Posts tagged with "Medicine"

Szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE, relaxation, cbd, vacation, holiday, paradise, calm

Which CBD Product Is the Best? 

Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) oil is derived from the cannabis plant. Although CBD is from cannabis, it does not get you high. It does have many therapeutic benefits and can be used to ease the symptoms of conditions such as anxiety. Different people have different responses to CBD oil, so it’s essential to try the oil for yourself to see what positive or negative effects you get. The following guide gives you some options to consider to choose the best CBD product for you.

What Are the Most Common CBD Products?

The CBD industry is growing by leaps and bounds. There are many preparations and products on the market, but CBD oil taken sublingually is one of the most popular CBD products. Vaping CBD is another common CBD product with its popularity growing as CBD becomes more mainstream. CBD products for animals are also becoming quite common. 

Aspects That Determine the Efficiency of a Product

The CBD industry is almost entirely unregulated to date. So it’s up to the consumer to ascertain what they are buying and using. Dosage amounts that are too low will not achieve the ‘optimum’ level for an individual, and they may subsequently feel no effect at all. Finding the correct dose of CBD to achieve your optimum results can take trial-and-error. Most proponents recommend starting with lower dosages and increasing the dosage if needed. 

You can find a range of concentrations available, from 100 mg up to 3,500 mg, which are recommended for a dosage of between .5 ml and 1.0 mil under the tongue. You may find that it’s easier to get a controlled dosage with edibles like gummies or capsules than with oil, which is delivered by a dropper. Users also find that more product is delivered by ingesting than via vaping.

Sublingual Consumption

There is a vein under the tongue called the sublingual gland. When a substance is administered under the tongue to the sublingual glands, it gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which is referred to as sublingual consumption or sublingual administration. Common sublingual consumption methods include CBD tinctures, CBD lozenges, and CBD sprays.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the proportion of a substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body and thus will have an active effect. It’s basically the rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is an essential measurement tool since it determines the correct dosage administration of a substance. Sublingual CBD products generally have high bioavailability. 

Duration of Effect

It typically takes 15–30 minutes to feel the effects of a CBD tincture, and the effects are known to last between 4–6 hours, though it is partially a factor of how potent a dose is taken. 

Ingested CBD, either using edibles or capsules, takes a bit longer to have an effect, but the results will also last longer, compared to other methods of taking CBD. This is because when CBD products are ingested, it takes a while for them to be digested and then processed by the liver before making it to the bloodstream. Once they are in the bloodstream, you can start to feel their effects.

Convenience

Finding a CBD oil product that is convenient for you to use will determine its effectiveness. You needn’t make a trek to the store to buy CBD oil, as there are a plethora of online retailers with all the products at your fingertips. 

CBD edibles are one of the most convenient ways to use CBD oil, as you don’t need to worry about a cream, which requires time to apply, or vaping, which requires equipment. CBD capsules are often considered the most convenient, but CBD gummies are increasingly popular and very convenient. 

The market is so large that there are now CBD products for any indulgence, including CBD-infused soaps, bath salts, lip balm, eye cream, and other ways to take part in CBD’s benefits according to your fancy. Note that some products available in one state or country are not guaranteed to be available in the next.

Cost

According to HuffPost, price is often a marker of purity. They advise that if you see a CBD oil that claims to have a 100-milligram potency for less than $40, it’s likely that the CBD is not pure.  According to another source, a 1-ounce, or 30-milliliter, bottle of CBD oil may cost anywhere from $30 to over $200. What makes the discrepancy? Well, the potency of a bottle can greatly affect the price, as well as where it is manufactured. When trying to decide if a CBD product is priced right, you can ask the following questions: 

  • Is it grown organically
  • Is it grown domestically? 
  • What are the product reviews?

You can look for certificates of analysis (COA), which have to be issued by a licensed laboratory, which tests for potency and safety. This certification is pricey for companies and may add to your cost.

Method of Consumption

To complicate matters, there is a wide range of methods to experience CBD oil. You can ingest sublingually (as in various terpenes) or use edibles such as capsules, gummies, syrups or CBD infused coffee or tea. You can deliver CBD products via inhalation with vaporizers, smokeables, or topicals on the skin. Topicals vary, too. You can select CBD topical cream or sprays. The effects of each method differ from one individual to individual. 

