To understand epidural and subdural hematomas -- two serious consequences of head injuries -- we need to know the basic anatomy of the brain and its coverings. Imagine an evil carpenter with an electric drill intent on drilling into a person's brain. What layers would the drill encounter in its passage from the outside of the head to its destination?The drill would pass through the skin and then the skull (braincase) before penetrating a series of three membranes comprising the meninges. In sequence, the three membranes are the dura mater (Latin for "tough mother"), the arachnoid mater (cobwebby mother) and the pia mater (tender mother) and then finally the brain itself.Epidural and subdural hematomas are alike in that they are masses of clotted blood (hematomas) caused by head trauma and deposited outside the brain but inside the skull. However, they differ in their locations relative to the dura mater. An epidural hematoma lies outside (on top of) the dura mater, while a subdural hematoma lies inside (beneath) the dura mater and outside the arachnoid mater. Thus, the locations of the two kinds of hematoma are encoded in their names -- "epi" is Greek for "upon" and "sub" is Latin for "below." A third kind of hematoma caused by head injuries is traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage. These occur within the brain tissue itself and are no less serious than those outside the brain, but are not the subject of the current essay.Epidural and subdural hematomas are produced by ruptures of different blood vessels. Epidural hematomas are usually caused by bleeding from an artery that nourishes the meninges known as the middle meningeal artery, while subdural hematomas are usually due to bleeding from veins that drain blood away from the surface of the brain.Yet another difference between epidural and subdural hematomas is what they look like on computed tomographic (CT) scans. When the bleeding was recent, both show up as intensely bright objects on the scan, but the shapes of the blood clots are different. In epidural hematomas the blood is more limited in its spread because it has to push harder to move outward in the tight space between the inner surface of the skull and the outer surface of the dura mater. In contrast, the bleeding that produces subdural hematomas is more free to spread in the looser space beneath the dura mater and typically runs from the front of the head to the rear.One issue that applies to both kinds of hematomas is that they occupy space -- sometimes a lot of it -- within the braincase where there isn't a lot of extra space to go around. As they expand they compress the brain tissue next to them and additionally raise the pressure within the skull which can damage the rest of the brain. Moreover, the hematoma is not necessarily the only problem caused by the head injury. The blow to the head that caused the bleed can also damage the brain tissue directly.Who gets epidural hematomas? They usually occur in people with obvious and significant blows to the head, as from motor vehicle accidents. In one study they were present in 10% of head-injured patients who arrived at an emergency department in coma, but they can also be seen in conscious patients. Epidural hematomas usually occur in conjunction with skull fractures, and this is no coincidence, as the ruptured blood vessel often lies beneath the fracture. The presence of an epidural hematoma signifies a highly dangerous condition. Between 5 and 43% of people who have them die. Emergency surgery to remove the clot is the usual treatment. When considering subdural hematomas, it is useful to divide them into acute and chronic varieties, with "acute" meaning the hematoma is new, and "chronic" meaning it has been present for at least three weeks. (The hematoma can also pass through a "subacute" phase, meaning that it has been present for 3 days to 3 weeks.) By the time an acute subdural hematoma has become chronic, it is a thick liquid instead of a solid "blood clot" , and also appear darker on CT scans.Acute subdural hematomas usually occur in people with obvious and significant blows to the head. In one study they were present in 24% of the patients who arrived at an emergency department in coma, but can be present in non-comatose patients as well. Acute subdural hematomas are associated with a death rate between 30 and 90%, with a figure of 60% typically cited. Emergency surgery is the usual treatment, though studies have shown that alert patients with small subdural hematomas can do as well without surgery if monitored closely for signs of worsening.Infants are also vulnerable to acute subdural hematomas. Neurosurgeons at the Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan reviewed records on 21 children, ages 6 days to 12 months, who had acute subdural hematomas. In this case series, "shaken baby syndrome" was the most common cause. Eight of the infants underwent an immediate operation, and another 11 required delayed surgery. While most of the children did well, one baby died and another 7 sustained moderate to severe disabilities from their injuries.Chronic subdural hematomas often show up in patients over 60 years of age in whom the head injuries that caused them might have seemed trivial when they occurred, or might even have been forgotten. Older people are especially vulnerable due to the fact that their brains have atrophied (shrunk) and the veins draining the surface of the brain are stretched and fragile, easily disrupted by glancing blows. Risk of subdural hematoma rises still higher if the individual falls a lot, drinks alcohol a lot or takes blood-thinning medication.Subdural hematomas can expand progressively to the point of causing symptoms like headache, slurred speech, confusion, lethargy, unsteadiness or even a seizure. Surgery to remove the hematoma and stop the bleeding is the typical treatment, and 93 to 97% of patients survive to 30 days after surgery. Most regain their pre-injury level of function. Milder cases of chronic subdural hematoma can be monitored without surgery.(C) 2006 by Gary Cordingley
