Painkillers Can Lead to Heart Attacks, Find Researchers

As per a Canadian study, the seemingly innocuous common painkillers can be dangerous as they can up the risk of a heart attack. Such common painkillers are referred to as NSAIDs, acronym for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The study reveals that NSAIDs like ibuprofen, celecoxib, diclofenac, and naproxen that are easily available over the counter or by prescription for higher doses can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke by about 20 percent to 50 percent on an average. Such medicines are administered for curing minor pains, flu, back pain, and menstrual cramps.

Any Dosage of Drugs up Risk

In the research study conducted by Michèle Bally and her team from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, Canada, findings from 446,763 people, with 61,460 of them having had a heart attack, gleaned from Canadian and European databases, were examined. The aim was to assess the risk, determinants and time course of heart attacks associated with the use of NSAIDs under typical circumstances.

Michèle Bally and her team of researchers found that any dosage of these drugs for a week, a month, or longer was associated with an increased risk of a heart attack. The risk seemed to wane once the painkillers were discontinued. While the first 30 days after discontinuation saw a small decline, in the period after that and one year saw a greater decline of under 11 percent.

There have been previous research in this direction too linking NSAIDs with heart attacks known as myocardial infarction. However, specific details in terms of timing, dosage, and treatment durations were less clear.

Geko Sets the Bar High with Speedy Ankle Fracture Surgeries

Geko, a neuromuscular electro-stimulation medical device, much like a watch has become a game changer for all those people lying on hospital beds with ankle fractures, waiting for the swelling to reduce so that doctors can perform a surgery. Geko sticks to the plaster cast, above a patient’s leg and causes muscles to contract, helping in reducing the swelling by increasing the blood circulation.

Sky Medical Technology Wins Medilink North West Healthcare Business Award

Although Geko is commonly used for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis, experts at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital have recognized the potential of this device to help patients waiting endlessly for swelling to reduce in order to be operated. This not only saves time but also expenses of lying on hospital beds. The experts at James Cook initially experimented by teaming up with Sky Medical Technology and studied 20 patients, who were happy to wear the Geko and experience a reduction in swelling within 24 hours. Medilink North West Healthcare Business Award has been awarded to Sky Medical Technology for their fruitful partnership working with the NHS.

Detailed Research on Geko could Help Treatment of Future Patients

Paul Baker, an orthopedic surgeon is planning on carrying out an extensive research on this device to be able to benefit many future patients. Geko has brought relief to many patients with ankle fractures by eliminating the need to stay in hospitals for weeks, getting frustrated, and also losing muscle mass. Senior sister Stacey Brown stated that the results have been remarkable and patients have responded to this device quite well.

Frog Mucus Studied to Create Flu Medicine

Anything can become a gift of a curse to survival in this world. While diseases such as influenza continue to threaten the lives of many, scientists are claiming to find the answers for the disease in a very unlikely place: the mucus layer of frogs.

Frog Mucus Being Studied by Emory University

The scientists at Emory University have been working on the discovery of an antimicrobial peptide based in the skin of a specific frog species – the hydrophylax bahuvistara – and its potential use against the flu. The species of frog is indigenous to a location in south India, and its mucus is being hailed as a viable treatment to a disease that claims close to half a million patients per year all over the globe.

The frog has been understood to secrete a thin layer of film on top of its skin that works to protect the frog from harmful pathogens in the wild. Residing in this mucus film is and amino acid string that is claimed to be capable of completely eliminating a massive array of viruses from the influenza A family, while being harmless to the human body and its red blood cells.

Why This is a Big Thing

The potential of the discovery is huge, as the new string can be a strong answer to the current line of flu viruses, a lot of which have already developed resistance to existing antiviral drugs. However, the amino acid string is likely to face a long list of regulatory and testing hurdles before it can be commercialized as an actual treatment for the flu.

To show the potential of the discovery, the strains from the frog mucus were utilized to completely destroy every type of H1 flu it was put up against. The H1 strain of flu, the most common version of hemagglutinin, also includes the seasonal flue and the widely dreaded swine flu, H1N1. The team of scientists has christened the amino acid string as “urumin,” a nickname generated from the urumi, a sword used in martial arts of Kalari Payat, practiced close to the region where the frogs were found.

The discovery has been hailed to hold a strong potential against upcoming new strains of influenza, much like the swine flu strains that started appearing around 2009.

Medicare Extends Benefits for Patients with Chronic Diseases

Patients suffering from chronic diseases make up a significant portion of patients availing Medicare benefits. Chronic conditions entail long-term expenditure on treatments and rehabilitation. Chronic diseases such as diabetes can also cause other conditions related to blood pressure and the cardiovascular system, which also lead to significant expenditure. Chronic mental problems such as dementia are another matter altogether, with the decrease in the quality of life causing just as many or more problems to the patients as the medical concerns themselves.

Number of Medicare Applications with Chronic Diseases Rising

Of the 57 million Americans on Medicare, close to two-thirds have multiple chronic diseases. These may include any combination of cancer, arthritis, dementia, heart diseases and other cardiovascular concerns, and diabetes. Many of these diseases are also interlinked and are often associated. Chronic health conditions such as these lead to functional limitations, higher healthcare spending, and a notable decrease in the quality of life. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis, depression, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney diseases, autism spectrum disorders, and osteoporosis are some of the other main chronic diseases prevalent in the U.S.

CCM: A Round-the-clock Monitoring Tool for Chronic Patients

Medicare has announced the launch of a new benefit called Chronic Care Management (CCM). The CCM program ensures continuous tracking of the patient’s condition, including additional payments to the doctors responsible for the treatment. The treatment will also be mapped out taking into consideration the extent of the disease and the observed effect of the prescribed medication. Provisions have been made for the inclusion of modern advancements in the healthcare sector such as remote monitoring, which makes the process convenient for both physician and patient.

Availing the benefits of CCM requires patients to be enrolled in Medicare. They also need to have multiple chronic diseases expected to cause functional decline or place you at risk of death in the coming 12 months.