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MHT-CET : Biology Entrance Exam

MHT - CET : Biology - Community Health Services and Measures Page 1

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Community health service includes all the measures that are taken by the government and other voluntary organisations to protect, improve and maintain the health of the community. Some of them are mentioned below
Provision of pure drinking water, proper sanitation and waste disposal facilities.

  1. Provision of medical facilities and immunisation programmes.
  2. Provision of educational institutes, playgrounds, rehabilitation centres and other recreational facilities.
  3. Preventive measures to control environmental pollution.
  4. Maintenance of blood banks to provide blood during emergency.


Blood Banks


A blood bank is a place where blood is collected, grouped and properly preserved to be used in case of emergency.

Conditions when a blood transfusion is necessary are as follows:

  1. Heavy loss of blood during an accident.
  2. During major surgeries like heart surgery, kidney transplantation, etc.
  3. Treatment of some diseases like chronic anaemia, haemophilia or blood cancer.


Preservation of Whole Blood


Preservation of whole blood includes the following steps

  1. Collection of blood in a sterile container.
  2. Treatment with anticoagulants to maintain its fluid state such as acidified citrate dextrose (ACD) and citrate phosphate dextrose (CPD).
  3. Group wise storing of blood in special refrigerators maintained at temperatures ranging from 2 to 6 degrees C.
  4. Whole blood can be stored in good condition up to 35 days by adding citrate phosphate dextrose with adenine. (CPD-A)


Preservation of Plasma


Plasma is separated from the whole blood by centrifugation.
Freshly separated plasma from the whole blood is frozen. (Fresh frozen plasma or FFP).
The plasma can be frozen in high vacuum to obtain dried powder (Dried frozen plasma). Various other components of plasma like fibrinogen, gammaglobulins and albumin can also be separated by high centrifugation methods.
Plasma transfusion is useful in treatment of haemophilia and haemorrhage, burns, shocks, etc.


Preservation of RBC


Before storing blood, RBCs are separated from the plasma by centrifugation or gravitational sedimentation.

The separated RBCs are called packed cells.

Packed cells can be preserved in saline adenine glucose mannitol solution (SAGM) or adenine dextrose solution.

Packed cells can be washed, suspended in glycerol and stored in liquid nitrogen for about 5 years.


Substitutes for Blood


Substances that are prepared artificially and are used as an alternative to blood or
its components are called substitutes of blood. Some of them are listed below

Plasma Substitutes:
1. Dextran
2. Modified gelatin
3. Hydroxyethyl starches (HES)
4. Plasma protein solution

RBC Substitutes:

1. Cell free haemoglobin
2. Perfluorocarbons


Significance of Blood Banks


Blood banks are the authentic and safe sources from where blood can be obtained during an emergency.

They keep blood of various blood groups, including rare blood groups, and also blood components in good hygienic conditions which can be used in an emergency.

Here the blood is screened properly before transfusion to avoid any infections. They, thus, break the link between many communicable diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.

They keep the record of professional donors, which can be contacted during an emergency.

They act as a source of motivation for people to donate blood to save lives.




The dependence of a person on certain habit forming substances such as tobacco, alcohol and narcotic drugs is called addiction.
Smoking may be defined as inhalation of smoke by burning tobacco in the form of cigarettes, beedi, cigar, etc.


Physiological Symptoms of Smoking


It increases heartbeat, blood pressure and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Carbon monoxide present in tobacco smoke reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Polycyclic hydrocarbons present in tobacco smoke are carcinogenic and can cause cancer of mouth, throat and lungs.

Tar present in tobacco smoke can cause cough, bronchitis, emphysema and other respiratory problems.

Smoking can cause retarded growth of foetus in a pregnant mother.

Even non-smokers who are nearby smokers suffer from the health hazards of smoking as they inhale the smoke released by smokers.


Control Measures for Smoking


Not to smoke and set example for others.

Counselling should be given to smokers to help them quit the habit.

Cigarettes should be used with filters to reduce the intake of tar, nicotine and other harmful substances.

Heavy duty should be put on cigarettes.

The physical, mental and physiological dependence of a person on alcohol is called alcoholism and a habitual drinker is called an alcoholic.


Ill Effects of Alcoholism


Low doses of alcohol act as a stimulant and give a feeling of relaxation.

Being an intoxicant, high doses of alcohol affect the nervous system adversely.

It leads to lack of judgement, self-confidence, muscular co-ordination, visual problems, etc.

It can increase the cholesterol level of the blood, which in turn can cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.

It decreases the blood sugar level, which is especially harmful to diabetic patients.

Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to cirrhosis of liver and gastritis.

Acute alcoholism can cause delirium tremens.

Alcoholism increases family quarrels and is a social evil since many people commit crimes under the effect of alcohol.


Treatment and Control Measures


Medical Therapy: It includes the removal of toxic substances from the body by using drugs like cholordiazeposide. It helps an alcoholic to overcome withdrawal symptoms.

Aversion Therapy:
In this therapy, the person is allowed to drink alcohol in the beginning and then a drug called ematin hydrochloride is injected into his body. As a result of this drug, the alcoholic person vomits and therefore develops an aversion to alcohol.

Psycho-Social Therapy and Encouragement:
This includes counselling from the doctors, family members, friends, etc. to create self-confidence in the alcoholic to quit this habit

Total Prohibition:
Selling of alcoholic drinks should be completely prohibited or heavily taxed.


Drug Addiction


The physical, mental and physiological dependence of a person on drugs such as opium, heroin, LSD etc. is called as drug addiction. Most of these drugs are psychotropic.
Depending on the mode of action in the body, drugs can be classified into four groups

Stimulants: Those which increase the activity of the central nervous system (CNS) Example: Cocaine, caffeine, etc.

Those which decrease the activity of CNS, commonly known as sleeping pills, Example: Barbiturates, benzodiazephine.

Those which alter the thoughts and produce false feelings. Example: Ganja, bhang, hashish, LSD, etc.

Depressants or Narcotics:
Those which are produced from opium plant and produce analgesic effects Example: Morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.


Physiological Symptoms of Drug Addiction


Cocaine is a typical stimulant. It causes a feeling of excitement, alertness and happiness.

In the long run, it produces severe mental dependence, anxiety, etc.

Sedatives normally reduce tensions and anxiety and give a feeling of relaxation.

In the long run, they produce drowsiness, giddiness and induce deep sleep. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness and nervousness.

Hallucinogens produce false feelings and change the perception of an individual.

They cause dilation of pupils, rise in blood sugar levels, damage to CNS. LSD causes chromosomal damage, carcinoma, congenital malformations, etc.

Withdrawal symptoms include pain in abdomen, vomiting, nausea, muscular cramps and epilepsy.

Opium produces symptoms like running nose, headache and insomnia.


Control Measures and Treatment of Drug Addiction


There should be a strong control over selling of these drugs and people engaged in illegal selling of drugs should be heavily punished.

Generally drug addiction is seen in insecure teenagers. So proper counselling and support should be given to them.

Mass media should be used effectively in educating people about the hazardous effects of drug addiction.

Drug addiction is hard to resist as sudden stoppage or reduction in the daily dose produces severe withdrawal symptoms.

A strong will-power and group therapy including doctors, family members, friends, etc, can help a drug addict overcome his addiction gradually.


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