All Those Transplants

I am amazed at all the successes they are having with transplants these days….hearts, livers, kidneys, corneas, penal and even face transplants…and with all these successful medical procedures there is one that made me ask…… WTF?

Ever heard of Fecal Transplants?

First of all…EEEwwwwww!

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is an innovative investigational treatment that has – in randomized, controlled clinical trials – resolved 80-90% of infections caused by recurrent C. difficile that does not respond to antibiotics. During FMT, a fecal preparation from a carefully screened, healthy stool donor is transplanted into the colon of the patient. There are multiple routes of administration (e.g., via colonoscopy, naso-enteric tube, capsules), each of which has unique risks and benefits. 

How does FMT work?

Though the mechanism has yet to be determined, it is believed that FMT works by repopulating the patient’s microbiome with diverse microorganisms that competitively exclude C. difficile

In a healthy gut community, C. difficile is out-competed by many different bacterial species. However, receiving antibiotic treatment disrupts this ecosystem by killing those protective bacteria. C. difficile forms spores that are resistant to antibiotics. No longer outcompeted, this pathogen establishes itself in the gut and produces toxins that leave patients suffering from severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and, often, fever. With an infusion of bacteria from a healthy donor’s stool, the C. difficile is again out-competed.  

Researchers are also exploring FMT’s potential role for treating other gastrointestinal diseases, such as IBS and Crohn’s Disease. 

I had never heard of this procedure…but then I am an old fart and new technology is slow to be absorbed…….what made me ask the question was this article that I read about a death from a fecal transplant……

Fecal transplants, though experimental, have been lifesaving, reports the New York Times, citing the cases of some patients who were being ravaged by “uncontrollable diarrhea” caused by the the bacterial infection C. difficile. But in one recent case, such a transplant was deadly. The FDA announced on Thursday a patient recently died after receiving a fecal transplant, in which healthy fecal matter from a donor is processed in a lab and given to a patient via an infusion or pills in an attempt to reset the intestine’s bacteria. The FDA said it was halting fecal transplant clinical trials until researcher can prove to the FDA that they have measures in place to verify the fecal matter is free of deadly bacteria. That was not the case with the patient who died.

That patient, along with a second patient, received stool from the same donor that had not been screened and developed infections. After they were sickened, testing of the donor’s remaining stool samples showed it contained multi-drug-resistant microbes: E. coli that produced extended-spectrum beta-lactamase. The FDA didn’t offer details on the identity of the patients, what they were being treated for, or where the transplant took place, though they did say the two had compromised immune systems and were participating in a clinical trial. Fecal transplants are typically used as a treatment for C. difficile, which per CDC stats kills 29,000 Americans yearly, reports NBC News. USA Today notes antibiotic-resistant infections kill another 23,000. The FDA emphasized all standard treatments for C. difficile should first be tried.

Just when you think that you had lived long enough to have heard everything there is….then BAM!  They hit you with something like “Fecal Transplant”….

On that note I bow out for the day…….MoMo has me scheduled for a play date in the back 40……May all my Fathers have a good day………TTFN

Image result for fathers day images

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Closing Thought–04Jun19

I am an old fart, a Baby Boomer generation, and as we all know we are the problems of society now…..but with that said an adequate health care system is a must…..because by 2035 seniors will outnumber children and that means long term care will be a must by then (kinda is now but not important to the post)…..

By 2035, seniors are projected to outnumber children in the U.S. population.

Maybe then we’ll look back and credit Washington state activists for being on the forefront of tackling America’s elder care crisis. On May 13, the state became the first in the nation to adopt a social insurance program for long-term care benefits.

“This is a huge victory for organizing and people power, for care and caregiving, and for older adults and people with disabilities,” said Josephine Kalipeni of Caring Across Generations, one of more than 20 groups that formed Washingtonians for a Responsible Future to push the path-breaking legislation.

Nationally, our long-term care financing system is broken. Medicare doesn’t currently cover home care or nursing facility care, while Medicaid coverage varies widely by state. To qualify, you have to meet poverty criteria, which requires people to spend down nearly all of their savings before getting coverage.

 
Medicare For All!  We need a health care system and this is one that the machinery of policy are already in place….logic dictates we have an answer…why not use it?
 
I want to enjoy a late Spring weekend……the heat, the humidity and the hurricanes are just around the corner.

Suicide…The Other “S” Word

There is never good news when I read about a suicide…this time it is an American serving in Israel…..(do not get me started on that deal….the serving not the suicide)……

A 19-year-old American woman serving as a combat soldier in the Israeli army died by suicide last week.

Michaela Levit, 19, is the third Israeli “lone soldier” to die by suicide this year. Lone soldiers are largely expatriates who serve in the Israel Defense Forces while their parents live overseas.

Levit, whose parents reside in Miami, moved to Israel in 2017 and served in a mixed-gender combat battalion.

