Heart Rate Monitors

Physical activity can have positive effects on the human physique and psyche. This or something like that is the widespread opinion among the population. But it is often forgotten that “wrong” training often leads to negative or undesirable results. Overly ambitious sporting efforts quickly lead to overloading of the cardiovascular system, which in some cases can culminate in a heart attack in the untrained. The human pulse, or rather the heart rate, is an indicator of the “correct” training. This counts as an exertion indicator from which the current stress on the body can be read. With the help of the heart rate, conclusions can be drawn about your own training behavior in order to ensure an individually balanced and above all health-promoting training. The constant control of the heart rate protects the athlete from overexertion, which – as already mentioned – is not without danger, especially under high stress. On the other hand, there is the possibility of optimally planning the training in order to achieve the greatest possible training effect. Regardless of whether you want to build up your stamina, increase it or reduce weight.

Heart Rate Monitors

With the help of modern heart rate computers, also known colloquially as pulse monitors, the individually optimal heartbeats per minute can be calculated and controlled. Such a heart rate computer usually consists of a wristwatch with a display and a chest strap that measures the heart rate and transmits it telemetrically to the watch. There is a large number of manufacturers who offer such devices in all price ranges and with different specifications.

heart-rate-monitors

Furthermore, the modern cardio machines in fitness studios have receivers for the chest strap and can even take the pulse into account directly in the training programs. In order to be able to start pulse training, the athlete needs his “maximum heart rate”, which can be used to define the various training areas. It is possible to roughly calculate this value (220 – age), but this cannot be more than a guideline value. In order to get an exact result, it is advisable either to have a measurement carried out in the fitness studio or to use a heart rate monitor that can determine the “maximum heart rate”.

Guide Values ​​For Training

The following guidelines apply to training, depending on the training goal: Light training between 50% and 60% of the maximum value helps to stabilize your health. For optimal fat burning, it is advisable to keep the pulse between 60% and 70% of the maximum value. if you want to increase your endurance, you should vary your training heart rate between 70% and 85%. Overall, with balanced, health-oriented fitness training, the pulse should be between 50% and a maximum of 85% of the calculated maximum pulse.

Laparoscopy

Definition of laparoscopy

As a diagnostic method, it is mainly used for unclear abdominal complaints and when other examinations such as ultrasound or computer tomography did not provide any information. Laparoscopy is a minimally stressful (minimally invasive) procedure that takes place under general anesthesia. Depending on the scope of the examination, the laparoscopy is performed on an outpatient basis or in a hospital and takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

Application Examples For Laparoscopy

    • For women who want to have children, check the patency of the fallopian tubes as well as for sterilization.
    • Examination of the liver, pancreas, spleen, and uterus as well as the stomach and intestines.
    • Taking tissue samples for microscopic examination (biopsy) to assess whether a tumor is benign or malignant.
    • Testicle search

Operative interventions

    • Removal of the gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy)
    • Removal of kidney cysts
    • Removal of the appendix from the appendix (laparoscopic appendectomy) in appendicitis
    • Removal of the uterus (laparoscopic hysterectomy)
    • Removal of fibroids and islets of endometriosis in endometriosis (growths of the uterine lining)
    • Inguinal hernia surgery
    • Cutting the branches of the 10th cranial nerve (vagus nerve) to reduce gastric acid production in gastric and duodenal ulcers
    • Creation of an artificial intestinal outlet (anus praeter).

Laparoscopy

The course of the laparoscopy

General anesthesia is necessary for laparoscopy. So that the doctor has space and an overview of the abdomen, carbon dioxide is first filled into the abdomen as a gas through a small skin incision with a hollow needle. The laparoscope (instrument with light source and camera) and surgical instruments (e.g. suction devices or forceps) are inserted through further small incisions in the abdominal wall. The camera transmits the recordings to the monitor so that the surgical team can see what is happening in the abdominal cavity.

Before laparoscopy

In order to minimize complications, you should inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions and previous surgeries before the laparoscopy.

After the laparoscopy

You are often allowed to leave the hospital or practice shortly after a laparoscopy. On the day of the operation, it is better not to drive yourself. Use public transport. Better yet, have someone pick you up or take a taxi.

It is generally recommended that you remain under observation for a few hours after the laparoscopy. During this and afterward, you should rest, lie in bed, and, if possible, sleep. A mild pain reliever, such as an agent with the active ingredient ibuprofen, can help against pressure pain in the abdomen. As a rule, the attending physician will give you a recommendation or even give you the medication.

Side Effects Of Laparoscopy

The side effects of laparoscopy can include:

    • Nausea, headache, exhaustion as a result of anesthesia
    • Tenderness and bruising on the abdomen
    • Pain in the shoulders and pelvis
    • Injuries to surrounding organs are very rare.

Coverage of the Laparoscopy

Not all reasons (indications) for laparoscopy are a health insurance benefit. If the doctor has a prescription (i.e. for every medically necessary procedure), the costs are usually covered.

Zinc to Protect Against Respiratory Infections

Sore throat, runny nose, cough, exhaustion, etc. – Colds are among the most common reasons for sick leave. During the current coronavirus pandemic, there is also fear of serious respiratory infections in COVID-19. An adequate supply of zinc can help prevent and alleviate respiratory diseases.

The immune system is a miracle of nature and protects us against innumerable harmful influences every day. To do this, the organism needs important vital substances to defend itself against viruses, bacteria, free radicals, and the like. An essential trace element that our immune system needs is zinc. However, once the stores are empty, the immune system can no longer perform its tasks properly. The result: You become more susceptible to infections and, above all, are more prone to respiratory infections.

Virus Diseases Particularly Affect People With Weak Immune Defenses

In the colder months of the year, virus infections such as colds and flu are high season. Accordingly, our immune system is also working at full speed. Newer strains of viruses, such as the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus and now also its mutated variants, also put our immune system to a tough test. Because an infection with this multi-organ virus, which mainly affects the respiratory tract, can have serious consequences, especially for people with weak immune defenses or chronic pre-existing diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases or diabetes) as well as for seniors and severe COVID 19 gradients entail.

