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No COVAX Facility for TCI COVID Vaccines says Minister of Health

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#TurksandCaicos, April 3, 2021 – Turks and Caicos will not be relying on the COVAX facility through PAHO and the World Health Organization says the Minister of Health and Deputy Premier; E Jay Saunders confirmed that the source for Turks and Caicos’ Covid-19 vaccines will come from the United Kingdom and Public Health England (PHE) only. 

Over 44,000 doses of the vaccine have now been sourced with support from the UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office including the latest batch which not only included the top rated Pfizer brand of vaccine but AstraZeneca which has come recommended for individuals with severe allergies who are not recommended for the Pfizer batch. 

Governor Nigel Dakin informed the AstraZeneca gives clinicians a choice for individuals registered for the vaccine and HE confirmed  on Thursday if the demand continues, the TCI can get even more vaccines in country from Public Health England.

As of March 28, 202,  40 per cent or 13,841 people of Turks and Caicos residents are vaccinated against Covid-19 according to the TCI Ministry of Health.

Caribbean News

Health City Cayman Islands partners with OceanMed to perform first robotic surgery in the Cayman Islands

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#CaymanIslands, June 22, 2022 – Health City Cayman Islands has introduced robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery to the list of state-of-the-art medical services the tertiary care facility offers local, regional and international patients.

Adding to its long track record of surgical firsts in the region, the robotic laparoscopic surgery was performed in the Cayman Islands last month through a partnership between Health City and local health care provider OceanMed.

Dr. David Stone at the console of the da Vinci X system

The partnership will see OceanMed obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. David Stone utilize the da Vinci X robotic system to perform a variety of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries with the assistance of Health City specialists, including gynecologist Dr. Pooja Monteiro and anesthesiologist Dr. Susan Paul.

“We recognize there needs to be a collaborative approach to health care delivery to provide the best clinical options for patients. Dr. Stone and OceanMed are the ideal partners to work with to expand the option of gynecological surgical options for our patients because of their track record of excellence,” said Health City Clinical Director, Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil.

Dr. Stone said he was delighted to expand the surgical offerings to patients using the robotic surgical system. “As a gynecologist, the robot can assist me in performing resection of endometriosis, myomectomies (uterine fibroid removal), pelvic organ prolapse repairs, and hysterectomies through incisions smaller than the width of a finger. (Robot-assisted) minimally invasive surgeries reduce the potential for bleeding, lower the risk of infection, decrease the risk of injury to other tissue organs, reduce postoperative pain and result in shorter recovery times when compared to open surgeries.”

While currently offering the ability to perform these exclusive styles of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries, Health City is planning to broaden the scope of robot-assisted surgery to bariatric and gastrointestinal surgeries, as well as for urologic procedures.

“It is important that we continue to find innovative ways to deliver excellent patient outcomes. That is why we are investing heavily in these modern technologies and systems, which have the potential to get patients back home to their loved ones faster. We anticipate being able to announce additional specialty areas that will benefit from use of [the] da Vinci surgical system in the near future,” said Shomari Scott, Health City Cayman Islands’ Chief Business Officer.

Dr. Stone noted that while other approaches may result in successful outcomes, the da Vinci X provides another tool for the surgeon to use for completing the task. “After having performed, proctored, and assisted in hundreds of (robot-assisted) laparoscopic surgeries in the United States, I am truly grateful to have that option now here on island,” he said.

Health City has pioneered many cutting-edge surgeries and innovative procedures in the Caribbean and the Western Hemisphere, including the first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) (artificial heart pump) in the Caribbean; the first cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) device implanted in the Caribbean (a minimally invasive implantable device that treats patients experiencing symptoms of moderate to severe chronic heart failure); the first extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) patient in the Caribbean and only ECMO Center in the Caribbean (ECMO allows blood to be pumped from outside the patient’s body into an artificial lung that adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide); the first surgery to correct Pentalogy of Cantrell (heart outside the chest) in the Caribbean; and the first arthroscopic Latarjet surgery in the Caribbean, United States and Canada (using a unique technique to restore stability to the shoulder joint).

Health City is currently in expansion mode with construction underway on a new US$100 million super-specialty hospital at Camana Bay that will feature a specialized Cancer Care Center with comprehensive and advanced oncology offerings, a neonatal intensive care unit, an emergency pavilion and critical care unit, and a multispecialty program that expands robotic surgery options. The new radiotherapy center aspect of the project is scheduled to open in late 2022 and the complete hospital a year later.

 

Photo Caption: Dr. David Stone prepares a patient for robotic surgery with the assistance of Dr. Pooja Monteiro.

