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Management of COVID-19 in family practice
In December 2019, the COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2 virus) epidemic started in Wuhan, China. The pandemic state was declared on 11th of March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), and its impact on every part of daily life means the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most significant events of the twenty-first century. Unlike other specialties that are limited to a particular speciality and disease, Family physicians are the only specialists qualified to treat most ailments and provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages from neonates to geriatrics.The Family Medicine physicians always felt prepared or at least as prepared as any other person on the team. They were trained to care for the outpatient as well as the hospitalized patient.They know how to respond to emergencies, patients crashing, ventilation changes (including how to keep patients off the ventilators as much as possible). As long as they had their personal protective equipment (PPE) and the expertise of the specialists, they were ready for anything.
About the Speaker
Dr. Raman Kumar
President of Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI), President of World Association of Family Physicians of the South Asia Region
Approach to Resistant Hypertension
Managing resistant hypertension, a condition where blood pressure remains elevated despite treatment, requires a comprehensive approach. Resistant hypertension is typically defined as high blood pressure that remains uncontrolled despite the use of three or more different antihypertensive medications. The first step in managing resistant hypertension involves lifestyle changes, including adopting a low-sodium diet, regular exercise, weight management, and reducing alcohol intake. Healthcare providers should review current medications to ensure optimal dosing and assess for potential drug interactions or contributing factors. Identifying and treating underlying causes of secondary hypertension, such as kidney disease or hormonal disorders, is crucial. Patients are often encouraged to monitor their blood pressure at home to assess its variability and ensure accurate readings. Using combination therapies that include different classes of antihypertensive drugs can be more effective in controlling resistant hypertension.
Myths on Electronic Cigarettes: Tobacco Cessation
Myths surrounding electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and their role in tobacco cessation can mislead individuals attempting to quit smoking. One common myth is that e-cigarettes produce harmless water vapor. In reality, they emit aerosols containing harmful chemicals and fine particles. E-cigarettes are not entirely safe. While they may be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, they are not risk-free. Some believe that e-cigarettes are as effective as FDA-approved smoking cessation aids like nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications. Research suggests mixed outcomes. Concerns persist that e-cigarettes may serve as a gateway to traditional smoking, particularly among youth. Not all e-cigarettes are nicotine-free. Many contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. E-cigarettes may aid in smoking reduction, but evidence on their effectiveness in helping people quit smoking altogether is inconclusive. E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless, and exposure can still pose risks, especially to vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women. Using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can lead to dependence, making it harder to quit nicotine altogether.
Diabetic Complications: Awareness & Prevention
Diabetes can lead to various complications that affect different parts of the body due to prolonged high blood sugar levels. Diabetic complications can be broadly categorized into two types: macrovascular (affecting large blood vessels) and microvascular (affecting small blood vessels). These include conditions like heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, which increase the risk of cardiovascular events in people with diabetes. These complications affect small blood vessels and can lead to diabetic retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), and neuropathy (nerve damage). Nerve damage can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and loss of sensation, often starting in the feet and hands. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, potentially leading to vision impairment and blindness. Prolonged high blood sugar can damage the kidneys and impair their ability to filter waste from the blood. Diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, making heart health monitoring and management crucial. Poor circulation and nerve damage can lead to foot ulcers and infections, potentially requiring amputation in severe cases. While not a long-term complication, severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to unconsciousness and requires immediate treatment.
NCD from Public Health Perspective
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are chronic conditions arising from genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Unlike infectious diseases, NCDs are not contagious and develop gradually due to lifestyle choices like poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. They pose a significant global health challenge, requiring awareness campaigns, lifestyle changes, and improved healthcare access for prevention and management. Addressing NCDs demands collaborative efforts from governments, healthcare systems, and individuals to alleviate their long-term impact on health and well-being.
Importance of understanding conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is a widespread eye condition affecting people of all ages, necessitating awareness for early detection and appropriate treatment. Awareness about its contagious nature helps prevent its spread, particularly in schools, workplaces, and other communal settings. Different forms of conjunctivitis exist, such as viral, bacterial, and allergic, requiring distinct treatments. Understanding the cause is vital for effective management. Recognizing symptoms like redness, itching, discharge, and tearing assists in differentiating conjunctivitis from other eye conditions, facilitating prompt intervention. Knowledge about conjunctivitis aids in preventing outbreaks and public health concerns, particularly in densely populated areas. Proper hygiene practices like handwashing and avoiding eye contact can minimize the risk of infection transmission. Understanding when to seek medical attention ensures timely treatment, reducing discomfort and the potential for complications. Left untreated, conjunctivitis can lead to severe eye complications, including corneal damage, which might result in vision impairment. Educating caregivers about conjunctivitis safeguards vulnerable groups such as infants, elderly individuals, and those with compromised immune systems.