Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR): ______ ______ Prologue: Within a few days of scraping his leg in a scooter accident in 2009, nine-year-old Brock Wade was in hospital fighting for his life with a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. Once the infection – caused by one of the bacteria most often resistant to antibiotics – has been diagnosed, doctors put him on five different antibiotics. After a month in the hospital, and against all odds, Brock recovered and was well enough to come home. Scenarios such as this case are increasingly being played out all over the world. But not all the thousands of patients that contract drug-resistant bacterial infections every year are as lucky as Brock. And the problem looks set to get worse. While infectious agents are becoming more and more resistant to the medicines that are currently in use, not enough drugs are being developed to combat them. WHO […]

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HEARING AID

HEARING AID: _______ _______ Prologue: I was working in Saudi Arabia as a doctor from 2001 to 2006. I was designated female medical specialist. All female medical patients used to come to me for treatment. I noticed that I cannot hear properly what they say. The language barrier and lack of lip reading (Muslim women wear burka covering their face) compounded hearing disability.  I got myself checked and found that I was suffering from otosclerosis. I started wearing hearing aid which improved my hearing significantly. Although one should remove hearing aids while sleeping at night, I used to wear hearing aid in one ear and sleep on side with ear having hearing aid on the top to attend night calls for emergency. In 2007/2008, I got operated in both ears, and after surgery my hearing improved so much that I did not need hearing aid. Hearing is one of the […]

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ZIKA

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 […]

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SWEATING

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 […]

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EXERCISE

EXERCISE: _ _ Prologue: The big four “proximate” causes of preventable ill-health are: smoking, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and alcohol excess. Of these, the importance of regular exercise is the least well-known. However, exercise is not a new concept. In 300 BC, Aristotle suggested that “a man falls into ill health as a result of not caring for exercise.”  These factors (smoking, nutrition, lack of physical activity and alcohol) are often described as lifestyle choices, yet many people do not have the finances, self-efficacy, environment or knowledge to be able to practice lifestyle choices correctly. We have moved towards a sedentary society with changing work and domestic habits & patterns. We now drive cars, sit in front of computers or TVs and use domestic appliances. There are far fewer manual jobs. This means that physical activity is not routine for most people. In 1949, 34% of miles travelled […]

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