 

About Health City Cayman Islands

Health City Cayman Islands is a medically advanced tertiary hospital located near High Rock in the district of East End in Grand Cayman. It features a unique model of health care, built with a focus on the patient and rooted in innovative business models that allow the delivery of high quality, affordable care. It is the largest hospital in the Caribbean to have earned the prestigious Gold Seal of Approval from Joint Commission International (JCI), the worldwide leader in accrediting the quality of health care. For more information visit www.healthcitycaymanislands.com.

About OceanMed

OceanMed is a modern health care provider offering services in obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics & neonatal care, general practice and medical imaging. Caring for the entire family, OceanMed delivers world-class quality health care for everyone, at all stages of life. Located in central George Town with stunning oceanfront views, the OceanMed Women’s Health facility is specially designed to promote comfort and relaxation. OceanMed’s team of highly qualified and experienced physicians includes Dr. David Stone, an American Board-certified OB/GYN and Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists with over 25 years of practice experience. Dr. Stone is also a member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and the Society of Robotic Surgeons. For more information visit www.oceanmed.ky.

 

Source: Health City Cayman Islands

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What Are the Actual Warning Signs of a Brain Tumor?

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June 22, 2022 – So what are the chances of you developing a cancerous brain tumor over your lifetime?  Well, the odds of developing a cancerous brain tumor are less than 1%. Usually, symptoms like a headache or confusion are just your body’s way of telling you to hydrate or sleep more.

But rarely, these symptoms can signal a bigger problem.

Unfortunately, the warning signs of a brain tumor can be as diverse as the brain’s endless list of responsibilities. “There is no specific sign for a brain tumor,” says Gene Barnett, MD, a neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic. “A brain tumor can present with many different signs and symptoms, depending on where it is located.”

Signs to watch out for

With more than 120 types of brain tumors, symptoms run the gamut from none at all to major red flags. Ultimately, how your body sounds the alarm depends on:

  • Where the tumor forms.
  • What part of your body the affected area of your brain controls.
  • How big the tumor is.

But to know when a symptom really spells trouble, you need to know your own body. Changes in your health can be just as telling as the symptom itself.

If you experience one or several of these signs, Dr. Barnett recommends seeing a medical professional:

1.      Seizures: A tumor can make your brain’s neurons fire wildly, leading to seizures.

2.      Changes in your mental status: Perhaps you’ve had confusion, one too many “senior moments” or more trouble than usual figuring out a restaurant bill.  Your mental abilities are personal to you — and so are any changes to them.

3.      Personality or behavioral changes: “Frontal lobe tumors, in particular, can cause happy, bubbly people to develop a flat affect or cause some normally quiet people to become more talkative,” explains Dr. Barnett. “They can also cause a loss of inhibition.”

4.      Clumsiness: Brain stem tumors may lead to a loss of balance or clumsy movements.

5.      Visual problems: A tumor in your brain area that controls eyesight may affect your vision. Blurred, double or even loss of vision can be signs of a brain tumor.

6.      Limb weakness: Losing strength or weakness in an arm or leg may be a brain tumor symptom.

7.      Headaches: “But most headaches are not the result of a brain tumor,” Dr. Barnett assures. “Brain tumor headaches tend to persist for more than a few days, are associated with nausea or vomiting or occur early in the morning.”

Signs of brain metastases

Here’s a surprising fact: The most common brain tumors don’t actually start in your brain.  Brain metastases, or metastatic brain tumors, spread to your brain from other parts of your body — most often from your lungs, breasts, skin, kidneys or colon.

“A person with a known history of these cancers who develops any of these neurological symptoms should be evaluated,” Dr. Barnett says.

Where to go if you need brain tumor treatment

If you’re diagnosed with a brain tumor, Dr. Barnett says you’ll get the best care at a brain tumor center of excellence.

“These centers specialize in multidisciplinary treatment for brain tumors,” he explains. “You have neurosurgeons who treat patients with brain tumors every day of the week. You also have radiation oncologists and neuro-oncologists or medical oncologists who primarily treat patients with brain tumors.”

These centers usually offer opportunities to participate in clinical trials, too. So if a tumor has limited treatment options, a brain tumor center can give you access to promising new drugs or immunotherapies that may effectively treat it.

For more information, visit Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials blog at https://health.clevelandclinic.org/

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Novavax Approved by FDA in Covid-19 fight

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

June 16, 2022 – COVID-19 vaccine: Novavax has received full support from the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee which has recommended that it be approved for Emergency Use Authorization.

The decision was made on June 7th with all 21 members of the advisory committee voted in favor.

Despite the support, the committee was concerned that  Novavax testing had not been done against any of the newer variants, because of this they said the study was “less relevant to the current epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2”.

The FDA says vaccine efficacy against mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 over a follow-up of 2.5 months after full vaccination with Novavax was 90.4 percent but it was not possible to assess sustained efficacy longer than that.

The FDA will need to conduct more reviews and get the go-ahead from the Centers for Disease Control CDC before the vaccine will be available for home use

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