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Saturday, 20 June 2015

I Passed My 4th MBBS Exams; This Is What It Feels Like!!!

MUST READ: See experience of a medical student, who sat for a serious professional exam. He passed but something happened... READ MORE HERE

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Announcement: Doctors Quarter's Blog Now Becomes

Dear DQB readers, I have finally made the swap from blogger to WordPress. WordPress offers real time bloggers a professional feel and touch. So I was advised, by professionals,  to make the change and I have done it.

My old URL,, has been transformed into,
I intend to harvest my old works from this old site unto my new site.
I now have a new logo and favicon accompanying this switch. My new slogan is Be Informed..... Stay Healthy

I will not fail to thank my ardent readers for standing with me and checking out my blog, for better performance.
I thank Emeka Obia for his kind words and his far reaching advice. He blogs on
I thank George of for his dedication and understanding while he designed by blog. Guys you need to patronise George of He is just too good.
Finally I thank my family and friends for the understanding and support so far...

As we continue on this new pedestal, I believe we are moving from strength to strength. Keep reading

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Madonna University Med Students Field Trip To RECDOT - Inspiring Story and Sights!!

I actually saw a colleague wipe a tear from her eye. It was on our first field trip in this department. We began our Community Medicine Rural and Urban posting yesterday. It was the first class outing in a series of scheduled outings. It is also part of academic events we are to undertake before we would be qualified for the MBBS Professional Degree. So you can imagine our expectations on this first trip.

In the heart of a South Eastern Nigeria Town, Owerri, for this is where our pristine hostel accommodation is located, we set out for our trip.
Our destination was the Rehabilitation Centre for The Disable, Old and Tramps (RECDOT), Ozubulu in Ekwusigo LGA, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Friday, 22 May 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT: Madonna University Set To Graduate/Induct Another Batch of Doctors.

A loyal DQB Reader sent in this news through my email. It happens that the prestigious Madonna University officially released its 5th MBBS final result.

I gathered that over 60 students out of over 100 students, passed the crucial exam that would qualify them to be members of the Medical and Dental Council and to be able to practice medicine and Surgery in Nigeria.

Congratulations to the successful candidates!!!
More details as events unfold...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Outside Clinical Experience Is A Criteria For Would-Be Doctors

After this morning's orientation talk from the leadership of my institution, to members of community medicine class billed to have an 'outside' posting, I am left with no other shred of doubt in my mind that this external posting is for the best.

A colleague walked up to me, just before the commencement of the crucial meeting, looking disturbed.

He said, 'what do you think the VC is calling us for'. In my usual chatty self, I replied, 'To brief us on the latest developments just before we depart for posting'.

And he made that statement that most of us never understood, even up till. 'Is it compulsory that we should go for this external posting.' It struck me!!
I had thought that most of my colleagues will be thrilled to be posted to a rural settlement, to get first hands-on experience as regards to patients/doctor working relationship. The scope of this particular posting includes scheduled free trips to other health facilities. Also while on this posting, we are expected to get data and other materials that would facilitate a good project work and subsequent project defence.

His grudge is that we waste so much time in a departmental posting that would amount to nothing in our future practice. I tried dissuading his mind from such notion, but he was adamant.

After the pep-talk from the VC, the Provost of the College and The Head of Department of Community medicine, it became clearer to him, the relevance of this venture. An all important venture at that. I think what struck him most, amongs many points made, was when we were reminded that we cannot get our MBBS certificate if we fail in this posting.

We leave in a matter of hours for our Rural and Urban Posting. I know it is an important exercise, if not for me but for the patients we would meet while in the field. Though the area we are posted to is a small sleepy village, in Imo State Nigeria, I intend to get myself truly involved.

I must not fail to sound a heart felt warm regards to The Founder of the Prestigious Madonna University, Very Rev Fr EMP Edeh, CSSP OFR. as he marked his birthday yesterday, 20th May 2015. 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Diet And You: How "Nuts" Are Helpful In A Weight Loss Program

You are what you eat. Always bear this in mind. Our day to day food makeup, ultimately have a way of shapening our body (internally and externally). In this article, we would take out time to analyze different variety of food, its beneficial and its deleterious effect to humans. The body image we portray have a direct relationship to healthy diet recipes.

Generally, nuts are good sources of nutrient. This is especially so in persons on a weight reduction program. Weight loss diets that include nuts are often more effective than diets devoid of nuts supplementation.

Peanuts is a case in point. Being a low calorie food, peanut consumption is proven to be beneficial in a weight loss program.

A 2008 review, as published in the Journal of Nutrition, reports that, when consumed in moderation, nuts do not pose a threat for weight gain. Peanuts are packed with nutrients, including fibre, proteins and heart-healthy fats.

Proteins and fibres help to increase satiety, which makes it easier to control our overall Calorie intake during weight loss program. Furthermore, proteins helps the body to burn out excessive calories. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, 2008 and 2010 reviews.
The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that, "regular nut consumption is associated with increased energy expenditure."

It is important to note that, though peanuts provide several benefits during weight loss, they are still high in calories. Therefore, overindulging in nuts can prevent weight loss initially but may result in weight gain. So, moderation is the key to getting the benefits from nuts.

Note however, that salted nuts are high in sodium; a major predisposition to abnormal elevation of blood pressure and heart disease. It is therefore imperative, to choose a moderate amount of unsalted peanuts whenever possible. You better be 'nuts' when it comes to your dieting.

Faith Omas Ebony is a Final Year Clinical student. She originally sent in this article as a writer for Doctors Quarter's Blog.

7 Health Benefits of Avocado Pears To Nigerians

I saw some beautiful Avocados stacked up in the fruit store some weeks back and I have always wondered what it really constituted. What health benefit is it to an average Nigerian who love to eat Rice garnished with Avocado pear,
Then I saw this beautiful article on Medical Daily.... I thought I should share as well...

The health benefit of Avocado pears include;

Meet Dynamic and Cosmopolitan DQB reader Smith SKD

He is a popular figure in the medical community. He is special to this blog, being an avid reader and contributor. He is Smith Obinwenite Kafors, aka SKD. He is a final year clinical student at the prestigious Madonna University.
He is our featured post for today.

On this day he says, "Today as I clock plus one, I wish to thank My Father in Heaven, My dear Family and Friends.... I thank all my well wishers and all people of goodwill in my life"
"My wish for today for the world is; The sooner you realise life is not a competition, the better you don't try to impress. Just be yourself."
He hopes to be consultant physician cum industrialist per excellence....

