Archive for 2020

Organ Donation: Its importance and process

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

13th August is celebrated every year as Organ Donation Day in India. Organ donation is the harvesting of an individual’s organs after he or she dies for the purpose of transplanting them into another person. The person who gives the organs is called a donor while a person who receives the organ is called a recipient. One brain dead donor can save up to eight lives of people suffering from end-stage organ failures. Donation affects more than donors and recipients. It also affects the families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who love and support those in need of transplantation, and who benefit from their renewed life and improved health after transplant.

Why India needs to boost “Organ Donation”
The huge gap exists even when an individual can save up to 8 lives. Awareness is the key to increase organ donor ratios in India. Here are a few statistics:

● 500,000 people die because of non-availability of organs
● 200,000 people die of liver disease
● 50,000 people die from heart disease
● 150,000 people await a kidney transplant
● 10,00,000 lakh people suffer from corneal blindness

Organ Donors in India
India remains a country with one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world. The organ donation rates in India are very poor around 0.3/million, as compared to some western countries where it is as high as 36/million, in the US it is around 26/million population.

Organ donation helps in a transplant that often means a second chance at life. Vital organs such as the heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and lungs can be transplanted to those whose organs are failing. It allows many recipients to return to a normal lifestyle. For others, a cornea or tissue transplant means the ability to see again or the recovery of mobility and freedom from pain

Who can be a donor?
Everyone can choose to be an organ donor, irrespective of age, caste, religion, community, current or past medical condition. Children can also be organ donors after taking consent for organ donation from their parents.

The Organ Donation process
Even though millions of people have registered to become organ donors, very few donors pass away in a way that allows organ donation. Here are some additional details about the organ donation process:

  1. Registering as a Donor
    The process of donation most often begins with your consent to be a donor by registering your name in the national registry and informing your family. This is the first step to help save potential lives.
  1. Brain Death Testing
    If the patient not responding to treatment and stimuli, doctors will perform a series of tests to determine if brain death has occurred. A patient who is brain dead has no brain activity and cannot breathe on his or her own. Brain death is death and it is irreversible. Only brain dead patients can become potential organ donors.
  1. Authorizing Donation
    The healthcare authorities check if the deceased is registered as a donor on their registry. In India, the family’s consent is mandatory for organ donation and has the final say.
  1. The matching process
    Healthcare specialists determine whether the organ is medically suitable for transplant. A series of tests on various parameters is done to help match an organ to a suitable recipient for transplant.
  1. Recovering the Organs
    After removing the organ, surgeons connect it to a machine that keeps them working artificially. Doctors take utmost care while removing the organs. Most organs have limited life spans as below:
    1. Heart: 4-6 hours
    2. Liver: 12-24 hours
    3. Kidney: 48-72 hours
    4. Heart-Lung: 4-6 hours
    5. Lung: 4-6 hours
  1. Transporting the Organs
    Surgical teams work round the clock to co-ordinate between the retrieved organ and the recipient for a successful transplant. In some cases, a green corridor is created for an organ transplant. It is a demarcated, cleared out special road route created for an ambulance to enable the retrieved organ meant for transplant to reach the destined hospital within the stipulated time.

Take a step closer to helping others. Pledge to donate your organs after you are gone and also inform your family about your decision. Spread the message about Organ Donation. Please find below the link for further details on Organ Donation:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/centresofexcellence/centrefor_transplant/organdonation.html

World Breastfeeding Week

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

1st to 7th August 2020 is celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional, and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months for your newborn and continued breastfeeding for two years as a supplement along with other foods. Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. There is nothing better for the health of your baby.

Nutrients in Breast Milk
The following is a brief overview of the components of breast milk and the nutrients they provide for your baby:

  • Proteins
    Human milk contains two types of proteins: whey and casein.  Approximately 60% is whey, while 40% is casein. This balance of the proteins allows for quick and easy digestion. 
  • Fats
    Human milk also contains fats that are essential for the health of your baby.  It is necessary for the brain, retina, and nervous system development.
  • Vitamins
    Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, and pantothenic acid can be found in breast milk at levels that depend on the mother’s diet.
  • Carbohydrates
    Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in human milk.  It accounts for approximately 40% of the total calories provided by breast milk. Lactose helps to decrease a large number of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach.

Breastfeeding – Benefits for your baby

Know why breast is best for your baby:

Breastfeeding protects your baby
Breast milk is full of live ingredients, including stem cells, white blood cells, and beneficial bacteria, antibodies, enzymes, and hormones, which all help fight infection and prevent disease. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, colds, and flu as well as ear and chest infections.

