DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Who’s most at risk for developing sepsis, and what are the symptoms to watch for? What’s the difference between sepsis and septic shock?ANSWER: Sepsis is a serious complication of an infection. It often triggers various symptoms, including high fever, elevated heart rate and fast breathing. If sepsis goes unchecked, it can progress to septic shock -- a severe condition that occurs when the body’s blood pressure falls and organs shut down. Sepsis most often affects the elderly, infants and people with weak immune systems, as well as those who require medical devices. When you get an infection, your body releases chemicals into your bloodstream to fight off the infection. In some cases, those chemicals can trigger inflammation throughout the body. That inflammatory response is sepsis. If it’s not treated promptly, sepsis can progress, lowering blood pressure and making it hard for blood to reach vital organs. As a result, the heart, lungs, brain … [Read more...] about What is sepsis? What are the signs?
Q: My arthritis primarily affects my hands. Aleve helps but I don’t want to rely on it every day. There are so many pain relieving skin creams. How do you choose?A: You are wise to consider alternatives to oral naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Long term use can lead to stomach and intestinal ulcers, internal bleeding, kidney damage and they potentially increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Topical analgesics are pain relievers that are applied to the skin instead of taken as pills. The most effective topical preparations do contain an NSAID. But topical NSAIDs pose less risk than the oral drugs because they result in lower NSAID blood levels.Applying a topical NSAID concentrates the medicine near the pain site. So they can be very helpful for the more superficial joints like the hands, knees, ankles, feet, and elbows.While only a small amount enters the bloodstream, topical NSAIDs may be … [Read more...] about Do pain relieving skin creams work? Medical Q&A
Poor wifi in hospitals is making it more difficult for staff to communicate (Image: GETTY) The analysis of communication between consultants and their proteges during surgery revealed "very concerning" failures, partly due to a lack of 3G and 4G wifi access in hospitals. It found four in 10 consultants were unaware of what their anaesthetist supervisee was doing and three in 10 trainees or junior anaesthetists were unable to contact their consultant. Leading consultant anaesthetist David Bogod, who helped the Royal College of Anaesthetists carry out its research, said: "There has been a gradual creep towards the use of technology via online devices without an increase in the availability of robust signals in the NHS. Related articles How to sleep: Five health reasons why you should always sleep naked Energy drinks outlawed for children in hospitals "I am surprised and shocked that when we are so dependent on electrical devices for patient-critical support, the wifi signal for … [Read more...] about Poor wifi during operations ‘risks the lives of patients’
One night in 1731, Cornelia de Bandi burst into flames. When the 62-year-old Italian countess was found the next morning, her head and torso had been reduced to ash and grease.Only her arms and legs remained intact. After examining what was left of her body, a local physician concluded, in a report cited years later, that the conflagration “was caused in her entrails” by the variety of combustible materials to be found there, including alcohol and fat, “an oily liquid ... of an easily combustible nature.” An early instance of what would come to be known as “spontaneous human combustion,” de Bandi was one of many cases later studied by the French agronomist Pierre-Aimé Lair. If there was a common denominator to these otherwise unexplained phenomena, Lair concluded, it was the fact that most of them involved corpulent older women with a penchant for drink, thus combining fat and alcohol in a literally explosive mix. In addition to the fuel that … [Read more...] about When Human Fat Was a Popular Cure-All
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reportedly signed a bill last week that caps insulin co-payments at $100 per month. The legislation is a win for diabetes sufferers as the price of insulin keeps rising. The price tripled between 2002 and 2013, according to NPR, and has continued to rise since. “Today we will finally declare that the days of insulin price-gouging are over in Colorado,” Polis said at a news conference. COLORADO SIGNS BILL ALLOWING DOCTORS TO RECOMMEND MEDICAL MARIJUANA INSTEAD OF OPIOIDS Colorado, where some patients had co-payments as high as $900, is the first state to enact such a law, the Huffington Post reported. “For Coloradans living with Type 1 Diabetes, insulin is essential to their survival. It is the same as oxygen," state Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat whose brother died of diabetes, told Denver's FOX 31. "The skyrocketing cost of insulin is outrageous and it is literally putting people’s lives at risk. With this new law, … [Read more...] about Colorado to cap insulin co-pays at $100 a month