Zinc Protects Against Virus Diseases

A sufficient supply of the vital trace element zinc can protect against virus diseases. How this works has been shown for various types of viruses. A sufficient supply of zinc prevents, for example, rhinoviruses – the typical pathogens of colds – from sticking to our nasal mucosa1. Cold viruses cannot penetrate our bodies and spread. Even with the currently rampant SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, zinc can prevent viruses from penetrating body cells and inhibit the virus from multiplying2. In the case of coronaviruses, zinc not only shows antivirus effects but can also slow down the excessive inflammatory reaction in COVID-19 and strengthens the airways. There is ample evidence that adequate zinc supplies are beneficial for the prevention and treatment of COVID-192. Current studies also show that an adequate zinc supply can protect against severe COVID-19 courses. The zinc levels of COVID-19 patients are significantly lower compared to healthy volunteers. In an Indian study, COVID-19 patients with a zinc deficiency had a more than the 5-fold increased risk of complications and showed an increased mortality rate3.

Zinc To Protect Against Respiratory Infections

Versatile Effects Of Zinc

The trace element zinc, which is necessary for humans, plays an important role in the defense against pathogens. A zinc deficiency affects the immune system, increases the susceptibility to infectious diseases, delays recovery, and leads to a worse course of infections. In the case of infections, a zinc deficit increases the symptoms, which can lead to excessive inflammation and additional tissue damage. In addition to other immune cells, zinc primarily affects the function of the large phagocytes4,5. The large phagocytes (so-called macrophages) belong to the white blood cells and play an essential role in the elimination of microorganisms such as bacteria etc.

A Polish study indicates that zinc has anti-oxidative as well as anti-inflammatory effects6. In addition to standard therapy, the consumption of zinc is said to be able to reduce the mortality rate from pneumonia7.

Zinc Reduces The Duration Of The Cold

Around two to four times a year, adults in this country are affected by colds. Usually, the disease will be over in about a week. Fresh air, rest, sufficient humidity in the rooms, and hydration in the form of mineral water and tea as well as enough sleep generally promote recovery. This also applies to a diet rich in vital substances. Hot spices such as ginger, chili, curry, horseradish, and mustard not only heat things up, they also have an antimicrobial effect. Freshly cooked chicken soup is also helpful.

Zinc is currently recommended again and again for flu-like infections. Because by adding zinc you can shorten the duration of colds by around 33 percent. Patients with a cold should use zinc within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms8.

Strengthen The Immune System With The Right Substances

There are many remedies for colds. Since most colds are caused by viruses, but antibiotics only work against bacteria, they are usually not suitable. With the so-called CRP rapid test, the doctor can determine within a few minutes whether viruses or bacteria are responsible for the disease and accordingly initiate the right treatment and select the right drug. A few drops of blood and a few minutes waiting time are sufficient for the rapid test. The rapid test can prevent patients suffering from a virus disease from receiving antibiotics unnecessarily.

Zinc is the basic element for a healthy immune system, as it has a positive effect on the body’s own production of important defense cells (T cells). Since it is an essential trace element, the body cannot produce zinc itself and is dependent on it to be supplied through food. This is certainly one reason why zinc deficiency is relatively widespread. The results of the National Consumption Study II show that up to 44 percent of adults in Germany are undersupplied with zinc 10.

 

Shock In The Medical Sense

Definition

Shock in the medical sense is an emergency situation. With this information, you can recognize a shock and provide useful first aid. Colloquially, a shock scares us – or we are paralyzed, shocked for a short time. For medical professionals, however, shock is a serious life-threatening clinical picture. Read more about the causes, symptoms, and first aid here.

What is a Shock?

A shock in the medical sense is a condition in which the oxygen supply to the organs is no longer ensured due to a lack of blood in the bloodstream. This deficiency can have very different causes. The most common are internal and external bleeding (mostly due to injuries) as well as disorders of the fluid balance, which continue to reduce the blood volume. Long-term diarrhea, massive vomiting, or profuse sweating can also cause shock. Doctors refer to these causes as a volume deficiency shock.

If enough blood is no longer pumped into the body in the event of heart failure, those affected also fall into a state of shock. Medics say they get shocked. The technical term for this form of shock is cardiogenic shock.

Symptoms

In order to supply the body with vital oxygen, the heart rate rises to more than 100 beats per minute at the beginning of the shock. Typically, the blood pressure drops sharply (first value below 90 mmHg).

Shock states can also be recognized externally: The skin is pale and usually feels cool and moist. People in shock are often very thirsty. The longer a shock lasts, the shallower the breathing becomes. The blood pressure continues to drop, the pulse is racing and can hardly be felt. Eventually, those affected lose consciousness.

Shock In The Medical Sense

Depending on the cause of the shock, there are other symptoms:

    • in anaphylactic shock: allergic symptoms such as rashes, itching, facial swelling, and shortness of breath
    • in cardiogenic shock: chest tightness and difficulty breathing
    • with septic shock: fever or reduced body temperature below 36 degrees Celsius and bleeding in the skin, the skin is sometimes red and overheated.

Causes

Allergy sufferers know anaphylactic shock as the most severe allergic reaction. Many allergy sufferers carry an emergency kit with them in order to be able to take action against the life-threatening allergy-related shock condition.

In the case of blood poisoning (sepsis), septic shock can develop in the end-stage. This almost always leads to death.

In addition, there are even rarer forms of shock such as neurogenic shock (nerve-related), electric shock (as a result of an electrical accident), endocrine shock (hormone-related), hypoglycemic shock (insulin shock), and orthostatic shock (due to a disturbed vascular and circulatory regulation).

Examination

Recognize shock with the Rekap sample

Rescue workers often use their fingernails to test for shock. But every layperson can do that too. The so-called Rekap-Probe consists of briefly pressing the fingernail into the nail bed. The blood under the nail is squeezed out of the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries, and the skin turns white. If you let go of your fingernail, you pay attention to the time it takes for the skin under the nail to turn red again. If this so-called recapillarization (recap) lasts longer than a second, it can be seen as an indication of poor blood circulation. Of course, this is not a reliable diagnostic criterion, but it is still a guide.

Treatment

First aid: ensure shock positioning and call an emergency doctor

If a shock is suspected, the emergency services should be alerted immediately. Until the emergency vehicle arrives, first aid with so-called shock positioning is possible. The legs are positioned higher than the head, for example, the patient lies on their back and the legs are placed on a chair/stool. This is intended to increase the return of the blood to the heart and improve the supply of organs.

