Whole Body Donors Improve Infectious Disease Testing - June 2014
You may have heard about the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa or remember the global outbreak of H1N1 in 2009. These outbreaks are worrisome because infectious diseases are often invisible during the incubation period and indiscriminate, infecting even the healthiest people.
Early detection of infections diseases can improve recovery rates for those infected and slow spread of the disease. In May, Science Care whole body donors aided the development and validation of the safety and efficacy of infectious disease testing.
What is an Infectious Disease? An infectious disease is a sickness that happens when an organism (a living thing such as a plant or animal) is attacked by a pathogen such as bacteria, or a virus that is too small to see. Some infectious diseases are contagious, which means that the pathogen can get from one organism to another through air, food, water, blood, or physical touch making others sick.
Due to research on the origin and spread of disease and the development of vaccines and other preventative measures, many formerly devastating infectious diseases including Smallpox, and the Bubonic Plague, are no longer a significant threat to those living in the developed world. However, diseases like Malaria and Cholera persist in developing countries that lack access to prevention and treatment. Some infectious diseases are global in scale including Influenza, HIV and many food borne diseases.
Prevention. The Bubonic Plague killed over 25 million people in Europe in a series of recurrent outbreaks before the epidemic began to die out. Cats are said to have had a key role in ending the epidemic because they killed the mice that were infected by the fleas that spread the disease.
Today we know good oral hygiene and clean public water and sewage systems do a lot to prevent the occurrence and spread of many infectious diseases, but soap and water can’t keep us safe from every germ. As populations grow and people live closer together, the opportunity for disease to spread increases making early and accurate detection critical.
The Center for Disease Control’s Health Alert Network provides updated information about infectious disease outbreaks. Popular media often misrepresents or exaggerates outbreaks, but you can consult the CDC for accurate information about specific diseases and disease prevention.
Improvements in testing for infectious disease facilitates early detection and helps prevent epidemics. The goal of the research enabled by Science Care donors is to improve the safety and accuracy of infectious disease testing leading to better diagnoses and reduced disease transmission. Science Care donors provide a pathway to knowledge and discovery that improves the health and safety of future generations.
Science Care Whole Body Donors Advance Hip Replacement Procedure Accuracy– April 2014
Science Care donors help researchers improve the quality of hip replacements and hip repair surgery. Last month a medical facility trained practicing surgeons on a procedure utilizing a new approach to surgical repair of the hip joint. This innovative solution was designed for patients suffering from degenerative joint disease. The procedure aims to enable surgeons to work with higher precision using the latest techniques in total hip replacement and is designed to restore patient mobility and allow patients to return to an active lifestyle. The increased accuracy of the procedure is expected to allow patients to have shorter and less painful recovery periods. Most hip replacements are conducted on people over 50 years old. However, some need hip replacements when they are young. Abdul Moussadda was disabled by a degenerative form of arthritis when he was a teen. By the time he was 20 years old the disease had progressed so far that he was no longer able to attend school or leave his house. Last month he underwent double hip replacement surgery and now he is back on his bike! Here is his story: Teen Disabled by Arthritis Gets Hip Replacement at 20! Science Care donors enable physicians and surgeons to learn new procedures in a safe and effective manner without the risk of injury to living patients.
donors support life!
Over 400,000 people in the U.S. receive hip replacements each year. Hip replacement patients benefit from the medical advances enabled by Science Care donors.
Alzheimer’s Epidemic, Whole Body Donation Can Help – August 2013
Science Care Donors Help Save Life – July 2013
Fortunately the surgeons on the case had immediate access to two Science Care donor specimens (previously slated for routine orthopedic training sessions). The donor specimens were engaged in order to help the surgical team prepare for the long and difficult procedure. Two days of very lengthy working sessions with the surgical team resulted in an operative plan with high expectations of a positive outcome. Without the opportunity to practice, prepare and plan for such a complex procedure the likelihood of a positive outcome for the patient would have been reduced significantly. The surgeons and operating room staff not only saved the officer’s life but she is aggressively returning to normal activity. As if additional evidence was needed to demonstrate the operative success – she will be able to have children and recently participated in a “mini-marathon” riding a modified bike. Below is a sample photo of someone after this type of procedure and fitted with a prosthesis.
