Health and Healthcare

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 8/26/13 at 4:51 AM | Sylvie Simms

The History of Medical Sterilization Methods and Applications

Sterilization is the process of safeguarding an object or surface as free of bacteria. It is useful, and oftentimes necessary for certain surgical instruments or machines which require cleanliness and an environment completely free of microbial life. Ethylene oxide is most commonly used for sterilizing these medical devices because it can be used to sterilize almost all materials such as catheters, syringes, and anesthesia masks. However, there are a few different sterilization techniques that may be utilized, other than this form of chemical sterilization. High temperature or pressure sterilizations, ultraviolet light, and gas chemical sterilizations are a few. These various procedures are used depending on the type of instrument or machine at hand, as well as the type of material the object is made from. Although today we have a variety of options available for sterilizing items which we use to save lives, we have come a long way in its development and technique. Take a look at this infographic to get more information regarding the history of sterilization as well as the methods we use in modern day.

Research has brought sterilization from 3,000 BC’s use of pitch and tar as antiseptics, to American Physician, William Rutala, characterizing the ideal sterilization method we use today. Included in this method is the upkeep of the devices we use to sterilize, such as their calibration. It is vitally important to periodically and properly calibrate these measurement devices in order to ensure it provides accurate data throughout its life. Without these precise readings, suitable medical sterilization would not be likely. FULL POST

Posted 8/23/13 at 9:50 AM | Karen Farris

Football: No Game is Worth a Brain

Hard physical contact is a gridiron reality.

But many are questioning if more changes need to be made to protect football players—specifically the player’s brains.

Former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman’s career was cut short due to numerous concussions, and he declared that no son of his would ever play football.

His sentiment was echoed by President Obama, in an interview in The New Republic, “I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”

According to the Center for Disease Control there are over 300,000 sports-related concussions each year.

Concussions aren’t merely bruises or bumps—they can lead to serious issues.

Enough NFL players have suffered the effects of head injuries that medical experts are linking concussions to subsequent maladies such as depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other neurological disorders. With thousands of players lining up to sue the NFL for negligence, perhaps it’s wise for school districts nationwide to consider their own liabilities. FULL POST

Posted 8/22/13 at 1:15 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Let's Talk About Mental Illness

By Stephen Altrogge

Mental illness is tricky business. As Christians it is something we desperately need to talk about yet almost never have the courage to talk about. We need to talk about it because it affects so many people. My guess is you either know someone who struggles with mental illness or you struggle with it yourself. Mental illness is not limited to the crazies on the street who talk to invisible phantoms. Moms, dads, pastors, executives, accountants, and karate instructors struggle with mental illness. When we don’t talk about mental illness openly and honestly the result is tragedy and hurt and pain and confusion.

We don’t have the courage to talk about mental illness because, frankly, we’re not sure what to say. For those of us who struggle with anxiety or depression, trying to explain it someone who has not experienced it is extraordinarily difficult. For those of you who don’t deal with mental illness but know someone who does, my guess is that you’re not quite sure how to help them. You desperately want to help but don’t know what to say or what to do.

If the body of Christ is going to effectively serve those who struggle with mental illness we need to have some open, honest conversations about it (and just to be clear, this post is in no way directed at anyone in my church!). As one who has struggled with chronic physical anxiety for many years let me add my voice to the discussion. I hope that my fragile thoughts can serve both the strugglers and those of you who care for the struggling. FULL POST

Posted 8/21/13 at 11:05 AM | Dale Fletcher

Jesus is Asking - "May I Eat With You?"

Jesus wants to eat with you

Sometimes we can close off a part of our heart to Jesus. It may hurt too much to go there because there is pain... and we just don't want to deal with the past and the pain associated with it. Or, we may not want God to take away a lustful desire or behavior we have that gives us what we want - that meets a selfish desire.

As an example, we may be enjoying the pornography or the illicit sex or the box of cookies or the shopping or the tub of ice cream. We enjoy them, in the moment, and we want to keep whatever the habit is because it makes us 'feels' good. What is this behavior or thing for you?

But when we do these things, we are really not being satisfied at the deepest level of our hearts. The deeper spiritual need has not been met by the behavior or the thing we may have purchased or obtained.

We are also missing out on the full and abundant life that Jesus died for us to experience. John 10:10

Can you relate to any of this?

Might Jesus be saying to you, as he writes to the church in the book of Revelation... FULL POST

Posted 8/20/13 at 2:23 PM | Bill Blacquiere

Adopting the Least of These

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 3.4 million children worldwide were living with HIV at the end of 2011, the latest year for which data is available.[1] Many have lost both parents to the virus, and thankfully the majority of these orphans have found care with their grandmothers or other family member. But a small percentage have no one, which is why we are passionate about finding loving homes for them.

