Vaccination Chart for Babies in India

Childhood is a period of learning the ways of life, for parents and children alike. Health of young children is more vulnerable in comparison to adults. This happens because they have not developed a strong immunity yet. This makes them more likely to fall ill with allergies, infections etc.

Illness stimulates the immune system to develop a healthy defence against various harmful influences. However, this does not imply that diseases should be allowed to run rampant. It is necessary to protect young children from developing disorders which could compromise their health on a permanent basis. Defending their health from harmful disorders is most important. The first step towards this is providing proper vaccination to babies right from birth.National Immunization Schedule

The National Immunization Schedule is a venture initiated by the health ministry. This schedule provides a detailed chart of all vaccinations required from birth till the age of 18 years. The name of vaccine, diseases it helps to fight against, mode of administration and the age at which each vaccine should be administered, are some details mentioned in this chart. Timely vaccination is one of the best ways to develop a strong immunity.

Several vaccines are administered to children from birth till the age of 18 years. These vaccines have to be given at a specific age only, to have the desired effect on the child’s immune system. Given below are details of all vaccines included in the National Immunization Schedule. This schedule is approved by Health Ministry of India. All vaccines mentioned in the schedule are mandatory as per regulations of the Health Ministry.

  • At Birth

The first vaccine to be given soon after birth is B.C.G (Bacillus-Calmette Guerin). It acts as a protective shield against the deadly tuberculosis infection. Calmette and Guerin are the names of scientists who developed this vaccine. It is injected into the skin of the left forearm on the outer side only. It is advisable to administer BCG within the first few hours of the child’s birth.

At Birth

Along with BCG injection, the first oral dose of polio vaccine and first injection of Hepatitis B, are also administered at birth. Hepatitis B injection is administered on the muscles of thigh only and at no other site. Local swelling and redness at the site of injection is the most common complication of both the injectable vaccines. These symptoms subside within no time.

  • 6 weeks of Age

The second vaccination after B.C.G, polio dose, and hepatitis B injection, is given at 6 weeks of age. The first dose of injectable pentavalent vaccine is given when the baby turns 6 weeks old / 1 and a half months old. The five diseases against which this vaccine offers protection include Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Influenza.6 weeks of Age

All of these are infectious disorders caused by deadly virus and bacteria. Except Hepatitis B and Tetanus, the other 3 disorders are highly contagious. Their contagious nature makes is difficult to contain them and therefore, it is important to vaccinate infants against these diseases.

The first dose of injectable polio vaccine is also given along with pentavalent vaccine. It is mandatory to administer Pentavalent and Polio vaccines to all children once they turn 6 weeks old. In some States of India, it is also mandatory to administer rotavirus vaccine. This vaccine offers protection against viral diarrhoea which can have a strenuous effect on the infant’s health.

  • 10 weeks of Age

A dose of pentavalent vaccine is repeated before the child turns 3 months old. This is known as a booster dose as it enhances the effect of a vaccine which has been previously administered. Infants who have received the first dose of rotavirus vaccine, need to be given a booster dose for the same.

  • 14 weeks of Age

Once the baby turns 3 months old, another dose of Pentavalent vaccine is given. 2nd booster dose of rotavirus is given along with Pentavalent vaccine to those children who have received previous doses. The first booster dose of injectable polio vaccine is mentioned in the immunization schedule at the age of 14 weeks.

Most injectable vaccines lead to swelling and pain at the site of injection. Children may suffer from temporary discomfort due to this. However, these symptoms subside with time and do not cause any long lasting health issues.

  • 9-12 months of Age

Children are given vaccination against infections like, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Japanese Encephalitis for the first time when they are nearing one year of age. Both vaccinations are administered in the form of subcutaneous injections. Japanese encephalitis is mandatory only in regions where the condition is endemic.

9-12 months of Age

Children of this age group are given the first oral dose of Vitamin A in order to avoid deficiency of this particular nutrient. Despite this supplement, parents should ensure that they include foods rich in Vitamin A in their children’s diet. Consuming foods that are naturally rich in Vitamin A, is a better way of avoiding Vitamin A deficiency.

