An artist’s impression of the great medicine man Sushruta, the father of surgery. (the term and concept ‘Doctor’ did not exist then) Sushruta lived in the 8th century B.C. and has authored the Sushruta Samahita Sushruta’s Compendium on Medicine.
Sushruta2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. Over 125 surgical equipment were used. Deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity is also found in many texts.
- Don’t ever ignore blood in the sputum.
This may be indicative of the onset of TB.
- Don’t ever ignore weakness in one half of the body during early hours of the day.
Paralysis is common during this part of the day.
- Don’t ever ignore a fall in an older person.
It may lead to the end of their independence.
- Don’t ever ignore painless appearances of blood in the urine.
This may be indicative of early cancer of the bladder.
- Don’t ever ignore a lump in the breast.
This may be suggestive of breast cancer.
- Don’t ever ignore a persistent change in digestive and bowel habits.
This may suggest cancer.
- Don’t ever ignore a swelling or sore throat that does not get better.
This may suggest cancer or diabetes.
30 years ago, people with kidney failure had little hope of survival. Thousands Canadians suffered from kidney–related disorders, such as kidney stones and bladder cancer.
20 years ago, dialysis patients had to spend up to 36 hours each week connected to a machine in order to stay alive. Only half of kidney transplants were successful.
10 years ago, a new more convenient form of dialysis was developed. Dialysis treatments were reduced to approximately 12 hours a week.
Today, kidney transplants are 85% successful and the preferred treatment for many patients. Kidney stones are preventable and curable. A drug which treats and prevents bladder cancer has been developed.
Trivia in India
In India it costs less to have sex with a prostitute than it does to buy a condom.
In India, a cure for allergy and headache costs less than a cup of tea. Half of drug prescriptions for diarrhea originate in North India.
Two thirds of anti obesity drug prescriptions in India are for women.
53% of Indians are willing to pay Rs.100 for a Viagra pill while only 17% are willing to pay Rs. 500.
An estimated 1,049 Indians died of tobacco related diseases in 1998 which is two–thirds of the total of such deaths in SE Asia.
10.82% of Mumbai’s nursing homes do not have an in–house pathology laboratory.
Only 35% of births in India are attended by skilled health personnel.
Did you know?
- Education affects health the more educated a mother is, the less likely her children are to die before their fifth birthday.
- Educated women are also less likely to die in childbirth. (UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 1999)
- Yet two out of three of the world’s illiterate people are women.
- Women and children are most likely to be affected by hunger. Seven out of ten of the world’s hungry are women and girls.
- Three out of every four victims of natural and man–made disasters are women and young children.
- Pregnant and nursing mothers who don’t have enough to eat have smaller, unhealthy babies.
- Unhealthy adults have trouble feeding their families. As a result, their children don’t get enough to eat, and the hunger trap ensnares another generation of hungry poor.
- Tobacco claims around ten lakh lives in India annually. Nicotine’s immediate effect on the body includes damage to the central nervous system, increased rate of heart beats, increased blood pressure and in the long run, lung cancer and coronary heart disease.
- Intake of pan masala causes oral sub mucous fibrosis which is a high risk pre–cancerous condition. Aggressive advertising and introduction of aluminum foil packets have given a fillip to the sale of pan masala. Today, there are one hundred and fifty pan masala plants in the country.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco leaves results in a chemical dependency on nicotine that is similar to addiction to heroin or cocaine.
- Every year twenty lakh youngsters join the ever–growing community of tobacco users in India.
- According to WHO estimates, thirty lakh people die the world over every year from this man–made disaster. In other words, tobacco is responsible for one death every ten seconds. In India, it is responsible for one in every five deaths. Whereas in developed countries there is a downward trend.
- Twenty percent of the total tobacco–related deaths are from developing countries. Forty–one percent men and twenty one percent women in industrialized countries and fifty percent men and eight percent women in developing countries consume tobacco in its several forms.
1545 – Ambroise Pare, known as the father of modern surgery, advocates a new method of treating wounds with an ointment rather than boiling oil. He also uses ligatures for the first time to stop bleeding in wounds.
