EP 165: Ethics of a Full Code, DNR, Partial Code

EP 165: Ethics of a Full Code, DNR, Partial Code

Ethics of a Full Code, DNR, Partial Code

Full codes and partial codes cannot be avoided whenever there is an emergency. But the question is, should people have an option to be a partial code? Is there any benefit to partial codes? Many people think there should only be two options; full code or no code.

What is the code status?

Code status is used in all hospital settings. All patients admitted to a hospital or outpatient center are assigned a code status. A code status essentially means the type of emergent treatment a person would or would not want to receive if their heart or breathing were to stop. 

Your chosen code status describes the type of resuscitation procedures you would like the health care team to do if your heart stopped beating and/or you stopped breathing. During this medical emergency, resuscitation procedures are provided quickly to keep you alive. This emergency procedure is commonly known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. 

In the same way, there are different treatment options and goals. The expected outcomes after cardiac or respiratory arrest differ depending on the person, the severity of illness, the cause of arrest, and other factors. It is essential to discuss code status before a crisis occurs and as a condition changes.

Outcome of Resuscitation

Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating. About 350,000 cases occur each year outside of a hospital, and the survival rate is less than 12 percent. CPR can double or triple the chances of survival.

Even though CPR can restart someone’s heart, it can also cause harm or even prolong the dying process. The success of resuscitative efforts is not like how it is on tv, that stats are low. In 2016, the survival rate for adults after a cardiac arrest was:

  • Out-of-Hospital Arrest: 12%
  • In-Hospital Arrest: Less than 25%
    • The average survival-to-discharge rate for adults who suffer in-hospital arrest is 17% to 20%.
  • Survival rates are lower for patients with advanced age, cancer, sepsis, renal failure, or liver failure. The survival rates for patients with a chronic illness or advanced illness average 5% and less than 1% respectively.
  • More than 40% of survivors are discharged with a significant decrease in their functional ability. 

Different Types of Code Statuses

Just like there are different treatment modalities there are different code statuses. There isn’t only 1 route and you can choose different options, however, there is a limit on what we can and can’t do. 

    1. Full Code: We do anything and everything to try and bring you back. This includes CPR, intubation, medications, lines, and procedures. 
    2. DNR: This is a Do Not Resuscitate order. When your heart stops we will not attempt to do anything. We will let you pass without any interventions. 
    3. Partial Code: This one can be a little complicated because there a few measures you can choose to have done or choose not to have done. 
      1. Meds Only: In this situation, if your heart were to stop we would not perform CPR or intubation. What we would do is use medication to bring you back. We can push epinephrine, give bicarbonate, start levophed or other pressors to try and keep your heart beating or start it back up. 
      2. No CPR: Some patients do not want CPR performed but are open to everything else. Defibrillation, intubation, and medication are all used. 
  • DNI – Do not intubate. There are patients that want everything to be done but not get a breathing tube placed

What is the Ethics of Partial Codes?

The main objection to partial code orders is that they are ineffective in sustaining life and can potentially deceive the patient and/or patient’s family into believing that resuscitation is possible when, in fact, the patient’s death is imminent. 

  • The concept is that you need hands on the chest to resuscitate someone. Once a heart stops beating there is no more circulation so there is no oxygen being fed into the tissue. Every second cell dies without any pressure from the heartbeat. 

People always want to make exceptions for everything. But when it comes to life it’s either you’re 2 feet in or 2 feet out. Is there such a thing as partial living? Then why should there be partial codes? Why should we hold back or delay treatment if the person/family is set on them surviving? Why not give them a full opportunity?

Many people would agree that there should only be 2 options; 

  1. Full code as in to do everything
  2. No code as in does nothing but comfort. 

It’s either we try to keep them alive or not. Why do people persistently make partial codes as in they want to “maybe” live? 

Why partial codes?

Many people don’t understand the reasoning behind a partial code. Let’s think about it. 

If you have ever seen a code blue with good chest compressions it is not a pleasant thing to witness. A lot of times a guy pushes on someone’s chest very hard and most of those times it leads to the sternum and other bones being broken. 

We can understand how enduring it is for the family to see. They see their loved ones and want them to at least have some chance. But partial codes give the lowest chance. 

  • Maybe there should be orders that state can intubate for respiratory distress but now when a pulse is lost. But then what if the pt loses a pulse during intubation. 

How much time do we have until brain damage?

  • When cardiac arrest occurs, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) must be started within two minutes. After three minutes, global cerebral ischemia, the lack of blood flow to the entire brain, can lead to brain injury that gets progressively worse.
  • By nine minutes, severe and permanent brain damage is likely. After 10 minutes, the chances of survival are low.
  • Even if a person is resuscitated, eight out of every 10 will be in a coma and sustain some level of brain damage. Simply put, the longer the brain is deprived of oxygen, the worse the damage will be.

