Ouch, My Dead Arm Hurts: A Halloween Special


Phantom pain is the feeling that an individual experiences around a limb or an organ that is not physically part of the body, either because of removal by amputation, accidental loss or following spinal cord injury.

These are recorded most frequently following the amputation of an arm or a leg, but can develop at any stage after the removal of a limb (although usually straight after amputation).

Phantom limb sensation is the term given to any sensory phenomenon (except pain) which is felt in an absent limb or a portion of the limb. It has been known that at least 80% of amputees experience phantom sensations at some time of their lives. Some experience some level of this phantom pain and feeling in the missing limb for the rest of their lives.


Medical Mysteries: Super Babies!

Souce: TIME
We all know that women can either give birth to girls, boy, intersex or multiple birth (twins, triplets, etc.) However some people develop a second foetus in the uterus when there is already one fetus present. So this means that a woman who is already pregnant with one child, gets pregnant again during the first pregnancy, therefore the woman has two foetuses in her uterus, but the two babies have different due dates.

This is known as superfoetation.


Colour Blindness

Source: BBC Health
For many of us, especially at this time of year, everywhere is filled with bright decorations and colourful posters. But for people with colour blindness, this could change how they perceive certain things.

The real name of colour blindness is actually colour vision deficiency. This term describes many different problems with the condition can suffer from. It can be measured on a scale and can vary from not being able to differentiate between shades of colours to not being able to identify a certain colour at all.


Medical Myths: Week Seven

This week's myth is: Chocolate and fried foods give you acne.

Has anyone ever said that they get more spots because they've eaten unhealthily for a day? Well they're wrong because this, like many others, is a myth!

Many suggest that this myth dates back to the baby-boom generation who had more spots than their parents did, and who also had more access to chocolate and fried foods. Other than this, no one knows quite where the myth came came from.


Hanging, Internal Decapitation and Mike the Headless Chicken: A Halloween Special

Source: PottersArmy.net
Most of us would equate decapitation with death, and it would probably conjure up images of the Headless Horseman or Nearly Headless Nick from the Harry Potter Series. But not everyone who is "decapitated" dies from it.

Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body, of which there are two types. One type of decapitation is like beheading - literally separating the head from the body by chopping it off, either with an axe, sword, knife, guillotine, etc. The second type is called internal decapitation, otherwise known as atlanto-occipital dislocation or an orthopaedic decapitation

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: A Halloween Special


It’s dark. You’re out at night. You’re on your own. Walking down a dark isolated alley, you know this shortcut is risky – but it is the only way to get home. Then suddenly two figures appear at the end of the alley, blocking your exit. That horrible gut wrenching, panicky feeling shudders, lurches through your body. “Trick or Treat!!” they yell.

Of course, it’s Halloween and the two hooded figures turn out to be two kids dressed as the grim reaper laughing in hysterics as they skip off down the street.

What happened to cause this reaction? What is fear? Well according to the dictionary, the simple answer is that it is: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. But as you probably guessed it’s a lot more complex than that.


Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

I love this book so much! It gives such a great insight into what it is like to be a doctor. And not just any doctor. It recounts the tales of surgeons working in Iraq, struggling to save the lives of soldiers on the battlefield, along with doctors that work hard to contain polio outbreaks in India by vaccinations, a feat that is nigh impossible when an efficient national health service just doesn't exist, as well as surgeons working in wards, both in the past, and in the present.

I didn't really expect a lot from this book to begin with. I thought it was going to be stuffed with medical terminology, since I never really equated "surgeon" with "author." But, my, how it puts Harry Potter to shame!

The book itself is split into three parts: Diligence, Doing Right and Ingenuity, followed by an afterword entitled, "Suggestions for Becoming a Positive Deviant."



Epilepsy

If a person was to have a seizure in front of you in a queue at the supermarket, or your child was to have one at home, would you know what it was, what to do, or what caused it? Probably not. To mark National Epilepsy Awareness Month this November, I aim to inform you all about epilepsy.

One in 131 people in the UK have epilepsy, and anyone any age can be diagnosed. Epilepsy is a reasonably common disease which is a condition that is twice as likely to occur in children.

It involves electrical activity in the brain causing seizures.  As a result of this condition being so common, I believe that it is important for the public to know as much as possible about epilepsy and how to react if ever they came across it.

