A Few Things To Know About Sport Physicals

Many parents choose to have a sports physical conducted on their children during the summer. This makes sure they are ready for another activity filled sports season while last minute, mad rushes to the physician are avoided. Although most parents know that they need to get a sports physical conducted on your child, in order for him/her to participate in athletics, there are still a few unanswered questions.

How Should I Prepare Myself For This Checkup?

Make a list of questions about your child’s health and well being, should you experience any concerns or alarming signs. Ask your child if there is anything they s/he would like to ask the examiner. Take the medical history of your family and your child’s medical history reports with you.

Do Parents Need To Be Present At This Check Up?

Minors under the age of 18 require parental consent in order to have a sports physical performed. Parents also need to fill up the health history portion of the form. All in all, it is best that you are present for your child’s physical.

Is It Required For School Sports?

Yes, most schools do need a pre-participation checkup before enrolling students into their many athletic programs.

For How Long Is The Report Valid?

The report that you get is generally valid for one year. You need to pay special attention to this duration. Students who fail to go for this checkup can be disallowed from participating in sport and athletic activities.

What Should You Expect During The Procedure?

During a procedure, a child’s blood pressure, height and weight are checked. The physician will also look at the lungs, heart and spine. The immunization schedule will be reviewed and signs of puberty will also be taken into consideration.

What Is The Difference Between An Annual And Sports Physical?

Although an annual physical is the same as a sports physical, you go in for a sports physical when your child wants to involve himself/herself in a sport or physical activity. In such cases, the sports physical can be incorporated into the annual physical.

How Can I Prepare My Child For The Upcoming Check Up?

Sit down and have a thorough conversation with your child. Tell him/her about the procedure that is to be conducted and that there is nothing to worry or be fearful about.

These are just a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this checkup.

Ethical Dilemmas Doctors Have to Confront

The ethics and professionalism in medicine are of core importance when it comes to the role of the physician in his code of conduct.

With the great prestige and nobility in this profession comes the great responsibility in doctor’s hand, as they have to go through quandary in situations when it comes to cases like euthanasia, abortion, making a decision of who even makes it onto a waiting list for organ transplant, quick and life-changing decisions, psychological pressure from the loved ones of the patient, the patients family blame the doctors if the patient is unable to make during surgery, they should understand that death is imminent and the doctors do, whatever they can to save a life.

The doctor must explain the procedure to the patient and give him full information about the benefits, risks, positive and negative effects, leaving up to the patient to make the choice about undergoing the surgical procedure. The doctor should not perform the surgical intervention, only taking into consideration his personal gains and benefits. His first priority always has to be the patients’ health and to act in the best interest to protect the patient from any kind of harm. The doctor should be impartial when it comes to the selection of deserving cases and their needs, and on the basis of their degree of sickness.

The one of the most important and foremost ethical concern is taking an informed consent. Informed Consent is taken in advance from the patient, it is an agreement or a gesture to permit the doctor to have his medical history, undergo examination procedure, diagnosis, treatment, and intervention. The patient should be competent, well aware; mentally and emotionally stable. In some cases, the patient in spite, of his serious condition, refuse to agree with the intervention or surgical procedure, where then doctors have to make a decision for the welfare of the patient.

The information of the patient can only be breached if:

  1. himself asks the physician.
  2. In the case of children, the information is conveyed to the parents; as they are very
    young to handle their condition.
  3. There is a need of the help of the healthcare team in solving the case. Whether, the disclosure is for the criminal investigation of crime or harm to others, assault case, protecting the vulnerable; such as in child abuse case.
  4. For research purposes but only as anonymous and after taking consent from the patient.
  5. When it comes to public interests it may be breached when a patient has a highly contagious disease such as tuberculosis; the doctor has to inform the patients family so that precautionary measures can be taken. If the patient has a sexually transmitted disease, let’s say HIV which is a communicable disease, the doctor may disclose his disease to his partner in order to protect from the risk of getting the disease.
  6. State registries where officials keep track of cases like diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and many other diseases.