This surgery involved three primary surgeons and required over 20 hours in the operating room. According to the surgeons leading the team, there is no doubt that the unrestricted dissections, practice and planning contributed to this marathon surgery success. Without the generous gift and availability of donated tissue at the time when it was most critically needed, the outcome expectations would have been greatly diminished and the officer’s ability to have a high quality of life would have been low. Scotty Bolleter, Chief of the Office of Clinical Direction at the Centre for Emergency Health Sciences said,
“For me, this represents 30 years of medicine and teaching where a culmination of the right people, tools and gracious generosity found a path to SAVE lives!”
Science Care is honored to be a part of such a remarkable success story and we thank each and every donor that chooses to support life through medical research, training and professional education. You make a real difference every day. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s), and are not necessarily representative of those of the Department of Defense (DOD) or the United States Army, Navy, or Air Force and does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the information contained therein.
Foot and Ankle Health and Surgical Advances Critical to Quality of Life for All – April 2013
Donors Help Give Hope to Folks Disfigured by Facial Trauma and Cancer – March 2013
Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems – January 2013
Robotic Assisted Surgery – September 2012
- Less pain, less reliance on pain medications, easier and more successful rehabilitation
- Reduced risk of side effects such as scarring and infection
- Improved quality of life achieved more quickly
- Less time spent under expensive hospital care
Why robotic assisted surgery? Is this actually an improvement? This is one of the newest developments on frontier in the minimally invasive surgical technique tool box. There are pros and cons to all surgery so talk with your doctor candidly about your concerns. In general:
- The robtic tools are simply implements that allow the surgeon to be able to be more effective or precise
- Often the use of robotic equipment allows the surgeon greater range of movement while working in a very small space
- Possible decreased blood loss and smaller incisions
Science Care donors directly impact the improvement of these devices and techniques and help to train surgeons. Whole body donation improves the lives of everyone!
Back Pain Helped by Whole Body Donation – June 2012
- Lower back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the family physician, behind only the common cold.
- Back pain affects more than 80% of people in the United States.
- The most common cause of lumbar back pain is normal degenerative arthritis: the wear of cartilage over time.
The good news is that there are various treatment options for back pain, including medications, physical therapy, or injections. Most people (90%) will see improvement within six weeks regardless of the method of treatment. But the other 10% may become candidates for surgery. Lumbar spinal fusion is one of the most common lumbar spine surgeries used today by surgeons and there are over 200,000 performed each year in the U.S. Science Care whole body donors are involved in lumbar spine fusion by way of helping to develop and improve minimally invasive options for surgery. Minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion is similar to the traditional, but it uses much smaller incisions and results in significant benefits to the patient. For background, lumbar spinal fusion is an operation that causes the bones of the spine in the lower back to fuse together. The goal of the surgery is to have two vertebrae fuse together so there is no longer movement between the vertebrae, which is typically the cause of the problem. The minimally invasive surgery can be done through the abdomen, from the back, from the side, or with any combination of these. Science Care donors are contributing to training surgeons on the actual minimally invasive procedure, which allows surgeons the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the procedure and the ability to test new techniques. Minimally invasive surgery results in many benefits to the patient, including less damage to the surrounding tissue, reduced recovery times, less pain, reduced blood loss, reduced need for blood transfusions, shorter hospital stay, and less need for narcotic pain medications.
The 30-Year Knee Replacement – May 2012
- Reduced recovery times
- Less pain
- Decreased infections
- Reduced blood loss
- More precise surgery
- Surgical time reduced approx. 40%
Science Care donors’ contribution is a huge benefit to the hundreds of thousands of people who undergo this knee replacement surgery every year.
Science Care Donors Support the Gift of Hearing – April 2012
- A microphone picks up sounds, and sends it to a speech processor.
- The speech processor selects and arranges sound, and sends a signal to a transmitter.
- The transmitter converts the signal into an electrical impulse.
- Finally, a group of electrodes collects the impulses and sends them to the auditory nerve that the brain recognizes as sound.
Based on the success of cochlear implants, the FDA has approved implants in children as young as 12 months! Implants coupled with therapy can significantly help young children to learn speech and language skills. Today, more than 250,000 adults and children have received a cochlear implant…and with it, the ability to hear.
More than Skin Deep – March 2012