Thursday December 14, 2017

Why patients are not put first in Indian hospitals

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By Dr Aniruddha Malpani
New Delhi: Despite most Indian hospitals claiming that serving the patient is their only priority, the reality is quite different.
Most patients in government-run hospitals are treated very shabbily – and their family members are treated much worse.
Why do hospitals continue putting patients last?
I think there are two reasons for this.
One, of course, is the fact that the hospital authorities can get away with it. They’ve done this for many years, and they feel that it’s not a problem which they need to address.  The number of hospital beds are far fewer than the number of patients, and since they have enough bed-occupancy (and, therefore, enough profitability), they see no need to change what they’re doing.
Their primary focus today is in incentivising doctors ( and other middle-men) to make sure that their beds are full, rather than trying to delight patients. This is a short-sighted approach which will come back to haunt them later.
Times are changing, especially in large cities, where lots of corporate hospitals have empty beds and are no longer profitable. At some point, when they find that their balance sheets are in the red, they will hopefully get their act together.
I think the second reason is that whatever initiatives they’ve tried in order to put patients first haven’t worked very well. Part of this is because they’ve been very half- hearted interventions – for  example, holding a conference;  or adding a few videos on their website.
However, the problem is that no one in senior management has taken ownership of trying to delight patients.  Each hospital should have a chief patient officer, whose job is to make sure that everyone in the hospital remembers that the only reason the hospital exists is to help patients to get better. He needs to champion the cause of the patient if we want things to improve. Ideally, this should be the Chairman of the Board, who can inspire change by taking rounds daily.
Dr Aniruddha Malpani is the Medical Director at Malpani Infertility Clinic
the article first published at docplexus.in

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Patients who Survive Ebola often Continue to Face Numerous Health Problems: Study

They have to face numerous health problems

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Laboratory technician Mohamed SK Sesay, who survived Ebola but saw many of his colleagues die and now has joint and muscle pains and loss of sight, holds the child of one of his work colleagues who died of the disease, in Kenema, Sierra Leone
Laboratory technician Mohamed SK Sesay, who survived Ebola but saw many of his colleagues die and now has joint and muscle pains and loss of sight, holds the child of one of his work colleagues who died of the disease, in Kenema, Sierra Leone. VOA
  • Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016
  • Many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months
  • They show some quite distinct scarring patterns

Sierra Leone, West Africa, August 25, 2017: Patients who survive infection with the Ebola virus often continue to face numerous health problems. New research finds 80 percent of Ebola survivors suffer disabilities one year after being discharged from the hospital.

Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016; tens of thousands more who were infected survived.

Of those survivors, many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool, the UK and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK are studying what’s called post-Ebola syndrome. One of the senior authors of the study, Dr. Janet Scott, says researchers are unsure why survivors experience such disabilities.

“I’m not sure we’ve quite gotten to the bottom of it yet,” Scott said. “The idea that you go through something as horrific as Ebola and just walk away from that unscathed was always a bit of a vain hope. So, it could be the inflammatory response. It could be damage to the muscles, and it could be the persistence of the virus in some cases. It could be all of those things.”

Scott says problems found in Ebola survivors’ eyes may provide clues to what is happening elsewhere in the body.

“They show some quite distinct scarring patterns,” she said. “There’s definitely scar tissue there. We can see it in the eyes. We can’t see it in the rest of the body, but I’m sure it’s in the rest of the body because the patients are coming in with this huge range of problems.”

The disabilities were reported in past cases of  Ebola outbreak, as well. However, because past outbreaks were smaller and there were few survivors, researchers were not able to do major, long-term studies on the after effects.

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This time, said Scott, “There are 5,000 survivors or thereabouts in Sierra Leone, and more in Guinea and Liberia. So, it’s an opportunity from a research point of view to find out the full spectrum of sequelae … the things that happen after an acute illness.”

Military Hospital 34 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, also took part in the study, helping to recruit 27 Ebola survivors and 54 close contacts who were not infected. About 80 percent of survivors reported disabilities compared to 11 percent of close contacts.

“The problems we’re seeing in Ebola survivors, this is not due just to the tough life in Sierra Leone. This is more than likely down to their experience in Ebola,” Scott said.

The research was led by Dr. Soushieta Jagadesh, who said: “a year following acute disease, survivors of West Africa Ebola Virus Disease continue to have a higher chance of disability in mobility, cognition, and vision.”

