What Happens During Blood Transfusion

Despite the advances made in the processes of identifying blood groups in humans, blood transfusion is still considered a potentially risky procedure and is recommended only when patients have no other options. This is to avoid transfusion-transmitted infections and acute hemolytic reactions.

Hospitals in Singapore have guidelines when it comes to donating and receiving blood components, which include red cells, platelets, granulocytes, cryoprecipitate, and fresh frozen plasma.

Matching Process and Compatibility

Before blood transfusion can occur, blood typing is performed for every donated blood bag. The results will make it easier to find stocks of blood bags for individuals who will need a blood transfusion in the future. There are eight blood types based on the combination of ABO and Rh antigens, such as; A positive, B positive, A negative, B negative, AB positive, AB negative, O positive, and O negative.

There are different guidelines for transfusion of plasma, cryoprecipitate, and platelets than those set for red blood cells transfusion. The same can be said for organ, tissue, and bone marrow donation, too. All of the donor samples are tested first for compatibility with the receiver to avoid reactions.

Antibody Screening

Once the blood typing is done, antibody screening is performed to determine if the receiver’s plasma has other antibodies present besides those already tested for A, B, and Rh. This means that there is still a possibility that the donor will not be compatible with the receiver even when the first test is completed. For red blood cells transfusion, there is also another test that should be performed called cross-matching after the antibody screening.

In this process, the donor’s red cells are mixed with the plasma of the receiver to observe the reaction. Cross-matching, however, is no longer needed for plasma and platelets transfusions.

Blood Transfusion

Once the doctors are satisfied with the results of the tests, blood transfusion is recommended. Red blood cells transfusion is monitored by a hospital staff to see if the receiver exhibits any reaction by checking the blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. The process is usually completed within 4 hours, while each bag is given after every few hours.

Blood transfusion reactions nowadays are rare although they still pose a risk, but the more common problems come from infections from the donated blood. Individuals who experience the following symptoms within the next few days after the transfusion should contact the hospital right away: headache, itching, body pain, nausea and dizziness, difficulty breathing, and shivering.

Transfusion reactions include allergies, febrile reaction, lung injury, hemolytic reaction, and graft-versus-host disease. Possible infections to watch out for are bacterial contamination, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus, cytomegalovirus, other STDs, and other infections.

03 Feb 2020

The Best Horror Movies About Possession

If psychopaths and freaks running around with chainsaws bore you to death and if you’re laughing more at zombie films than you would at comedy movies, then it’s time to consider another horror subgenre that’s been growing in popularity recently—demons and possession.

These are the best titles you should watch.

The Exorcist (1973)

Adapted from the novel of the same title by William Peter Blatty, it tells the story of young Regan who seems to exhibit signs of possession after playing with an Ouija board. When her mother couldn’t find help from doctors, she turned to a troubled priest for help.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

The story is partly based on the life of Anneliese Michel who died after an exorcism rite. The film opens with an investigation into the death of a teenager who died after an exorcism was performed by a priest.

The Possession (2012)

Clyde Brenek and his children saw a wooden box at a yard sale and brought it home only to find out it could not be opened. When his daughter Emily finally opened the box, she found a few strange items stored inside.

The Rite (2011)

Based on the novel by Matt Baglio, the film introduces the audience to the exorcism rites performed by Roman Catholic priests. It is told from the point of view of Michael Kovak, a priest training to be an exorcist.

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

A documentary crew begins a project about Alzheimer’s disease, focusing specifically on an old woman who has been exhibiting strange symptoms of the illness.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

This is a series of films based on the most famous haunted house in New York and is also partly based on the book of the same title by Jay Anson. It was inspired by the supernatural case of the Lutz family who moved into a house with a history of grisly murders.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Based on the novel of the same name by Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby is about an expectant mother’s fears that her baby is of an interest to an evil cult. Terrifying events in their new apartment building only served to intensify Rosemary Woodhouse’s fear for her baby.