No shock position for B injuries

However, there are a number of shock states in which the shock positioning is not useful and even harms. Many rescue workers remember these cases with a donkey bridge. It reads: “B = shock position nee”. These include the following 6 Bs:

    • Pear: visible and invisible head and skull injuries, fluid leakage from nose and/or ears
    • Chest: pain in the heart and chest area
    • Abdomen: Injuries or pain in the abdomen
    • Legs: open broken legs with protruding bones or any suspicion of a broken leg
    • Pelvis: Injuries in the pelvic area
    • Hump: Injuries to the back and spine, especially with numbness or paralysis of the limbs or uncontrolled urination and stool.

Don’t panic about first aid

Most people very rarely get into situations where they have to respond to shock. Most often this happens in traffic and work accidents. No matter how severe the accident is: First get an overview, then secure the accident area and then alert the emergency services. After that, you can give first aid. This is the best way to help yourself and others to survive a state of shock in good health.

Everything About A Cough

Talk about everything about a cough the possible causes and treatment, cough is less of a disease in its own right than a symptom of respiratory disease. It occurs, for example, when we have choked. However, coughing can also indicate serious medical conditions such as heart failure or reflux disease.

Definition

Who does not know the nights disturbed by a cold-related cough or the pain of a dry cough or dry cough? The bronchi are burning and you are short of breath. After a coughing fit, we sometimes feel like we have sprinted 100 meters. If the cough then loosens a little and produces sputum, this is often perceived as a relief.

Cough is not an independent disease in the medical sense, but a symptom. As a rule, a cough is triggered by illness. The most common are respiratory infections such as bronchitis, colds, or the flu. Allergies, asthma, or smoker’s cough are other common causes of coughs. Heart failure or drug side effects such as the ACE inhibitor cough are also causes of cough.

Symptoms

Doctors classify the symptom of cough into categories. First of all, a distinction is made according to the duration:

    • According to the medical definition, acute cough lasts up to 8 weeks.
    • Subacute cough is a classification that is sometimes used for coughs lasting between 3 and 8 weeks.
    • Chronic cough is the name given to a cough that lasts longer than 8 weeks.

In addition to this distinction based on duration, there is a division into productive and unproductive or dry cough:

    • Productive coughing is accompanied by increased secretion and expectoration.
    • Unproductive (dry cough) is also known as a dry cough. Mucus does not form with this form of cough. Therefore, unproductive cough is dry, so it remains without expectoration.

Everything About A Cough

Symptoms Of Productive Cough

A productive cough is characterized by the fact that the cough removes sputum from the airways or lungs. Often a productive cough begins with a dry cough. After usually 1 to 3 days, often accompanied by a sore throat, there is an increased production of mucus. This bronchial mucus is transported out of the airways or the lungs as sputum via the cough reflex.

Symptoms Of Unproductive Cough

An unproductive cough feels hard and painful, often burning. It does not produce sputum. Coughing fits that can last for minutes are also typical of dry coughs. Coughing attacks are said to occur more frequently at night and thus deprive the sick of sleep. Oftentimes, a dry cough is accompanied by allergy symptoms. Heartburn can also occur along with a dry cough.

More Symptoms Of Cough

The frequency and sound of coughing attacks are further characteristics that can sometimes even be used to determine the cause. Barking cough in small children, for example, suggests pseudo croup. An attack-like cough with a high repetition frequency like a staccato is typical of whooping cough (pertussis). A morning cough, often with copious expectoration, is particularly common among smokers.

Causes

The Cough Reflex

The cause of cough is the cough reflex. This is an innate protective mechanism of the body. The cough reflex has the task of protecting the respiratory tract from damaging influences and of removing secretions such as mucus and foreign bodies such as dust or swallowed items.

The cough reflex is triggered by receptors in the mucous membranes of the larynx, the trachea, and the larger bronchi. They react to mechanical stimuli such as those caused by secretions (mucus), foreign bodies (smoke, dust, swallowed things) or other stimuli (inflammation, gases). These stimuli reach a certain brain region, the medulla oblongata, via the vagus nerve (nervus vagus or 10th cranial nerve).

The medulla oblongata houses the respiratory center and is located in the brain stem. These nerve fibers are activated, which cause a sudden contraction of the diaphragm and the muscles of the abdominal wall and intercostal. In addition, the glottis is narrowed and extreme pressure builds up under the closed larynx.

When the lid of the larynx opens, exhalation occurs suddenly. With this impulse, foreign bodies or secretions are thrown out of the windpipe like an explosion. When coughing, enormous forces act on the larynx muscles. With strong coughing attacks, the air flows through the larynx at speeds up to the sound limit.

Causes Of Productive Cough

A productive cough is most often a symptom of a respiratory infection. These are, for example, the flu or cold, which in turn are accompanied by fever, runny nose, and a more or less pronounced feeling of illness. If the underlying disease is not healed properly or if there are constant new infections, the cough can become chronic; doctors speak of chronic bronchitis.

Causes Dry Cough

Dry cough is usually a reaction to a variety of harmful stimuli. These include smoke, dust, gases or chemical vapors. A very common typical example is the smoker’s cough.

Other causes of dry cough are severe respiratory diseases such as whooping cough, tuberculosis or lung cancer (bronchial carcinoma) as well as pulmonary embolism or emphysema. Allergic asthma or other allergies can also trigger a dry cough.

Other Causes Of Cough

Medicines can also trigger a cough. For example, this is a common side effect of some drugs for high blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors.

Irritation from stomach acid when stomach contents flow back into the esophagus (reflux disease) also leads to coughing. This is often accompanied by heartburn and acid regurgitation.

Examination

Diagnosing cough is easy based on the symptoms. To find out the exact cause, your doctor will first ask you in detail. This is followed by a physical examination, during which mainly the breathing sounds are listened to.

In the case of a productive cough, the color and texture of the sputum indicate the possible cause:

    • Clear whitish sputum: mostly caused by viral upper respiratory infections such as colds or flu
    • Yellowish or green sputum: indication of a possible additional bacterial infection in viral respiratory diseases
    • The bloody build-up is an indication of serious lung diseases such as pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, or lung cancer. In addition, the sputum is sometimes bloody if the blood vessels in the airways or the lungs have been damaged by swallowed objects or other injuries. Bloody sputum is usually a medical emergency and should be investigated immediately.
    • Brown or black sputum: especially common in smokers, often signs of advanced lung damage from chronic bronchitis or COPD.

