Health Focus: What is Sundowning Syndrome?

Sundowning syndrome or nocturnal delirium is used to describe a wide range of behaviours of neuropsychiatric (NPS) symptoms that often happen in people with dementia. The behavioural and neuropsychiatric symptoms seen in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease include; repetitive behaviours, delusions, misidentification, wandering, suicidal and sociopathic behaviours. Both normal ageing and dementia are associated with changes to the circadian regulation of physiology and behaviour (Cipriani et al., 2015)

The impact of Colonialism on the Mental Health of Indigenous Australians

Between 2017-18, 9.9 billion dollars was spent in mental health and 4.3 million people received mental health services (Mental Health Services in Australia, Prevalence, Impact and Burden, 2019). The proportion of older Australians is increasing and so as the life expectancy, which means an overall increase in chronic illnesses. The prevalence for dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities is 2 -5 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal Australians (The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2015). There several factors that are said to contribute to this disturbing trend. For example, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islanders, tend to have double the rates of traumatic injury, higher rates of smoking and have a markedly higher incidence of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular and renal diseases

Dexamethasone: the cheap, old and boring drug that’s a potential coronavirus treatment

Nial Wheate, University of Sydney First, we tried the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Then we tested the antiviral drug remdesivir. But new UK research gives the strongest indication yet we may have found a useful treatment for COVID-19. This time it’s an old anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, which has been described as cheap, old and boring. Preliminary… Continue reading Dexamethasone: the cheap, old and boring drug that’s a potential coronavirus treatment

Health Check: What is Delirium?

About 10% of Australians over the age of 70 have delirium at the time of admission to the hospital, and a further 8% will develop delirium while in hospital. The incidence of delirium is higher in certain hospital wings, with more than 30% of patients with delirium following hip or cardiac surgery (Delirium Clinical Care… Continue reading Health Check: What is Delirium?

What is A Reconciliation Action Plan and why it is important to improving Nursing practice

       A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), is a document that outline a framework for how individual organisations will help with the national reconciliation effort. It has practical actions that will drive an organisation’s contribution to reconciliation both within, and in the community in which it operates. The RAP helps to advance the five areas of… Continue reading What is A Reconciliation Action Plan and why it is important to improving Nursing practice

Health Check: why do we crave comfort food in winter?

Megan Lee, Southern Cross University and Jacqui Yoxall, Southern Cross University It’s winter and many of us find ourselves drawn to bowls of cheesy pasta, oozing puddings, warming soups, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. These and other comfort foods can make us feel good. But why? And why do we crave them in winter and… Continue reading Health Check: why do we crave comfort food in winter?

Health check: What is Anemia?

Anemia can be described as a reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This is usually caused by a decrease in the levels of red blood cells. This causes a reduction in the ratio of the volume of RBC and a general decrease in hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a protein that is responsible for transporting… Continue reading Health check: What is Anemia?

Health Check: do joint and muscle aches get worse in the cold?

Andrew Lavender, Curtin University The winter chill is often associated with an increase in aches and pains for many older people, particularly in the joints, but also in the muscles. Some recent studies have shown an increase in general aches and pain in older men and women, and in particular a correlation between joint pain… Continue reading Health Check: do joint and muscle aches get worse in the cold?

WHAT MAKES COCAINE SO ADDICTIVE AND DANGEROUS?

Cocaine is a psychoactive alkaloid of the coca plant; it was originally used for local surgeries as an anaesthetic but has now become a recreational drug. Unlike amphetamines, which resemble the structural formula of dopamine and noradrenaline, cocaine has a similar structure to other synthetic sedatives. Cocaine is well absorbed when administered via the mucous membranes, the GI tract and IV route. Peak concentration happens within five minutes after intravenous injection, while the peak levels from smoking are usually reached within 60 minutes. Some cocaine is excreted in urine unchanged, the majority is metabolised into benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, norcocaine and other metabolites. Although cocaine has a short half-life, the elimination half-life of the metabolites lasts longer. Studies also show that the half-life of cocaine may increase the longer it is used.

