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August '10

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Changes in Practice of Medicine –

Part 2

Dr. Bert Grapes

New medications have made significant change to the practice of medicine over the last 50 years.


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It does cost millions of dollars to develop a new medication but the benefits can be significant.  For example, surgery for gastric and duodenal ulcers has virtually been eliminated because it was discovered these were caused by bacteria and this can be treated with medication.


Other medications provide medical relief.  HIV/AIDS is now quite well controlled compared to just 10 years ago.

Antibiotics have had a significant impact in the last 50 years.  Some of the earlier antibiotics have become resistant.  There is a need to be careful about overuse of antibiotics.


There are drugs that dissolve blood clots if given early enough, thus avoiding the long term effects of a stroke.  It is important for anyone who has early stroke symptoms, to take 2 aspirin and get to a hospital quickly.  Some early stroke symptoms include stuttering, stumbling, dizziness and numbness.


Many drugs have been developed for heart disease but these need to be monitored closely.  The same applies to drugs developed for hypertension.



Synthetic insulin has been developed and has eliminated allergic reactions.  There has also been recognition of Type 1 and 2 diabetes.  The later can be controlled by diet and exercise.  


There have been many changes over 50 years to dealing with surgery.  Many deal with children.  50 years ago it was thought newborns didn’t feel pain, children should stay in hospital 7 days after surgery and parents should not be in the hospital.  It is now known newborns do feel pain, children are discharged the same day they have surgery and parents are encouraged to be in the hospital with their children.


Use of helmets and car seats has significantly reduced injuries due to accidents.


It used to be thought all tumors should be removed now they are often treated with chemotherapy. Key hole surgery, once considered a no no is now very common.

 To be continued at the August Meeting.

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