Antara Das – Independent Project

Antara Das – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

The branch of medicine that pertains to the overall topic of my Independent Project is Family Medicine, which provides healthcare for people of all ages and treats a wide variety of diseases or ailments. This type of primary care follows an individual throughout the course of their life. It is common for family physicians to practice in private practices throughout the United States and treat diseases of the whole body including, but not limited to, respiratory problems, cardiovascular complications, arthritis, and dehydration (Wikipedia, 2016). Family Medicine interests me because there is no need for specialization within this branch. A family practitioner will see a range of health problems while providing care for patients without having to specialize in any one part of the body. This allows the physician to continue learning about the human body and apply experiences with one body system to another.

Project Description

One of the most pressing problems in Harford County is opiate abuse. Shadowing at a local family practice, I witnessed several patients come in to receive Vivitrol, which is a once-a-month, non-addictive injection used to prevent opioid dependence (Alkermes, Inc., 2015). Heroin is an opiate consisting of metals in its chemical makeup. A method to remove metals from the body is chelation therapy, which entails the administration of ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) through an IV drip for 3 ½ hours during each treatment (DeHaan, n.d.). This treatment occurs two to three times a week, making a total of 20-30 infusions (ICBS, Inc., n.d.). A way to minimize the time a patient must dedicate to this therapy is to have an accessible at-home kit. I created an at-home IV drip that makes the IV bag easily removable from its hook and hidden from the patient’s sight to make them feel comfortable. The most difficult part about administering an IV is successfully inserting the needle into a patient’s vein. To rid this problem, the device will automatically insert the needle into the patient’s hand with the use of an near-infrared vein finder. The near-infrared light will get absorbed by the deoxygenated hemoglobin and project an image of the healthy veins onto the patient’s skin (The Power to Heal in the Palm of Your Hand, 2000). Only one side of the box is open for the patient to insert their hand with the opposite side holding the infrared vein finder and the top of the box having a pathway for the needle.

Experience Description

I completed 80 hours of shadowing at Bala Family Practice. Everyday I drove myself to the building in which their office is located. I would wear a scrub top, black pants, and have my hair tied up to look appropriate and presentable to the patients and staff I worked with. Most days I would shadow Lisa Katona, Medical Assistant – Primary Care and sometimes I would be invited to watch Dr. Bala or Noel, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner perform certain procedures. After the medical assistants became familiar with me, they allowed me to bring the patients back to patient rooms and take their vital signs, which consisted of weight, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, pulse oximetry, and sometimes height if they were new patients. I would then enter the patients’ information into the prognoCIS database used at Bala Family Practice. I became familiar with several tabs, entering patients’ personal and medical information, and their chief complaint(s).

One of the times I shadowed in the summer, Bishnu, a medical assistant, had set up a table for a Pap smear to be done but I did not know at the time so she told me to go in the room with Noel to watch the procedure. Noel was explaining the procedure to the patient and it was my first time hearing in depth what a Pap smear consisted of. She entered the speculum into the vagina and then she called me over to take a look at the cervix (Stallman, 2016). This was all too real to me and I was taken aback by how much I was allowed to observe in this clinic. Ever since I was little I said I wanted to be a baby delivery doctor but I have turned away from that recently and this experience just reinforced that I do not want to be dealing with the female reproductive system for the rest of my life if I pursue this career. Noel also swabbed the patient’s vagina for cultures of bacteria and completed a breast exam.

Another instance where I was forced to put on a professional face was when I had to care for an obviously ill woman. This woman clearly looked like she was struggling so I had to remember to be extra gentle and careful while taking her vital signs. After I put her in a room, she immediately asked for nausea medication from Dr. Bala came in the room while I was trying to take her blood pressure and he advised me to take her pulse oximetry as well. She asked for a bucket and threw up while I was trying to take her blood pressure. Although it was nasty, I tried being professional and tried not letting it affect me from doing my job. I learned that the patient’s comfort and wellbeing always comes first.