An overview of the Clotting process

Hemostasis is a complex process that involves multiple interlinked steps. The aim of the cascade is to form a plug that closes the damaged site of the blood vessels, thereby controlling bleeding. It begins with injury in the lining of the blood vessels. The process can be split into four phases, this includes; constriction of the blood vessels, formation of the temporary platelet plug, activation of the coagulation cascade and formation of the fibrin plug or the final clot. There are numerous cells that are involved in the clotting cascade, most notably are the processes associated with the endothelium, platelets and hepatocytes (LaPelusa & Dave, 2020).

An overview of the types and causes of Edema

Over accumulation of fluid in the interstitial space is generally bad and it affects the proper function of the tissue. This is because the formation of oedema increases the diffusion distance of oxygen and other nutrients. And for the same reason it reduces the diffusional removal of potentially toxic substances of cellular metabolism. This is especially important in the lungs where pulmonary oedema can greatly affect exchange of gasses. Also, certain anatomical structures limit tissue expansion in response to oedema. For example, the kidneys, brain, and the skeletal muscles (Scallan et al., 2010a). This means that small incremental changes in transcapillary fluid filtration will induce a large increase in interstitial fluid pressure.

An overview of the inflammatory response

Inflammation is a pathological response that engages hundreds of mediators and different cells and tissue types. It can be initiated by any stimulus causing cell injury. Often the inflammation is a response to some sort of infection. In some cases, chemical or physical injury can also induce an inflammatory reaction. The goal of the inflammatory response is to remove the causative agent with minimal destruction to the body, and to repair the damage caused by the toxin. The duration of the inflammatory response is dependent on whether the causative agent has been eliminated. Acute inflammation is a relatively short process, lasting from minutes to a few day

Structure of the Male Reproductive System

The male reproductive system includes the gonads, duct system, accessory glands, and the penis. The gonads are the testes, this is the site for sperm formation (spermatogenesis). The testis is located outside the body in the scrotum. Embryologically, the testes develop within the abdomen and usually descend about seven months during foetal development. If testes… Continue reading Structure of the Male Reproductive System

THE IMPORTANCE OF END-OF-LIFE PLANNING

Palliative care can be defined as an approach to health that involves improving the quality of life of patients and their families that are facing issues related to chronic, incurable and life-threatening illnesses (Wallerstedt et al., 2019). It is vital to note that, palliative care is not just limited to the elderly, but can be anyone with an incurable illness and the goal is to improve quality of life. The stages of palliative care include; stable, unstable, deteriorating, terminal and bereavement (McClelland et al., 2020).

Vitamin A and Vision

Vitamins are a diverse group of organic substances that are essential in the proper functioning of the metabolic processes in the body. Many vitamins, especially those found in the B group, work as coenzymes. Vitamin A is a name given to a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. Vitamin A is… Continue reading Vitamin A and Vision

The Menstrual Cycle

The female reproductive system is made up of the gonads, duct system and accessory glands. It produces gametes and transports them for fertilisation. The process of birth and nurturing also happens in the female reproductive system. When the oocyte is matured, it is expelled from the ovaries and then travels down the fallopian tube, it passes… Continue reading The Menstrual Cycle

The sonic hedgehog gene

The sonic hedgehog gene is the human form of the hedgehog superfamily of inductive molecules that play a role in the development of the embryo. Sonic hedgehog is necessary for the development of the front part of the brain. This signaling protein helps to establish the line that separates the right and left side of the forebrain. Sonic hedgehog also plays an important role in the formation of the eyes. During early development the cells that develop into the eye form a single structure called the eye field. The structure is found in the centre of the developing face. Sonic hedgehog signaling causes the eye field to separate into two distinct eyes (National Library of Medicine, 2020

Pharmacology basics| Drug Metabolism and Absorption.

