Sunday, September 28, 2014

for later reading

unsafe contraception in Africa?

Statement made by Kwame Fosu:
We all believe that women should have access to safe contraception.  However, in Melinda Gates’ 2020 Family Planning Initiative, she is using Sayana Press or Depo Proveraas one of the central contraceptives being targeted to African women. Depo Provera has serious side effects.  Bill Gates’ own researcher Dr. Renee Heffron came up with research in October of 2011, which stated that Depo Provera and injectables significantly increased risk of transmitting and acquiring HIV/AIDS. Not only that, but Depo Provera also doubles the risk of breast cancer and causes [excessive] bleeding.  So my question is this: in countries where HIV is a significant problem, where we don’t have access to good healthcare, why would we be using the most dangerous contraceptives for African women, when in countries like Holland, they all use very safe low-dose contraceptives.
Fosu’s statement was made in a meeting co-sponsored by IPPF, Denmark and Liberia which was meant to attract high level ministers in New York for the General Assembly.
Fosu included a reference to Holland because, as public health policy, long-term progesterone contraceptives such as Depo Provera and Norplant are rarely used by women in European countries.

several reasons we used this before the HIV problem was known: First, unlike the pill, it does not decrease breast milk, so less malnutrition in babies.
Second; You could give it out at baby clinics, without worrying that the pills wouldn't be taken correctly or lost or deteriorate from the heat.
third: the HIV problem might be demographic (in urban promiscuous populatons vs the rural women who use non vaginal intercourse when breast feeding).

in the US, the drop of teen aged pregnancies is from using depo instead of the pill...theoretically the pill has a 1 to 2 percent pregnancy rate, but in teenaged girls it is ten percent or higher, since they tend to foget the pill...

Friday, September 26, 2014

antibodies against ebola


I knew a nurse whose blood was used to treat Marburg or a similar disease 30 years ago...and gamma globulin used to be used a l.ot more in the good old days

so the WHO is devising guidelines to use this for Ebola victims.

 For later reading

vaccine nonsense

Except for smallpox, I have seen and treated patients with most of the diseases now prevented by routine vaccinations. So I have little patience with the hollywood types who eschew getting their kids vaccinations.

In Africa, often "childhood" diseases such as measles killed many.

But in the affluent west, the rare side effects are megaphoned via the internet to make the side effect seem worse than the disease.

Gresham College has a lot of lectures on various subjects that are great to listen to, and they have a series of lectures on vaccines and problems. list here.

Good, Bad and Ugly: The History of Polio Vaccines
... or crippled millions of people, but successful polio vaccines were developed during the mid-1950s which have spared millions from ... polio to the verge of extinction. The development of polio vaccines is more than a great medical success; this is a gripping story that ...
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue: The true story of Gulf War Syndrome
... not use them. The protection against biological comes from vaccines. The armed forces are routinely vaccinated before any major overseas ... what is the increased risk associated with receiving these vaccines on your subsequent health? We have a slight problem, which is that ...
The Tragedy of Easy Problems
... therapy to clean water programs, mosquito nets, and vaccines, we can make more of an impact than we have. Yet in the uproar of ... much of the solution is obvious. There are effective vaccines for rotavirus and measles; efforts to make sure every child can get ...
Modelling the Spread of Infectious Diseases
... it was only in the last century that safe and cheap vaccines could be produced in large quantities. The aim of vaccination is to ... the symptoms of infection.   In simple terms vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies but ...
The life and legacy of Dr Edward Jenner FRS, pioneer of vaccination
... the principles established that led to the discovery of vaccines to other infectious diseases.  Dr Wallington describes the ... was the main source of vaccine lymph in Britain until a vaccines produced in calf’s skin became available in 1861. During this ...
Danish Fairy Tales? From Andersen and the Copenhagen consensus towards a theory of commerce
... demonstrated electro-magnetism. Louis Pasteur developed vaccines. Marie and Pierre Curie worked on radioactivity. Charles Darwin ...
Hygeia and Panacea: Is prevention better than cure?
... prevention, through his International Finance Facility for vaccines and sanitation. “The rates of return from upfront investment in ... 1954, cover of Time magazine, featuring Jonas Salk. Polio vaccines were developed in the 1950s, chiefly by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. ...
A is for Autism
... Equally, there’s no evidence that vaccines are contributing to the increase in autism but rather like the ...
Conquest and Disease or Colonialism and Health?
... diseses. This knowledge led to the development of drugs, vaccines and methods of insect control and the colonial powers wholeheartedly ... by deploying the latest discoveries in medicine such as vaccines and drugs, some of which like quinine which were manufactured locally, ...
Unwelcome Guests: Human Diseases
... crowding, better and more varied nutrition. More recently vaccines have reduced still further the risk of many viral and some bacterial ...