Happy Birthday Smith, The King of The World.... See more stunning photos below

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Dressing Style In A Hospital - Packaging is Key For Us!!!

A shirt, a pair of trouser, a belt, a pair of shoes, a wrist watch, a tie, a clinical coat.... This is what most male clinical students set aside, as our dress style on every working day. The colour, cut or design is usually individual specific except for some College of Medicine, where the dress code is a white shirt and a black pair of trousers. It is a hard order to call, for most beginners.

A lot is required from clinical students in a typical Nigerian university. The motto for us here in our facility is 'Read hard, Eat hard, Sleep hard, Work hard, and Play hard.' The 5-Hards.
This is the summation of the life of a clinical student, although not particularly in that order and of course, of different intensity.
It is hard work for us to keep up to this code. But looking back, as i m in my final clinical year, it was worth it. Dressing has always been about packaging. For some, it is purely about upbringing; for other it is about picking a model but for me it has been about personal choice and strict training to keep up to the dressing code.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Anaesthesiologist Are Best Paid In USA - Forbes

In a tweet earlier today, Forbes have named some specialties in Medicine as the best paid profession in the USA. Unbelievable isn't it....

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

NMA Annual Conference/ Annual Delegate Meeting; THE ROOT 2015

The Nigeria Medical Association is billed to have its 55th Annual Delegate Meeting/ Annual General Conference on 17th - 24th of May 2015. This year's conference, tagged "The Roots 2015", has as its Theme - THE NIGERIAN HEALTH SECTOR: CURRENT TRENDS, BURNING ISSUES AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS.
Venue; International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

The high point of the conference would be charting a pathway for the current in-fighting in the health sector.

'I Pronounce Him Dead' - The Burden For Doctors

The accident and emergency unit, AnE, of any hospital can be terrifying especially for clinical students. AnE can be said to be synonymous to death, mostly when patients are rushed in from road traffic accidents. It is a horrific site. In one of my posting, as it is on most days, doctors and nurses struggle to save the lives, as many as can be saved. Forms are filled, with EMERGENCY, boldly inscribed on it as it is horridly dispatched to the laboratory. The laboratory know exactly what to do because, they follow precisely what is asked for on the form.

Meanwhile, all efforts back at the AnE, is channeled to save as much as could be saved. The Advanced Trauma Life Support is what is employed in salvaging life in the field. Other principles employed in this instance is the surgical Triage, a colour system where patients are graded according to severity and available resources. It is particularly helpful in multiple trauma situations.

Most times, the efforts of the health staff and the prayers of relative yield results. Under constant monitoring, the patient is watched as he stabilizes, before he is transferred to the main surgical ward for complete recuperation. His place is no more in the AnE ward, a place always in a constant flux.
But at other times, patients are lost. No matter the efforts, the advanced procedures, or even the prayer of relatives, some are lost.

I have always hated this period. Whenever a patient is lost in this way, like in other ways, is not an easy thing to say. To pronounce one dead can be a heavy burden to carry, at least that is how one of my teachers describes it. Some doctors could be in denial state for a long time before coming to terms that truly this one is lost. Doctors would not pronounce a patient dead until some conditions are met. This may include, no pulse, no response in pupillary light reflex, peripheral reflexes are lost, no cardiac activity etc. On satisfying this criteria can the call of death be pronounced and the time of death noted. It is normal practice for the most experienced, most senior doctor to reveal this message to the relatives. It could be sad indeed.

This burden is one that most doctors would agree they do not carry lightly. Most doctors may seem to carry it so well while other know this as a one of their weak points. A lot is expected of doctors but it would not be out of place to know that a doctor bears this unique burden, and daily, it is one too many..

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Is Liberia Free Of The Ebola Disease?

It is breaking news. It is still trending on twitter. The world is happy. West Africa is happy. Liberia is happy. The good news was as handed down to the country. LIBERIA IS EBOLA FREE. To many this translates to no more death in the West African nation, but to others it is simply a good turn of events for their businesses, especially foreign businesses.

A country is declared free of an epidermic disease, after 42 days of no new recorded cases. Other West African nations, like Nigeria and Sierra Leone,  have long been declared free of the disease. But the epidermics continued unabated in Liberia. I would not want to enter in any blame game but something was definitely wrong for the disease to have lasted this long, in a country whose neighbours put the same epidermics under check.

Considering the pathogenesis of the Ebola Disease, it's mode of transmission, hold the key to explaining what happened in Liberia.

Yes, the country has been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation. 
Yes, the President of Liberia is billed to go on a tour of the capital to thank health workers for their bravery during the scourge.
But more proactive preventive measures and protocols must still be activated to ensure this disease do not come up again.

Basic personal hygiene and environmental sanitation hygiene, should be encouraged in Liberia. A cue must be taken from other nations like Nigeria, that understood and acted almost immediately. All preventive measures and protocols are still active, albeit on a lower degree, in Nigeria.

I know in some private university in Nigeria, like the Madonna University, hand washing and other measures are still on, even though Nigeria has been considered Ebola free.

Ebola is transmitted via any body fluid from person to person. Major symptoms include, high grade fever, greater than 39 degrees centigrade. Others are vomiting, generalised body weakness, blood oozing out from orifices, and some neurological manifestations like fainting, headache etc. Avoid eating bush meat, bat meat, especially poorly cooked meat.

As the disease is not transmitted in the early manifestations of this symptoms, anybody with any of this sign should be rushed to the hospital for proper care.

Liberia has been declared free, but vigilance must be the key word. Health personnels must have a high index of suscipicion, to be able to diagnose this disease. Patients must not hesitate  to report to the hospital.

 If you ask me, we are never truly free of this disease, especially when those basic preventive measures and protocols are long forgotten.
Liberia should take note of this.

Friday, 8 May 2015

MDCN Sets Up-to-date Payment of Practising Fee As Criteria for Accreditation Success.

The Supervisory body for the regulation of activities of practising doctors in the country, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, have sent out a circular to all teaching hospital, medical centres, and specialised hospital about the updated criteria for a success in any accreditation or re-accreditation activity in the Country.

A Loyal DQB reader sent this in...