At times, complex diagnostics may be necessary to find the cause of the cough. These more extensive examinations are usually carried out by specialists. As a rule, your family doctor will refer you to a pulmonologist (pulmonologist) for this purpose. For heart-related coughs, cardiologists are the specialists of choice. In the case of gastrointestinal diseases as the cause, the path leads to the gastroenterologist and in the case of allergies to the allergologist.

Treatment

Treatment for cough is based on the cause. If a cough is not triggered by a serious underlying disease, home remedies are usually well suited to relieve the excruciating urge to cough. If the cough does not improve within a few days, the first thing you should do is see a family doctor so that the cause of the cough can be found. Only then can meaningful treatment be initiated.

There are a number of medications your doctor can use to treat coughs. If necessary, he will treat infection or inflammation as the cause of the cough, for example with antibiotics. If ACE inhibitors are responsible for the cough, he will change the medication. In the event of a cough accompanied by heartburn and acid regurgitation, the doctor will order a gastroscopy and then treat the gastric acid reflux.

Do not take coughing lightly. This is especially true if the cough:

    • lasts longer than 2 weeks (for infants, toddlers, or children: longer than 3 days)
    • is accompanied by fever or severe malaise
    • occurs new and without a traceable harmless cause
    • with bloody, brown, or black obstruction
    • is accompanied by a high fever and/or extreme fatigue.

More information about treatment and self-help, as well as home remedies for coughs:

    • bronchitis
    • COPD
    • cough

Prevention

Coughing as a result of respiratory infections can hardly be prevented in a targeted manner. Basically, it is advisable to strengthen the immune system. A varied diet rich in vitamins and exercise in the fresh air strengthens the immune system and therefore helps prevent coughs. Smokers should give up smoking, especially if they have a smoker’s cough.

Orthomolecular Medicine

Philosophy / History Of The Origins Of Orthomolecular Medicine

The orthomolecular medicine (Greek: «orthos» = correct, «molecule» = small chemical compound, «molecular» = relating to the molecules) uses substances such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, or fatty acids to maintain health or complaints and To alleviate illnesses. The American chemist Linus Pauling (1901-1995), a two-time Nobel Prize winner, was convinced that taking large amounts of certain vitamins could maintain health and prevent disease. With this conviction, Pauling was one of the most famous supporters of orthomolecular medicine.

Many substances such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, or fatty acids (called “nutrients” in orthomolecular medicine) are essential for maintaining good health. These substances are normally ingested with food and some of them are produced by the body itself. The supporters of orthomolecular medicine are of the opinion that many complaints and illnesses can be traced back to a deficiency in these substances, although the need varies greatly from person to person. That is why there are people who, despite a healthy diet, take in too few “nutrients” and can subsequently become ill.

A lack of the nutrients that are important in orthomolecular medicine can have many reasons:

    • Lack of nutrition
    • Unilateral or unhealthy diet
    • Preserved and alienated foods whose nutrient content decreases due to processing
    • Loss of nutrients in food due to long transport, incorrect storage, or poor preparation
    • An increase in nutrient requirements through the “modern” way of life, which is associated with stress, hectic pace, and the excessive consumption of alcohol, nicotine, and coffee
    • Increased need for nutrients in times of increased stress, for example during a growth phase, an illness, or during recovery
    • Environmental pollution

In orthomolecular medicine, attempts are made to prevent or compensate for a deficiency of the nutrients mentioned by paying attention to an increased intake of these substances. Linus Pauling, for example, consumed large amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A every day – he was 94 years old.

Orthomolecular Medicine

Technique Of Orthomolecular Medicine

The therapist or doctor who practices orthomolecular medicine has the patient’s complaints described in detail. From these symptoms, he can infer the possible underlying nutritional deficiency. In order to gain certainty about the nutrient supply of the patient, the therapist can have body cells and fluids (hair, urine, or blood) examined for their nutrient content. The therapist gives the patient advice on how to increase the supply of the missing nutrients by changing his eating habits (for example by avoiding foods such as white flour or sugar). In addition, the therapist prescribes nutrients for oral use.

Application Of Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine is used in the treatment, but above all in the prevention of diseases. Some examples are:

    • Various vitamins to prevent cancer or improve performance
    • Magnesium, zinc, selenium, and vitamins to prevent vision problems
    • Omega-6 fatty acids for the prevention of circulatory disorders
    • Magnesium against calf cramps and cardiac arrhythmias
    • Chromium, zinc, and manganese for fluctuations in the sugar metabolism
    • Vitamin C and sulfur-containing amino acids in case of a nickel allergy
    • Zinc and Vitamin C to promote wound healing

A special field of application of orthomolecular medicine in psychiatry because many people with mental problems or mental illnesses are said to suffer from nutrient deficiencies. There is some hope in the use of nutrients to treat these serious diseases.

Side Effects Of The Orthomolecular Approach

The intake of high doses of vitamins can in rare cases lead to an overdose and symptoms of intoxication. To date, it is also not yet known whether health damage can occur after years of ingestion of large amounts of nutrients.

Pulmonary Edema

Pulmonary edema is usually accompanied by significant breathing problems and can easily lead to a life-threatening emergency. Read more about early warning signs, symptoms, causes and treatment, and what to do in an emergency.

Synonyms

pulmonary edema, water lung, congestive lung

Definition

With pulmonary edema, fluid collects in the lungs. Doctors speak of pulmonary edema. Colloquially, pulmonary edema is also referred to as water in the lungs. Strictly speaking, these are liquid components of the blood that are pressed into the lung tissue from the finest blood vessels in the lungs, the lung capillaries. The function of the lungs is restricted by the free fluid.

In pulmonary edema, depending on the localization of the fluid, a distinction is made between two forms that can quickly merge without therapy:

    • Interstitial pulmonary edema: fluid accumulation in the connective tissue support structure or in the tissue between the cells, the interstitium
    • Intraalveolar pulmonary edema: accumulation of fluid within the finest alveoli.

Pulmonary congestion is a less pronounced preliminary stage of pulmonary edema. Especially in people with left heart failure and kidney failure, pulmonary congestion occurs as a chronic form of pulmonary edema.