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 intro
00:51 Plugs
01:23 Episode Introduction
02:37 What happens in a code status

05:25 A very slim chance of surviving a cardiac arrest
07:25 What is a code status?
09:16 Full Code, No Code, Partial Code
11:58 Family members are not educated well with code status
14:45  Partial Code rarely or does not work at all
17:45 Sad situation of a full code patient
20:12 How much time do we have until brain damage?
21:53 Call for physicians to step up and decide code status in real-time
25:12 Improvements that can be done
27:25 Patient’s family are very reliant on healthcare providers
30:27 Getting clear on what code to choose

 

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil degradation and retrogression are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of stable soil. So we think that soil degradation and human demise are the end results if this kind of soil condition continues. 

Retrogression is primarily due to soil erosion and corresponds to a phenomenon where succession reverts the land to its natural physical state. 

  • Soil is lost due to erosion from wind and water— for example, rivers washing upland or wind blowing dirt away.

Degradation is due to the replacement of primary plant communities by secondary communities. This replacement modifies the humus composition and amount and affects the formation of the soil. 

  • It is directly related to human activity. 

What is Soil?

The definition of soil is “The unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the Earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.” [1].

Soil is one of the world’s most needed resources. We think about animals and this idea of going “plant only” but don’t understand that this might not be the best thing for ourselves and our environment. 

When was the last time, if ever, we thought about soil health? It isn’t something that comes to mind as necessary, even when we think about human survival. Ask yourself what do humans need to survive? Water and food.

Water is found in natural bodies of water, but where do you get food from? Soil is required for plants, animals require plants, and as humans, we need to eat animals and plants. 

The Soil Profile

As soils develop over time, layers (or horizons) form a soil profile. Most soil profiles cover the earth as two main layers—topsoil and subsoil.

Soil horizons are the layers in the soil as you move down the soil profile. A soil profile may have soil horizons that are easy or difficult to distinguish. [2]

Most soils exhibit 3 main horizons:

  • A horizon: humus-rich topsoil where nutrient, organic matter, and biological activity are highest (i.e., most plant roots, earthworms, insects, and micro-organisms are active). The A horizon is usually darker than other horizons because of the organic materials.
  • B horizon: clay-rich subsoil that is often less fertile than the topsoil but holds more moisture. It generally has a lighter color and less biological activity than the A horizon. Texture may be heavier than the A horizon too.
  • C horizon: underlying weathered rock (from which the A and B horizons form).
  • Some soils also have an O horizon, mainly consisting of plant litter accumulated on the soil surface.

The properties of horizons are used to distinguish between soils and determine land-use potential.

What is in the soil we use?

Soil contains air, water, minerals, and plant and animal matter, both living and dead. These soil components fall into two categories. 

  • In the first category are biotic factors—all the living and once-living things in the soil, such as plants and insects. 
  • The second category consists of abiotic factors, including all nonliving things—minerals, water, and air. 

The most common minerals found in soil that support plant growth are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen gas. Other less common minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. The biotic and abiotic factors in the soil make up the soil’s composition.

Minerals

The most significant component of soil is its minerals, accounting for about 45% of its volume. The most common ones are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. While the less common ones are magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. 

Water

Water is the second essential component of soil. It makes up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. It is vital for transporting nutrients to growing plants and soil organisms and facilitating biological and chemical decomposition. Soil water availability is the capacity of a particular soil to hold water available for plant use.

Organic Material 

Organic matter is the next primary component found in soils at levels of approximately 1% to 5%. This matter is derived from dead plants and animals and has a high capacity to hold onto and provide the essential elements and water for plant growth. An organic matter has a tall “plant available” water-holding ability and CEC, which can enhance the growth potential of soils. 

Gas

Gases and air are the following essential component of soil. They make up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. Oxygen is necessary for root and microbe respiration, which helps support plant growth. 

Carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas are also crucial for belowground plant functions like nitrogen-fixing bacteria. If soils remain waterlogged (where gas is displaced by excess water), it can prevent root gas exchange, leading to plant death, a common concern after floods.

Microorganisms

Microorganisms are the final fundamental element of soils. They are present in the ground in high numbers but make up less than 1% of the soil volume. An estimate is that, one thimble full of topsoil hols more than 200,000 microbial organisms.
 
Earthworms and nematodes are the largest organisms found in soil. The smallest are algae, fungi, actinomycetes, and bacteria. Microorganisms are the primary decomposers of raw organic matter. Many decomposers eat up organic matter, water, and air. This is to recycle natural organic matter into humus, rich in plant nutrients [3].

