Cell Type Sensitivity to Radiation Damage

Radiation therapy is commonly given to oncology patients as an adjunct to surgery and chemotherapy. While the aim of all radiation oncologists is to reduce damage to non-cancerous cells, radiation damage to tissues surround the tumor is unavoidable.

Depending on cell type, each cell has a different sensitivity. In descending order of radiation sensitivity these cells are:

tumor cells
nerve cells

Doxorubicin and Hyperbaric Oxygen

Doxorubicin and hyperbaric oxygen are considered to be absolutely incompatible and should never be coadministered. One study that used hyperbaric oxygen as a possible antidote for doxorubicin (Adriamycin) extravasation in rats showed a 87% mortality.

Hyperbaric oxygen treatments have been shown to be helpful in healing tissue necrosis from extravasation but should only be administered at least 2-3 days before beginning treatments.

Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide Exposure in Smoke Inhalation

Smoke inhalation is an often lethal injury in house fires and is encountered by trauma surgeons who treat burn patients.

The mortality seen in smoke inhalation patients is sometimes greater than would be expected from the carboxyhemoglobin levels.

This is attributable, in part, to the synergistic effects of the methemoglobin resulting from the cyanide exposure – in addition to the carbon monoxide exposure.

Methemoglobin is not generally cardiovascularly significant at levels of 20 to 40%. However, couple with carboxyhemoglobin, the functional anemia can be life-threatening.

Methemoglobinemia can be treated using hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

How I Would Treat Myself for Ebola at Home

Health officials in Sierra Leone are admitting defeat in the fight against Ebola and are trying to set up self-treat kits for patients to use at home because of the lack of hospital beds to care for the ill.

This sad development started me thinking about what I would do if I was stuck in a place with Ebola and could not receive care from a physician or in a hospital.

***Please note that any one who thinks there might be even a tiny chance that they have Ebola should present immediately to a hospital for definitive care.***

***The information below is not medical advice or recommended treatment on how to treat Ebola and should not be used as such. Treatment for a suspected or known Ebola virus infection MUST be carried out under the care of the appropriate health authorities and by a licensed physician.***

The information listed below is purely an academic exercise for my personal professional growth as a critical care physician and serves solely as a template around which to organize my current reading on the Ebola infection.

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