Even Final Year In Medical School Can Be Tough

Yes!! From the first day in medical school, I have always been reminded of the peculiarity of my chosen course of study in Med School. My parents, friends, and even my Internet buddies all seem to have a word or two as to how best I can be a good medical student.

I remembered my first year in school, our botany lecturer, a Cameroonian, would remind us all that medical science is not for the lilly hearted. He would go on to advice, that it was better we honourably leave the Medicine and Surgery Department, than being shown the way out. While some changed ship into other 'less catastrophic department', for that was what he called it, others like me decided to take the bull by the horn and forge ahead.

Another Gallant Officer Dies in Sambisa Forest.

He is Lt. MI Musa. A gallant and fearless Officer of the Nigerian Army. He was killed by a mine in Sambisa. He is a tracker per excellence. DQB commiserate with the family and pray, they have the fortitude to bear the great loss. Rest-in-peace Officer.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Being Overweight Gives More Protection Among Diabetes Patients - 'Obesity Paradox'

Diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disease, that is due excessive sugar in the blood stream. I have always known that those who are overweight, are more at risk, to this disease. That is why part of the treatment plan for these patients is Lifestyle Modifications, where patient watches what they eat, and begins to take exercise classes, to keep his weight in check.

Overweight and obese people are at a heightened risk for developing type 2 diabetes, especially if they’re over 45 years old, have a family member with it, live a sedentary lifestyle, have high blood pressure, or are of several minority groups.

But in a new research, being overweight may just be a plus in the whole treatment options.
See what these researchers are saying as seen on

Key researchers observed overweight and obese patients with coronary heart disease had better surgery outcomes than normal weight patients. They published theirfindings and described it as the “obesity paradox,” which is an umbrella term for overweight and obese people more likely to survive renal failure, heart failure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, than their normal weight counterparts.

Obesity Paradox may just change the way management of Diabetics are done.

It is not all about Drugs

He concluded his lecture yesterday by saying, 'Good Nutrition could offset so many presenting symptoms'. The lecture topic was on public health nutrition, an interesting angle, in the Department of Community medicine.

The example he gave to drive home his point, was outstanding. I believe that the practice in most hospitals, here in Nigeria, is to begin to reel out prescriptions for patients that would otherwise benefit from a detailed chat on eating right.

With the adverse side effects and complications arising from ingesting of drugs, it is better and serves a better good to explore all available, less unnatural means, like eating a good balance diet.

Doctors Quarter Blog enjoins all to stay stag health and strong..
A moderate of exercise and eating the right food sources are all that is needed..

USMLE Today!!!

The tweet that caught my eye today, from the stables of USMLE!!!
Nice catch! Enjoy.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Dr Sharon Straud and Hon. Elvis Nwosu Shines at Madonna International Charity Peace Awards

Madonna International Charity Peace Award (MICPA) ended today, in what many has termed, uniquely inspiring. The MICPA has instituted by the Very Rev Fr Prof EMP Edeh, is to recognise recipients; without considerations of race, religion or creed; who have proven and substantiated record of practising effective charity, no matter how little it may seem.

The MICPA was inaugurated in 2006, but in 2009, the first recipients, Mrs Maduka and Most Rev. Dr ReneMaria Ehuzu, received the award.
Since then, other recipient of the awards are;
Arch Bishop Kelvin Felix (2010)
Arch Bishop Kapala (2010)
Flood victims in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state (2012)
English couple running Orphanage services (2013)
Saint Thomas University, USA received the award for indigent students (2014).
Catholic Bishop Conference of Sierra Leone for Ebola victims (2015).

Yesterday, 2nd May 2015, the MICP-Award was awarded to two distinguished personality; Dr Sharon Straud and Nigerian born Norwegian, Honorable Elvis Chigozie Nwosu, here in the Auditorium at the Madonna University, Elele, Rivers State Nigeria.

Dr Sharon Elizabeth Straud, 70, is the co-winner of 2015 MICPA for her Actualization of World Peace. She received the award from the founder of the MICPA, Fr. Prof Edeh.
She is an author, professional speaker and spiritual leader of Inner Faith Spiritual Centre, since 2001. She has received numerous awards from reputable groups, for her unique role is transmitting peace to the world.

Honourable Elvis C. Nwosu, 50, hails from Ikwerre in Imo State, Nigeria. He is however, a Norwegian by Naturalisation.
He is a co-winner of the 2015 MICPA for his primary role in the protection of civil liberty and rights of indigents Nigerians and Africans in Norway.
He sits on parliament, being an elected member, in the city of Oslo, Norway. He is also the founder and leader of African Cultural Awareness, Norway.

As the recipients departs, they inspire numerous admirers all over the world. This would spur thousands of other peace lovers and ambassadors, onto generous kindness and greater charitable efforts, with the hope that, it generates in the mind of others, through practical effective charity, peace in the human race in general.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Male Factor is The Reason For Shortened Lifespan in Males.

In an average African family, it is on record that, to be a male is a major predisposition to a early death. For several reasons. An African man is saddled with a lot of responsibility. A family man is even tasked with a greater degree of responsibility. He has to provide for his nuclear family. He is perceived as a bigger failure if he cannot support his extended family. So you see, he is conditioned to work, despite the harsh economic reality, for his family. This alone, it is believed, can put a strain on the health of a man.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Workers on May Day!!!

I awoke to numerous messages, all across my social media platforms, stating 'Happy New Month'. I had totally forgotten. Then similar verbal messages started coming as i started moving about.
Workers around the country are on public holiday today, a day set aside for all workers. 

Workers are the backbone of any industry.. they are the brain behind any prosperous nation. A worker on this day is praised for his diligence, hardwork, innovation and punctuality to duty. A good worker is one who takes pride in rendering services to consumers, who makes it a point of duty to give full satisfaction to all customers/consumers that he comes across.
A good worker is one who gives his best to his establishment and would stop at nothing to see to the development of his 'base'. That ideal worker is the love of all.

A bad worker is a disaster-in-waiting. He is least concerned about what consumers want, but more inclined to see he benefits in all his dealings. His principles at the work place is way below the standard. The problem is not the distorted principles, but the fact that he not ready to adjust his ways.
A bad worker lacks team spirit and even when in a team, he add no value to the group. He is mechanical in his duty, stereotyped in his ways and will not move outside the scope of his work, even if his establishment is on he brink of extinction. What more can be said of a bad worker, except that empolyers of labour dread them, customers or consumers detaste them, and their co-workers would rather have nothing to do with them. They are in a world of their own, literally.