Drug addiction, despite being seen by many as some sort of failing of the mind, is not listed as a mental health disorder. Substance abuse has escaped that category despite the fact that comparatively less troublesome ailments or sicknesses like social anxiety disorder and (in some circles) insomnia are listed as possible or acknowledged mental health conditions. The facts known about drug addiction show that it is a biological and physiological condition, with the body craving the effects that these narcotics have on the brain. The divide between mental disorder and drug addiction is a very thin, blurry line, but there is a line. However, recent research is starting to reveal information that is making this line seem even thinner and more blurred than it already is. It would appear that drug addiction and mental conditions, such as "social anxiety disorder" and depression, are not as distinct form one another as initially thought.In layman's terms, when one person shows signs of being a drug addict, there's usually some sort of mental health condition riding the coattails, though not everyone who's crazy is a junkie, and not every drug addict is insane. The psychological problems tend to vary from patient to patient, though things like social anxiety disorder are common in teenage addicts, along with depression, performance anxiety, and a few behavioral disorders. Schizophrenia, bipolar and unipolar depression, and other personality disorders are also commonly observed to tag along with addictions, though not always with narcotics and other illegal drugs. Nicotine and alcohol addicts also tend to have a host of mental health problems riding in their wake as well.Some recent studies are showing that damage to certain regions of the brain may be responsible for making people more likely to develop addictions, with the amygdala taking center stage in the study's findings. This does not take away anything from the natural addictive abilities of substances such as alcohol, opioids, and nicotine, but it does serve to explain why some people appear more likely to become addicts than others on a psychological level. The studies also discovered that addictions for people with damaged amygdala are not only more prone to addiction, they are also less likely to discern from one substance to another in their abuse. Findings showed that it didn't seem to matter what the substance was or what the effects it had on the mind and body were, so long as they had the potential to be habit-forming and the subjects were exposed to it regularly.Obviously, since mental health problems such as social anxiety disorder and dissociative identity disorder can make someone more likely to become an addict, there are things that need consideration. A number of drug addicts can and do claim that external factors forced them into their substance abuse, with several of these reasons being highly similar to things that trigger mental illness. With psychological conditions now leading to substance abuse, is there now reason to believe that those who are genetically predisposed towards mental illness are, logically, also more likely to become addicts?
Just a few hours ago, a friend of mine related to me how frustrating her experience was buying from a drugstore. She told me the most absurdly funny story about how a certain drugstore, not so far away from their house, took two hours of her precious time just for let her buy some muscle relaxants. Who would have expected that for a task which one would expect to be urgently done, something as irritatingly taxing can actually happen instead. This was the story she told me, which would have been better delivered personally by my friend with her animated gestures and vivid facial expressions.The day started rather sunny, which is why it was kind of surprising when a heavy downpour of rain happened during midday. The adventure all started when my friend's cousin decided to wear some slippers to school that day. It was because of those pair of slippers that she easily slipped (Maybe this has got to do with the footwear being "slippers") when the roads became slippery. With such a situation, there seems to be no escape at all. Bottom line is this, her cousin experienced a strain and had to take some muscle relaxants to get well the soonest possible time. Unfortunately, the poor girl is unable to make the necessary errands of buying the much-needed medications herself. Which is the very reason why my friend, being the kind cousin that she is, volunteered to do the tasks instead. And this act of kindness began one of the most unforgettable days that she had in her entire life.After obtaining the prescription from their family doctor, she went to walk toward the nearest pharmacy from their home. The rain was still pouring heavily as a speeding car passed by. As one might expect on a day which began badly, the car's tire hit a puddle of rainwater which sent the brown, muddy water flying toward my friend. Luckily, it only hit the lower part of her dress. This was not the worst scenario, however. Upon her arrival at the drugstore, she was dismissively told that the drug she was looking for was not available anymore. Feeling worried and some sense of urgency for her cousin, she told the attendant at the pharmacy if she can have the generic form instead. The lady told her to wait for a while as she would ask first if that will be allowed. Awhile took a few minutes, a few minutes turned to almost an hour, then two hours. In between those agonizing two hours, she was asked to get another prescription, she argued to personally talk to the manager or pharmacist (which for unknown reason cannot attend to her within the two hours she waited), and finally persuaded the lady to provide some medication out of reason and pity (An appeal that usually worked effectively to make people agree).She went home that afternoon still damp, hungry, and with aching feet. Had it not been for her cousin's condition, she would never bear any of those arguments longer than she can say "nevermind then". She even swore never to buy from a pharmacy again, well maybe not from the pharmacy where she spent hours waiting and arguing. After a few hours she called to say that she changed her mind about her decision of not buying from drugstores anymore. This was after she heard of an online drugstore that never had to make her wait, never had to make her walk under the rain, and never had to start with her an argument. Online, all she needed to do was fill-in some forms, assure the site that an appropriate prescription has been obtained, pay for the products, and get a no-cost, hassle-free delivery. All she had to do next is wait for the deliveries at the comforts of her home.Thank goodness, therefore, for online pharmacies. As a matter of fact, despite my friend's cousin's difficulty in walking, she can still make the orders online herself. Worst case scenario is for those who live alone and suddenly get involved in an unlucky circumstance, a similar accident let us say, with no one to take care of them except themselves. At least, because of online drugstores, there is still a chance for immediate treatment.