The Times of Our Lives: A history of longevity
... health (sanitation) and microbiology (diagnostics, drugs, vaccines). The direct effects were powerful partly because they relieved a ... may not be the principal limiting factor; good drugs and vaccines can only partly compensate for other deficiencies. Specific health ...
The First World War: Disease, The Only Victor
... all their troops against typhoid. By 1914 there were also vaccines against cholera, anthrax, rabies, typhoid and plague but they appear ... inadequate sewage disposal and the fact that there were vaccines were available but their use was not compulsory.   ...
Barnard’s Inn Hall
... Good, Bad and Ugly: The History of Polio Vaccines Dr Johnson's ...
Getting a life: Limits to health in the 21st century
... opened the way to developing better drugs, diagnostics and vaccines. 24.  These interventions, especially the first two acted, ...
Pathogens and parasites; plagues and pandemics
... a few, cheap interventions – a mixture of antibiotics, vaccines, and sanitary and hygiene measures.   To ...
Return of the Microbes: How infections are once more taking over
... In fact, by the time we are developing very good vaccines, we have plateaued out and changed the causes of what people are dying ...
Lessons from the Past, Warnings for the Future
... its real triumph, with the development of effective vaccines first by Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh in 1954 then by ...
How to get ahead in commerce: The sure-fire ways to make money
... machinery to electricity to magnetism to railways to vaccines to plastics to atoms to computers to designer drugs to ...
The Great Pox
... continued to favour mercury treatment, and the various vaccines that were developed did more harm than good. In an increasingly ...

I have listened to quite a few, but have bookmarked them to listen again (I usually play podcasts in the background when I sleep...I was listening to the one on polio vaccine, but missed a lot of it due to background noise from the pump and then falling asleep).

Monday, September 22, 2014

The WTF articles of the day

This was noticed awhile back but now is in the LATimes:

Dry roasting process might lead to more peanut allergies.

In a statement, he said that the researchers are looking for ways to “eliminate” the chemical changes that seem to make dry-roasted peanuts more likely to trigger allergic reactions.

my question: Is it the dry roasting causing chemicals that cause allergies, or the fact that this means more peanut particles float around and get breathed in when you eat them?

Regular peanuts are greasy, from oil so the grease would hold in the particulate matter but that's not true for dry roasted peanuts.

Breathing in particles means the lung will be exposed to peanuts, and may mount an immune response more vigorously than the stomach etc.

We see this with talc lined latex gloves, where a lot of the latex allergies are from direct skin contact or to small cuts in the skin from vigourous washing, but a lot are thought to be from the particulate matter of latex being breathed in with the floating talc particles.
FDA report on powdered gloves 

Conclusions(1) The major adverse impact of glove powder appears to be its contributing role in natural rubber latex allergies.
(2) Glove powder acts as an airborne carrier of natural latex proteins.
(3) Exposure to airborne natural rubber latex allergens can be most effectively reduced by considering both the level of natural latex proteins and the amount of glove powder on medical gloves.

and it's not just medical folks:

linThe prevalence and severity of latex allergy has increased dramatically in the last 15 years due to exposure to natural rubber products. Although historically this health risk has been elevated in hospital personnel and patients, a recent survey has indicated a significant potential risk for the general population. To obtain a wide-spread source for latex exposure, we have considered tire debris. We have searched for the presence of latex allergens in passenger car and truck tire tread, in debris deposited from the atmosphere near a freeway, and in airborne particulate matter samples representative of the entire year 1993 at two sites in the Los Angeles basin (California)..... A latex cross-reactive material was identified in mountain cedar. In conclusion, the latex allergens or latex cross-reactive material present in sedimented and airborne particulate material, derived from tire debris, and generated by heavy urban vehicle traffic could be important factors in producing latex allergy and asthma symptoms associated with air pollution particles.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

BBC article on cloves, the sins of colonialism, and the clove tree that defied empires.