As Nigerians mark this year's workers day, workers should resolve to be that Ideal, good worker everyone wants to associate with. Bad workers should change their ways and come back to the mainstream, that would be good for all.
Doctors Quarter's Blog wish all Nigerians, a Happy Worker's Day. Lest I forget, Happy New Month to you all too.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Madonna University Cultural Week On Going

Madonna University is at it again. But this time, it is more grand and colourful. Like in the previous editions, professionals from all works of life and from different countries are converging on the Madonna University main campus in Elele, Rivers state, Nigeria, for this annual event.

As it is, students from all affiliate campuses of the Madonna University were on hand to add to the event. Talks, interviews, dramas, unique cultural displays were part of what made this year's event stand out.

The fulcrum for all that is happening this year all stems from the Philosophy of the Founding Father, Very Rev Fr Prof E.M.P Edeh- 'the MMA-ADI'. A philosophy that surpasses all past works on African Philosophy and it proven effectiveness, as shown by its application in practical charity. This is what this year's Cultural Convention seeks to showcase.

See some photos (By DQB Images) soon!!!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Xenophobia Works Well In The Hospital System

According to the Wikipedia, Xenophobia is the unseasoned fear for that which is foreign or strange. It stems from fear of the unknown. This concept is playing out across a major city in South Africa. This, is not the meat of this article. That does not mean that Doctors Quarters Blog is not bothered about the mindless, senseless attacks on foreign black Africans; for all Africans must stand up firmly and condemn the act. It is indeed unwarranted.

Patients often come to the hospital for expert care and management. In our clime, patients generally dread going to the hospitals for many reasons, among which is poverty, ignorance. But of particular note is the Fear of the Hospital environment. Some see the hospital as a strange place to be. This strangeness is further engraved by the peculiar characteristics of a hospital. Sometimes it is the strange smell of the place, the white attire of doctors and nurses and the general 'lull', unique only to the our hospitals. It is a good fear and should be encouraged. Any taint on this fear changes it to a bad fear and the repercussions could be bad, mostly on the patient side.

Orthopaedic Nursing: National Orthopaedic Hospital Set To Admit

A Applications are invited from suitably qualidied candidates for admission into the following Training Programmes at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu for 2015/2016 session 
Admission Into Training Programmes at National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu
a. Orthopaedic Nursing
For full time National Diploma programme in Orthopaedic cast Technology
Candidates must:
i. Possess West African School Certificate/GCE/NECO or their acceptable equivalent with credits in five (5) subjects at one or two sittings.
1.  This must include a credit in English Language, Mathematics and at least two (2) Science subject viz Biology Chemistry and Physics.
2. Be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
3.  Have at least one (2) year post qualification experience in the clinical area
4.  Show evidence of sponsorship
5.  Current Parcticing License
6.  Have three referee letters one of which must be from Principal/Dean of your school
i.  Possess West African School Certificate/GCE/NECO or their acceptable equivalent with credit in five (5) subjects at not more than two sittings.
This must include a credit in English Language, Mathematics, Biology or Health Science and two (2) other subjects,
2.  There referee letters one of which must be from Principal/Dean of last school
3.  Experience in the clinical ust of Plaster of Paris will be an added advantage
Applications shoould be addressed to the Medical Director National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu.
Applications and copies of the relevant credentials should be contained in a sealed envelope and submitted at the RET Office, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu not later than 6 weeks from the date of this publication.
The duration of the course is twelve calendar months comprising two (2) semesters
The duration of the course is two (2) years, comprising four (4) semesters of academic/practical work
Only shorlisted candidates will be invited for selection interview which will take place at the New Conference Hall, National Orthnopaedic Hospital, Enugu, scheduled as follows
(i) Post Basic Nursing Schools:
Orthopaedic Nursing  - 10th August, 2015
ii.  School of Orthopaedic Cast Technology: 31st August,2015
Time : 9: 00 am

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Boost Your Brain Power With These Wonder Nutrients

In order to defend against a variety of age-related conditions that can impair your memory and the general functioning of your brain, a good first step is to concentrate on incorporating three nutrients into your diet: omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids and vitamin E.

They come naturally and have proven effects;
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids:
  • Oily cold-water fish: herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon, halibut and trout
  • Leafy greens: Brussels sprouts, spinach, arugula, mint, kale and watercress
  • Oils: flaxseed oil, canola oil, cod liver oil, soybean oil and mustard oil
  • Eggs
Walnuts  Foods high in flavonoids:
  • Berries: blueberries, strawberries and blackberries
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale and watercress
  • Other colorful produce: butternut squash, avocados, plums and red grapes
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  • Red wine
 Foods high in vitamin E:
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, pecans, peanut butter, peanuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower seeds
  • Oils: wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and soybean oil
Leafy greens: spinach, dandelion greens, swiss chard and turnip greens

There you have it... Take charge of your health today

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A Nurse is a Good Shepherd

Mass is over on this rainy Sunday. I thought it would actually be sunny. I love a sunny Sunday. The congregation, made up of mainly students, for it was a student mass, arrived the church on time and the Priest, decked in that ancient priestly attire, began the mass.

The sermon was truly rich, as he tried to paint whom a true shepherd is. One line that struck me the most was when he said, 'a shepherd nurtures, directs, grooms, and love his flock.' He went on to say that, 'a good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep/flock'.
While he spoke, he would punctuate each major point with a question, 'do we have good shepherd around us today'.

I know his sermon was to ginger us onto being a good shepherd, but I also know that there are good shepherds in the healthcare system.
How do we explain the task of nurse, who cares, who directs, who grooms and nurture all kind of patients from ill health to sound health.

I have a great regard for this breed of healthcare givers because not only are they the owners of the ward, they exhibit the right vibe and disposition that is required for a patient to get well. Nurses would normally say, 'we are the owners of the patient', because of that over riding urge to care for patient. It is just like machine work...

A nurse should be respected, a nurse should not be ignored. Like that Good shepherd, experience has shown that a nurse is more inclined to lay down her life for the good of the patient. It cannot be over emphasised.

Maybe some day, the philosophy of the Good Shepherd would be practised fill in our health system. Health care givers must understand that their profession is a calling!! It is one that requires you put your likes and inclination aside for those of the patient.
We are getting there, but the Nursing profession is truly the beacon of hope in all of these.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Nurses and Med Students: No love lost!!!