Fallen (1998)

A police detective, John Hobbes, finds himself entangled an unusual string of deaths right after the serial killer whom he helped capture was executed. Apparently, a copycat killer is reproducing the crimes, but when Hobbes followed the trail, he discovered something more sinister than a deranged killer on the loose.

18 Dec 2019

Types of Substrates for Your Aquarium

Generally, when choosing a substrate, a beginner is advised to pick the type best suited for a specific type of aquarium. Substrates provide not just a terrain for your tank, but it will also lessen the light reflected off the surface of the aquarium that might spook the fish. It also serves as a playground, colony, and breeding ground for your pets and other microscopic lifeforms.

Tips for Choosing Substrates

Keep these in mind when choosing the substrate for your aquarium.

  • Research its reactivity with water
  • Make sure it’s easy to clean and will work with your filtration system
  • Consider how it will affect the bottom-dwellers
  • Fish-only tanks should have at least 2 inches of substrate
  • Reef and marine tanks need at least 2 inches of substrate
  • Planted tanks need two layers of substrate, with the lower level as high as the roots

Types of Aquarium Substrates

  • Common Gravel. Do not use glass pebbles and painted gravel for your aquarium, because they can injure your fish. Instead, choose common gravel that contain quartz.

  • Calcium Carbonate. Also called dolomite gravel, this is used in saltwater tanks, but it has a tendency to trap debris and uneaten food. If it is regularly cleaned, however, calcium carbonate can maintain ideal water conditions in the tank.
  • Sand. Sea sand isn’t recommended for aquariums because they could contain impurities that will harm your fish and change the water condition. It’s also difficult to clean, unless you have an effective filtration system installed. If you need to install sand, pick sandblasting sand and play sand instead.
  • Aragonite. This is a type of calcium carbonate that is ideal for raising the pH level in a reef tank. Most hobbyists mix aragonite with crushed corals and live sand to achieve the ideal water conditions in a saltwater tank.
  • Vermiculate. This substrate is made up of iron, aluminum, and magnesium, which is ideal for planted aquariums, although it has to be mixed with common gravel and laterite to keep its appearance consistent.
  • Crushed Corals. Like aragonite, crushed corals are ideal for saltwater tanks to create ideal water conditions. It is usually mixed with calcite and dolomite to make it suitable for almost all types of aquariums.

  • Laterite. This is a type of clay that contains iron oxide, ideal for planted aquariums because it can hold and release nutrients slowly over time. This is usually placed at a lower layer under another substrate.
  • Marbles. Choose large flat marbles that are easier to clean than the round small ones. This is usually recommended for aquariums made for breeding fish because the eggs can be hidden from predators in between the marbles. Another substrate, marble chippings, can also serve as alternative to coral sand.
  • Miracle Mud. This is a new type of substrate that is often used in saltwater tanks as a sump or to inoculate sand beds.
  • No Substrate. Most saltwater tanks prefer a bare bottom reef because it is easier to maintain. However, a tank with no substrate can be stressful for some fish.

18 Dec 2019

The Best Dungeon Crawl Video Games

Dungeon crawl may be familiar to those who love role-playing games and encounter different obstacles and enemies in a labyrinthine location called a dungeon. Fortunately for those who love dungeons, there are games that devote a lot of time on such a location.

Here are the best in the genre.

Diablo (1996)

Well-known as a hack-and-slash game, Diablo also allows the player to control one character who must save the world from the Lord of Terror by completing the different challenges in sixteen dungeons.

Legend of Grimrock (2012)

This game was based on other titles like Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master, but has a real-time gameplay with tile-based movements. The player can control up to four characters, which are used to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.

Rogue or Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons of Doom (1980)

The goal of this game is to find the Amulet of Yendor by controlling one character, who must get to the lowest levels by fighting monsters and collecting items.

Darkest Dungeon (2016)

Unlike the other games, Darkest Dungeon allows the player to control different characters who are exploring a mansion. The gameplay also utilizes turn-based fights with real-time movements. As if that isn’t enough, the game also includes a stress level that can affect a character’s ability to finish the missions.

