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World Diabetes Day (WDD) was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about diabetes’s growing health hazards. With the approval of United Nations Resolution 61/225 in 2006, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day. Every year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin with Charles Best in 1922, is commemorated. WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness program, with over 1 billion people in over 160 nations participating. The campaign raises public awareness of issues that are important to the diabetic community and keeps diabetes in the spotlight.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus, sometimes known as diabetes, is a metabolic condition marked by high blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that carries sugar from your bloodstream into your cells, where it is stored or used for energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it produces as effectively as it should. If left untreated, diabetes-related high blood sugar can affect your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs. According to IDF Diabetes Atlas in 2019, 463 million adults (1 in 11) were diagnosed with diabetes. By 2030, the number of people with diabetes is predicted to reach 578 million.

Diabetes is divided into several types:

Type 1 Diabetes  is an autoimmune illness. The immune system targets and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is created. The exact cause of the attack is unknown. This kind of diabetes affects about 10% of diabetics.

Type 2 Diabetes  results due to Sugar build up in your blood as your body develops insulin resistance.

Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is greater than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy. The production of insulin-blocking chemicals by the placenta causes this type of diabetes.

Diabetes insipidus, despite its similar name, is a rare condition that is unrelated to diabetes mellitus. It’s a different condition in which your kidneys excrete too much fluid from your body.

As per Centres for Diabetes Control and Prevention (CDC), Diabetes patients are also more likely to have factors that raise their risk of heart attack or strokes, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you have diabetes, controlling your blood glucose, commonly known as blood sugar, can help you protect your heart and health. Controlling your high blood pressure and cholesterol levels might also help you stay safe. If you smoke, seek assistance in quitting.

What is the link between Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases? 

Diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels as well as the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. This damage can lead to heart disease over time. Diabetics are more likely to develop heart disease at a younger age than non-diabetics. Adults with diabetes are about twice as likely as non-diabetic adults to get heart disease or stroke. People with diabetes mellitus have nearly twice the risk of sudden cardiac mortality as those without the disease. Because diabetes is linked to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, particularly due to a higher risk of concurrent coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, the link between diabetes mellitus and an increased risk of sudden cardiac mortality may not surprise those who care for patients with diabetes.

Diabetes patients are also more likely to have the following conditions, which increase their risk of heart disease:

  • High blood pressure causes the blood to flow more forcefully through your arteries, potentially damaging the arterial walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes increases your risk of heart disease significantly.
  • Plaque can build on damaged artery walls if you have too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your system.
  • High triglycerides (a form of fat found in the blood) and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol are thought to play a role in artery hardening.

However, it’s crucial to remember that the risk of sudden cardiac mortality in diabetics is linked to a variety of factors other than coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, and there’s still a lot to learn about the risk factors for sudden cardiac mortality in diabetics that could lead to preventive treatments.

In such situations is BRS (Bioresorbable Scaffold) a boon for younger generation? 

Now that it’s evident that heart problems can strike anyone at any age, let’s learn more about angioplasty. It is one of the most popular procedures among those who are at high risk of heart attacks. Bioresorbable stents are the most recent type of coronary stent to be discussed. These stents have the potential to transform cardiology in the same way that bare-metal stents and eventually DES revolutionized cardiology. While it’s tempting to dismiss these devices as a natural response to clinical experience with more traditional stents, it’s worth noting that the notion of bioresorbable stents has been known since the early 2000s, when the first DES was introduced. The essential reasoning for such stents, which was laid out at the time, namely that the stent should vanish once its primary purpose was completed, is still valid today. For starters, the continued presence of polymer and metal elements within the arterial wall may reduce the risk of undesirable clinical outcomes. Second, the vessel may be able to regain crucial functions, such as unrestricted vasomotion, which is critical for blood flow and pressure regulation. Finally, the patient who has been treated is allowed to conduct further diagnostic examinations including MRI. Finally, if revascularization is needed in the future, the stented vessel will be acceptable for the whole range of revascularization methods, which is especially significant for younger adult patients and children. As a result, there has been a lot of work done in business and academics to build bioresorbable scaffolds that will deliver these benefits.

Prevention is better than cure so, take care of your heart. 

