Harms of Smoking and benefits of quitting

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  • Cigarette smoking is a leading preventable cause of death in the country.
  • Six million deaths occur worldwide because of smoking.
  • 50% of smokers are expected to die because of tobacco–related illnesses.
  • The three most important cigarette–related illnesses, which can cause death, are heart diseases, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or asthma of the adult).
  • Smoking cessation is associated with substantial health benefits.
  • Smoking cessation can lead to reduced risk of heart diseases, cancer and COPD.
  • Quitting smoking can help even after development of smoking–related heart diseases, cancer or COPD.
  • Stopping smoking before age 40 is associated with a larger benefit than quitting at later age.
  • Smoking exaggerates bone loss and is a risk factor for hip fracture.
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 10% of heart blockage diseases all over the world.
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for 33% of all cardiac deaths.
  • Quitting smoking after age 60 is still associated with lower risk of deaths compared to those who continue to smoke.
  • Smoking cessation is also associated with reduced risk of paralysis.
  • Smoking cessation also reduces the progress of blockages in the leg vessels.
  • Smoking is associated with premature aging in women.
  • Even in smokers older than 80 years, quitting smoking reduces mortality.
  • Quitting smoking means no smoking for three years.
  • Bidi smoking is as bad as cigarette smoking.
  • Tobacco chewing is as bad as cigarette smoking.

15 Game-Changing Wireless Devices to Improve Patient Care

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  1. An ECG in your pocket: The device, a one-lead ECG, attaches to a smartphone and records accurate ECGs and heart rate in 30 seconds.
  2. Monitoring inpatients when you’re not in the hospital: The new device can retrieve and display a patient’s temperature, blood pressure, CT scans, ultrasounds, labs, radiographs, medications, and more—including electronic health record (EHR) notes—on a doctor’s tablet or smartphone.
  3. Checking all your diabetic patients at once: A new device connects over 30 nonwireless glucometers to patient smartphones, transforming them into wireless devices that enable syncing of blood glucose readings, integrate food and lifestyle data, and allow for real-time connection between patients and providers.
  4. A foolproof medication compliance monitor: A sensor, which costs less than a penny, is placed on a pill. It gets activated by stomach juices when it’s ingested. A digital signal is then sent to a monitor worn on the patient’s arm.” This records the medication taken, ingestion time, heart rate, body temperature, body position, and rest and activity patterns.
  5. A symptom tracker for patients with asthma or COPD: A device that fits onto an inhaler and wirelessly syncs with a smartphone app to record trending data.
  6. An advance in insulin administration and glucose monitoring: A noninvasive, wireless monitoring system for people with diabetes. A pen-like skin preparation device administers insulin via pain-free transdermal skin permeation rather than a needle. A biosensor is then placed on the administration site, much like a Band-Aid; it wirelessly transmits the patient’s blood glucose level every minute to a remote monitor, which tracks glucose levels and rate of glucose change. Visual and audible alarms are triggered if levels move beyond the target range.
  7. Precise monitoring of cardiac patients with frequent symptoms: The new device including a wearable peel-and-stick sensor and a wireless transmitter is designed for patients with frequent symptoms that require short-term cardiac monitoring for up to 30 days.
  8. A scale that measures much more than your weight: A Bluetooth device monitors fat mass, lean mass, and body mass index with FDA-cleared bioelectrical impedance analysis. It also monitors your pulse (with an accompanying blood pressure cuff), records your standing heart rate history, and measures temperature and carbon dioxide to assess air quality. A companion smartphone app tracks running, weight loss, activity and calorie levels, and cardiovascular fitness.
  9. A smart way to monitor cardiac patients: This wireless device has been designed to continuously monitor a patient’s heart rate, R-R interval, respiration rate, ECG, activity level, position, and posture while in the hospital, in transition, or at home. A wireless module snaps into a holder held in place on a patient’s chest by two disposable standard ECG electrodes, making it easy for patients to stay remotely connected to a care team without cumbersome wires or hard-to-use devices. Vital signs, updated every minute, can be monitored in a special Web portal.
  10. A wireless system to improve seniors’ health and wellness: This tablet-like device improves quality of life for nursing home residents or enables elderly patients to remain at home. The simple software interface includes medication schedules and reminders, as well as lifestyle assessments and care coordination notes that wirelessly let family members and professional caregivers exchange information. The tablet mates with a variety of wireless devices available from the firm—a scale, pulse oximeter, glucometer, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, motion sensors, contact sensors (for doors and windows), and pressure sensors (for bed and chair)—with readings viewable in an online portal.
  11. An early warning system for monitoring inpatients: The device eliminates the need for cumbersome devices, replacing them with a tablet-like sensor inserted under the mattress of the patient’s bed. This device wirelessly monitors heart rate, respiration, and body movement. Computer monitors placed in prominent locations and handheld devices alert nurses of a change in patient status, enabling early detection of patient deterioration.
  12. A real-life Tricorder: Physicians and nurses of a certain age will remember a hit TV series from the 1960s, Star Trek, in which the Starship Enterprise’s resident physician, Dr Leonard McCoy, relied on something called a “tricorder”—a fictional scanning device—to measure the body temperature, heart rate, and just about every other physiologic function in his mostly human patients. Now a Chinese company, as created virtually the real thing.
  13. Patient-generated eyeglass prescriptions: A plastic eyepiece that clips onto a smartphone screen. A patient views the screen through the eyepiece, sees several parallel lines, and presses the phone’s arrow keys until the lines overlap. This is repeated with the lines at different angles, at which point software loaded onto the phone generates the prescription data. The process takes 2 minutes.
  14. The sole of a new machine: World’s first wireless sensor insole. As thin as a normal insole, it wirelessly transmits data on a patient’s plantar distribution of pressure to a smartphone app. This is useful for clinical research and sports science, particularly for training analysis and optimizing rehabilitation after a foot injury.
  15. Reducing pressure ulcer risk in bedridden patients: An app-device combo automates wound assessment; simplifies wound treatment; wirelessly enables care team communication; and identifies bedridden, at-risk patients before pressure ulcers can develop.

FDA to Lift Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood

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The US Food and Drug Administration has decided to formally propose lifting a 31–year–old ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men, allowing them to give blood provided they have not had sex with other men during the previous year.

FDA instituted its ban in the early days of the AIDS epidemic on the basis of fears of HIV entering the blood supply.

An advisory committee of the Department of Health and Human Services in November recommended a blood donation deferral of 1 year after sexual activity, pointing to studies that show the practice to be safe.

As per the new policy Individuals cannot donate blood within a year of having sex with a prostitute or an intravenous drug user

According to one recent study, allowing MSM to donate blood 12 months after their last sexual episode could add as many as 317,000 pints to the nation’s supply each year.

The United Kingdom permits MSM to donate blood after a year of celibacy, and Canada allows it after the 5–year mark.

Indian Medical Association has called a meeting of experts to decide about the Indian Guidelines. (The Author is Padma Shri Awardee, Honorary Secretary General Elect IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India)

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