COVID-19 Surges Linked to Spike in Heart Attack Deaths

COVID-19 was full of surprises early on, causing mild problems in the short term for some people and serious complications for others. Long term, it may be just as capricious. A massive study shows a long-term, substantial rise in the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, after a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

A concerning report published this year in Nature Medicine suggests even a mild case of COVID can increase the long-term risks of serious cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure. The study highlights our limited understanding of the full consequences of COVID infection and the long-term impact of the COVID pandemic.

Even a mild case of COVID-19 can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems for at least a year after diagnosis, a new study shows. Researchers found that rates of many conditions, such as heart failure and stroke, were substantially higher in people who had recovered from COVID-19 than in similar people who hadn’t had the disease.

A new study shows heart attack increase has been most prominent in young adults, especially those ages 25-44. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, heart attacks were the leading cause of death worldwide but were steadily on the decline. However, the new study reveals that heart attack death rates took a sharp turn and increased for all age groups during the pandemic. The study was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Virology.

As per SciTechDaily, spikes in heart attack deaths have closely tracked with surges of SARS-CoV-2 infections. This was true even during the presumed less-severe Omicron phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the data showed the increase was most significant among people ages 25-44. Individuals in this age range are not usually considered at high risk for heart attacks.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System, the Cedars-Sinai researchers identified 1,522,699 deaths from heart attacks—medically called acute myocardial infarctions—between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2022. Investigators then compared age-related mortality rates between pre-pandemic and pandemic periods, as well as demographic groups and regions. Key findings from the study include:

  • In the year before the pandemic, there were 143,787 heart attack deaths; within the first year of the pandemic, this number had increased by 14% to 164,096.
  • The excess in acute myocardial infarction-associated mortality has persisted throughout the pandemic, even during the most recent period marked by a surge of the presumed less-virulent Omicron variant.
  • Researchers found that although acute myocardial infarction deaths during the pandemic increased across all age groups, the relative risk was most significant for the youngest group, ages 25 to 44.
  • By the second year of the pandemic, the “observed” compared to “predicted” rates of heart attack death had increased by 29.9% for adults ages 25-44, by 19.6% for adults ages 45-64, and by 13.7% for adults aged 65 and older.

COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of infection and severe illness. And while it’s not yet clear whether vaccination influences long-term symptoms in people who get breakthrough infections, Dr José Biller, director of the COVID-19 neurology clinic at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois said, “Prevention is the key.”

Reasons for the spike in heart-related conditions could also be related to psychological and social challenges associated with the pandemic, including job loss and other financial pressures that can cause acute or chronic stress leading to cardiac disease.

The research team members say they have long known that infections such as the flu can increase the risk for heart disease and heart attack, but the sharp rise in heart attack deaths is like nothing seen before.

Medical Camp | Hansa Murhu, Khunti (Jharkhand)

Ayurdad and Medibriefcase organised a free medical checkup camp on 04 December 2022 at St Norbert School, Hansa Murhu in the Khunti district of Jharkhand, around 45 km from Ranchi, the state capital.

The objective of our medical camps is to bring awareness amongst the deprived population of the Jharkhand state who have little access to healthcare services or knowledge about the diseases they are suffering from.

Our mission is to create awareness about preventive health check-ups and to reach quality medical consultations to underprivileged people. Getting the appropriate kind of health checkup is very important for everyone.

Dr Abhay Kumar, Dr Judhajit Roy Choudhury, and Dr Ajit Kumar conducted the camp. The camp was a big success in which 165 people availed of the free check-up facility. Among the attendees, there were 100 boys and 65 girls.

This is our third camp in the series and the responses are very encouraging. We are awed by the acceptance of our team and camp by the people.

We will take forward this love, affection, and blessings of the people and continue to provide our services to society.

Acknowledgement

We sincerely acknowledge the encouragement and support of the Father of St. Norbert School at Hansa Murhu, Khunti to help us organize the camp. We also appreciate and acknowledge the support provided by Mrs Jagrata Roy Choudhury, Mrs Tania Siddhartha, and Mr Rajnath Mahato.

Digital Ecosystems | The Future of Healthcare

For a very long time, health care was organizationally centred. Health institutions were located in the centre and patients had to adapt to this system. However, rapid technological developments in recent years have caused health services to transition to a patient-centred approach. This means that multiple care systems work together to provide patient care.

