Archive for May, 2011

Unusual Medical Treatments: Part II

If you thought that the extreme medical treatments involving urine, heroin and cigarette smoking were unbelievable, wait until you read this follow-up piece… except that one of the cures is still being used.

Psychic surgery
Actually used by the comedian, Andy Kaufmann in 1984, as a treatment for lung cancer, psychic surgery first came on the scene in the 1940s and 50s in Brazil and the Philippines.  Self-proclaimed healers often appear to remove ugly black leaves and other gruesome objects from the bodies of the ill.  While slight of hand is generally used to create the effect of spiritual intervention, the theoretical premise is that these objects were implanted as the result of dark magic or sorcery.

These cases of psychic surgery center around healers whose talents are said to be guided by powerful spirits.  Operations are performed without the benefit of anesthesia or antisepsis, under unsterile conditions, often without even the benefit of a knife. Blood appears. Tissue is removed. And yet, when the procedure is completed there is often no trace of a wound or an opening.

Early hemorrhoid suppository treatments
In 400 BC Hippocrates composed a treatise on the treatment of hemorrhoids.  In it he suggests a fanciful suppository concoction which he described this way, “the shell of the part fish a third part of plumbago, bitumen, alum, a little of the flos aeris, galls, a little verdigris; having poured a small quantity of boiled honey on these, and formed an oblong suppository, apply until you remove them.”

Medieval physicians used cautery irons to treat the problem.  Read more.

Maggot therapy
Maggots have been known for centuries to help heal wounds. Military surgeons noted that soldiers whose wounds became infested with maggots had better outcomes than those not infested. William Baer, while at Johns Hopkins University in the 1920s may have been the first in the Northern Hemisphere to have intentionally applied larvae to wounds in order to induce wound healing.

In many cases, the maggots can help treat festering wounds that have been open for weeks, even years, within only a day or two. While the treatment is pretty disgusting looking, patients rarely feel anything and when they do, it’s generally an itching or tickling sensation and nothing more. In January 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating medicinal maggots, and allowed the production and marketing of one particular strain of Phaenicia sericata larvae marketed under the brand name Medical Maggots (TM)

Malaria therapy
Until the early 1900s, there was no treatment for the sexually transmitted disease (STD) when Viennese neurologist Wagner-Jauregg had the idea to treat syphilis patients with malaria-infected blood. The patients would then develop malaria, which would cause an extremely high fever that would destroy the syphilis bacteria. When that happened, they would be treated with the malaria drug quinine and cured of both ailments.

Of course, there were the side effects–such as the high fever, but they were worth the outcome, especially without any other options. Wagner-Jauregg even won the Nobel Prize for malaria inoculation in 1927, and the treatment was common until the development of penicillin came along and doctors had a safer and more efficient cure for the STD.

21st-Century Medical Equipment from Ganim Medical

This week we are featuring some great deals on ultrasounds.

Aloka SSD 500 ultrasound (pre-owned)  Click here to make an offer.
Applications include general abdominal, obs/gynae & surgical; convex sector/inear scanner; outstanding image quality; extensive measurement & calculation package; annotation function with full alpha-numeric keyboard. Read more.

Aloka Alpha 7 ultrasound (pre-owned)  Click here to make an offer.
Broadband harmonics imaging; reduced side lobes and multiple echoes; higher penetration in deeper areas; directional eFLOW; enhanced spatial and time resolutions.  Read more.

Aloka SSD 1000 ultrasound (pre-owned)  Click here to make an offer.
Employs super high-density transducers; convex sector & linear scanning as standard; dynamic frequency scanning; swivel operation panel and monitor; ABC (Automatic B-gain Control).  Read more.

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Unusual Medical Treatments: Part I

Have you ever wondered about the validity of a treatment when a doctor orders a test or medication for your recovery from an illness?  Today we trust our doctors and modern medical science to prescribe the correct treatment, but health care in the past was often based upon superstition, or whatever was at hand that seemed to make sense.

Urotherapy
During Roman occupation of what is today France, there was a tradition among the Gauls to use urine to whiten teeth.  In China, the urine of young boys has been regarded as a curative.  Later in history, the French regularly soaked stockings in urine and wrapped them around their necks to cure strep throat.

Scientifically speaking, here is no evidence of a therapeutic benefit of urine.  The bodily fluid does contain Vitamin C and other beneficial substances, but most of what makes up urine has been excreted by the body because it is harmful or present in excess.  Re-ingesting these substances will just result in re-excretion.  The most direct physiological effect of drinking urine, is diarrhea due to the laxative action of hypertonic solution of urea.

