Carotid massage-A possible new cardiac resuscitation procedure.

In our current resuscitation procedure for unconscious patients, we rationalize that by compression of the chest wall, we also compresse the heart and the major arteries in the chest cavity resulting in some arterial blood flow to vital organs like the brain. I believe that we now also feel that the pulmonary component is unnecessary and have also omitted it from the acronym as well.
Could our distant cousins the apes be giving us -their more learned cousins a special Christmas gift- a better CPR technique than the one we currently are using? On one of the TV channels this morning which just happens to be Christmas day 2014 it showed how apes were able to successfully resuscitate one of their own after the ape had been electrocuted rendering him unconscious to a railway platform below. As the startled passengers at the railway station looked on with shock with no one willing to come forward to offer first aid, one of the apes on the railway platform decided to take over.
The video showed how this non human first aid worker first tried dipping their relative in puddle of water found between the tracks. When that was unsuccessful he began what seemed to be a bitting-like manoeuvre on the side of the neck! He continued this for 20 minutes. As I looked more closely at this youtube video which was shown on repeated broadcasts, it appeared to me that the ape may actually be applying pressure to the carotid artery or massaging it to move blood forward. Could this is a more effective way of getting arterial perfusion passively to the brain than with the method we now use namely compression of the chest wall?
This may be worth further studies. I faintly seem to recall a lecture from my undergraduate medical study days (over 55 year ago) that there may be a collection of nerves in the carotid artery (a node) which if massaged can restart the heart beat- I must look this up on the internet. If I do find it I will post another blog letting you bloggers know about it.
Incidentally if carotid artery massage and/or whatever you want to call this procedure, is found to be more effective, there would be no need to change the acronym- just substitute carotid for cardiac.

Cardiac Research at St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation.

Recently in the Winnipeg Free Press (Dec 13,2014) two half page adds hilited the principal investigators and their research at the St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation to “…lessen the impact of heart attacks…”.The adds suggest for more details on the research and goals of these scientists at this research centre the reader should to go to their link or the website
My comments. Its a very opportune time for the foundation to place these adds during the festive season when people are in the mood of buying gifts. I hope their drive for funds is very successful.
My other 2 comments are maybe not so complementary. The reader will notice that the upper half of one of these pages contains an add for purchasing liquor. Probably not the wisest selection by the newspaper editors.
Regarding my third comment it relates to an international symposium entitled “Free Radicals in Health and Disease ” which was held on October 1987 at the A. Cohen auditorium of the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. The three main Organizers for this symposium included the U. of Manitoba, St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation and the Kildonan Institute of Gerontology -the latter a private non profit research foundation. As the medical director of this foundation I was pleased that we were able to successfully invite and sponsor for this symposium Dr. Denham Harman, a professor at the U. of Nebraska and the- ” father of Free Radical Pathology”*
About a decade later in the mid 1990’s our private foundation dissolved basically for lack of funds. Our equipment was donated to the St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation in the 1990’s, but my knowledge and expertise in the field of cellular gerontology did not accompany this donation although I personally made the request at the time of the donation as well as on several subsequent occasions.
It is however somewhat gratifying to at least see that some of the research at St.Boniface Hospital Research Foundation is being directed to free radical pathology. However now at the age of 87 I often reflect on” what if” I had the opportunity to work at this research centre which I was willing to do gratis.

*.Dr. Denham recently died on Nov 25,2014 at the age of 98 without receiving the Nobel prize even though he was nominated some 6 times.

Life extension and anti-aging

The Life Extension Foundation ( was organized in Hollywood, Florida in the 1980’s by Saul Kent and William Faloon – its original founders. In my view, the foundation owes its success to Saul Kent’s publication in March 1983 of The Life Extension Revolution.

I was fortunate to have purchased this excellent book directly from the foundation – long before the Internet and Amazon. We had just purchased our winter home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in February 1982. One afternoon on our second winter visit, I decided to drop by the Life Extension Foundation – then a 5-story warehouse building in downtown Hollywood, Florida just north of Ft. Lauderdale. I immediately became a member of the foundation and have retained my membership to this day, even though we discontinued our winter vacations to the sunshine state in 2007 after 32 years.

