The medical opinions and advices contained in this blog are those of the respective authors and should serve as guides. The patient themselves have the final decision with what to do to their health.
IMPORTANT: To ask for medical opinion, send your message by email here

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DOH: 145 Yuletide-related firecracker injuries so far

Every year, the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines holds it campaign against firecrackers particularly during the holiday season.
But it seems that Filipinos ignore bans until they suffer from injuries.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Most dangerous firecrackers in the Philippines

The Department of Health has made annual campaigns in banning all firecrackers during the holiday season.
As well, the police department raid firecracker factories that are considered illegal in the country.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Public viewing of bodies with infectious diseases banned--Health dept

The health department of the Philippines has amended its regulations concerning the disposal of the remains of dead humans. It now prohibits the open viewing of the bodies of those who died of "dangerous communicable diseases."
An administrative order was released this month that strictly enforced bodies of afflicted individuals must be contained in durable airtight containers or cadaver bags at the point of death with a biohazard tag attached.

Monday, December 13, 2010

WikiLeaks: The most explosive event of the year

For those who wonder what WikiLeaks is and what it is all about, here is a primer. A Swedish documentary of how it started, who are the people behind it, what its purposes are, and what the future may hold. Is WikiLeaks a villain or a hero? Watch the 57-minute video below before it is taken out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Machine converts plastic into oil

This 5-minute YouTube video shows Japanese inventor Akinori Ito and his machine that transforms waste plastic materials into oil.
When the oil is segregated into kerosene, gasoline and diesel, it can propel vehicles and can be used for cooking, too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Boy swallows nail, needs immediate removal

A few days ago, I reported a 2-year-old boy who drowned himself in a water container. Shocked? Here is another story why guardians and care takers should closely watch toddlers--the reason they are called guardians and care takers.
A 2-year-old boy swallowed a concrete nail--the one that is used by carpenters.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Doctors call for review of kidney transplant policy

The Philippines is now seeing the negative effects of its ban on non-related or non-directed kidney donors.
The Philippine Medical Association has urged the Department of Health on Saturday to review its policy on organ donation particularly on a patient's right to life.

How are condoms made?

The Royal Pontiff has recently given his go signal for the rubber barriers to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. But have you ever wondered how the controversial condoms were made?
Watch the 5-minute YouTube video to know how they are manufactured. Now we ought to give condoms a little more respect.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dentists perform root canal to an elephant

People go to dentists for tooth ache, so do elephants.
A giant pachyderm in southern India was operated on for chronic tusk ache.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

UN recommends sexuality education as early as age 5

In an earlier, I reported that Malaysia will start its sexuality education program to 6-year-old kids by next year.
In other countries children start learning about sexuality education at different ages: 4 (Australia), 8-9 (Japan), 11 (Peru), 12 (China) and 14-15 (Finland, Norway).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Malacañang reassures public vs avian flu

The public was reassured by the Malacañang on Saturday that steps are being undertaken to prevent the entry of avian influenza virus in to the country.
A Malacañang official said that an inter-agency task force is monitoring the entry of people as well as livestock from abroad.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rising rabies deaths alarms health dept

The health department of the Philippines reported 264 human rabies cases between January and 23 October this year.
Of these, 206 died due to the virus that is transmitted by the infected saliva of animals, especially dogs, through bites or licking of open wounds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Medical jokes

Who says that doctors and nurses are such a bore? Here are some funny situations in the clinics. Truly, laughter is the best medicine. Enjoy!
Patient: Doctor! Doctor! Everyone keeps on copying me!

Doctor: Doctor! Doctor! Everyone keeps on copying me!


Ibig Nang Mabuntis

Available at: Jeepney Press

Tanong (T): Dear Doc Gino, nabasa ko po ung column nyo, so kaya po nainganyo naman ako mag tanong sa inyo. gusto ko po kc malaman kung ano ang dapat gawin para mabuntis agad. kc po nag li-live-in na po kami ng bf ko. pareho na po namin gusto mgkababy. 1 yr na po kaming nagsasama pero hindi pa rin po kami makabuo. nagtanong naman po ako sa mga kaanak ko na kung may lahi po ba kaming baog. sabi naman nila wala daw po. at tinanong ko rin po ang asawa ko kung ganon din ba sya. hndi rin po ang sagot nya. hindi po kaya ako ang baog? Sport minded po ako. madami akong nilalaro. sanhi rin po ba kaya un ng hindi ko pagbuntis? may konting bisyo rin po ako. nagsmoke at sometimes i drink? lahat po ba un sanhi ng di ko pag buntis? ano po ba ang dapat kong gawin? ano po ba ang mga sanhi ng hindi pagbubuntis ng isang babae. sana po matulungan nyo ako sa katanungan kong ito. maraming salamat po! good luck sa inyo. and more power po!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Malaysia unveils sex education for kids

Malaysia bares its plan to teach sex education to children as young as six from 2011 in its efforts to rid of 'baby-dumping', promiscuity and HIV/AIDS, said an official on Sunday.
In a new curriculum, the deputy education minister told AFP that pupils will study the subject matter with the help of parents and civil society groups.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do you want to visit Japan?