The rate and degree of blood and absorption into the blood is dependent on the route of administration. Effective absorption from the oral route depends on both the chemical properties of the drug and the functional efficacy of the GI tract. Parenteral absorption is dependent on the extent of blood supply. The bioavailability of a drug is the most critical part of pharmacokinetics.

Harmful traditional practices- Female Genital Mutilation

Today there is an alarming trend in some countries where the procedure is being carried out by health care providers. UNICEF estimates that one in four FGM procedures where performed by a health care personnel. Medicalising this procedure risks normalising it and just because a doctor does it does not make it any less barbaric.

Below is A list of some Common Respiratory Illnesses.

Respiratory illnesses can be divided into those of the upper and lower respiratory tract. They can further be divided into those that are caused by infectious particles like viruses, bacteria, and environmental. The upper respiratory system consists of the nasal and laryngopharynx including the larynx while the lower respiratory tract consists of the trachea, bronchi… Continue reading Below is A list of some Common Respiratory Illnesses.

Needless treatments: Psychotropics are rarely effective in ‘calming’ dementia patients

         Elderly individuals with dementia often experience several neuropsychiatric symptoms such as delusion, hallucinations, anxiety, irritability and agitation. Currently, the management of these symptoms is a combination of non- pharmacological and pharmacological interventions such as use of psychotropic drugs (PDs) (Janus et al., 2016). In people with dementia, the use of these medications is less… Continue reading Needless treatments: Psychotropics are rarely effective in ‘calming’ dementia patients

What Makes Heroin So Addictive and Dangerous?

There are two main ways that heroin is metabolised; one of the ways is through the Hepatic First Pass. This is done via the removal of an acetyl group when taken orally. The other way is through injections. Heroin that is administered via this route will evade the Hepatic First Pass and will quickly cross the blood-brain barrier. This is because of the presence of an acetyl group that makes it more soluble to fat. Once, in the brain, the acetyl group is removed, and heroin is reduced to 3-monoacetylmorphine and 6-monoacetylmorphine.

WHY IS CALCIUM IMPORTANT

Lack of calcium in the diet can lead to osteoporosis in which the bone is less dense and therefore brittle and weak. In women, osteoporosis can be due to lack of oestrogens after menopause or oophorectomy. Calcium is usually ubiquitous in diet, but often, a small amount of food provides reasonable amounts, of which dairy products are best.

War time Sexual violence and International Law

Article 27 of the fourth Geneva convention of 1949 clearly, states that women are to be protected against any attacks on their honor. Particularly against Rape, enforced prostitution or any form of indecent assault. The most vulnerable during war are the women and the children. Girls are usually raped and tortured, boys are trained as child soldiers, as is the currently the case in Congo and Somalia

Origins of the HIV and AIDS Pandemic

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) belongs to a family of viruses called the lentiviruses; it is a Retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition that causes the degeneration of the immune system. This leaves an individual more prone to opportunistic infections and some forms of cancers. HIV/AIDS is transmitted through the contact of infected Blood, semen, vaginal fluid and through breast milk; the most common way that HIV/AIDS is spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person. This paper will look at the history of HIV/AIDS, the distribution, how the HIV/AIDS infects the host and how it targets the immune system (Sharp & Hahn, 2011).

Communication Challenges in Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach to care that focuses on improving the quality of life of patients and their families facing the issues that are associated with life-threatening chronic incurable illnesses (Jarrell, 2016). It is important to note that palliative care does not mean end of life care and patients can be on palliative for years before they die (Wallerstedt et al.,

What Everyone Must Know About OBESITY

Obesity is a condition that is associated with excessive levels of body fat, obesity is considered a major health problem in Western Countries. Between 2014 and 2015 a staggering 63.4% of the population was overweight. This is an increase of 19% from 1995. In the same period, there was about 22,700 hospital separation involving one… Continue reading What Everyone Must Know About OBESITY