Pulmonary edema usually causes clearly noticeable symptoms such as accelerated shallow breathing, rattling breath sounds, coughing, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, pulmonary edema can be life-threatening. If you have symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately. If the symptoms are severe, the emergency doctor should be called.

The most common causes of pulmonary edema are heart disease (cardiac pulmonary edema). Other causes include kidney disease (renal pulmonary edema), poisoning (toxic pulmonary edema), or a lack of oxygen at high altitudes (high altitude pulmonary edema). Sunstroke (cerebral pulmonary edema) can also lead to pulmonary edema under unfavorable circumstances. See the Causes section below for details.

With timely medical help, the life-threatening acute symptoms of pulmonary edema can in most cases be managed well with oxygen treatment and drug therapy. The long-term healing prospects depend primarily on whether the triggering circumstances can be eliminated.

Pulmonary Edema

Frequency

The exact frequency of pulmonary edema is not recorded. From medical practice, however, it can be said that it is a common complication of heart diseases, for example, especially heart failure (heart failure). The prevalence (incidence) of heart failure is given in the literature to be up to 2 percent. The frequency increases sharply from the age of 60.

According to the German Heart Foundation, up to 3 million men and women in Germany are affected by heart failure. Around 450,000 people are hospitalized for cardiac insufficiency each year. Almost 10 percent do not survive.

Symptoms

The symptoms of pulmonary edema differ according to four degrees of severity.

Stage I: interstitial pulmonary edema

Doctors refer to stage I as interstitial pulmonary edema. Interstitial means that the fluid collects in the connective tissue of the lungs or between the cells of the lung tissue. At this stage, pulmonary edema is mainly noticeable as breathing difficulties. Most of the time, breathing is much faster and shallower. Typically, these symptoms of pulmonary edema subside when the person concerned is elevated or standing. Further symptoms of interstitial pulmonary edema are cough and a noticeable restlessness.

Stage II: Alveolar pulmonary edema

In stage II, the fluid from the lung tissue first penetrates into the alveoli. This is why doctors speak of alveolar pulmonary edema. Later, the fluid also collects in the small bronchi (bronchioles). Typical symptoms of this pulmonary edema stage are increasing shortness of breath and intensifying cough, which is sometimes accompanied by whitish-foamy sputum. Breathing sounds can be heard (so-called wheezing), the pulse is racing (tachycardia), the patients are pale and are afraid of suffocating. At the latest in stage of alveolar pulmonary edema, urgent medical help is required.

Stage III: Increased foaming

In the third stage, the breathing difficulties continue to worsen. More and more fluid collects in the bronchi. A visible symptom is increased foam formation, which is coughed up as whitish sputum. The breathing noises sound more and more rattling. A threatening lack of oxygen (hypoxemia) can occur. Signs of this are bluish discoloration of the lips and fingers (cyanosis).

Stage IV: Respiratory arrest (asphyxia)

Doctors refer to the life-threatening end-stage of pulmonary edema as asphyxia or respiratory failure. If those affected are not immediately supplied with oxygen, there is a risk of death from cardiac arrest.

Causes

Pulmonary edema can have very different causes. By far the most common cause is heart disease. In second place are kidney diseases. Other causes, such as lack of oxygen at high altitudes or other illnesses, are rare causes of pulmonary edema. More about the individual groups below.

Cardiac Pulmonary Edema

Many people are unaware that the heart and lungs are closely connected by cardiopulmonary circulation. Very simply, the circuit looks like this: The oxygen-poor blood from the body reaches the lungs via the right ventricle. There it flows through the pulmonary capillaries along the alveoli. The blood releases carbon dioxide and absorbs vital oxygen. The freshly enriched blood then returns from the lungs to the heart and from the left ventricle back into the body.

The left ventricle is therefore responsible for the blood being pumped from the lungs into the body. If the left ventricle can no longer do this, the blood backs up into the pulmonary circulation. In addition, the right ventricle releases more and more blood into the lungs, as a result of which the pressure in the large and small blood vessels of the lungs continues to rise. Doctors speak of increasing hydrostatic pressure in the pulmonary veins and pulmonary capillaries. This pressure causes fluid from the blood to be forced through the walls of the blood vessels into the interstitial lung tissue, alveoli, and bronchioles.

Left heart failure (left heart failure) is the most common cause of cardiac pulmonary edema. In principle, however, pulmonary edema also occurs as a result of other severe cardiovascular diseases. These are above all:

    • high blood pressure
    • Heart attack
    • Heart valve defects, especially aortic valve stenosis and mitral valve stenosis
    • Myocarditis
    • Arrhythmia
    • Coronary heart disease (CHD)

Non-Cardiac Pulmonary Edema

If the cause of pulmonary edema is not in the heart, doctors speak of non-cardiac pulmonary edema. There are many possible triggers here.

    • Kidney weakness and pulmonary edema: The kidneys play a decisive role in regulating the fluid balance in the body. With kidney weakness, less fluid is usually excreted. This also promotes pulmonary edema. In addition, kidney diseases sometimes excrete more proteins that should remain in the blood. Because these proteins make a significant contribution to binding the fluid in the blood vessels. Without these proteins, fluid can more easily escape from the blood vessels into the tissue: edema develops. Acute kidney failure is a life-threatening emergency that requires the fastest possible therapy. Lung edema can also result from chronic kidney weakness.
    • Toxic pulmonary edema is caused by toxins or irritants. Typical for this form are, for example, the inhalation of irritant gases, nitric oxide, heroin or gastric fluid.
    • Allergic pulmonary edema is based on a particularly severe form of an allergic reaction, anaphylactic shock.
    • The causes of high altitude pulmonary edema have not yet been clearly clarified. It sometimes arises in people who quickly ascend to great heights in the mountains. It occurs mainly at altitudes of more than 4,000 meters. About 7 percent of mountaineers are affected.
    • So-called cerebral or neurogenic pulmonary edema is very rare. These pulmonary edema arise, for example, as a result of severe brain injuries or brain infections (encephalitis). Epilepsy can also be associated with cerebral pulmonary edema. In addition, in particular rare cases, severe forms of sunstroke lead to pulmonary edema.