It is the duty of the doctor to act in his best interest while dealing with a case, abide by the principles in common clinical situations, and work in the beneficence of the patient and do no harm in the treatment procedure.
The common ethical conundrums that doctors’ have to face in their course of profession:-

1- Euthanasia:

Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is considered as one of the supreme problems when it comes to ethics of patients treatment. The decision of euthanasia by the patient or his family is made in order to reduce the suffering of the patient in his terminal sickness. It can be voluntary or involuntary. When the patient makes a decision, it is voluntary. When the physician makes a decision it is involuntary. However, may it be voluntary or involuntary, it is unethical.

The World Medical Association issued the following declaration on euthanasia:-

“Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at his own request or at the request of his close relatives, is unethical. This does not prevent the physician from respecting the will of a patient to allow the natural process of death to follow its course in the terminal phase of sickness.”

2- Staying within their boundaries:

Doctors have to work long hours, off work, and even operate in odd hours in hospital settings and have to treat patients irrespective of their age, gender, and other attributes. They have to work in coordination with other staff members, the nurses, anesthesiologist, interns, assistants and many related members. Personal relationship or intimate relationship between the doctor and any other member like, his fellow, intern, other staff member is unethical and is prohibited. Patients often offer gifts to the doctors when their treatment intervention has been successful, or when the surgery goes well. It is quite fine, to accept those gifts as long as they are in the form of sweets or bouquet. The patient who brings gifts during the intervention may cause trouble, it may be the sign the patient needs more of the doctors’ attention. The physician should simply show reluctance to such presents and should not accept them by justifying that its’ against the ethics of their respective field.

3- Organ transplant:

Unfortunately, the availability of the transplant organs is far less, than their demand. Doctors have to make a tough decision here, that who will receive the next available organ and who will not, keeping in view the whole scenario, and what criteria is used for determining the donor. The surgeon should opt to give the transplant organ to the deserving patient on the list, on the basis of his health condition.

The physician should be approachable, equitable, able to communicate effectively and compassionately respecting the dignity of the patient regardless of his race, ethnicity, cast, choice of lifestyle. He should be dedicated to his profession, attenuate the pain of the patient by all means, preserving the health and enhancing the quality of life.

What Is Olympics Cupping Therapy?

Through Olympics cupping, designed for athletes you cannot only enhance your blood flow but at the same time reduce muscle tension and promote the cell repair. It is even beneficial for connective tissues and aids in the formation of new blood vessels present within them. Athletes make use of cupping services by sports physiotherapy centre to heal a host of conditions and aliments.

Different Types of Cupping
In the ancient era, cupping was performed with the help of animal horns. Later different cups made up of ceramic and bamboo evolved. Effective suction through these cups was possible with the use of heat, the cups were first heated in fire and then applied. Once they were cooled, they drew the skin due to pressure difference.

Modern cupping utilize cups that are crafted from glass and are rounded like balls. The two main types of cupping include:

• Wet Cupping
• Dry Cupping

In wet cupping a combination of medicines and suction is used to treat the patient, while for dry cupping only the suction method is implemented. Your preferences, present condition and the problems that you are going through help you choose the appropriate one.

What To Expect From Olympics Cupping Treatment
During the treatment, a specialized cup is placed on the skin and the vacuum sucks the muscle upwards. This creates a pressure onto the vessels, allowing the muscle to relax and relieves tension. The cups are usually allowed to settle for a period of 5 – 10 minutes after which they are removed and placed at another part of the skin. The process continues until a particular segment of the body has been rejuvenated by the cupping session.

To help athletes make the most of it, practitioners combine the power of cupping along with acupuncture to treat skin issues, digestions and other associated problems.

Cupping is able to cure a wide range of conditions that athletes often suffer at some point or the other and these include
• Facial Paralysis
• Lumbar disc herniation
• Herpes Zoster
• Cervical spondylosis

The best part about this therapy is that it has zero side-effects or risks, allowing you to attain a perfect body without any complications.

But, before you begin with your cupping session do make sure that you consult with qualified practitioners about your conditions, past medical records and your expectations from the treatment. Because this ancient integrative medicine requires the support of both practitioners and patients in order to achieve successful results.