Nutrient Depleted Soil

Nearly 99 percent of the world’s daily calorie intake can be traced back to the soil. The plants and animals we eat require soil to grow. Soil is vital for human survival, yet modern farming and agricultural practices quickly destroy it. 

Worldwide, one-third of the Earth’s soil is at least moderately degraded, and over half of the land used for agriculture has some soil degradation.

Due to intense, mismanaged farming, soil nutrients are declining. 

  • Nitrogen stores have decreased by 42 percent
  • Phosphorus by 27 percent
  • Sulfur by 33 percent. 

Plants require these nutrients for photosynthesis, enzymes, protein synthesis, and more to grow optimally.

As a result of declining soil fertility and selective breeding, the nutritional contents of some fruits, vegetables, and grains have also been compromised. 

  • In a 2004 study using USDA data, 43 garden crops were analyzed to compare nutritional content in 1950 versus 1999. Some nutrients were unchanged, but calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C were lower in 1999 compared to 1950, ranging from a 6 percent to 38 percent drop [4].

The protein content in corn declined from 30 percent to 50 percent from 1920 to 2001, while the starch content increased [5].

The magnesium content of vegetables and wheat has declined by up to 25 percent. There are trace minerals in vegetable crops. Minerals like manganese, zinc, copper, and nickel, have decreased over the last decades. Toxic minerals like aluminum, lead, and cadmium have increased [6].
 
Grains, soy, and corn are low on the nutrient density scale. Far below organ meats, meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

Modern Agriculture and Soil

The current agriculture methods produce higher yields but deplete and erode soils. Currently, industrial agriculture is destroying the soil. It is being destroyed at 100 to 1,000 times the rate where it is replenished. It is according to the United Nations estimates. According to their report, we only have 60 years left of harvest in many farming regions.

What contributes to soil degradation and human demise?

Monoculture

Many industrial farms grow one single crop, year after year after year. This kind of practice depletes the soil and contributes to carbon loss and soil erosion. Agricultural farms must include perennial crops, legumes, and forages in rotation. This returns the organic matter in the soil, prevents decay, and replenishes nutrients.
  • For example, legume crop residues can be converted into nitrogen by soil bacteria, reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers.

Additionally, monocropping can threaten food security. With a single crop species on millions of acres, one disease could potentially wipe out an entire food system.

Synthetic Fertilizers

Instead of using organic fertilizers, including crop rotations, cover crops, and manure, modern farms require massive amounts of synthetic fertilizers to grow crops continually. 

  • Nitrogen-based fertilizer production has increased by 9.5-fold since 1960. Fertilizer production consumes fossil fuels in a very energy-intensive process, with non-negligible environmental consequences. 

Not all the fertilizers applied are used up by the crops. Fifty percent or more of the nitrogen leaches into the environment. Many inorganic fertilizers destroy soil microbes that have roles in soil homeostasis.

  • Ammonia, nitrate, and other nitrogen residues make their way to groundwater, rivers, and eventually, the ocean. They reduce oxygen levels, increase algae growth, and damage or death to aquatic life. 

Tillage-Based Farming

Farms today till fields to remove crop residues, flatten the land, and generally mix up the topsoil. However, tilling reduces microbe populations in the soil, promotes soil erosion, and releases greenhouse gases. Today, 93 percent of the world’s cropland uses tilling-based methods for production.

Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides

Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides can help increase crop yield. By keeping weeds and harmful organisms under control. The benefits come with costs. And when this problem continues soil degradation and human demise is going to be our future. 
 
Pesticides destroy the microbial populations in the soil too. It can also disrupt honeybee and butterfly populations, impacting pollination.
  • Additionally, pesticide residues make their way into water systems and food. Many health problems have been linked to pesticide exposure, including asthma, neurological issues, and even cancer. 
  • The most well-known herbicide is glyphosate, which is applied to crops for hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Glyphosate has profound environmental and health consequences, covered in this article.

Mismanaged Grazing

Cows and other ruminants have the unique ability to convert grasses and other plants that are inedible for humans into nutrient-dense, edible animal products.
 
Best practices dictate that ruminants should rotate among different fields, allowing sections of grass to rest and regrow
 
But when cows graze on the same land as in many conventional farms, it contributes to soil erosion. It lowers soil carbon reserves. Overgrazing contributed to the loss of about one-fifth of the world’s grasslands

[7].