Heroin as cough medicine
First developed by Bayer Pharmaceutical in Germany around 1900, heroin was marketed by Bayer, and other companies for various medicinal uses including cough suppression.  Glyco-Heroin manufactured by Martin H. Smith Company, New York, was widely used not only as an analgesic but also as a remedy for asthma, coughs, and pneumonia.  Combining heroin with glycerin and often adding sugar or spices made the bitter-tasting opiate more palatable for oral consumption.

Ironically, heroin was also sold as a treatment for morphine addiction, but shortly afterwards the Smith Company faced an embarrassment when it was found that heroin is actually metabolized into morphine in the human body, therefore making the product a faster-acting form of morphine.

Today, under the chemical name diamorphine, heroin is available for prescription to long-term users in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark.

Smoking
Nineteenth-century doctors often prescribed cigarettes and pipes packed with tobacco as a cure to patients with asthma.  According to the strange logic of old-time medicine, patients could breathe easier if they got enough healing smoke in their lungs.

In the 21st century, evidence suggests that the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease might be 50% lower in smokers, compared to non-smokers.  Nicotine has also been found to improve ADHD symptoms and appears to have effects in the brain that are similar to those of stimulants.

These findings have not led physicians to encourage anyone to smoke, but some studies are focusing on benefits of nicotine therapy in adults with ADHD.  Risk of ulcerative colitis has been frequently shown to be reduced by smoking on a dose-dependent basis.  Curiously, the effect is eliminated if the individual stops smoking.

21st-Century Medical Equipment from Ganim Medical

This week we are featuring some great deals on pre-owned otoscopes/ophthalmoscopes.

Welch-Allyn 74710 with heads (pre-owned) $400
Handle-based rheostats for quick light-intensity adjustments; comfortable, contoured handles, easy to hold and maneuver; high-impact ABS housing that is durable and easy to clean;OptiSense Sensor automatically turns handles on when they are removed from the cradles and off when they are replaced; Halogen HPX lamp that provides 30% more light output; 74710 transformer.  Read more.

Welch-Allyn 76710 with heads (pre-owned) $650
The instrument you will need to perform a complete diagnostic examination; handle-based rheostats for quick light-intensity adjustments; comfortable, contoured handles easy to hold and maneuver; durable, easy-to-clean, high-impact ABS housing; OptiSense Sensor automatically turns handles on when they are removed from the cradles and off when they are replaced; choose one of four halogen ophthalmoscopes, including the innovative PanOptic.

From Opium to Ether: The Evolution of Anesthesia

Have you ever heard the comment “I don’t mind, as long as they put me under?”  Today, when we think of potentially painful surgery we immediately assume we’ll have the use of anesthesia on our side to get us through with little or no pain.  Surgeons perform amazing and intricate surgeries – heart bypasses, transplants, brain surgery – but would find it difficult without anesthesia.

Needles and soporifics
The Chinese were probably the first to use a form of anesthesia, acupuncture, as a means of relieving pain during surgical procedures.  The earliest text on the medical use of acupuncture, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Inner Medicine, dates back to 200 B.C., but the practice itself has its roots to Taosim which originated in the 4th century B.C.

The inventive and industrious Romans pioneered the use of soporifics such as opium and mandrake to perform operations.  Across the Atlantic, Incan shamans had their patients chew coca leaves and drilled holes in their heads to let the bad spirits escape.

Here in the U.S. we’re all fairly familiar with the use of alcohol as an anesthetic, thanks to Gabby Hayes and John Wayne.  Good old whiskey was used around the world in modern times, but side effects of vomiting, addiction, and sometimes death made this method undesirable.

The advent of modern anesthetic practices

Modern techniques to reduce surgical pain began when the English scientist Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) discovered that inhalation of nitrous oxide might relieve pain.  However, the watershed event for medicine and surgery came when William Thomas Green Morton (1819-1868), a Boston dentist, publically demonstrated the application of ether to remove a tumor from the neck of his patient.  Morton had rightly concluded that Priestly’s idea was right, but the gas was wrong.

In the early 20th century ether and chloroform were replaced by halogenated hydrocarbons such as halothane, which is still used.  Today we have a “balanced anesthesia” approach: a “cocktail” of drugs to induce loss of consciousness and eliminate pain.

