Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day - Lest we forget

A thank you to all soldiers for your service and your sacrifice -- whether it be behind a desk or a rifle -- you will be always remembered for what you have done so that we may enjoy our freedom.

War Veterans
The 11th Hour: The Date Behind Veterans Day

by Claudine Zap

While most know that Veterans Day honors those who have served in the military, the meaning behind its exact date (November 11) may not be so familiar. Here's the backstory:

Back in 1918, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a stop to hostilities was declared, ending World War I. An armistice to cease the fighting on the Western Front was signed by the Allied powers and Germany.

President Woodrow Wilson immediately proclaimed the day "Armistice Day," kicking off the annual commemoration on November 11. But over the years, with veterans returning from World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day — a day reserved to honor veterans returning from all wars. But 11/11 still represented the end of the Great War in the public's mind, and the date stuck.

In 1921, unidentified dead from the war were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., Westminster Abbey in London, and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The tradition to honor those killed in the war but never identified continues every year in the U.S. The ceremony is held at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Congress designated Veterans Day as a legal holiday in 1938, and since then, most Americans have come to know it as a day for store sales and parades. Yahoo! Searches on the holiday have already surged on the Web. People want to know "veterans day history," "veterans day closings," veterans day sales," and "veterans day free meals."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

About Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare lung disorder in which the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs become narrowed, making it difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. As a result, the blood pressure in these arteries -- called pulmonary arteries -- rises far above normal levels. This abnormally high pressure strains the right ventricle of the heart, causing it to expand in size. Overworked and enlarged, the right ventricle gradually becomes weaker and loses its ability to pump enough blood to the lungs. This could lead to the development of right heart failure.
When pulmonary hypertension occurs in the absence of a known cause, it is referred to as idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). This term should not be construed to mean that because it has a single name it is a single disease. There are likely many unknown causes of IPAH. IPAH is extremely rare, occurring in about two persons per million.
Secondary pulmonary hypertension means the cause is known. A common cause of secondary PH are the breathing disorders emphysema and bronchitis. Other less frequent causes are the inflammatory or collagen vascular diseases such as scleroderma, CREST syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the list goes on.
Pulmonary hypertension occurs in individuals of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds although it is much more common in young adults and is approximately twice as common in women as in men.

Merle - OHPA

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blood Clot in Lung can cause Pulmonary Hypertension

An unexpectedly large number of patients who survive a blood clot in the lungs develop a potentially dangerous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery researchers report. Finding show that pulmonary hypertension occurs far more frequently than expected.

Pulmonary embolism, a blockage of an artery in the lungs, strikes an estimated 600,000 Americans every year and causes approximately 60,000 deaths. It is, in fact, one of the leading causes of sudden death in this country.

Pulmonary hypertension, on the other hand, is a condition that can strain the heart, which must work harder to push blood through the lungs, but one that is often ignored because it causes few or no symptoms in many patients.

It has been thought that only a few of those who survive a pulmonary embolism go on to develop pulmonary hypertension -- one in 1,000 at most. But the incidence amount of those patients studied (223) was much higher says a report in an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

At six months, 1 percent of patients had pulmonary hypertension. That increased to 3.1 percent after one year and 3.8 percent after two years. Hypertension generally developse slowly after a pulmonary embolism. There is "a honeymoon period" of a few months, and then the incidence begins to increase.

The condition can be caused by lung disease, by failure of the left side of the heart or by a congenital heart disorder such as a faulty valve. In a small number of cases, usually involving young women, there is no apparent cause.

These often are difficult to diagnose and have treatments that are quite different. For example, if the cause is a bad heart valve, surgery is done to replace the valve. If the cause is lung disease, treatment is aimed at correcting the lung condition.

When the cause is a plmonary embolism, an effective treatment is endarterectomy, surgery to removed the clots that are blocking the artery. The technique was developed at the University of California, San Diego, and is now widely used.

Often, the only warning sign of pulmonary hypertension is shortness of breath. And how often is that ignored