By the time a child turns 1 year old, he/she has been administered with all the vaccines mentioned in the national immunization schedule at least once. From 1 year of age till 18 years of age, repeated doses of these vaccines are administered. They serve as booster doses which enhance the action of previously given doses of the same vaccine. Booster doses of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine are given only to those children who have been given the first dose of the vaccine.

  • 16-24 months

3 out of the five vaccines included in the pentavalent vaccine are repeated before the child turns 2 years old. These vaccines are combined into a single injectable dose known as D.P.T (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus). It is an intramuscular injection administered into the thigh. Some toddlers may experience fever, pain and discomfort after the vaccine.

A booster dose of oral polio vaccine is also given to children of this age group. Another booster dose administered during this period includes injectable vaccine of M.M.R (Mumps, Measles, Rubella). Children staying in endemic regions are also vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis.

The first booster dose of Vitamin A is to be given orally before the child turns 2 years old. Along with this oral dose, children should also receive a healthy diet that is rich in Vitamin A.

  • 2-5 years of age

From the age of 2-5 years, children are to be administered with booster doses of Vitamin A supplement. The dose is administered every 6 months in oral form.

Vaccination continues till the age of 18 years. It primarily comprises of booster doses of tetanus vaccine, diphtheria vaccine and measles vaccine. Due to advancement in medical research, newer vaccines are tested and introduced into the market every year. Teenage females can now be vaccinated during their childhood so that they do not get affected with life threatening infections like measles later during their pregnancy.

2-5 years of age

Many people argue that children should be allowed to develop their immunity naturally without vaccinating them. While this is true to some extent, one simply cannot risk exposing infants and young children to infections as serious as Japanese Encephalitis or measles. Simple viral flu, seasonal cold and cough, do not require vaccination and in fact help children in building a healthier immunity. However, the same cannot be said about infections that can have fatal outcome.

A debate on pros and cons of vaccination has stirred up a lot of controversies lately. While some parents prefer to stick to the old school ideology of vaccinating their children, some parents have started taking the ‘no vaccination’ approach. There is adequate research to support the usefulness of vaccinating children. However, research on the disadvantages of vaccination is still in a nascent stage. Therefore, not much tangible proof exists on the adverse effects of vaccination.

It is unwise to reach a decision of vaccinating or not vaccinating young children without consulting with a pediatrician.

Hole in the Heart – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

There are a wide variety of diseases and disorders concerning the heart which is part of cardiovascular system in human body. Some of them are in the body since birth and some are contracted later on in life. The former category is termed as congenital heart defects and the latter is called acquired heart diseases.

Hole in the heart

Atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are some of the cardiac diseases people suffer. Again, there are a number of diseases that come under the collective umbrella of congenital defects or congenital heart diseases. Anomalous pulmonary venous return, Atrial septal defect (ASD), Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD), Ventricular septal defect (VSD), Tetralogy of Fallot are few congenital heart defects. In this article, ASD and VSD are discussed ahead.

What is hole in heart?

Hole in the heart is a layman term for denoting ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defect (ASD). VSD is less common in adults, because some VSDs close on their own.

The heart is made of different components like left and right atria which are known as the chambers of the heart, blood vessels comprising of capillaries, veins and arteries and lastly tricuspid and mitral valves. In a healthy person, blood travels from heart to lungs for oxygen, and in turn oxygenated blood is provided to the body. Congenital heart defects are a result of structural abnormalities of formation of components of the heart. And thus, when there are defects or malformations since birth, the pumping function does not take place as it should.

What is hole in the heart

The heart starts developing at 22 days in a baby, when it is still inside the womb. The inside structures and chambers start forming by the 28th day. Structural defects form when the inner parts do not form correctly. When there is a heart defect in the child, the blood flow to the heart becomes abnormal and is reflected in his or her heartbeats. However, a normal life is possible for the child that is born with an Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defect after the conditions are treated. Adults with complex heart defects are also able to lead productive lives with the help of medications, treatments and lifestyle changes. Congenital heart defects are referred to as or congenital cardiovascular malformations, congenital heart disease or heart defects.

What are the causes of hole in the heart?