Innovation Description

In efforts to reduce the amount of time a patient would have to spend traveling to and at a chelation therapy center to remove unwanted metals from their body, I created an innovation that would be called the ChelTime Kit. The innovation itself can be divided into two parts that are put together to serve one function. The first part I will begin with is the container for the IV fluid bag. The container is cylindrical shaped with a removable lid at the top and the bottom for easy access and manipulation of the IV bag. The top lid has a U-shaped metal hanger for the IV bag to hang from. These two parts are connected by a loop that can be opened and closed securely. When the IV bag is finished, it can be detached by opening the intermediate loop and removed from the container and then replaced with a new IV bag for the next infusion. The IV line exits the cylindrical container through a hole in the bottom lid. The IV container itself is not transparent, which helps reduce fear and anxiety within patients because the medical equipment is out of their sight. The line is connected to the second part of this innovation which is a box with one open side. The end of the IV line has a long needle attached to it that enters the box through the top, depicted by a knitting needle. The top face of the box has a zigzag pattern cut out to illustrate the range of motion the needle has when the box is turned on by the red switch on the exterior of the side opposite of the open side. There is a black, plastic stopper at the top of the needle poking out from the top of the box and a piece of cardboard through the needle on the inside of the box to keep it in place. Underneath the zigzag pattern and only visible from looking inside the box, there will be metal rods lining the cut out so that the needle moves smoothly when the function of the innovation is being demonstrated. The metal rods will also help with the sturdiness of the needle, making it look straight and not slanted from any view. The face of the box that is straight ahead when looking in the open face of the box will be home to the near-infrared scanner that will work as a vein finder. The scanner will be depicted by a round magnifying glass glued to the inside of the box. This technology is used as a separate device entirely in society today to find veins in blood donors at blood banks around the world (Starr, 2014). The patient’s hand will be placed on the bottom face of the box which will have a comfortable layer of cloth to give the patient as painless of an experience as possible. Being stuck by the needle will be a completely automatic process which will eliminate user error and reduce fear because the user can choose not to look at the needle when using this device. It is important to optimize comfort when the administration of this IV drip takes 3 ½ hours. The equipment used to build this innovation was acquired from Michael’s, Weis, and the expired medical supplies inventory at Bel Air High School through careful searching. This innovation’s closest competitor is IV administration in other medical facilities and therapy centers. However, those alternatives force patients to waste a lot of time transporting themselves there and back home and waiting to be assisted. The only comfort not available when using the ChelTime kit is having a professional close by to monitor the infusion.

Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

The branch of medicine that pertains to the overall topic of my Independent Project is Family Medicine, which provides healthcare for people of all ages and treats a wide variety of diseases or ailments. This type of primary care follows an individual throughout the course of their life. It is common for family physicians to practice in private practices throughout the United States and treat diseases of the whole body including, but not limited to, respiratory problems, cardiovascular complications, arthritis, and dehydration (Wikipedia, 2016). Family Medicine interests me because there is no need for specialization within this branch. A family practitioner will see a range of health problems while providing care for patients without having to specialize in any one part of the body. This allows the physician to continue learning about the human body and apply experiences with one body system to another.

Project Overview

Project Description

One of the most pressing problems in Harford County is opiate abuse. Shadowing at a local family practice, I witnessed several patients come in to receive Vivitrol, which is a once-a-month, non-addictive injection used to prevent opioid dependence (Alkermes, Inc., 2015). Heroin is an opiate consisting of metals in its chemical makeup. A method to remove metals from the body is chelation therapy, which entails the administration of ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) through an IV drip for 3 ½ hours during each treatment (DeHaan, n.d.). This treatment occurs two to three times a week, making a total of 20-30 infusions (ICBS, Inc., n.d.). A way to minimize the time a patient must dedicate to this therapy is to have an accessible at-home kit. I created an at-home IV drip that makes the IV bag easily removable from its hook and hidden from the patient’s sight to make them feel comfortable. The most difficult part about administering an IV is successfully inserting the needle into a patient’s vein. To rid this problem, the device will automatically insert the needle into the patient’s hand with the use of an near-infrared vein finder. The near-infrared light will get absorbed by the deoxygenated hemoglobin and project an image of the healthy veins onto the patient’s skin (The Power to Heal in the Palm of Your Hand, 2000). Only one side of the box is open for the patient to insert their hand with the opposite side holding the infrared vein finder and the top of the box having a pathway for the needle.

