One of the biggest selling points for patients to use an ambulatory surgery center is the cost. Unlike a regular hospital which may rack up health cost bills in the hundreds of thousands for one individual, ambulatory surgery centers can afford to not charge so much because of the cost it takes to upkeep a center versus a hospital. In fact, if you look at the numbers the cost for ambulatory surgery centers versus hospitals is quite different. Numbers range from %25 to 33% lower for surgeries and treatments in an ambulatory surgery center setting rather than a hospital setting. That could mean a lot for individuals that choose not to get an important surgery or treatment because money is an issue. 25-33% less might not seem like a huge deal, but if you start to look at surgery and treatment costs; you begin to see that small percentage really does make a large impact on your financials.
Most hospitals where I’m from are in the city. They tend to be a pain to get to; you have to deal with a lot of traffic and crowds. Ambulatory surgery centers are usually quite the opposite. They tend to be in more suburban areas which mean they are easier and quicker to get to which means they have better access to patients than a traditional hospital setting. Also, because ambulatory surgery centers don’t deal with emergency surgeries, it’s almost out of the question that your scheduled procedure will be “bumped” for an emergency surgery or situation. This means you can get your procedure or treatment done on the day it was scheduled which means you can get back to life and your job and not have to keep rescheduling when they can do your procedure! Continue reading “Benefits of Same Day Surgery”→
It used to be that 30 or even 40 years ago all surgery that needed to be done was done so in hospitals. You had to wait for days, weeks even months at a time for an appointment – even if it was something really serious. Hospitals might seem like a really good fit for your needs, and perhaps they are for certain procedures, but ambulatory centers are becoming more and more popular because they give us back something that we cannot afford to lose sometimes and that is time. Time to heal and stay in the hospital for recuperation, time for recovery out of the hospital, etc. If time is something you cannot afford to lose, maybe an ambulatory surgery center is the frontier healthcare option you always needed. Ambulatory surgery centers serve a variety of benefits such as convenience, cost efficiency to you the patient and being able to have the ability as a doctor or surgeon to take control of surgical practices. Beyond just these benefits, you also have to consider that in the healthcare industry these ambulatory centers give out over 100,000 jobs for fulltime positions! Not only does this mean it’s great for the economy, but it helps local people get local jobs as well. Continue reading “What is an Ambulatory Surgery Center?”→
Until recently, patients suffering from tooth loss had limited options for replacing their missing teeth. In most cases, dentures were used in order to restore normal functions of the mouth, including optimal ability to chew and speak. Today, dental patients who have experienced loss of one or multiple teeth have more choices available to them, and one of the most attractive and effective of these options is dental implants. Dental implants in Clearwater are becoming one of the most popular and common dental procedures performed. In fact, patients are opting for dental implants now more than ever for a number of reasons. Just like any restorative dental procedure, however, dental implants come with both advantages and disadvantages. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of dental implants that will help prospective implant patients make an informed decision. Continue reading “Pros and Cons of Dental Implants”→
Dentures or dental implants? It’s almost as hotly a debated subject these days as the chicken and the egg. Of course, if you’re someone who’s facing the decision of how best to replace teeth you’ve lost, it’s infinitely more important. And, since most people have encountered this situation at one time or other in their life, it is a far-reaching dilemma indeed. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, well over half of all Americans ages 35 to 45 have had one or more missing teeth in their lives, meaning that the question of whether to opt for dentures or dental implants is one that is faced by thousands of patients daily, in Morristown and throughout the country. If you find yourself in this group, here’s some information that will help you to arrive at the best and most informed decision that is right for your situation. Continue reading “Dental Implants vs. Dentures”→
For millions of patients through the country who have lost one or more teeth, dental implants are an effective and attractive alternative to dentures. Dental implants are a popular choice by patients because they look and perform like natural teeth, which is something that dentures can’t proclaim. Additionally, unlike dentures, dental implants are permanently integrated into the mouth by being anchored into the jawbone with screws. Like being fitted for dentures, the fitting procedure and time period for dental implants can be a bit long and involved, but dental patients typically agree that the wait is well worth it. Whether you’re considering dental implants, or you’ve already had your implant procedure performed by a quality dentist in Clearwater, it’s important to know how to properly care for your implants in order to keep them looking and functioning optimally. Continue reading “How to Care for Dental Implants”→