1614 – The first serious study of metabolism in the body is published by Italian physician Santorio .
1684 – The first accurate description of blood cells is given by Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. Earlier he became the first man to observe bacteria. 1747–Scotish physician James Lind gives the first demonstration of a cure for scurvy using fruit.
1796 – Edward Jenner becomes the first British physician to perform a successful vaccination, inoculating on a eight year old boy against smallpox thus laying the foundation for modern immunology.
1816 – French physician Rena Laennec invents the stethoscope.
1842 – The first major surgical operation using ether as an anaesthetic was carried out by Dr Crawford Long of Jefferson, Georgia.
1867 – Joseph Lister revolutionises modern surgery when he performs the first surgical operation under antiseptic conditions on his sister Isabella, at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary.
1895 – Wilhelm Roentgen, at the university of Wuerzburg, Germany, discovers electro magnetic rays which he called x–rays
1898 – Radium, used in the treatment of cancer, is first discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie.
1901–The first four major blood groups A.O, B and AB are discovered by Australian–born–US–pathologist Karl Landsteiner. M and N groups were discovered in 1927.
1921 – Canadians Sir Federick Banting and Charles Best isolate insulin for the first time. It proved an effective treatment for diabetes.
1928 – Scotish bacteriologist, Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin found to have been an excellent antibiotic. He shared the Nobel prize in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernest Chain who helped Fleming perfect and develop a method of producing the drug.
1932 – Gerhard Domagk, Polish bacteriologist, finds a new antibacterial treatment effective against streptococci using a substance called prontosil red.
1952 – The first pacemaker to control the body’s heartbeat, developed by Dr Paul Zoll of Harvard University, is fitted externally to David Schwartz. The first internal heart pacemaker is implanted into Arne Larsson in Stockholm by Ake Senning in 1958.
1953 – DNA (deoxyribonuclec acid), the genetic code, is first discovered by geneticists James Watson and Francis Crick of Cambridge University.
1954 – The first mass immunisation against pollomyelltis takes place in the United States with a vaccine developed by US virologist Jonas Edward Salk.
1960 – The first commercial contraceptive pill, Enovid 10, becomes available.
1967 – Dr. Christian Barnard carries out the world’s first heart transplant in South Africa. Louis Washkansky, the patient, dies 18 days after surgery.
1973 – Dr. Hans Kosterlitz discovers two naturally occurring opiates in the brain, the enkephalins. This biochemical triumph was achieved with John Hughes, his student.
1978 – In England Lesley Brown gives birth to Louise, the world’s first test tube baby after laboratory fertilisation.
1991 – A London surgeon makes the first artificial lung implant into a man with severe breathing problems.
1993 – Researchers discover the genetic material responsible for programmed cell death, a process by which individual cells commit suicide to help the body reshape developing tissues. The findings are said to have implications for several diseases, including Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, strokes, traumatic brain injury and certain types of cancer.
1995 – The World Health Organisation reports that at the end of 1994, the number of AIDS cases worldwide officially tops the million mark for the first time.
1996 – Scientists in Scotland report they have cloned an adult sheep, taking medical technology a step closer towards mass–producing herds of animals that can be farmed for human milk blood and organs. Dolly the sheep is the first animal to be grown from the cell of an adult animal.
1998 – Dolly the sheep becomes a mother giving birth to her first lamb, a female called Bonnie.
Evolution of Man
Evolution of ManUnbelievable but true is the miracle of life. Nobody is certain when life began, but the first fossil sea animals date back about six hundred million years ago. It was another two hundred million years later that vertebrates evolved on land shaped like amphibians, who were air–breathing fish which had begun to modify their fins into primitive legs. Today the dominant forms of terrestrial life are mammals rather than reptiles. The key to adaptation is the concept to govern the environment for survival.