The Weakness of Contemporary Cultural Medicine

The term Cultural Medicine is used to refer to changes to a medical system provided specifically to reach out to and serve a diverse culture. The title is applied differently than Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine acknowledges that there are different preventive and reactive ways to address issues of preventive health, health maintenance, disease, injury and medical care (IntgMed), many of them cross-cultural. Cultural Medicine is applied to all that is not specifically IntgMed. Rather, it is that which supports underlying layers of infrastructure required to deliver ever-expanding, culture-specific positions, products and services, rather than focused, inclusive services.

An example of inclusive delivery is recognition that the national language is English. A focused, nationally oriented, fully integrative system of medicine would acknowledge the beneficial elements of all IntgMed, but it would be delivered in English (except non-translatable elements). This approach encourages all citizens to learn and excel in English and markedly limits the cost of IntgMed products/services components delivery. If for example, government-paid and/or delivered services focus on delivering a more culture-neutral, English-based IntgMed service only, costs would be markedly reduced and all citizen-consumers would be encouraged to become more English-language proficient. As an aside, pharmaceutical products, medical technologies, acupuncture needles, physical therapeutic manipulations and exercises, and other key elements of IntgMed do not recognize the human body as gender, ethnicity or culture-specific – they simply perform functions. Such subdivisions are behaviors of service providers.

One of the primary sets of questions ignored by state and U.S. governmental agencies are:

  1. Who is most qualified to determine if a proposal or intervention should be that in which we should invest given all other needs, ideas, and proposals?
  2. Who should be responsible for payment for this proposal/intervention if we proceed with it?
  3. Define success. What does it look like?
  4. When (initial and follow-up) and how shall we measure the effectiveness of the subsequent program, service, or intervention?
  5. Is it not appropriate for payers (e.g., public taxpayers) to receive easily accessible, unbiased reporting of interim services delivery progress and performance measurements?”, and
  6. What will we do if measured results are not as expected and desired (e.g., inadequate Return on Investment)?

If you took your car in for service, paid for the services, and only fifty percent of the claimed fixes were effective, would you be satisfied? No, you would not be satisfied. If the same automotive repair company employed you, yet still provided you and your peers with the above-described poor service, would you then be satisfied and recommend to your friends that they should be satisfied in similar circumstances? You should respond, “No.” You should not be favorably biased toward the repair company simply because it employs you. However, government initiatives usually provide many millions, if not billions of dollars to the recipients of their investments, including the creation of well-paying jobs. And, unlike as would be the case in private industry, recipients of these public windfall monies and opportunities are loath to give up your tax money, and are often willing to publicly denigrate you for demanding that they be held accountable (e.g., fix the entire car as promised versus aren’t you satisfied with partial function?)

There are numerous governmental pseudo-medical/medical programs that are abysmal failures, that continue to expand. In spite of their prolonged failures at missions to curtail drug abuse, misuse, pharmaceutical products-related deaths, decrease STD/STI incidence, minimize gender-critical maladies, and social disruptions due to related issues, the programs and funding persist. With grand budgets and swollen senses of importance and entitlement, no one receives good answers to above listed six questions from these program representatives. Such are the effects and weaknesses of contemporary Cultural Medicine. Everyone in the culture, position-empowered or not, rich and poor, citizens or not, payers or not, aware of and sensitive to current budget constraints or not, believes that they should receive timely, broad-based, sometimes very expensive, individualized care and financing of their programs. And, numerous cultural subgroups (geographic, ethnic, gender-specific, age-specific, financial, religious, secular, other) with sufficient financing and/or sophisticated representation, lobby for special consideration. To suggest that they do not have the right to do so would be politically incorrect and insensitive, right?

Contact your local, regional, state and national government representatives to determine how they are addressing the weakness of contemporary Cultural Medicine in your neighborhood.

Can You Mix Inalienable Rights With the Business of Medicine?

Actually, we think our work is done, simply by asking the question. Thomas Jefferson tossed the wrench into the process by suggesting in the Declaration of Independence that Americans should have inalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Setting liberty and the pursuit of happiness aside, for now, generally, we divide rights into those which are natural versus legal. Clearly, we have some rights simply because they are allowed and supported by our highly malleable laws and legal system. Other rights are considered essentially independent of law, current acceptable social manner, contemporary political correctness, and leanings of the present government. These rights are seen as expected or natural. And, that which is natural or universal comes to be seen as inalienable.