Examination

For doctors or paramedics, the suspected diagnosis of pulmonary edema usually arises from the obvious breathing symptoms. The eavesdropping examination with the stethoscope (auscultation) and imaging examinations create clarity. A simple X-ray examination is sufficient to detect the pulmonary edema itself. When looking for the cause of the pulmonary edema, very different diagnostic methods are used, depending on the initial suspicion. These include ultrasound examinations of the heart (echocardiography) and laboratory tests of blood and urine.

Treatment

The treatment of pulmonary edema is divided into immediate measures to alleviate breathing difficulties, drug therapy, and combating the triggering circumstances.

Immediate measures for pulmonary edema

Whether medical professionals, paramedics, or first aiders: If pulmonary edema is suspected, those affected should be positioned with the upper body upright. It is best for the patient to sit on a chair. Sitting or lying up has several positive effects:

  • The respiratory muscles can relax and thus better support breathing.
  • The pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs decreases because less blood normally gets to the chest when the legs are low.
  • A firm holds while sitting usually helps reduce the agitation and anxiety typical of pulmonary edema.

In the event of a respiratory arrest or pronounced lack of oxygen (recognizable by blue lips or fingers paired with a lack of breathing), cardiopulmonary massage and resuscitation by first aiders can save lives. Paramedics or doctors can compensate for a lack of oxygen by ventilating with oxygen through a nasogastric tube. If necessary, doctors give a sedative against feelings of fear and restlessness.

In the case of severe pulmonary edema obviously caused by cardiac disease, medication to relieve the heart, such as nitroglycerine, catecholamines to improve expectoration such as dobutamine, diuretic agents such as furosemide, and anxiety-relieving opiates such as morphine are usually administered intravenously in the ambulance. In the case of toxic or allergic pulmonary edema, in particular, anti-inflammatory drugs from the active ingredient group of glucocorticoids such as prednisolone and dexamethasone are injected.

Cause-specific treatment of pulmonary edema

Cause-specific treatment of pulmonary edema usually takes place after admission to the hospital. These include, for example, the treatment of cardiovascular diseases or kidney weakness.

Forecast

A general prognosis for pulmonary edema is not possible. Basically, the earlier professional treatment begins, the better the prospects. There are no official figures on the chances of survival. However, the statistics for cardiac insufficiency offer a clue. Of the approx. 450,000 heart failure patients treated in German hospitals each year, one in ten dies on average.

Prevention

Breathing difficulties of unknown cause should always be examined by a doctor as early as possible. In particular, people with cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, lung diseases or kidney diseases should strictly adhere to the treatment recommendations – and if the symptoms change, see a doctor immediately to prevent pulmonary edema.

Pulmonary Fibrosis

There are more than 200 forms of pulmonary fibrosis, many of which are rare diseases. More about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this pathological stiffening of the lung tissue.

Synonyms: interstitial lung disease, pneumoconiosis, idiopathic interstitial pneumonia

Definition

Pulmonary fibrosis is not an independent disease, but rather a change in the lung tissue and the surrounding blood vessels, which is accompanied by an increasing loss of function of the lungs. This loss of function occurs because more and more lung tissue changes like connective tissue and the alveoli are, so to speak, suffocated. At the same time, the lungs lose their elasticity more and more to inflate when you breathe in. As a result, pulmonary fibrosis causes chronic shortness of breath with a lack of oxygen, which is ultimately fatal. The course of the disease can sometimes be slowed down. Lung fibrosis is not curable so far.

Frequency

There is no precise information on the frequency of pulmonary fibrosis in Germany. By far the most common form of the disease in this country is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. According to estimates by experts, the incidence rate for IPF is up to 10 cases per 100,000 population per year.

Many diseases related to pulmonary fibrosis are so rare that they are classified as rare diseases (orphan diseases).

Symptoms

Pulmonary fibrosis often goes unnoticed for many years because the lungs can compensate for the loss of functioning alveoli and bronchi for a long time. At the beginning of the symptomatic course, there are breathing difficulties, which are primarily noticeable during physical exertion. Later, symptoms such as shortness of breath and shortness of breath occur even at rest. As a rule, the symptoms continue to worsen. Coughing and accelerated shallow breathing are other signs of pulmonary fibrosis. The lack of oxygen usually severely restricts physical performance. Typical visible signs of advanced pulmonary fibrosis are blue lips and fingers. This cyanosis is a result of the lack of oxygen. This also applies to the so-called drumstick fingers (piston-shaped finger ends) and conspicuously curved fingernails (watch glass nails).

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Causes

There are more than 200 causes of pulmonary fibrosis or so-called fibrosing lung diseases. What all forms have in common is that the connective tissue between the alveoli and the surrounding pulmonary blood vessels and bronchi continues to multiply. Doctors refer to these tissues as the interstitium.

As a result of an inflammatory process, the interstitium becomes increasingly hard and scarred. This has two consequences: on the one hand, the alveoli are as it was suffocated, on the other hand, the lungs are less and less able to inflate when inhaling. This means that less oxygen reaches the lungs. And this reduced volume of oxygen can also be absorbed and released by the alveoli less and less.

How it relates to the inflammatory process has not yet been clearly clarified. Recent studies suggest that the inflammatory response begins on the surface of the alveoli.

In addition to inflammation, drugs can also promote pulmonary fibrosis. In particular, the active ingredients amiodarone, bleomycin, and busulfan are suspected of causing changes in the lungs of the connective tissue. Other causes of pulmonary fibrosis are inhalation of fibers such as asbestos and dust particles such as quartz dust, allergic reactions, and radiation therapy.

Treatment

Pulmonary fibrosis is incurable. Lung tissue that is lost once cannot be reactivated. Pulmonary fibrosis is fatal if left untreated. With a timely start of treatment, the course of the drug therapy can be slowed down. Above all, anti-inflammatory drugs based on cortisone are used. Other typical active ingredients in the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis are immunosuppressants such as azathioprine and cyclophosphamide.

Advanced pulmonary fibrosis often requires long-term oxygen therapy. The last option is a lung transplant.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Many people have abnormal heart rhythms during their lifetime. Healthy people sometimes notice that a beat skips or the heart stumbles. Such extra blows (so-called extrasystoles) are to a certain extent harmless and harmless (especially for young people). But sometimes these stumbling blocks indicate serious heart disease. Here you will find everything about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

Definition

In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, the sequence of heartbeats is disturbed: the heart beats too fast, too slowly or too irregularly. In healthy adults, the heart beats about 60 to 80 times a minute when at rest and without exertion. With excitement, anger, fear, or stress, as well as physical strain, the heartbeat accelerates. On the other hand, it decreases during sleep. These changes are normal and important. In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, this adjustment of the heartbeat does not work properly.