The main purpose of a healthcare ecosystem is to deliver multidisciplinary and collaborative health services. The aim ultimately is to securely deliver the right information, to the right person, at the right time improving cost efficiencies and clinical decision-making.

Life is rapidly moving from a paper-driven world to a digital one, where nearly every kind of information is stored on a computer, or in the cloud. When applying for a bank account, visiting the doctor or using a smart fitness app to analyse progress, we are providing data at every point. Data is everywhere and is being combined in new and diverse ways to shape how we see and experience the world.

Data can’t do the job on its own. Ecosystems create powerful forces that can reshape and disrupt industries. To be effective, all of the available data needs to be sorted into relevant parts, organised into categories and recombined again to provide healthcare professionals with new perspectives and insights on clinical decision-making.

This is where digital algorithms come into play. They combine and analyze a variety of data from existing lab and clinician workflows that can then be turned into actionable insights for physicians.

The digital healthcare ecosystem is an infrastructure that supports the transformation of the organisation-centred healthcare model into a patient-centred model. It connects diverse data resources, applications, devices and technologies, enabling them to work seamlessly together.

Across the globe, all kinds of new and emerging technologies are combining to bring about a digital healthcare transformation, a worldwide change, that fundamentally has never been seen before. This radical acceleration highlights the potential to provide a more patient-centred delivery of care, using digital technology that can reshape and enhance our healthcare systems.

The use of technology in health services is still at the preliminary level. There are many opportunities waiting to be discovered in this field. Medibriefcase is being designed and developed to be the collaborative digital healthcare ecosystem that will not only provide improved cost efficiencies and clinical decision-making but also a useful, credible, and desirable user experience.

Medical Camp | Maher Ashram, Ranchi

Ayurdad and Medibriefcase organised a free medical checkup camp on 15 November 2022 at Maher Ashram, Ranchi on the occasion of Bhagwan Birsa Jayanti and Jharkhand Foundation Day. The camp was conducted by Dr. Judhajit Roy Choudhury.

In our first two free medical check-up camps, we checked and treated a total of 77 people, including 45 children.

We had an encouraging response and we have decided to continue with our mission to make healthcare easily accessible and available at the doorstep of the people needing medical care.

Acknowledgement

We sincerely acknowledge the encouragement and support of the Managing Committee of Maher Ashram to help us organize the camp. We also appreciate and acknowledge the support provided by Mrs Jagrata Roy Choudhury, Mrs Tania Siddhartha, and Mr Rajnath Mahato.

Medibriefcase & Our Medical Check-up Camp

INDROSPHERE

With a population of over 1.3 billion scattered across urban and rural India, the country poses a unique healthcare challenge. According to a report by the United Nations, 75 per cent of all healthcare infrastructure including medical specialists and doctors is concentrated in urban areas where only 27 per cent of the Indian population live. Added to this is that private hospitals and quality healthcare are limited to urban areas.

A lack of affordability, accessibility, and awareness surrounding healthcare services throughout India continues to inhibit the penetration of quality medical services, especially in rural regions and tier III urban centres, where the majority of the Indian population lives. Most specialized physicians and high-end healthcare facilities are concentrated in large hospitals in tier I and tier II cities, resulting in unequal access to care, particularly regarding the latest medical technologies.

Worldwide, healthcare systems are turning patient centric. Patients are also now…

View original post 539 more words

Paper vs. Electronic Medical Record Keeping

Medical records are the document that explains all detail about the patient’s history, clinical findings, diagnostic test results, pre and postoperative care, patient’s progress and medication. If written correctly, notes will support the doctor about the correctness of treatment.

It is very important for the treating doctor to properly document the management of a patient under his care. Medical record keeping has evolved into a science of itself. Medical records form an important part of the management of a patient. It is important for doctors and medical establishments to properly maintain the records of patients for two important reasons. The first one is that it will help them in the scientific evaluation of their patient profile, help in analyzing the treatment results, and plan treatment protocols. It also helps in planning governmental strategies for future medical care. But of equal importance in the present setting is the issue of alleged medical negligence. The legal system relies mainly on documentary evidence in a situation where medical negligence is alleged by the patient or the relatives.

Despite knowing the importance of proper record keeping in India, it is still in the initial stages. The lack of basic health data renders difficulties in formulating and applying rational patient care and disease prevention.