If you want to visit Japan to see its beautiful sights and culture, plan to settle there, or study, here is a short article that may help you know what is in store for you before getting there. Published in the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) in 10 November 2010, this may well help students to understand the Japanese academia. Enjoy reading!

Pacquiao-Margarito fight: Watch it live!

Here are some links to watch the Pacquiao-Margarito fight for the World Light Middleweight Title. Mabuhay!

Acne heightens suicide risk, study

A study on the relationship between acne, acne drug isotretinoin (Accutane) and the risk of suicide, showed that severe acne alone fuels the risk of suicide attempts, and not because the drug enhances psychiatric problems.
Researchers said that people with the severe skin condition may be at an increased risk for depression and despair especially when treatments have failed leading to suicide behavior.

Friday, November 12, 2010

South African city pays for urine

Remember the news about a Chinese city paying its residents for each cigarette butt they collect in an effort to promote environmental hygiene?
Another city on the other side of the globe is launching a similar way to encourage people to observe environmental cleanliness.

Trimming the trees to prevent accidents

This morning I noticed one good thing that the Government of Makati City in my neighborhood did. The branches of trees that have encroached on power cables were trimmed down.

As shown in the YouTube video below, this is a good measure to prevent accidents that may happen during the typhoon season in the Philippines that happens from June until December, practically half of the year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The function of our eyebrow hair

Ever wonder why humans have eyebrows? Surely, it goes beyond aesthetics. Nature did not provide it to man so he could make himself busy during idle moments.
Scientists say that eyebrow hairs help keep the moisture away from our eyes when we sweat or walk around in the rain. The hairs prevent the sweat and rain from falling to our eyes, keeping it relatively dry and the vision clear. The same reason prevents eye irritation due to the salt content of sweat.

Is there population explosion in the Philippines?

According to experts in the Philippines, the country is on the verge of population explosion with Filipinos reaching 94.01 million by the end of 2010. This is up from last year's 92.3 million.
More than half of the people are below 24 years old, which means that population growth will continue in the next 50 years.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Debunking some myths about MRI and CT scan

This short YouTube video disproves the myths frequently associated with scanning procedures like the CT scan and the MRI.
Neuroradiologist Dr. Brian King debunks some of them.
1. The radiation in MRI is harmful.
2. Getting a full-body MRI scan will ensure you are healthy.
3. People with tattoos cannot be scanned.
4. Today's scanning machines are only good for detecting problems.

A cardiac load meal

It's the greasiest sandwich ever. Take the plunge on this super heavy jumbo sandwich filled with all the goodness of cholesterol, salt, sugar, fats and everything that's truly satisfying. Make sure to check your weight afterwards. 

Watch the YouTube video below.

Manila pipeline leaks identified

After four months of leakage, at least five small holes were identified in the 40-year-old Batangas-Manila pipeline on Monday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What is the deadliest animal in the world?

It may be humans, but won't admit. Instead they made a list as shown below.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Watch your caffeine intake, a man dies of overdose

Is coffee your basic drink? Then read this.

Caffeine has been suspected in the death of a 23-year-old British man, who was reported to have overdosed on caffeine powder he bought on the Internet.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daily ogling at boobs prolongs life

A rather odd research in Germany suggests that men who stare at well-endowed women's breasts is good for health and prolongs their life.

Dr. Karen Weatherby, author of the study, says that staring at women's breasts is a healthy practice, which is similar to an intense exercise that prolongs the life expectancy of a man by five years.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things to remember when going to cemeteries

Here are some health tips to consider before you embark on a journey to the cemeteries to visit loved ones, according to the Department of Health's Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the National Epidemiology Center.

1. Bring food that will not spoil easily.
2. Carry an umbrella not only for sun and rain protection but also to shoo away stray dogs.
3. Carrying  small children to resting places will make them vulnerable to contract diseases due to overcrowding or congestion.
4. Limit the time spent in cemeteries to ease overcrowding.
5. Make sure to have a caretaker if an elderly will visit cemeteries.
6. Do not wear slippers to avoid catching leptospirosis in case rain occurs.
7. Do not eat street foods to avoid diarrhea and food poisoning.