These lifestyle adjustments can help you manage diabetes and minimize your risk of heart disease or keep it from getting worse:

  • Maintain a balanced diet: Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean protein and nutritious carbohydrates. Avoid Trans external Trans-fat by eating fewer processed foods (such as chips, sweets, and fast meals). More water, less sugary drinks, and less alcohol are all good things to do.
  • Make an effort to maintain a healthy weight: If you’re overweight, even a small weight loss will help lower your triglycerides and blood sugar levels. For a 200-pound person, modest weight reduction implies losing 5% to 7% of their body weight, or 10 to 14 pounds.
  • Get moving: Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity (the hormone that permits cells in your body to utilize blood sugar for energy), which aids with diabetes management. Physical activity also aids blood sugar regulation and reduces the risk of heart disease. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, such as brisk walking.
  • Keep track of your ABCs:

A: Get a frequent A1C test to track your average blood sugar over two to three months, and try to stay as close to your target range as feasible.

B: Maintain a blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg (or the target your doctor sets).

C: Maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

s: Either quit or don’t start smoking. 

To avoid health consequences such as heart disease, work with a diabetes care and education professional. You’ll get support and answers, as well as learn about the most recent developments in diabetes management. Learn how diabetes education can assist you in taking the best possible care of yourself. If you don’t already have a diabetes educator, make sure you seek your doctor for a referral.

Source: 

  • https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes
  • https://worlddiabetesday.org/about/facts-figures/ 
  • https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-and-heart.html
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/heart-disease-stroke
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/bioresorbable-stent

World Trauma Day is observed on the 17th of October every year. This day emphasizes the increasing rate of accidents and injuries that cause death and disability across the world, and the need to prevent these mishaps. World Trauma Day aims at spreading awareness on the different ways to prevent accidents and the precautions one can take to keep safe.

The word “Trauma” refers to any physical injury to the body. There may be several causes of the injury such as road accidents, falling, violence, and abuse inflicted by another person, burns caused due to fire breakouts, and more. However, among the many reasons mentioned above, Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) are the major cause of trauma across the globe. About 5 million people die from trauma across the world every year. Most of these injuries even cause permanent disability or death. Having a road/fire accident can significantly impact one’s life and bring about a drastic change in their attitude and behavior.

How does an accident impact and alter one’s life?

An accident can have severe repercussions on a person’s life, and they go beyond just the obvious external injury. Some of the ways in which an accident can alter the victim’s life are:

  1. Mental health issues:

Several accident victims struggle with mental health issues in the aftermath of an accident. Most victims go through a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This occurs when the victim fails to recover after a traumatic event. Apart from PTSD, they may face other mental health problems too. These issues may vary from severe stress, sleeplessness (insomnia) to anxiety. Victims who have had a permanent disability from the accident may also struggle with depression.

  • Strained relationships:

After undergoing a traumatic event, several victims have reported that it has put a strain on their relationships – parents, spouse, children, and friends. This may happen due to the stress and other mental health problems that occur after the accident.

  • Negative impact on professional life:

An accident can also have a negative impact, not just on the victim’s personal life, but on their professional lives as well. This problem might stem from the anxiety of returning to the workplace after a traumatic event. It may also affect the punctuality and the ability to perform at the workplace, leading to strained relationships with their manager and even their colleagues.

  • Fear of commuting:

If the victim has been involved in a car or bike accident, they might fear commuting by those means again, due to the trauma faced earlier. The idea of commuting may also trigger their anxiety and forbid them from doing so.

  • Long-lasting physical impact:

This is one of the most common factors that will impact the victim. Serious accidents can leave behind a lasting physical impact that may persist for years after the mishaps have taken place. This can include traumatic brain injuries, fractures that may require surgeries to fix it, spinal injuries, permanent disabilities, and in extremely severe cases, an amputation.

How can one recover from an accident?

After suffering an injury during an accident, complete recovery takes a lot of time, patience, and care. Depending on the severity of the injury, the recovery may take several months or even years. Though you cannot get a definitive time of recovery, there are certain things you can do to ease out the process.

  1. Seek medical help immediately:

In several cases of accidents, though the injuries may not be visible immediately, it is important to seek medical attention. Signs of concussions, pain and damage to the spine or limbs may take hours to appear. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of the injury worsening.

  • Thoroughly follow the treatment plan:

Depending on the severity and location of the injury, the treatment plan would differ. The most effective way to ensure complete recovery is to follow the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor, with utmost care. In cases involving fractures and broken bones, the doctors will prescribe surgery to fix the bones with the help of implants.

  • Rest:

Giving your body the rest it needs plays a crucial role in the recovery process. After a severe injury, it is important that your body slows down and gets the time to heal. Getting a good night’s sleep will impact your body positively and keep your energy levels intact. The level of stress hormones in the body also drops while you sleep, and blood flow also increases, allowing your muscles and tissues to repair.

