Banking a Baby’s Cord Blood May Save Their Life – Is It Worth It?

Amidst all the other do’s and don’ts, expecting parents have yet another decision to ponder on! That of cord blood banking. Keeping in mind the innumerable success stories that are circling round the globe, of how sibling’s cord blood stem cell has saved her elder or younger sister’s life to miraculous recovery within the family, stem cell banking is akin to opting in for a biological insurance. And on the other end of the spectrum is the reality that the process is an expensive one. So, when caught between the perils of high price and the possibility of cure (should any adverse disease were to occur), expecting parents often gets befuddled and unable to decide, if cord blood banking is worth it.

Let’s start by counting the benefits

The blood in the placenta and the umbilical cord, which is approximately 100 millimetres in average, is a vital source rich in blood-forming stem cells, that has proved helpful in the treatment of several life-threatening ailments that includes names like Type 1 and 2 diabetes, immunological disorders, lymphoma, leukaemia, severe brain and spinal cord injuries, chronic cancers and many more. And what has really got the world pause and ponder whether they should say yes to this process, is the recent cures in ailments like Parkinson’s disease, autism and even cerebral palsy.

Stem cell banking and transplant also holds the key to the success of regenerative medicine. This simply indicates making use of stem cells to be able to regenerate tissues and organs, that haven’t been functioning in the optimal way, leading to macular degeneration which in certain chronic situations, also result in a loss of vision. Hence, today, doctors, medical experts and researchers are making use of cord blood stem cells to commission clinical trials in many phases to discover miraculous treatments to diseases and bodily disorders that otherwise is considered to be irreversible.

According to Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D. Pediatric Bone Marrow, Stem Cell Transplant Program, Duke University, the results on cord blood transplant over the past decade has been immensely successful. Patients have been benefiting to a great extent, more so because of the advancement in the world of medical science as a whole. In addition to that, hospitals are also providing advanced supportive care to patients once the transplant is over.

The other reason to say yes to cord blood banking is that, the sample you allow to store will always be at your access should you ever need it. However, this holds true when you only store your baby’s cord blood in a private bank. There’s a charge that families need to pay when enrolling for this process along with storage fees for the maintenance of the cord blood sample.

Therefore, whether you are opting in cord blood banking, wither private or public, you are actually saying yes to regenerative medicine and revolutionary cures. Private banking enables you to use it for personal requirement. And public banking extends it to the one who requires. Either ways, it’s a meaning gesture. So public or private, cord blood banking is worth it.

How to Use the I Ching – Basic Three Coin Method

To use the I Ching, all you need is a copy of the I Ching and three coins that have a heads and a tails side. You will also need a scrap of paper and a writing utensil. Start by holding the coins in your hand, and think of a question you would like answered. When you have a clear idea of the question you would like to ask, throw the coins. Take a look at the results. Each head is worth 3 and each tails is worth 2. So add up the value. For example, suppose you throw the coins and the coins fall as two heads and one tail. That means the total would be 8. 3 + 3 + 2 = 8. So for the first line, you would record an 8. Repeat this process five more times, writing the numerical values in a vertical sequence from bottom to top. Once you have these 6 numerical values, you are ready to begin building your hexagram.

To build a hexagram, you’re going to simply write a broken line for each even value, and a solid line for each odd value. Once you have 6 lines, you have made a hexagram. When your hexagram is formed, you must now look it up in your copy of the I Ching. Usually on the very last page of your I Ching there will be a chart that makes looking up the hexagram easy. When you find your hexagram, read the chapter of the I Ching that corresponds to the hexagram.

Take a look at your hexagram. Do you have any sixes or nines? If so you will need to read the text under the line that is either six or nine. Usually this will be written in your I Ching as first line, second line, etc., or in some cases it will be described as first six, second nine, and so on. These are known as the changing lines. The text that is in this section pertains specifically to you and your question. Now you will make a second hexagram.

For the second hexagram you will need to change all of the lines with a six to nine, and all the lines with a nine to a six. Leave the rest of the lines the same. Then look up the resulting hexagram in the same way you did the first time, including the six and nine lines. Finally, after you have done all this, you will then ‘check your work’ using the rtcm (retrospective three coin method). This is a method that I learned about by reading a book by Carol Anthony, who is a leading writer on the subject of the I Ching. To use this method, simply form a theory about what you think the I Ching is trying to tell you. When you have a theory, hold it in your mind and toss the coins. If you get three heads, it means yes. Three tails is no. Two heads is yes, but… and two tails is no, but… keep doing this until you get a clear idea of what the I Ching is telling you. When you ask it if a particular interpretation of the reading is correct, toss the coins, and they are all three heads up, you will know that you have hit on a correct interpretation.

Even Despite The Outdoor Allergies, I Still Love It Here

Seasonal or Outdoor Allergies

North America and its great outdoor attractions is the greatest place to live. I mean, when you think of the number of reasons there are out there in terms of going outside and doing something, it’s amazing! There is no other place that I could see myself living other than North America.

