baby safety in car

How important is your baby’s safety?

Providing a safe growing environment is an important part of caring for your baby. Babies are very active, curious and often excitable by nature. These attributes also put them at the risk of injuries. As a parent or caregiver, you can do a lot to prevent injury to your baby.

DHA officials stated that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among infants and are responsible for 63% of deaths among children aged 14 and younger in the UAE. This percentage is far above the global average of 22.3% of child fatalities caused by vehicles. As per the UAE law concerning child restraint in vehicles, children sitting in the passenger seat who are ten years of age and older must wear a seat belt. Although the Ministry of Interior prohibits children younger than ten years of age from sitting in the front seat, 28% of children continue to do so.

There are a number of road accident prevention methods you can undertake to avoid injury to your child. Children below the age of ten should not be encouraged to sit in the passenger seat. Depending on the age of the child, they must be seated in appropriate baby seats and harnesses that can prevent the baby from harm. Injuries that occur during this age can be prevented if babies are continuously monitored and supervised.

Babies learn by seeing others, they tend to duplicate what adults or other children do. As a parent or caregiver, it is your responsibility to act safely when you are around babies and young children.  Child safety is more than babyproofing the house and purchasing safety equipment’s, and has various aspects that parents and caregivers should be aware of. In order to create awareness about the need and importance of baby safety training, Aster Nurture is organising ‘Aster SHIELD’ on Friday, 10th February 2017 at Aster Hospital. This event aims at educating caregivers of babies that Safe Handy Information Eliminates Likely Dangers. For more information on Aster SHIELD/Aster Nurture and to register for the event, contact 0553378460. There is nothing more precious to a parent than their child, and nothing more important to our future than the safety of our children.

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/emergencies/road-crashes-main-cause-of-child-death-in-uae-1.1028566

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40 weeks

40 Weeks to Baby – Is it Important to Reach Full Term?

What constitutes a full term pregnancy?

A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. A pregnancy is considered full-term if the baby is born anytime between 37weeks-40weeks.

Why is it important to reach full term?

Each day that the baby spends inside the mother’s uterus is important for the baby. Unless there is an underlying medical condition or any other medical reason for an early delivery, doctors would recommend waiting until the labour starts naturally. Having a natural labour is best for the baby and the mother to have a smooth pregnancy. Induced labour has its own risks. Induced labour makes it more likely for the mother to have a C-section. Having said that, inducing labour is done in different ways. Certain medications are administered to artificially induce labour by starting contractions.

In some cases, women may be advised to deliver the baby early because of some health conditions like preeclampsia, infection, bleeding during pregnancy etc. If a baby is delivered before completion of 37 weeks, the baby will be born pre-term and this could cause health complications to the baby. Babies born at full term are completely developed and are less likely to develop conditions like jaundice, respiratory issues etc. The longer the baby is in the mother’s womb, lesser are the complications.

What complications might arise from pre-term birth?

Preterm births can be spontaneous or may be due to induced labour or C-section for medical reasons. Any baby born before 37 weeks of gestation is termed as a preterm baby. Most premature babies face short term and long term health complications. These babies are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as they are born at a time when they are not completely ready to leave the mother’s womb. They are at the risk of developing disabilities and are cared for in a NICU until they reach at least 35 weeks and are able to breathe on their own, and able to suck milk and swallow.

Premature babies are more susceptible to health complications like respiratory issues because of their immature respiratory system, neurodevelopmental issues, conditions of the heart, infections, hearing and eyesight problems, apnea, jaundice etc. Not all preemies suffer from these conditions but being premature increases their risk of developing these conditions. The earlier they are born, the greater number of risks they have. The birth weight of the baby is also a matter of concern. Premature babies will require a longer hospital stay than other babies. Some babies may have chronic lung diseases because lungs are the last organs to develop and may also require respiratory support even at home.

Dr.Usha Suresh, 

Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Aster Clinic, Marina

Usha Suresh

http://asterclinic.ae/doctor/dr-usha-suresh/

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Pregnant women eating fish

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Many women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, although rather common and mostly harmless it can be very disturbing. The increase in acidity and heartburn is, in fact, one of the lesser discussed side-effects of pregnancy. Pregnant women, more often than not, are subject to symptoms of heartburn, which usually begins sometime around their second or third trimester and carries on until the end of their pregnancy.

Heartburn is a burning sensation that begins from a person’s stomach and extends till their chest. The lower esophagus that keeps the content of the stomach in place, leaks or becomes weak and lets the acids flow back into the esophagus, hence causing a fiery sensation.