Surgery after accidents

In cases of severe injuries that result in bone fractures and damage, the doctor usually recommends surgery to fix them. During the surgery, the surgeon may use surgical implants to replace a biological structure that has been damaged due to trauma in an accident or provide structural support.  Some of the most common implants used in surgeries to treat damage caused by an accident are:

  1. Plates:

The function of plates is to hold the broken pieces of bones together. They are attached to the bones with the help of screws. The plates also work to control and nullify all the forces in the bone such as compression, bending, and more.

  • Screws:

The primary function of a screw is to produce compression in the bone, which is required to mend the injury/fracture. The screw converts the force that arises from the bone movement into compression and distributes it evenly to the surface of the injured bones.

  • Intramedullary Nails:

Intramedullary Nailing is a procedure used to fix broken bones and keep them stable. In this procedure, a metal rod  (intramedullary nail) is placed in the center of the bone to provide support for the fractured bone. This procedure is most commonly used to fix the thigh, shin, upper arm, and hip.

  • Prosthesis:

A prosthesis is an artificial substitute or a replacement of a body part such as an arm, a leg, a facial bone, a hip joint, or even a breast implant. A prosthetic implant can be used when a certain part of the body has to be removed or amputated. Prosthetics are removable.

These surgical implants should be resistant to chemical reactions and completely biocompatible, to not cause infections. Implants should also be able to resist wear for a long time, which is why the materials to make the implants must be chosen carefully. Some of the most common materials that are used to make implants are:

  • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel has been used in surgical processes for a very long time due to its properties. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, and this property is extremely in implants as they are placed inside the body, and may come in contact with biological fluids. This prevents the chances of an infection occurring.
  • Titanium Alloy: Compared to stainless steel, the use of titanium in implants is a relatively new practice. However, titanium implants are now most sought-after as they retain as much strength as stainless steel and are comparatively lighter.

How can we prevent road accidents?

Road accidents are the leading cause of most injuries across the world. Though there are many treatments and recovery options available to reverse damage caused by an accident, it is also important to work towards preventing accidents from taking place. During an accident, several things aren’t in our control. However, there are certain precautions we can take from our end, to avoid accidents as much as possible.

  • Develop the right attitude: Several road accidents are a result of factors like over-speeding, jumping the signal, and irresponsible driving. It is extremely necessary to develop a responsible attitude towards driving and be in complete control of the vehicle.
  • Wear your seat belt:  Wearing your seat belt while sitting in the vehicle is a norm – whether you are seated in the driver seat or the passenger seat.
  • Avoid drinking and driving: This goes without saying. Alcohol may dim your senses and impairs your visual functioning, leading to difficulty in steering the vehicle and poor control. Follow safe driving practices and avoid driving under influence (DUI).

Though there may be several factors that are out of our control in an accident, we can do our bit to stay careful and ensure the safety of others. In case of an accident, make sure that you call the emergency helpline number immediately to get assistance. Stay mindful of the traffic guidelines and follow road safety to prevent unnecessary accidents!

World Arthritis Day, referred to as WAD, is celebrated on October 12th. According to the Arthritis Foundation, one in every three persons in the world aged 18 to 64 has arthritis. Arthritis is a condition in which the joints become inflamed and make it difficult to move. Sedentary behavior has increased in the urban population, resulting in lower muscle mass and bone strength. WAD strives to raise awareness of the existence and effect of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders, often known as RMDs, among all audiences around the world. The crippling effects of these disorders, of which there are over 200, are little understood. Arthritis is a broad term that refers to a variety of disorders that affect the joints, surrounding tissues, and other connective tissues. Arthritis is generally diagnosed as a result of acute or chronic joint inflammation, which is commonly accompanied by pain and structural abnormalities.

What causes arthritis? 

Arthritis is caused by a variety of factors, including infection, crystal deposition, heredity, injury, and repetitive use. Joint pain and stiffness are common symptoms of arthritis, which vary depending on the type. 

Cartilage is a stiff but flexible connective tissue found in your joints. It protects your joints by absorbing the strain and shock of movement and stressing them. A decrease in the normal amount of cartilage tissue causes arthritis.

One of the most frequent types of arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA), which is caused by normal wear and tear. A joint infection or injury can hasten the natural degradation of cartilage tissue. If you have a family history of OA, your chances of developing it are increased.