There was a time when your smile was the first thing people noticed about you. And you know what? That hasn’t changed at all! In a recent poll, more than half of the people surveyed put smile at the top of the list as the first thing they notice when they meet someone. Of course, that also means that the lack of smile is also the first thing they notice. If you’re not smiling as much as you should, your dental hygiene routine may be to blame. Good dental hygiene is a must, especially in today’s highly social world. You never know when you’ll be walking around and suddenly run into an old high school buddy, a future business associate, or the love of your life! But that’s only part of the reason for maintaining a good dental hygiene routine. Recent studies have shown a link between oral health and disease, including heart disease and diabetes. That’s why it’s vital to adopt a regular dental hygiene routine early on and carry it through every stage of life. Continue reading “What Is Good Dental Hygiene?”→
To date, there is no known cure for Ebola virus disease (EVD). However, the fact that some have died from it while others have survived gives one optimism about its containment and eventual eradication. Ebola’s survivors are living proof that the effects of this deadly disease are not like that of a tornado, wherein one survives and another dies, with no rhyme or reason able to be attributed. Outbreaks have been contained in the past, and the fact that infected patients are surviving and walking away from the disease is testament to new treatments being devised that may be working. What are the treatments that seem to be making a significant difference?
The first outbreak of Ebola occurred in 1976 in two simultaneous occurrences, one in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) near the EbolaRiver, and the other in the Sudan. During these outbreaks, 318 people reportedly were affected, and 280 of those died from the disease. Ebola was contained, due in part to changes in the way patients who died from the disease were buried, as contact with their bodies was limited. This latest outbreak saw its beginnings in West Africa in March of 2014. Since that time, more than 4,900 patients have died from Ebola’s effects. Many of these fatalities have occurred in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. However, most patients who have been treated in the United States have survived. As of October 28, nine people have been treated in the United States for Ebola, with one of those cases resulting in a fatality and others surviving or reported in serious-but-stable condition. The difference in survival rates is being attributed to the differences in care. In the U.S., a forceful offensive is being waged by the medical community against Ebola.
Speedy treatment in a high-quality hospital
All those patients infected with Ebola who were treated in the United States were rushed to high-quality, qualified U.S. hospitals to be treated. Four hospitals in the U.S. reportedly have been preparing for a number of years to treat cases of Ebola, and these are the hospitals where Ebola survivors in this country were treated. Among these hospitals is EmoryUniversityHospital in Atlanta, where two of the country’s Ebola survivors were treated. Another is Omaha’s NebraskaMedicalCenter, where another survivor was recently released.
Another vital factor that has been involved in treating all survivors of Ebola is quick and thorough rehydration. Ebola is a systemic viral infection. This means that it attacks every human organ including tissue except skeletal muscles and bones. Once referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease is noted for causing hemorrhaging and blood clotting, which can cut off blood supply to vital organs. Ebola is suspected of reducing a patient’s immune system response. The symptoms of Ebola include spontaneous bleeding from bodily orifices and skin tears, with early symptoms including fever, severe headache, joint pain, muscle pain, followed by severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Bleeding can also occur in the eyes, tongue, and nose. Because of the severe diarrhea and vomiting that occur in patients infected with Ebola, quick and significant rehydration is vital for survival. According to some of the doctors who are caring for Ebola patients, the most important factor in treatment is managing fluids and electrolytes. Dehydration can be fatal, and this means that aggressive rehydration and thorough attention to a patient’s lab values can be the difference between life and death.
Three of the surviving patients who were treated in the United States received plasma donations from another of the survivors. Many in the medical community are theorizing that the blood plasma of the contributing survivors contained the antibodies needed to fight Ebola virus disease. The surviving contributor, Dr. Kent Brantly, and the three who received his plasma donation, luckily, are all of the same blood type. Dr. Brantly remarked that he will continue to contribute plasma donations to Ebola patients as much as needed.