Save money on Ganim Medical’s selection of pre-owned anesthesia machines

Drager Narkomed 2A Anesthesia Machine (Pre-Owned) $6,995
K-Package: O2 analyzer, tidal volume monitor, alarms; three vaporizers; AVE ventilator; standard hypoxic guard;
standard O2 and N2O; E-cylinder and central gas connections standard; AVE ventilator (electronic) standard; can be configured with ascending (A-of-F style) or descending bellows. Read more.

Drager Narkomed 2B anesthesia machine (pre-owned) $7995
Three 19.1 vaporizers; AVE electronic ventilator; absorber and scavenger; oxygen analyzer;  breathing pressure monitor; respiratory volume; centralized alarm and data; oxygen ratio controller; pressure limit controller; weight: 400 lbs (181.4 kg); max dimensions: 40” L x 68” H x 25” W (101.6 x 172.7 x 63.5 cm); top shelf: 32” L x 52” W (81.3 x 132.1 cm); table top: area 271 in2.  Read more.

Ohmeda Excel 210 SE anesthesia machine (pre-owned) $7,200
Accommodates three gases and two vaporizers; powerful ventilation and monitoring capabilities for secondary anesthetizing locations; integrated oxygen, volume, airway pressure monitoring; enclosed, non-interchangeable pneumatic circuitry; differentiated pipeline, cylinder gauges; master on/off switch activates electronics and pneumatics. Read more.

Ohmeda Modulus 2 Plus Anesthesia Machine (Pre-Owned) $7,000
Comes standard with a 7810 ventilator that integrates oxygen, volume, and pressure monitoring; optional pulse oximetry and endtidal CO2 modules; great for university and research facilities; double-flow meter tubes (O2 & N2O) and flow meter protection shield, link-25 hypoxic guard and touch-coded oxygen knob. Read more.

Visit our web site at:  www.ganimonline.com.  Call us toll free at: 800-522-5909.

Mow Your Lawn while Having an Endoscopy

You can go to work, watch television, or do your gardening while having your small intestine photographed!

Technology revolutionizes healthcare
Capsule endoscopy employs a video capsule that is swallowed and takes photographs of the small intestine.  The procedure is useful when disease is suspected in the small intestine and can sometimes diagnose sources of bleeding visible microscopically only or causes of abdominal pain such as Crohn’s disease, or peptic ulcers. Capsule endoscopy can be used to diagnose problems in the small intestine, but unlike EGD or colonoscopy, cannot treat pathology that may be discovered.  Capsule endoscopy can use bluetooth to transfer the captured images to a computer!

Watch this video to learn more about the procedure:

Limitations
This marvel of modern technology is the best means of viewing the inside of the small intestine but the capsule does not allow for therapy. Other limitations include the inability to detect abnormalities and blurred, uninterpretable photographs in some cases.  At times, transit is so slow that the capsule examines only part of the small intestine before the battery fails.

Camera systems for standard endoscopy
Ganim Medical can save you money with our pre-owned/refurbished line of endoscopic camera systems.  Our price for the units listed here includes both the camera control unit and the camera head with coupler.  For purchase separately, call us at 800-522-5909

Stryker 1088 HD Camera System (Pre-Owned) $4,000
This system features crystal-clear image quality, analog and digital outputs, 220 V or 110 V power rating for international usage, and the ability to send, share, and edit images on most digital devices. This is the longest-lasting, toughest, most rugged camera on the market.

Stryker 1188 HD Camera System (Pre-owned) $7,000
The 1188 HD offers superior picture quality, enhanced clarity, and more intuitive user controls.  Surgical teams will experience unprecedented visibility during endoscopic procedures — visibility that can elevate overall surgical and patient outcomes.

 Stryker 988 Camera System (Pre-Owned/Refurbished) $2,400
Specifications for this system are: imaging system: 1/3” interline transfer, EX view HAD CCD 752 (H) x 582 (V) pixels.  Cameral control unit dimensions: 9.8” / 24.8 cm (w) x 4.0” / 10.1 cm (h) x 15” / 38.1 cm (d).  Enhancement: Switchable to 8 steps.  Cable connector: super lemo gold pin connectors.  Resolution: 950 lines.

Visit our web site at:  www.ganimonline.com.  Call us toll free at 800-522-5909.


refurbished anesthesia machine
Ganim Medical's selection of pre-owned and refurbished medical equipment and furniture can save you hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars over purchasing new. Click on the above image to view our product offer.
Our biomedical engineering technicians are highly skilled specialists who not only repair medical equipment but also take preventive measures to ensure that your equipment doesn't malfunction at critical moments. Click on the above image for more information.
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