I have also chosen to write about this topic because it has a close personal connection.

The Stranger Inside You: Chimeras

Source: hollerboard.com
If you're a fan of Greek mythology, you'd know that chimeras are creatures with the body of a lioness, with the tail of a snake, the head of a goat, a dragon and a lioness and breathed fire. The idea of human chimeras would therefore sound strange. Human chimeras aren't actually fire-breathing people with goat's heads and tails. Human chimeras are far more real, and more interesting than Greek mythology could ever be (Disclaimer: It's more interesting from my point of view!).

Human chimeras are actually people who are made up of cells and tissues that have different DNA to each other. That is, you'd be a mash-up of potentially different people. For example, your eyes may be made up of cells which contain DNA that is different to the DNA found in the cells of your stomach. This can happen because two zygotes or embryos fused together early on in the pregnancy and as they matured, the cells grew together to become one embryo.


Ashby Court Nursing Home

As part of my pre-university insight into the medical profession, I am going to do some volunteer work helping to care for residents in the Ashby Court Nursing Home.

Ashby Court offers residence for long or short periods, including respite. They provide residential care, nursing care, nursing dementia care and convalescence, which is care for patients who need to gradually recover from an illness. They also offer care for people with mental illnesses like Parkinson's disease, older people with physical disabilities and those who need palliative care.


Living with Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease (also known as regional enteritis) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea (which may be bloody if inflammation is at its worst), vomiting (can be continuous), or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis, and inflammation of the eye, tiredness, and lack of concentration.

I interviewed a 16 year old male who has been living with the disease, to get the insiders view on life with Crohn's disease.


When were you diagnosed with Crohn's?
I was diagnosed with Crohn's towards the end of Year 8, right before we broke up for our summer holidays.


Cosmetic Surgery: Rhinoplasty


Rhinoplasty (reconstructive nose surgery) surgery is becoming one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery performed in the UK, with thousands happening every month.

So many of us are often judged on the size and shape of our noses, that it is not surprising so many people take drastic action in the hunt for perfection.

Celebrities are especially infamous for this, and the internet is crawling with those unfortunate before and after shots of our favourite celebs.

Rhinoplasty was first developed in ancient India, by thyurveda physician Sushruta (ca. 800 BC), who described reconstruction of the nose in the Sushruta samhita (ancient Indian medical teaching).


Medical Myths: Week Six

This week's myths is that we only use 10% of our brains.

This myth has been circulating for years and has even appeared in films such as Inception and from comedians like Jerry Seinfeld. However, it is thought to have originated from Albert Einstein himself, although there is no evidence to support this. Many people suggest that the myth aroused from self improvement sales people who wanted to convince people that they had not yet reached their full potential.

Numerous MRI and PET scans have shown no areas of the brain to be dormant, suggesting that most of the brain functions constantly.

How Effective Is Chloroform as an Anaesthetic?

Source: BBC
Chloroform was discovered by American physician Samuel Guthrie in 1831. Before this time, anaesthetics were not widely used but once discovered, chloroform was used largely around the world as a general anaesthetic.

The first reported use of chloroform as an anaesthetic was in 1847 when James Young Simpson (Scottish obstetrician) used the drug during childbirth.

Throughout history, there are many reports of the drug being used even on royals, such as Queen Victoria in the birth of her last son and daughter. The question stands, however, how effective is it?


Extraordinary People: Progeria

Source: quigleyscabinet.blogspot.com
It seems to me that from day to day, people only ever describe footballers, actors and music artists as extraordinary. Well here's my take on that, extraordinary isn't about celebrities who really do seem to have money trees, it's about people like Hayley Okines who we meet on this episode of Extraordinary People- who for every day have to fight for their lives, put up with excessive medication, a life threatening condition and consistent ridicule of how they look, yet still appreciate the little things they do have. Now tell me that isn't extraordinary!
Hayley Okines is currently 14 years of age, one year older than the average life span of children with Progeria. Progeria, or Hutchinson Gilford Progeria syndrome, is an extremely rare, fatal genetic condition of childhood with striking features resembling premature aging. It accelerates the process of aging to about eight times the normal rate. Because of this accelerated aging, a child with Hutchinson Gilford Progeria that is ten years old will have similar respiratory, cardiovascular, and arthritic conditions of that of an eighty year old.