In 1652, after displacing the Portuguese and Spanish, the Dutch introduced a policy known as extirpatie: extirpation.
All clove trees not controlled by the Voc were uprooted and burned.
Anyone caught growing, stealing or possessing clove plants without authorisation faced the death penalty.
On the Banda Islands, to the south - the world's only source of nutmeg - the Dutch used Japanese mercenaries to slaughter almost the entire male population.
Like Opec today, the Voc also limited supply to keep prices high. Only 800-1,000 tonnes of cloves were exported per year. The rest of the harvest was burned or dumped in the sea.
Somehow, Afo managed to slip through the net. A rogue clove. A guerrilla plant waging a secret war of resistance.
Afo would eventually bring down the Dutch monopoly on cloves.
In 1770, a Frenchman, appropriately named Poivre, stole some of Afo's seedlings.

the article includes this factoid:

A Han dynasty ruler from the 3rd Century BC insisted that anyone addressing him chew cloves to sweeten their breath. 


unrelated item: Meaningful practice. A bit thing on Obamacare, but this explanation doesn't help explain what it is.

Manila needs a new sewer/drainage system, so is in danger of floods as the rain from the last storm comes downstream from the north.

Marikina is partly under sea level, but they managed to build there anyway.


premies at 22 weeks only have a 12.5 percent chance of survival, but the article stresses the negative since many end up with complications.

The results show that the precise survival rates by gestational age were 12..5%; 13.1%; 36.9%; 55.7% and 71.9% at 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 weeks, respectively.
Survival with no serious intracranial haemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia (damage to the brain's white matter close to the ventricles), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease) or retinopathy of prematurity (abnormal development of the blood vessels in the retina) stood at 1.5%; 9.5%; 19.0% and 29.9% at 23, 24, 25 and 26 weeks, respectively.
presumably "experts" will use the data to impose "no treatment" orders on the kids, instead of figuring out ways to increase the survival rate.
The problem is that a large percentage of these kids are weak and don't breathe on their own after birth.
the parents want everything to be done...yet after CPR most of the kids revived only lived a few hours.
I've stopped CPR on a "flat" 22 week baby,who didn't revive after a few minutes of CPR,  so there is a good argument both ways. But that was 20 years ago and in a small rural hospital, where the nearest NICU was 200 miles away...
In Africa, even 3 pound babies usually didn't make it...all we had was an incubator which used 100 watt bulbs to regulate the temperature and a tube feeding in oxygen to the babies.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Malpractice in plain sight

Joan Rivers died during what appears to be a biopsy of her vocal cord lesion, and it appears no one was monitoring her during her light anesthesia.

 This happens: I have seen deaths or near deaths from tooth extraction and tonsillectomy because of bad anesthesia. And you might want to keep it in mind when liberal judges nix laws that require decent standards of medical care for abortion clinics. I suspect a lot more deaths are occuring than reported? Why? Because I read an article years ago that the NY abortion law was a success, because no one died and there were few complications.

At the time the article was written in the early 1970's, our gyne ward was full of complications from NYCity abortion clinics on poor black women, and I know of at least one patient who died of renal failure because she signed out of the hospital who was monitoring her high risk pregnancy to get an abortion, and promptly died because the renal failure wasn't monitored anymore, and lupus nephropathy often exacerbates after delivery, even when it is done at 28 weeks (it was a viable baby, but never mind. And I suspect the death, which occured three days after the abortion, was never reported as abortion related, even though back then they usually aborted these kids with high salt injections of the amniotic cavity, which would have exacerbated the problem).

This was in the days before dialysis was paid for by medicaid, of course. Poor women died of renal failure back then.