The Israeli military and soldiers’ advocates denied reports of a “worrying trend” of rising suicide rates among the lone soldiers following two suicides and a deadly drug overdose this year. 

The report I read states that there is a rise in suicides among young girls……

Boys are still more likely to kill themselves than girls are, but a new study has found a change in the established patterns, CNN reports. Suicide rates among girls are climbing faster. An analysis of a database run by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that, starting in 2007, the suicide rate for girls age 10 to 14 rose 12.7% per year, compared with 7.1% for boys the same age. For those age 15 to 19, the rate went up 7.9% for girls and 3.5% for boys, said the study, published Friday in JAMA. Suicide is the No. 2 cause of death among those 10 to 19 years old, per the CDC, after accidents and unintentional injuries. Rates of suicide have historically been higher for boys than girls across all age groups, and that remains the case now.

And boys age 15 to 19 still kill themselves with guns much more often than girls do. But girls employ hanging and suffocation in rates nearing those of boys. “What we’re seeing is alarming,” says Donna Ruch, one of the study’s authors, per Time. “On top of the fact that females are thinking about suicide more and attempting suicide more, now they’re actually completing suicide.” The reasons aren’t clear, but the findings illustrate the need for gender-specific suicide prevention strategies, Ruch says. An accompanying editorial also questions whether the rise of social media is playing a role, reports Bloomberg.

It is sad when a young person is so desperate that they think suicide is the only answer….

I sincerely wish there was an easy answer but there is not……we need to do more with our mental health policies and maybe we could help some of these young people before it is too late…..maybe not in Israel but in this country.

A Sunday Thought

The big news for the last week has been the votes on abortion in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi…..speaking for Mississippi a Federal judge has crapped on the religious right’s parade…..

A federal judge on Friday issued a strongly worded preliminary injunction blocking Mississippi’s “heartbeat” abortion law, that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat is detected.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ order will combine the lawsuit against Mississippi’s fetal heartbeat ban with an ongoing one against the state’s previous 15-week abortion ban.

“Here we go again,” Reeves wrote. “Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability. The latest interpretation (Mississippi’s new law) bans abortions in Mississippi after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is as early as 6 weeks.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights had filed a lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s latest abortion ban, which was set to become law July 1.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/24/heartbeat-abortion-federal-judge-blocks-mississippis-law/1227710001/

I am sure that Mississippi is not alone and there will be many more challenges to these outrageous “laws”…….

Before I go any further (there is more to be said) I need to let my feelings be known…..

I am against abortion….but I have nothing to say about it for I cannot give birth……NO man should have control over a woman’s decisions or her body…..

That said……these newest “laws” are what is known as the “heart beat laws”…….but are these laws a con job?

Within the last few years, six U.S. states — Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, and North Dakota — have passed so-called “heartbeat bills,” a term that’s become shorthand for a proposed ban on abortions beginning six weeks into a pregnancy, or the point at which a “fetal heartbeat” can be detected. Four more states have similar bills pending. Anti-abortion activists have doubled down on “heartbeat” messaging — in a recent news release regarding the ACLU’s legal challenge of the Ohio bill, the state’s leading anti-abortion group, Ohio Right to Life, used the term eight times in 300 words.

But obstetricians say the term “fetal heartbeat” is misleading, and that this scientific misunderstanding, among countless others, may contribute to negative public opinion toward abortion.

https://www.thecut.com/2019/05/embryos-dont-have-hearts.html

Not to worry this issue does not let facts get in the way of the con.

I understand that this is an emotional issue……but what part of it moves the country forward?  This is not a political issue and does not belong in the discourse of the nation.  When this issue builds a new bridge then I may alter my thinking but until then I shall keep my opinion.

I even wrote my thoughts on the question awhile a go…….https://lobotero.com/2019/05/17/what-part-of-this-moves-the-country-forward/

Closing Thought–24May19

I live in Mississippi, the heart of the Diabetic Belt, and our insulin is anything but inexpensive…..$349 a month……the disease is about 11.3% of the population……

The Diabetes Belt?

So when I read of someone, a state, that is trying to make a difference for its residents I take notice……and Colorado is that state……

Diabetics in Colorado who use insulin to control their blood sugar levels won’t pay more than $100 per month for the drug starting in January thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday.

“Today, we will declare that the days of insulin price gouging are over in Colorado,” Polis said in his office as he signed the bill, according to CBS Denver.

Insulin has been around for nearly a century, but the price that patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes pay for the drug has doubled since 2012, according to the Healthcare Cost Institute. The cost of insulin can creep up toward $1,000 for those whose health care coverage requires significant cost-sharing.

 
Makes me wonder why a state that is not on the top 10 list for diabetes would be the first to try and control the price of insulin……it should have been a top priority for a state like Mississippi or Alabama……but that would presume that the elected ones actually care about their voters….FLASH!  They Do Not!
The highest cases of diabetes…….
 