Experience

Experience Description

I completed 80 hours of shadowing at Bala Family Practice. Everyday I drove myself to the building in which their office is located. I would wear a scrub top, black pants, and have my hair tied up to look appropriate and presentable to the patients and staff I worked with. Most days I would shadow Lisa Katona, Medical Assistant – Primary Care and sometimes I would be invited to watch Dr. Bala or Noel, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner perform certain procedures. After the medical assistants became familiar with me, they allowed me to bring the patients back to patient rooms and take their vital signs, which consisted of weight, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, pulse oximetry, and sometimes height if they were new patients. I would then enter the patients’ information into the prognoCIS database used at Bala Family Practice. I became familiar with several tabs, entering patients’ personal and medical information, and their chief complaint(s).

One of the times I shadowed in the summer, Bishnu, a medical assistant, had set up a table for a Pap smear to be done but I did not know at the time so she told me to go in the room with Noel to watch the procedure. Noel was explaining the procedure to the patient and it was my first time hearing in depth what a Pap smear consisted of. She entered the speculum into the vagina and then she called me over to take a look at the cervix (Stallman, 2016). This was all too real to me and I was taken aback by how much I was allowed to observe in this clinic. Ever since I was little I said I wanted to be a baby delivery doctor but I have turned away from that recently and this experience just reinforced that I do not want to be dealing with the female reproductive system for the rest of my life if I pursue this career. Noel also swabbed the patient’s vagina for cultures of bacteria and completed a breast exam.

Another instance where I was forced to put on a professional face was when I had to care for an obviously ill woman. This woman clearly looked like she was struggling so I had to remember to be extra gentle and careful while taking her vital signs. After I put her in a room, she immediately asked for nausea medication from Dr. Bala came in the room while I was trying to take her blood pressure and he advised me to take her pulse oximetry as well. She asked for a bucket and threw up while I was trying to take her blood pressure. Although it was nasty, I tried being professional and tried not letting it affect me from doing my job. I learned that the patient’s comfort and wellbeing always comes first.

Innovation

Innovation Description

In efforts to reduce the amount of time a patient would have to spend traveling to and at a chelation therapy center to remove unwanted metals from their body, I created an innovation that would be called the ChelTime Kit. The innovation itself can be divided into two parts that are put together to serve one function. The first part I will begin with is the container for the IV fluid bag. The container is cylindrical shaped with a removable lid at the top and the bottom for easy access and manipulation of the IV bag. The top lid has a U-shaped metal hanger for the IV bag to hang from. These two parts are connected by a loop that can be opened and closed securely. When the IV bag is finished, it can be detached by opening the intermediate loop and removed from the container and then replaced with a new IV bag for the next infusion. The IV line exits the cylindrical container through a hole in the bottom lid. The IV container itself is not transparent, which helps reduce fear and anxiety within patients because the medical equipment is out of their sight. The line is connected to the second part of this innovation which is a box with one open side. The end of the IV line has a long needle attached to it that enters the box through the top, depicted by a knitting needle. The top face of the box has a zigzag pattern cut out to illustrate the range of motion the needle has when the box is turned on by the red switch on the exterior of the side opposite of the open side. There is a black, plastic stopper at the top of the needle poking out from the top of the box and a piece of cardboard through the needle on the inside of the box to keep it in place. Underneath the zigzag pattern and only visible from looking inside the box, there will be metal rods lining the cut out so that the needle moves smoothly when the function of the innovation is being demonstrated. The metal rods will also help with the sturdiness of the needle, making it look straight and not slanted from any view. The face of the box that is straight ahead when looking in the open face of the box will be home to the near-infrared scanner that will work as a vein finder. The scanner will be depicted by a round magnifying glass glued to the inside of the box. This technology is used as a separate device entirely in society today to find veins in blood donors at blood banks around the world (Starr, 2014). The patient’s hand will be placed on the bottom face of the box which will have a comfortable layer of cloth to give the patient as painless of an experience as possible. Being stuck by the needle will be a completely automatic process which will eliminate user error and reduce fear because the user can choose not to look at the needle when using this device. It is important to optimize comfort when the administration of this IV drip takes 3 ½ hours. The equipment used to build this innovation was acquired from Michael’s, Weis, and the expired medical supplies inventory at Bel Air High School through careful searching. This innovation’s closest competitor is IV administration in other medical facilities and therapy centers. However, those alternatives force patients to waste a lot of time transporting themselves there and back home and waiting to be assisted. The only comfort not available when using the ChelTime kit is having a professional close by to monitor the infusion.

By | 2017-05-15T15:35:50+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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