The New Closet Romantic: Foody Tuesdays

Killer guacamole!
I came across this brilliant blog the other day, The New Closet Romantic, which is ran by an 18 year old vegan in Liverpool. There is a regular feature called Foody Tuesdays which provides simple vegan recipes on Tuesdays. I'd like to share one of her Foody Tuesdays blogs with you about "Killer Guacamole!"

Avocado, the main ingredient of guacamole, is an amazing fruit. Avocado has mainly unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fats, which are good for you since they have been shown to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol), although its HDL-raising capabilities are still being researched. Avocados also have 35% more potassium per gram than bananas, and area also rich in B vitamins, Vitamin E and K, as well as a high fibre content (perfect for those who are often constipated!).


Inheriting Genetic Disorders

Genes are section of DNA that contain coded information. Each gene exists in two forms, inherited from each parent; these are called alleles. Most genetic diseases are caused by mutations in genes, these mutations are mostly harmless and cause the genetic variation needed for species to evolve. However some are harmful and these defected genes are then inherited when passed down through generations. They can be from recessive or dominant alleles or even sex-linked. Some are even caused by chromosomes for example Down's syndrome is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.


Interview with a Vegetarian

Chloe Reynolds, from the East Midlands, is 16 and studies A Levels in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and English Literature, and has aspirations of becoming a doctor, lawyer or an author. I interviewed her to find out what it is like to be a vegetarian, and how vegetarians stay healthy despite not eating meat.


Source: gogethealthynow.com
How long have you been vegetarian for, and why did you choose to become a vegetarian?
I've been a vegetarian for about four years now... It all started when I saw a programme about how they treat and kill the animals - it was awful! I know it sounds crazy, but from then on I was so aware of how that food had gotten onto my plate and I began connecting it to the animals in the field that had been alive and breathing only days before. I just couldn't eat meat any more.

Extraordinary People: Conjoined Twins

In this episode we meet two extraordinary people, Abigail and Brittany who are joined at the body. Each has a separate head, neck, heart, stomach, spine and spinal cord, and each twin controls her half of their body, operating one of the arms and one of the legs. This means that as infants, the initial learning of physical processes that required bodily coordination, such as clapping, required the cooperation of both children. While each is able to eat and write separately and simultaneously, activities such as running and swimming must be coordinated and alternate symmetrically.

Conjoined twins in general form exactly like identical twins, but the egg begins to separate far later than usual (at least 12 days after conception). The process of division then stops and the twins develop attached to one another, this occurs in about 1 in every 40,000 births!


Nothing Is As It Seems

From staticsplit.wordpress.com
We assume that humans are defiantly categorised as either males or females, however as it the title suggests, 'nothing is as it seems.'

Recently the BBC broadcasts a documentary called 'Me, My Sex and I' which told stories of people that were born neither entirely male nor female.

What determines our sex? What makes us female or male? Is it our genitalia? Or is it something else? Most of us at a very young age assume that everyone is either female or male, but there are some who are not really male or female. They are called the intersex.


In Memory of a Dear Friend, Harry

William Shakespeare once said, "By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too." I never really knew just how profound this statement was until one of my closest friends, Harry Watson died at the age of 14 two years ago.

There are a few people in the world who I would call a role model; Harry was one of them. He suffered from Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy, a congenital genetic condition in which skeletal muscles progressively waste away, and changes in the electrical wiring of the heart (the cardiac conduction system) occur.

It also causes muscle contractures, which is a symptom that manifests as the tightening or shortening of certain muscles and tendons, restricting movement. As well as the restriction of movement due to these contractures, as the muscle is progressively wasting, the patient develops weakness, muscular atrophy, scoliosis (abnormal spinal curvature), an inability to walk (Harry was confined to his wheelchair at a young age), and other related symptoms.


Interview with a Diabetic Doctor

I decided to interview Dr James Greening, my paediatric diabetic doctor who works in hospitals in Leicestershire, specialising in endocrine problems in childhood and working on the transition for adolescents from paediatric to adult care.

How long have you been working as a children's diabetic doctor?
A very long time, probably about 10 years, just doing children's diabetes.

