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Archive for March, 2012

Blog for 25/03/12

So, this week I decided to do my blog on something that happened recently. When watching the football with my boyfriend over the weekend (something I usually find a chore!) I was shocked to see a player suddenly collapse on the pitch, after several minutes it became apparent that his heart had stopped beating and medical staff were doing there best to revive him. I’m currently writing this a day after the incident took place, and at this moment in time, the player is still critically ill in intensive care, fingers crossed he pulls through! After witnessing such a devastating moment and seeing the reactions of players and spectators, I began to wonder how common this could be in young healthy people. Speaking from personal experiences, I was unfortunate enough to lose my brother to sudden death syndrome over 2 years ago, an illness I had no knowledge about until experiencing it myself, and conducting some research into it.

The question I am raising within this blog is… can more research into areas of SDS and heart attacks in young people prevent such tragedies from occurring more often?

I’m probably biased, but I really do think that more research could be done into these areas, which could further more prevent these incidents from happening again. Autopsies have shown that young adults dying from SDS, die from a deficiency in the heart, the blood flow becomes irregular, which then causes the heart to become overwhelmed and stop beating.

There are up to 450,000 sudden cardiac arrests in the USA in young adults every year, many of these during physical activity (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sudden-death/HB00092)

Researchersfrom the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research identified 160 non-traumatic athlete deaths in high school and college organized sports between July 1983 and June 1993 (http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0601/p2763.html)

Research into SDS has shown that doctors do not take the condition seriously, with 4 to 8 young adults dying of the condition in the UK every week. Many of them attending doctors appointments to complain of chest pain when exercising or dizziness being turned away being told they are simply run down or stressed.

Not that I’m trying to startle any readers, but if those 4 to 8 people had been taken seriously when they visited the doctor’s, half of the cases could have been prevented. Tests into the strength of the heart can be conducted to show if there are any abnormalities, which can then be treated through drugs. Once SDS takes place, the heart stops within 20 seconds to 2 minutes, in this time, the electro pulses which have startled the heart and caused it to stop, disappear, making the complete cause of the illness undetectable.

On the other side of this argument, many people could point out that if the illness is somewhat undetectable then people will not be completely certain of the cause until it is to late.

I am simply arguing, that if there are certain symptoms matching those of heart problems, they can be detected and then treated, reducing the number of victims to this illness from rising.

For more information on the illness, I found this site really useful:

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/electric/scd.aspx

 

Comments for my TA- due 14/03/12

http://lrowlands1.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/accidental-discoveries/#comment-59

http://ryan1392.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/does-correlation-show-cause-and-effect/#comment-65

http://jessica0703.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/are-pilot-studies-useful-when-conducting-reliable-and-valuable-research/#comment-66

http://alhoward.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/the-internet-and-the-death-of-ethics/#comment-55

 

Should animals be used in research? 11/03/12

Should animals be used in research… the ethics!

Animals have been used for many aspects of human life including education, breeding and defense research. They are more commonly known for being used in scientific research, whether this is a psychological theory to be tested or a new type of medication that needs to be tested on animals before reaching humans.

Personally, I do not believe that animals should be used in any type of research that could cause them harm or even death. According to Animal Liberation Front (www.animalliberationfront.com) animals are sentient beings, meaning that they are capable of being aware of sensations and emotions, of feeling pain and suffering and of experiencing a state of well-being. Linking this to some types of studies animals have been subjected too… this means that they feel everything they are undergoing, they feel the pain of the drugs working through their systems and of the electrical shocks they may be subjected to.

In terms of the ethical guidelines, it can be argued that little or none of the guidelines in place are met when animals are used in research. The animals can not inform consent as they are incapable of speech or signing a form, they are not debriefed after the study as they would not understand what they are being told, they are not given information before the study, they are deceived as they do not know what they are being subjected to and they have no input as to whether or not their details are kept confidential and finally they do not have the right to withdraw, the experimenter would not know if the animal wished to withdraw unless it can be seen that they are in considerable pain through sounds. All of these may seem a little obvious, but in terms of an animal being sentient, they feel the pain of the research they may have undergone, yet do not have the ethical guidelines behind them to keep them safe.

There have been studies into animals and whether or not they have personalities. Dr Samuel Gosling conducted research into whether dogs had personalities or not… to put it briefly, he asked humans who knew the dogs and knew specified humans to rate their personalities in aspects of things like extroversion, openness and neuroticism, he compared these scores to participants who did not know the dogs or the humans and found that the scores were closely fitted, concluding that the participants believed the humans and dogs to have the same personalities.

However, some people believe that animals do not have personalities, are not sentient and should be used in scientific research, they believe that humans are ranked higher than animals and therefore we should be able to used them to discover new things that could change the way medication is taken or theories are written. York (2009) conducted a study where he asked children to rank in order humans, animals and plants. All of the children ranked humans as the most important in the list, but did add that all living organisms are important and that they should not be labeled as unimportant.

In conclusion, I do not believe that animals should be used in scientific research where they could get hurt as it has been shown that animals are sentient and can feel emotions and pain, therefore conducting the experiments on them would be harming a living creature, and its not as if they have the ethical guidelines to fall back on should they feel mistreated at the end of the experiment.

The top 5 shocking animal experimental facts:

  1. More than 100 million animals are poisoned, burned, crippled, and abused in other ways in U.S. labs each year.
  2. No experiment is illegal, no matter how cruel, irrelevant to human health, redundant, or painful.
  3. Ninety five percent of animals used for experiments are excluded from the only federal law offering any sort of protection.
  4. Even when valid alternatives to animals are available, the law doesn’t require that they be used.

5. Ninety two percent of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.

Research found from: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/do-animals-have-personalities1.htm

www.animalliberationfront.com

http://artplantaetoday.com/2011/07/29/humans-first-then-animals-then-plants/

http://axelaustteam.tumblr.com/post/6516175069/top-5-shocking-animal-experimentation-facts

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