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Medical Institutes should display Rate Cards in Premises : Mumbai High Court

The civic body health department will soon issue notices to private hospitals to display rate cards in the premises, following a Bombay high court order in July making it mandatory for medical institutes to display the information.

The deputy director of health recently sent a circular to the NashikMunicipal Corporation (NMC) asking them to implement the order of the court. This will make it mandatory for all medical establishments to display the schedule of charges payable for different treatments, surgeries and other services on the notice board like that in government hospitals. The rate card is expected to end billing disputes between patients and hospitals.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) that had taken objection to government decision remains firm on its stand. Rahul Aher, president of the Nashik branch of IMA, said that the central organization was following up the issue with the authorities concerned and is trying to get the proposal stalledcareernu jobs for doctors.

“Displaying the rate card is not a good idea for the doctor or the patient. This will worsen the doctor-patient relationship. The bed charges and the doctor’s fees are displayed by big hospitals and are also on the hospital records. The hospitals also give rate cards and when the patient goes to the hospital, the receptionist also asks about the category that they would like to opt for treatment,” he said.

Aher added that hospitals do not charge patients as per every injection and all these are charged under drug cost. The surgical charges vary as per the complications, though the type of surgery may be the same.

“The operation theatre charges are proportional to the surgical charges. No doctor will keep the patient on operation table or on anesthesia for long hours. This rate card system like hotels is not good. This would increase the distrust between the patient and the doctors,” he said.

A city doctor said that it was an unfair move and if the rates increase due to health complications during the treatment, the patient would feel cheated.

Some doctors, however, welcomed the move saying that it will bring in transparency in hospital administration. “The more the transparency, the better it is as the patient will at least know the approximate amount for various treatments,” said medical practitioner Raviraj Khairnar.

Administrator of Apollo Hospitals Sudheer Rai said, “It is a good thing and the patient and relatives will know what they are spending and what each treatment costs. This is the right thing to do. Transparency is anytime good. We have a tariff booklet and plan to display the rate card in two languages.”

On July 1, Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kendre while directing that the hospitals should display rates also stressed that the hospitals cannot hold back the bodies over non-payment of bills.
The bench was hearing two petitions against two well-known hospitals in Mumbai. The bench decided to treat one of the petitions as a public interest litigation to address the larger issues so that directions can be given, guidelines framed and mechanism evolved to help hospitals recover their dues. During the hearing, the government clarified that hospitals have no legal right to detain patients, though they can file suits to recover their money; even foreign courts. Currently, there is no mechanism to regulate hospitals over recovery of bills.

Justice Kanade also pointed out that in some cases the doctors do not even visit the patients and yet the fees are charged for the same. Noting that hospitals have not yet done so and based on the complaints with respect to it, the deputy director of health sent the notice to the NMC along with a sample of how the rates are to be displayed.Jobsite for Doctors

Source: TOI

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Alcohol does not benefit the heart, claims new study

A new BMJ study finds that even among people who drink only light to moderate amounts of alcohol, reducing consumption can improve heart health, reduce body mass index, and bring down blood pressure.

The large multi-center international study, which was co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, calls into question previous research that suggests light to moderate drinking may be good for the heart.

The study defines light to moderate drinking as consuming 0.6 to 0.8 fluid ounces of alcohol a day, or 17 to 23 ml, which is roughly what a 175 ml glass of wine contains.

The 155 researchers – from the UK, continental Europe, North America, and Australia – pooled and analyzed data about links between drinking habits and heart health from 56 epidemiological studies covering more than 260,000 people of European descent.careernu wine glass

They found that people with a particular gene consumed 17% less alcohol per week, were less likely to binge drink, and were more likely to abstain from alcohol altogether, than non- carriers.

These lower alcohol consumers typically had a 10% average reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood pressureand a lower body mass index (BMI).

The researchers conclude that reducing alcohol consumption across all levels of consumption – even light to moderate drinking – is beneficial for heart health.

Co-lead author Michael Holmes, a research assistant professor in Perelman School of Medicine’s department of Transplant Surgery, says, “Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health.”