What are the benefits or good things about your job?
I think it's a very varied thing to do and we do a lot of good, curing people, and help them with their diabetes.

Tortured with Tinnitus: An Interview with a Tinnitus-Sufferer

Paul Hudson is 16 and is currently doing an apprenticeship in Accounting at Stephenson College, in Leicestershire. A self-proclaimed music fan, he's had tinnitus as long as he can remember. In this blogpost, I interviewed him to find out more about his condition.

Hi Paul, tell us a bit about your condition. What symptoms have you been getting?
I have tinnitus, which is a condition where I constantly hear a high-pitched noise. Sometimes it's more noticeable than other sounds, and it sometimes gives me headaches.

How long have you had tinnitus?
I've had it for literally as long as I can remember, and I only found out I had it a few months ago when my brother was talking about it - it turns out that my brother has tinnitus too. I have no memories of not having it, so I assumed that it was normal and what everyone heard.

Medical Myths: Week Five

youroptihealthsite.com
This week's myth is: Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis.

Like many other myths, no one quite knows where this came from, but the simple truth is that cracking your knuckles pulls your joints apart causing a gas bubble, and the popping sound is the bubble popping.

The worst that could happen to a dedicated finger cracker is that their joints may weaken slightly over time. Arthritis itself can be caused by a number of things, but finger-cracking isn't one of them.

I'm not going to lie to you, if you are a knuckle-cracker, but cracking your joints isn't the nicest of sounds, so do refrain from carrying out this procedure whilst you have company! ;)

My Battle Against Depression: An Interview with a (Clinically) Depressed Teen

Photo from pixdaus.com
Sian, from Worthington, was 15 when she was diagnosed with clinical depression, after having had difficulty concentrating at school and mood problems. Now she's 16 and one year after her diagnosis, she's studying A Levels in Sociology, Psychology, English Language and Media, with aspirations of becoming technology and gaming journalist.

In this blog, I interviewed her about her battle against depression, a mental disorder that affects 1 in 25 children aged 5-16 in the UK.


Tell us about your condition.
Depression is a disorder that influences your whole way of living. It not only affects you emotionally - such as your mood and thoughts - but also physically, such as your willingness to eat, concentration levels and your sleep patterns. It can last for weeks, months or even years without treatment.

Living with EDNOS

Photo from toastick.wordpress.com
Tor tells us what life is like with EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), which is the DSM’s diagnosis for eating disorders that do not fit the criteria of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder. Tor is 18, and she is studying Psychology at the University of Liverpool.

In this blog, I interviewed her about her condition.

Could you tell me a little bit about your condition?
I have EDNOS. It's like a catch-all for eating disorders that don't fit any other official diagnoses - so one hand you could meet most, but not enough of the criteria for anorexia or bulimia and be diagnosed with EDNOS, or on the other you could just have really novel symptoms and behaviours. In my case, popular culture would brand me 'orthorexic' - that is, I think a lot about what I'm 'allowed' to eat, feel guilty if I eat anything that's unhealthy and then try to compensate afterward. It’s almost a subset of bulimia.


Life with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Laura, from Guildford, doesn't seem any different from most 17 year old girls. She loves horse-riding, goes to Girl Guiding UK. She loves rock bands like Shinedown, Dommin, HIM, Buckcherry, and Black Stone Cherry.

She is doing her A-Levels in English, Government and Politics, History and Religious Studies, with the hopes of becoming a civil servant within the London Museum Group.

Ordinary, so it seems. But when she was 9 years old, she was diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS), an umbrella term for a condition with symptoms of severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and migraines. It usually develops in younger children, and can be "outgrown" but it can develop in all age groups.

In this blog, I interviewed Laura to find out more about what it is like to have CVS.

The Ethical Problems of Amniocentesis

So what is amniocentesis?
It is a test carried out on pregnant mothers, used to detect chromosome abnormalities in the foetus such as Down's syndrome. In amniocentesis, a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the foetus is removed and analysed. This test is performed from week 15 of the pregnancy onwards.

