Cures One Shock Away

A Host Of Cures, One Electrical Shock Away

Cures One Shock Away

A Host Of Cures

It’s an iconic scene from all Dr. Frankenstein movies and books. A doctor, emboldened by his passion for science, cackles as a bolt of lightning delivers an electrical charge that brings his creation to life. Back in reality, we may not be zapping monsters into existence, but what we can now do with a single jolt of electricity is no less amazing. Straight from the pages of science fiction, tissue nanotransfection is poised to change medical science as we know it.

The science behind tissue nanotransfection is complicated, but the process itself is startlingly simple. A small piece of plastic containing a computer chip is placed on the skin over an injured area. Doctors send a small burst of electricity through the chip, and the patient’s body takes over from there. The chip (combined with the electrical jolt) converts nearby skin cells into vascular cells, which then go to work repairing whatever damage they find in the vicinity.

While this may read like something out of a Star Trek screenplay, researchers have found that the technology is surprisingly successful in tests.

“This is difficult to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 percent of the time,” explains Dr. Chanden Sen, co-leader of the study at the Ohio State Center for Regenerative Medicine. “With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch. This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you’re off. The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts. Our technology keeps the cells in the body under immune surveillance, so immune suppression is not necessary.”

While the technology is still in the animal-testing phase, the results have been more than encouraging. Mice, for example, with injured legs have shown growth of new blood vessels within a week of the treatment.

The technology is also showing promise outside of blood vessel repair. The technology has also been used to transform skin cells into new nerve cells, which can then be injected into the brain to help a patient recover from ailments such as brain damage caused by stroke. In tests with mice, brain function was restored just weeks after stroke damage.

“The concept is very simple,” shares Dr James Lee, who founded the study with Dr. Sen. “As a matter of fact, we were even surprised how it worked so well. In my lab, we have ongoing research trying to understand the mechanism and do even better. So, this is the beginning, more to come.”

Researchers hope to begin testing on humans as early as 2018. For a better idea of how the technology works, check out this video.

The results of the study seem very promising, and the technology could easily be something that you as a nurse see in your hospital or clinic in the not-too-distant future. So remember, the next time you see a ridiculous medicinal technology in a science fiction movie or book, don’t laugh just yet… it might be closer to reality than you think.

For more information on beginning your own career in healthcare, contact Unitek College today for a full breakdown of our multiple nursing and medical assistant programs.



Nurse Delivers Baby On Flight To Dallas

If there’s one thing that’s true across all pregnancies, it’s that when the baby decides that he or she is ready to arrive, there’s very little that can convince them to wait… even if their mother happens to be on an airplane at the time. Such was the case of a mother from Phoenix, who began labor during a flight to Dallas just a week ago.

The situation could have ended in many ways-many of them tragic-but thankfully for the mother and new baby, a nurse was on-board, and she didn’t hesitate to get involved.

Nurse Rhondula Green of Carrolton quickly answered the call for help after the mother went into labor mid-flight, and not a moment too soon.

“He just popped out – literally. So we just kind of like caught him,” described Green. “I was kind of nervous initially, but when I saw the baby come in the nerves were gone!”

The moment (witnessed by the mother’s two older children, seated beside her for the entire birth) was captured on video by another passenger, Shelley Starks, and can be seen here.

“It’s amazing they were able to accomplish that on the plane without being prepared at all,” said Starks. “She [the mother] had on a black shirt that had two baby hand prints on it with a red heart that said let me out of here.”

The flight diverted to New Orleans, where the new mother and her newborn were able to recover, and Nurse Green continued on to Dallas where she’s undoubtedly gone on to help others. But if you ever find yourself in a situation similar to Nurse Green’s, the website has a few things to remember.

  1. Call 911 – Or in a situation like the one above, see if you can establish contact with medical help on the ground. Of course, sometimes this won’t be available, which is where your medical training comes into play.
  2. Stay Calm – Both you and the soon-to-be mother need to breathe. Anxiety and panic won’t do either of you any favors.
  3. Ask for Blankets – If blankets aren’t available, get towels, sheets, clean shirts, anything you can use to wipe the blood off a new baby or wrap around both mother and child to keep them warm after the delivery.
  4. Push! – Let the mother lie down, and let her body tell you when it’s time to push. When it does, guide the head, check for the cord, and just let the baby come.
  5. Leave the Cord Alone – In the movies, they always cut the cord, but this is a bad idea after an emergency birth. Leave the cord alone until doctors can clamp and cut with sterilized equipment.
  6. Remember Your ABC’s – Dr. Marjorie Greenfield (author of The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book) stresses the importance of checking the ABC’s-airway, breathing, and circulation. Feel for breath near the baby’s nose, and check for a pulse by putting a hand on his or her chest. Not getting anything? Don’t panic. Try “rubbing the baby’s back or flicking their feet… These will often get a newborn crying,” says Dr. Greenfield.

