Another Blood Donation Camp on 25 Dec 2011

We have successfully organized another blood donation camp on 25th Dec 2011. Few images are available for your reference. Join www.BloodDoners.org to help other and be healthy!

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Another Blood Donation Camp on 26 June 2011

We have successfully organized another blood donation camp on 26th June 2011. Few images are available for your reference.

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Cord Blood Stem Cells :: Significant Role in The Medical feild

Fifteen years from now, parents used to be provided with the alternative of cord blood stem cell storage soon after the birth of the baby. It is because of the fact that this blood contains rich amount of Hematopoietic stem cells. They are the multipotent cells that possess the ability to grow into wide range of blood cells. It is a matter of relaxation for the parents even today that these cells can be effectively used in the treatment against various diseases whether for their kids, siblings and even for other members in the family in the future. According to an estimate they are effective in healing about eighty blood diseases that are present since birth.
This process can be used in stem cells transplantation in more than six thousand patients. It has been proved the cord does not contain only hematopoietic cells but it is found to have another cells type. They are known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s). Scientists have named these cord blood stem cells as ‘super cells’ as they are believed to contain prehistoric early development of each major tissue in the body of human beings. As a result of which they are capable to cure vast variety of diseases and injuries. Thus it can be predicted that such type of regenerative cells will play an active role to further many medical advancements in field of neural, bone, heart, cartilage and repair of adipose tissue.
The scientists who are involved in the study of several diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’ s disease, injury of spinal cord and several others are well aware about the capability of stem cells from very beginning. Thus due to simplest method of harvesting, parents feel it is safe to store both types of cells for the safety of their family health and for the healthy future. The parents thus take their decision much before the birth of baby and do an agreement with the cryogenic labs for the storage and processing of cells. Among a huge crowd of a number of such type of organizations one is cord blood bank of New England. The organization has been an innovator for last twenty five years in the field of cryopreservation that deals with the storage of fertility cells, tissues and cord blood including dental pulp stem cells.
New England bank holds a high reputation in cord blood stem cell banking by being the most successful bio-medical lab. Recently it has expanded its services by providing some additional services at the time of storage of the baby’s umbilical cord blood. They are encouraging the parents to come forward and donate umbilical cord blood. The service for harvesting and tissue processing during enrollment of cord blood is being provided for free for short duration of time. However, additional cost is being charged in the case when the banking is to be done for the whole year. This way the organization comes with many innovative strategies to involve more and more people into this novel cause. It is only possible by the full support of parents that scientists can come up with advancements and treatments for several other diseases.

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New in Pathology and Medicine?

PSA Remains Best Indicator of Prostate Cancer Progression

PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can increase PSA, so the higher the PSA level, the greater the likelihood that a patient has prostate cancer. Also, higher PSA values generally reflect larger, more aggressive cancers

Despite recent claims by some urologists that measuring the blood protein prostate-specific antigen (PSA) may not be effective in predicting risk of prostate cancer, a Johns Hopkins study of more than 2,000 men confirms that PSA remains the best measure of the likelihood of cancer recurrence after surgery.

Dangers of Vitamin E

High dose vitamin E, long known as a powerful antioxidant to eliminate dangerous free radicals, is now proving to do more harm than good. Hopkins researcher Peter Miller conducted a 7-year clinical trial in which patients with heart disease took vitamin E. He found an increased risk overall of death and a significantly increased risk of heart failure in those taking vitamin E compared to a placebo.

Miller recommends that patients taking 400 IU of vitamin E per day or more, stop. He says the small amount of E in a multivitamin is probably fine, but stresses that no vitamin regimen is a substitute for a good diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep.

Elevated GGT Enzyme May Predict Risk of Death from Cardiovascular Disease

A simple blood test may identify people who have an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The test measures gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) – an enzyme produced primarily by the liver and catalyzes glutathione, the main antioxidant in the body. The enzyme is elevated in some forms of liver disease, so physicians use GGT levels to detect liver damage and alcohol abuse.

“People with high GGT had more than a 1.5-fold risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases in comparison to people with normal low levels of GGT,” said senior author Hanno Ulmer, PhD, associate professor of medical statistics at the Innsbruck Medical University in Austria. “For people under 60 years of age, this risk is even higher, amounting to more than two-fold.”