Sinus nodes and AV nodes – clocks for the heart rhythm

The so-called sinus node in the heart indicates how fast and often the heart beats. However, this sinus node is not a palpable or tactile node. Rather, it is an accumulation of specialized heart muscle cells.

The sinus node is the first clock of the heartbeat. It is located in the upper area of ​​the right atrium and generates around 60 to 80 so-called excitations per minute. From there, these electrical impulses reach the AV node via the walls of the atria. This node lies at the transition between the atrium and the ventricle and steps in when the sinus node fails. It is like a downstream (secondary) pacemaker. However, the AV node produces only 40 to 50 excitations per minute. From the AV node, the electrical stimuli pass through specific conduction pathways into the muscles of the heart, which make the heartbeat.

Classification Of Cardiac Arrhythmias

Cardiac arrhythmias are classified according to their place of origin. They can arise in the atrium or the ventricle as well as in the stimulation and conduction system. There are also classifications according to speed and danger, as well as congenital and acquired cardiac arrhythmias. We limit ourselves to the classification of cardiac arrhythmias according to their place of origin.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Atrial Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias that arise in the atrium of the heart are called supraventricular arrhythmias. As a rule, pathological changes in the sinus or AV node are the cause.

Typical atrial arrhythmias are:

    • Atrial fibrillation (most common significant cardiac arrhythmia. With atrial fibrillation, non-directional electrical excitations run across the atria at an immense speed.
    • Atrial flutter (abnormal heart rhythm in which the auricles beat regularly but very quickly per minute)
    • Conduction disorder from the sinus node to the atrial muscles (sinoatrial block).
    • Heartbeats outside the normal heart rhythm, originating in the atrium (supraventricular extrasystoles).

Cardiac Arrhythmias In The Ventricle

Arrhythmias that arise in the chambers of the heart are called ventricular arrhythmias. Typical cardiac arrhythmias in the ventricle are:

    • Heartbeats outside the normal heart rhythm from the ventricle (ventricular extrasystoles)
    • Rapid, sometimes life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias that originate in the ventricles (ventricular tachycardia)
    • Ventricular flutter (rapid sequence of relatively regular ventricular actions)
    • Ventricular fibrillation (life-threatening and pulseless cardiac arrhythmia with disordered ventricular excitation, whereby the heart muscle no longer beats properly. If left untreated, ventricular fibrillation leads directly to death due to the lack of pumping capacity).

Cardiac Arrhythmias Of The Excitation And Conduction System

    • Malfunction of the sinus node and conduction in the atria (e.g. sick sinus syndrome, sick sinus node syndrome)
    • Delayed or interrupted conduction of excitation at the AV node (AV blockages)
    • rapid and regular heartbeats that begin suddenly and end abruptly (AV node reentry tachycardia)
    • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome, a frequent cardiac arrhythmia in young people that is triggered by an electrical circuit between the auricles and the ventricles.)
    • Ventricular reserve rhythm after failure or blockage of sinus nodes or AV nodes.

Symptoms

A cardiac arrhythmia can also be seen when feeling the pulse wave, for example on the wrist. The pulse can really race, go very slowly or bump irregularly, be hard or flat and weakly palpable, and sometimes it can hardly be felt, if at all. Depending on the severity of the heart damage, shortness of breath, disorientation, dizziness, and temporary speech and vision disorders are possible. Very severe cardiac arrhythmias can lead to loss of consciousness or even death.

An overview of the symptoms of cardiac arrhythmias

    • slow, fast, or stumbling heartbeat (palpitations, palpitations)
    • Stopping the heartbeat (palpable pause in beat)
    • Feeling the heartbeat – sometimes up to the throat (palpitations)
    • Pulse changes (racing, slow, hard, soft, weak, or barely noticeable)
    • Heart pain, chest tightness (angina pectoris)
    • temporary speech and vision disorders
    • Difficulty breathing, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion
    • Seizure, collapse, loss of consciousness.

Complications from cardiac arrhythmias

Arrhythmias can lead to dangerous complications. Vascular occlusions (embolisms), heart attacks, strokes, increasing heart failure or sudden cardiac death are particularly feared.

Causes

The cause of an arrhythmia can be in the heart itself or it can be a disease outside the heart. For example, febrile infectious diseases are often accompanied by a heartbeat that is too fast. An underactive thyroid usually causes a slow heartbeat.

Furthermore, electrolyte deficiencies (such as potassium deficiency or calcium deficiency) or an excess of minerals (such as potassium excess) can trigger cardiac arrhythmias of all kinds. For some people, eating 6 bananas is enough to cause cardiac arrhythmias. Because bananas contain a lot of potassium.

There are also congenital disorders of the cardiac excitation or everyday situations that change the heart rhythm (for example excessive alcohol or coffee consumption). Heart diseases that cause irregular heartbeat include:

Other diseases that can cause irregular heartbeat to include:

    • Coronary heart disease (CHD)
    • Heart attack
    • Heart muscle diseases (called cardiomyopathies)
    • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis or endocarditis)
    • Heart or heart valve defects (such as aortic stenosis or mitral valve regurgitation)
    • congenital or acquired disorders of the cardiac excitation (for example Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, WPW syndrome for short).
    • high blood pressure
    • low blood pressure
    • Thyroid dysfunction (such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism)
    • Electrolyte imbalances such as potassium deficiency
    • febrile infectious diseases such as mumps, measles, rubella
    • severe bloating (meteorism)

Hypersensitive carotid sinus in carotid sinus syndrome. The carotid sinus is a receptor on the main artery in the neck that can be irritated by pressure (for example when shaving, by a tight scarf or collar, or when the head is overstretched). As a result, the heartbeat slows down so much that the person affected sometimes passes out.

The following situations can trigger cardiac arrhythmias:

    • Fear, anger, nervousness
    • emotional stress and physical strain
    • excessive consumption of caffeine or teine ​​(coffee, tea, or cola)
    • excessive alcohol consumption
    • Smoke
    • Use of drugs or other poisons
    • Taking medication (e.g. side effects of thyroid hormones or antidepressants).