But one of the things that I hate are the seasonal or the outdoor allergies. Perhaps the most debilitating allergies are the seasonal allergies. I don’t know about you but when the trees and grasses start coming up in May and June, they just drive me absolutely bonkers! I mean, from the teary eyes to the constant running nose, it’s no fun at all. That’s why I sympathize so much with anyone with outdoor allergies.

But that was then and this is now. I have successfully cleared myself from 95% of these dreaded outdoor allergies and what a difference it has made in my life alone. I mean, I don’t have to close all of the windows when the weather is warm. Two of the nicest months out there, which were May and June were my two most allergenic months. It was to the trees and grasses. But, like I said before, that has been over with now and not a moment too soon because I was seriously contemplating a move. It is without a doubt that what I have done to myself, we will have to do to you too!

There are eleven sessions in all that we should clear you from. These eleven sessions include the trees, grasses, weeds, outdoor molds, which there are two, indoor molds, which there are another two, dust, sinuses and Geopathic Stressors, another two. What these Geopathic Stressors comprise of are the barometric pressure rising and falling, the humidity going up and down, when it rains, when it gets cold and when it gets warm to many other Geopathic Stressors (about thirty).

Ideally we would like to have the body cleared prior to the allergy season starting. But if it has started, then we have to take an educated guess as to what is flowering outside this minute.

It can affect older adults, adults, teenagers and even young children. Yes, it can affect just about anybody. But one thing’s for sure is that I will clear off these seasonal allergies with a vengeance because I know what it can do to a kid’s school practice, a teenager’s sporting game and an adult’s misery in the office.

One Step Beyond or One Step Debond?

A patient has returned to your practice, complaining about the debonded fibre-reinforced composite post. ‘Not again!’ you think, vexed at the failure. Bonding materials within the root canal has always been challenging. You wonder which bonding system you should use to reduce the risk of post delamination in the future. Well, hopefully, this research performed by Fereshteh Shafiei, Pourya Mohammadparast and Zahra Jowkar can provide you some guidance!

In this study, fifty-six root treated maxillary central incisors have been assessed. Based on the irrigant/adhesive protocol used for post cementation, the roots were divided into seven groups. Push-out tests were performed and the debonded specimens were analysed. Adhesive interfaces were evaluated under scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Results suggest that bonding strength of a material can be hugely affected by the adhesive approach and type of irrigant utilized. Etch-and-rinse (ER) adhesive system works well when the smear layer is removed. It is found to be effective when the post space was prepared by 1% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) with passive ultrasonic irrigation, accompanied by distilled water irrigation. The self-etch (SE) system, on the other hand, simplifies the technique sensitive bonding procedures. However, with its relatively low acidity of pH 3.2, the permeation ability of it through a thick smear layer is questionable. Therefore, the use of post space irrigant is recommended. Beware the performance of SE system is dependent on irrigant used. EDTA prepared root spaces have higher adhesive effects compared to NaOCl. This may be due to NaOCl’s inability to remove the smear layer.

According to the collected data, the coronal root region has the highest bonding strength, followed by the middle region and the apical region. Regardless of region, roots with post space prepared by EDTA, cemented using All-Bond Universal (ABU) SE system has shown a significantly higher bonding strength than the other groups. Contrarily, the combination of NaOCl and ABU SE system has the lowest bonding strength. It is also the only group that indicates no signs of resin tag formation when observed under SEM.

The Changing Face of Healthcare

Several significant forces in the last several years have been changing the way healthcare has and will continue to be delivered. The emergence of more unique ways to deliver care such as clinics incorporated into businesses and factories, the increased use of mid-level providers (nurse practitioners & physician assistants), the increase integration of technologies such as telemedicine and robotics and the shift from interventional reimbursement to outcomes reimbursement are just a few examples.

Compounding these are the ever-increasing costs of healthcare, the strain of funding Medicare on the U.S. economy, and the complications of insurance and healthcare payments under the affordable care act, ACA.

This has led to changes in how businesses intend to interface with the healthcare system going forward. CVS’s acquisition of Aetna will try to leverage healthcare delivery through their pharmacy structure. United Healthcare’s acquisition of DaVita hopes to leverage cost containment and resource control by directly controlling physicians. And the recently announced collaboration among Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and J.P. Morgan Chase presents a yet unknown structure whose stated goals is improved quality and less cost. How they will implement their strategy is yet to emerge.

The decline in hospital admission over the last several decades has further led to restructuring by hospital corporations such as Tenet. Premise Health has emerged as a company placing physicians and other healthcare providers directly in corporate/business offices.

The big question then with these new ventures are how do organizations know what works financially and how do they track performance… In other words, how do you track, measure and value the relationships between cost and outcomes?

How can the analyst measure which methods(s) may generate better or best outcomes?