Of course, the best thing for both mother and child is to get them to a hospital in time, but in some cases (such as Nurse Green’s infamous flight to Dallas), sometimes the baby refuses to wait. So pay close attention in your classes, future nurses, and keep your training sharp, because you never know when you might be the next person who gets tapped on the shoulder and asked “excuse me, but are you a nurse?”

If you’d like more information on beginning a career as a nurse or medical assistant, Unitek College can help you start your career on the right foot. Contact us here for more information.

22-Year Old Nurse Saves Life On Plane

News stories that take place on airplanes have been overwhelmingly negative the past couple of months, from people being dragged off flights, to men fighting in the aisles. But this is a story that is far from negative, and one of the main reasons is because it involves a nurse.

According to a recent story in USA Today, Nurse Courtney Donlon was mid-flight from Texas to New Jersey (following a vacation in Vegas) when she woke up to the sounds of flight attendants asking for medical help. A 57-year old woman in another section of the plane had begun showing signs of medical distress, including symptoms of a heart attack.

“I stood up and went over to the flight attendant. As soon as I identified myself as a nurse, they let me start assessing the woman in distress,” Nurse Donlon recounts. “I introduced myself – told her I was Courtney and I worked at Robert Wood Johnson and what kind of floor I worked on so she would start to trust me a little bit. I told her she was in good hands. From there, I assessed her pain.”

While Courtney (22) only earned her nursing license recently, she reacted like a seasoned professional, quickly gathering information on her patient and gathering any and all medical supplies the flight attendants could find. There wasn’t much to work with… the plane’s defibrillator, a blood pressure cuff, a small tank of oxygen, and a bottle of Aspirin. But it was enough for Courtney to do what she needed to do.

“I think even with the adrenaline going through me, I have seen this and heard about this my whole life,” Donlon said. “I have seen my mom take control before and my sister take charge in the field. If you don’t step up, it’s kind of a bystander thing and in my family, they have always been the ones to step up and try to give care, so I felt it was natural for me to do so. … I can’t lie – I was nervous at first being on a plane with limited supplies, but once I realized I was the most qualified person on the plane and someone had to be the confident one, then I could take to the role pretty easily.”

After her initial treatment, Courtney went a step further, personally convincing the plane’s pilots to find the nearest place to land and get the woman to a hospital. Eventually, they were able to touch down in South Carolina, where Courtney transferred her patient (and a full medical report) to the waiting medics. The woman arrived safely at a nearby hospital, and Courtney was able to finish her journey home.

It may not have been the way Courtney expected to end her vacation, but it’s one that neither she nor her emergency patient will ever forget.

If you’re interested in beginning your own career as a nurse, Unitek College has several programs that can help get you on your way. Contact us here for more information.

An ambulance rushes to the scene

Alabama Nurse Changes Woman’s Life… Twice

It was a moment that could have ended in tragedy but instead ended with a woman’s life changed for the better, all thanks to one Alabama nurse.

Twenty years ago, Erika Samuels (then an associate at her local Best Buy) was in a serious crash after a drunk driver slammed into her car. The night could have very easily been her last were it not for the help and determination of a young nurse, Philip Streit.

“I almost lost my life that night,” recalls Samuels. “And to have someone who cared about me when my parents weren’t there, he gave me more than nursing care. He actually gave me life…. I just remember all this glass, in my face, in my eyes, in my hair, and I was in so much pain. And Philip was there for me the whole time and never left my side. Even when my parents came, he was holding my hand.”

Saving her wasn’t the only way Streit changes Samuels’ life. After the accident and initial hospital stay, it took Samuels three years of physical therapy to get completely back on her feet. But despite the pain and hard recovery, that potentially tragic night had given Samuels a new purpose in life. So grateful was she for the actions of her nurse after her accident, she decided to become a nurse herself and continue the cycle of caring.

“What he did for me actually changed my life,” Erika says. “That’s why I have a passion for nursing, because of people like him.”

Their story could have ended here, with Streit unaware of just how much his help had impacted Samuels, were it not for a chance encounter just a few weeks ago. Twenty years after her accident, Samuels (now a nursing student, graduating this May) was featured in a video presentation during a hospital ribbon cutting in Mobile, Alabama. And it just so happened that Philip Streit (now a nurse administrator) was in the crowd that day.

The moment he saw her name on screen, Philip knew that he was seeing “his Erika” from two decades past. After the ribbon cutting, he quickly tracked her down and asked whether she had ever been in a car accident. The result was a tear-filled, joyful reunion between the two nurses, one that was captured on camera and shared online more than 33,000 times. The story was even noticed by NBC News and covered by Lester Holt himself.

You can see the full NBC story here.

So here’s to Philip and Erika, two people who turned tragedy into something amazing, and whose lives have been dedicated to good ever since.

If you’d like more information on become a nurse or medical assistant, Unitek College can help! Contact us here to take your first step towards your medical career.