National News

Given this age of breaking news and whatsapp forwards, there are high chances that one must have heard, read or watched those cringe worthy episodes of crime specials on a TV channel about the Burari Suicide.

Few days ago, 11 members of the same family were found dead in one house in Delhi’s Burari Suburb. As insensitive as this may sound, this news was a pot of gold for media outlets.

One old woman was murdered, 2 of her sons, daughters in law, 6 grand children found hanging under mysterious circumstances. The dead bodies were reportedly discovered by a neighbour after he found the door ajar.

Now under given circumstances police should have conducted a thorough investigation. But probably the media interest in the case made them share the investigation reports prematurely.

Police happily shared the details of an under investigation crime to media. A diary and a few notes which indicated that this could have been a ritualistic suicide pact now became the focus. The diary was unverified by police and handwriting not sent to forensics for investigation. Yet the diary was taken at face value. Not one person questioned the veracity of this diary. Not one person wondered why the door was left open during a suicide pact. No one bothered to investigate if this was a murder staged as suicide.

On the other hand, media sensationalised this case. Panelists debated over this, despite their being no two sides to this case . Scenes of this gruesome death re-enacted without viewer discretion. Death trivialised for TRPs.

While the police investigates this mysterious case, what needs to be spoken of is the hype around it. If this case was murder, then media needs to respect the investigating authorities and give them time to solve the case. Editors must learn to take a step back from their breaking news syndrome. And police must look beyond the diary and hunt for real clues.

Secondly if this were indeed the first case of mass shared psychosis suicide, then making a joke out of it will only act as a setback for mental health care. When a person decides to end their life regardless of the reason, it shows their fragile state of mind. If one decides to trivialise it, then many others will refuse to seek help and will be trapped in the vicious circle. Mental health is ignored in India. Many mental health care believe that if the family sought professional help then the suicide could have been prevented.

11 lives with a bright future ahead of them would still be with us.


Health Care Alert: Doctors Redefine Blood Pressure

Health Care

Medical health fraternities around the world conduct several seminars all through the year.

In Anaheim at California, American Health Association, hosted its Annual Scientific Sessions. But this was no ordinary session.

Reason? This gathering was when the health fraternity changed the guidelines of Hypertension. It was a watershed moment in the medical history as 140/90 mm Hg was no longer high blood pressure.

Note : read the following data as: Blood Pressure Type/Systolic Blood Pressure/Diastolic Blood Pressure both measured in mm Hg

1) DESIRED RANGE: lower than 120/80 mm Hg

2) ELEVATED: 120-129/<80 mm Hg

3) STAGE 1 HYPERTENSION 120-129 /80-89 mm Hg

4) STAGE 2 HYPERTENSION: 130-139/80-89 mm Hg

5) CRISIS: >180/>120 mm Hg

Note: no reading on Hypotension or Low Blood Pressure issued

How is BP measured?

Human blood flows in veins and arteries. Blood flows under pressure due to pumping of blood by the cardiac (heart) muscles.

For diagnostic purpose, the pressure exerted by blood while flowing through arteries is of significance. This pressure is recorded with the help of Sphygmomanometer.

The upper reading is the systolic pressure, the pressure exerted on arteries when the heart is beating and diastolic pressure, the pressure exerted on arteries while heart rests between each beat.


Note : read the following data as: Blood Pressure Type/ Systolic Blood Pressure (mm Hg) / Diastolic Blood Pressure (mm Hg)

1) Low Blood Pressure : < 100 /< 60 mm Hg

2) Desired Range (normal / Physiological range): 100-120/ 80 mm Hg

3) Pre-hypertension: 120-139 80-89 mm Hg

4) Stage 1 Hypertension : 140-159 90-99 mm Hg

5) Stage 2 Hypertension: 160-179 100-109 mm Hg

6) Hypertensive urgency : > 180 > 110 mm Hg


This change in rating marks a huge paradigm shift for health care sector. Now one of every two American is hypertensive. This is especially worrying for First World Countries as it adds an additional burden on the health care sector. In several developing economies such as India, Health care workers, will now not just have to work towards eliminating epidemics, they will also have ensure the rise in sedentary lifestyle diseases are curbed .

It also highlights changes in health parameters through the years, while 130/85 was normal a decade earlier , but today it is high. Meaning we may have to change our lifestyle soon.

Apart from the parameters, changes have also been towards the prescribing methods.

Earlier medication could be prescribed if a person had Stage 1 hypertension (140-159 over 90-99 mm Hg), but now medication can be prescribed for a Stage 1 hypertension patient (120-129 over 80-89 mm Hg) if ‘a patient has already had a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, or is at high risk of a heart attack or stroke based on age, the presence of diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease or calculation of atherosclerotic risk’.

Doctors are also expected to recognise the need for multiple medications and treatment modalities including the usage of combination drugs.

Blog by Isheeta Bali

National Health Policy 2017

Health Care, National News

The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Modi approved the National Health Policy 2017 (NHP 2017). The last health policy was formulated in the year 2002, changing healthcare needs and socio economic changes necessitated a fresh policy.

The policy mainly focuses on preventive healthcare and also advocates universal access to quality healthcare at affordable costs.

Think before you drink

Health Care

 Kolkata-based All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health amd National Test House has revealed that lead and other heavy metals like Cadmium and Chromium have been found in the samples of Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca Cola. 

 Other heavy metals like Cadmium and Chromium were also found in the samples. In the recent it was found that several instant noodles brands had lead in their taste maker.