This test is always offered to women over 38; if your pregnancy is thought to be a risk; if you have incompatible blood groups, for example, or if the doctor suspects the baby could have digestive or neurological malformations or need medical attention.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Cancer Research UK shop in Ashby-de-la-Zouch where I volunteered is now nearly covered in a pink array of balloons. A whole display shelf is dedicated to pink merchandise for Cancer Research UK. All this is done to remind us all that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But amidst the pinkness of the shop (the manager is very fond of pink items!) and fundraising, I think not enough is being done to actually make people aware of breast cancer. I aim to do so in this blogpost.

So what is breast cancer? Breast cancer is a type of cancer that comes from the cells of the tissues in the breast. When the genetic code contained in the cells of the body is damaged or changed during cell division (when cells replicate), there are processes in the cell that tries to repair the damage.

Sometimes, this damage is repaired, and other times it isn't. When it isn't repaired, sometimes there are processes in the cell that allows the cell to "commit suicide" and kill itself through apoptosis. However, sometimes, the damage in the genetic code goes so far as not allowing the cell to apoptose. If the damage in the genetic code turns off genes that suppress cell division, the damaged DNA can make the cell replicate uncontrollably. The cells may then reproduce to become a growth of a tumour. This, however, is not necessarily cancer.


Translation Matters: The Language of Medicine

The more observant of us will notice that the NHS Choices website now has a translate function (at the top of the website), provided by Google Translate, which allows users to translate the website into any of the languages that is offered by Google. Not only is it free, but it is quick and easy to use, albeit a little unreliable, but any native speaker should be able to understand, which is more important than perfect syntax and grammar. Most UK residents who do not speak English will benefit from this move, unless, of course, you "speak" British Sign Language!

Medicine is a lot about good communication. Without efficient and effective communication, the NHS couldn't work properly to deliver its good standard of care. This new, useful addition to the website will assist those who have difficulty understanding English in availing of the NHS services, which is becoming increasingly important as Britain becomes a more multicultural society.

Although the free translation service for the NHS Choices website has only just started today, the costly bilingual services for those who need an interpreter or translator in the NHS has been around for longer.


Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands

Junior Doctors on BBC3
Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands is a BBC Three television series looking at how seven junior doctors cope with life on the wards at Newcastle General Hospital and Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The series is both heart racing and comical as we watch the seven new doctors battle their few weeks into the job. As they try to impress the seniors, make new friends and shoulder new responsibilities, we as an audience can visualize again those awkward experiences inevitable when starting a new job.

How many cycles of IVF should be provided by the NHS?

Women all across the world, have to face the nightmare that they are not able to naturally conceive a child. It can be a heartbreaking and life devastating thought, but is there a way around it? Yes. Science has made alternatives to naturally producing a child, if you are unfortunate enough to not be able to. This is where "In Vitro Fertilisation" comes in. It is the process of extracting an egg from the women’s uterus, and the sperm from a male, and fertilising them outside the womb. After the fertilisation has taken place, the embryo is then surgically implanted into the women’s uterus, and she is pregnant! These are the exact steps on how it takes place:

Step one: suppressing the natural monthly cycle
A drug will be supplied that will suppress the women’s natural menstrual cycle. This is given either as a daily injection or as a nasal spray. This will be taken for about two weeks.


Medical Myths: Week Four

vonsfitnesstips.com
This weeks myth is: Chewing gum takes seven years to pass through your system.

Everyone has been told at least once not to swallow chewing gum because it won’t pass through your digestive system for seven years. This is NOT true! No one knows where this myth came from, but it could have partly arisen from the fact that swallowing gum was seen as low class and ignorant.

It’s true that chewing gum cannot be digested. But instead of taking seven years, it just passes through your system whole. Also, it doesn’t stick to your insides, it just continues along with any food you have eaten and pops out the other end.

However, don't swallow a whole packet of chewing gum as that would just be a waste of time, effort and money.

Doctors of the Death Chamber: Physician's Involvement with the Death Sentence

Halfway through reading "Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance" by Atul Gawande, a renowned surgeon, I found a moral dilemma that some American physicians may face, although it is not one that would be encountered by doctors in Britain. In "Part II: Doing Right" of the book, the chapter "The Doctors of the Death Chamber" deals with the many moral and ethical issues of doctors who decide to participate in lethal injection executions of criminals to ensure a humane and dignified death.