Conclusion

The best CBD product is the one that suits you for cost, convenience, and outcome. Remember that you can expect very different results, depending on dosing, the condition that needs treating.

Navigating Healthcare

Navigating our healthcare system can be challenging, especially when you are not feeling well.  One of the biggest questions that patients face is deciding whether their symptoms warrant a trip to a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, or the emergency room.

For most health problems, your primary care doctor—usually a family doctor, internist, or pediatrician—is often in the best person to provide the first line of advice for health concerns.  These primary care physicians are equipped to handle most chronic health problems and minor complaints. Examples of conditions that can be managed by your primary care physician include muscle strains/sprains, joint and back pain, coughs and cold symptoms, minor burns and injuries, headaches, and stomach and intestinal problems (as long as the patient can drink fluids normally).

Many primary care physicians are able to perform procedures like joint injections and drainage of abscesses, dress wounds, and provide referrals to the right specialist if needed.  Most primary care offices can order blood tests, and many can perform immediate rapid tests for pregnancy, urine infections, strep throat, and influenza. Some even offer x-rays on-site.  

An advantage to seeing a primary care physician is that your regular doctor usually knows you and your medical problems best and is able to provide follow-up for your medical conditions.  If you’re having a hard time finding a primary care physician, you can ask your friends or family for recommendations, check with your insurance company to see who is in network, or search for your area on this physician mapper.  

Urgent care clinics include walk-in clinics which may be associated with a retail pharmacy or hospital system. They are most often staffed with nurse practitioners and physician assistants which means that you are unlikely to see a physician. Examples of complaints that can be managed by an urgent care clinic include straightforward conditions like colds, influenza, minor sprains/strains, minor skin cuts, and minor burns (not to hands/feet/genitals/face). Urgent care facilities often have access to an x-ray machine and can diagnosis and splint (but not cast) a fracture.  They may also have access to some of the more common blood tests. An advantage of urgent care is that they are often open on weekends and after hours when your primary care physician may not be available.

The emergency department (ED) should be reserved for true emergencies. Examples of

complaints that should be seen in the ED include chest pain, shortness of breath, stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking or weakness on one side of the body, fractures where there is bone outside of the skin, fainting, severe headache, and inability to keep down liquids. EDs are always open but can be the most expensive option when it is not a true emergency. When you go to the ED, you may see a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.  It’s important to be aware that not all EDs have physicians working on-site. When you or your loved one in sick, you should ask the credentials of the clinicians who are taking care of you and know that it is okay to ask to be seen by a physician.

Rebekah Bernard MD is a Family Physician and the president of Physicians for Patient Protection.

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, medicine

Top 4 Remarkable Benefits of Consultation with a Trusted Online Doctor

Introduction 

The advancement in modern medicine has made people live long. In turn, the demand for medical professionals is on the rise. Thanks to technology, one can consult a medical specialist in the comfort of their home. The transformation is slowly gaining ground. However, not everybody has embraced this change. Are you skeptical about online doctors? Below are some of the remarkable benefits that you are missing out on each time.

  • Prompt medical attention 

When you consult a doctor online, you are free from making long queues for the doctor to see you. All an individual has to do is decide on time as well as the health practitioner of their choice. You can achieve an in-depth consultation via a video chat or a phone call in real-time. Thus, you save money you would have used to travel to get to the doctor. It is quite beneficial when one is in dire need of consultation but lacks the transportation fee. It is also essential for people who have medical conditions that have reduced their mobility.

  • There’re no boundaries 

When it comes to telemedicine, the limits are limitless. You get to be in touch with a doctor beyond your region, state, or country. It’s very crucial, especially to individuals who are constant business travels. You can also use this chance to seek a second medical opinion from a specialist. Various online pharmacies have trusted doctors, and one includes Medzino online pharmacy. By contacting these online medical experts, you stand to benefit from adequate health care that’s convenient as well as confidential.