It so happened my discussion group happened to be in a consulting room, taking to pieces And rectal malformations. We would normally meet every other day, save for weekends. Any location we found okay, we turned to our discussion venue. We would normally not seek out a location, to disturb other studious students, nor would we want to overstretch our luck, by using venues, not originally meant for students.

Today was however different. With rays of the sun blazing at a high temperature, we sought the cool, serene ambience of a consulting room. Of course clinic hours were over, since the doctors have seen them all. I particularly suggested that we made use of the room. In my mind, there was no problem if we stay only 2hours.
And so we settled in, and began the business for the day.

After about 45 minutes of our discussion, there was a knock on the door. The nurse on duty stepped in and just started at us. Her face had the expression, 'what in the Lord's name are you doing in here'.
In that was exactly what came out of her mouth. She added, 'you have a second to disappear from this room, Prof Onyedinma's office'.
And she dashed out of the office.

Quietly, we packed our study materials and moved to another venue. As we rounded off our discussions for the day, I asked my colleagues if that was Prof Onyedinma's office. He happened to be the Head of Surgery Department. The answer I got was a big 'NO'.
Then why did that Nurse treat us that way? No answer was forth coming. More and more questions on the incident, and yet no logical answer.

So, we came to a conclusion  that this was just that age long belief that Nurses and Med student can only exist together with skirmishes as the common factor. Or is there more to it?

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Patients Love Being The Boss

 Today was quite interesting. The clinic was, as usual busy and uneventful. This was so until a man turned up. His voice reminded of a similar patient that came for a consult and professional care on what he calls 'ever growing mass' on his right fore arm.
Today's patient was similar because both had this strong, hard-to-neglect voice production.

I remembered how he marched into the clinic, apparently healthy, and 'demanded' to see the ranking surgeon on duty. Initially, I thought he was rude and never cared about how others felt. But I got to understand that he was used to giving instructions, and making sure they are carries out to the letter. He is a retired Colonel of the Nigerian Army

But beyond this, most patient expect to be given 100 per cent. You can literally see it in their eyes, or on their body movements. The Colonel was told to wait for his turn by a colleague of mine, and he was disappointed. How were we supposed to have managed this case, if not insisting on 'first come, first serve'.

It is only fair to treat all patients in fairness and equity, and according to the presenting symptom. He thought we would fast track the process, to his favour, because he is Retired military officer.
Doctors and health givers generally, get irritated when a patient tries to be a boss, to the detriment of other patients.

I truly believe that after that 20minutes talk given to the Colonel by our consultant, he would strive to be better.
Healthcare delivery services is for all. Patients must understand that their rights should not infringe on the right of other patients, who wants quality management as well. It does not help when some would try to be a boss, when a little patience would suffice.

Now The Patient is The Doctor

People sometimes look at a doctor as superhuman. In the eye of the ordinary person on the streets, a doctor is never ever supposed to complain about health issues, especially when that particular health issue is primarily on the doctor. The typical African society abhors the very notion that 'a doctor is ill'. In this alone, is an unwritten taboo.

How can a doctor fall sick? What on earth was he thinking before he came ill? Is it normal for you, a doctor to go under the weather?
These are the kind of questions patients ask when the news is broken that a doctor has fallen I'll. In our clime, it has been elevated to the status of 'breaking news', whenever a doctor reports ill.

Let me the clear. Doctors are first and foremost, HUMANS, before the title- 'Dr', was added to his name. No matter how it may look, the average man should not begin to see Doctors as 'infallable' to disease conditions.

But on the other side of the coin, this status of demi-gods have been encouraged by doctors themselves. The status of 'medical doctor', however elitist and high social standing must not be confused by the average person ams much more by the bearer of such title. A doctor must seek medical attention whenever symptoms arise, from a fellow medical doctor. But would pride or ego allow doctors to do so?

How do explain slumping while doing his rounds, only to be examined and discovered to be hypertensive. Doctors should be taught, to practice whatever they preach and uphold whatever they believe. Doctors are not immune from disease conditions that afflict man. On the contrary, falling sick during care of patients is a common occupational hazard.

Rather than act and pose like demi-gods, throwing caution to wind with respect to the universal precautions, doctors must act in a manner no less than the title allows, and must be the on prompt lookout of symptoms, with the aim of presenting to another doctor for proper care and management.
Take it or leave it; the doctor ends up being a patient.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Is the community happy when a bad doctor marries a bad nurse?

For some time now, the talk of this union has been in the air. The doctor and groom, Dr Chibuike, actually works in the Paediatric department while the nurse and bride, Staff Chiamaka, works in the Obstetric and Gynaecology department, here in our facility.

Calm and calculated, Dr Malachy is moves on, from one patient after another, giving them that optimum care and attention they deserve. Most clinical students relate well with him because he takes time and care to put them through any unclear point or detail. One student actually confided in me that he has a charming smile and disposition. For me, it was his beautiful, meticulously shiny car that got my attention. I have long concluded that he is a meticulous fellow.

She may present to first time observers as a cold, distant nurse. But when one gets close to relating with her, she has so much more behind that facade. She is a personification of that saying, 'As caring as nurse'. I for one know that she loves to sing, because we are members of the same choir. She sings in the highest range of a female singing voice. I noticed she is everly punctual, and dedicated in service to patients. For me, she comes across as one who got it right choosing to answer the call to serve; the call to be a nurse.

For most of us in this our hospital community, they have got it right. Deciding to forever be together and consummating it today in that sacred act of holy matrimony, nothing can be more fulfilling.
But why would i refer to them as bad doctor and bad nurse? Are they truly bad? Is there something every other person is missing but i see clearly? Is this an unwritten, unclear pact that is doomed to fail? Should i let the cat out of the bag?

I would rather put it this way: LIFE IS FILLED WITH IRONIES. But it is no irony that there is sincere love joining the couple today. It is clear by the level of palpable joy in the air, that Doctors and Nurses can happily coexist. The 'badness' that I express, is the only irony in this article. Other things stand true and clear from where i stand, observing.


Friday, 17 April 2015


This sponsored post is as sent by a concerned Nigerian, who happens to be a loyal DQB reader. Though a medical/health blog, he does not have a platform on which to air his views on the topic. So he sent in this email and hoped it got approved. This is one of DQB ways of giving back to our loyal
readers. It must however be stressed that DQB do not get involved in partisan politics. Enjoy.