Etrian Odyssey (2007)

This role-playing game spawned several sequels and spinoffs with its unique use of time to create different encounters and combats.

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (1992)

Part of the Ultima series, Ultima Underworld features an underground cave system and a utopian civilization that the character Avatar must explore to find a baron’s daughter.

Stonekeep (1995)

More popular for the length of its game development, Stonekeep is the ultimate model for a dungeon crawler that features underground caves systems filled with enemies and treasures. The player controls the character Drake who must make use of different items and a rune-based magic system.

NetHack (1987)

Inspired by the game Rogue, which is also on this list, the player controls a character who must find the Amulet of Yendor, which unlike in Rogue, is generated randomly in a total of about 50 levels.

Grim Dawn (2016)

Based on the Titan Quest engine, Grim Dawn introduces the player to the world of Cairn where humans are nearly wiped out and are trapped between entities called the Chthonians and Aetherials.

Don’t Starve (2013)

The player controls Wilson is this survival game, making sure that he is fed properly and is physically and mentally healthy while avoiding enemies that are trying to eat or kill him. This is also one of the few games that includes a permanent death in the gameplay if the player fails.

Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition (2013)

Anyone who has played Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal will enjoy this enhanced version and some new content.

15 Oct 2019

Important Vaccinations for Adults

Despite what anti-vaxxers claim about the effects of vaccination on children, herd immunity is still the best defense against contagious disease outbreaks. Even as adults, there are vaccines that you might need to protect yourself against deadly diseases.

Influenza

One dose annually from the ages 19 to 65. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to eggs or has a Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or whooping cough (Td/Tdap)

One Tdap dose, then Td booster every 10 years between ages 19 to 65; women are also advised to get a Tdap vaccination every pregnancy. This isn’t recommended to persons who are allergic to Tdap or have seizures.

Zoster (Shingles)

individuals aged 60 to 65 or older should get one dose of Herpes zoster vaccination. This isn’t recommended for pregnant women or those allergic to antibiotic neomycin or gelatin.

Pneumococcal

The one- or two-dose vaccination for PCV13 and PPSV23 are recommended for individuals aged 65 years and above, but it may be given to people younger than 65 years if there is a risk of contracting diseases. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to the vaccine.

Meningococcal

The one- to three-dose vaccination for MenACWY/MPSV4 and MenB may be given to individuals aged between 19 to 65 or older if there is risk of contracting diseases

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)

One or two doses for ages 19 to 59 years if the individual did not get this vaccination as a child or the vaccination was not completed at 21 years for men and 26 years for women. This isn’t recommended for people who are pregnant or who have HIV/AIDS, blood disorder, cancer or who had surgery and vaccination within the last 4 weeks.

Human papillomavirus

Women can get a three-dose vaccination between ages 19 to 26, while men can get three-dose vaccination at ages 19 to 21 or until 26 years if needed. This isn’t recommended to pregnant women or to people who are allergic to the vaccine.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

The two-dose vaccination for chickenpox is given at ages 19 to 26 if the individual has not completed the vaccinations as a child or before 21 years for males and 26 years for females. This isn’t recommended for pregnant women or those who have HIV/AIDS, cancer or had blood transfusion

Hepatitis A

The two- to three-dose vaccination may be given to an individual between ages 19 to 65 if the individual has not completed the vaccinations as a child or before 21 years for males and 26 years for females. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to the vaccine.

Hepatitis B

The three-dose vaccination may be given to an individual between ages 19 to 65 if the individual has not completed the vaccinations as a child or before 21 years for males and 26 years for females. This isn’t recommended if the person is allergic to the vaccine.

Haemophilus influenzae type b

The one- to three-dose vaccination is given between ages 19 to 65.

15 Oct 2019

Why Do More and More People Listen to Podcasts?