He explains how for some time, observational studies have suggested only heavy drinking is bad for the heart, and that light drinking might even provide some benefit, and this has led some people to believe moderate consumption is good for their health, even lowering their risk of heart disease.

Even for light-to-moderate drinkers, reduced consumption may improve heart health

“However, what we’re seeing with this new study, which uses an investigative approach similar to a randomized clinical trial, is that reduced consumption of alcohol, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may lead to improved cardiovascular health,” says Prof. Holmes.

The focus of the study was investigating the heart health of people who carry a particular version of the gene “alcohol dehydrogenase 1B” which codes for a protein that helps to break down alcohol more quickly than in non-carriers.

The rapid breakdown causes nausea, facial flushing, and other symptoms, and is linked to lower levels of alcohol consumption over time.

The team used the gene as an indicator of lower alcohol consumption, and from there found the links between lower consumption and improved heart health.

Source: Medical News Today

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Human Lungs grown in a lab for the first time.

Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston have succeeded in growing human lungs in the laboratory, using components from the lungs of deceased children.

 

“In terms of different cell types, the lung is probably the most complex of all organs – the cells near the entrance are very different from those deep in the lung,” UTMB researcher Dr. Joaquin Cortiella said at that time.

“If we can make a good lung for people, we can also make a good model for injury,” researcher Dr. Joan Nichols suggested, adding that:

“We can create a fibrotic lung, or an emphysematous lung, and evaluate what’s happening with those, what the cells are doing, how well stem cell or other therapy works. We can see what happens inpneumonia, or what happens when you’ve got a hemorrhagic fever, or tuberculosis, or hantavirus – all the agents that target the lung and cause damage in the lung.”

 

Taking lungs from two children who had died from trauma (most likely a car accident), the researchers stripped one of the lungs down to a bare “skeleton” of just collagen and elastin – the main proteins in connective tissue.

the lab-grown lung before and after being reseeded with cellsThe lab-grown lung before and after being reseeded with cells. Image credit: UTMB

Using this stripped-down lung as a “scaffold,” they then harvested cells from the other lung, which were applied to the scaffolding.

This lung structure was then placed in a chamber filled with a nutritious liquid, which Nichols describes as “resembling Kool-Aid.”

After 4 weeks of immersion, the team extracted a complete human lung from the liquid – “just pinker, softer and less dense.” The team then successfully replicated the process using a second set of lungs.

Can lab-grown lungs be used in transplants?

Lung transplants are often the only treatment for incurable lung disorders such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But successful lung transplants are rare, as finding matching donors is very difficult – many patients die while on a waiting list for transplants.

UTMB’s work represents a landmark in regenerative engineering, but the reality of lab-engineered lungs being used in transplants could be at least 12 years away, Nichols says. The next phase of the research will be to test lab-grown lungs in pigs.

“It’s taken us a year to prove to ourselves that we actually did a good job with it. You don’t run out immediately and tell the world you have something wonderful until you’ve proved it to ourselves that we really did something amazing,” Dr. Nichols says.

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Source: Medical News Today

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Increased asthma risk for babies whose father smokes before conception

A new study suggests babies whose fathers smoked prior to conception have a greater risk of asthma.

Results from the study are being presented today at the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) International Congress in Munich, Germany, and is the first study to look at how a father’s pre-conception smoking habits can affect the respiratory health of his children.jobs for doctors

The researchers say their findings add to increasing evidence from animal studies that suggest the father’s lifestyle before conception can have negative health consequences for the child.

Prof. Sarah Robertson of the University of Adelaide in Australia explained that many of our lifestyle choices, such as a poor diet or smoking, are stored in the egg and sperm, and are then translated into environmental signals that are sent to the embryo.

For this latest study, led by Dr. Cecile Svanes from the University of Bergen in Norway, the researchers used a questionnaire to assess the smoking habits of over 13,000 men and women.

They then focused on the number of years an individual had smoked before conception, the incidence of asthma in their children and whether the parent had quit before the baby was conceived.

