OPINION: Medical advancements making lives better for all

We truly live in an age of medical miracles.

One of the players involved in the Humboldt Broncos crash, Ryan Straschnitzki, is exploring experimental surgical where he’ll have a device implanted into his back that might be able to provide electrical nervous signals to restore some movement where he was paralyzed.

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While it’s yet to be seen if it will work, I have met somebody that has an electrical device implanted in his back that told me it done wonders in controlling his chronic back pain.

It’s not just electrical back devices that are providing medical benefits to our society.

Getting a gall bladder removed used to require intense surgery, where doctors would have to make major, possibly dangerous openings. Now it only requires a few small cuts to do that same surgery.

Diseases like smallpox, polio and measles used to devastate large populations. Now, thanks to vaccines, one of those diseases is basically eradicated, another is close to being eradicated and a third isn’t a problem if people are getting their shots.

Bacterial infections are also less likely to kill you off, thanks to antibiotics. Of course, the problem there is we have to be careful to not overexpose bacteria to the drugs, making them resistant.

Even diabetes, which used to be pretty much an incurable death sentence, can now be managed with insulin.

In short, thanks to medical advancements, we’re getting killed off by fewer diseases and conditions.

Of course, the newest medical technology is not cheap, but there’s something unique in this province that’s try to help it to those who need it – Telemiracle.

In a world where most telethons are decades in the past, Telemiracle continues to raise millions each year from the residents of Saskatchewan, with all that money aimed at helping people get access to medical treatment and specialized equipment.

Because in the end, while we live in an age of medical miracles, they’re useless unless the people who need them are able to access them.

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