Examination

The typical complaints and previous or concomitant illnesses point the doctor to the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will listen to your heart and measure your pulse, followed by a resting electrocardiogram (resting ECG) and, if necessary, a stress ECG. As a rule, these examinations are sufficient to determine cardiac arrhythmias.

Treatment

The doctor decides on an individual basis whether a cardiac arrhythmia needs treatment at all. Sometimes cardiac arrhythmias do not require treatment. Otherwise, the therapy depends on the type and cause of the cardiac arrhythmia. If illnesses are responsible for the disturbed heartbeat sequence, these must first be treated. There are many treatment approaches for cardiac arrhythmias themselves.

Drug Therapy For Cardiac Arrhythmias

Drugs for arrhythmias are called antiarrhythmics. Active ingredients from the following groups are used to treat cardiac arrhythmias with drugs:

    • Class I antiarrhythmics: sodium channel blockers such as ajmaline or quinidine
    • Class II antiarrhythmics: beta-blockers, e.g. bisoprolol, nebivolol, or metoprolol
    • Class III antiarrhythmics: potassium channel blockers, e.g. amiodarone, dronedarone or sotalol
    • Class IV antiarrhythmics: calcium antagonists, such as diltiazem and verapamil.

Other antiarrhythmics are:

    • Adenosine (is often used for the acute therapy of cardiac arrhythmias of the AV node)
    • Digitalis glycosides (strengthen the heart muscles, typical representatives are digoxin and digitoxin)
    • Parasympatholytics (such as atropine and ipratropium bromide)
    • Sympathomimetics (such as adrenaline and noradrenaline)
    • If channel inhibitors (a new group of active substances with the only representative so far ivabradine)

Cardioversion To Restore Normal Heart Rhythm

Cardioversion is designed to restore the heart’s normal sinus rhythm. This rhythmization is mainly used as an emergency treatment for ventricular flutter, ventricular fibrillation, and supraventricular or ventricular tachycardias. Cardioversion can be medicated or electrically (with the help of a defibrillator or cardiac shock). A strong current surge interrupts the electrical activity of the heart. This time-out allows the sinus node to resume its function and then rhythmically pace the heartbeat.

Ablation In Cardiac Arrhythmias

In the case of cardiac arrhythmias such as WPW syndrome, AV node reentry tachycardias or with certain ventricular tachycardias, high-frequency current ablation can be useful. The starting point of the cardiac arrhythmia or additional conduction pathways (as in the WPW syndrome) is obliterated by electricity via a cardiac catheter.

Pacemaker For Cardiac Arrhythmias

Sometimes a pacemaker (Pacer, Pacemaker) is implanted if the heartbeat is too slow. In the case of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, the use of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) may be necessary to prevent cardiac arrest.

The pacemaker works like a pulse generator. It monitors the heartbeat and gives electrical impulses to the heart if it beats too slowly. The cardioverter-defibrillator is slightly larger than the pacemaker and monitors the heart rhythm. Depending on the rhythm disturbance, electrical impulses are emitted and over-or under-stimulation corrected. If necessary, cardiac shock therapy is carried out: defibrillation.

Both devices are implanted under the collarbone during a minor surgical procedure. Electrodes connect the devices to the heart. If the heartbeat drops too much, the pacemaker steps in. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is used, among other things, for atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation as well as for ventricular fibrillation.

How Does A Corona Test Actually Work?

Who will determine if I need to be tested? Where can I get tested? How does the corona test work? And how meaningful are the results? Under what conditions are testing at all?

For the official test for infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, two conditions must generally be met. On the one hand, there must be symptoms (from a mild cold to signs of pneumonia) that justify the suspicion of an infection. On the other hand, there must have been contact with a verifiably infected person within 14 days of the onset of symptoms.

Tests are also possible in people with previous illnesses (see also risk groups: Who is most at risk from COVID-19?) Or if respiratory problems (and/or fever) worsen. The decision about this is ultimately made by the attending physician.

It is also possible to test who comes into contact, professionally or on a voluntary basis, with people who are at high risk of a serious disease course with COVID-19.

Until recently, the combination of cold symptoms and staying in an official corona risk area was considered a sufficient requirement for the test. Since April 10th, however, the Robert Koch Institute has no longer identified any risk areas due to the worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2. The RKI recommends that returnees to Germany go into voluntary quarantine for 14 days.

Where can I do a corona test?

Official corona tests are mainly done in hospitals or specially set up test centers. Sometimes doctors in private practice also offer the corona test. Health authorities also carry out the test on-site, especially for the elderly and/or people with restricted mobility.

If you suspect a corona infection, you should not go to the doctor, but first, inquire by phone. Nationwide, you can call the medical on-call service. The employees can best explain to you how the corona test organization is regulated in your place of residence.

How Does A Corona Test Actually Work

What is done with the corona test to detect SARS-CoV-2?

In the corona test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, a swab is taken from the mouth, nose, and throat with a cotton swab. Occasionally sputum is saved as a sample.

These samples are then examined in a laboratory. In the meantime (April 10th) these samples can also be evaluated in many hospitals.

How are the coronaviruses detected in the smear?

The common corona test is a so-called PCR test. PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction, i.e. polymerase chain reaction. PCR tests are considered to be the safest method for detecting viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Polymerases are very specific proteins that are involved in the construction of the genetic code, DNA. The test can detect even the tiniest amounts of the Coronavirus genetic material.

How safe is the result of the corona test procedure?

The test results are not entirely certain. There can be both false positives and false negatives. Therefore, a first positive test is checked by a second test.

False-negative results are usually checked if the symptoms or the circumstances of possible infection (return from severely affected countries, contact with sick people, or high-risk groups) give a cause.

Sometimes samples are taken incorrectly, damaged during transport, or incorrectly processed in the laboratory.

Are corona rapid tests from the Internet recommended?

The corona rapid tests, which are mainly offered on the Internet, are generally not a PCR test for the detection of viral genetic material, but rather tests that are intended to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the blood. Reliable antibody tests play a major role in the therapy of corona because they demonstrate immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

For private use, corona antibody rapid tests from the Internet are not a recommended alternative.

The rapid tests available to date are not fully developed and very likely often give false results – false positive as well as a false negative. Such test results are worthless and do not provide any security. In addition, one can assume that by no means all of the corona rapid tests offered on the Internet come from reputable providers.