The World Health Organization reports that immunological and drug therapies are currently under development. Additionally, potential vaccines are undergoing evaluation to prevent further Ebola outbreaks. Though drugs typically must run through clinical trials in order to be available for use, a panel from the WHO opines that it is more ethical to offer experimental drugs to fight Ebola, even if their effectiveness and side effects are not yet known, as opposed to continuing to risk Ebola’s current 50-percent mortality rate. The experimental drugs that are currently being developed and tested are ZMapp, a biopharmaceutical comprising three monoclonal antibodies; favipiravir, an antiviral also known as T-705 being developed in Japan; brincidofovir, an antiviral being developed in North Carolina for Ebola and small pox; and TKM-Ebola, a drug under development in Canada. The WHO has approved and authorized the use of some of the experimental drugs for what it terms ‘compassionate use’ in West Africa and other areas where containment is proving to be profoundly difficult.
It has been compared to Bubonic plague and AIDS. Formerly referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe human illness that is often fatal. There has been quite a stir in recent news reports, and some might even say hysteria. With outbreaks in West Africa, and now cases reported in the United States, Ebola is one of the major topics on many evening news and talk shows. How much is known about this deadly disease varies from one country to the next, but the fact remains that millions in the U.S. know very little about it. Oftentimes, however, it is important to learn as much as possible about a thing in order to overcome our fears of it. Following is information about the history of Ebola, as well as what is being done around the world at present to control and potentially eradicate it.
According to the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), here are some of the key facts regarding Ebola:
Ebola is transmitted to people from wild animals.
Ebola spreads in humans through human-to-human transmission.
The first Ebola, or EVD, outbreaks occurred in Central Africa’s tropical rainforests.
The most recent outbreak of Ebola occurred in West Africa, both in rural and urban dwellings.
The average fatality rate of the disease is approximately 50 percent; however, rates have varied from 25 percent to as high as 90 percent in past outbreaks.
Early care that includes rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves a patient’s survival rate.
EVD first appeared in 1976 during two outbreaks that occurred simultaneously. One of these was in the Sudan. The other occurred in a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) that lies near the EbolaRiver, from which the disease’s name was derived. These outbreaks reportedly were quickly contained. They affected 318 people and resulted in the deaths of 280 of these patients. The 1976 surge of the disease was traced to contaminated hospital needles. Reports state that only five syringes were used daily to treat all patients. The hospital was closed, and the outbreak was contained quickly thereafter. However, reports also include the fact that community behaviors changed during this outbreak, to which scientists greatly attribute the relatively swift containment of the disease. For instance, traditional burial practices were changed, and this often stopped uncontaminated people from contracting Ebola from those who had already died from it. Today, some of the same scientists who worked to contain the first outbreaks are weighing in again in order to contain its spread.
Since September 2014, the latest outbreak of Ebola has infected more than 7,400 people, and it has claimed the lives of more than 4,900, the WHO reports. The current outbreak that began in West Africa saw its first cases in March of 2014. This is reported as the largest and most complex outbreak of the disease since its discovery in 1976. In fact, the statistics of the WHO are that there have been more deaths involved in the current Ebola outbreak than all other occurrences combined. Additionally, the disease has spread across land borders to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, and now to the United States. It is important for all Americans to note that the areas that are the most severely affected are those countries that contain the weakest health systems and infrastructural resources. On August 8, the director-general of the WHO declared the latest Ebola outbreak a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern.’
As the medical and scientific communities work tirelessly to learn as much as possible about this deadly disease, including the best and most effective methods of controlling, preventing, and erasing its existence, there are things people can do to aid in its containment. The first step is raising awareness of the risk factors for Ebola infection. Individuals can take preventive measures in order to reduce human-to-human transmission. Some of these factors, according to the WHO, include:
Wildlife-to-human transmission from contact with infected monkeys/apes or fruit bats and their consumption of raw meat should be reduced.
Animals should always be handled with protective clothing, including gloves.
All animal products should be thoroughly cooked before consumed.
Protective clothing should be worn when caring for ill patients.
Anyone who may have been in contact with someone infected by Ebola should identify him/herself or be identified.
If the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, it would stand to reason that fearing Ebola is not as effective a tool in fighting it as learning as much as possible about its history and prevention. Though an often fatal disease, like other diseases, Ebola can be controlled and erased. In fact, immunological and drug therapies are now under development, according to the WHO. Additionally, potential vaccines are undergoing evaluation. It is important for people to remember that there was a time when humans believed the Black Death would never cease. Today, the plague is a tragic note in history. Through the rigorous medical research currently being conducted, Ebola can prove to be the same.