GGT proved a strong predictor of cardiovascular death, third behind smoking and hypertension but ahead of high levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Ulmer cited two mechanisms that might explain why GGT can indicate cardiovascular disease. The first, originally proposed by the Italian researchers, is that high GGT shows the presence of atherosclerosis. The second is that it’s related to the ill effects of heavy drinking on blood vessels.

Elevated CRP Can Foil Diet’s Ability to Lower Cholesterol

High levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker in blood for inflammation that is strongly associated with heart disease, may make it difficult to lower one’s LDL-cholesterol through modest diet changes alone, nutrition researchers at Penn State University reported in a recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Diabetic Retinopathy Occurs in Pre-Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy has been found in nearly 8% of pre-diabetic participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), according to a report presented this week at the American Diabetes Association’s 65th Annual Scientific Sessions. Diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss, was also seen in 12% of participants with type 2 diabetes who developed diabetes during the DPP.

Participants with pre-diabetes and retinopathy typically had a small number of microaneurysms in the eye characteristic of early, mild retinopathy that is not yet linked to vision loss. Those who had developed diabetes in the previous 1 to 5 years had slightly more severe retinopathy. Higher average blood glucose levels and higher blood pressure were associated with the risk of developing retinopathy in the new-onset diabetic patients, similar to previous findings in people with longstanding diabetes who develop retinopathy.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. The condition is sometimes called “impaired fasting glucose (IFG)” or “impaired glucose tolerance (IGT),” depending on the test used to diagnose it. People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetic retinopathy, which begins with changes in the small vessels in the back of the eye, often leads to loss of vision. Regular eye examinations to diagnose retinopathy are recommended for patients with diabetes because treatment with laser photocoagulation can often prevent blindness in more advanced cases. Diabetic retinopathy is still the most common cause of blindness in adults.

Blood-based TB Test Comparable to Skin Test in One Study, Superior in Another

A comparison between a new blood-based tuberculosis (TB) test and the traditional tuberculin skin test by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in India found that the 2 methods of detecting latent TB infection are equally good. The results of the study, published in recent theme issue on tuberculosis in the Journal of the American Medical Association, mean that switching to the more expensive blood test may not be necessary for people in India, researchers said. Another study published in the same issue of JAMA suggests the blood test is a better indicator of infection within a vaccinated population.

The test, called QuantiFERON-TB-Gold, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Unlike the skin test, the interferon-gamma test requires only one visit by the patient, and its results do not rely upon the subjective interpretation of a health worker. The blood test, however, requires special lab facilities, making it more expensive than the skin test, which in turn involves more personnel time because it requires health care workers to deal with a patient twice.

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About Cholesterol

What Is Cholesterol?
To understand high blood cholesterol, it is important to know more about cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work the right way and makes all the cholesterol you need.

Cholesterol is also found in some of the foods you eat.

You use cholesterol to make hormones, Vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods.

Blood is watery and cholesterol is fatty. Just like oil and water, the two do not mix. So, in order to travel in the bloodstream, cholesterol is carried in small packages called lipoproteins (lip-o-PRO-teens). The small packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body. It is important to have healthy levels of both:

LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol.
High LDL cholesterol leads to a buildup of cholesterol in arteries. The higher the LDL level in your blood, the greater chance you have for getting heart disease.

HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is sometimes called “good” cholesterol.

HDL carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. The liver removes the cholesterol from your body. The higher your HDL cholesterol level, the lower your chance of getting heart disease.

What is a lipid profile?
The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease. The tests that make up a lipid profile are tests that have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels (hardening of the arteries)

What tests are included in a lipid profile?
The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (often called good cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol), and triglycerides.

Sometimes the report will include additional calculated values such as HDL/Cholesterol ratio or a risk score based on lipid profile results, age, sex, and other risk factors.

How is a lipid profile used?
The lipid profile is used to guide physicians in deciding how a person at risk should be treated. The results of the lipid profile are considered along with other known risk factors of heart disease to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up.

What Is High Blood Cholesterol?
Too much cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol) in the blood, or high blood cholesterol, can be serious. People with high blood cholesterol have a greater chance of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high.