These days, I especially enjoy reading the weekly newsletters from the foundation and the monthly Life Extension Magazine. I also continue to buy several of their textbooks, the latest being Disease Prevention and Treatment – currently in its 5th edition.

As outlined on my docSamSBH homepage, my goal with this website is to help you to “add years to your life and life to your years.”

I will also continue to search, review and evaluate published research, ideas and publications in the field of anti-aging that I feel are scientifically sound.

You may also wish to join the Life Extension Foundation to receive “news you can use” to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What is Cheating

Educators are not only concerned about the frequency and sophistication of cheating by our high school and university students, but also about the fact that many of these students do not seem to have any guilt about being involved.

Two questions present themselves:
– one is: Should the students feel guilty?
– the other: Should the educators, or indeed the public, be surprised about this behaviour?

Let us first look closely at the higher institutions of learning namely our universities. When we analyze the faculty’s tactics for obtaining grants for research, we find that some of them may be involved in plagiarism, besides other activities which may be considered a form of cheating. Let me explain: Novice researchers who apply for research grants often get assistance from their supervisors, i.e. the faculty, especially on how to formulate their grant applications so they are successful in receiving funds.

Because they received professional help some might view this support as a form of cheating. If such applicants for research grants use a senior scientist to help them prepare their grant proposal, could the research team submitting such a grant proposal be construed as cheating? Are they in the same category as those high school and/or university students who get professional help for their essays and/ or other school projects? Are their tactics any different from the handouts received by the beggars on our streets?

It seems logical to extend this line of reasoning to the mechanisms used by some of our charitable organizations. It is my understanding that for some charitable organizations the budget for their fundraising campaigns may exceed a third or even half of the total monies they collect! If such organizations were to make more transparent or even more public the fraction of the monies that they collect that actually go towards research and/or the aims of their charity, this might exclude them from the cheating category.

Sunlight, Exercise and Vitamin D

The public with enthusiastic support from Canadian postal workers are currently strongly objecting to the federal government’s recent plans to reduce and eliminate residential mail delivery. In one of my earlier posts, I made reference to the scientific literature which seems to postulate the importance of serum level of the sunshine hormone vitamin D in not only slowing  the progression of Alzheimer’s, but also in the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures.

Evidence suggests that as little as half an hour exposure to sunlight a day might be sufficient to maintain the serum level of Vitamin D. Eliminating residential mail  delivery could give not only postal carriers but neighbourhood residents an opportunity to get a bit of exercise and additional sunlight exposure. This could possibly prevent Vitamin D deficiency – especially during the winter months – and may also possibly stave off early onset and/or progression of Alzheimer’s.

Our educators suggest that regular exercise of our school children makes them smarter in school. But is this the correct correlation? Could it be that it is not this lack of exercise, but rather the lack of outdoor exercise which reduces the levels of Vitamin D that results in poor scholastic performance? Especially during those winter months seemingly requiring school bus transportation.

This correlation could very easily be tested. I used to cycle to high school and later to the University of Manitoba daily for 9 years – a distance of 3 miles each way. At age 86, except for a Colles’ fracture sustained when I deliberately fell on my outstretched hand (to avoid a serious injury) on a tennis court in Florida, I seem free of osteoporosis. Mentally, I have not yet joined that group of Alzheimer’s.

Maybe it’s time for school boards to eliminate those yellow monstrosities that we call school buses and have children, especially our high school students, return to riding bicycles? The children would then be able to get in their physical activity – not on school time – and more importantly, our school boards would save tens of millions of dollars in school transportation.

As a footnote, when my wife and I visited China in the 1980’s, I was told that in Beijing alone there were over 3 million bicycles. With the shift to vehicle transportation in China, I wonder what effect this will have on their population – not only on their mental status but also their physical status, like osteoporosis and obesity.