Making Medicine More Sanitary

scalpel-31123_960_720One of the problems that plagued medicine from yesteryear was that many patients would spread their germs to other patients. And it often wasn’t the patient’s fault, but the doctor’s! In actual fact, early surgeons used to use the same tools and rags from one operation on other patients, without proper sterilization. This would result in a tremendous amount of infection. So many times, while the surgery itself was successful, the resulting infection would kill the patient. Thankfully, today we are not in the same position.

Starting in the 1800’s, sterilization began gaining ground. People like Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch pioneered various sterilization processes which led to methods that are still in used today. And while sterilizing medical instruments is still done and is necessary, there are still other alternatives for helping to prevent the spread of infection.

Disposables are another great way to stop germs from spreading from patient to patient. Stored in a sterile container, these items are used once, and then thrown away, with all the germs they may now be in contact with. These disposables are widely available at places like

Finally, there comes understanding how infections spread, and the taking of common sense precautions against them. Knowing that surfaces frequently touched need to be frequently cleaned, not allowing tools to be reused without proper cleaning (hands too for that matter), and keeping patients isolated if they have something that is highly contagious all help to prevent infections from spreading and harming others.

Thanks to modern medicinal procedures, we now don’t have to worry as much about infections (at least not those encountered in hospitals and clinics).

Spirituality in Medicine

ank-1215054_960_720One look at our current medical system (mainstream that is) and you’ll see a world dominated by science. Medical technology is used with a certain mathematical precision that is only found in engineering. From exact measurements, procedures and diagnoses, this is a very exacting field filled with pure calculation and lifelike accuracy (just look at these:

So it would be hard to believe that it all evolved from a very spiritual school of thought. But that is actually the truth. If you look at early medicine, you’ll see that medicine and spirituality were at one time, inseparable.

Take a look at a primitive tribe. The “doctor” is actually a shaman, someone who is believed to be able to channel the spirits or at least their powers into healing the sick. For a long time, this was the extent of medical skill. Eventually, it would encompass using certain plants and herbs (which did have some value and was the basis for modern drugs) and slowly but surely, real workable technology evolved out of that.

But even today, there is still a spiritual side to medicine in the minds of many people. People still say prayers for their sick and injured loved ones. Whether this has any actual benefit physically speaking is not the subject of discussion, but it is interesting to see that a large amount of the population still mix the two (religion and healing).

Some will even go so far as to have religious beliefs affect their decisions in terms of health care. Many people don’t believe in vaccinations or other treatments from a purely religious standpoint. So while we may have come quite far in terms of the medical ability we now posses as a society, it’s funny to note how this can sometimes be mired down by spirituality.

The Disappearance of the Home Doctor Visit

stethoscope-840125_960_720Things are different nowadays. With population increases and infrastructure changes, we have to handle things differently as a society as we did in yesteryear. One of the things that has changed are the services you would get at home. Fresh milk is no longer delivered, the daily newspaper delivery is all but extinct, and perhaps one of the most significant, the home doctor visit has vanished.

There are plenty of good reasons for this. After all, when you cut out the doctor’s driving time, he is able to see more patients in a single day. By being established in an office or clinic, he has access to all of his supplies (cutting down on the need for return visits) and also a full staff. His assistants can do some of the simpler tasks allowing him to service even more people. All of these things sound good, but there are a few things that we lost when we lost the home visit.

For patients who are unable to easily move, the need for special transportation was created. Children will always feel more comfortable at home than in a sterile office. There is less risk of getting sick from other patients. And there is something comforting about seeing the doctor walk in with his medical bag in hand, in your home.

There actually are still services that provide in-home doctor visits in various cities, however, they can be prohibitively expensive, and you’re not necessarily going to get the same doctor every time. That means that you will always have a slightly different opinion and getting proper, dedicated care will be difficult. While it can be useful for certain situations and circumstances, it’s no replacement for the good old fashioned home visit.

With the progress and expansion of the future, we will surely miss out on some of the things that are only possible during a simpler time.


Portable Medical Equipment

medical-1006787_960_720Most doctors typically work in an office nowadays, and the home visit has become a thing of the past. However, there are some small towns that still have the traveling doctor who still goes door to door seeing patients. Actually, there is a bit of a resurgence in the area of home visits, with certain services popping up that offer doctors at your door. So if you should consider taking on some of this type of business and becoming an in-home doctor, then you’re going to need to carry your medical tools with you.

In addition to needing a medical bag to hold all your gear, you’ll need the equipment itself. You won’t do much good without your tools, now will you? So what kinds of tools can you bring with you? Well, let’s take a look.

Stethoscope: A staple and symbol of the medical profession. This can easily be taken with you pretty much anywhere.