Other Names for High Blood Cholesterol
Hypercholesterolemia
Hyperlipidemia.

What Causes High Blood Cholesterol?
A variety of things can affect the cholesterol levels in your blood. Some of these things you can control and others you cannot.

You can control:
What you eat. Certain foods have types of fat that raise your cholesterol level.
Saturated fat raises your LDL cholesterol level more than anything else in your diet.
Trans fatty acids (trans fats) are made when vegetable oil is “hydrogenated” to harden it. Trans fatty acids also raise cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is found in foods that come from animal sources, for example, egg yolks, meat, and cheese.

Your weight. Being overweight tends to increase your LDL level, lower your HDL level, and increase your total cholesterol level.

Your activity. Lack of regular exercise can lead to weight gain and raise your LDL cholesterol level. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and lower your LDL level. It can also help you raise your HDL level.

You cannot control:
Heredity. High blood cholesterol can run in families. An inherited genetic condition (familial hypercholesterolemia) results in very high LDL cholesterol levels. It begins at birth, and results in a heart attack at an early age.

Age and sex. Starting at puberty, men have lower levels of HDL than women. As women and men get older, their LDL cholesterol levels rise. Younger women have lower LDL cholesterol levels than men, but after age 55 they have higher levels than men.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Cholesterol?
There are usually no signs or symptoms of high blood cholesterol. Many people don’t know that their cholesterol level is too high.

Everyone age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. You and your doctor can discuss how often you should be tested.

How is High Blood Cholesterol Diagnosed?
High blood cholesterol is diagnosed by checking levels of cholesterol in your blood. It is best to have a blood test called a lipid profile to measure your cholesterol levels. Most people will need to “fast” (not eat or drink anything) for 9 to 12 hours before taking the test.

The lipoprotein profile will give information about your:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol: the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
  • HDL (good) cholesterol: the good cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol from building up in arteries
  • Triglycerides: another form of fat in your blood.
  • If it is not possible to get a lipid profile done, knowing your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can give you a general idea about your cholesterol levels. Testing for total and HDL cholesterol does not require fasting. If your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or more, or if your HDL is less than 40 mg/dL, you will need to have a lipoprotein profile done.

    Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. See how your cholesterol numbers compare to the tables below

    Total Cholesterol Level Total Cholesterol Category
    Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
    200-239 mg/dL Borderline high
    240 mg/dL and above High
    LDL Cholesterol Level LDL Cholesterol Category
    Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
    100-129 mg/dL Near optimal/above optimal
    130-159 mg/dL and above Borderline high
    160-189 mg/dL High
    190 mg/dL and above Very high
    HDL Cholesterol Level HDL Cholesterol Category
    Less than 40 mg/dL A major risk factor for heart disease.
    40 – 59 mg/dL The higher, the better.
    60 mg/dL and above Considered protective against heart disease.

    Triglycerides can also raise your risk for heart disease. Levels that are borderline high (150-199 mg/dL) or high (200 mg/dL or more) may need treatment. Things that can increase triglycerides include:

  • Over weight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Very high carbohydrate diet
  • Certain diseases and drugs
  • Genetic disorders.
  • How is High Blood Cholesterol Treated?
    The main goal of cholesterol-lowering treatment is to lower your LDL level enough to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or other diseases caused by hardening of the arteries. In general, the higher your LDL level and the more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. (A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease.) Some people are at high risk for heart attack because they already have heart disease. Other people are at high risk for developing heart disease because they have diabetes or a combination of risk factors for heart disease.

    In conclusion
    Too much cholesterol in the blood is called high blood cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia.

    High blood cholesterol increases the chance of having a heart attack or some other sign of heart disease like chest pain (angina).

    Cholesterol lowering is important for everyone-young, middle-aged, and older adults, and both men and women.

    Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is made in your body. Cholesterol is also in some foods that you eat. Your body needs some cholesterol to work the right way. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs.

    Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol raises the level of cholesterol in your blood.

    Too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in the walls of arteries. This is called plaque.

    There are no signs or symptoms of high blood cholesterol. Many people don’t know that their cholesterol level is too high.

    High blood cholesterol is diagnosed by checking cholesterol levels in your blood.