Formation of LifeThe formation of Life
The formation of earth dating back a billion years from a large mass as goes the Big Bang theory is really exciting. The universal forces resulted in formation of orbits in which earth and other planets revolved around the sun. After a few million years when water actually formed from the environmental gases (H2 AND O2) first forms of Life called–protoplasm appeared. The basis of life is 4 elements, viz, earth, water, wind and fire simply put, but actually C(Carbon), O(Oxygen), H(Hydrogen) and N(Nitrogen) are what were the constituents of protoplasm which came together and combined under perfect atmospheric conditions to evolve Life. Although another theory states that C, H and N were the constituents of Protoplasm with the ability to combine with O2 (oxygen) and oxidize themselves. These unicellular organisms evolved into multi–cellular organisms and aquatic animals, that is when (fish were formed). They turned into amphibians, then into dinosaurs and finally into various other species.
Mammals characteristicsMammals and their characteristics
Mammals succeeded the reptiles as the dominant form of animal life on surface of the earth because they were significantly better adapted due to limbs.Major characteristics of mammals is warm–bloodedness (maintenance of relatively high and stable body temperature) Along with warm–bloodedness goes evolution of efficient insulation in the form of hair, fur or layer of fat deposits. Also teeth for mastication and most of all mammals ceased to lay eggs instead gave birth to young ones (viviparous). This was the most efficient mode of reproduction and made the mammals take better care of their offspring. Most important the evolution of intelligent behavior came with mammals. They exhibit curiosity, adaptability, capability of learning from experiencing.
Early PrimatesThe first primates appeared about 65 million years ago–tree mammals. All primates have large brains, developed eyes and good stereoscopic and binocular vision. The sight became all important and the tendency to explore and manipulate surroundings with limbs increased. The evolution of the thumb holds greater significance since the ability to grasp tools, climb trees and defend Mammals Tools oneself from offensive wild animals originated from it. The capacity of grasping objects by foot is lost in man but the hand remains the grasping tool. Finally a number of such minor features such as claws developed into nails; collar bones developed and with 2 nipples high on the body bequeathed the man.
Mammal ToolsThe primates later diversified into Prosimians, Monkeys, Apes and Man. The Gibbons, Simians and Orangutans are arboreal but Gorillas and chimpanzees are terrestrial. Man exists now with ground–living existence and with unique adaptation of his own. By being omnivorous that is able to eat anything he developed greater dietary flexibility. By living in family groups, social behavior Terrestrial Ancestor developed along with fostering culture, which took man to its ultimate mental vivacity.
Terrestrial ancestorAustralopithecus was probably man’s first fully terrestrial ancestor. Over 4 million years ago he lived on diet of seeds and fashioned crude tools as defense against carnivorous cats because he was 4 feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds and was found in India and Java (South East Asia).
Development of Brain
Brain DevelopmentComparison of Brain Development human and animal brains shows steady progression in brain size in relation to body weight. Not only the size but also there is expansion of areas as cerebral cortex. Frontal lobes are involved in inhibition of instinctive behavior associated with intelligence which is suppression of instinctive behavior. Temporal lobes which lie behind the temples on each side of brain cover storage and retrieval. The parietal lobes which lie on top contain cerebral cortex which specialize in linking up and synthesis of ideas and information–another important aspect of intelligence.
The advanced HominideThe advanced hominids include the Neanderthal man and Cro–magnon man. Most important as far as independence is concerned the one specialization which man did acquire is bipedalism. Ramapithecus was a hominid close to our ancestors who lived 10–12 million years ago. Finally the 1st true man Homo–erectus evolved about 800,000 years ago showing further increase in brain size, tool use and cultural adaptation.
The social animal
When the present condition of man is compared with lower forms of life from which he originated, it is obvious that an evolutionary ladder is ascended, leading from the earliest protoplasm to amphibian, to reptiles, on to mammals, the primates, then man; which is the ladder of social evolution.
The second main social link is that which is created between male and female for purpose of procreation. This is sexual behavior. Sexual behavior has been important in primate evolution. Development is particularly evident on sight or visual signals. Like most mammals the females of all primates except humans have an oestrous cycle. This is a regular and usually non–seasonal cycle of sexual receptivity at the height of which a female ovulates and shows sign of increased sexual excitability. In humans the menstrual cycle predominates due to unresponsiveness to changes in hormone levels. Sexual adaptations also include more curvatures in the body outline, pubic hair and development of prominent breasts and also secondary sexual characteristics such as standing upright, meeting face to face and kissing. The human male’s penis in erect state is larger than any primate and may have evolved as a means of signaling male’s sexual excitability. Apart from these, maternal behavior seen in context of mother–child relationship is developed.