It is now on record and without any controversy, that Prof Benjamin Ozurumba, Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is the most corrupt Nigerian ever. The reason is clear. This is so because, he conferred a doctorate degree on Dr Alex Otti, on the 42nd convocation ceremony of UNN, wherein he must have dined, wined with Dr Alex Otti. His appointment as Abia State Returning Officer was flawed, considering that he did not reject this position, despite the fact that his friend, Dr Alex Otti, was a key contender in the polls. He should have simply turned down this position least his sinister move be revealed. He accepted this position and virtually set Abia State on fire, to foist his friend on Abians.

I have known that the PDP national leadership is inept, inactive and lazy. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, who is the Secretary to Government of the Federation,was also an awardee on that day and even had a group photograph with them, did not even disclose to the PDP leadership, that the returning officer for Abia State is a friend to Dr Alex Otti. What a betrayal!!!

I only wish for justice to be done. Abia State is greater than any resident. LET JUSTICE PREVAIL.
God bless Abia State, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Written By Franklin Fabiano Jnr, Public Health Student, who loves to play and watch football.

Travelling Wishes To All Madonna University Students!!!

A loyal DQB reader, who happens to be a student at Madonna University, sent in this email. She composed a tribute to all Students of the Prestigious Madonna University, Nigeria, as they resume from the Easter break. Here it is;

I m just thinking aloud. Thinking of a lot of things at once. The present, past and future. What is most outstanding in my contemplation is my Journey to school.

I happen to be almost on the verge of graduation, a finalist. My campus is basically a science oriented campus, situated in far away Elele, Rivers state. So for the umpteenth, I ll be making my way back to school to finish what I have started.

Like ants, we would throng the airports and bus parks to make it a distance shorter from school. Of course, some would be Chauffeur-driven back to school. But, I still find it puzzling, that there have been no major case of Road Traffic Accident involving Madonnite on any resumption day. Some would say it is coincidence, other may call it 'Luck'. I choose to see it as 'Divine Providence'.

As usual, normal security checks would be done at the gate. Life would then continue according to the programme of the institution. I have a few months to stay, and I m moved to utter a word of prayer to God, for all Madonnites that would be on the Road to school.
Like HE has always done, these past few years of my stay in school, HE would grant all a safe trip back to campus.

I m relieved. I am going back to that institution, that have given me so much. Looking ahead, the future is definitely bright for us all.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria To begin Clampdown of Illegal Drug Outlets.

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) yesterday said that it is working to stop the circulation of fake drugs by clamping down on illegal vendors.
Registrar of the Council, Nasiru Elijah Mohammed, said this at a retreat organized for key officers of the council in Kaduna. He said medicine vendors must be literate and should secure approval to sell over-the-counter drugs, adding that anyone found selling prescription drugs  would have himself to blame. 
“Patient medicine vendors must be literate to avoid the sale of expired drugs or those that lose potency over time. We shall ensure that prescribed drugs are only obtained from the authorized dealers,” he said.
He said the council would encourage pharmacists and patient medicine dealers to ensure effective service delivery by attending to the needs of their clients. 
He further stated that the council would ensure institutionalization of good pharmacy practice through “promotion of the provision of pharmaceutical care, promotion of patients’ health and quality of life as well as improving visibility and image for pharmacy practices in public.”

Madonna University Nigeria Resumption Fixed For 18 April

A loyal DQB reader just sent an email to me to remind all Madonnites about the resumption date fixed for 18th April, 2015. DQB gathered that all student are to report to campus on this day to begin academic work in earnest!!

The email also admonished female students to watch the load they bring back to campus. This got me interested!! How big truly, is this load? Is it really the females that bring the biggest load, or the males?
From which part of Nigeria is the biggest load coming in from?

 Yes... you can send in live pictures of the biggest loads from bus parks or airports across the country. Send in the picture on twitter using the hash tag #madonnaresumes.
Or send the picture on this email..
Or share on instagram, tag the photo using #madonnaresumes

Let us catch the student with the biggest load this time!!!

DQB WednesdayDelight Is Back and Better!!!

The Doctors Quarter's Blog WednesdayDelight was shelved temporarily. We had to go back to make it richer and more fun.
Now it is back!!! Keep reading DQB, as details would be communicated soon!

Man Gets 25years to Life Sentence After Killing Family in Crash

(Reuters) - A New York City man was sentenced to a prison term of 25 years to life on Monday over a fatal 2013 hit-and-run car crash that killed a young Orthodox Jewish family, prosecutors said.
Julio Acevedo, 46, was convicted over the collision that killed Raizy and Nachman Glauber, 21, and their premature infant, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The victims were members of an Orthodox Jewish enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and were on the way to the hospital in Mar. 2013 when their taxi was hit broadside by a gray BMW sedan, police said. The BMW driver fled the scene on foot.
The baby was delivered by Cesarean section at Bellevue Hospital, where the mother had been pronounced dead on arrival, but died the following day, officials said.
Acevedo was convicted in February of two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one count of criminally negligent homicide and two counts of leaving the scene, the district attorney's office said.
He received an enhanced sentence because he was deemed a "persistent felony offender," the statement said.
Family friends said the child's birth was a ray of hope that was extinguished when he died of his injuries. They said Raizy Glauber was about six months pregnant and wanted to go to the hospital because she was feeling unwell.
Police launched a manhunt for Acevedo, whom a witness picked out of a photo lineup. Acevedo later surrendered to New York City detectives in the parking lot of a convenience store in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Paul Tait)

What is the point of health apps when we are healthy?

Do you have a health app on your smartphone? Have it ever served it's purpose? Do you truly need it, even when you are health? Are there too many app with little value? Are there room for improvement?
Such questions form a debate in the latest issue of The BMJ, which pitches an emergency doctor and editor of a website that reviews health apps against a general practitioner who argues, no, healthy people cannot benefit from them.

Nigeria Nursing Anthem - Outstanding Piece.

I was walking along the nursing auditorium on my way to study. That was when I heard the nurse chant this beautiful anthem. I paused and listened. It is indeed breath taking... enjoy the anthem!!!