  • Unfortunately, the importance of ruminant animals has been almost forgotten. Due to rocky terrain, hills, and climate, much of the world’s land isn’t even conducive for growing crops. 
  • In contrast, cows, sheep, and goats can often thrive on these marginal lands. Yet these areas aren’t being fully utilized to raise ruminants for food and to sequester carbon properly. Instead, we have concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO, where grazing is limited, cows are fed grain residues from an outlying farm.

Unity Between the Human Body and Soil

Our body is from soil and water. Without those 2, there is minimal to no possibility of human life. The quality of soil impacts the quality of our physical, spiritual, and mental selves. 
 
Think about evolution or spirituality – if we stem from one at one point. We were the soil or some component of it, so now we are forever bound to the ground. In that soil, there is life, and from that life, there comes bigger life. Not only does it help in a physical sense but spiritual sense too.
 
When you eat bad food, you feel sick. This sickness manifests physically, mentally, and even spiritually. If you have food poisoning, how do you move? How does it then change your thinking? How does it influence your beliefs? Soil connects to us.
 
We are treating soil like some infinite disposable thing. Now take a look at how some humans treat other humans? How toxic people in power treat people below them.
 
The word human stems from the word “humus” in Latin, which means soil. As translated to “living soil” – as in the ground needed for growth. Less and less nutrient-dense foods can lead to the shunting of human growth and function.
 

To learn more about soil degradation and human demise, watch the full Episode 96 in this video 👇

SHOW NOTES:

00:00 Intro
00:52 Plugs
02:08 Soil Degradation and Human Demise
07:25 What is soil?
09:54 The layers of soil
12:35 The essential life-building blocks in soil
16:43 Nutrient Depleted Soil
20:37 Soil Erosion: Monoculture
21:58 Soil Erosion: Synthetic Fertilizers
24:21 Soil Erosion: Tillage-Based Farming
25:19 Soil Erosion: Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides
27:35 Soil Erosion: Mismanaged Grazing
30:14 Unity Between the Human Body and Soil
35:20 Wrapping up the episode

EP 157: A Nurses Perspective on The RaDonda Vaught Case

EP 157: A Nurses Perspective on The RaDonda Vaught Case

Medical Errors and the RaDonda Vaught Case

The RaDonda Vaught case is controversial because of its nature – Vaught being a nurse and how her actions led to the death of a patient. As one of the leading causes of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer, medical errors rank third. But why is this so? What are the common medical errors that can happen to a patient? Is there a future left for Vaught?

In a study done at John Hopkins in 2016, more than 250,000 people in America die of medical errors each year. Other reports indicated that the numbers are as high as 440,000. 

The RaDonda Vaught Case Overview

Miss RaDonda Vaught was a former nurse from Tennesse. She was accused of dispensing the wrong medicine, which led to the death of her patient. Her trial begins this March 2022. Because of her actions, she was charged with reckless homicide and felony abuse of an impaired adult. 

The RaDonda Vaught Case’s Timeline

To get a better view of what this case is all about, here is the timeline of events:

Dec. 24, 2017 – Charlene Murphey was a long-time resident of the Nashville suburb of Gallatin. She came to Vanderbilt with a subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma is also known as bleeding in the brain. 

Dec. 26, 2017 – Two days later, Murphey’s condition showed improvement. She was almost ready to be discharged from Vanderbilt. She was then sent to get her final PET in the radiology department of the hospital. Murphey was supposed to be given a sedative called Versed.

Unfortunately, instead of the said sedative, she Murphey was given a dose of vecuronium. This drug is a powerful paralyzing medication. According to federal investigations report, this drug left Murphey brain dead.
 
Vaught allegedly admitted to hospital staff that she was responsible for the said medical error. She stated that she went to the Pyxis that released medications and realized that the patient’s prescription had not been sent over
 
She then overrode the system by typing “ve” and selecting the first medication that came up. The drug she chose was Vecuronium bromide, which is a paralytic. 
 
Murphey was found unresponsive after 30 minutes and required CPR and ventilation. Although she was placed on life support, she died after 12 hours. 

Dec. 27, 2017 – Murphey’s family gathers at Vanderbilt to say their goodbyes. She was then disconnected from the breathing machine, calling her time of death around 1 a.m. 

Plaintiff vs. Defendant

Assistant District Attorney Chad Jackson said there is no way to prove that Vaught could have pulled the right medicine from the machine with the way she used it
 
Vaught’s attorney, Peter Strianse, said he plans to show that the medicine-dispensing cabinet was in permanent override mode.
 
A reckless homicide case can carry a sentence of up to 12 years in jail, while impaired adult abuse carries a penalty of up to 15 years.

Updates on the Court Case:

The plaintiff asked the defense counsel not to ask any witnesses. This was about the actions done by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. And the measures are taken by VUMC after the victim’s death. 
 