Premature babies
Feeding your baby your milk offers the best protection against potentially fatal conditions including sepsis, chronic lung disease and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). 

Colostrum: the superfood for your baby
Colostrum the initial thick breast milk is rich in minerals like magnesium; which supports your baby’s heart and bones; and copper and zinc, which help develop their immune system.  

Helps your Baby sleep
Research shows that breastfed and formula-fed babies are just as likely to wake for milk during the night. However, breastfed babies get back to sleep sooner due to oxytocin hormone present in breast milk.

Brain development
Research suggests that children who’d been exclusively breastfed show a much higher cognitive development than children who have not been breastfed.

Benefits for the mother

Helps contract your uterus
When you breastfeed, it causes your body to release oxytocin, a calming chemical sometimes referred to as the “love hormone,” and it helps your uterus to contract back to its regular size.

It can help reduce the risk for PPD
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects 10 to 15 percent of new moms and brings feelings of sadness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and trouble bonding with their babies. Breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of Postpartum depression.

It could reduce your cancer risk
When you’re breastfeeding, your hormones are altered and your periods are delayed. This reduces your exposure to oestrogen hormone and lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding can protect your heart
Women who breastfed for at least four months had 20 to 30 percent lower risks for hypertension and heart disease.

Breastfeeding Myths and Facts

There are many myths and facts associated with breastfeeding especially passed on from elders. Let us bust these myths and facts:

Myth: Many mothers can’t produce enough milk
Fact: Almost all mothers produce the right amount of milk for their babies. Breast milk production is determined by how well the baby latches and the frequency of breastfeeding.

Myth: You shouldn’t breastfeed if you’re sick
Fact: In most illnesses, the mother can continue breastfeeding. Your milk will produce antibodies to pass on to your child to build his or her defenses. 

Myth: You should eat bland food while breastfeeding
Fact: Breastfeeding has no food restrictions. Mothers must follow a healthy well-balanced diet and stay hydrated.

Myth: It’s hard to wean a baby if you breastfeed for more than a year
Fact: There’s no evidence that it is more difficult to stop breastfeeding after one year, but there is evidence that breastfeeding up to two years is beneficial for both mothers and children.

Breastfeeding in India

Only 54.9 % of children under the age of six months have been exclusively breastfed, according to the latest National Health and Family Survey (NHFS-4). For the healthy growth of a child, the child must be breastfed and consume no other solid or liquid food until the infant completes six months. The latest survey also shows that 56% of the rural children below six months were exclusively breastfed, while it was only 52.1% amongst urban children.

Are you a new mom? Are you struggling with your breastfeeding journey with little help in these difficult times? Breastfeeding needs support, care and timely guidance by an expert. Seek help from lactation consultants virtually at our Centre for Mother and Child from the safety of your home. Please find below the link to book your online appointment: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/manage/shop/online-consultation-new-patient.html

World Hepatitis Day

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is a tissue’s reaction to irritation or injury which generally results in swelling and can cause pain. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis, or liver cancer if left untreated. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), 300 million people across the world are infected with Hepatitis, yet unaware of it and do not undergo treatment. It is essential to be proactive about your liver health and get tested for hepatitis. Over time, untreated hepatitis B or C can cause hardening and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, which can cause complications like liver cancer or liver failure.

Types of Hepatitis

There are at least five different types of viral hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E.

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is spread by either direct contact with an infected person’s faeces or by indirect faecal contamination of food or water.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Light stool
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice

Maintaining high levels of hygiene, before and after meals, while cooking and after using the washroom is a good way to prevent hepatitis A. Take the Hepatitis A vaccination.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be spread through:

  • Urine
  • Semen
  • Body fluids
  • Mother to child

Symptoms can include:

  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

A blood test helps diagnose Hepatitis B. There is a vaccine available to protect people at high risk for the infection. Practice safe sex, do not share needles or razors, and get tattoos done only at hygienic places.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C (HCV) is most commonly spread by exposure due to contaminated blood or needles, and unsafe sex. Symptoms for HCV are similar to other types of hepatitis. There’s no vaccine available for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D
Unlike the other forms, hepatitis D can’t be contracted on its own. It can only infect people who are already infected with hepatitis B. People with HBV often develop hepatitis D (HDV).

Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is found in underdeveloped areas of the world and is spread by the faecal/oral route. The risk factors for hepatitis E are related to poor sanitation, contaminated drink water, and poor personal hygiene.

Hepatitis: Myths & Facts

Myth: All Hepatitis viruses are the same.
Fact: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are different viruses with different modes of transmission and clinical manifestations. While Hepatitis A and E are transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food, Hepatitis B and C are transmitted by blood transfusion, unprotected sex, and tattoos. Hepatitis D occurs only in patients with Hepatitis B.