Before, radio shows were the only type of audio entertainment aside from music to be consumed by people. Then came audiobooks. And now, we have podcasts. Podcasts have definitely become more and more popular around the world today. Here are some reasons why people enjoy them so much, and maybe you’ll be convinced too.

They’re basically free

Once you download a podcast, you already able to listen to it without actually paying. Sure, you can go to podcast streaming websites and donate, but most podcasts are up for free listening. To compare, audiobooks are priced but you’re listening is still limited since every book has an ending. But that won’t be the case for podcasts at all.

They’re like actual conversations

Another reason why people enjoy podcasts is because they feel like actual conversations and not just someone telling you a story. This is because most podcasts involve more people talking. Aside from the host/s, there are also guests who share their own stories and ideas. When you listen to a simple narration, it will be easy for you to lose focus and become bored.

You can listen anywhere

Another great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere. You can listen on your commute, you can listen while doing boring chores, you can sometimes even do it while working. If you want to listen to a podcast while jogging somewhere in Singapore early in the morning, you can definitely do it!

Podcasts are time-efficient

In relation to the point above, listening to podcasts can also help save time. If you watch a television series, for example, you’ll have to just sit there and focus on what’s happening. For podcasts, you can walk around and do other things while listening. You can dedicate your time to more things than one.

You can learn and stay updated

Another common reason why people listen to podcasts is that they provide a lot of information that you can actually pick up. There are a lot of podcasts that teach certain fields of study. Whether you want to learn about arts, business, or even languages, you’ll be able to find a podcast for that. Even some of the more popular podcasts are those that teach productivity and self-help.

It’s also a way to get over a creative slump

There are many ways to get over writer’s block or any type of creative slump. But if you’ve exhausted those other means and still have it, try listening to a podcast. It doesn’t need to be a podcast related to your work. Pick one that you actually find interesting. Due to the conversational vibe you get from podcasts as said earlier, you might find some interesting points and ideas that you can use yourself.

18 Sep 2019

Common Causes of Memory Loss

There are always situations when we simply forget things. But it’s a whole different story if you keep having memory slips time and time again. Not taking care of our mental health can make us more and more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. That’s why it is important for us to find out what causes memory loss. So, let’s just jump right to it.

  1. Too much stress and anxiety

Stress is one of the most common reasons why we get memory loss. It’s understandable that we get memory loss as we age, but because of too much stress, we’re getting more and more prone to having memory slips. Stress affects our ability to focus which then makes it harder for the brain to retain new information and process older ones. That means not only our short-term memory is affected, but now also our long-term memory.

  1. Depression

Memory loss can be both a cause and an effect of depression. For one, depression can make you less and less interested in your environment. That simply means your memory and awareness will be affected negatively. You feel so down that you start paying less attention to everything happening around you. It can also lead you to have trouble sleeping. Which leads us to our next point…

  1. Not having enough sleep

The lack of sleep is probably one of the biggest causes of memory loss. When we don’t get enough sleep, our mind is not given time to rest and recover. That means it will be more and more difficult for our brain to retain information. It can also cause massive spikes in our hormones which in turn will lead to more mood swings. Our mood can also significantly affect how we process information.

  1. Certain medications

Blood pressure medication, sleeping pills, some painkillers, even antidepressants can also affect our memory. Certain drugs can affect our memory because of their effects. Those that cause sedation like painkillers and hormonal changes like sleeping peels can definitely affect our memory since they influence our minds directly. This is why depression is such a complicated case. Depression itself affects our memory and antidepressants also affect our memory negatively.

  1. Drinking too much alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol impairs our short-term memory. If you get wasted too often, it can be more detrimental than you think. Alcohol is a diuretic which basically means it dehydrates us. When we’re already dehydrated, that’s what causes our brains to just shut down while drinking. Doing this frequently can cause significant damage not only to our memory but our overall mental health. Yes, there are a lot of great places to drink in Singapore, just try not to get wasted too often.

18 Sep 2019