It is not out of willful neglect, so why should the defense not be able to ask questions? We should look at the whole picture and details. 
 
For one, we are looking at the vacuum problem of the machine. It is like half of the situation was not taken into consideration. As nurses, we need to support her. 
 
The defense counsel couldn’t bring up the patient’s family’s settlement with Vanderbilt University.

Conclusion: Anyone can make mistakes, but medical errors aren’t the result of just one person or party. 

How does the nursing profession feel about this?

RaDonda Vaught’s case could have been a mistake that caused her career. It’s crazy that each shift as healthcare professionals could cost us our careers if we don’t pay close attention to detail.
 
Talk about stressful jobs! This case has sparked a rallying cry for nurses who worry that honest mistakes can be criminalized and they can lose their jobs.
 
This case also has a few loops that can cause future problems for the hospital. The hospital did not report the fatal medication to the state that caused the error, as required by law.
 
The two Vanderbilt doctors told the medical examiner that Murphy died a “natural” death. And that her cause of death was an intracerebral hemorrhage. The government regulators didn’t discover this error. Then they got an anonymous complaint ten months later.

Medical Errors

Medical errors have a huge cost on healthcare. They cost about $20 billion per year. This leads to more expensive interventions needed to correct or treat more issues.

Reporting Issues of Med Errors

Despite medical errors affecting so many patients, it is often unreported. In 2017, the NORC at the University of Chicago surveyed medical errors and patients’ experiences with them.
 
This survey of adults found that in 32% of cases where a patient experienced an error, the health facility informed the person of it. Sixty-seven percent said no one told them.
 
The CDC fails to classify errors on a death certificate when collecting health statistics to paint the bigger picture. This problem makes it even harder to know accurate data about how often these med errors occur.

Why Medical Errors Happen

Working in a hospital can be chaotic at times. Nurses handle all kinds of responsibilities. From taking care of patients, doctors’ orders, and working with other healthcare workers. Adding up to these are administering different types of medications and operating machines.
 
These are a few of a nurse’s responsibilities to help provide the best patient care. It can be a stressful environment and nurses are human beings. They cannot do everything with precision and medical errors cannot be avoided. But what are the most common medical mistakes?

The reason why medical errors occur in the hospital:

  • Communication problems
  • Staffing problems and workflow
  • Inadequate policies and ratios
  • Inadequate information flow
  • Patient-related issues
  • Technical failure

Think about the most recent time a medical error was made in your care of someone close to you. 

  • The mistake was made during a test, surgery, or treatment.
  • A medical problem was misdiagnosed.
  • Received a diagnosis that didn’t make sense.
  • Given the wrong instructions about follow-up care.
  • Administered the wrong medication dosage.
  • Received treatment that was not needed.
  • Were given instructions from different providers.
  • Got an infection after a hospitalization or treatment.
  • Received the wrong medication from a pharmacy. 
  • Fell down or fell out of bed.
  • Got bedsore.

Watch the full video on this episode here 👇 and learn more about RaDonda Vaught’s case:

TIMESTAMP:

00:00 Intro
00:49 Plugs
02:09 Episode Introduction
03:00 Medical Errors Happening in the United States
04:52 The RaDonda Vaught Case
06:29 How and why did the patient die?
10:50 Plaintiff vs. Defendant
13:31 Time versus the SOP
17:03 The misinformation about the drug
23:07 Reporting issues of Medical Errors
25:50 Why Do Medical Errors Occur?
29:12 The system of double verification
31:00 Common medical errors recently committed
33:47 How to Prevent Medical Errors
36:38 Wrapping up the episode

 

 

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine

In our latest episode, we will be talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and their attempts to seize control over this country. 

A Story in History

We all want to know what is the reason behind this attack, so we did a little digging and found out interesting facts regarding Ukraine and Russia’s conflict:

Ukraine

Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia. The country also shares boulders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungry, Romania, and Moldova. The government also has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. 

After the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged and was internationally recognized as the Ukrainian People’s Republic on 23 June 1917. 

In 1922 the Ukrainian SSR helped establish the Soviet Union. Ukraine then regained its independence in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

Kiev

Kyiv is said to be the birthplace of Russia. So naturally, Ukraine’s move toward the Western bloc has made the Russian establishment feel betrayed in the name of having a democratic state. 

The national identity and history of Kyiv are more linked to Russia than Turkic states in Central Asia or Baltic states in Eastern Europe. 

In addition to that, Moscow’s ruling establishment feels so emotional because the first Russian state was called Kievan Rus, which was established in Kyiv 12 centuries ago. 

Even the name of Russia originated in the name of this loose confederation of Eastern Slavic, Baltic and Finnic nations. 

