Over the past 20 years, many with asthma have been put through military training 'without adverse effects', Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament on Monday, as he explained the medical screening procedures that men undergo before enlisting for national service.
But he also gave the assurance SAF's paramedics are trained and equipped to handle any asthma attacks, such as using inhalers or providing supplemental oxygen. 'Around 20 per cent of our servicemen are found to have some form of asthma, of which (the) majority are mild. Many of them have been put through training without adverse effects.'
Dr Ng made these comments after Ms Irene Ng (Tampines GRC) asked whether the SAF should relook its screening for pre-enlistees. The question came in the wake of a spate of deaths of SAF servicemen: This year, five men have died while in camp or in a training area.
One of them was full-time national serviceman (NSF) Private Dominique Sarron Lee, who collapsed on April 17, 2012, aftersuffering what is believed to have been an asthma attack. he was taking part in training exercise that involved the use of smoke grenades.
3. 1 in 5 servicemen has mild asthma
Dr Ng said that a Committee of Inquiry (COI) has been convened to investigate the deaths of two full-time national servicemen (NSFs) earlier this year.
He said: "Every incident resulting in injury or death is painful to us and gets top management priority, to make it right."
The COI will "determine if measures taken to treat, resuscitate and evacuate" Private (Pte) Amirul Syahmi Kamal, 20, and Pte Dominique Sarron Lee Rui Feng, 21, were adequate and prompt, he added. Dr Ng also revealed that Pte Amirul had been found hanging in a locked toilet cubicle at his camp.
Five servicemen have died so far this year.
Dr Ng was responding to queries from several Members of Parliament, who asked if the SAF's medical system - including its emergency evacuation procedures and servicemen's physical classification system - is adequate to cater to personnel who may have medical conditions.
Dr Ng said the SAF is not looking to wait until the COI - which could take a few months to conclude - presents its recommendations to improve the safety system in place.
Dr Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Nee Soon GRC and chair of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs, had asked Dr Ng if the current system of a casualty being sent to an SAF medical centre instead of being taken direct to a hospital was adequate.
Dr Ng said that the SAF Medical Corps is conducting its own review to determine "whether steps taken, and facilities and expertise are up to par".
The Physical Employment Status method of classifying servicemen was also a topic of discussion yesterday.
MP for Tampines GRC Irene Ng highlighted that Pte Lee, who was asthmatic, had been exposed to "asthma triggers" such as smoke grenades when he collapsed during training. She called for better diagnostic tests for servicemen who are exposed to allergens.
Dr Ng said that about one in five servicemen suffers from mild asthma and that many have gone through training "without adverse effects". He added that it would be premature to pinpoint the smoke grenades as having caused the death of Pte Lee.
He said: "We know that we have the responsibility to keep sons of Singapore safe while training."
Remedy for asthma : Proper and regular water intake and salt.
Asthma & Allergies
(This e-mail was written on MAY 1, 2004, 7:00PM.)
(in respond to a newspaper journalist in Singapore.)
Hello Josephine Chew, here is sharing with you the secret of getting rid of asthma and allergies from the children in Singapore and around the world. That's we must ensure they drink sufficient water [not juices , or canned drinks(caffeinated drinks are de-hydrating the body)] and have enough sea-salt in their daily diet.
In the New Paper page 4-5 (in Singapore, Tuesday, December 2, 2003) you wrote about the Diseases of the Young. You asked , "how does one explain the increase in children's diseases such as myopia and asthma?" In a study by the Children's Medical Institute at the National University Hospital,Singapore, showed that one in five school-children suffer from asthma. And this is on the increase. Asthma even affected children below 3 years.
Many doctors are uncertain about the cause of asthma in children or adults. Unless they shift their paradigm of looking at solute (food or medicine) to the solvent (water) intake, they will continue in their ignorance. Child asthma (in Singapore) 2003: 25%. Compare to Australia :15.5% . As you reported in the New Paper,Dec 2, 2003.
Josephine Chew , if you can get a hold of a copy "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. you may find out that many of the diseases we see today started off because of prolonged de-hydration of the body (unintentionally) due to ignorance or arrogance.
ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES.
It is estimated that 12 million children suffer from asthma , and several thousand die every year. Let us declare an end to asthma in less than five years . Let us save children from the constant fear of suffocation because they do not recognize they are thirsty for water !
Asthma and allergies are indicators that the body has resorted to an increase in production of the neurotransmitter histamine, the sensor regulator of water metabolism and its distribution in the human body. It is recognised that asthmatics have an increase in histamine content of their lung tissue and that it is the histamine that regulates the bronchial muscle contraction. Since one of the site for water loss through evaporation is in the lungs, bronchial constriction produced by histamine means less water evaporation during the act of breathing - a simple natural (by the human body) maneuver to preserve the body water.
Histamine is an agent that, apart from its water regulatory role, has responsibilities in antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-foreign agents (chemicals and protein) defence systems in the human body. At a normal level of water content of the body, these actions are held at an imperceptive or unexaggerated level.
At a dehydrated state of the body, to the point that the histamine activity becomes exaggerated for water regulation, an immune system activation of histamine-producing cells will release an exaggerated amount of the transmitter that is held in storage for its other functions. It has been shown in animal models that histamine production in histamine-generating cells will decrease with an increase in the daily water intake. No other fluid can be substituted for plain water. Both of these conditions should be regulated with an alert and determined increase in water intake. On average, these conditions respond after one to four weeks of water regulation of the body.
More interesting news here : http://theinnozablog.blogspot.com/search?q=asthma
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