Rights define our senses of behavioral freedom and sense of entitlement. They circumscribe our expectations of our behavior, that of others, and that expected of corporate entities which are often referred to as if sentient. In our civilization, a body of people of shared civil manners and rights are the bricks and mortar forming the infrastructure of morality, law, and governance we share.

From this point, you work backward. Considering government to be the arbiter, the issues pertinent to unalienable rights are then based upon the society’s decisions defining our morality. Morality is an essential element because inalienable rights generally address the “good,” by necessity defining the bad, right, wrong, and so on. Of course, different religious/spiritual groups, Atheists, legalists and the undecided regarding a source of ultimate moral authority never all agree on the “good”. Even inalienable rights are always a socially dynamic issue, including the definitions and rights pertaining to “life”.

If in the U.S. there is such an entity as an inalienable right to life, then such encompasses the inalienable right to that which keeps you alive. That is, you cannot live without attending to the needs for food, water and all that which protects you from, or is applied in response to the adverse effects of living in our world (AAOL). We do not all have access to ideal food and water, but we shall also be put that aside for now. However, what is society’s responsibility to address the AAOL on people’s well-being? If the effects of AAOL are physical and mental illness, injury, disease, and disability, then it would appear that comprehensive medical care for our citizens is the appropriate response to addressing this inalienable right.

Presume that everyone both empowered and relevant to considering the above arguments drew comparable conclusions. In that case, they would agree that every citizen should have access to comparable medical care. The challenges then become 1) access as primarily defined by the distribution of care facilities, appropriate service providers, and products, and 2) management of quality and cost of products/services delivery.

The cost of all contemporary medical products, services, and related insurance rises much faster, year over year than personal incomes and net revenue growth of the average business. So, most Americans and their employers are not prepared to handle the costs of medical care purchase directly or via insurance. Issues of access and distribution aside, government intervention to address medical care as an inalienable right then means either 1) marked cost capping and controlling consumer fees, 2) subsidizing patient payments, or 3) a combination. Capping and controlling costs would cause an evolution in the business of medicine. All participants (pharmaceutical companies, medical instruments and soft goods manufacturers, sales/distribution organizations, clinicians, insurers, IT services and others) in the industry would need to reconsider their margins, as well as their ability and willingness to remain in the medical industry. However, our government needs to control the sometimes markedly excessive and inflationary medical billing practices. Capping and controlling costs should ideally be tackled first, addressing runaway fees associated with hospital services, pharmaceutical products, surgical procedures, medical hardware, other medical technologies and insurance coverage. All components of the medical system will resist capping and controlling fee schedules.

Providing patient fee subsidies will always be fraught with inflationary excesses, deductibles and patient portions of bills would need to be eliminated. Even nominal point of service charges could always be a challenge unless the net annual out of pocket personal expenditures do not exceed the price of a visit to a fast food venue eliminate them. Otherwise, the middle and lower economic strata and their [potential] employers would continue to be obliged to choose between eating, acquisition of other necessities, employment and offering benefits. Additionally, service providers should not be allowed to bill in excess of fee schedules, writing off the excesses as tax deductions.

There are many products and services people should not expect to purchase if they have not financially successful in life to the extent of their more affluent neighbors. As such, nobody would suggest that all have the inalienable right to own a brand new luxury automobile, yacht or personal jet. However, if as a society we state that life, including full, high-quality medical care is an inalienable right of American citizens, then we should deliver it, without burdening others. But, there is “no free lunch” even regarding medical care. So what does “full, high-quality medical care for all citizens, without burdening others” actually mean? It may need to be defined in two ways: 1) products and services price caps, and 2) society attitude adjustment.

Regarding society attitude adjustment, as an example, we already provide military services to protect the entire nation without attempting to provide some stratified, sliding scale, itemized bill to each citizen. Medical services could be addressed in a similar manner. If medical businesses were all conscripted, essentially indefinitely subcontracted, to deliver care in a uniform manner (e.g., blend of active military care and preferred provider organization models), with a central payer and QA provider, maybe we could do it.