Rurik, the founding leader of the Kievan Rus dynasty, has been considered one of the godfathers of the Russian state. Interestingly, Rurik did not have Slavic origins, but he had Viking blood in his veins.

Russian Aggression 

Russia has been aggressive with shifting its borders for the past decade. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the breakdown of the KGB, rumors started circulating. The story was that Russia wanted to regain its lost lands, and this began with Crimea in 2014. 

Crimean Peninsula became a part of post-Soviet Ukraine in 1991, of which Crimea was a part since 1954. In 2014, Russia annexed the peninsula and established two federal subjects there, the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. 

However, the territories are still internationally recognized as being part of Ukraine. In 2022 Russia again stepped into Ukraine, this time with unknown goals. 

Why did Russia attack Ukraine?

There is much speculation about the rationale for Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch an invasion of Ukraine. No one knows what is going on, and it is hard to tell. We live in the age of the internet and the age of information. 

The problem with that is that there is so much information that it is hard to tell what is correct and false. We know that the U.S. has been involved in Ukrainian politics for many years now. 

Ukraine’s natural resources may be a reason for this Russian invasion

Ukraine has an abundance of some of the most valuable resources. The extraction of natural gas in Ukraine accounted for one-third of the Soviet Union’s total output in the early 1960s. Although largely unexploited, the country also has the second-biggest known gas reserves in Europe, apart from Russia’s gas reserves in Asia. 

Ironically enough, Ukraine depends on gas imports primarily because the USSR began extracting gas on a large scale in Siberia in the 1970s. Germany is also a big consumer of Russia’s natural gas. The country gets 55 percent of its natural gas from Russia, and the bulk of it goes through Ukraine, which earns a transit fee equivalent to $7 billion. 

Much of the gas exploration and production have been transferred to Russia, due to which Ukraine’s resources remain untapped. Presently, Russia supplies 40 percent to 50 percent of Europe’s gas consumption via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and the Ukrainian network. 

Apart from natural gas, Ukraine is rich in minerals such as iron, coal, titanium, and other non-metallic raw materials. It’s the leading nation for reserves of titanium, iron, and non-metallic raw materials. Many believe that Ukraine’s abundance of minerals could also be one of the probable reasons for this Russian invasion. 

Ores such as iron, titanium, and non-metallic raw materials are some of the country’s major exports, iron ore ($3.36 billion), corn ($4.77 billion), semi-finished iron ($2.55 billion), and seed oils ($3.75 billion). Ukraine was the fifth largest exporter of iron ore in the world in 2019, and in the same year, iron ore was the third most-exported product in the country. 

Lithium and titanium are some of the precious metals on earth today. The Dobra and Donetsk mines were up for grabs, and there has been cut-throat competition between Chinese Chengxin Lithium and Australia-listed European Lithium. Both the companies want a foothold in the European lithium industry. Some estimates indicate that up to 20 percent of the world’s titanium reserves are situated in Ukraine [1]. 

Fear of Ukraine Entering NATO and the E.U.

Relations between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) started in 1992. Ukraine applied to begin a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2008. However, plans for NATO membership were shelved by the country following the 2010 presidential election, where Viktor Yanukovych won. He preferred to keep the country non-aligned with NATO.

Following the Russian military invasion in Ukraine and parliamentary elections in October 2014, the new government prioritized joining NATO. ​​According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support for NATO membership remained low. However, since the Russo-Ukrainian War and Annexation of Crimea, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen dramatically. 

Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership. Some 69% of Ukrainians want to join NATO. According to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, it was compared to 28% support in 2012 when Yanukovych was in power. 

President Putin has made clear that he sees the country’s aspirations to join the group as a threat to Russia’s borders and its sphere of influence. “Ukraine is an inalienable part of our history, culture, and spiritual space. These are our comrades, those dear to us – not only colleagues, friends, and people who once served together but also relatives, people bound by blood, by family ties.” [2].

Putin’s speech from 2/24/2022 mentions how NATO has broken treaties and international law, instead emphasizing the circumstances they interpret as they think necessary. One reference is the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and the airstrikes lasted from 24 March 1999 to 10 June 1999. 

NATO’s intervention was prompted by Yugoslavia’s bloodshed and ethnic cleansing of Albanians, which drove them into neighboring countries and had the potential to destabilize the region. Then he mentions Iraq, Lybia & Syria. The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the U.N. Security Council decisions on Libya. 

Syria is another example of the combat operations conducted by the western coalition in that country without the Syrian government’s approval. He quoted, “In many regions where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse and international terrorism and extremism.” 

