The Vascular System: Unblocking Conduits to Our Rivers Within

The Vascular System: Unblocking Conduits to Our Rivers Within

Pranab Chatterjee (University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India), Anjan Kumar Das (Department of Surgery, Taylor's University School of Medicine, Sungai Buloh, Malaysia), Carmel Martin (Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland), Asok Basu (Independent consultant, Solutions provider, Dallas, USA) and Rakesh Biswas (People's College of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, India)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/ijudh.2014040104
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Abstract

The motivation for this paper is based on the assumption that certain patient and health professional users' experiences can serve as a mirror or a model, whether positive or negative, for other patients and health professional users/learners. This narrative presents a patient's experience of his complicated and ad hoc journey through the diagnoses and treatment of his vascular system disorder. It then tries to connect this with health professional opinions and other patient experiences toward the collective goal of ‘getting a proper diagnosis and management of vascular disease.' Interspersed are professional narratives in the form of clinical evidence and expert comments towards clinical problem solving around vascular system disorders. User-driven health care implies shared decision making based upon collaborative partnerships between patients and health professionals. This narrative indicates that power imbalances in knowledge, particularly when the patient is ill and vulnerable, can lead to inappropriate and even harmful treatments, when profit appears to be the main driver of the medical industrial complex.
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Introduction

The first blood cells and blood vessels develop early in the third week. Isolated masses and cords of mesenchymal cells in these areas proliferate and form blood islands. The peripheral mesenchymal cells of the blood islands proliferate and flatten to form the endothelial lining of the blood vessels. Intercellular spaces appear between the central cells and become the lumens of the blood vessels. The central cells detached, form the blood stem cells. (Neas, 2003)

For most of us the vascular system functions silently until one day it starts malfunctioning and we become gradually or sometimes even acutely aware of its existence.

The vascular network consists of both small and large vessels specifically designed to accommodate varying levels of blood flow and pressure, depending upon the location within the body (e.g. large conduit vessels versus small micro vessels within the capillary beds in tissues). This complex system is involved in transporting blood, proteins, nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other molecules along with tissue regeneration and reorganization among other developmental processes. (Invitrogen, 2009)

Mr Basu's Story: My Encounters with the Vascular System

I had to travel extensively in my job, maintaining relationships with my clients and supporting IT for my company (while employed in the Corporate Sector). We had over 2000 customer sites spread all over the US. While my basic job was IT Support as the Director of Information Technology, I also provided customer support in various areas.

Since childhood, I had a perennial problem with my legs. I could not endure standing for a long time. Being otherwise healthy and energetic, I managed to ignore it all my life. Yes, it was painful – but I could always manage to endure lot of pain with a smiling face. Whenever I suffered from high fever, my mother would always complain that my feet were much colder compared to the rest of my body. No one gave any importance to it. (Basu, 2009)

Cardiovascular Expert (AD’s) Opinion

Medical students are taught clinical examination: this is the fundamental basis of any diagnosis and treatment. One of the fundamental rules of examination of a patient’s pulse is to examine the peripheral pulses. Obviously, no physician who examined the patient during his childhood ever bothered to do this; if they had they would have diagnosed what appears to be a case of congenital coarctation of the distal aorta earlier.

Unfortunately, this is now the norm rather than the exception. In a recent editorial in the BMJ, Verghese and Horwitz have opined that if an alien observer were to see a diagnostic examination it would definitely conclude that the virtual patient inside the computer that contained the diagnostic and other data was more important than the flesh and blood patient lying on the hospital bed. (Verghese, & Horwitz, 2009)

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