  • Medical history 

When you are consulting a trusted doctor online, there’s no need to keep repeating your medical history over and over. It’s because they capture your past the first time and store them securely in their database. It facilitates easier patient data management. You stand a chance to access all the test reports, check-up costs at any moment that you may require them. 

During this consultation time, you can get to learn more about your medical history and health in general. Thus, you get concrete scientific facts as opposed to basing your condition on superstition. It’s a time to be informed in a profound state.

  • Availability 

Some medical specialist work within stipulated business hours. However, when it comes to the online consultation, medical experts are present throughout. There’s no need to wait for the official business house to go for meetings. Once you feel unwell in the wee hours of the morning, you can quickly log online and get the appropriate medication

Conclusion 

Online medical consultation has made it possible for people to get in touch with a medical specialist quickly. The telemedicine industry is slowly gaining momentum. There are trusted online doctors who are offering their services. One of them includes a Medzino online pharmacy. Its time to move with the changing tides and experience medical consultation as its most exceptional state. Virtual medicine is soon following suit, and people are reaping their benefits. You ought to try it today and get the best consultation.

Vaughn Lowery, Dr. Molly Rossknecht, WeatherX, 360 MAGAZINE

Common Types of Headaches & Relief Options

Almost everyone, at some point, has experienced some form of headache. While most will run their course and an individual can return to normal functioning, some headache types are quite disabling and cause disruption to one’s life. This article will focus on some of the most common headache types including sinus, weather-related, and migraine. Each type will be described and treatment options discussed. Keep in mind that an individual can have more than one type of headache (I like to say “dogs can have ticks and fleas!”).


Sinus Headaches


Sinus headaches are often migraine headaches with associated sinus symptoms. Sinus headaches are only considered “true” sinus headaches in the presence of a sinus infection characterized by fever, pressure/pain around the cheeks or forehead, purulent phlegm, congestion, and response to an antibiotic. By definition, a true sinus headache should resolve by completion of the antibiotics. Patients might also find relief from nasal decongestants, saline nasal sprays, and antihistamines. Acute and chronic sinusitis infections are often managed by Otolaryngologists (Ear, Nose and Throat physicians or ENT).

Studies have been done showing that sinus symptoms including facial pain, nasal and sinus congestion, and pain with leaning forward are most often migraine attacks. If a disabling headache, nausea, and sensitivity to light are present in addition to the sinus symptoms, then the diagnosis of a migraine headache is likely. This type of headache should respond to migraine specific medication like a triptan. In fact, the triptan (like sumatriptan) should help the sinus symptoms as well as the headache to go away.

Weather-Related Headaches


A weather-related headache is usually a migraine headache triggered by weather changes, specifically drops in barometric pressure but also temperature changes, high humidity, stormy weather, and extremely dry conditions. This affects the pressure in the external environment, including the external ear canal. A change in barometric pressure of as little as .20 millibars impacts the pressure in the ear canal and can trigger migraines.

How can this be treated? An example of a safe treatment approach for weather-induced headaches is the use of WeatherX, an ear pressure device that can be placed in the ear canal to minimize the change in barometric pressure between the external environment versus the inner pressure in an individual’s inner ear, sinuses, and Eustachian tube. WeatherX looks like a small set of ear plugs (drug & latex free) and is designed to control the rate of barometric pressure changes in the ear canal adjacent to the ear drum (tympanic membrane). This device is best used in conjunction with the free weather app (WeatherX) that can alert an individual about a predicted drop in barometric pressure. To learn more, an individual can go to www.weatherx.com

Migraines


Migraines are characterized by disabling attacks often including throbbing/pulsating pain, nausea, sensitivity to light, and the desire to be in a dark quiet room. Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. Common triggers include changes in sleep patterns, skipping meals, dehydration, weather changes/barometric pressure changes/altitude changes (including airplane travel), exercise, and stress. Also strong smells (perfumes, detergents), bright lights, smoke/pollution, motion sickness (car, train, boat), and changes in hormone levels that commonly occur during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, hormone replacement therapy, and oral contraceptives. There are many things in our diet that can exacerbate or trigger migraines- alcohol, aged cheeses, nitrates, others.