The U.S. Sanctions that they gave to Russia

Banks/Financials

U.S. President Joe Biden announced sanctions on VEB bank and Russia’s military bank, referring to Promsvyazbank, which does defense deals. The Treasury Department said, “All assets under U.S. jurisdiction will be immediately frozen, and U.S. individuals and entities are prohibited from doing business.”

  • According to Russia’s central bank data, total Russian banking foreign assets and liabilities stood at $200.6 billion and $134.5 billion, respectively.

One of the harshest measures would be to disconnect the Russian financial system from SWIFT, which handles international monetary transfers and is used by more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries.

Individuals

The U.S. imposed sanctions on working directly with individuals based out of Russia. They also imposed sanctions against Russian elites close to Putin.

Energy Corporates & Nord Stream 2

America and the E.U. already have sanctions on Russia’s energy and defense sectors, with state-owned gas company Gazprom, its oil arm Gazpromneft and oil producers Lukoil, Rosneft, and Surgutneftegaz facing various types of curbs on exports/imports and debt-raising.

  • Nord Stream is a system of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe, running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Chips

The White House has told the U.S. chip industry to be ready for new restrictions on exports to Russia if Moscow attacks Ukraine, including potentially blocking Russia’s access to global electronics supplies [3].

Final Thoughts on This Russian Invasion

We don’t want another world war to erupt at this point. The ongoing crisis has left many of us on the edge of our seats. Hopefully, it can still be resolved so that we can all live in peace.

And if you want to watch the full episode on this, click here for more:

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:41 Plugs
01:54 Episode Beginning
06:04 About Ukraine
09:54 Is the birthplace of the Russian Empire in Ukraine?
12:57 When did Russian aggression start?
13:58 Possible reasons why Russia attacked Ukraine
16:39 Ukraine has a lot of natural resources
19:32 Russia’s fears of Ukraine entering NATO and the EU
25:52The Hypocrisy of the West
29:54 The sanctions only affect innocent citizens
36:00 The Financial Sanctions
39:44 Cryptocurrency dragged into war. Is it good or bad?
43:20 The dangers of the government abusing its authority
47:42 Wrapping up the episode

 

 

Cannabis as a Treatment For COVID-19?

Cannabis as a Treatment For COVID-19?

Cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19?

For full disclosure, this certainly isn’t to say that smoking marijuana will protect you from COVID-19. It’s not the reason why a person gets COVID either. Generally, it doesn’t have anything to do with cannabis. Regardless of your view on cannabis, the results are intriguing. But can cannabis be used as a treatment for Covid-19?

SARS-CoV-2

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) or the COVID-19 pandemic includes at least 272 million cases worldwide. It has resulted in 5.3 million deaths, and over 600 000 new cases daily as of December 2021. Its crown-like protrusions on its outer surface characterize it. 

SARS-CoV-2 features RNA strands that encode its four main structural proteins. It has a spike, envelope, membrane, nucleocapsid, 16 nonstructural proteins, and several “accessory” proteins. 

These proteins bind to the host cell by recognizing the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is a homolog of ACE. It then converts angiotensin I to angiotensin 1–9. The ACE2 is distributed mainly in the lung, intestine, heart, and kidney, and alveolar epithelial type II cells are the principal expressing cells. 

ACE2 is also a known receptor for SARS-CoV. The S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV S protein binds with ACE2 to promote the formation of endosomes, which triggers viral fusion activity under low pH [1].

Is it possible to use cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19? 

This study was published in the Journal of Natural products. The Oregon State University (OSU) research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus. It shows that it prevents it from entering human cells. 
 
Findings of the study led by Richard van Breemen at OSU found a pair of cannabinoid acids. It binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It is blocking a critical step in the virus’s process to infect people [2]. 
 
The compounds are cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, CBDA, which inhibit the same spike protein
 
This compound is the drug target used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy. These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and many hemp extracts. But, it doesn’t have any controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana
 
Richard van Breemen demonstrated through research that they were effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2. It also includes variant B.1.1.7. It was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351 was first seen in South Africa.”
 
When researchers created antiviral interventions, any part of the infection and replication cycle is a potential target. It targets the spike protein means cell entry inhibitor. It blocks and shortens infection by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. In addition to that, binding to spike proteins will prevent the spike from binding to ACE2 enzymes

The Research Method

Van Breemen’s team used affinity selection–mass spectrometric (AS-MS). It is a discovery of natural ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It ranked these cannabinoid ligands by affinity to the spike protein. As two CBDA and CGBA have the highest relationships and proves to block infection.
 
AS-MS involves incubating an important receptor like the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This protein with a mixture of possible ligands such as a botanical extract. 
 