    A blood test called a lipoprotein profile measures the cholesterol levels in your blood and is the recommended test.

    It is important that everyone age 20 and older get their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years.

    Many people are able to lower their cholesterol levels by eating a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, exercising, and losing weight if needed.

    Some people will need to take medicines prescribed by their doctor to lower their cholesterol in addition to eating a low saturated fat diet, losing weight if needed, and exercising.

    Common Questions

    1. I had a screening test for cholesterol. It was less than 200 mg/dL (5.18 mmol/L). Do I need a lipid profile?
    If your total cholesterol is below 200 (5.18 mmol/L) and you have no family history of heart disease or other risk factors a full lipid profile is probably not necessary. However, an HDL-cholesterol measurement would be advisable to assure that you do not have a low HDL. Many screening programs now offer both cholesterol and HDL. If total cholesterol is below 200 (5.18 mmol/L) and HDL is above 40 (1.04 mmol/L), a lipid profile is not recommended

    2. How often do I need a lipid profile test?
    Recommendations are for healthy individuals with no other risks of heart disease to be screened for cholesterol and HDL every five years. You do not need to have a full lipid profile. However, if you have other risk factors or have had a high cholesterol in the past, you should be tested more regularly and you should have a full lipid profile.

    3. My lipid profile results came back with high triglycerides and no LDL-cholesterol. Why?
    In most screening lipid profiles, LDL-cholesterol is calculated from the other lipid measurements. However, the calculation is not valid if triglycerides are over 400 mg/dL (4.52 mmol/L). To determine LDL-cholesterol when triglycerides are over 400 mg/dL (4.52 mmol/L) requires special testing techniques such as a direct LDL test or a lipid ultracentrifugation test (sometimes called a beta-quantification test).

    4. What is VLDL?
    Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) is one of three major lipoprotein particles. The other two are high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). Each one of these particles contains a mixture of cholesterol, protein, and triglyceride, but in varying amounts unique to each type of particle. LDL contains the highest amount of cholesterol. HDL contains the highest amount of protein. VLDL contains the highest amount of triglyceride. Since VLDL contains most of the circulating triglyceride and since the compositions of the different particles are relatively constant, it is possible to estimate the amount of VLDL cholesterol by dividing the triglyceride value (in mg/dL) by 5. At present, there is no simple, direct way of measuring VLDL-cholesterol, so the estimate calculated from triglyceride is used in most settings. This calculation is not valid when the triglyceride is greater than 400 mg/dl (see question 3 above).

    Get evaluated for Cholesterol today!

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    Leptospirosis

    What is leptospirosis?
    Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira.

    In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all.

    Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.

    Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. Leptospirosis is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample.

    How do people get leptospirosis?
    Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms.

    Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin.

    The disease is not known to be spread from person to person.

    How long is it between the time of exposure and when people become sick?
    The time between a person’s exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms.

    Leptospirosis may occur in two phases; after the first phase, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, or diarrhea, the patient may recover for a time but become ill again. If a second phase occurs, it is more severe; the person may have kidney or liver failure or meningitis. This phase is also called Weil’s disease.
    The illness lasts from a few days to 3 weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several months.

    Where is leptospirosis found?
    Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with animals, for example, farmers, sewer workers, veterinarians, fish workers, dairy farmers, or military personnel. It is a recreational hazard for campers or those who participate in outdoor sports in contaminated areas and has been associated with swimming, wading, and whitewater rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers. The incidence is also increasing among urban children.

    How is leptospirosis treated?
    Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, which should be given early in the course of the disease. Intravenous antibiotics may be required for persons with more severe symptoms.

    Persons with symptoms suggestive of leptospirosis should contact a physician.

    Can leptospirosis be prevented?
    The risk of acquiring leptospirosis can be greatly reduced by not swimming or wading in water that might be contaminated with animal urine.

    Protective clothing or footwear should be worn by those exposed to contaminated water or soil because of their job or recreational activities.

    Tests for Leptospirosis
    Complete Blood Count
    Urinalysis
    Creatinine
    Dark Ground Illumination
    Leptospirosis IgM Spot Test

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    Arthritis

    While often referred to as if it were a single disease, arthritis is actually an umbrella term used for a group of more than 100 medical conditions that collectively affect nearly 70 million adults and 300,000 children in America alone.