With my patients, I try to address as many triggers as possible and that means taking a holistic approach. The category of medication that can be very helpful for acute treatment of migraine is triptans. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) and anti-nausea medications are usually in the discussion as having a migraine “toolbox combination” can be most beneficial to abort their headache. If my patient’s trigger is lack of sleep or diet/hydration issue, we address that. In the case of weather/barometric pressure triggers, I recommend trying WeatherX earplugs. Using the WeatherX app, my patient is alerted to a significant drop in barometric pressure change thus the possibility of using the device to prevent the headache altogether.

In summary, these are just several types of common headaches but medical research and development has led to many safe, non-invasive treatment approaches. Correct diagnosis of headache type is critical to lead to effective treatment.

About Dr. Molly Rossknecht


Dr. Molly Rossknecht, Medical Advisor to WeatherX, is a neurologist who focuses on holistic and drug-free remedies in finding patients headache relief at the OC Migraine & Headache Center in California. Originally from South Florida, Dr. Rossknecht attended Florida Atlantic University and graduated with a BS in Biology and MS in Biomedical Science. She completed the dual degree DO/MPH program at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Rossknecht completed her internship and neurology residency at Garden City Hospital in Michigan, a program through the Statewide Campus System of Michigan State University. She is a proud fellow of the Headache Medicine program at the University of Michigan, directed by Wade Cooper, DO.

Hanna Brand, Autumn Shelton, 360 MAGAZINE, Autumn Brands

Empowering Women Everywhere

Highlighting these Soaring Entrepreneurs on Women’s Equality Day

On August 26th,1920, the United States passed the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Creating a much needed day to celebrate how far women fought to let their voice be heard.
We’ve come a long way, the rise of women, the laws we’ve overcome for women to make a stand, to the freedom we’ve secured in a society to become owners and trailblazers for today’s controversial passed laws — one being Cannabis. 

With heads standing tall, Autumn Shelton (Owner/ CFO) and Hanna Brand (Owner/ Sales Director) of Santa Barbara-based Autumn Brands are changing the culture and conversation around the female use of cannabis. The first to receive a California Provisional Annual Cultivation license in Santa Barbara County, Autumn Brands is a family-run, 50% woman-owned company known for its holistic focus and artisanal approach to producing powerfully potent strains of pesticide-free cannabis. From day one to the present, the company has sought to shift the female perspective, stigmas, and misunderstandings associated with the use of cannabis as part of a whole and healthy lifestyle. The extraordinary women behind Autumn Brands bring an uncompromising work ethic to the task of producing hand-selected, sun-grown buds which are hang-dried, hand-trimmed and cured to preserve maximum potency and full healing benefits. Determined to make their mark on a male-dominated cannabis industry, the company aims to serve a growing female health and wellness market eager to embrace the myriad benefits of cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Women’s Equality Day is more than just a day to celebrate our achievements, it’s also gives us a chance to empowering and uplift our fellow women! 

Let’s highlight these soaring women who are making an impact and are standing for something they believe in.

About Autumn Brands:

Autumn Brands is a licensed California cannabis cultivator dedicated to the synergy of health and wellness. The Autumn Brands’ family farm started in Holland more than a century ago, and today, sixth-generation farmers apply the same expertise garnered in growing the world’s finest tulips to producing pure and potent strains of cannabis in sunny, coastal Santa Barbara County. Autumn Brands is proud to be 50 percent woman-owned, free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. For more information, visit www.autumnbrands.com

Three Things To Consider When Setting Up Your Wellness Business

The wellness industry is currently booming: more and more people are forgoing traditional medicine for holistic therapies, natural remedies and a more planet-friendly lifestyle – so there’s never been a better time to set up your own health-based business. Like all businesses though, there’s plenty to consider before you take the plunge and announce yourself open for trading – we’ve come up with three of the most important things to think about, so if you’re thinking about anything from teaching yoga, to writing self-help courses, read on!

