October 18, 2016

Copper Is The Simple Solution To Hospital Infections

Copper Sink Hospital Health Bacteria InfectionHospitals are a center for bacterial infections; people sometimes leave with a bacterial infection that they did not have before entering the hospital. The 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study stated that the medical harm caused in the United States led to over 40,000 harmful errors each day, causing hundreds of millions in damages [1]. It is essential that there are efforts made in order to reduce this number. Some of this can be rectified by maintaining higher levels of cleanliness in a hospital, but there is always human error. Recent studies based on common knowledge has yielded a unique new approach.

In an article by the New York Times, a new study performed by the American Journal of Infection Control was reviewed. It determined that “installing copper equipment in hospital rooms may be a good way to reduce infections” [2]. Historically, copper has been used to sanitize water and clean wounds. Researchers arrived at a more scientific conclusion by comparing the abundance of bacteria on commonly touched equipment made of copper and commonly touched equipment made of more common materials (metal, porcelain, plastic, etc.). After contamination researchers took swabs of this equipment (toilet flush levers, door handles, light switches, etc.) and tried growing the bacteria in the lab.

The results indicated that the copper fixtures had as much as 98% less bacteria on them, and on half of the swabs taken from the copper fixtures did not grow any additional bacteria.

Although hospital staff have certain procedures for cleansing and sanitizing their environments these new ideas can have a positive effect on improving hospital conditions. Copper fixtures are not yet common in hospital environments but may have a great effect in minimizing bacteria.

[1]Health Grades 2011 Healthcare consumerism and Hospital Quality in America Report. Health Grades. Retrieved from: http://hg-article-center.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/7b/de/dc25d2c94d25ad88c9e1688c9adc/HealthcareConsumerismHospitalQualityReport2011.pdf

[2] Copper Sinks and Faucets May Stem Hospital Infections. Bakalar, Nicholas.  New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/well/copper-sinks-and-faucets-may-stem-hospital-infections.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=health&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Health&pgtype=article

June 11, 2010

A Parent’s Guide to the Health Risks of Piercings and Tattoos

Filed under: HIV,infection — Tags: — drwatson @ 12:02 am

tattoo safety, piercing, piercing safetyThese days, most teenagers have some sort of piercing, and if they don’t have them, then there’s a good chance that they want one. And although few teenagers have tattoos because the law requires parent’s consent for minors to be able to get a tattoo; again, it’s likely that your child has thought about getting a tattoo at least once or twice. As a concerned parent, you know you want what’s best for your child, and it’s important to make sure that they understand the possible implications of their “dream tattoo” or new body piercing.

Tattoos:

A tattoo can be completely harmless for some, aside from initial irritation and swelling, if they ensure that they choose a tattoo professional that adheres to universal sanitary precautions and if they ensure that they properly care for the newly tattooed area afterwards. Although most tattoo parlors in Canada and the United States adhere to strict policies to prevent the spread of illnesses, there is always a risk of infection, allergic reaction, and the transmission of diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, and although it has never been documented, it is possible to transmit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the tattooing process as well as a result of the use of unsterile needles. Tattoos can cause complications with magnetic resonance imaging tests (MRI); reports show that people with tattoos often feel an unpleasant burning sensation or experience swelling. Tattoos aren’t for everyone. Certain people, who are allergic to tattoo pigments or prone to developing keloid scars should not get tattoos.

Piercings:

Piercings aren’t uncommon. In fact, close to seventy-three percent of women have had their ears pierced at some point in their life. Because piercings involve needle punctures in the skin, there are several risks associated with piercings, especially if they are not well cared for, or if unsterilized equipment is used. Like tattoos, piercings run the risk of bacterial infections and transmission of diseases including HIV, hepatitis and any other disease that is transmitted through blood. Allergic reactions are also not unheard of for any type of piercing and can make every day life just a little more painful, depending on where the piercing is. Different piercings heal at different rates, and it’s important to care for your piercing afterwards to prevent any negative effects.

If your child is still set on their dream piercing or tattoo, to the point where they’ll do it whether you want them to or not, it may be better to take them to a legitimate tattoo parlor or piercing establishment, to ensure that the procedure is up to health standards. To minimize your child’s risk, ensure that the establishment is clean, brightly lit, uses sterile needles and cleaning practices and that the practitioners additionally wear gloves.

September 28, 2009

The High Tech Future For Battling Cancer

I’m sure the majority of people have seen movies like Star Wars or other science fiction movies. I’m also sure anyone who has seen anything like that has been waiting for our time to develop some cool futuristic gadgets like little pills that turn into full meals if you spray water on them or heat them in the microwave. Now that would be really cool and very convenient if we had those sort of tools, but unfortunately our time has not reached that level of awesomeness… yet. However, we are getting close and what may be the closest thing to one of those movie gadgets is a microchip that can detect cancer and possibly other infectious diseases.

Imagine how this sort of technology could effect the way medicine is practiced. We could potentially be looking at a much more efficient way of locating cancers. We would be able to determine the placement, type, and severity of the cancer, much more quickly. This could lead to the early detection of many cancers that are fatal if not found very early. Who knows maybe we’ll be able to find a way to actually destroy the cancerous cells with the microchip, avoiding surgery all together.

However, there are some downsides. We could become so dependent on this sort of technology and expect it to do all the work for us. What if there is a malfunction, will we be able to detect the wrong diagnosis by the machine? Will we still be able to do other tests for cancer? Hopefully this technology only helps us and leads to a better understanding of how our bodies work.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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