We are called to serve humanity
Endowed with the Act and SENSE of CARING
We are built on INTEGRITY and DISCIPLINE
That Transcient through every generation
We are the source of HOPE to ailing ones
And the FOUNDATION for building a Health world
Together we shall Stand
Nurses are GREAT
Nurses are CARING
An epitome of HUMILITY to SERVICE
We are specially ordained for this VOCATION
From near and far we have gathered with one goal
To Uphold the good name of our PROFESSION
N - For Neatness and Splendor
U - For Understanding
R - For Responsiveness
S - Selfless Service
I - Innovative and Initiative
N - For Nobility
G -  Gentleness and Love
Nurses are GREAT
Nurses are CARING
An epitome of HUMILITY to SERVICE
We are specially ordained for this VOCATION

LUTH School of Nursing Form Out for Sale

The sales of Admission Forms to the School of Nursing, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba for 2015/2016 is in progress and would be on till 3rd July 2015.
According to information on the Lagos university teaching hospital school of nursing website, The First examination would hold on the 11th of July 2015.
Prospective applicants are however warned to BEWARE OF FRAUDSTERS!!! and Advised "DO NOT PAY INTO ANY INDIVIDUAL'S BANK ACCOUNT
For more information, please visit the school website or visit the school.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Chimamanda Adichie Epic Response To Oba Of Lagos's Threat.

Incase you have not read the epic response if multiple award winner, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's response to the Oba of Lagos threat to Igbos living resident in Lagos, here it is.... Do Enjoy!!!

A few days ago, the Oba of Lagos threatened Igbo leaders. If they did not vote for his governorship candidate in Lagos, he said, they would be thrown into the lagoon. His entire speech was a flagrant performance of disregard. His words said, in effect: I think so little of you that I don’t have to cajole you but will just threaten you and, by the way, your safety in Lagos is not assured, it is negotiable.
There have been condemnations of the Oba’s words. Sadly, many of the condemnations from non-Igbo people have come with the ugly impatience of expressions like ‘move on,’ and ‘don’t be over-emotional’ and ‘calm down.’ These take away the power, even the sincerity, of the condemnations. It is highhanded and offensive to tell an aggrieved person how to feel, or how quickly to forgive, just as an apology becomes a non-apology when it comes with ‘now get over it’.
Other condemnations of the Oba’s words have been couched in dismissive or diminishing language such as ‘The Oba can’t really do anything, he isn’t actually going to kill anyone. He was joking. He was just being a loudmouth.’
Or – the basest yet – ‘we are all prejudiced.’ It is dishonest to respond to a specific act of prejudice by ignoring that act and instead stressing the generic and the general. It is similar to responding to a specific crime by saying ‘we are all capable of crime.’ Indeed we are. But responses such as these are diversionary tactics. They dismiss the specific act, diminish its importance, and ultimately aim at silencing the legitimate fears of people.
We are indeed all prejudiced, but that is not an appropriate response to an issue this serious. The Oba is not an ordinary citizen. He is a traditional ruler in a part of a country where traditional rulers command considerable influence – the reluctance on the part of many to directly chastise the Oba speaks to his power. The Oba’s words matter. He is not a singular voice; he represents traditional authority. The Oba’s words matter because they are enough to incite violence in a political setting already fraught with uncertainty. The Oba’s words matter even more in the event that Ambode loses the governorship election, because it would then be easy to scapegoat Igbo people and hold them punishable.
Nigerians who consider themselves enlightened might dismiss the Oba’s words as illogical. But the scapegoating of groups – which has a long history all over the world – has never been about logic. The Oba’s words matter because they bring worrying echoes of the early 1960s in Nigeria, when Igbo people were scapegoated for political reasons. Chinua Achebe, when he finally accepted that Lagos, the city he called home, was unsafe for him because he was Igbo, saw crowds at the motor park taunting Igbo people as they boarded buses: ‘Go, Igbo, go so that garri will be cheaper in Lagos!’
Of course Igbo people were not responsible for the cost of garri. But they were perceived as people who were responsible for a coup and who were ‘taking over’ and who, consequently, could be held responsible for everything bad.
Any group of people would understandably be troubled by a threat such as the Oba’s, but the Igbo, because of their history in Nigeria, have been particularly troubled. And it is a recent history. There are people alive today who were publicly attacked in cosmopolitan Lagos in the 1960s because they were Igbo. Even people who were merely light-skinned were at risk of violence in Lagos markets, because to be light-skinned was to be mistaken for Igbo.
Almost every Nigerian ethnic group has a grouse of some sort with the Nigerian state. The Nigerian state has, by turns, been violent, unfair, neglectful, of different parts of the country. Almost every ethnic group has derogatory stereotypes attached to it by other ethnic groups.
But it is disingenuous to suggest that the experience of every ethnic group has been the same. Anti-Igbo violence began under the British colonial government, with complex roots and manifestations. But the end result is a certain psychic difference in the relationship of Igbo people to the Nigerian state. To be Igbo in Nigeria is constantly to be suspect; your national patriotism is never taken as the norm, you are continually expected to prove it.
All groups are conditioned by their specific histories. Perhaps another ethnic group would have reacted with less concern to the Oba’s threat, because that ethnic group would not be conditioned by a history of being targets of violence, as the Igbo have been.
Many responses to the Oba’s threat have mentioned the ‘welcoming’ nature of Lagos, and have made comparisons between Lagos and southeastern towns like Onitsha. It is valid to debate the ethnic diversity of different parts of Nigeria, to compare, for example, Ibadan and Enugu, Ado-Ekiti and Aba, and to debate who moves where, and who feels comfortable living where and why that is. But it is odd to pretend that Lagos is like any other city in Nigeria. It is not. The political history of Lagos and its development as the first national capital set it apart. Lagos is Nigeria’s metropolis. There are ethnic Igbo people whose entire lives have been spent in Lagos, who have little or no ties to the southeast, who speak Yoruba better than Igbo. Should they, too, be reminded to be ‘grateful’ each time an election draws near?
No law-abiding Nigerian should be expected to show gratitude for living peacefully in any part of Nigeria. Landlords in Lagos should not, as still happens too often, be able to refuse to rent their property to Igbo people.
The Oba’s words were disturbing, but its context is even more disturbing:
The anti-Igbo rhetoric that has been part of the political discourse since the presidential election results. Accusatory and derogatory language – using words like ‘brainwashed,’ ‘tribalistic voting’ – has been used to describe President Jonathan’s overwhelming win in the southeast. All democracies have regions that vote in large numbers for one side, and even though parts of Northern Nigeria showed voting patterns similar to the Southeast, the opprobrium has been reserved for the Southeast.
But the rhetoric is about more than mere voting. It is really about citizenship. To be so entitled as to question the legitimacy of a people’s choice in a democratic election is not only a sign of disrespect but is also a questioning of the full citizenship of those people.
What does it mean to be a Nigerian citizen?
When Igbo people are urged to be ‘grateful’ for being in Lagos, do they somehow have less of a right as citizens to live where they live? Every Nigerian should be able to live in any part of Nigeria. The only expectation for a Nigerian citizen living in any part of Nigeria is to be law-abiding. Not to be ‘grateful.’ Not to be expected to pay back some sort of unspoken favour by toeing a particular political line. Nigerian citizens can vote for whomever they choose, and should never be expected to justify or apologize for their choice.
Only by feeling a collective sense of ownership of Nigeria can we start to forge a nation. A nation is an idea. Nigeria is still in progress. To make this a nation, we must collectively agree on what citizenship means: all Nigerians must matter equally.