There is no set data that supports occurrence or origin of congenital heart disease. However, the development of congenital heart defects can be attributed to following factors:

  • Gestational Diabetes: When blood sugar levels in pregnant women having gestational diabetes is uncontrolled, this leads to anatomical defects in the growing fetus.
  • Rubella: Women who contract rubella during their pregnancies are likely to cause the baby to get congenital heart defects. If a pregnant woman has not undergone vaccination against this virus, she is likely to pass on the virus to the unborn baby, who in turn develops heart problems, liver disorders, mental disabilities etc.
  • Genetic History: There may be a family history of this particular heart defect that may cause the unborn child to develop congenital heart defect. Congenital heart defect may be passed on to the first child, if anyone of the parent has it. Likewise, heart defects are likely to occur in children, if any of the parents have had it from their childhood.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoke has a number of toxins like nicotine, carbon monoxide, arsenic etc. These poisonous substances do not allow nutrients and oxygen to reach the baby or get absorbed well. Any type of smoke is harmful for the baby and can cause health problems like lung disorders, pre-term birth, congenital heart defects, to name a few.
  • Drinking: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is also not advisable, as it has the capacity to interfere with development of the child’s heart. Consumption of alcohol can also be attributed to the unborn baby developing congenital heart defects. Drugs like cocaine are also a contributing factor in structural problems and cardiac malformations in the child.

What are the symptoms of hole in the heart?

Provided herewith are signs and symptoms that are seen in anyone suffering from Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defect.

Symptoms like fatigue, difficulty in breathing after exercise or littlest of exertion, swelling in legs and abdomen, and weakness suggest possible presence of congenital heart defects in adults.

symptoms of hole in the heartLikewise, signs like a bluish tint in the fingernails, skin, and lips, fast breathing and shortness of breath while breast-feeding, are the signs that suggest congenital heart defects in babies. Also, if the hole in the heart is small, it may not show any symptoms.

The doctor may order chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiography, pulse oximetry, color Doppler for diagnosing a congenital heart defect. A chest X-ray can spot abnormalities in the blood vessels and chambers in heart. Whereas, the electrical signals in the heart are measured with the help of an electrocardiogram to diagnose cardiac problems. Functions of heart valves and heart chambers are mapped with the help of an echocardiography. Thickness of ventricles can be useful in detecting congenital heart defects. Pulse oxymetry will reveal oxygen quantity in the blood and that will help in determining presence of defect in the heart. Color Doppler studies blood flow through the blood vessels. This helps in determining abnormalities in the heart chambers.

What are the treatments required for hole in the heart?

There are various treatment methods available for treatment of congenital heart diseases. However, many deciding factors influence the method of treating this disease.
Sometimes, medications like beta blockers and diuretics can be sufficient to rein on the condition and sometimes, a combination of treatments has to be implemented for treating the congenital heart defect.

Surgery is only recommended, if the congenital defect causes serious symptoms and discomfort to the child. Sometimes, if the defect is small, it closes on its own.

Heart Transplant – This heart transplant procedure employs implant of a new heart from a donor’s body to treat the cardiac or congenital heart defect in the patient. It is only done, when other treatments for treating the cardiac illness haven’t worked out. This surgery takes a minimum of 4-6 hours.
The patient is connected to a heart-lung by-pass machine that carries out functions of both of these organs during procedure. A cut is made near the breastbone for accessing the heart. After which, the existing heart is taken out, and the new transplanted one is connected to the veins and arteries. The body’s response to the new transplant is monitored through follow-up treatments. A lot of lifestyle changes need to be incorporated after the transplant in order to prevent the body rejecting the new heart.

Catheterization – Cardiac Catheterization involves treatment of the cardiac defect without opening the heart chamber for accessing the heart. It is used both as a diagnostic as well as surgical procedure.
Cardiac catheterization helps the doctor in diagnosing blockages, heart valve disorders, and also combining it with surgical procedures like angioplasty and valvuloplasty to name a few. Likewise, cardiac catheterization is a technique used for diagnosing congenital heart defects as well. The hole in the heart is closed with the help of a catheter. The catheter is threaded through a vein in the leg and up to the heart. The catheter, thus repairs holes in the heart’s walls.

Open Heart Surgery – It can also be termed as corrective surgery for congenital heart defects. Open heart surgery is the technique used for treatment of the particular heart defect.

Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect can be treated using an open heart surgery. If left untreated, the hole in the heart can lead to medical problems, such as arrhythmia, heart failure and the like.
This surgery starts with an 8-10 inch long incision done on the patient’s chest. Another incision across the breastbone makes the surgeon get a clearer view of the heart. Next, a heart-lung machine is connected for performing function of the heart and for oxygenating and circulating blood. Patches are placed for repairing ventricular or arterial defects. The incisions are then sealed. The patch that was placed, then naturally gets covered by heart tissue lining and it becomes a part of the heart for rest of the life.

Fairly, all congenital heart defects can be treated with the help of medication or surgery. The defect also does not have a long-term effect on the child’s day-to-day activities or health. The child will do just fine once he/she is operated on.

Best Health Checkup Packages in India

Medical industry all over the world has undergone a major paradigm shift. Thanks to its continuous evolution, the life span of humans has increased drastically as compared to what it was a 100 years ago. The medical industry comprises of the pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, clinics, health insurance companies and of course the human resources behind it. All these entities and the scientific organizations have worked relentlessly all these years for bringing this face-lift we are seeing in terms of health. No longer there are deaths happening because of polio, cholera or AIDS or for that matter diseases which ended thousands of lives in the past. best-health-checkups-in-india Continue reading “Best Health Checkup Packages in India”

Is it Myopia? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Myopia?

Myopia is among the many errors of refraction that affect the eyes. Also known as ‘near sightedness’ or ‘short sightedness,’ it hinders the ability of the eyes to see things which are placed far off.

Myopia today has acquired an ‘epidemic-like’ status, with an estimate of 2.5 billion people expected to be plagued by it till the year 2020. With people involved in more or less sedentary lifestyles and near-work most of the time, myopia has started increasing in terms of its incidence and prevalence over the years.

Most of us today are guilty of spending more and more time on our ‘screens’ such as smartphones, laptops and computers for abnormally large periods of time. Add to that our genetic tendencies and other environmental factors, we are in for a troubled vision which includes a spectrum of ocular diseases apart from myopia.

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CT Scan – Types, Procedure and Cost in India

CT (Computed Tomography) scan is a diagnostic test involving use of X-rays to detect any abnormalities which have taken place within the human body. This test is more advanced than the ordinary X-ray test.

While a plain X-ray film will show only bones clearly, CT scan helps in visualizing soft tissues, blood vessels, solid organs like lungs, liver, brain with great clarity. CT scan shows cross sectional images of the person’s internal organs.

CT Scan machine
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When do I Need MRI Scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a radiology process used to scan different parts of your body or your body as a whole, in order to study certain medical conditions. MRI scans use pulses of radio waves along with strong magnetic fields to generate pictures of the internal tissues and other body structures in detail. Scanning process can be performed for diagnostic and well as treatment procedures.

MRI

MRI Machine

The process of scanning in MRI test uses radio waves and magnetic fields. Magnetic field intensity is measured in terms of Tesla. MRI machines are differentiated based on their magnetic field intensity, i.e. their Tesla units. Patients are recommended MRI test type according to their requirements.

There are various types of MRI machines; however, each one of them has the same working pattern. Different MRI machines have different purposes though. Let us learn about each one of them in detail.

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MRI Glioblastoma Scans – Procedure and Indications

What is MRI Glioblastoma?

Glioblastoma

MRI Glioblastoma is the investigative technique used to study and diagnose brain cancer affecting the supporting cells of human brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced technique which studies internal organs of a patient using magnetic field. MRI studies involve generating a magnetic field of specific intensity and focusing it over that part of patient’s body which is to be studied. The magnetic waves interact with hydrogen particles present within patient’s body, which results in generation of radio waves. Interaction between radio waves and magnetic waves leads to formation of images which can be seen on a computer screen and used to diagnose various health conditions.

MRI of brain requires to be done in order to diagnose or study glioblastoma. A normal MRI suffices often, but in case this fails to provide adequate information about the glioblastoma, specialized MRI study is needed. Functional MRI may be required in such cases.

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MRI Defecography Scan in India

What is MRI Defecography?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a procedure involving use of magnetic waves and radio waves to create images of internal organs of the human body.

MRI defecography is a sub-type of MRI, in which high resolution images of the large intestine are taken to assess movements which take place during the action of defecation.

It is a rather awkward affair for the patient for undergo this investigation. But the results provide an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s health condition, which is in turn helpful to initiate the right kind of medical/surgical treatment.

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