Sadly, these orphans are marginalized in their countries and become extremely vulnerable because of the stigma attached to HIV. They are today’s lepers, languishing in orphanages because no one wants them. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions surrounding this disease. For example, many Americans believe you can become infected with HIV by sharing eating utensils, drinking from a water fountain, shaking hands, or touching a door handle after an HIV-positive person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, casual contact does not spread the virus.[2] Normal interaction between a parent and a child with HIV presents little to no risk. Another misconception is that an infant with HIV will die before he or she is two years old. It is true that children without treatment are at risk to die at a young age, but thanks to the development and availability of antiretroviral drugs (ARV), a person with HIV can be expected to live a long and healthy life. FULL POST

Posted 8/19/13 at 5:08 AM | Sylvie Simms

Alzheimer’s & Long Term Care

Alzheimer’s has long been the most common form of dementia, worsening as it progresses. Affecting six million Americans and those more frequently over the age of 65, Alzheimer’s disease requires patience and a long-term care plan both from friends as well as health care practitioners caring for the affected. Recently, the link between those suffering from Alzheimer’s and depression has gained tremendous backing from research, since those suffering from depression are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer-related diseases. Oftentimes, it is difficult to diagnose those with Alzheimer’s as having depression, and doctors usually rely heavily on nonverbal cues and symptoms that are common to both, such as social withdrawal, a loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed, impaired concentration and memory, and abnormal or deficient sleeping patterns. It is important to note that treatment must begin immediately and typically for the long-run. Antidepressants, support groups, physical exercise, and electroconvulsion therapy are all treatment options available which help ease the cognitive debilitating symptoms of those with depression and Alzheimer’s disease. FULL POST

Posted 8/15/13 at 11:27 AM | Brian Wallace

Influential Health Entrepreneurs of 2013

While innovation in healthcare technology can often go unnoticed, these entrepreneurs are on the leading edge of medical technology.

Watsi is a crowdfunding platform connecting patients in developing nations to donors around the world. They have already raised $200,000 and are currently seeking more patients and angel investors.

Nanoly is a bioscience firm, developing technology that allows vaccines to survive without refrigeration. This technology could potentially prevent 25% of vaccine waste and 2.1 million deaths each year.

Orbis Biosciences develops control-release delivery systems for pharmaceutical and consumer product industries. Their products include vaccinations with built-in follow-up doses, improved ready-to-eat meals for the U.S. Army, and taste-masking oral pills.

SynCardia is the maker of the Total Artificial Heart, a complete heart replacement that could become the first permanent artificial heart.

Drchrono provide an affordable, practical solution for healthcare professionals in small practices to schedule and bill patients using their iPads or iPhones.

To learn more about these leading health entrepreneurs, check out the infographic below, from

Posted 8/14/13 at 3:30 PM | Mark Ellis

Stage IV lung cancer went into her brain, then God touched her

By Mark Ellis

Messianic Jewish believer Bobbie Barsky likes to identify herself as a completed Jew. When she went through a horrific health battle with metastasizing cancer, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave her assurance every step of the way.

“God made the difference!” Barsky exclaims three times to emphasize her gratitude. Barsky and her husband, Rabbi Dr. David Barsky, oversee Congregation Beth Hillel in Coral Springs, Florida, a messianic synagogue.

Long before her cancer diagnosis she received a vision that helped prepare her for what was coming. “It wasn’t my imagination, because I couldn’t turn off what I was seeing,” she notes in her book, “The Silver Lining” (Gazelle Press) In the vision, she sat in a hospital bed but appeared healthy – as if a crisis had passed – and many people were lined up to see her.

After the vision she shared her concern with husband David. “Something is going to happen,” she told him.

“We have to pray against it,” he said. FULL POST

Posted 8/13/13 at 2:30 AM | Sylvie Simms

Pregnancy Statistics

Finding out you’re pregnant is a wondrous and exciting occasion, marked with physical as well as mental and emotional changes. Although these changes will prove to be taxing on you and your body, the end result will be a beautiful baby boy or girl you’ll be welcoming into the world.

From the moment your baby is a single cell, the physical changes that take part throughout your body are astounding. Your bones soften, hair thickens, and even your heart grows, enlarging due to the extra work load, all due to hormone increases and fluctuations! These are just a few of the amazing changes covered in this infographic. You’ll gain remarkable insight into some interesting facts and statistics of fertility, pregnancy, and birthing.

Everyone knows that as you get older, your fertility begins to decline, but did you actually know that older women are also much more likely to give birth to twins and triplets? In 2010, there were about 571 babies born to women over the age of 50! Once you’ve gotten pregnant, you can expect to see some big changes coming, for one, gaining on average of about 21-30 pounds. But there’s no need to fret, about 38% of that is the weight of the baby; the rest consists of the placenta, fluid and blood, and fat mostly gained around the breasts and uterus (which will be expanding up to five times its normal size!). Once those 9 months pass, it will be time for you to decide how your baby will be delivered. Although most cesarean deliveries are required, many women still might prefer to go this route as opposed to a vaginal delivery. The real fun comes when your baby finally arrives! Most likely averaging in at about 7 pounds, the last thing there is to do is decide on your baby’s name. FULL POST

Posted 8/10/13 at 12:33 PM | Karen Farris

A (Sexual) Lovebug You Don’t Want To Catch

For over a decade I traveled to schools and talked to teens about their sexual choices. Yes, I promoted sexual abstinence until a monogamous marriage—it was a better guarantee for a sexually healthy future.

While premarital sex and multiple sexual partners leads to dissatisfaction in relationships, it often comes packaged with lifelong STDs with serious complications. Not the lovebug one ever wants.

Herpes Simplex 2 is one of the incurable STDs that strikes the unsuspecting. Genital herpes is a cultural reality, with staggering statistics to prove it. Sex outside of a monogamous marriage can come with a high price tag—and a lifetime of suffering. All of the thrilling TV and movie sexual escapades rarely ever highlight the pain of STDs.

Web MD recently posted a genital herpes quiz. You need to know. Don’t be embarrassed by your low score. Take it again and then share this information with someone else.

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