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Needing to go to the hospital due to a vaso-occlusive crisis is never ideal or pleasant. As a kid, the idea of going to the hospital was a nightmare to me.
I never really understood the importance of seeking medical attention when I experienced a bad crisis, and I would try to avoid the hospital at all cost. I had long associated hospitals with cannulas, injections, and terrible food, and in my head, the idea of needles was worse than the actual crisis. Why add the pain of a needle sting to the pain of a crisis I’m already experiencing, I wondered.
Also, why would I want to miss the delicious home-cooked meals my mum makes only to eat bland and unfamiliar hospital food?
Following this reasoning, I tried my hardest to appear fine, which never worked. I was clearly in a lot of pain, but I insisted to those around me that I was fine. Thankfully, my parents always noticed when I was lying, and they would literally pick me up, carry me to the car, and drive me to the hospital for treatment.
Now that I’m much older, I wish I could say I’m no longer afraid of needles, that I can afford carry out meals to replace the hospital food, and that I’m better at admitting myself to the hospital as needed. But unfortunately, that isn’t entirely true.
Being admitted to the hospital is such an enormous inconvenience, from the long wait in the emergency room to the disruptions it causes to my daily routines, commitments, and responsibilities. For me, going to the hospital is a last resort.
I understand how serious a crisis is, so if I feel one starting, I do all I can to manage it. If I don’t make any progress, I must consider going to the hospital, because such a crisis could be an indication of something more serious.
It’s important to point out that I have lived in the U.K. my entire life, and I am fortunate to have access to free medical care through the National Health Service. However, this isn’t the case for many others in various parts of the world, including the U.S., and consequently, the cost of healthcare may not always be affordable. This can be yet another hindrance, as even with aid from health insurance policies, the cost may still be too high, and people may opt to stay home and treat themselves to the best of their ability.
Even with all of this in mind, I can still be stubborn about deciding whether to go. Thankfully, I have many people around me who won’t hesitate to decide for me. And once that decision is made, I never regret it, because my health is more important than anything else!
Can you relate? If so, what reasons do you think of when trying to avoid hospitals? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.
This is the moment masked thugs escaped with a wad of bank notes after punching a man to the ground in Lozells.
The pair struck on May 25, targeting their victim as he crossed Hunters Road.
In footage, released today by West Midlands Police, the two men – both hooded and wearing masks – can be seen following the victim.
They surround the man and launch their violent attack, punching him repeatedly until he falls to the ground.
Cash can be seen falling out of their victim’s pockets, which is quickly swiped by the thugs before they run from the scene – one heading into Barker Street and the other continuing along Hunters Road.
The attack happened just after 9pm.
Police had issued an appeal to help trace the attackers back in July, but no arrests have yet been made.
Today, the force released the CCTV footage in a further effort to catch the men.
Their appeal read: “We’re continuing to ask for help in identifying these men following a robbery in Hunters Road, Lozells, on 25 May.
“Two men punched another man to the ground before stealing cash.
“Contact us via Live Chat on our website, or by calling 101, and quote 20BW/120374N/20.”
Having a runny nose, facial pain, postnasal drip and experiencing itchy eyes are common symptoms of having allergies or the common cold.
They are, however, not typical symptoms of COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO): “The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and a dry cough.
“Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, or a sore throat.
“In a report from China of more than 1,000 patients, nasal congestion was seen in only one out of every 20 patients,” Dr Kristine Arthur, an internist at MemorialCare Medical Group said.
A new drug which blocks cancer repairing its DNA halted the growth of tumours in more than half of patients in a clinical trial.
The 21 people treated had a range of advanced cancers including breast, bowel and prostate tumours and had already been treated with other medicienes.
The drug, which is currently known by the code BAY1895344, stopped tumour growth in eight patients and shrunk the tumours of another four, according to results published in journal Cancer Discovery on Tuesday.
Researchers said the early-stage trial, led by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, highlights the potential of a new class of drugs, known as ATR inhibitors, which work by blocking a key molecule involved in repairing DNA.
Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the ICR, said: “It is exciting to see a new class of precision medicine showing such promise in early trials.
“At the ICR, we have pioneered ways of treating cancer by exploiting the weaknesses that tumours often have in repairing their DNA. I am hopeful that later-stage trials will show that this new class of ATR inhibitors can prove effective against cancers with defective systems for DNA repair.
“And we are keen to investigate whether they could prevent tumours from developing resistance to another important class of medicine called PARP inhibitors, which work in a similar way.”
Further trials are now under way with the hope the drug could be developed into a new targeted treatment for patients with cancers with certain defects in DNA repair.
Study leader Professor Johann de Bono, a professor of experimental cancer medicine at ICR and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden trust, said: “Our new trial shows that this promising new treatment is safe and can benefit some patients even with very advanced cancers.