Safety tips for people going to cemeteries 

By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:04:00 10/31/2010

Filed Under: Public Holidays, Health

MANILA, Philippines -- Bring food that will not spoil easily. Carry an umbrella not only for protection from the sun or a sudden downpour but also from the stray dogs that roam the cemetery.

These were among the tips given by the Department of Health (DOH) to the millions of Filipinos who would be trooping to cemeteries to mark All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the DOH National Epidemiology Center, said people should avoid taking their babies or children to the resting places of their loved ones as they would be vulnerable to diseases in hot and congested conditions.

"Bringing small children to memorial parks would also mean bringing in strollers, which could only add to the congestion in the cemetery," Tayag told reporters in a briefing on Friday.

He added that families should limit the duration of their visit to ease overcrowding, particularly in small cemeteries. "Please don't bring the whole kitchen with you as this would add to the congestion and slow down traffic flow inside the cemeteries," he said.

For elderly people with disabilities or a medical condition, Tayag offered this suggestion: Just light candles in churches instead of flocking to jam-packed cemeteries, which might worsen their condition.

But should they insist on going to cemeteries, they should at least have a companion to watch over them, he said.

Tayag warned the public against buying food from ambulant vendors as these may carry disease-causing organisms that could trigger diarrhea andfood poisoning, among other illnesses.

Tayag said that if families wanted to eat in the cemetery, they should go for hot meals to minimize the risk of eating spoiled food. They must also bring their own drinking water, he added.

"It is also advisable to bring umbrellas [for protection from the sun and rain]. It is also a handy device to shoo away stray dogs in cemeteries," Tayag said.

The health official advised people against wearing slippers as rains could spawn floods or puddles which, according to Tayag, could contain the bacteria, which may cause leptospirosis, a life-threatening disease commonly transmitted in floodwaters tainted by the urine of infected animals like rats and dogs.

Leptospirosis is contracted by the entry of contaminated water through the mouth or cuts in the skin.

Tayag, meanwhile, announced that all state-runhospitals nationwide had been placed under "code white alert" starting on Monday until Wednesday in preparation for any medical emergencies.

Medical teams were also ready for dispatch, he added.

In a statement, Health Secretary Enrique Ona explained that a white alert signified the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedicsurgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses and ophthalmologists, among others, to respond to emergencies.

The Health Emergency Management Staff operations centers would also be on active surveillance on Monday and Tuesday to monitor any health or health-related emergencies nationwide, he added.

"The DOH is really hoping that the commemoration of All Saints and All Souls' Day will be peaceful, orderly and safe with the public following our tips and reminders," said Tayag.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Sniff-controlled wheelchairs coming soon

Paraplegics and quadriplegics may soon enable themselves to become mobile using wheelchairs that they can maneuver easily by sniffing.

Thanks to Israeli scientists these low-tech wheelchairs will set the handicapped free.

One sniff to go forward, two sniffs to on reverse direction, one sniff out tells the wheelchair to go left, one sniff in to turn right. It's easy!

Watch it in action below.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robots successfully removed lung tumors

Two high-tech operations that use robots were successfully performed in Singapore that marked a first in Southeast Asia.

The removal of lobes of lungs, or lobectomies, which uses robots enabled surgeons to successfully remove early stage lung tumors from two patients.

The state-of-the-art operation have been carried out with success at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) since August.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Tipsy alcohol' gene, a cure for addiction?

Are you an alcoholic? If not, be happy. You could be among the 10 to 20 percent of all the people who are lucky to have the brain gene, CVP2EI.

According to US scientists, people who have the 'tipsy alcohol' gene are less likely to tolerate alcohol and feel drunk easily with just a few glasses.