A good medical record serves the interest of the medical practitioner as well as his patients. It is very important for the treating doctor to properly document the management of the patient under his care. Medical record keeping has evolved into a science.

Objectives of Maintaining Medical Records:

  • Monitoring of the actual patient
  • Medical research
  • Medical/dental or paramedical education
  • For insurance cases, personal injury suits, workmen’s compensation cases, criminal cases, and will cases
  • For malpractice suits
  • For medical audit and statistical studies

With paper medical records, all you need to get started is paper, files, and a locked cabinet to store all the documents. There’s a reason why paper medical records were an industry mainstay for several decades. It’s easy to pull up information from a file, examine previous notes and medical charts, and record new observations. If the information is written clearly, there can be fewer complications in reading charts and notes on paper.

Paper records are advantageous in this sense: a physical file with all previous charts and medical history neatly sorted in one place. Plus, the data can be physically passed around from one person to another seamlessly. Of course, all of this depends on the previous notes being neatly written, properly organized, and readily accessible.

Paper medical records need physical space for storage purposes. What do you do if there’s a fire that wipes out all your physical files? Or a moth infestation that, quite literally, eats up all your data? Physical files, once lost, are impossible to recover.

Paper medical records mean you need a manual written process which is both time-consuming and comes with a higher degree of error. If you’ve ever attempted to read a doctor’s notes, you’ll know that the writing isn’t always legible and therefore can be hard to interpret.

While paper-based records can be easier to customize, it also means that the layout and format of information can be inconsistent from one record to the next. When paper-based records have different layouts, it extends the time needed to get the information needed for a patient.

Paper records don’t have built-in version histories and audit trails. Knowing who made which edits and additions require that the physician signs the records each time. If changes are made, it’s not easy to locate where the changes were and who made them.

When it comes to deciding between papers vs. electronic records, there are a few things you must take into consideration.

Electronic health records are far more secure than paper records as they’re not at risk during a catastrophic event. It’s also easier to retain accountability in electronic health records — each entry log is consistent with a specific individual.

An electronic system doesn’t have these problems — records aren’t handwritten, so the legibility issue isn’t an issue at all. Plus you don’t have to search for patient files in a physical cabinet — the software does that for you (instantly).

Electronic health records have a consistent format that healthcare providers can get accustomed to. Electronic health records ship in a customized format that helps with things like legibility & accuracy of medical data. Paper-based records can involve human error and a loss of data integrity.

World Family Doctor Day | 19 May

World Family Doctor Day (FDD) – 19th May: was first declared by WONCA in 2010 and it has become a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors and primary care teams in healthcare systems around the world.

WONCA is an unusual, yet convenient acronym comprising the first five initials of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians. WONCA’s short name is the World Organization of Family Doctors

This celebration is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the central role of Family Doctors in the delivery of personal, comprehensive and continuing health care for all the patients. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress being made in family medicine and the special contributions of primary care teams globally.

Family Doctors are present at all times, and continuity is a fundamental feature of their work. They continuously provide care in all stages of patients’ lives, and throughout the big and small moments. Continuity is also present in care through the ongoing follow-up carried out to patients, where coordination with other levels of care and health care professionals is crucial. Lastly, continuity represents their constant preparation and skills development, uninterrupted research, and the ability to adapt and build resilience to change, technologies, methodologies, and educational strategies.

Family doctors and primary care professionals are there, wherever and whenever needed. Always at the front line — in war, health crises, and times of peace. They are part of the communities they work with, proactively reaching and engaging with members, sharing their core values, creating a unique connection with their patients, and building bonds of trust.

Delivering accessible, equitable, sustainable, high-quality care is Family Doctors’ raison d’etre. Being a Family Doctor is both a privilege and a responsibility, always looking after people and providing what is necessary for their welfare and protection, identifying their patients’ needs to guarantee the fundamental right to health.

World Hypertension Day | 17 May

On 17 May, we celebrate World Hypertension Day (WHD), a day dedicated to highlighting the importance of monitoring blood pressure and bringing global awareness to over 1 billion people living with high blood pressure worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when blood pressure is too high.

Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure rises to an unhealthy level. The disease is very common and develops over a course of years. Narrow arteries cause more resistance and increase blood pressure. This force can cause damage to blood vessels, and lead to heart attack, brain stroke, kidney damage, or nerve damage.