    While the most common form of arthritis – osteoarthritis – is most prevalent in people over 60, arthritis in its various forms can start as early as infancy. Some forms affect people in their young-adult years as they are beginning careers and families and still others start during the peak career and child-rearing years.

    The common thread among these 100-plus conditions is that they all affect the musculoskeletal system and specifically the joints – where two or more bones meet.

    Arthritis-related joint problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage (the tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of the bones, enabling them to glide against one another) and surrounding structures. Such damage can lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities that, depending on the location of joint involvement, can interfere with the most basic daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, cutting your food or brushing your teeth.

    For many people with arthritis, however, joint involvement is not the extent of the problem. Many forms of arthritis are classified as systemic, meaning they can affect the whole body. In these diseases, arthritis can cause damage to virtually any bodily organ or system, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and skin. Arthritis-related conditions primarily affect the muscles and the bones.

    Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement and sometimes swelling. Some types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women.
  • Gout, which affects mostly men. It is usually the result of a defect in body chemistry. This painful condition most often attacks small joints, especially the big toe. Fortunately, gout almost always can be completely controlled with medication and changes in diet.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that affects the spine. As a result of inflammation, the bones of the spine grow together.
  • Juvenile arthritis, a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Children may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or other types of arthritis.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.
  • Scleroderma, a disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin.
  • Fibromyalgia, in which widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. It affects mostly women.
  • Arthritis Profile

    Complete Blood Count
    ESR
    R A Factor
    Uric Acid
    C Reactive Protein (Quantitative)
    Anti Nuclear Antibody
    Creatunine
    Urinalysis

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    Anaemia

    Anemia is a serious condition that can make a person feel tired and weak and can lead to serious heart problems and other health complications.
    The good news is anemia can be treated and people may regain their independence and go on to live healthier, more productive lives.

    The blood in our bodies is composed of three types of cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) that circulate throughout the body.

    Red blood cells contain hemoglobin (Hb), a red, iron-rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to all of the body’s muscles and organs. Oxygen provides the energy the body needs for all of its normal activities. Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells (or the Hb in them) falls below normal and the body gets less oxygen and therefore has less energy than it needs to function properly.

    Anemia may become worse if it is not treated, and it can lead to potentially serious, even life-threatening complications. When the number of red blood cells decreases, the heart works harder, pumping more blood to send more oxygen throughout the body. If the heart works too hard, it can develop a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and/or another serious condition known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), an enlargement of the heart muscle that in turn can lead to heart failure.

    What causes Anaemia?
    Anemia occurs when the body produces too few red blood cells, loses too many of them, or if red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be replaced.

    There are close to 100 different types of anemia with many causes, including:

  • Serious disease
  • Vitamin or iron deficiencies
  • Blood loss
  • Genetic or acquired defects or disease
  • Side effects of medication

    Who is at risk?
    Evidence shows that people who suffer from the following serious diseases are at greatest risk of developing anemia:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Also at risk are:

  • People over the age of 65
  • People with HIV/AIDS
  • Patients undergoing surgery
  • Signs and Symptoms
    Anemia can be difficult to identify because early symptoms may be mild. In addition, it is easy to mistake some symptoms of anemia for symptoms of serious disease or medication side effects. As symptoms of anemia worsen, however, they can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.

    It is common for people to ignore symptoms of anaemia or attribute them to other causes. Anemia can make it hard to find the energy to enjoy hobbies or other leisure activities, or even to complete basic tasks at home or at work. Particularly for a person with a serious disease, the fatigue, weakness and other symptoms associated with anemia can compound the challenges of coping with the serious disease.

    Major symptoms of anemia include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion or loss of concentration
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Pale skin, including decreased pinkness of the lips, gums, lining of the eyelids, nail beds and
  • palms
  • Rapid heart beat (tachycardia)
  • Feeling cold
  • Sadness or depression
  • Because the symptoms of anemia are easily confused with the symptoms of other conditions, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation if you are experiencing significant fatigue or other signs and symptoms listed above, or if you already have a serious disease.

    Diagnosing Anaemia
    Doctors diagnose anemia with the help of a medical history, physical exam and blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) to measure levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the blood.

