Treating Anaphylaxis - the Parental Dilemma

The beginning of school or a major holiday is often the time when parents discover that they not only have a child with allergies, but that the allergy is serious enough to cause death. This then is their first contact with anaphylaxis. Derived from the Greek and meaning ‘without protection’, anaphylaxis implies that the body’s natural defence systems are lowered. This can be fatal. Anaphylaxis has been known to occur in infants as young as . . .

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Effect of Second-hand Smoke on Children

The symptomatic response to SHS, and its severity, depends not only on the child but also on the duration of exposure. Prenatal exposure due to maternal smoking has a long-term effect on the child’s respiratory health. The evidence linking asthma with maternal smoking during pregnancy is clearly established, and postnatal exposure to parental smoking is associated with . . .

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Sleep Deprivation in Asthma - Part 2

The quality of sleep is affected even in patients with clinically stable asthma. A study of 74 children, 40 of whom had well-controlled and stable asthma, found that in comparison to their controls, the children with asthma had poorer sleep quality. There was a significant correlation between peak flow readings and…

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Sleep Deprivation in Asthma – Part 1

Sleep is defined medically as a physiologic state of relative unconsciousness and inaction of the voluntary muscles, the need for which occurs periodically. Another definition describes sleep as a "natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended." Sleep is no longer considered a passive state but…

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Ozone Air Purifiers

Ozone, a triatomic molecule, consists of three oxygen atoms. Two of these form the basic oxygen molecule necessary for life, while the third acts like a free agent, combining with other substances that react with organic material to form substances that can endanger health. Ozone is a toxic gas.

Outdoor ground-level ozone, a component of smog, is the result of interaction between . . .

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Summary of New Rhinosinusitis Guidelines

Updated clinical practice guidelines for adult sinusitis have just been published. Since sinusitis is almost always attended by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the term rhinosinusitis is used through the document.

Rhinosinusitis is classified by duration: acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) lasts for less than four weeks, while chronic rhinosinusitis…

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Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction, Part 1

Exercise or physical activity provides a number of benefits to health, mobility and quality of life.  In 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the national guidelines on Physical Activity and Public Health. They called for “moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity…

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Why Nocturnal Asthma

Lung function varies throughout the day, being much lower at night. There may be a difference of more than 15% between the FEV 1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second) at night and during the day. While such fluctuations are normal, they . . .

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Pharmacogenetics and Asthma

Asthma has been called a syndrome rather than a disease because of the multiplicity of types that share a common collection of symptoms. Both genetics and environment play important roles in the development of asthma and it has long been understood that the timing of exposure to triggers such as pollen, mold and animal dander can produce either a protective or inducive effect.

Environment determines the phenotype, while genetics determines the genotype, of a patient. In the last decade, research has focussed on the genetics of asthma and the elusive…

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Phthalates – Hidden Dangers in the Home, Part 3 of 3

Phthalate exposure in the home

Phthalate exposure occurs through ingestion, contact, inhalation and parenteral exposure from medical devices that contain phthalates. Since phthalates leave biomarkers in the form of metabolites in human urine, exposure to them can be measured.

 In an attempt to determine the effects of daily exposure to phthalates, Bonehag and colleagues studied a cohort of 10,852 children…

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Phthalates – Hidden Dangers in the Home, Part 2 of 3

Phthalates and medical treatment

The most common interaction between phthalates and humans involves plastics and plasticized products. The use of phthalat¬es in medical devices (most commonly DEHP) has been known to cause toxicity. Medical devices include intravenous tubing, endotracheal tubes, catheters, fluid and blood product bags. DEHP does not bond chemically to PVC and hence can leach into…

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