“Issues such as anxiety and depression persist in survivors and must not be neglected,” she added.

Scott hopes the findings can be used to provide better care in the event of another Ebola outbreak, no matter where it is. In the West Africa outbreak, the first goal was to contain the epidemic, followed by reducing the death rate.

“If I was treating an Ebola patient again, it has to be more than just surviving,” Scott said. “You have to try to make people survive well. Surviving with half your body paralyzed or with your vision impaired and being unable to care for your family or earn a living isn’t really enough. So, what I would like to do is to focus on that aspect to make people survive better and survive well.” (VOA)

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New Technology to Predict Asthma Attacks in Children: Researchers

A scientific research has lead to a new technology which can predict asthma attacks in kids. It will predict whether children or newborn are at a risk of an asthma attack

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Children with asthma uses inhaler to relieve some of the symptoms
Children with asthma uses inhaler to relieve some of the symptoms, Wikimedia
  • The new technology may help to non-invasively analyze lung sounds in children and newborn and tell if they are at a risk of an asthma attack
  • The researchers have analyzed 70 severely asthmatic children

Washington, July 27, 2017: Good news in the field of Medicine!  Recently, a new technology has been developed which may help to non-invasively predict children or newborn at risk of an asthma attack.

Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms like reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Its symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by inhaling corticosteroids.  Asthma can also be classified as extrinsic that is atopic or intrinsic that is non-atopic. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

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An Unscientific Approach to Treating Asthma Naturally

Its diagnosis is usually made based on the pattern of symptoms and response to therapy over time. The prevalence of asthma has increased largely since the 1970s. As of 2010, 300 million people were affected worldwide. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths globally. Despite all this, with proper control of asthma with step down therapy (If the change is accomplished with the same antibiotic as that administered intravenously, then the change is labeled step-down therapy) result is generally good, mentioned ANI  report.

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According to researchers, the new technology may help to non-invasively analyze lung sounds in children and newborn and tell if they are at a risk of an asthma attack. The researchers have analyzed 70 severely asthmatic children.

The findings did indicate that the approach was considered useful to predict attack symptoms and for identification of children who are not showing any symptoms of asthma as yet can still have a high risk of asthma attack. The results of this research have been published in Respirology.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


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Cardiology Society of India urges Patients with blockages of Coronary Arteries to try latest Interventional Heart Technologies

FFR and OCT are innovative tools that enable doctors for accurate diagnosis and deciding the right treatment strategy for the patient

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Research bodies estimate that the number of fragments of dead cells in the bloodstream increase with higher levels of pollution. Pixabay

New Delhi, May 31, 2017: Aiming to replicate the latest interventional heart technologies, the Cardiology Society of India on Wednesday urged patients with blockages of coronary arteries to undergo Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as these help in better assessment for stent placement.

The new technique FFR measures the blood flow volume in the blocked artery and provides an assessment of the severity of a coronary artery lesion, while OCT provides a high quality image of the inside of coronary arteries to determine the anatomical characteristics of the vessel.

FFR and OCT are innovative tools that enable doctors for accurate diagnosis and deciding the right treatment strategy for the patient.

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“The integration of these technologies are also immensely beneficial for the patients as they primarily help in scientifically assessing and perfecting the treatment decision for the patient, resulting in long term clinical benefits,” said M.S. Hiremath, President, Cardiology Society of India, in a statement.

He said that the two techniques can contribute to more transparency in decision making and deciding whether stent placement is necessary and if stent is implanted optimally or not.

“FFR helps the cardiologist with a readily available technique for evaluating the seriousness of the blockage and take accurate decisions. This has a positive effect on patient outcomes and quality of life post treatment while OCT has high resolution and speed, giving clear views of the vessel blockage which can help in deciding upon the course of treatment,” he said.

According to national health statistics, of the 30 million heart patients in India, 14 million reside in urban areas and 16 million in rural areas. Cardiac hospitals in India perform over 2,00,000 open heart surgeries per year — one of the highest, worldwide.

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Doctors have sought a upgradation of quality of treatment in India, as globally, technology is changing. The next-generation technologies are helping physicians in making accurate treatment decisions.

“The advantages of the two techniques is that these guarantee correct blockages are identified and treated, which further helps in improved stent placement leading to better patient outcomes,” said Praveen Chandra, Chairman of Interventional Cardiology, Medanta – The Medicity, Gurugram. (IANS)

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.