The autoimmune condition Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another common kind of arthritis. It happens when your immune system targets your body’s tissues. The synovium, soft tissue in your joints that creates a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints, is affected by these attacks. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a synovial disease that attacks and destroys joints. It can eventually cause both bone and cartilage inside the joint to be destroyed. It’s unclear what causes the immune system’s attacks. However, scientists have uncovered genetic markers that fivefold enhance your chances of acquiring RA.

How is it diagnosed? 

If you’re not sure who to see for an arthritis diagnosis, start with your primary care physician. They’ll do a physical exam to see if there’s any fluid around the joints, if the joints are heated or red, and if the joints have a limited range of motion. If necessary, your doctor can recommend you to a specialist.

If you’re having significant symptoms, you might want to see a rheumatologist first. This could lead to a more rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Your doctor can determine what type of arthritis you have by extracting and testing inflammation levels in your blood and joint fluids. Anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide), RF (rheumatoid factor), and ANA (antinuclear antibody) blood tests are additional common diagnostic procedures.

Imaging scans such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are widely used by doctors to create images of your bones and cartilage. This allows them to rule out alternative possibilities for your symptoms, such as bone spurs.

How to prevent Arthritis? 

Arthritis cannot always be avoided. Some factors, such as your age, family history, and gender, are beyond your control (many kinds of arthritis are more common in women). Arthritis can be classified into over a hundred different forms. Osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are the three primary kinds. Each variety develops uniquely, although they are all painful and can result in loss of function and deformity.

You can lower your risk of acquiring sore joints as you get older by practicing a few healthy practices. Many of these habits, such as exercising and eating a nutritious diet, also aid in the prevention of other diseases.

  • Consume fish: Omega-3 fatty acids, a beneficial polyunsaturated lipid, are abundant in certain fish. Omega-3 fatty acids have a variety of health benefits, including the ability to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Your knees must bear the weight of your body. They can suffer a lot as a result of being overweight or obese. Overweight women are about four times more likely than healthy-weight women to have knee osteoarthritis. Diet and exercise can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise: It relieves the burden of excess weight on your joints while also strengthening the muscles that surround them. This helps to keep them stable and protects them from further wear and strain.
  • Take care of your joints: Sitting, working, and lifting with the proper technique can help prevent joints from ordinary strains. When lifting objects, for example, lift with your knees and hips rather than your back. 

What are the treatment options available?

The goal of arthritis treatment is to alleviate symptoms and improve joint function. Before you figure out what works best for you, you may need to try a few different therapies or combinations of treatments. Depending on the type of arthritis, different drugs are used to treat it. Like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Counterirritants, Steroids, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). 

  • Therapy

Some kinds of arthritis may benefit from physical therapy. Exercises can help you increase your range of motion and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Splints or braces may be necessary for some circumstances.

  • Surgery

If non-invasive treatments fail, doctors may recommend surgery, such as:

  • Repair of the joints: Joint surfaces can be polished or repositioned to alleviate pain and increase function in some cases. These operations are frequently performed arthroscopically, which means they are done through small incisions over the joint.
  • Joint replacement: In this surgery, the damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial one. The most common joints to be replaced are the hips and knees. Of late, for the knees, robotic knee replacement surgery is performed. It is similar to a traditional knee replacement. The surgeon removes the damaged part of your knee and

replaces it with an artificial one. The only difference is that it is done with the help of a robotic arm.

  • Joint Fusion: Smaller joints, such as those in the wrist, ankle, and fingers, are more commonly treated with this surgery. It separates the ends of the two bones of the joint and then locks them together until the joint heal into a single stiff unit.

While arthritis has no cure, the correct treatment can significantly reduce your symptoms. You can manage your arthritis by making several lifestyle adjustments in addition to the treatments your doctor suggests. This World Arthritis Day let us make people aware of arthritis and the importance of healthy bones and joints because educating people can lead to significant changes and alleviate human suffering.

The word “Osteoporosis” means “porous bone” in Latin. Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become extremely weak. In this condition, the bones become so brittle that they are susceptible to unexpected and sudden fractures. Usually, these fractures occur in the hip, wrist, or spine area. A healthy bone has small spaces on the inside. When the bones are affected by osteoporosis, the space inside the bones increase. This causes the bones to lose their density and strength, and the outside of the bones also grows weaker.

