When Things Break Down!
Sixty plus years up and running, you’ve been doing great for all that time and now some things begin to wear out or flat out break down. Getting it fixed is of the utmost importance as you cannot get by without the unit working cohesively as a whole.
Out to the garage to look for replacement parts that will keep that out of tune machine going for many more years to come. This is great if you are an automobile, lawn mower, washing machine, plumbing, or some other household item.
What happens when it comes to the human body? It isn’t as simple as going down to you parts dealer. You have to find someone that specializes in each and every single field to make it run smooth all over again.
Top Ten Replaceable Or Repairable Body Parts
When it comes to the anatomy of the human body, certain elements are being made easier to replace or repair than others. The following is such a list:
- Heart Muscle (myocardium) Through the science of Biomedical Engineering, researchers have developed a patch that can be used to repair dead heart muscles. Because the heart is unable to regenerate on its own, a patch is used to stimulate electrical signals to move through the muscle to give it a boost during the regrowth process.
2. Hearing Organs (otic) From using cartilage to grow a new ear in a persons arm to using a patient’s own cells via tissue engineering to regrow an entire new ear in a lab. Scientists are getting closer to perfecting these techniques to give back to those that have been unfortunate either due to birth defects or by accidental damage.
3. Pancreas. While more efforts have been put on controlling insulin for type I and type II diabetes, there is hope on the horizon for the millions afflicted. APDS (Artificial Pancreas Devise System), with the help of the FDA, is now seeing advances in the science for monitoring glucose levels. While this system will also deliver the proper levels of insulin, other research using a patient’s own stem cells may provide the answer to regeneration of the pancreas.
4. Bones (osteo) Ah yes dem bones! Other than dental parts, bones last for what seem like forever. Mankind is still unearthing very old ones. Normally when you break a bone, it is splinted, reset and into a cast. All set to go for the healing. In today’s medical science, injectable materials such as calcium phosphate and calcium sulphate can make repairing bones simpler and the results can mean a renewed and strong bone structure. You can read more about the science here and about certain conditions that it applies to.
5. Urinary Bladder. That hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach is most likely, yep you guessed it, your bladder. Should something go very wrong, is it replaceable? The short answer is yes. The science is called Neobladder reconstruction (orthotopic neobladder reconstruction). A new bladder is inserted into the same location as the one that was removed during surgery (cystectomy). Your surgeon will use a piece of intestine to create a new bladder which will in the end allow your body to have voluntary urination and maintain continence.
6. Eyes. To be more specific, humans have what are called mammalian eyes. While there are many medical solutions to repairing problems associated with the eyes, replacing them becomes an entire new cutting edge science. Enter the world of the bionic man, or eye in this case. To date, only one company has been approved in the U.S. to provide a commercial bionic eye system. Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System by a company called Second Sight, has been successfully used in persons with retinitis pigmentosa and research has been done for persons with age-related macular degeneration. Seems that the future is brighter for those suffering from related eye conditions.
7. Skin. Commonly called the epidermis, it is the living, moving, covering tissue of the body that one see’s every waking day of their lives. It is touched, felt, tanned, bleached, pierced, and what ever else humans can think of to do with it. There are 7 layers that make up the human hide and it is one of wonder in which it can be healed easily. What happens when it has been damaged beyond repair that a lab grown replacement must be used? Impressive and vital, the skin is the largest organ of the anatomy.
The inner part referred to as the dermis contains a plethora of materials consisting of collagen and elastin fibers, hair follicles, sebaceous glands, coiled sections of sweat glands, blood and lymph vessels, nerves, sensory receptors, and cells of the immune system. That is quite a menu! Enter the world of Gene Therapy. Small to large sections of the body’s skin can be re-generated through this technique of science and has been attributed to saving numerous lives.
8. Fingers & Hands. The image of a Cyborg begins to formulate in the mind on this one. Are we back to bionics? Most often it is the joint that gets replaced, usually with a 3D plastic part, which could wear out and need additional surgeries again for replacement. But what if the entire unit needs to be replaced? When it comes to the hand, this is a bit more rare and should the entire hand need replacing, chances are that modern medicine will use bionics. Depending on what is used to replace the hand with, this part of the human anatomy may require that one plugs in their new hand daily to recharge the electronics that may be contained within.
9. Limbs. It is one thing to fix a broken arm and quite another should a major joint of the body need to be repaired. For some injuries, such as elbows, a new hinge can be inserted into the arm with anchors placed into the humerous, as well as the ulna and radius. For entire limb replacement, a prosthetic can be used but, there are limits as these tend be last a short time (a few months to about 3 years). Modern science has found that when it comes to limbs, bionics come back into play and with a much longer durability factor, the price also goes up.
10. Liver. No Chianti needed here! This organ of the body can be found only in vertebrate species. Part of the digestive system, it can control, regulate and produce the biochemicals necessary to expel unneeded toxins from the body. There currently are no methods for the body to survive without this organ. Currently, researchers from around the world are working collectively on using cell therapy and as well as stem cell research to unlock the secrets of regeneration of the liver.