Consider Your Speciality

The first thing to do is decide on your area of expertise; if you’ve studied for a specific career path such as aromatherapy or herbalism, you’re already set – but if you’re thinking of writing courses or e-books, or hosting workshops, then you’re going to need to know your subject inside out. If you’re interested in a variety of wellness topics, consider which one you find most interesting – and think about what you can offer people; they’ll be expecting knowledge and guidance that they can’t find anywhere else on the internet.

It’s also worth noting that you legally can’t provide medical advice or practice any form of therapy unless you have a formal license to do so – so reading books might not be enough of a background!

Decide On Your Premises

For any business, you’re going to need to think about where you’re going to be trading from; if you’re writing courses or blog posts, all you’ll need is a laptop and a desk – but if you’re going to host workshops, offer physical treatment sessions or manufacture your own products, you’re going to need more space. A spare room is a great place to start, but if you’re already at maximum capacity with family members, then why not consider adding a large shed or summer house in the garden?

Once equipped with light and power, they can be just as comfortable as professional premises – and the bonus is that you won’t have to travel far for work! You could also look into pop-up or co-working spaces – these are provided with a shorter term lease, so they’re ideal if you’re just starting out and testing the water.

Look Into Expenses

Although it’s easy to focus on the profit margins, any business comes with a long list of expenses – so it’s important to sit down and calculate these before you commit to anything. The best way to do this is to research everything from materials and equipment to postal costs, internet fees and lease prices – make a note of everything and then look at forecasting your potential income to provide an accurate estimate for profits.

Even if you’re going to be working from home, it’s worth looking into business accounts for your energy supply, and getting some business electricity quotes – this could save you a lot of money in the long run. You should also look into what you can deduct as taxable expenses, as there might be some things on the list that surprise you (and there might be some things you’re expecting to see that don’t appear!) – so it’s definitely something to take some time over.

Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness

By Cynthia Li, MD

DOCTOR-AS-PATIENT MEMOIR REIMAGINES THE ART AND SCIENCE OF HEALING

“In Cynthia Li’s spellbinding book, we encounter the moving story of a physician struggling with her own autoimmune illness. Li’s writing is so intimate — and so exacting — that it cuts like a knife. She raises fundamental questions about the future of medicine, her own future, and about being a doctor and a patient at the same time. The result is a beautiful book that will be read and remembered for years to come.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

Millions of people worldwide are affected by autoimmune diseases. Some are common, like Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, and others are mysterious conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and dysautonomia. While the latter are gaining attention, patients struggling with these ailments are often dismissed by their doctors, families, and friends. The medical community often refers to them as “difficult patients” because they don’t follow the traditional checkboxes of illness and their symptoms can elude standard testing. When one doctor develops a disabling autoimmune illness and becomes that “difficult patient” herself, the beliefs and methods she once swore by collapse.

Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness  takes us on an intimate whirlwind of a journey with Cynthia Li—a doctor who seemingly had it all until her health took an unexpected turn, leading her to question her medical training. Dr. Li’s story is raw, honest, and vulnerable as she describes her descent first into an autoimmune thyroid condition, then mysterious symptoms that leave her housebound with no end in sight. Test after test came back “within normal limits,” baffling her doctors—and herself. Housebound with two young daughters, Dr. Li began a solo odyssey from her living room couch to discover a way to heal.

Dr. Li is forced to dive into the root causes of her illness, and to learn to unlock her body’s innate intelligence and wholeness. Dr. Li relates her story with the insight of a scientist, and the humility and candor of a patient, exploring the emotional and spiritual shifts beyond the physical body. What’s more, she chronicles 15 practical steps on “how to get off the couch,” and expands this list in Part III, so fellow sufferers can find the wisdom and inspiration to begin their personal healing journeys.

“I entered my health challenges as a doctor, and came out a healer,” says Dr. Li.  “I hadn’t known the difference before. I first had to unlearn the idea that chronic diseases are determined by a fixed number or a positive test result, or fulfilling specific criteria. So the body, I realized, isn’t a three-dimensional puzzle to be solved. It’s a living, dynamic ecosystem to be nurtured. At the heart of my healing was learning to embrace my sensitive nature.”

