Monday, May 1, 2017

Infant vaccinations , Antibiotics , The artificial heart & Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Infant vaccinations: Today, over 80 percent of children age three or younger receive vaccinations. As a result, some of the deadly diseases, like smallpox and polio, are completely controlled in developed countries, while worldwide programs try to spread this success into the underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, new vaccines are available (like for chicken pox) that weren’t available 30 years ago. People born in 1955 were the first to receive vaccinations in infancy, starting with polio.
That factor alone significantly increased that generation’s lifespan. In the years to follow, more childhood vaccines were added, such as measles in 1963, mumps in 1967, and rubella in 1969.

Antibiotics: People have been receiving antibiotics since the 1940s for bacterial infections, such as syphilis, tuberculosis, malaria, and pneumonia. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 and first used medically in 1940.
After the discovery of penicillin, the rate of development of newer antibiotics was paralleled by fear of emerging resistant bacteria. In the 1950s, new resistant bacteria emphasized the need to limit use of antibiotics to keep new resistant bacteria for emerging. Today, the improper use of antibiotics is widespread, leaving researchers nervous about the inevitable development of newer resistant bugs. Follow your doctor’s recommendation about taking antibiotics seriously to help avoid further resistant strains from improper antibiotic use.

Medical technology: Medical technology drives the improvements in modern medicine. To make better medications, vaccines, and diagnostic tests, there needs to be advances in equipment to identify and create them. Diagnosing disease in its early stages, which improves outcome, comes from better diagnostic imaging. Patients with disease that has advanced to a point where organs are failing are given hope from technology advancements in prosthetics, organ transplantation, and tissue repair. Here are a few of the major breakthroughs:

• The artificial heart can be used to keep heart failure patients alive until they can receive a donor heart.
Computer-aided tomography (CAT) scan produces three-dimen-sional images of the body that can show doctors whether a tumor is present and how deep it is in the body, to guide diagnosis and treatments.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is when magnetic fields and radio waves cause atoms to give off tiny radio signals, making it possible to detect cancer and other ailments early.

Despite these amazing advances, some diseases are still constant — cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still the leading cause of death in the world, and although cancer, respiratory illness, and diabetes all trail behind, they’re still major health threats (see Chapter 2 for more info on cancer and CVD). 

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