Myth: All patients with Hepatitis have jaundice.
Fact: Absence of jaundice does not rule out acute hepatitis viral infection, which can present sometimes only with constitutional symptoms such as fever, vomiting, poor appetite, lethargy with high liver enzymes.

Myth: Hepatitis is hereditary
Fact: Hepatitis is not a genetic disease and is not inherited. However, Hepatitis B is often transmitted from mother to child during childbirth. This can be prevented if the Hepatitis status of the mother is known and the newborn is vaccinated on time.

Myth: If one gets hepatitis A, then one is immune to the other forms of hepatitis.
Fact: Patients with Hepatitis A get lifelong protection against hepatitis A only. One is still at risk of infection with other forms of hepatitis like B, C, and E.

Myth: Hepatitis virus cannot survive outside the human body
Fact: Hepatitis B virus can survive in dried blood for up to 7 days and remains capable of causing infection. Hepatitis C virus can survive on environmental surfaces for up to 16 hours.

Myth: Vaccine is available against all types of Hepatitis virus.
Fact: Vaccines are available only against Hepatitis A and B.

Prevent Hepatitis

Here are some health tips to follow to protect your liver health and to prevent the spread of the highly infectious viral Hepatitis infection:

  • Don’t have unsafe sex.
  • Don’t inject illegal drugs.
  • Don’t drink alcohol as it harms your liver and makes your hepatitis worst.
  • Don’t share any personal items such as razors or toothbrushes.
  • Speak to your doctor about getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
  • Follow strict food safety guidelines.

Hepatitis in India
With an estimated 40 million people suffering from chronic Hepatitis B and six to 12 million people infected with Hepatitis C, Hepatitis has become a public health concern in India. Viral Hepatitis caused by Hepatitis Viruses A, B, C, D and E is a huge economic and social burden on the affected individuals and their families. Low awareness levels and lack of timely treatment may damage your liver health.

Concerned about any jaundice like symptoms? Suspect Hepatitis? Specialists at our Department of  Hepato Pancreato Biliary help you with further diagnosis and testing. The team supports Hepatitis patients with a complete recovery plan. For more information about Hepatitis and its treatment please visit: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/hepatopancreatobiliary.html

Your Mental Health Matters

Saturday, July 18th, 2020

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioural, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. A good mental health also means the absence of a mental disorder. Your mental health affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. According the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness makes about 15% of the total disease conditions around the world.

Common mental health disorders

One in four people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives. Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders.

The most common types of mental illness are:

Anxiety disorders
People with these conditions have severe fear or anxiety, which relates to certain objects or situations. Restlessness, fatigue, tense muscles, disturbed sleep are some physical symptoms.

Mood disorders
People with these conditions have significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania, which is a period of high energy and elation, or depression. Examples of mood disorders include:

  • Major depression: An individual with major depression experiences a constant low mood and loses interest in activities and events that they previously enjoyed. They can feel prolonged periods of sadness or extreme sadness.
  • Bipolar disorder: A person with bipolar disorder experiences unusual changes in their mood, energy levels, levels of activity, and ability to continue with daily life.
  • Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of depression that affects some women after giving birth to an infant. Symptoms include sadness, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, anxiety, and irritability.

Panic disorders
People with a panic disorder experience regular panic attacks, which involve sudden, overwhelming terror or a sense of imminent disaster and death.

Phobias
There are different types of phobia:

  • Simple phobias: These might involve a disproportionate fear of specific objects, scenarios, or animals. Fear of closed spaces called claustrophobia is a common example.
  • Social phobia: Sometimes known as social anxiety, this is a fear of being subject to the judgment of others. People with social phobia often restrict their exposure to social environments. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a deeply stressful or traumatic event. During this type of event, the person thinks that their life or other people’s lives are in danger.

Schizophrenia disorders
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behaviour that impairs daily functioning.

Top tips for good mental health
Taking care of your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical health. Here are a few health tips to keep yourself mentally healthy:

Get plenty of sleep
Sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in your brain that transmit information. These chemicals are important in managing your moods and emotions. Lack of sleep can make you feel depressed or anxious.

Eat a healthy diet
Certain mineral deficiencies, such as iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, can make you feel low. Have a healthy and balanced diet.

Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs
Drinking and smoking negatively impact your mental health. It can make you feel more depressed and anxious.

Get plenty of sunlight
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your brains to release chemicals that improve your mood, like endorphins and serotonin.