Drawing on cutting-edge science, ancient healing arts, and the power of intuition, Brave New Medicine offers support, validation, and a new perspective for doctors and patients alike. This is the first memoir by a doctor evaluating her own complex illness through the lens of an integrative and root-cause paradigm. While many books are written by laypeople on mysterious illnesses, having a doctor go through this journey, explaining it from the inside-out, embracing the art of intuition—and pairing it with the analytical mind—offers a whole new dimension. Dr. Li explores epigenetics, neuroplasticity, the microbiome, environmental health, and functional medicine along with acupuncture, ancestral cooking, qigong, and grief rituals to get down to the root causes of her illness. In healing herself, she learns she is healing her family, too.

“The simplest step in healing is also the hardest: believing it is possible,” adds Dr. Li.  “An insidious process often happens with chronic disease, when the illness becomes your identity, especially when it’s an all-encompassing, debilitating condition like autoimmunity, chronic fatigue syndrome, or advanced cancer. The key to shifting our beliefs is to step outside of the prognoses and diagnoses long enough to tap into the innate intelligence within our cells. Because the body is where the subconscious lives, and where symptoms are trying to tell us the imbalances that are brewing. This isn’t positive thinking. It’s physiology at its best. By addressing root causes, reducing inflammation, restoring imbalances, and connecting to something greater beyond us, healing happens as a side-effect.

About the Author:

CYNTHIA LI, MD graduated from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and has practiced internal medicine in settings as diverse as Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Francisco General Hospital, St. Anthony Medical Clinic for the homeless, and Doctors Without Borders in rural China. Her own health challenges led her to functional medicine, a paradigm that addresses the root causes of chronic conditions. She currently serves on the faculty of the Healer’s Art Program at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and has a private practice. She lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and their two daughters.

Connect with Cynthia Li, MD on Facebook @dr.cynthia.li and visit www.cynthialimd.com.

 

Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness is available September 1, 2019 in paperback at Amazon and other retailers.

Cardiologist Releases Memoir Detailing Her Own Heart Break & Lessons Learned

Today women are fighting for rights to our bodies, searching for success in what is still a men’s dominated workforce, and balancing motherhood along with everything else. We look to influencers and self-help experts for guidance. But the one woman we should look at is someone who helped pave the way for females in all these areas: Barbara Roberts, MD, the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island (as a single mother of 3 no less) and outspoken feminist who fought for safe abortions.

Dr. Roberts’ life is a story of passion: for women’s rights, motherhood, medicine, love, and the underdog. She stood up for what she believed in and battled politics, career stereotypes, her children’s fathers, the Family Court system, public scrutiny, and even her own conscience at times. And she made it through all, proving to be the hero of her own unique journey. Her memoir, The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story [Heliotrope Books, September 3, 2019], details it all.

“I wrote this book because the world has changed so much from the world I grew up in,” Dr. Roberts recently told NBC 10’s Coffee Break with Frank and Friends Facebook TV Show. “I wanted particularly younger women to be able to learn some lessons in how to survive adversity, how to overcome heartbreak and how to come out in the end and really have led a full and happy life.

About Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD

Barbara Hudson Roberts, MD was the first female adult cardiologist in the state of Rhode Island. She graduated from Barnard College and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. As a resident at Yale New Haven Hospital, she became active in the pro-choice movement, before Roe v Wade made abortion legal. She helped found the Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition (WONAAC) and was the keynote speaker at the first national pro-choice demonstration in Washington DC in November 1971. She also was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and spoke at the last mass anti-war demonstration on the grounds of the Washington Monument on the day of Nixon’s inauguration in 1973. She was a staff physician at Planned Parenthood for many years, and continues on the voluntary faculty at Brown where she is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine.

About the Doctor Broad

The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story is the memoir of Barbara H. Roberts, MD.  There are people in the know who say that she caused the downfall of the New England Mafia. She did this, not by killing someone, or sending someone to jail, but by keeping someone alive, and out of prison, for about a year too long. During this time, Roberts navigated life in two separate worlds. In the “straight” world, she was a single mother of three, the first woman to practice adult cardiology in Rhode Island, and an active feminist. In the other world she was the physician whose testimony prevented Raymond L. S. Patriarca, the head of the New England Mafia, from having to go to trial, and the secret lover of the alleged #3 man in the New England Mafia, Louis “Baby Shanks” Manocchio. Roberts’ commitment to feminism and medicine leads her into unexpected byways as she faces moral dilemmas she never envisioned, but two things of the girl she once was remain: a love of children and a desire to heal. Her story was even featured on an episode of the Crimetown podcast.  

