Antibiotics to treat appendicitis

Appendicitis is when the appendix swells up resulting in pain in the abdomen, the main solution to this is to surgically remove the appendix but is there another alternative. 

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Appendicitis has no known definite cause which makes prevention very hard so as a result it is one of the most common reasons that someone needs to go into surgery (one in 13 people will develop appendicitis) . It can develop at any age, but people between 10-20 years old are more likely to get it. The cause is believed the be due to infection or due to obstructions but has not been proven.

Up until this point the way it has been treated is by either keyhole surgery or open surgery which will remove the appendix (appendectomy) getting rid of the irritation, this is made viable by the little to no function that the appendix plays in the modern human body. This method has proven to be daunting especially to younger children who have no experience or knowledge of what is gong on. As with any operation there is also a small chance that something could go wrong or that complications can occur.

The use of antibiotics has been used somewhat in the treating of appendicitis before, in patients where there is little risk of the appendix bursting they might have been prescribed antibiotics to reduce the size of the swelling to make the operation easier or to allow keyhole surgery rather than open surgery. It is now thought that antibiotics could replace surgery as the prime treatment for appendicitis to provide a cheaper as well as a easier way to treat the condition.

So far not many trials have gone ahead to explore this possibility so more research needs to be undertaken. In studies involving 413 children non of them experienced any safety concerns or affects of using antibiotics but 14 percent of them studied went on to recurred the condition that wouldn’t have happened if an operation had been carried out. Without removing the appendix then patients could also be more likely to devolve complications with there appendicitis that can lead to abscess or peritonitis which is caused by the spreading of the infection to to other parts of the body around the appendix.

In the future there may not be as many surgeries to do with appendicitis and may become more of a last resort if antibiotics prove to be effective treatment. Only with increased research and trial will be sure of weather this is a viable option.

Hope you enjoyed reading any questions or suggestions leave in the comments used sources from medical news today and the NHS so if you want have a look at them then here are the links.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158806.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315934.php

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Appendicitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Thanks George

Antibiotic resistant bacteria

Resistant bacteria becoming more of a problem

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With the misuse and over prescribing of antibiotics the world is faced with a major threat to peoples lives. The problem is that now there are many forms of bacteria most notably MRSA  (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) that are resistant to antibiotics. These are often resistant to many different antibiotics which makes them particularly concerning. It means that infections that could once be solved by antibiotics are now becoming deadly due to no way of treating the infection due to antibiotics not being effective any more. This can also make operations risky due to exposing the body to infection which is why after many operations the patient is prescribed with antibiotics.  This has all happened because if not all of the bacteria are destroyed by an antibiotic then they are able to gain resistance from it. The bacteria then multiply which creates lots of resistant bacteria that can all do damage. This problem is caused by people not finishing their prescribed antibiotics as they start feeling better but therefore means that not all of the bacteria are destroyed. Another potential cause is over prescribing of them, the modern person expects to be given a drug when they visit the doctor this therefore means that the antibiotics are being given out unnecessarily in order to keep the patient happy. The short amount of time that GP’s have with patients is also another factor due to the easy solution being to give a person antibiotics if the condition is unknown. This indicates that some people may be receiving them when in reality they don’t need the antibiotics to get better. With more people using antibiotics it increases the chances of resistant forms being made and then spread.

Trying to find a solution

Due to the severity of the situation research has been going on to try and find new antibiotics or other solutions as it is feared that up to 10 million people could be dying from these bacteria every year by 2050. Some new discoveries have been made in the fight against these bacteria which shed hope for the future.

Brazilian peppertree has the ability to knock out the destructive nature of the bacteria. It was discovered due to amazon healers had been using it to treat skin infections. The tree was picked apart to try and find the source of the healing factor to try and understand how it worked. It turns out the compound works by imagenot killing the actual bacteria like antibiotics do but disrupting the communication between them. This stops the bacteria from working as a group so less toxins are distributed at any one time. This then gives the body a fighting chance to deal with the infection. Whats even better about this plant is that it is abundant with it thriving in subtropical climates such as south america, some american states such a Florida. More research needs to be done to ensure that is it effective and safe with so far positive tests on mice having been conducted.

A new antibiotic that is produced by bacteria on African ants is proving to appear effective against resistance forms.This is a new bacteria spices called Streptomyces formicae found from a Fungus growing plant ant. Lab tests have concluded that it can be used against against MRSA and VRE (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci ) which are both resistant to more than one bacteria. The ants live in thorny acacia trees that provide a mutual relationship, with the plant providing housing for the ants and the ants stop the tree being eaten by bigger herbivorous as they wont eat a tree with lots of ants on it. The discovery highlights the need to explore different environments to try and find hoe nature could be used to benefit us. Again more research is needed to prove that it is effective and safe.

Hopefully these new discoveries will lead to a new generation of antibiotics or ways of treating diseases caused by bacteria. This would save many lives from not having infections becoming fatal as well as ensuring that it is safe to undergo operations.

Thanks for reading if you have anything to add or ask please comment if not then I hope you enjoyed reading.

Thanks George

  

Heath Risks of Rugby

The six nations has started a competition that puts the six nations of England, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy and Ireland against each other in rugby union.