30 year old man volunters for first ever head transplant.

In one of our earlier posts, Doctors Quarter's Blog brought to you the report of an Italian scientist that is set to announce plans and schedules of first ever HEAD TRANSPLANT. Now, a 30 year old Russian is to be the first to undergo the procedure.

Dr. Sergio Canavero, of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group (TANG) in Italy, first spoke of his plans to carry out the first human head transplantation in July 2013 - a project named HEAVEN-GEMINI.
At the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons' 39th Annual Conference in Annapolis, MD, in June, Dr. Canavero will present updated plans for the project, addressing some of the previously identified challenges that come with it.
Though researchers have seriously questioned the feasibility of Dr. Canavero's plans, it seems the first human head transplantation is a step closer to becoming a reality; Valery Spiridonov, a 30-year-old computer scientist from Vladimir, Russia, is the first person to volunteer for the procedure.
Spiridonov has Werdnig-Hoffman disease - a rare genetic muscle wasting condition, also referred to as type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The condition is caused by the loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brain region connected to the spinal cord. Individuals with the disease are unable to walk and are often unable to sit unaided.
Spiridonov was diagnosed with Werdnig-Hoffman disease at the age of 1 and told MailOnline that he volunteered for HEAVEN-GEMINI because he wants the chance of a new body before he dies.
'"I can hardly control my body now," he said. "I need help every day, every minute. I am now 30 years old, although people rarely live to more than 20 with this disease."
The procedure - which is estimated to take 100 surgeons around 36 hours to complete - will involve spinal cord fusion (SCF). The head from a donor body will be removed using an "ultra-sharp blade" in order to limit the amount of damage the spinal cord sustains.
"The key to SCF is a sharp severance of the cords themselves," Dr. Canavero explains in a paper published earlier this year, "with its attendant minimal damage to both the axons in the white matter and the neurons in the gray laminae. This is a key point."
The recipient will be kept in a coma for around 3-4 weeks, says Dr. Canavero, during which time the spinal cord will be subject to electrical stimulation via implanted electrodes in order to boost the new nerve connections.
The surgeon estimates that - with the help of physical therapy - the patient would be able to walk within 1 year.
Spiridonov admits he is worried about undergoing the procedure. "Am I afraid? Yes, of course I am," he toldMailOnline. "But it is not just very scary, but also very interesting."
"You have to understand that I don't really have many choices," he added. "If I don't try this chance my fate will be very sad. With every year my state is getting worse."
Written by Honor Whitman on MNT.

New low-temperature plasma treatment for prostate cancer developed.

Researchers from the University of York in the UK have discovered a potential new treatment option for patients with early-stage prostate cancer - low-temperature plasmas.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, seeks to address the current inadequacy of long-term treatment forprostate cancer, despite the continual improvements that have been made to methods of treatment in recent years.
At present, patients who develop early stage organ-confined tumors can be treated with a focal therapy, such as cryotherapy or radiotherapy.
"However, around a third of patients will experience recurrence of their disease following radiotherapy," explains study co-author Adam Hirst. "This may be due to the inherent radio-resistance of a small fraction of the tumor - the cancerstem-like cells. Furthermore, numerous side effects are often experienced following treatment."
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer death among this group. Around 1 in 7 will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime, at an average age of 66.
"In recent years, the rapidly advancing field of low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas has shown considerable promise for future translational biomedical applications," write the study authors, "including cancer therapy, through the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species."
Low-temperature plasmas are formed when a high electric field is applied across a gas via an electrode, breaking down the gas. As the plasma is formed, a unique reactive environment is formed that contains high concentrations of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.
The plasmas are subsequently used to transfer reactive oxygen and nitrogen species to a target, leading to oxidative damage and cell death that differs from the kind caused by other forms of therapy.
While other therapies cause apoptosis, prompting cells to die through natural mechanisms that cells can eventually become resistant to, low-temperature plasma breaks up cells and causes necrosis. In necrosis, cell death occurs through the rupturing of cell membranes.

Low-temperature plasma therapy could be a viable, more cost-effective treatment option

The researchers used tissue samples from a single patient in order to take both healthy prostate cells and prostate cancer cells, allowing for a direct comparison of the effectiveness of the treatment.
"Through this research we have found that [low-temperature plasmas] induce high levels of DNA damage, which led in turn to a substantial reduction in colony-forming ability, and ultimately necrotic cell death," states Hirst.
As well as being effective at killing cancer cells, the use of low-temperature plasmas could also be a more cost-effective way of treating organ-confined prostate cancer in comparison with current forms of radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy.
"Using clinically relevant, close-to-patient samples, we have presented the first experimental evidence promoting the potential of [low-temperature plasma] as a future focal cancer therapy treatment for patients with early stage prostate cancer," Hirst concludes.
The researchers will now look at testing the application of low-temperature plasmas on three-dimensional replica tumors in order to assess the precision of plasma application.
"We believe that with appropriate imaging techniques to facilitate accurate tumor targeting and spare normal tissues, the multifaceted action of [low-temperature plasma] will provide advantages over other focal therapies," state the authors.
The team estimates that if all trials are successful, low-temperature plasma could be used to treat cancer patients in 15 years time.
Recently, Medical News Today reported on a study in which an international consortium of scientists reveals the genetic root of prostate cancers in individual men. Their discovery demonstrates that tumors share common gene faults that could offer new targets for treatment.
Source: Medical Institutions