Pregnant women are prone to heartburn and acid reflux for two main reasons; an increase in the amount of progesterone that their body produces during the course of a pregnancy. The change in hormone levels causes the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, resulting in the backwash. Another reason for the increased incidence is the fact that the growing uterus can crowd the abdomen, putting pressure on the stomach and the lower esophagus and forces the stomach acids upwards. These are not the only reasons for heartburn, however, these are most common reasons. Many women experience gastrointestinal issues during their pregnancy that comes and goes during the course until the baby is born.

Despite the inevitability of experiencing heartburn during pregnancy, there are a number of ways to manage and reduce heartburn during pregnancy. Certain common lifestyle changes can help self-manage heartburn during the course of pregnancy.

  • Eat slow and small meals: Eating smaller meals with an adequate interval between them as opposed to a few large meals can greatly help in reducing the effects of heartburn and acidity. Eating your food slowly allows your stomach to better digest the food and also prevents you from overeating. These steps go a long way in calming the acidity that might flare up during and after meals.
  • Drink water before meals: Sipping on a glass of water before meals would not only help you increase your fluid intake, but also give you a sense of fullness that might prevent you from overindulging during your meals. Intake of fluids should be before or after meals rather than during meals.
  • Stand or walk after your meals: It is strongly suggested to stand or walk around for a brief period of time, rather than simply sitting or lying down. Some light activity after meals can help quicken digestion.
  • Do not go to bed right after eating: Despite the fatigue that accompanies pregnancy, doctors say that going to bed right after eating a meal, heavy or light, can exacerbate the symptoms of heartburn. The suggested time period of having a meal is 3 hours before bedtime. This gives the body enough time to begin digestion and prevent the reflux of stomach contents while you sleep.
  • Elevate your head and chest while sleeping: Putting blocks under the legs of your bed can help in elevating your upper body while you sleep. This prevents the backwash or reflux of the stomach acids up to your esophagus.
  • Understand your triggers and avoid it: Different foods elevate heartburn symptoms in different women. It is important to identify and avoid those food items.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes: The growing fetus is already putting pressure on your stomach. Added to which, tight fitting clothes would only serve to add to that pressure on your already crammed abdomen. Wearing loose fitting or maternity clothes from an early stage in your pregnancy can help your stomach and abdomen area have some room to breathe.

There are also certain home remedies to relieve the symptoms of heartburn. Antacids can also be considered, however only after consulting with a gynaecologist. Heartburn during pregnancy is not something that has to be dealt with silently. A few changes in lifestyle practices can help towards ensuring a smooth and heartburn free pregnancy.

 

Dr.Prakash B Shankar 

Specialist Gastroenterologist

Aster Speciality Clinic, International City 

Dr.Dr_.-Prakash-Shankar-Sp.-Gastro-for-Aster-IC_-2-164x200

*Aster Clinics are currently running special GERD clinics on Mondays and Thursdays. For more information and appointments, visit – http://asterclinic.ae/gerd-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease/

 

 

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Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Prostate Cancer – Diagnosis & Tests

Prostate cancer is the cancer of the prostate gland, and one of the most common cancers that affects older, adult men. Although this disease has been found in adult men of various ages, the risk of getting it increases considerably once men reach the age of 50. Which is why hospitals and doctors recommend getting checked for the risk of prostate cancer at least once, as early as the age of 40.  The standout feature of prostate cancer is that unlike other forms of cancer, it does not manifest itself in the form of any physical symptoms until it becomes too late. However, the argument for screenings for men is made of the fact that statistics show that those men that get diagnosed with prostate cancer early, have a nearly 90% survival rate. So what exactly do the tests for diagnosing prostate cancer entail?

Prostate cancer screening tests are two distinct types:

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): Is a physical exam where the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the patient’s rectum in order to examine the prostate gland. This test is carried out in order to find and identify any abnormalities in the shape, size or texture of the prostate gland.
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test: In this test, a blood sample is drawn and analysed for the substance, PSA which is naturally produced in the body by the prostate gland. High levels of PSA in the bloodstream may be an indicator of prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.

If the DRE and PSA tests lead to the detection of an abnormality, your doctor might recommend getting an MRI or a biopsy done. Both these additional tests are used to determine whether the initial abnormalities that were discovered are because of cancer or some other prostate disorder such as a prostate infection or prostatitis.

Once the presence of prostate cancer has been determined, it now becomes imperative to go forward and analyse the cancer cells for their degree of aggressiveness and their degree of spread during the time of diagnosis. In order to determine the degree of aggressiveness of the cancer cells, they are sent to be examined by a pathologist. Once examined, the cancer cells are then given a Gleason score. These scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumour will spread. A low Gleason score indicates that the cancer cells are similar to normal prostate cells and are less likely to spread (less aggressive). Conversely, a high Gleason score indicates that the cancer cells are very different from the normal prostate cells and are more likely to spread (more aggressive).

