Tuesday January 21, 2020
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Therapy Dogs Befriend Patients in ICU

Therapy dogs help patients in ICU by reducing their stress

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Study says that dogs can help reduce stress and anxiety among humans. Pixabay

Studies show when people pet an animal, their blood pressure goes down along with stress and anxiety. That’s why there are so many therapy dogs in schools, counseling centers and even in hospitals.

Taz wags his tail when he greets patients at the University of Missouri Hospital. Taz and Bruce Miller are part of a therapy dog team.

“He gets a lot of attention — haha — and he loves the attention,” Miller said.

Taz is trained to provide comfort and emotional support to the patients he visits. And while no one wants to be in a hospital, Kevin Gwin’s job is to make sure a stay at the University of Missouri Hospital is a positive one.

“I think sometimes patients feel isolated,” Gwin said. “They get out here, it’s lonely, it’s boring. And the dogs are something to look forward to, and when they visit, the whole unit comes alive.”

Fourteen-year-old Peyton Waldren loved having Taz visit him.

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Dogs help patients by making them feel less lonely in hospitals. Pixabay

“I was just really excited because I havenʼt seen a dog in a really long time, so, it made me happy,” Waldren said. “I didnʼt think about my pain, I didnʼt think about what else was gonna happen.”

Therapy dogs are even in the intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. They visit patients who are well enough to interact with the dogs.

Marlena Casey is the two-legged partner of a therapy dog team that includes Molly, a black Labrador retriever. Casey said the training is rigorous.

“We went through training for about three years, both in classes, and then alone by myself,” Casey said. “And she passed her test in April.”

But actual research on how these dogs impact patients doesn’t exist. Megan Hosey, a psychologist, has initiated a study to see if these dogs improve patients’ well-being.

“Our review of previous literature found that patients who are in settings like hospitals, nursing homes and psychiatric facilities have benefits from working with therapy animals that include improved mood, reductions in pain, improvements in heart rate and heart rate variability and, just in general, better engagement with their medical care,”  Hosey said.

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Therapy dogs in hospitals visit patients who are well enough to interact with the dogs. Pixabay

Yet there is no hard data to prove any of this. One of the things Hosey wants to examine is if patients are more motivated to follow doctors’ orders after visits by a therapy dog.

Another area is to see if patients visited by these dogs have improved moods, which could also affect their medical outcomes.

Also Read- Mental Health Disorders Drive Children and Adolescents to Risky, Self-Destructive Behavior

Hosey said the study will be completed in about two years. Then she and the rest of the medical community will have data on the impact therapy dogs have on patients. (VOA)

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Diabetes is an Independent Risk Factor For Heart Failure: Study

According to health expert in India, if poorly controlled, diabetes leads to cardiomyopathy resulting in progressive deterioration of pumping capacity of heart

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The study shows that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population. Pixabay

Heart problems are a common development for people with diabetes and now researchers have found that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population.

According to health expert in India, if poorly controlled, diabetes leads to cardiomyopathy resulting in progressive deterioration of pumping capacity of heart.

“Diabetes is also a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and this eventually leads to blockage of coronary arteries. This leads to heart attack or myocardial infarction,” Satish Koul, HOD and Director Internal Medicine, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram, told IANS. “Due to myocardial infarction, the heart muscle becomes weak and eventually heart fails as a pump leading to congestive heart failure,” Koul added.

According to the current study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers evaluated the long-term impact of diabetes on the development of heart failure, both with preserved ejection fraction – a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving the heart with each contraction – and reduced ejection fraction. They also looked at mortality in a community population, controlling for hypertension, coronary artery disease and diastolic function.

From an initial group of 2,042 residents of Olmsted County in US, 116 study participants with diabetes were matched 1:2 for age, hypertension, sex, coronary artery disease and diastolic dysfunction to 232 participants without diabetes.

Over the 10-year follow-up period, 21 per cent of participants with diabetes developed heart failure, independent of other causes.

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Heart problems are a common development for people with diabetes and now researchers have found that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population. Pixabay

In comparison, only 12 per cent of patients without diabetes developed heart failure. Cardiac death, heart attack and stroke were not statistically different in the study between the two groups.

The study shows that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population. Furthermore, the outcome data support the concept of a diabetic cardiomyopathy.

ALSO READ: India’s Domestic Air Passenger Traffic Rose 3.74% in 2019: Report

This research extends previous findings and demonstrates that even without a known cardiac structural abnormality and with a normal ejection fraction, diabetic patients are still at increased risk of developing heart failure as compared to their nondiabetic counterparts. (IANS)