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An impeding Heart Attack…how to recognise it?

DR BOIMA
HEALTH ISSUES

Over the weekend I attended a funeral and as is the norm there was ‘tekodiso ya bolwetse’. It was reported that sometime two weeks or so before the deceased passed on; after a usual morning of hectic cleaning of the yard, the deceased reported an episode of sudden sharp pain on his chest that made him black out for some time and made him hold on to a pillar for stability.

This apparently happened when the deceased was on his own, and the pain went away after a few minutes after which the deceased called the neighbour to jokingly recite the ordeal. The other speaker reported witnessing the same symptoms on the deceased just before he passed on, in her own words she said “he stopped and suddenly held on to his chest and leaned forward before he said ke siame, go ta wela”. Then a few minutes later he was pronounced dead at the local clinic (MHSRIP).

I couldn’t help but note with interest the events that led to this poor man’s death; that I have not really had the privilege of knowing much prior to his death. I can say I was a little disturbed at the turn out of events and an avalanche of unanswered questions kept pouring through my mind throughout the ceremony;

What happened after he had the unbearable pain two weeks before?
Did he go see the doctor or it was business as usual after the pain settled?
Between the ‘first ‘episode and the day he died were there any other episodes?
If he did go to the hospital, were the red flags paid attention to or the diagnosis was missed?
Was he living with this pain or it was only starting now?
Did he have any chronic illnesses that he was regularly followed up for?
When was the last time he did an annual healthy man’s check with his GP?

At the moment I am not equipped with the details of this man’s cause of death but we can all agree that it was sudden death! With warning signs that is!! It is not uncommon in our setting to lose people in this manner. Actually a few people in my own community who had to die this way can come to my mind right now.

There are quite a few conditions that can kill an adult instantly; heart disease being the number one cause of sudden death in the United States as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on a review in the journal Circulation, 50% of all deaths from Coronary heart disease are sudden! The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) notes a major blockage of an artery or arteries from coronary artery disease decreases blood flow and oxygen supply to heart tissue.

Much like a sprinter will feel a burn in his muscles as he fatigues at the end of a race, the lack of adequate oxygen delivered to the heart (ischemia) results in fatigue that causes the symptoms experienced by most patients during a heart attack. A heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death if not immediately treated. The damage to heart tissue from lack of oxygen supply can also disrupt the electrical system of the heart and cause unstable rhythms called arrhythmias, which could also be the cause of the cardiac arrest.

Who is at risk?

Many people who die from a sudden heart attack would have had some sort of warning or living with documented risk factors of heart disease. Most have a previous history of CHD and have had heart attacks before. The following risk factors have been listed as the major contributors towards heart disease;

Smoking
Being overweight
Age
Being male
Family history
Lack of exercise
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Diabetes
Alcohol and drug abuse

How to recognize a heart attack?

A sudden heart attack and death can occur without warning in many people. For others, symptoms of a heart attack might immediately precede the sudden death. In fact, many people ignore recurrent episodes of these symptoms and the next thing you know they faint, collapse, and die.

The symptoms of a heart attack include:
Chest pain (angina) – the classic presentation of a heart attack is chest pain. This pain is sometimes difficult to differentiate from indigestion. So it is always important for any adult with/out known risk factors of heart disease to take any chest pain seriously. The pain is crushing in nature, occurs centrally and can radiate to arms, jaw, and upper back. The pain is usually associated with other symptoms like;
Heaviness in the chest
Shortness of breath or a cough
Anxiety
Sweating
Nausea or vomiting
Dizziness

In the presence of the symptoms mentioned above, expedient transport to the nearest health facility, preferably the one with doctors and adequate services is paramount. This will minimize the time taken for the patient to undergo procedures that can improve their outcome and chances of survival. While en route to a medical facility, remember that administration of aspirin has been shown to significantly improve mortality.

For comments or questions please email agboima@yahoo.com

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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