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Anyone watching the games on TV is bale to see the colossal impacts that take place in the match with giants of men sprinting at each other only to be stopped by a full contact tackle. These players undergo this kind of intense physical activity every game so what are the health risks of the impacts, constant knocks and brutal tackles.

Short term

With the forces involved in every tackle being as high as the force of a fringe freezer it is easy to see how rugby players sustain injuries particularity due to the fact that player can make over 20 tackles in a single game. This extended over multiple games can lead to the body unable to take any more punishment so injuries occur. Even so it is staggering to know that one in four rugby players will be injured throughout the course of a single season. This figure being three times higher than in football.

 Main Injuries include

  • muscular strains or bruising
  • sprains
  • dislocations
  • fractures
  • lacerations
  • overuse injuries
  • head injuries

As we can see from this list the injuries sustained can be pretty horrific which explains the need for multiple substitutes in a game of rugby. These types of injuries can see multiple players being taken off by a stretcher in a single game which is not what anyone wants to be seeing. Once a injury is sustained should the player be able to carry on playing then tart part can become a weak spot so can become prone to injury. This can have an effect on everyday life not just on the rugby pitch. Spinal and head injuries can in worst case scenarios lead  to loss of a life.

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Long term

Repeated Concussion is believed to result in multiple problems with the brain including making players more likely to develop dementia. This is partly caused by concussion going unnoticed or not treated properly when a player feels they can carry on. It is seen as rugby’s number one issue due to the severity of the potential affects as well as little research having being done in this area. It is logical to conclude that them multiple hits cant be the best for the body with having more than four concussions in any sport preforming worse on some neuropsychological tests.

Taking part in rugby will increase the chances of arthritis due to the pressure that joints undergo during every tackle. This can affect any activity due to being restricted in movement with sometimes constant pain.

Another implication of rugby is the alcohol consumption associated, with rugby players drinking alcohol more heavily than in any other sport. This can lead on to other health implications as a result including liver damage and cancer of the throat.

Injuries can cause areas of weakness that can be hurt easily in the future when not even playing rugby. Some spinal injuries can cause paralysis leading to an individual being wheelchair bound for the rest of there life.

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Conclusion 

Although there is undoubtedly risks in playing rugby there is also benefits such as increased cardiovascular fitness, strength, speed furthermore there are social benefits such as team skills, communication skills and general social interaction. It also helps to release that anger from the system.

It is recommended that players know these risks as well as benefits before putting on there boots. This is with the emphasis that if anything doesn’t feel right or if you should get a knock to the head then it’s best to receive the required treatment. New research is being done on the affect of concussions to fully understand weather they pose any long-term health risks.

I hope u all enjoyed reading my blog which team is anyone else supporting in the six nations personally it England all the way. If you have any suggestions on how to improve my blog or any questions feel free to comment.

http://www.physioworks.com.au/Injuries-Conditions/Activities/rugby-union-injuries

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11488159

Thanks George

Physics trip to cern

On the Monday of last week I got the privilege of being able to visit the cern hydron collider near Geneva which is in Switzerland.

CERN

Cern is a research organization on nuclear particles it has 22 country’s part of the programme that all come together to help fund as well as discover the unknown of the universe. The most well know project going ahead is with the particle accelerators in the large hadron collider which speeds up protons to almost the speed of light before making them collide with sometimes head on collisions. These collisions are then monitored in four detectors Atlas, CMS, Alice and LHcb. It is this process that the Higgs was first discovered in 2012 by Peter Higgs. This later earned him the Nobel prize for physics. This helped secientists to understand the origins of subatomic particles as well as what has happened in the the Big Bang. This breakthough has proven to be a great start in understanding the universe. It is still thought however that over 95% of the universe is still unknown in understanding as well as the make up. This is why the system is still being used and is being maintained as well as improved.

CMS

On the trip I was able to go 100 meters underground as got to see the CMS dector which consists of 15 segments that have all been brought down individually by a crane and then assembled once down there. It is 15 meters in diameter and weighs as much as 30 jumbo jets. This is to enable the detector to be able to withstand the high energies involved as well as to maintain accuracy of readings. Even so the detector needs to have maintence done as well as improvem with each layer of the device detecting a different type of particle. When I was there they were repairing the inner layer that takes the most of the beating from the collisions as well as installing even better detection devices. The components of the detector came from various countries including Germany and Italy. It is very much a joint effort with scientists from many differnt natonalitiyies and languages working together to  discover the universe. The CMS has very strong magnets around it creating a magnetic field of 4 Tesla which bends the particles to make sure they stay on the right course. The system uses superconductors that need to be kept at minus 271 degrees celcisus this is achieved by using liquid helium. The CMS detector along with all of the hydron collider will be back in action in 6-8 weeks.

Overview 

Overall I am very privileged to have been able to see such science, I am really looking forward to see what else will be discovered as well as the understanding of the universe which is sure to be uncovered in the coming years due to cern. I enjoyed my trip away and now know more about the collider as well as the potential that it has for the future.

Thanks for reading if you have any questions please leave them below or any comments. Hope u enjoyed the read.

George

P.S I do have a few pictures but last time I tried to put them on the post I lost all my text and had to start again, if interested then habe a look at my Twitter page which is in the header.