In Britain, this moral issue is more or less not considered, but it still poses a huge question for doctors - is the job of a doctor only to save lives?

Does Your Blood Type Affect Who You Are?

There are lots of myths and theories on whether your blood group has an impact on whether you are more susceptible to certain diseases, or what your responese are to different types of food and diets or even your personality. However there isn't a lot of hard scientific evidence. But in my opinion, there has to be reasons why some people are less prone naturally to certain diseases or respond better to different treatements, why some people lose weight on certain diets and some don't, or even why some people age quicker than others. So I have done some research on different theories...



Can You Trust Your Doctor?

Can you trust your doctor? That is the question that is asked by Dispatches, on Channel 4.


From the Dispatches website:

"GPs are among the most trusted and respected of all professions. They are our first port of call for most NHS treatment with 800,000 people visiting surgeries every day. But Dispatches reveals that failing doctors routinely slip through the system.


"We've been filming secretly in GP practices and have uncovered concerning evidence of misdiagnosis by doctors who have failed in the past, but are still practising.

Cholera

What is Cholera?

The Vibrio Cholerae bacterium causes cholera, which is an infectious disease with effects similar to that of gastroenteritis, which affects the way in which the small intestine works, causing diarrhoea, dehydration and potentially, death.

A Vibrio Cholerae bacterium

Should the NHS Fund Non-Essential Surgery?

Every day we see another story on the news, a celebrity with a new surgical scandal, or statistics showing that more and more of us are taking drastic measures to change the way we look with cosmetic surgery.

At the moment this is mainly done through private clinics and surgeons at great expense to the individual, but should the NHS be paying for this ‘life-enhancing,’ non-essential surgery, as it does with essential cosmetic surgery such as skin grafts for burn victims?

Medical Myths: Week Three

Photo taken from
yogamarrakech.wordpress.com
This week's myth is: You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

This false statement has been around since 1945 when a government agency announced that the body needed eight glasses of fluid a day. This actually included all of the fluids from our diet including things like tea and coffee. Over the years, 'fluid' turned to 'water' and that’s where the myth comes from. Water companies then invented slogans like ‘if you’re thirsty it’s too late’ to encourage people to drink more water, therefore improving their revenue.

In truth, as long as you drink fluid every day and eat a balanced diet, then your water levels will be fine, i.e. if you’re thirsty, drink, and if you’re not, then don’t.

Once again, please do not dehydrate yourself to prove this fact as this could cause serious harm.

What's Up, Doc?

The only guy wearing a formal white shirt with black trousers and black shoes in a hospital ward full of female staff may well be deemed (wrongly) that he is a doctor, and even more so by patients with dementia, or other associated senile conditions. It just so happens that I was that one guy. During my work experience as a ward clerk, I was shadowing the occupational therapist when a patient called me "doctor." I told him that I was not the doctor, heedful of the ethical principle of honesty.

He, however, did not seem to believe what I had said, and carried on calling me doctor, nearly every time he saw me, even if I was just fleeting past the ward! Even most of the staff who did not know that I was volunteering at the ward were perplexed when I patiently explained that I was not, in fact, a doctor (yet) and that I was only 16. Even my friend's mother thought I was a doctor before I introduced myself to her!


Measuring Life

Scenario: You have one liver available for transplant and must choose one of two possible patients on the transplant list. One is an ex-alcoholic single mother with two young children and the other is a 13-year-old child with a congenital liver defect. They both have equal clinical needs. To whom would you give the liver?

Allocating resources in health care is becoming increasingly difficult as more people are in need of organs, and the few people who are organ donors often die of old age. Choosing between people who both have equal clinical needs can be very difficult.

Blood, Blood Groups and Blood Transfusions

Blood, Blood Types and Blood Transfusions

Photo from bloodsaveslives.org


What is in blood, and the different roles?
• red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body and are used to treat anaemia
• platelets – these help to stop the flow of blood when a person is cut or injured; platelet transfusions can be used to prevent excessive bleeding in certain groups of people, such as those who are having chemotherapy treatment (powerful medication to treat cancers)
• plasma – a liquid that makes up most of the volume of blood; plasma contains many nutrients needed by the body’s cells, as well as proteins that help the blood to clot if a patient is bleeding.
• white blood cells, which are used to fight infection