However, unlike changes in health measures, per capita, government spending on healthcare is a poor indicator of the effectiveness of U.S. medical care. Neither is ACA enrollment a measure of care delivery or effective care (e.g., see if holding a season ticket is a measure of NFL game attendance this year). Throwing taxpayer money at a series of poorly cobbled strategies is not an effective national medical care solution. Inalienable right or not, we cannot deliver broad-based high-quality medical care to all citizens via current medical business models.

Kidney Transplant – Patient Assessment Factors

When kidneys stop working effectively, you either have an option of a dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis ensures that you get rid of the waste products from your body but it does not replace all the functions of the kidneys. When you are diagnosed with failing kidneys, treatment can sometimes prevent or at least delay their complete failure.

However, with a transplant, your body can continuously remove the waste products of metabolism, and excess fluid. Kidneys also help in the production of a natural hormone called erythropoietin that prevents anemia. It also helps convert the vitamin D in food into an active compound that helps keep bones healthy. Moreover, it helps excretion of some toxic drugs. Finally, it plays an important role in helping control blood pressure.

Kidneys normally undertake all these functions. It is a known fact that kidney transplant provides patients with a better quality of life than dialysis.

Assessment for kidney transplant

There are a few very important factors to be checked before you undergo kidney transplant surgery. To begin with, you will be referred to transplant only when you are nearing or have started dialysis.

  • There is no dependency on age factor or ethnic background when it comes to assessment for a transplant. It all depends on whether you are fit enough to have the operation and deal with all the after effects of the surgery.
  • Some of the factors checked are evidence of heart disease, chest conditions and other problems. Special investigations are conducted to assess whether these risk factors are too great for transplant.
  • Next there will be a thorough discussion between the specialists such as the surgeons, nephrologist, cardiologist and the physician before the decision is finalized.
  • Once you are considered fit enough for a transplant, the specialists will explain all the risks and benefits to you.
  • Many times there is a waiting list for a transplant.
  • There will be a number of tests conducted to check whether you have had certain virus infections.
  • Well, the specialists will also ask you whether you have any close friends or family who are willing to be live donors.
  • Live donor transplants are known to give the kidneys a better chance of long term survival as compared to diseased donor transplants.

Whether you receive a particular donor kidney or not is determined initially by the blood group. It is pretty difficult to get two people to be perfectly alike, because the genes are different. It is however possible to achieve a good enough match for a successful transplant. The surgery takes around three hours and appropriate care needs to be taken post operation too. 

Understanding Molecular Medicine and Its Major Advantages

Molecular medicine is a broad concept and it incorporates the study of molecular structures, identifying genetic errors for the cause of a disease, use medical nanotechnology to correct them. The fundamental concept of molecular medicine is the distribution of medicine to the body cells and it is similar to the assimilation of oxygen by a healthy human being. The discipline (molecular medicine) is new. It combines medical studies of modern times with biochemistry. It offers a bridge between today’s medical science and biochemistry. The course of molecular biology includes disciplines like biochemistry, immunology, and biotechnology. Nanotechnology in medicine has many advantages like it leads to diminished costs of treatment, cost-effective and yet high quality drugs. Nanotechnology in medicines help in effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases, it will lead to modern treatment methods, treating complicated medical problems can become simplified.

Benefits of molecular medicine

Molecular medicines and nanotechnology in medicine have their own advantages. These include the following:

Molecular medicines can lead to the invention of elegant and cheap surgical/diagnostic tools.

  • Medical diagnosis and research can become effective and efficient.
  • Nano medical devices can be implanted permanently to treat specific medical conditions.
  • Many medical conditions can be prevented.
  • Unknown diseases can be treated effectively.
  • This can lead to semi-automated diagnosis and treatment.
  • The nanotechnology in medicines help to reduce mortality rate, improve health.
  • Using gene therapy or similar treatment methods, organs can be replaced easily.
  • The different biological systems in the body can be improved.

When nanotechnology is applied in medicine then it is known as Nano medicine. It caters to the improvement of human health using Nano tools (tools at the molecular level) of the human body. Such technology in medicine encompasses areas like drug delivery using nano-particles.