The disease often develops without any symptoms and is not diagnosed until the bones fracture or break at the slightest of stress. About 200 million people around the world are estimated to be living with osteoporosis. Although this disease can occur in both women and men, women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis as compared to men. The disease can affect people of any age, but it is more common in old people.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis does not cause any symptoms during the early stages. In most cases, people with osteoporosis may not be aware that they are affected by the condition until the first fracture. However, once the bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may display the following symptoms:

  • Backache
  • Loss of height
  • Change in posture such as stooping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden and frequent bone fractures

Causes of Osteoporosis

The bones in our body are in a constant state of renewal, as the old bones are broken down and new bones are formed. In younger people, the new bones are formed faster, before the old ones are broken down and the bone mass also tends to increase. This process slows down after the early 20s and people reach their peak bone mass by the age of 30. The higher the peak bone mass, the lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Risk Factors of Osteoporosis

Several factors are likely to increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. They are:

Age: This is the biggest risk factor for osteoporosis. The older you get, the greater your risk of developing the condition.

Sex: Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis in comparison to men.

Race: People who are of Asian or Caucasian descent are at a higher risk of osteoporosis.

Weight: People with smaller body frames and lower weight are more likely to develop osteoporosis as they have less bone mass to draw from.

Hormone Levels: Lower sex hormones in the body tend to weaken the bones. This is why women at menopause are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, as the estrogen levels in the body reduce.

Thyroid: Excessive thyroid hormone can lead to bone loss. This can occur if you have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or consume too much thyroid hormone medication to treat hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Low Calcium Intake: Less intake of calcium plays an important role in the development of osteoporosis. Low calcium can lead to diminished bone density and increases the risk of fractures.

Eating Disorders: Being underweight and restricting food intake also leads to osteoporosis as there is less bone mass to draw from.

Steroids: Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, oral or injected, interferes with the bone-rebuilding process.

Sedentary Lifestyle: People who indulge in less physical activities have a higher risk of osteoporosis as weight-bearing exercises and other activities such as walking, running and dancing are beneficial for the bones.

Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

Before the doctor runs any other tests, he will review your medical history to find out if you have had any medical conditions that could lead to osteoporosis. The doctor will first check if you have a family history of osteoporosis. Once verified, the following are the tests that your doctor might suggest to determine if you have osteoporosis.

Blood Tests: The doctor may run blood tests to check for the condition that may lead to bone loss or reduction in bone density.

Bone Density Test: Also known as Bone Densitometry, this test uses an x-ray to measure the density of your bones in the wrists, hips, and spine. This can take up to 10 – 30 minutes.

Preventive measures

Maintaining a good diet and an active lifestyle play an important role in keeping your bones healthy. Some risk factors such as age, race, and gender cannot be changed. However, there is a certain measure you can take to reduce the chance of developing osteoporosis.

Include calcium in your diet:  An adult should consume about 1,000 milligrams of calcium on an average, a day. Some of the best sources of calcium include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, salmons/sardines, tofu, cereals, and more. However, if you are unable to include enough calcium in your diet, you can also consider taking calcium supplements.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D enables the body to absorb calcium, which in turn helps improve bone health. Vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to sunlight and dietary sources such as cod liver oil, salmons, and fortified milk.

Regular Exercise: Having a regular exercise regimen can help strengthen bones and slow down bone loss. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, and rope skipping strengthen bones in the legs, hips, and lower spine.

Treatment of Osteoporosis

The treatment for osteoporosis depends on the results of the bone density test. If your risk of bone-breaking and fracture isn’t high, the treatment may not include medications and will focus on reducing risk factors and strengthening your bones.

Hormone Therapy

Estrogen, especially after menopause, can help maintain bone density. However, it might also cause other diseases like breast cancer and blood strokes.

Medication

If you are diagnosed with severe osteoporosis, or if the other treatment methods do not work, the doctor might suggest medications.

Though osteoporosis is not completely curable, one can take the necessary treatment to keep the bones strong and healthy. Several risk factors are not under our control such as age, race, and gender. However, making certain lifestyle changes like regular exercising, stopping tobacco and alcohol usage, and increasing calcium intake can help keep osteoporosis at bay. So, keep yourself aware of your risks and approach your doctor immediately when you start noticing symptoms to treat osteoporosis in the early stage.

Disclaimer: This blog is only for awareness purpose. We do not intent to promote any medications given in the blog. Please consult your physician before taking any medication.

The IPC or the Infection prevention and control is an evidence-based practical approach that prevents patients and health workers from being harmed by avoidable infection.

The International Infection Prevention Week was established in 1986. This year’s theme is “Make your Intention Infection Prevention” The idea is to highlight the science behind infection prevention and inspire people to join the fight.