Imagine your self floating in a gigantic bathtub full of herbs hugging your skin; its magical powers take away your tensions, worries and transforming you to feel complete and new.Bath is calming way to relax in todays fast paced stressful life. It is a soothing way to start a new day and blissful send-off to bed. Herbs and its essential oils soothes aching muscles, tense nerves, skin irritations, softens skin and ensures peaches and roses complexion.Set the stage for your bath with a clean fresh bathroom. Keep clean towels, bath gels, herbs, loofah, etc handy. Choose relaxing music, light aromatic candles around you. All in all make sure that everything you need for your luxury is within arms reach.While filling tub with warm water, create a bag of your favourite herbs to be used in bathing. It is ideal that you give your skin a quick loofah brush head to toe before you start. To create an herb bag, fill muslin cloth or even an old stocking with your favourite herbs. Dip it in your bath, letting the herbs gently soak in the water. Bath salts, citrus leaves, dried rose petals, dried lavender flowers to name a few to create an herb bag. If you dont have the fondness of creating your own bag of herbs, you can definitely buy ready made herb bags.Not more than 5 drops of essential oils should be used in a bath. Dilute it with milk or carrier oil. Common herbs and its essential oils used in bath for calming properties.- Black Pepper relief for aching muscles- Clary Sage - as a perk me up and premenstrual tension- Eucalyptus - for respiratory problems- Geranium - for very dry or itchy skin, eczema and PMS- Jasmine - when you wish to feel luxurious- Lavender - dry skin, eczema, sprains, hot flashes, headaches, over work, insomnia- Orange - to pep you up- Rosemary - to get you going in the morning, a quick pick-me-up in the evening. Also good for aches and sore muscles.- Chamomile, Lavender or roses are good for dry, delicate or irritated skin.- Rosemary, Calendula and Thyme for oily skin.- Lemon Balm - good for hyperactive children- Citrus & Lavender - soothing and therapeutic properties- Ylang Ylang - exfoliates and moisturizes the skin- Apricot and Amber - moisturises, restores softness and suppleness to skin.- Chamomile - aids in relief of aching muscles and nervousness- Eucalyptus - opens the pores and the vapours from the bath help to clear the breathing passages.Make sure that your bath time is a time of solitude. Just let yourself luxuriate in the watery haven. And dont forget to put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door.
Saunas have been used for many years as a way to relax and to improve the bodys look and feel. If you have never been able to set foot in one, then there are some things that you should know so that you can be properly prepared and so that you can remain safe. Saunas can be soothing and exhilarating when they are used correctly. Here are some things to remember when you step into saunas: Realizing that it is going to be hot is important. In some cases, temperatures can range from any place between 60 degrees to 120 degrees. They are generally at about 70 to 90 degrees Celsius most of the time. Because of this temperature and the level of humidity in the saunas, you will find that often heat prostration and heat stroke can occur. It is important to watch for signs of these as you may not realize it if you are relaxing. Also, after the sauna, it is customary to take a cool shower or even take a plunge in a cool bath afterwards. The problem with this is that it needs to be done carefully to avoid the sudden and intense increase in blood pressure that can make you dizzy. Saunas should not be used by individuals who have a history of conditions such as stroke or hypertension because saunas can quite affect these conditions. In many cases, saunas are thought to help cleanse the body. Some people believe that they help the body get rid of toxins that are in the pores through sweating. In fact, in some countries it is believed that saunas can help cure diseases as well! What there is no doubt about is that saunas are a great way to relax and to enjoy some soothing time. If you have the opportunity, visit one as often as you can so that you too can experience this pleasure that is like nothing else.