Sphygmomanometer: Another vital tool. This will easily fit inside your medical bag. There are many kinds available and you may even opt for an automatic one if you trust the accuracy.

Otoscope and Opthalmoscope: For complete checkups, you’ll need these guys with you. Very often, they come in their own carrying case. There are even addons and apps that can turn your smartphone into one of these!

Prescription pad: Need I say more? Once you know what your patient needs, you’ll need to be able to write their prescription.

Blood collection kit: Sometimes a simple diagnosis isn’t possible without more information. A blood sample can shed light on underlying conditions and so you’ll need a way to collect and store it till you get it to a lab.

First aid supplies: You never know what you may find during a home visit, and you can’t bet on the patient having any necessary supplies to hand, so a full first aid kit should be part of your regular toolkit.

Another Word About CPR

paramedics-doll-1142270_960_720In any field, it’s important to understand that the common ideas that many people hold about something may be quite far from the actual truth. Let’s take shooting as an example. All too many times we’ve seen action movies wherein the hero runs through a battlefield, picking off enemies left and right while running and dodging fire. In reality, no one’s aim is that good, and running through an open area is a fast way to get filled up with lead. So there is an obvious disconnect from what people have seen and expect, and what is reality. The same can be said about CPR.

In most movies and programs, when the victim has CPR given them, it only takes a moment or two before they regain consciousness and awareness. I wish that were the case, but real life doesn’t work like that. Mind you, there is a chance that a person could regain consciousness, in most circumstances, CPR is used to keep a person alive until real help and treatment can be given to a person. Sometimes the person will begin breathing on their own, but rarely do you get a full return of consciousness.

This false idea may prompt some people attempting to help to stop CPR too soon. After all, it’s been 5 minutes but the person didn’t wake up yet, and in the movies it happens in a minute or two. On the contrary, all the times CPR didn’t work in the movies, it was stopped too soon

This is why proper CPR training is needed. Get yourself in a class with a certified instructor, practice on a CPR manikin, and get the truth about this life-saving procedure. Sure, it’s not as miraculous as in the movies, but it still can keep a person alive.

The Usefulness Of A CPR Manikin

cpr_manikinIn the event of a medical emergency, there is no such thing as too much preparedness. And I think that every medical professional will agree, no matter what their training background, that CPR is a life-saving procedure that could never be practiced enough.

CPR is the action of breathing for another, as well as artificially stimulating circulation with chest compressions. When a person’s heart stops, this procedure can buy them time until they can be brought to a hospital and put on life support. So the importance of this technique cannot be understated.

This is why it pays off to get properly trained in CPR. While one could simply watch a video and mentally practice the routine (which IS better than nothing else), there is no substitute for professional training. You’ll have an expert there to explain the basics, the pitfalls, and what things you need to know and watch out for. There is also another benefit to more professional CPR training, and that is that you will get to practice on a CPR manikin.

CPR manikins are essentially dummy representations of the human body, that were designed for use in CPR training. They can be breathed into, show lungs filling with air, and can be compressed with a comparable pressure to what you would want to use on a real person. Not knowing how much breath to use, or how strongly to compress can actually injure the victim further, so this hands-on practice is essential. This is even more true for practicing CPR on children as it is even easier to accidentally harm a child through the improper use of this procedure.

So the moral is to get yourself trained in CPR by a licensed professional. There are usually places in every major city that offer this training for a very low cost (if not free altogether).

Various Ideas About Patient Location

hospital-entrancesI’m gonna start this one with a little bit of a disclaimer: this subject is a little strange, but some research shows that there is some merit to it. This is the subject of patient location. That is, where a patient is physically located and the relation to their convalescence.

Let’s start with an example: If an elderly person is at home and is injured (a fall perhaps), then the area of the home where the accident took place could often remind them of the accident/injury and therefore hinder their convalescence. This definitely goes into the subject of psychosomatic ailments. While it may seem contrary to conventional belief, consider that many people do believe the laughter is the best medicine, and that patients who are happy tend to recover faster than those who aren’t. So we can see that the emotional state of a person can affect them physically.

So back to patient location. If you have a person (especially the elderly) who is constantly in pain and injured in their home, it may be a good idea to remove them from that environment, if even for a short time so that they can recover. This also applies to serious accidents. If someone is hurt in a car accident, then getting them away from the scene as soon as possible may prove to be beneficial. Obviously, you first look at the state of the person to see if they can be successfully moved without causing further injury. Given where they are, you may need the proper equipment to get them moved, like a stair chair or a stretcher. But if it’s possible, try to remove them from the scene.

It’s also important that the environment that the patient is brought to is one where they can feel comfortable and happy. Many people feel very ill at ease in a hospital, so this makes things a little tricky. But more hospitals are adopting a more “hotel-esque” look which makes people feel more at home during their stay.