Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

NIPAH

Nipah: _____ Figure above shows burial of a victim of Nipah virus in Kozhikode, India. _____ Prologue: An outbreak of probable encephalitis hit Siliguri, India in 2001. All hell broke loose when a cardiologist by the name of Dr Ajit Maity and a nurse associated with Medinova Florence Nursing Home fell victim to this disease. It was reported that both had contracted it while treating a patient. A few other doctors, nurses and paramedics were taken severely ill in another hospital. Ten among those infected medics later died. Soon, Siliguri started resembling a ghost town. The roads were deserted, shops shut and schools were closed for a week. There was misinformation circulated based on rumour and gossip. But worst of all was that some doctors secretly fled. Some doctors were apprehended at Jalpaiguri Railway Station and Bagdogra Airports by citizens before they could slip away. Red-faced politicians had flown in […]

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ORGAN DONATION & TRANSPLANTATION (ODT)

  Organ Donation & Transplantation (ODT): ____ Jemima Layzell died of a brain aneurysm in 2012 and her organ donations have helped eight people including five children. ____ Prologue: In 1894, the surgeon Otto Lanz (1865–1935) warned his colleagues not to scoff at a treatment “which aims at replacing the organ that has lost its function in the organism”. Today, no one would doubt the seriousness of a surgeon who treats a disease by replacing an organ. However, it was only around 1900 that the idea of organ replacement became self-evident. The introduction of antibiotics, massive vaccinations of the general population to prevent infectious diseases, and organ transplantation may be considered the miracles of twentieth century medicine. Organ transplantation is the best therapy for terminal and irreversible organ failure. Transplantation has given many a new lease on life and, to many more, an extension that would have otherwise been impossible. […]

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HUMAN EVOLUTION

HUMAN EVOLUTION: _ Figure below shows conservator Effie Verveniotou and human origins researcher Dr Louise Humphrey examine the oldest nearly complete modern human skeleton ever found in Britain before it goes on display in the gallery. Cheddar Man is a human male fossil found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. Excavated in 1903, Cheddar Man is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton. Cheddar Man lived around 10,000 years ago. Analysis of his nuclear DNA indicates that he was a typical member of the western European population at the time, with lactose intolerance, dark skin, blue eyes, and dark curly or wavy hair. ________ Prologue: Recently, minister of state for human resource development of India said that the Darwinian theory of evolution was scientifically wrong and should not be taught in Indian institutions. Many scientists and students signed a petition calling upon him to withdraw his remarks. Three science academies […]

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OXYGEN THERAPY

Oxygen (O2) Therapy: _____ While we inhale 21% of oxygen and 0.04% of carbon dioxide, we exhale 17% of oxygen and 4% of carbon dioxide. _____ Prologue: Oxygen (O2) is a vital element in human survival and plays a major role in a diverse range of biological and physiological processes. Oxygen therapy means using an oxygen cylinder or a machine to breathe in air that contains more oxygen than normal. Oxygen is widely available and commonly prescribed by medical and paramedical staff.  In medical practice, it is among the most universally used agents for the treatment of critical illness and part of the routine treatment in acute shock and emergency medicine. Proper application of oxygen therapy and airway management is lifesaving. In the absence of O2 (hypoxia), cellular respiration ceases and irreversible cellular injury and death occur within minutes. Administered correctly it may be lifesaving. However, renaissance physician Paracelsus noted: […]

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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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