgE reacting to one particular allergen or to a group of allergens.

An allergy blood test may be done if your doctor suspects that an allergic reaction could be causing your symptoms. The aim is to find out whether you are having an allergic reaction, and if so, to discover which allergen could be responsible for your symptoms.Allergy blood tests are currently considered less accurate than skin prick tests, in which a solution of purified allergen is pricked or scratched into your skin and the response assessed. However, your doctor may suggest allergy blood tests if:
  • skin prick testing is unavailable; 
  • you need to take antihistamines or some types of antidepressants (these medicines interfere with skin prick tests); 
  • you have widespread skin disease such as eczema that could obscure the reaction to skin prick testing; 
  • your doctor is worried that a skin prick test could cause a severe allergic reaction; or 
  • you have had skin prick testing but it did not give clear results.
Allergy blood tests can tell your doctor whether you produce IgE in response to a specific allergen (doctors describe this as being ‘sensitized’ to the allergen). If you have a negative test, it is very unlikely that you have an allergic reaction to that allergen.However, although a positive test indicates that you are sensitized to the allergen (that is, you produce specific IgE antibodies in response to it), it does not show for sure that the allergen is definitely the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor will therefore take your signs and symptoms into account when interpreting a positive allergy blood test.

Also, an allergy blood test cannot tell your doctor how severe any allergic reaction would be if you were exposed to the allergen.In some cases, further tests will be needed to find out whether you have an allergy. Your doctor or specialist will advise you if this is the case.