The ligand-receptor complexes separate from nonbinding molecules using one of several methods. These are ultrafiltration, size exclusion, or magnetic microbeads. The ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) was used to characterize the affinity-extracted ligands.
 
“Our earlier research reported on discovering another compound, one from licorice, that binds to the spike protein too,” he said. “However, we did not test that compound, licochalcone A, for activity against the live virus. We need new funding for that.” Licorice is an herb that grows in parts of Europe and Asia.
 
Fun fact: In November 2017, The World Health Organization announced that CBD showed no evidence of abuse or dependence potential in humans. There is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with using pure CBD. 

In January 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its prohibited list, no longer banning its use by athletes.

Cannabis and the Cytokine Storm

One of the main events that occur in patients with COVID-19 is a “cytokine storm.” A cytokine storm is when your body releases pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to increased inflammation. 

Cytokines are small proteins released by many different cells in the body. This includes those of the immune system, which coordinates the body’s response to infection.

Unfortunately, excessive or uncontrolled levels of cytokines are released in some patients. Similarly, it activates more immune cells, resulting in hyperinflammation. It can seriously harm or even kill the patient.

What happens is COVID patients suffer from lung fibrosis. It is an untreatable condition that leaves lung tissue scarred. This makes it more difficult for them to breathe. 

C.Sativa is a type of cannabis in a cytokine storm study to reduce multiple cytokines and pathways related to inflammation and fibrosis.

Two of the cytokines that C.Sativa facilitated were TNFa and IL-6. These are the main targets when trying to block a COVID-19 cytokine storm.

A 2020 mouse-model study found that CBD, an active cannabinoid compound found in cannabis, the results suggests a potential protective role for CBD during ARDS.

It can extend CBD as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm, protecting pulmonary tissues, and re-establishing inflammatory homeostasis [3].

How Else Could Cannabis Benefit COVID-19 Patients?

The symptoms of COVID-19 include body aches, sore throat, headaches, and pain. Research shows that Cannabis can help treat these symptoms.
 
In a study in 2018, 2,032 medical cannabis users have examined. These ranging from 21 illnesses treated with Cannabis showed promising results. It has shown significant potential as a pain reliever. Its potency showed its ability to increase serotonin effects, a neurotransmitter that can induce pain relief [4].
 
The endocannabinoid system distributes throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is a part of the inflammatory and pain processing. It also plays physiological regulatory roles across every organ system. 
 
This system interacts within its pathways and major endogenous pain pathways. It includes inflammatory, endorphin/enkephalin. THC is 20 times more anti-inflammatory than aspirin. It is also twice as anti-inflammatory as hydrocortisone. It has well-documented analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. This includes arthritic and inflammatory conditions.

The CB1 and CB2 Receptors

The CB1 receptor is the most abundant G protein-coupled receptor in the brain. It is also one of the most productive in peripheral and central nervous systems.
 
CB1 receptors connect to the presynaptic peripheral and central nerve terminals. They’re found through the anatomical pain pathways. These receptors are also present in other neurological central and peripheral locations. The CB1 receptor with the “high” felt with some cannabis strains.
 
These receptors are within the peripheral tissues and immune cells. It helps the release cytokines, chemokines, and cell migration, including neutrophils and macrophages. Some are present in the central nervous system. It may also contribute to pain relief by dopamine release modulation.

Anxiety 

For many COVID-19 Patients and patients in general, hospitalization can be stressful. As WHO stated, there aren’t any physical dependencies associated with CBD. They believe that the compound could help reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Besides that, CBD can increase serotonin activity and lower cortisol levels.
 
Reducing these chemicals is helpful for anxiety management as serotonin reduces anxiety. Cortisol is a stress hormone at higher levels in patients with anxiety and depression [5]. In a 2019 Double-blinded placebo trial with CBD. They took 37 18-19 Japanese teenagers with social anxiety disorder.
 
One group (N=17) took 300mg of CBD for four weeks, the other group took a placebo (N=20). The results state that CBD could be a practical option to treat social anxiety.

Watch the full Episode 86 and learn more about how CBD can help Covid by clicking here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 Introduction
0:52 Sponsor Ads
2:01 Cup of Nurses Introduction
3:35 Episode Introduction
10:29 SARS Cov-2 Update
13:38 Is it possible to use cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19?
14:57 The Research Method by Van Breemen’s Team
21:23 How We Should Deal with C19 Vaccines
24:34 Fun Fact About the Use of CBD
25:08 Cannabis and the Cytokine Storm
31:48 What is C. Sativa? The compound in the Cytokine storm.
33:03 Mouse-Model Study of CBD
33:54 How else could Cannabis benefit COVID-19 Patients?
42:12 The CB1 and CB2 Receptors