The final truth
Whatever the final truth about man’s social origins, there is no doubt that such behavioral adaptations have led to the development of structural societies and advanced material culture have been dependant upon mental and physical adaptations which have given man the highly developed body and mind he possesses today.
What remains to be seen is how far is evolution going to extend? Is there a limit to human evolution along with advance in intelligence? Can man reach all frontiers in nature? Can he supercede nature? Most important question in our minds which still remains unsolved is, whether Intelligent life exists out in the universe? Is there another earth in the formation or already formed? Let us cross our fingers and hope for a miraculous union of intelligence that this universe has in store for us.
Some Facts about Blood
The red blood cells in our blood are carriers of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the different organs of our body. The hemoglobin in the cell is the agent that carries Oxygen. When red blood cells in our blood decrease, our blood can’t carry enough oxygen to various parts of our body. That would make us feel weak and tired, our heart beat to quicken, and our breathing to become fast and shallow. Our blood contains anywhere between five to nine million white blood cells. Each white blood cell has a nucleus and is capable of changing its shape.
The white blood cells in our blood increase greatly in number during an infection, when cancerous cells are formed in our body, or when we’re injured or stressed. The white blood cell count could be caused by weakening of the bone marrow, serious infections, malnutrition, or some immunity–related problem. We need approximately 12 mg of hemoglobin for every 100cc of blood for a man, and about 11 mg of it for a woman. People who have less than that level are considered anemic. Abnormal bleeding, malnutrition, genetically inherited conditions, illnesses, malfunctioning of blood–forming organs or side–effects of medication are all possible causes of anemia. Iron is an important mineral, especially for women. It helps us feel energized besides giving us a “Rosy” complexion. It also affects our growth and boosts our immune system.
Our body needs iron to make hemoglobin and red blood cells. It also needs it to carry oxygen and burn up energy. Anybody could suffer from anemia when they bleed excessively, have indigestion problems, suffer from external injuries and as a result of major surgery. One of the most common causes of iron–deficiency related anemia is lack of hemoglobin. This is, in turn, caused by diet. Common symptoms include dizziness and headaches.
10 Lousy Reasons not to give Blood
“I am afraid to give Blood”.
For everybody there is a first time, but if you just take the time (and courage) to make one donation, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated. There’s really nothing to it!
“Other people must be giving enough blood”.
You can gamble life on that assumption, but please, don’t gamble other people’s lives. What a tragic and useless waste it would be if someone died because people did not care enough to donate blood–if they left it for someone else to do.
“My blood isn’t the right type”.
Every type is the “Right” type. Both rare and common blood types are needed all the time.
“They wouldn’t want my blood because of the illness I’ve had”.
If you have doubts, the staff on duty will review your medical history with you. If you like, they will check with your doctor for a final O.K.
“I don’t have any blood to spare”.
If you are reasonably healthy, you’ve got 10 to 12 pints in your body. You should be able to give regularly every 3 months without any problems.
“My blood isn’t rich enough”.
A sample of your blood is checked before you donate. If your blood is deficient in some ways, at least you’ll know and be able to take action to correct it.
“I’m afraid of being turned down”.
If you are medically deferred, that’s OK. At least you tried. It may only be a temporary deferment, so try again later. The need for blood will never run out.
“They’ll take too much and I’ll feel weak”
The amount taken is less than one pint. Besides, your body makes new blood constantly. In fact, the volume you give will be replaced within a few hours. Most people just continue their usual activities after donating.
“My insurance covers blood I may need”.
The whole point of donating blood is to have it on hand when it’s needed, all the insurance in the world is useless if no blood is available.
“I’m too busy”.
Positively the lousiest excuse ever invented. We can make the time if we really want to.
Give the best that’s in you. Give blood