Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog


DRIVERLESS CAR: _____ _____ Prologue: Karl Benz invented the automobile in 1885. Later that year Benz took it out for the first public test drive and he crashed into a wall. Car crash trend continues till date. In spite of stronger cars, extra seat belts, and air bags, 1.25 million people are killed on the world’s roads every year. What could have prevented the accident? The obvious answer is that you could have — by paying attention. Driver error is the most common cause of traffic accidents, and with cell phones, drunken driving, in-car entertainment systems, more traffic and more complicated road systems, it isn’t likely to go away. But if drivers aren’t going to concentrate on the road, who is? If technology continues on its current course, your car will do the concentrating for you. Automakers are developing complex systems that allow cars to drive themselves. Machines are much […]



ZIKA: ______ _____ Prologue: On 18 April 1947, a rhesus monkey that researchers identified as 766 ran a fever of 39.7°C, about 2°C higher than normal. The monkey was part of a study hunting for yellow fever virus and was living in a cage on a platform built into the tree canopy in the 1.5-kilometer-long Zika Forest, which runs adjacent to an arm of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Three days later, the investigators took a blood sample from Rhesus 766 and injected it into the brains of Swiss albino mice. The mice “showed signs of sickness” after 10 days, and the researchers harvested their brains, from which they isolated a “new filterable transmissible agent.” Come January of the following year, the same researchers trapped mosquitoes from these canopy platforms and took them to the lab, hoping to isolate yellow fever virus. Others had shown that one of these species they […]



SWEATING: _____ _____ Prologue: Sweating is an essential and natural biological process that starts soon after we are born. Sweat is a weak salt solution produced by the sweat glands of skin. These are distributed over the entire body but are most numerous on the palms and soles.  Since the time of the ancient Greeks, the significance of sweating has been recognized, whereas our understanding of the mechanisms and controllers of sweating has largely developed during the past century. Heat dissipation is vital for our survival during exercise and heat stress.  In humans, the primary mechanism of heat dissipation, particularly when ambient temperature is higher than skin temperature, is evaporative heat loss secondary to sweat secretion from sweat glands. Normally humans produce as much as one liter of sweat per day; however most of this evaporates as soon as it is produced so we don’t notice it. The body produces […]



PULSE OXIMETRY _____ Prologue: All of us know how important oxygen is for our survival. Hypoxia means low oxygen supply and/or utilization by organ or tissue. Hypoxemia means low oxygen content of arterial blood. Hypoxaemia invariably leads to hypoxia but hypoxia can occur even without hypoxaemia. Arterial blood oxygen saturation is now considered the 5th vital sign, joining: temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Hypoxemia can be present before recognizable signs of respiratory distress become evident and the traditional sign of circumoral cyanosis is a late indicator of decreased oxygenation. Blood gas analysis was for many years the only available method of detecting hypoxemia in critically ill patients, but this technique is painful, has potential complications, and does not provide immediate or continuous data. Pulse oximetry is an objective estimation of oxygenation, and it is simple, reliable, and accurate when used appropriately. It has the unique advantage of […]



YOGA: _ Marilyn Monroe performs dhanurasana (bow pose) in 1948: Indra Devi opened yoga studio in Hollywood in 1948 and discovered ready students among movie stars, who found yoga’s breathing and relaxation techniques useful to their work. Her students included Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson and Marilyn Monroe. ______ Prologue: A considerable number of studies have identified prayer as a frequent and favoured coping method among patients providing each patient with comfort and strength. A variety of studies have attempted to test the efficacy of prayer and found no medical benefit. Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and well-constructed study proved in 2006. The Cochrane Collaboration published a thorough review reaching the same conclusion in 2011 and counselled, “We are not convinced that further trials of this intervention should be undertaken and would prefer to see any resources […]


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