The study found that fathers – but not mothers – smoking prior to conception predicted non-allergic asthma (without hayfever) in children. Additionally, a child’s risk of asthma increased if his or her father smoked before the age of 15, and this risk increased the longer the father’s duration of smoking.

“This suggests a clinically important role of smoking on spermatogenesis with consequences for asthma development,” write the researchers, “with potentially large impact on public health policies.”

There was no observed link between a mother’s pre-conception smoking and a child’s asthma, they add.

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Source: Medical News Today


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New Technology in Heart Transplant is Revolutionary.

Transplant surgeons are using a pioneering technology that keeps a donor heart pumping outside the body. Dubbed the ‘heart in a box’, the device keeps the organ ‘alive’ from the moment it is removed until it is placed in a recipient.

But over the past 12 months, surgeons at Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, have carried out 25 heart transplant operations in which the patient received an organ that had been transported and prepared for transplantation using the groundbreaking Organ Care System (OCS). It simulates the conditions of the human body, pumping oxygenated blood inside the heart so it can continue to function as it would inside a living person.

The technology increases the time the organ can be maintained outside the body to at least eight hours, compared with a maximum of three to four hours on ice. This means hearts can be retrieved from further afield. The heart in a box also allows surgeons to assess whether the donor heart is suitable for transplantation.

 

It is harder to assess a non-beating heart and mistakes can be made about suitability.

The technology has already prevented patients from receiving a donor heart that will not work and could put their life at risk. Surgeons often start opening up a patient to receive a donor heart before the organ has arrived because of the limited time they have to get it into the recipient.

This is particularly relevant where patients have been kept alive on an artificial heart, another type of device that is ‘plumbed into’ the body, taking over the functions of the organ. Because this involves further surgery, more time is needed to get these patients ready for transplant, so often a heart will be given to a person who can be operated on faster.

Andre Simon, consultant surgeon and director of transplantation at the Royal Brompton and Harefield, said the heart in a box had enabled the hospital to carry out more transplants. ‘Put simply, it means that patients at Harefield have had life-saving heart transplants which otherwise would not have been possible, primarily because we have travelled greater distances to retrieve an organ and have been able to transplant  many more patients who already have an implanted device keeping them alive.

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Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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Blood Group AB people 82% more likely to develop memory problems.

The new study suggests people with blood type AB are 82% more likely to develop thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia.

Several research studies have pinpointed lifestyle changes individuals can make to prevent memory loss, such as keeping stress and blood sugars low, and not smoking. But a new study pinpoints a potential risk factor for memory loss that we can do nothing about: our blood type.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services, among other organizations, and is published in the journal Neurology.

The type of blood we have depends on whether or not there are certain proteins – called antigens – in our red blood cells, and this blood type is passed down from our parents.careernu blood group.jpg

There are four main blood types: type A, type B, type AB and type O. Additionally, if a substance called Rh factor appears on the surface of the red blood cells, a person is considered to be Rh+ (positive).

Type O+ is the most common blood type, while AB- is theleast common. But not all ethnic groups have the same proportion of blood types. For example, Hispanics have a high number of O blood types, while Asians have a high number of B blood types.

According to the authors of this latest study, led by Dr. Mary Cushman of the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, the blood type AB is only foundin about 4% of the US population, yet people with this blood type were 82% more likely than other types to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia.

To conduct their study, the researchers used data from a larger one called the REGARDS Study, which stands for the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke. This bit of research followed 30,000 people for around 3.4 years.
Of those involved in the study who did not have memory or thinking problems at the start, the researchers pinpointed 495 participants who developed thinking and memory problems or cognitive impairment during the course of the study. These participants were then compared with 587 people who did not have any cognitive difficulties.

The results show that those with blood type AB made up 6% of the group that developed cognitive impairment, compared with only 4% found in the population.

Commenting on their study, Dr. Cushman says:

“Our study looks at blood type and risk of cognitive impairment, but several studies have shown that factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Blood type is also related to other vascular conditions, like stroke, so the findings highlight the connections between vascular issues and brain health.”

Written by Marie Ellis

Source: Medical News Today

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