Manage stress
Stress is often unavoidable, but knowing what triggers your stress and knowing how to cope is key in maintaining good mental health. Meditation helps reduce your stress level.

Activity and exercise
Activity and exercise are essential in maintaining good mental health. Regular exercise promotes the release of feel-good brain chemicals.

Do something you enjoy
Take out some “me time” to do fun things you enjoy. Listen to music, take up a hobby or watch a TV show you enjoy to relax and unwind.

Stay connected
Staying in touch with friends and family is important not just for your self-esteem, but also for providing support when you’re not feeling too great.

Mental health in India

India shares a huge global burden of mental health diseases. Be it childhood mental disorders like autism or adult conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and psychosis or dementia in old age, the world is facing a challenge in the form of mental illness. The deep stigma around mental health in India contributes to denial and shame among the patients. They fear seeking medical help for their problems. People experiencing mental health problems must seek timely medical help just like they would for other physical health problems.

Seek professional help

One of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy is to recognise when you’re not feeling good and to know when to ask for help. Remove the stigma around mental health. If you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and still aren’t functioning optimally at home, work, or in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help.

Consult highly trained psychiatrists and psychologists at our Department of Psychiatry to help address your mental health problems. At Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital we also provide online consultations through video calls from the safety of your home. Please find below link for more details: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/psychiatry.html

Monsoon Diseases

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

The last few months have been difficult for everyone. The world has been struggling to fight a pandemic and learning the rules of the new normal.  The norms of personal hygiene, sanitization, and physical distancing has gained importance than ever before. The much-awaited monsoon season has certainly brought joy to many people. Are you looking forward to enjoying a hot cup of tea as you see the raindrops from your window? However this joy is short-lived. This cool season arrives with a swarm of unwanted and harmful viruses and diseases. Cold and cough, malaria, dengue, diarrhoea, fever, typhoid are some of the diseases which are commonly seen in monsoon.

Common Monsoon Diseases
Some of the common monsoon illnesses that are highly infectious and which may also prove life-threatening if not attended to on time.

  • Malaria
    Malaria, caused by a single-celled parasite called Plasmodium, is one of the major health concerns in India during monsoons. It is the breeding season for mosquitoes (type: Anopheles minimus) that is a host to this malaria-causing parasite. Symptoms include high fever, chills, headache, nausea and vomiting.
  • Typhoid
    Typhoid fever is a result of contaminated food and water. This is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. Maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation and at the same time using clean water is recommended to avoid this infection.
  • Chikungunya
    Chikungunya, caused by the Aedes albopictus mosquito, is a non-fatal viral disease. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and can bite you not only during the night but also during the day. The symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rashes.
  • Dengue
    It is caused by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes known as the tiger mosquito, which has black and white stripes on their body. Symptoms of dengue include severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, rashes, and exhaustion.
  • Cholera
    This is a water-borne infection, caused by many strains of bacteria called Vibrio cholera. Cholera affects the gastrointestinal tract causing severe dehydration and diarrhoea. Hence, it is advisable to drink boiled or purified water to keep the germs at bay.
  • Viral Fever
    Sudden weather change can cause viral fevers. This is highly contagious and it can spread through air and physical contact. The symptoms of this fever are fatigue, chills, body aches, and fever.
  • Leptospirosis
    The bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Avoid walking through flooded waters as this infection enters your body through minor cuts on your skin.
  • Cold and cough
    The drastic fluctuation of temperature which happens during this rainy season makes the body susceptible to bacterial and viral attacks, resulting in cold and flu. This is the most common form of viral infection. One must consume highly nutritious foods and strengthen your immunity.
  • Diarrhoea
    Usually, towards the end of summer and early rainy season, seasonal diarrhea is common. This is spread through contaminated food and water. Maintain utmost hygiene while cooking and avoid eating outside food during monsoon.
  • Jaundice
    Jaundice is a condition wherein the colour of the skin and the eyes turn yellow. It is the cause of increased levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Jaundice harms your liver if left untreated.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is better than cure, take these health precautions during monsoon to help prevent the spread of monsoon illnesses. Here are a few health tips:

  • Drink safe and clean water.
  • Wash vegetables, fruits thoroughly.
  • Avoid eating outside food.
  • Use mosquito repellents.
  • Wear clean and dry garments.
  • Use hand sanitizers.
  • Use mosquito nets in your house
  • Clear stagnant water around your house.
  • Maintain high personal hygiene.

Make sure you protect yourself and your family from these dangerous diseases this monsoon season. However, despite your best efforts if you are infected with any monsoon illness please seek medical care. You can visit us or consult our experts online too. For more information please visit www.kokilabenhospital.com