The human body comprises of molecules, the use of molecular nanotechnology enhances progress in the human medical services. The Nano medicine helps to understand the functioning of the biological machinery inside the living cells. This understanding helps medical professionals to cater to complicated medical conditions like AIDS, cancer, ageing. All these help to bring a significant improvement of the natural human biological structure. The understanding helps to reduce mortality rate, ensure proper functioning at the molecular level of the humans.

The understanding of the molecular medicine has resulted in developing Nano particles/molecules to help transfer medicine to each cell of the body. For a sick or unhealthy entity, such developments in molecular biology lead to effective treatment of complicated diseases. Using Nano medicine, malignant cells within a human body can be tracked and then treated. This entire process includes targeting of bacteria/viruses/tumours within the body by Nano particles, treating infections, diseases.

Molecular medicine advantages

Other advantages of using Nano medicines are given as follows:-

With Nano medicines, treatment is gentle and advanced. Most of such treatments are non-invasive. Powerful drugs may have side effects which cannot be ignored. By using molecular medicines, one can reduce the effects of the drugs. Since the use of Nano medicines does not involve surgery therefore it is less painful. Another important advantage of using Nano medicine is that it involves small yet highly sensitive diagnostic tools which accounts for better treatment of diseases. Treatments using Nano technology in medicines are cost effective. It is effective to treat complicated medical conditions like cancer.

Nano medicine disadvantages:

Nano-particles used as part of nanotechnology in medicines uses biochemical pathways, affect the different biological processes of the human body. Under such circumstances, a lack of knowledge about the effects of the nano-particles on the human body, it processes can be a disadvantage. The researchers who deal with design of the nano-particles remain concerned about their toxicity and characterization on their exposure to the biological pathways. If the nano-particles are toxic then they can pose severe threat to the humans and the environment. The researchers remain concerned as the people part of the society use the molecular medicine. In certain instances, researchers remain in doubt of the possible outcome of the use of certain Nano medicines.

Nanotechnology in medicines have revolutionised medical treatment. The doctors now see a ray of hope to treat medical conditions and diseases which were untreatable earlier. Nano medicines have their own advantages. However, researches are on to make the most of nanotechnology in the days to come.

Three Important Things to Know About Radicava

The ALS Association is the largest charity for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States. Not only do they provide excellent patient provision through care takers and support groups, they are also the leading fundraiser for new research when it comes to ALS treatment and a possible cure. During the summer of 2014, the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge went viral online and raised over 100 million dollars. This was the largest amount of donations the fundraisers at ALS had ever seen. They were ecstatic! This boost in funding led to the research and development of three new treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, one being Radicava, which will likely be available August of this year. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Radicava slows the progress of ALS by reducing oxidative stress in the body. ALS is essentially a slow reduction in the body’s ability to function overall. This eventually leads to the shutdown of vital organs within the body. One of the first signs of ALS is the presence of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the presence of toxins in the body and the immune system’s ability to detoxify. These effects will first manifest themselves as a general slowing of autoimmune abilities followed by the more sinister effects of ALS, such as major organ failure. Radicava offers a time out to these unfortunate realities. The new medication has been shown to slow oxidative stress, and most patients see a 33% reduction in the decline of their physical abilities. Additionally, all Radicava test patients had higher scores on the ALS Functional Rating Scale
  2. First new medicine in 22 years. Because the origins of ALS are still largely misunderstood, it is incredibly difficult to approve and test new medications. Since the mid nineteenth century, our knowledge of what causes ALS has not kept up with other medical advancements. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to find funding for new treatments when legislatures do not understand the medicinal premise. The first and last drug to be approved for treatment of ALS was Riluzole, which slowed lung failure. Unfortunately, the relatively small benefit offered to ALS patients compared to its astronomical costs essentially relegated Riluzole to pipe dream status. The mystery surrounding its origins combined with a lack of funding lead to a two decade ASL treatment dry spell. However, after the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, three new medications were presented to the FDA for approval. The first to reach the pharmaceutical market will be Radicava in August!
  3. Administered by infusion. At this point you’re probably wondering how Radicava will be administered to patients. Is it overly intrusive or painful? Will it even be worth it? For those who participated in the testing of the drug, Radicava absolutely is. The treatment is administered intravenously over a fourteen day period, followed by a fourteen day rest. After the initial treatment, patients will receive injections for ten out of every fourteen days. While this is a time-consuming treatment, this is the first ASL medication with legitimate promise for, not only extending the lives of those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but also improving their quality of life!