In their published study, hundreds of college students--with at least one alcoholic parent--were interviewed after they were told to consume alcohol or soda drinks.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Botox approved for chronic migraine

Here is good news to those who suffer from migraine.
The US and the UK have approved the use of anti-wrinkle drug, Botox, to prevent attacks of chronic migraine.
But not all migraine sufferers will need Botox. According to the Food and Drug Administration, patients will be prescribed by doctors if they suffer from severe form of migraine on at least 15 days a month.
Chronic migraine is characterized by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, intense sensitivity to light and noise, in addition to moderate to severe pain.
Botox is currently approved for uncontrolled blinking, crossed eyes, neck muscle spasms, excessive underarm sweating, muscle spasticity in upper extremities, as well as cosmetic use to smoothen lines between eyebrows.
Read more below.
Botox Shots Approved for Migraine

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Botox, the anti-wrinkle shot from Allergan, as a treatment to prevent chronic migraines, a little more than a month after the company agreed to pay $600 million to settle allegations that it had illegally marketed the drug for unapproved uses like headaches for years.
Joshua Lott for The New York Times
A migraine patient in Arizona receiving Botox injections.
Joshua Lott for The New York Times
Allergan says sales of Botox for chronic migraine and other medical uses will eclipse sales of the drug as a wrinkle smoother.
The agency’s decision endorses doctors’ use of Botox to treat patients who suffer from a severe form of migraineinvolving headaches on at least 15 days a month. Britain’s drug agency approved Botox for the same use this summer.
Botox is already approved by the F.D.A. to treat uncontrolled blinking; crossed eyes; certain neck muscle spasms; excessive underarm sweating; and stiffness associated with muscle spasticity in the elbows and hands. It also is approved for cosmetic purposes — to smooth lines between the eyebrows.
Botox had worldwide sales last year of about $1.3 billion, divided equally between medical and cosmetic uses.
But Allergan said sales of Botox for chronic migraine and other medical uses would soon eclipse sales of the drug as a wrinkle smoother. Allergan is also studying the drug for a variety of new medical uses, including overactive bladder, said Dr. Scott M. Whitcup, the company’s executive vice president for research and development.
“For the business, Botox has been an incredible medication. We call it our pipeline in a vial,” Dr. Whitcup said. “People still think about it as a cosmetic product, but the therapeutic indications in the next five years will far surpass its cosmetic use.”
Industry analysts have forecast worldwide sales of the drug for the severe migraine condition at $250 million to more than $1 billion annually by 2015.
Unlike the occasional headache, the chronic migraine condition is often accompanied by nausea, vomitingdizziness, intense sensitivity to light and noise, and moderate to severe pain.
The audience for Botox headache shots could be significant because some chronic migraine patients do not improve when they take the pills that are now the standard treatment, neurologists said. Treatments include pills like Topamax, taken daily to prevent migraine, and the triptan family of drugs, taken to ease an existing migraine.
Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin, a nerve poison produced by the bacteria that causes botulism. Injections of Botox typically act to temporarily blunt nerve signals to certain muscles or glands. Researchers are still exploring how the drug works on migraines. Dr. Whitcup said one theory was that it blocked pain signals from reaching nerve endings.
A Botox migraine treatment generally involves a total of 31 injections in seven areas — including the forehead, temples, the back of the head, the neck and shoulders. To treat the chronic condition, injections are given about every three months.
Industry analysts estimated that the migraine treatment would cost $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the amount of the drug used and the physician’s fee. Some private insurers are likely to cover the migraine treatment now that it has received F.D.A. approval, analysts said, although patients may have to cover a significant co-payment.
“The cost is prohibitive for some,” Randall Stanicky, a vice president for global research atGoldman Sachs, said in an interview earlier this year. “But given the debilitating challenges of having migraines more than 15 days a month, if Botox can cut down on that, it’s clearly going to be a big opportunity.”
Other analysts have expressed skepticism that doctors and patients would embrace the drug, arguing that Botox has a marginal effect on headaches compared with a placebo.
“The true drug effect is minimal,” Corey Davis, an analyst at Jefferies & Company, said in an interview earlier this year.
Patients in one study financed by Allergan, for example, typically experienced about five fewer headache episodes a month than they had before the study — no matter whether they had injections of Botox or a placebo.
After Allergan reviewed the results of that first study, the company changed the primary end point — the scientific goal post — on a second study so that it would focus on the drug’s effect on the number of headache days rather than the number of headache episodes that a person experienced each month. Dr. Whitcup said it was easier for patients to remember how many headache days as opposed to how many headache episodes they had every month.
The second study reported that patients who received Botox injections typically experienced about 2.3 fewer headache days than the placebo group, a statistically significant difference. But the placebo group also experienced considerable improvement — a common feature in pain studies — raising questions among some doctors about the magnitude of the Botox effect.
Dr. Whitcup said Botox had consistently beaten the placebo at different time points in the study and that patients had reported an improvement in their daily functioning and quality of life.
Although the F.D.A. approved the drug for the chronic condition, the agency said in its statement Friday that Botox had not been shown to work for the occasional headache or migraine.
Common side effects were neck pain and headaches. But neurologists point to a more welcome side effect for some — fewer wrinkles.