  Connect with Barbara Roberts on Facebook @barbara.roberts.14, Instagram @bhrdoc, Twitter @BarbaraHRoberts and visit www.thedoctorbroad.com.

The Doctor Broad: A Mafia Love Story releases on September 3, 2019.

Student Invention Gives Patients the Breath of Life

Natalie Dickman squeezed the bag again and again in an effort to revive a victim of cardiac arrest. After a mere 3 minutes, she could squeeze no more. 

“The patient had been down for 30 minutes and there wasn’t much hope, unfortunately,” said the Rice University student, a soon-to-be graduate of the Brown School of Engineering, who was covering a shift with Houston EMS as required by a Rice class in emergency medical techniques. “I was allowed to bag, but they make you switch in EMS settings because they know you won’t be as accurate once you hit that 2-to-3-minute mark. You get really tired.”

She thought about that often over the last year when she and her senior teammates worked at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) to perfect a cost-effective device that automates the compression of manual bag valve masks, which feed fresh air to the lungs of intubated patients. 

The senior capstone design team — bioengineering students Dickman, Carolina De Santiago, Karen Vasquez Ruiz and Aravind Sundaramraj, mechanical engineering and computational and applied mathematics student Tim Nonet and mechanical engineering student Madison Nasteff — is known as “Take a Breather.” 

The team has developed a system that compresses the bags for hours, rather than minutes, with settings to feed the right amount of air to adults, children and infants. The device seems simple — a box with paddles that rhythmically squeeze the bulb a programmed amount – but the engineering behind it is not.

The students used a $25, off-the-shelf motor and $5 microcontroller to power and program the rack-and-pinion device made primarily of plastic parts 3D-printed at the OEDK. They hope their use of inexpensive materials and the growing availability of 3D printers will make their machines easy to repair on-site.

They anticipate the device, which cost them $117 in parts to build, will be most useful in low-resource hospitals or during emergencies when there aren’t enough portable ventilators to meet the need. 

Dr. Rohith Malya, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, brought the problem to the OEDK after witnessing family members at the Kwai River Christian Hospital in Thailand, where he is director of emergency medical services, squeezing intubation bags for hours on end to keep loved ones alive. 

“There is no reliable ventilation,” said Malya, who spends a month at the hospital every year. “Once we intubate somebody, the family has to bag the patient. But the family will get tired after a day and say, ‘They’re not getting better right now, just pull the tube and see what happens.’ And then the patient dies.”

Malya previously worked with Rice engineering students to develop a syringe regulating pump, and did not hesitate to bring a new idea to the OEDK. 

“The bag mask is ubiquitous, like the syringe,” he said. “Nothing has challenged it for 80 years. It’s stood the test of time, it’s reliable and it’s simple. And now we’re adding a modification to the original device so families don’t have to make those decisions.

“This will broaden the access to mechanical ventilation to a tremendous part of the world that doesn’t have typical ventilators,” said Malya, who plans to take the proof-of-concept device to Thailand for field testing next spring. 

The device is much smaller than the sophisticated ventilators found in American hospitals and portable versions used in emergency situations. Critically, it has to be able to operate for long stretches. In its most recent test, the team ran the device for more than 11 hours without human intervention.  

The students expect another Rice team will build a more robust version next year, and hope it will eventually be manufactured for use in low-resource and emergency settings. They anticipate a better-sealed and filtered box will be more suitable for hot, dusty environments, and said future designs should include more sophisticated controls.

For its efforts this year, the team won two prizes at the school’s annual Engineering Design Showcase, the Willy Revolution Award for Outstanding Innovation and the best interdisciplinary engineering design award. But the real payoff would be seeing the device further developed and deployed around the world. 

“If they can get it working fully in that kind of environment, this will be saving lives,” Nasteff said.