Breastfeeding may cut the risk of SIDS

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Breastfeeding may cut the risk of SIDS

Breastfeeding has multiple other benefits including improvement in immunity and the mother’s wellbeing

New Delhi, 31 October 2017: Evidence from a recent research has suggested that babies who are exclusively breastfed for at least two months stand a lesser chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).The risk is cut by almost half, the study finds. Breastfeeding has also earlier been suggested to cut the risk of asthma and benefit the mother’s wellbeing. There are ongoing efforts worldwide to improve the rates of breastfeeding, and the WHO has the goal of having more than half of infants worldwide being breastfed exclusively for at least six months by 2025.

SIDS refers to the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. It is also known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. Among others, few reasons for SIDS include defects in the portion of an infant’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Although SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year, it remains unpredictable despite years of research. SIDS is more likely in babies placed on their stomachs to sleep than among those sleeping on their backs. They should also not be placed on their sides to sleep. A baby can easily roll from a side position onto the belly during sleep. Infants who die from SIDS may have a problem with the part of the brain that helps control breathing and waking during sleep. If a baby is breathing stale air and not getting enough oxygen, the brain usually triggers the baby to wake up and cry to get more oxygen. If the brain is not picking up this signal, oxygen levels will continue to fall.”

There are certain factors that may increase a baby’s risk of SIDS. These include age, sex, race, family history, secondhand smoke, and being born prematurely.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “When compared with infants who sleep on their backs, infants who sleep on their stomachs are less reactive to noise; experience sudden decreases in blood pressure and heart rate control; and experience less movement, higher arousal thresholds, and longer periods of deep sleep. The simple act of placing infants on their backs to sleep significantly lowers SIDS risk.”

Here are some tips that may reduce the chances of SIDS in babies.

Get early and regular prenatal care.
Place the baby on a firm mattress to sleep on not on other surfaces.
Cover the mattress with a fitted sheet. Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the sleep area.
Avoid bumper pads as they can lead to suffocation or strangulation.
Practice room-sharing without bed-sharing. Experts recommend that infants sleep in their parents’ room but on a separate surface at least for 6 months, when the risk of SIDS is highest.
Breastfeed exclusively as far as possible, for the first six months.
Make sure the baby does not get too warm while sleeping. Dress them as per the room temperature, and don’t over bundle.
Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth. Smoking, both active and secondhand, is a risk factor for SIDS.
Do not use alcohol or drugs during pregnancy or after birth. Parents who drink or use drugs should not share a bed with their infant.
Ensure that the baby gets all recommended immunizations.

IPC Sections 88 and 92 protect doctors against any professional liability for acts done in good faith

