Nursing Needs: My Life as Commentary

General info, articles and thoughts from an experienced nurse

Friday, August 04, 2006

Low Back Pain

A new study performed at the University of Alberta, in Canada, says nurses suffer from work-related lower back pain more frequently than workers in other professions.
Nurses working in orthopedics and ICU ranked the highest as suffering from low back pain. Likely caused by frequently turning immobile patients, 65% of orthopedic and 58% of ICU nurses complained of low back pain.
Nurses need to do a better job of taking care of themselves through stretching, exercising or asking for help when turning patients.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

At-home Surgery?

This week a Brazillian couple faced charges after 24 year-old DePaula, their liposuction patient, died. Both entered pleas of not guilty. The couple, Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, and his wife, Ana Maria Miranda, performed plastic surgery in their basement. Luiz claims he had a doctor's license in Brazil. They were living in the US while on a 30-day visa which was allegedly obtained specifically to perform plastic surgery.
DePaula was rushed to the hospital after she stopped breathing during the procedure. Doctors were told glucose, lidocaine and other substances had been injected into DePaula previous to the liposuction. When doctors went to the Ribeiro's home the home appeared clean. Only when checking for blood protein did investigators find a large amount of protein on the floor. Surgical equipment was found in a nearby dumpster and a massage tabel in the condominium complex, believed to have been used the surgeries.
The couple faces drug charges and practicing medicine without a license. They have not been charged with DePaula's murder -yet. Other charges may follow pending the medical examiner's report.

I think the saddest part of this story isn't the Ribiero's practicing medicine without a license. It seems to me there is a problem if people are willing to risk their lives to undergo surgery in someone's condominium. Obviously they are not certified doctors and to risk your life in order to strive towards perfection is problematic. The number of people, especially women, havign plastic surgery and botox to hide their age and keep their youthful appearance is astounding. The level of desperation to look young is obviously so strong that some women can't resist, no matter what the threat.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Breast Feeding Outrage

I don't know if any of you have read about or saw the cover of BabyTalk, a magazine for mothers with small children - the cover picture was a profile of a woman breastfeeding her baby. Her breast was exposed, but her nipple was not visible as the baby was suckling. Apparently the company has received more letters about this article than any other. Many people were angry that the company would run such a sexual picture. Others were embarrassed and didn't want their children to see the picture. I think it's rediculous that all people see is a sex object when they look at woman's breast. I think not only was this cover picture tastefully shot, but much needed, as is apparent by the responses. Women should have the freedom to breast feed where and whenever they choose. In a survey published in 2004 by the American Dietetic Association, 43 percent of 3,719 respondents said women should have the right to breast-feed in public places. It's not like they're sitting in a restaurant topless. They're discreetly exposing their breast in order to feed their child. Society needs to stop looking at women merely as sex objects and start empowering them as the mothers they're trying to be.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Face Transplant

This week LiGuoxing was released from the hospital after having undergone the second ever face transplant. Li was mauled in 2003 by a bear when he tried to chase it away from his cattle. His transplants included a new nose, upper lip, cheek and eyebrow. A team of 15 doctors performed the surgery at Xijing Hospital. The transplanted parts were taken from a braindead donor. Previously, the only successful facial transplant was done in France for a woman who was badly disfigured after a dog attack. Li travelled home to visit his family before he will return to the hospital for more surgery.

Science continues to advance everyday. It's amazing that the transplanted skin was able to survive and it will surely enable Li to live a more normal life. I wonder how long before doctors are able to perform full facial transplants. That could have some scary implications for the world of cosmetic platic surgery. How much do you think Brad Pitt's face would go for?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Eye test used to detect Alzheimers

A new test has been developed, called quasi-elastic light scattering, which can detect early signs of Alzheimers. The simple eye test, similar to that used in high blood pressure and diabetes checks for the presence of a protein called beta-amyloid which is found in the brains of patients with Alzheimers. The light test would identify the protein deposits as similar to cataracts, though not the same as cataracts due to old-age. It is unclear how much beta-amyloid deposit is associated with signs of Alzheimers.

This new test sounds very exciting although it seems much more testing still needs to be done. The possibility of testing for early dementia with such a simple eye exam could revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat Alzheimers. I definitely will stay tuned for more studies using this new technology.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Weight Loss Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer

A new study out in July's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association that shows that women who lost weight or maintained their weight were at lower risk for developing breast cancer. The study showed that women who gained 25kg since age 18 were at 45% greater risk for breast cancer. Women who lost their weight before or after menopause both were at a decreased cancer risk. However, experts say women are less likely to lose weight after menopause so they should not put off losing weight.

I'm Baaaack

Well, I'm back! I've been working so much the last two weeks I haven't had a second to write. But I really miss blogging and reading everyone elses' blogs in return. So I'm glad to have the time to return to my blog.
Hope you enjoy the new posts to come!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Hospital Bed Regulations

A new study was recently published by the USDA and FDA that offers new guidlines for hospital beds. The study cited hundreds of deaths annually due to hospital beds, be it by entrapment or otherwise. The new guidlines will change the requirements for the space between the rails and mattresses and the thickness of the mattresses. Thankfully, in my career, I have never witnessed any kind of injury due to the hospital beds. The study said it's largely elderly patients hwho are affected. Have any of you experienced patient/bed problems? I wonder if the benefit of rails outweighs the danger. I suppose it depends on what type of patients you're working with. Any comments?