Blood pressure is written as two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats. Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure consistently above 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure consistently above 90 mm Hg. It is considered to have touched a dangerous level when the blood pressure measurement goes over 180/120.

Around 1.13 billion people around the globe live with hypertension which is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death worldwide. However, only 1 people in 5 have it in control while others still face the risk of developing complications from it. The incidences of hypertension have seen a sharp rise across the world and while earlier it was common in the older age groups, now we get to see many new cases of young people with hypertension.

High blood pressure is called a silent killer not without a reason. Most of the time, there are no noticeable signs of hypertension and even if you have some symptoms, you may not immediately act upon it dismissing it as routine tiredness, work pressure or exertion. High-stress levels, obesity, poor dietary habits, and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the major causes of hypertension in young people. Prolonged hypertension also puts a person at a higher risk of several medical conditions like chronic kidney disease, stroke, heart failure and others.

The Theme
The theme of WHD for 2022 is Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer. It focuses on combating low awareness rates worldwide, especially in low to middle-income areas, and accurate blood pressure measurement methods.

The History
WHD was first inaugurated in May 2005, and ever since it has become an annual event. The main purpose behind the celebration of the WHD is to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer, the modern epidemic.

The Significance
The day focuses on creating effective communication about the importance of raising awareness on the early diagnosis of high blood pressure and avoiding complications of advanced stage complications.

There are some factors that cause hypertension that we cannot control, which include age and a family history of hypertension. However, leading a healthy life may prevent hypertension.

Rehabilitation Interventions

Increasing numbers of patients are surviving critical illnesses, but survival may be associated with a constellation of physical and psychological sequelae that can cause ongoing disability and reduced health-related quality of life. Limited evidence currently exists to guide the optimum structure, timing, and content of rehabilitation programmes. There is a need to both develop and evaluate interventions to support and expedite recovery during the post-ICU discharge period.

If we consider the definition of rehabilitation as “a set of measures that assist individuals who experience, or are likely to experience, disability to achieve and maintain optimal functioning in interaction with their environments”, then rehabilitation is in effect composed of multiple components or “interventions”.

Most individuals participating in rehabilitation require interventions addressing one, many factors that are contributing to reduced functioning, with the overriding goal of rehabilitation being to utilise appropriate interventions that allow the individual to optimise their function.

The timing and type of intervention that a rehabilitation provider selects depend greatly on several factors which include: the aetiology and severity of the person’s health condition; the prognosis; the way in which the person’s condition affects their ability to function in their environment; as well as the individual’s identified personal goals and what it is they want to achieve from the rehabilitation process.

Different rehabilitation settings may vary in their capacities to provide specific intensities of therapies, and rehabilitation itself may vary in its intensity, generally measured by the frequency and duration of individual interventions or treatment sessions. The selection of rehabilitation interventions and intensity of rehabilitation should always be based on the individual patient’s needs, which should include their tolerance of therapeutic activities.

More importantly, rehabilitation interventions should be generally outcome-oriented, in that rehabilitation goals are developed to achieve a specific outcome that is based on the following five broad areas:

  • Prevention of the loss of function
  • Slowing the rate of loss of function
  • Improvement or restoration of function
  • Compensation for loss of function (compensatory strategies)
  • Maintenance of current function

Rehabilitation intervention is provided across the whole range of healthcare settings including the primary care setting, in the acute hospital setting (during an inpatient episode or as an outpatient referral) or in the community settings. The breadth of rehabilitation means that a range of organisations may contribute to meeting a person’s individual needs.

Rehabilitation interventions are hugely diverse and, except in rare instances, require the involvement of many different health and rehabilitation professionals and cross multiple disciplines often at the same time, which as a result make the classification of rehabilitation interventions quite complex. It is this complexity that makes the classification of rehabilitation interventions a challenge, and as a result, there is still no classification that has been universally accepted across all fields of rehabilitation currently, despite several attempts made to develop a classification system to fully describe rehabilitation interventions.

The success of most, if not all, rehabilitation interventions is entirely dependent on the commitment and engagement of the people receiving the service. For example, assistive technology or strength training is irrelevant if the person does not want to use the device or undertake exercises. Therefore, rehabilitation requires some level of patient motivation and adherence to be effective.

H/T Physiopedia