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The Indian Penal Code IPC has provisions for defenses for doctors under sections 88 and 92 which protect doctors from allegations of negligence for instance when treatment given in an emergency or a cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR done is not successful. Section 88 IPC provides for exemption for acts not intended to cause death done by consent in good faith for person s benefit Nothing which is not intended to cause death is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause or be intended by the doer to cause or be known by the doer to be likely to cause to any person for whose benefit it is done in good faith and who has given a consent whether express or implied to suffer that harm or to take the risk of that harm . The illustration accompanying this section explains it further A a surgeon knowing that a particular operation is likely to cause the death of Z who suffers under a painful complaint but not intending to cause Z s death and intending in good faith Z s benefit performs that operation on Z with Z s consent. A has committed no offence . Section 92 provides for acts done in good faith for benefit of a person without con sent but with provisos Nothing is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause to a person for whose benefit it is done in good faith even without that person s consent if the circumstances are such that it is impossible for that person to signify consent or if that person is incapable of giving consent and has no guardian or other person in lawful charge of him from whom it is possible to obtain consent in time for the thing to be done with benefit Provided First That this exception shall not extend to the intentional causing of death or the attempting to cause death Secondly That this exception shall not extend to the doing of anything which the person doing it knows to be likely to cause death for any purpose other than the preventing of death or grievous hurt or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmi ty Thirdly That this exception shall not extend to the voluntary causing of hurt or to the attempting to cause hurt for any purpose other than the preventing of death or hurt Fourthly That this exception shall not extend to the abetment of any offence to the committing of which offence it would not extend . Illustration c of this section is important for doctors. A a surgeon sees a child suffer an accident which is likely to prove fatal unless an operation be immediately performed. There is no time to apply to the child s guardian. A performs the operation in spite of the entreaties of the child intending in good faith the child s benefit. A has committed no offence . In Kusum Sharma Ors vs Batra Hospital Med Research on 10 February 2010 the Hon ble Supreme Court also observed as follows The Indian Penal Code has taken care to ensure that people who act in good faith should not be punished. Sections 88 92 and 370 of the Indian Penal Code give adequate protection to the professional and particularly medical professionals It is our bounden duty and obligation of the civil society to ensure that the medical professionals are not unnecessary harassed or humiliated so that they can perform their professional duties without fear and apprehension. The medical practitioners at times also have to be saved from such a class of complainants who use criminal process as a tool for pressurizing the medical professionals hospitals particularly private hospitals or clinics for extracting uncalled for compensation. Such malicious proceedings deserve to be discarded against the medical practitioners The medical professionals are entitled to get protection so long as they perform their duties with reasonable skill and competence and in the interest of the patients. The interest and welfare of the patients have to be paramount for the medical professionals . Both Sections 88 and 92 protect the doctor against any professional liability or allegations of medical negligence in situations when acts done for the benefit of the patient with or without his consent do not have the desired outcome. These sections provide that any act done in good faith is not negligence. Doctors should be aware of these sections as a defense against cases of negligence filed against them.

Gut microbiome may hold the key to predicting PTSD

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Gut microbiome may hold the key to predicting PTSD

PTSD is one of the many serious mental health conditions affecting the Indian population

New Delhi, 30 October 2017: A recent study has indicated that gut bacteria can help predict the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a life-threatening trauma. Microbes in the gut microbiome have an important role to play inmetabolizing food and medicine, as also fighting infections. Studies have now found that the gut microbiome also influences the brain and brain function. This is possible by the production of neurotransmitters/hormones, immune-regulating molecules and bacterial toxins.[1]

Statistics indicate that about 13.7% of India’s general population suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, one of which is PTSD. Of these, 10.6%need immediate medical intervention.[2]PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “The symptoms of PTSD may start within a month of some traumatic event. However, many a time, these may not be evident until after a year. PTSD can impact a person’s social, personal, and professional life alike. It can also interfere with their ability to do normal daily tasks. Although PTSD has been traditionally regarded as a psychological disorder, studies now indicate that it should be considered a systemic disorder and not just a psychological disorder. This is because, this condition is associated with several comorbidities independent of exposure to trauma. Most people going through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping. However, with time and good self-care, they usually get better.”

The symptoms of this condition are generally grouped into four categories: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. These can vary with time and from person to person.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “If left untreated, PTSD can put a person at the risk for developing other health problems such as depression, eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, and cardiovascular diseases. If diagnosed in time, this condition and its symptoms can be managed well with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. It is also important to reach out to people or join support groups which can offer counselling and therapy.”

Some tips for those with PTSD to help manage the condition and symptoms include the following.

Stay connected with family, friends or someone with whom you can share how you feel. Spending time with loved ones can bring solace and help in healing.
If you feel you cannot talk to family or friends, it is a good idea to approach a psychologist who can understand your problem and give some coping tips.
Some form of physical activity everyday can help in distracting you from disturbing emotions and increase feelings of being in control again.
In addition to physical activity, make sure you consume a balanced diet, read, listen to music, take up a new hobby, or indulge in an activity that is of your interest.
Ensure that you do not self-medicate. Alcohol or drugs can make the problem worse. It is also a good idea to avoid caffeine and nicotine, which can worsen anxiety.
Turn to techniques such as yoga and meditation which will help you cope with stress.

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