  1. Mississippi (11.3%)
  2. Alabama (11.1%)
  3. West Virginia (10.7%)
  4. Louisiana (10.3%)
  5. Tennessee (10.2%)
  6. Oklahoma (10.1%)
  7. Kentucky (10.1%)

You would think these 7 states would be the most interested in helping the sufferers of diabetes…..well you would be mistaken….the poorer the state the more diabetes and the less adequate programs.

So ends my Friday and I prepare for a good weekend and Memorial Day……hope all have a good time…be well, be safe……

‘Caravan’ Heads North!

OMG! The brown people are coming….again!  (and that is how you do ‘sarcasm’)

WE all know about the now infamous ‘caravan’ that was making it’s way through Mexico….it was a driving issue for Trump and the GOP in 2018.  Just an exaggerated attempt to foment hate and fear…..

But sadly I cannot join in the total bullshit of those immigrants looking for a better life……but I might consider joining a ‘caravan’…..and head North.

A “caravan” of Americans living with Type 1 diabetes made its way across the U.S. border into Canada over the weekend in search of affordable medical care in a country where they can get the “exact same” life-saving drugs for a dramatically lower price. 

“We’re on a #CaravanToCanada because the USA charges astronomical prices for insulin that most people can’t afford,” tweeted caravan member Quinn Nystrom as she shared updates on the journey. 

Nystrom was among a group of Minnesotans who piled into cars on Friday to make the 600-mile journey from the Twin Cities to Fort Frances, Ontario, where she said insulin, the hormone patients with Type 1 Diabetes rely on to regulate their blood glucose levels, can be bought for a tenth of what it costs in the U.S. 

https://www.newsweek.com/caravan-americans-crossing-canadian-border-get-affordable-medical-care-1417582

And the Trump has an answer for high drug prices……

Those ever-present TV ads for prescription drugs will soon reveal prices, too, the nation’s top health official said Wednesday, responding to a public outcry for government action to restrain medication costs. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration has finalized regulations that will require drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply. “What I say to the companies is if you think the cost of your drug will scare people from buying your drugs, then lower your prices,” Azar said. “Transparency for American patients is here.” The AP has standout details and reaction:

  • Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients. “We are concerned that the administration’s rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care,” said a statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group.
  • But one major firm—Johnson & Johnson—has already announced it will disclose the cost of its blood thinner Xarelto in TV advertising.
  • Drug pricing details are expected to appear in text toward the end of commercials, when potential side effects are disclosed. TV viewers should notice the change later this year, perhaps as early as the summer.
  • The disclosure requirement will not apply to print or radio ads for the foreseeable future. It covers all brand name drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid, which is nearly all medications.
  • The government is hoping that patients armed with prices will start discussing affordability with their doctors, and gradually that will put pressure on drugmakers to keep costs in check.
  • According to the latest government figures, the 10 most commonly advertised drugs have prices ranging from $488 to $16,938 per month or for a usual course of therapy.
  • Although most patients do not pay the full list prices that will be included in ads, experts say those prices are still important. They’re the starting point for negotiations between drugmakers and insurers. Also, copays that patients face are often based on list prices. And many people who have high-deductible insurance plans pay list prices for medications because their insurance doesn’t start covering until patients have spent several thousand dollars of their own money.

This is a truly sad situation….that Americans have to resort to this….especially since we have the best health care in the world (another sarcasm)……

Why do I not feel confident that my insulin will be cheaper with this plan.

If you want to have good health care….then I suggest you check into Medicare For All…..Medicare X is a cop-out.

Learn Stuff!

Then go VOTE!

Medicine Vs Religion

Closing Thought–07May19

I admit it….there is not much about the Trump presidency that I find tolerable….but a recent ruling is just beyond the pail in my book….

Doctors, nurses and other health workers can opt out of procedures such as abortions and sterilizations which violate their personal or religious beliefs, under a rule issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The rule, proposed more than a year ago, reinforces a set of 25 laws passed by Congress that protect “conscience rights” in healthcare, HHS said. Those laws allow health providers and entities to opt out of providing, participating in, paying for or referring for healthcare services that they have personal or religious objections to, HHS said.

Trump chose the National Day of Prayer to announce the new regulation.

 
Okay my problem here is the oath doctors take to do no harm….if this contradicts their religious convictions then maybe they should have picked a profession that would not interfere with the religious beliefs….like hermit, monk or dog walker.
 
This is just stupid!  If they cannot tolerate doing certain procedure then get out of medicine and open a soda shop (do they still have such things?).
 
I realize that this is all about some thing about abortion…but how long will it take before circumcision or a blood transfusion will be opposed based on religious objections?
 
I do not really care about their religion when it comes to medical procedures….and if the person I love suffers because these people have a religious objection I will gladly give them the name of my lawyer for they will be talking with her.
 
We need Medicare For All and soon…….and the president needs to stay out of religion……when can we expect the forced religious beliefs end?
 
That is my posting day…….I must call my attorney and check in with her…..she may be needed and soon.