The aim is to make sure that no one catches an infection while receiving health care. There is a possibility that infections can spread through outbreaks and many regular care practices as a result of antimicrobial resistance. This could affect hundreds of millions of people across the world every year. WHO is working with numerous partners to deliver quality care through IPC practices.

Let us take a look at some of the guidelines by the WHO for medical professionals to follow concerning IPC, and how we as patients can also equally be part of the solution:

Core components of Infection Prevention and Control

The WHO core components for Infection Prevention and Control are based on scientific evidence, expert consensus, and experiences of a country, and provide the foundation for strengthening established programs at the national and facility level.

These guidelines enhance the capacity of Member States to develop and implement effective behavioral modifications that are interventions, at national and acute health facility levels. They are a key part of the strategies to prevent infections, disease(es, or threats like Ebola and strengthen health services, thus combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The guidelines are created to support the countries that are still in the process of formulating their IPC protocols and AMR plans to support healthcare and strengthen their approach.

HAIs or Healthcare-associated Infections and guidelines

Annually, millions of patients around the world suffer from healthcare-associated infections. These are called HAIs. HAIs are frequent adverse events in health care, and their global burden remains undetermined because it is rather difficult to gather data that is reliable. IPC undertakes the global issue of HAIs as a key area of work. Research has been conducted to identify published studies through systematic literature reviews from developed and developing countries to highlight the magnitude of HAIs. WHO has published reports on this topic as well.

Hand washing

There is a simple solution to HAIs. Most of these are preventable through good hand hygiene practices. Cleaning hands the right way at the right time is key. The WHO guidelines on hand hygiene in healthcare are shown to be the most effective approach. Hand hygiene improvement programs can prevent up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during health care delivery. It can also generate economic savings on an average, 16 times the cost of implementation

Surgical site infection Guidelines

  • Alcohol-based antiseptic solutions based on Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG) for surgical site skin preparation should be used on patients undergoing surgical procedures.
  • Patients with nasal carriage of S.aureus should receive intranasal applications of mupirocin 2% ointment with or without a combination of chlorhexidine gluconate body wash.
  • Surgical hand preparation should be performed either by scrubbing with suitable antimicrobial soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before wearing sterile gloves.
  • Mechanical bowel preparation alone (without the administration of oral antibiotics) should NOT be used in adult patients undergoing effective colorectal surgery.
  • Hair should not be removed for a patient undergoing surgical procedures unless necessary.
  • Shaving is strongly discouraged at all times.
  • Surgical antibiotic prophylaxis SAP should be administered before surgical incision when indicated.
  • SAP should be administered within 120 min before the incision while considering the half-life of the antibiotics.

Injection safety guidelines

Sometimes, injections that are intended to promote health do the opposite when they are administered in an unsafe way. Practices like using the same needle or syringe to administer injections to more than one person can lead to life-threatening infections.

How you as a patient can join the fight

Being aware of the risks of unsafe injections, the benefits of taking an oral medication, and inquiring about alternatives to injections can be ways in which patients can play their part in IPC. One can also ensure that injections are delivered with a syringe and needle opened from new packets only.

The onus of protecting patients from HAIs or other infections is not just on doctors and healthcare professionals, it is also on us, patients. Prevention is always better than cure. One can educate themselves on how infections can be avoided. Not to mention the very basic solution of handwashing that has kept most of us safe during the ongoing global pandemic.

COVID care in current times, COVID Self test is a need of the hour

As a country, we are standing on the verge of the third wave of COVID. The probable emergence of it is still not clear. Since offices, malls, public places have started opening up in full capacity; we need to be extra cautious about things.

If we don’t want to get again into the grip of the COVID wave, we need to take all basic necessary precautions like putting up a mask, practicing social distancing, and use of sanitizers, etc. Along with this we also have to make sure to avoid the mass spread in case there is a thin chance of probable infection. We need to adapt and facilitate the use of COVID self-test-like methodologies at home that will ensure early diagnosis, less damage to the health, and lesser risk, etc. This kind of self-assessment tool will further reduce the risks of mass outbreak multifold.

These self-test kits are available without prescription on online platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and PharmEasy, etc, over the counter in a pharmacy or a retail store. At present, self-test kits are used for the detection of current infections by many people across the country. If we overrule such infections at home or take necessary steps in case of infections we can truly avoid the mass spread of the disease and as a country, we will win the war against COVID.

Little practices like these can help us avoid infections passed on during health care delivery. Maintaining basic hygiene is the first step to keeping oneself, and our near and dear ones safe. You can also talk to your doctor and get advice on what daily healthy habits and behaviors you can incorporate to join the fight against infections.