    On average, a normal hemoglobin range should be between 12 and 18 g/dL (grams per deciliter of blood).

    Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells (or the hemoglobin in them) falls below these normal ranges and the body’s organs and tissues receive less oxygen than needed to function properly. Although “normal” is something that varies from person to person, if your numbers are below the ranges, then you may be feeling worse than you should.

    Treating Anaemia
    The treatment of anemia varies greatly depending on the type. Your physician will help you determine the best treatment options, such as diet modification, or nutritional supplements, or medication, if needed.

    Treatment for anemia associated with serious diseases tends to focus first on addressing the underlying disease. But if anemia persists or symptoms worsen, treatment may reduce the risk of severe, possibly life-threatening complications and improve quality of life.

    Anaemia Profile
    Complete Blood Count
    Iron
    Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
    Iron Saturation
    Ferritin
    Reticulocyte Count

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    Tuberculosis

    What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs. But, TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

    TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
    However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick.

    People who are not sick have what is called latent TB infection. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. But, some people with latent TB infection go on to get TB disease.

    People with active TB disease can be treated and cured if they seek medical help. Even better, people with latent TB infection can take medicine so that they will not develop active TB disease.

    How is TB spread?
    TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
    When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain.

    TB in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.

    People with active TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and coworkers.

    What is latent TB infection?
    In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. The bacteria become inactive, but they remain alive in the body and can become active later. This is called latent TB infection. People with latent TB infection

    have no symptoms

  • don’t feel sick

  • can’t spread TB to others

  • usually have a positive skin test reaction

  • can develop active TB disease if they do not receive treatment for latent TB infection

  • Many people who have latent TB infection never develop active TB disease. In these people, the TB bacteria remain inactive for a lifetime without causing disease. But in other people, especially people who have weak immune systems, the bacteria become active and cause TB disease.

    What is active TB disease?
    TB bacteria become active if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The active bacteria begin to multiply in the body and cause active TB disease. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue. If this occurs in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung. Some people develop active TB disease soon after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight the TB bacteria. Other people may get sick later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason.

    Babies and young children often have weak immune systems. People infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have very weak immune systems. Other people can have weak immune systems, too, especially people with any of these conditions:

  • substance abuse
  • diabetes mellitus
  • silicosis
  • cancer of the head or neck
  • leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease
  • severe kidney disease
  • low body weight
  • certain medical treatments (such as corticosteroid treatment or organ transplants)
  • specialized treatment for rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease
  • Symptoms of TB depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs. TB in the lungs may cause symptoms such as

  • a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
  • Other symptoms of active TB disease are

  • weakness or fatigue
  • weight loss
  • no appetite
  • chills
  • fever
  • sweating at night
  • The TB skin test
    The TB skin test may be used to find out if you have TB infection. You can get a skin test at any pathology laboratory. A technician will inject a small amount of testing fluid (called tuberculin or PPD) just under the skin on the under side of the forearm. After 48 hours, you must return to have your skin test read by the laboratory technician. You may have a swelling where the tuberculin was injected. The technician will measure this swelling and tell you if your reaction to the test is positive or negative. A positive reaction usually means that you have been infected by someone with active TB disease.

    If you have recently spent time with and been exposed to someone with active TB disease, your TB skin test reaction may not be positive yet. You may need a second skin test 8 to 10 weeks after the last time you spent time with the person. This is because it can take several weeks after infection for your immune system to react to the TB skin test. If your reaction to the second test is negative, you probably do not have latent TB infection.

    QuantiFERON®-TB Gold
    QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT) is a blood test used to find out if you are infected with TB bacteria. The QFT measures the response to TB proteins when they are mixed with a small amount of blood. Currently, few labs offer the QFT. If your laboratory does offer the QFT, only one visit is required, at which time your blood is drawn for the test.

    What if I have a positive test for TB?
    If you have a positive reaction to the TB skin test or the QFT, your doctor may do other tests to see if you have active TB disease. These tests usually include a chest x-ray and a test of the phlegm you cough up. Because the TB bacteria may be found somewhere other than your lungs, your doctor may check your blood or urine, or do other tests. If you have active TB disease, you will need to take medicine to cure the disease.