What Are You Worth – Money For Nothing
What is the value of the human body? Good question! Some values depend on what parts of the human body are being sought. In addition, particular parts of the world put different values on the human body.
While it is illegal to sell human organs, except in Iran, there are those who will turn to the dark underground markets, where there is plenty of activity in buying and selling. When looking at the program(s) in Iran, there are a lot of restrictions regarding this practice and it would be more than wise for non- citizens of that country to even consider purchasing any organs, as they would be instantly denied.
Looking around on the internet, one can find varying valuations depending on what you are looking for. Some recent works will tell you that you can be worth up to as much as $45 million. Hurray! Easy work, just sell yourself and you are set to go for life. Whoa, what, wait a minute. Look again! Very deceiving isn’t it. Somehow it is hard to fathom that a 60-year-old body is worth as much as one 1/3 that age.
When you are a sexagenarian, your eyesight has already begun to go, if you are a drinker, the liver is probably soaked with enough alcohol to keep that torch lit for a while. Reproductive system is or has slowed very much and other parts of the body are worn down enough that their valuation will be much diminished. However, one can donate. That’s the rule of the land and trying to get around it seems more of a hassle than its worth.
Butchers, Brokers and Beneficiaries
As on can see in the infographic above, there are plenty of human body parts being sought, sold, and traded on an ongoing basis every day. It all starts by you, or one of your survivors making hard decisions on your behalf, to benefit another living person with a chance to live a longer life that is most likely being cut short due to disease or accident. It is all for the greater good of humanity.
First of all, you will get nothing, zip, zilch for donating. Once you make the decision (or is made for you), the term becomes known as an anatomical gift.
It will start with a signature of some paperwork, followed by a medical school receiving your cadaver for students to begin disassembling the various parts and organs. The exception here would be should your heart is in dire need and is a good match (other organs apply too), a surgeon would remove the appropriate part (organ) and sent right of way to a waiting recipient for transplantation usually within 48 hours or less.
There are many uses for the body of a deceased person, all in the name of science, research and education. Numerous companies specialize in the brokering of the human anatomy to as many as 45 nations around the globe. Selling is not their only game. Some parts are actually leased out
For those living in countries that forbid the dissection of the body, or due to religious beliefs, the demand for heads, torso’s and joints such as knees are in high demands. Body brokering is not regulated in the U.S. and business continues to grow as the need for replacement parts and of those for educational purposes has become big business.
Those that benefit from some of the 10,000 parts available are for the most part, very thankful that another person had the heart and conscience to make those decisions. This part of the process is not without its own sets of problems. Complications do happen and do so often. Rejections, therapy, additional surgeries and the effects on one’s inner feelings all come into play. Not all recipients survive as many will have their lives extended only a few more years, but those are precious years.
Depending on what procedures are being performed, there is a long process of finding the right donor match, pre- surgical preparations which can take a considerable amount of time, and then there’s the waiting list. According to U.S. government information on organ donation and transplantation, a new name is added every 10 minutes and the numbers continue to rise. Waiting times for an organ transplant can take 3 to 5 years, depending on various factors including where one resides.
Ready to donate? Here is a list of facilities that you can search for a reputable location near you and for your own research. When it comes to donating, organs are considered critical and so is the time for harvesting, transportation, and transplantation into a recipient. https://anatbd.acb.med.ufl.edu/usprograms/
An Active Lifestyle – Make It Last Longer
Making personal choices for healthy lifestyles, there’s plenty to pick from. Not just limited to physical activity, one has to consider all aspect of living to keep you’re human anatomy working at its best.
Foods play a big part in how our bodies react and science and medicine are constantly changing their views of what you should and shouldn’t ingest. What is right for you may not be for a spouse. Getting to know what works can be a huge benefit to longevity.
By the time you are in your sixties, the body has changed in many ways and how it tells us what it needs, well let’s just say that the signals (symptoms) have changed from when we were younger. Aging tends to make us all a more fragile and a sharp pain here and there can become a life changing matter, and not always in one’s favor.
Poor diet, alcohol, drugs (prescribed medicine also), sexual practices, stress and lack of exercise all take a toll on you. The mere fact of aging has its own list and eventually parts will give out and replacements may become necessary.
Current life expectancy for men will put you into the late septuagenarian years of life, and for women, congratulations as you are expected to become a bonafide octogenarian. Some sources will tell you that due to improvement in medicine, science, and lifestyles, those number of years can be longer. At the same time, there will be those sources that will be glad to inform you that what was always thought to be healthy for the body, in reality is not. Supplements and several vitamins come to mind but so many other factors come into play.
A final thought! Take good care of your body and be active so that you won’t be in need of replacements or transplants. When a problem arises, best not to ignore it as it is a message to you that maintenance may be due. Someone some day may be in need of what you have and if you are a recipient, be thankful, be humble.
Your comments are welcome on this topic and feel free to share about your experiences for those of you that are recipients from donors.
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