Once a prostate cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of cancer. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread beyond your prostate, imaging tests such as bone scan, CT scan, MRI, and PET scan might be recommended. Once the testing phase is complete, and the diagnosis and level of aggressiveness of cancer have been determined, the doctor then assigns cancer a stage. The stage at which cancer has reached is the most important factor in determining treatment options. The stages of prostate cancer are:

  • Stage 1 – This stage signifies very early cancer that’s confined to a small area of the prostate. When viewed under a microscope, the cancer cells aren’t considered aggressive.
  • Stage 2 – Cancer at this stage may still be small but may be considered aggressive when cancer cells are viewed under the microscope. Or cancer that is stage II may be larger and may have grown to involve both sides of the prostate gland.
  • Stage 3 – Cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissues.
  • Stage 4 – Cancer has grown to invade nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs or other organs.

Knowing the type and stage of cancer helps the doctor decide what treatment option would be best suited for a particular situation.

Dr.Rahul Bhatt 

Specialist Urologist 

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai (AJMC) 

Dr.-Rahul-Bhatt

 

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Prostate Cancer Causes and Symptoms

Prostate Cancer – It’s Causes and Symptoms.

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The size of the gland changes with age, being smaller in young men and larger in older men. Being a part of the male reproductive system, the prostate gland functions to produce and release a fluid that forms part of the semen.

Cancer is a condition in which the cells in a particular part of the body start growing uncontrollably and crowd out the normal cells. Cells in any part of the body can become cancer cells and spread to the other parts of the body. Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland, in men, start to multiply uncontrollably. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland itself, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Unlike other forms of cancer, however, if detected early, prostate cancer has a very high rate of survival attached to it.

Despite the high rate of diagnosis for prostate cancer in older men, doctors have not been able to pinpoint one or more exact causes as to why prostate cancer presents itself in some men. What doctors do know is how the process of prostate cancer begins and spreads. Cancer begins when cells in the prostate become abnormal. Mutations present in the DNA of the cells cause them to grow and multiply more rapidly than normal cells would. These mutated cells continue surviving while the normal cells around them perish. The accumulating mutated cells form a tumour that can grow to invade the nearby tissue. These abnormal cells can also break off (metastasize) and spread to other parts of the body.

Although doctors have not identified a direct cause for the advent of prostate cancer in men, they have been able to identify risk factors that increase the chances of getting prostate cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Age: Statistics show that the older a person is, the more likely they are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The rate of diagnosis for men under 40 is 1 in 10,000. However, this rate shoots up considerably as the age bracket increases. The rate of diagnosis for men between the ages of 40 and 59 is 1 in 38, while the rate of diagnosis for men above the age of 60 is 1 in 14.
  • Family history/ Genetics: Another risk factor is the presence of prostate cancer in the family. If men in a family have a history of prostate cancer, then it is likely to be passed down onto the successive generations. Furthermore, if the women have a family history of containing the gene that increases the risk for breast cancer (BRCA 1 or BRCA2), then to the risk of prostate cancer increases for the offspring.
  • Obesity: Although there is no direct linkage between a high BMI and the risk of getting prostate cancer, it has been observed that obese men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer usually suffer from the aggressive form of the disease.

One of the standout features of prostate cancer is also the reason why doctors strongly suggest that men over 40 get regularly screened for the disease, namely, that has no overt symptoms. Since prostate cancer starts in a relatively small gland, located in a relatively obscure position in the body, the disease stays silent for many years. In some cases, it has been seen in autopsies in patients that have died from other causes that they were suffering from prostate cancer as well, without having shown any physical symptoms for the same. However, in more aggressive forms of the disease, there are certain physical discomforts that can arise, these include:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night; sometimes urgently
  • Difficulty starting or holding back urination
  • Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs

However, these symptoms may also be indicative of the presence of other diseases such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis.

Almost all forms of prostate cancer are adenocarcinomas, and they might vary between gestating slowly and gestating rapidly. Due to the lack of symptoms, until very late into the disease, physicians and doctors are usually adamant about their male patients above 40 getting checked for prostate cancer. Despite the widespread nature of the disease, there is still a lot of misinformation about it and a general lack of knowledge about it, amongst the general public. In the UAE itself, 20% of all cancer cases were those of the prostate kind. As men get older it is imperative that they get themselves checked for any signs of prostate cancer, because as mentioned earlier, early detection of the disease can go a long way in eliminating it from the body completely.

Dr.Nazeer Ahamed

Specialist Urologist 

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai (AJMC)

Dr.-Nazeer-Ahamed

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