    Tuberculosis (TB) Profile
    Complete Blood Count
    ESR
    Adenosine Deaminase
    Mantoux Test
    Chest X Ray
    Sputum AFB

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    Facts about Malaria

    What is malaria?
    Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite. Patients with malaria typically are very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Four kinds of malaria parasites can infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.

    Infection with any of the malaria species can make a person feel very ill; infection with P. falciparum, if not promptly treated, may be fatal. Although malaria can be a fatal disease, illness and death from malaria are largely preventable.

    Is malaria a common disease?
    Yes. The World Health Organization estimates that each year 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million people die of malaria.

    Is malaria a serious disease?
    Yes. Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease worldwide, especially in developing countries. Most deaths occur in young children. Since many countries with malaria are already among the poorer nations, the disease maintains a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.

    Where does malaria occur?

    Malaria typically is found in warmer regions of the world — in tropical and subtropical countries. Higher temperatures allow the Anopheles mosquito to thrive. Malaria parasites, which grow and develop inside the mosquito, need warmth to complete their growth before they are mature enough to be transmitted to humans.

    How is malaria transmitted?
    Usually, people get malaria by being bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person.

    When a mosquito bites, a small amount of blood is taken in which contains the microscopic malaria parasites. The parasite grows and matures in the mosquito’s gut for a week or more, then travels to the mosquito’s salivary glands. When the mosquito next takes a blood meal, these parasites mix with the saliva and are injected into the bite.

    Once in the blood, the parasites travel to the liver and enter liver cells to grow and multiply. During this “incubation period”, the infected person has no symptoms. After as few as 8 days or as long as several months, the parasites leave the liver cells and enter red blood cells. Once in the cells, they continue to grow and multiply. After they mature, the infected red blood cells rupture, freeing the parasites to attack and enter other red blood cells. Toxins released when the red cells burst are what cause the typical fever, chills, and flu-like malaria symptoms.

    If a mosquito bites this infected person and ingests certain types of malaria parasites (“gametocytes”), the cycle of transmission continues.

    Because the malaria parasite is found in red blood cells, malaria can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, organ transplant, or the shared use of needles or syringes contaminated with blood. Malaria may also be transmitted from a mother to her fetus before or during delivery (“congenital” malaria).

    Malaria is not transmitted from person to person like a cold or the flu. You cannot get malaria from casual contact with malaria-infected people.

    Who is at risk for malaria?
    Anyone can get malaria. Most cases occur in residents of countries with malaria transmission and travelers to those countries. In non-endemic countries, cases can occur in non-travelers as congenital malaria, introduced malaria, or transfusion malaria (see above).

    If I live in an area where malaria is a problem, how can I prevent myself and my family from getting sick?

    You and your family can prevent malaria by

  • keeping mosquitoes from biting you, especially at night
  • taking antimalarial drugs to kill the parasites
  • eliminating places around your home where mosquitoes breed
  • spraying insecticides on your home’s walls to kill adult mosquitoes that come inside
  • sleeping under bed nets – especially effective if they have been treated with insecticide, and
  • wearing insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing if out of doors at night
  • What are the signs and symptoms of malaria?
    Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss of red blood cells. Infection with one type of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma, and death.

    How soon will a person feel sick after being bitten by an infected mosquito?
    For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection, although a person may feel ill as early as 7 days or as late as 1 year later. Two kinds of malaria, P. vivax and P. ovale, can relapse. In P. vivax and P. ovale infections, some parasites can remain dormant in the liver for several months up to about 4 years after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. When these parasites come out of hibernation and begin invading red blood cells (“relapse”), the person will become sick.

    How do I know if I have malaria?
    Most people, at the beginning of the disease, have fever, sweats, chills, headaches, malaise, muscles aches, nausea and vomiting. Malaria can very rapidly become a severe and life-threatening disease. The surest way for you and your doctor to know whether you have malaria is to have a diagnostic test where a drop of your blood is examined under the microscope for the presence of malaria parasites.

    If you are sick and there is any suspicion of malaria (for example, if you have recently traveled in a malaria-risk area) the test should be performed without delay.

    Tests for Malaria
    Peripheral Smear for Malarial Parasite
    Rapid Malaria Antigen Test.

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