After so many years of failed treatments and questions surrounding the origins of ALS, Radicava’s approval is a beacon of hope for patients and their loved ones.

Sterility in Medicine

We are lucky to live in this century, one where medicines have been developed to combat most ailments, where we can be sure that the medicines we have are safe and sterile when needed and if we need a surgery, that the tools and equipment needed is all safe, clean and germ free.

Throughout history, they didn’t give much thought to keeping things clean and sterile, but luckily today we know that it is used to promote health and to eliminate the risk of contamination. What does being sterile mean though? Well, sterility is defined as the complete absence of any viable microorganism whether on a surgical tool, on equipment or in medicines themselves.

There are a few different ways that sterility is achieved in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. The first is using steam. This technique was actually invented back in the 1880’s by a man called Charles Chamberland. He came up with the autoclave, a steam sterilizer that used water to create steam to clean surgical tools and kill bacteria between patients. Today we still use this technique to clean glassware and surgical instruments.

What about things that can’t withstand high temperatures? In the case of sensitive electronic components, plastics and cardboard that need to be sterilized, the technique is EtO or EO, and it uses Ethylene Oxide gas as the sanitizing agent.

Another way to sanitize things is by the use of dry heat. This is used for things like needles and metal instruments that can get very hot with no worry that they will disintegrate.

But what about medicines themselves? They can’t be steamed, but they can go through the process known as aseptic processing. This takes a sterile medicine and packages it in a sterile container using flash heating. It is a task that also requires the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters and dry heat. By using this technique however, drugs can be imported and exported anywhere in the world without the need for refrigeration and will be sterile when they arrive at the patient.

Sterile medicines, equipment and tools all help to provide the best care possible to us when we are sick. We don’t have to worry about contamination as the risks for it is low if all temperatures, gases, humidity and pressure levels have been accurately monitored throughout the sterilization process to ensure validity and effectiveness. Medicine has come a long way and the results are safer and more reliable than ever before.

Aseptic Processing

If you go back in time, hygienic practices weren’t even heard of let alone carried out. Medicines were made primarily of plants and whatever else was on hand and even, during the Victorian period when pharmaceuticals became more main stream, they weren’t very worried about how sterile the compounds were.

Today of course, pharmaceuticals are big business and having a product delivered to a patient sterile and ready to go is the norm. We’re talking eye drops, ear drops, injectables, infusion products and the like, all things that have to remain sterile until ready to use.

By definition, something that is sterile has the absence of any viable microorganism, and the specification is unchanging and independent of the manufacturing process of the drug in the first place. To make a sterile product then, means filling and sealing the product containers under high quality environmental conditions, with care and with the same practices in place day after day.

When you are talking foods, beverages and medicines, keeping them sterile is a process called aseptic processing. This means that the sterile product is packaged in such a way as to keep its sterile rating. It is accomplished by flash heating which uses less energy than other techniques while (in the case of food) retains more nutrients. When you are talking pharmaceuticals, the ante is upped and the procedure also includes the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters, and either dry or steam heat.

Some examples of food and drinks being in a sterile container include tetra juice boxes and drink pouches, but for medicines, they are stored in plastic or glass containers as these materials form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation of the substance being carried. Using aseptic processing means you no longer need refrigeration and it makes worldwide import and export safe and economical.

Aseptic containers range in size from tiny ones that hold just a few ounces of medicine to ones that can hold eight million gallons in a tank on an ocean liner. Companies that package these medicines and the like can then send their product all over the world, knowing that once it reaches its destination, it is still a viable, sterilized product and will remain that way until it is used for a patient.

The next time you have a prescription for eye drops or have medicines administered by injection or drip, you can be sure those medicines are sterile, all thanks for aseptic processing.