A simple return on investment, ROI, calculation will not provide needed nor valid insights. However, the use of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) would provide quite useful, valid and actionable information. CEA uses decision tree models to compare not only cost outcomes but effectiveness outcomes of various treatments on patient health and even on future healthcare usage based on various current actions. It can further be used to determine how effective a set amount of money spent on a particular treatment or method will impact outcomes (i.e. willingness to pay calculation). CEA models are flexible and can incorporate a wide variety of scenarios. As opposed to Big Data, CEA makes use of Broad Data so that comparisons of treatment modalities can be evaluated using real life outcomes. It can compare effects on a discrete problem such as a cancer tumor, or on chronic ongoing diseases such as COPD or CHF.

As the delivery of effective yet profitable, or at least cost effective, healthcare becomes more challenging, methods for evaluating treatments and programs become more necessary if not essential. Methods must be implemented to evaluate these new treatments and programs once they are in place so adjustments can be made. CEA enable organizations to both initially evaluate and subsequently monitor new methods and programs in a meaningful way.

Why There Are More Allergies and Obesity Today Compared With Years Ago

That’s a hard question to answer because no one really knows. There are, however, differences in the approach to child rearing that may have an impact. In my young days, that were post WWII, children were given everything to eat and there was no thought of allergies. The closest my body came to one was that of dust from which sinus would result. No one in my family or anyone we knew, however, ever mentioned allergies.

Babies were reared with a taste of everything, even when they spat it out. Eggs were high on the menu as were nuts, fruits, vegetables of all types, and, of course, meat. My children were given exactly the same treatment. My babies received cows milk when they were weaned and nothing was held back by way of food.

My daughter, by way of contrast, read books to determine what her children should eat. They were denied eggs and lots of other foods. The result, which might have come from this practice, is that one of them is highly allergic to certain foods.

The other factors that entered the scene are books written by male doctors who stressed the importance of holding back on some foods for a young child. This coupled with the junk food that replaces the fresh or home cooked meals sees young children given things like soda drinks high in sugar, foods high in salt and other things, and sweets, such as icing coated doughnuts and biscuits.

Watching young mum’s feed these things to toddlers in shopping centres to keep them quiet while she concentrates on her purchases leads to other thoughts. Why take a child that young into these places where they see the junk food and scream their heads off to get them?

It might be hard for mothers to work their way through modern trials and errors to avoid health problems, but they need to wake up to what modern takes on child-rearing are doing. While such things may not be responsible for allergies it might be interesting for some practitioners to examine the present changes in this area compared to post war years. It might also help to understand the obesity problems that faces some adults.

Surely what children grow used to follows them into adult-hood. That may apply to those who can’t walk through a shopping centre without first visiting the junk food outlets. Interesting thoughts that should be examined further.

Get a Beautiful Smile at Any Age With Braces

Just the other day, we finished orthodontic treatment for a beautiful “young lady” who interestingly has celebrated her birthday more than 50 times. It was a tremendous celebration and an achievement for us when she talked about how the changes in her smile made her feel elated. Usually while thinking of braces, most of us imagine an awkward teenager with a mouth full of metal brackets and wires. But, is it that only teenagers get braces? Is it better to get them while you are still young and is there an age limit as such? What is, after all, the perfect age for braces?

Healthy teeth can be moved and realigned at any age which directly results in the improvement of the smile of a person and thus the self-confidence. It is always advised to bring children to orthodontists approximately at an age of 7 or 8, but that should not stop adults from consulting orthodontists. Perhaps you didn’t have braces when you were younger and have been conscious of your smile ever since, or as you grew older, the bite became uncomfortable and problematic. Maybe the braces you wore during your teens had only a temporary impact and the problems resurfaced after few years? We believe that it is never too late to have a smile that you want and in the end, psychological and health benefits are worth it.

The technological advances have made it possible for Orthodontists to treat adults in a better fashion which not only suits their look and lifestyle but is also faster and more comfortable. The braces available today are less obtrusive and more comfortable than those used earlier. The availability of aligners, lingual braces and ceramic braces which are replacing the conventional braces faster than ever, makes it possible for you to go about your life without even being conscious of your braces. Also, products such as Aligners are revolutionary and are completely different in how the traditional metal style of braces fix teeth. A series of clear plastic aligners are used which help in gradually shifting the teeth into correct position. Aligners are absolutely invisible which are designed digitally according to growth projections and predictions and realign your teeth without anyone even knowing about it. Each aligner applies pressure to certain teeth and as treatment progresses, these aligners are changed accordingly. Not only they are more efficient and comfortable but are also better for overall dental hygiene.

Although, childhood is the best time to get braces, as it the time when most changes occur. However, more and more adults are seeking treatment for crooked teeth. Whether you are 10 or 50, your teeth can be realigned and make you look more beautiful. Gone are the days when only the younger generation had the option to perfect their smile, as according to the statistics from the American Association of Orthodontists, nearly a quarter of individuals opting for orthodontic treatment are adults. Misaligned teeth can aggravate health issues and cause serious trouble with time. Thus, it is always advised to get these corrective measures done irrespective of the age.