“The new drug, which is currently known only by the code BAY1895344, works by blocking a molecule called ATR which is involved in repairing DNA.
“It seems to be especially effective in patients whose tumours have defects in a gene called ATM which mean their ability to repair DNA is already weakened – suggesting that this could become a new form of targeted treatment.
“It is very promising to see patients responding in an early-stage trial like this, and we are looking forward to further clinical trials to test the drug’s efficacy.”
The first person cured of HIV – Timothy Ray Brown – has died from cancer.
Mr Brown, who was also known as “the Berlin patient”, was given a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV in 2007.
It meant he no longer needed anti-viral drugs and he remained free of the virus, which can lead to Aids, for the rest of his life.
The International Aids Society said Mr Brown gave the world hope that an HIV cure was possible.
Mr Brown, 54, who was born in the US, was diagnosed with HIV while he lived in Berlin in 1995. Then in 2007 he developed a type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia.
His treatment involved destroying his bone marrow, which was producing the cancerous cells, and then having a bone marrow transplant.
The transfer came from a donor that had a rare mutation in part of their DNA called the CCR5 gene.
CCR5 is a set of genetic instructions that build the doorway that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) walks through to infect cells.
Mutations to CCR5 essentially lock the door and give people resistance to HIV.
“I quit taking my medication on the day that I got the transplant, after three months there was no HIV any more in my body,” Mr Brown told the BBC in 2012.
The virus was never detected in his body again. He was in effect “cured”.
“I was excited about it, but I still kind of feared it might come back, but it didn’t,” he added.
But the leukaemia, that led to his HIV cure, returned earlier this year and spread to his brain and spinal cord.
“It is with great sadness that I announce that Timothy passed away… surrounded by myself and friends, after a five-month battle with leukaemia,” his partner Tim Hoeffgen posted on Facebook.
He added: “Tim committed his life’s work to telling his story about his HIV cure and became an ambassador of hope.”
Closer to a cure?
Mr Brown’s cure was too risky and aggressive to be used routinely – it remains principally a cancer treatment. The approach is also too expensive for the 38 million people, many in sub-Saharan Africa, thought to be living with an HIV infection.
However, Mr Brown’s story inspired scientists, patients and the world that a cure could eventually be found.
The International Aids Society (IAS) said it was mourning with “a profoundly heavy heart”.
“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hutter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible,” said Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman, the IAS president said.
The second person cured of HIV was announced earlier this year. Adam Castillejo – known as the London patient – had a similar treatment to Mr Brown and could come off his HIV drugs.
“Although the cases of Timothy and Adam are not a viable large-scale strategy for a cure, they do represent a critical moment in the search for an HIV cure,” said Prof Sharon Lewin, the director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
“Timothy was a champion and advocate for keeping an HIV cure on the political and scientific agenda.
“It is the hope of the scientific community that one day we can honour his legacy with a safe, cost-effective and widely accessible strategy to achieve HIV remission and cure using gene editing or techniques that boost immune control.”
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A super-spreading event has been blamed for the deaths of eight patients with coronavirus at one hospital.
The people have all lost their lives at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.
Six more people are currently in intensive care.
The recent outbreak has seen 82 people infected at the Llantrisant hospital and has led to the health board has deciding to cut services and put measures in place to contain the spread of the virus.
Things have escalated quickly over the weekend at the South Wales hospital.
The current outbreak is likely to have been caused by a “super spreading” event, said the Cwm Taf University Health Board Executive Director of Public Health Kelechi Nnoaham.
He said: “It is very difficult to give 100% assurance that we first of all have a perfect understanding of how this has come about and that whatever interventions we put in place will work.”
The influx of coronavirus patients has led the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to take drastic measures.
As of today patients who would usually be taken to A&E at the hospital in an emergency will also be sent elsewhere as part of the plan.
Planned surgeries have also been temporarily suspended.
The measures came into force at 2pm.
The latest cases and deaths figures show Rhondda Cynon Taf, which the Royal Glamorgan Hospital serves, has the third-highest level of Covid cases in Wales.
A statement from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said: “Significant temporary service restrictions will be put in place at Royal Glamorgan Hospital from 14.00 Wednesday September 30 as increased action is taken to contain a COVID-19 outbreak within the hospital.
“Teams have been working at pace to implement robust measures to manage the outbreak, however additional cases linked to transmission within the hospital have been confirmed in recent days with the number of cases currently standing at 82.
“Given the extent of this outbreak, and on advice of Public Health Wales, the Health Board is taking a number of urgent and significant actions to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and communities.”
In a bid to offer care to the Covid-19 patients, all planned surgeries except for urgent cancer cases will be stopped.