The Health News – 18 April 2017

Overview:

• Almost a third of babies born extremely premature develop a chronic lung condition that can cause death and years of suffering. But a study from Monash University and the Monash Children’s Hospital has found a way to detect the condition at birth, which can help doctors better manage and treat the illness.

• The Victorian Government has revealed a $70-million plan to improve services for people with mental illnesses at risk of committing crimes, in an effort to prevent them from entering the justice system. The plan will see $40 million put towards expanding the Thomas Embling Hospital, a forensic facility where people with mental health issues who commit violent crimes are often sent instead of prison.

• Australian health authorities are warning the world faces a post-antibiotic era where simple childhood illnesses could again become deadly. In a strongly worded editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia, president of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Professor Cheryl Jones, said the woman’s death “may herald a post-antibiotic era in which high-level antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widespread, meaning that common pathogens will be untreatable”.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  18th of April 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-15/research-finds-ways-to-improve-premature-babies-quality-of-life/8445372

Almost a third of babies born extremely premature develop a chronic lung condition that can cause death and years of suffering.

But a study from Monash University and the Monash Children’s Hospital has found a way to detect the condition at birth, which can help doctors better manage and treat the illness.

Mothers of babies with this debilitating condition say it offers hope and could transform the quality of life for the sick baby and family.

Up to 40 per cent of babies with BPD [ a chronic lung condition which affects about 55 per cent of babies born 15 weeks premature.]

also get what is known as PH — chronic pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure in the lungs.

This complication greatly increases the risk of death and the need for intensive care treatment.

Professor Arvind Sehgal, a neonatal consultant at Monash Children’s Hospital, … has … led a study into the condition, which found ways to dramatically improve the baby’s chances and quality of life.

It involved testing the placentas of 56 pre-term babies.

“The study gives clues from the placenta,” he said.

“As soon as the baby is born, we get clues among this high-risk babies, which ones might develop this complication later on.”

Professor Sehgal said it had transformed doctors’ ability to treat the condition.

“So, [we] use information to change management strategy to reduce the risk, include different ways of supporting ventilation and there are some special medications that can be given and more effective early on,” he said.

“What we want to achieve is to reduce risk of dying and if we can reduce the length of stay in hospital. Then we improve quality of life for family and also save money in terms of health care resources.”

The study is being presented internationally next month.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-17/victorian-government-70-million-funding-mental-health-support/8447360

The Victorian Government has revealed a $70-million plan to improve services for people with mental illnesses at risk of committing crimes, in an effort to prevent them from entering the justice system.

The plan will see $40 million put towards expanding the Thomas Embling Hospital, a forensic facility where people with mental health issues who commit violent crimes are often sent instead of prison.

The remainder of the funding will go towards specialist treatment and a range of community and court programs to help identify people at risk of committing offences.

“We know when one in five Victorians every year have a mental health challenge and that half of us over our lifetime will want to seek support from our mental health services, that this is a big issue,” Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“There’s nearly $30 million to work on identifying early, particularly young people, intervening early, to keep them out of the justice system and into the treatment system to avoid problems.”

The funding will be rolled out in next month’s state budget.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-17/common-disease-could-be-deadly-in-post-antibiotic-era-expert/8445572

Australian health authorities are warning the world faces a post-antibiotic era where simple childhood illnesses could again become deadly.

The death of a woman in the United States in January from an infection that could not be treated by any antibiotics has left Australian health experts “deeply alarmed”.

In a strongly worded editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia, president of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Professor Cheryl Jones, said the woman’s death “may herald a post-antibiotic era in which high-level antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widespread, meaning that common pathogens will be untreatable”.

She said if that happened, all areas of healthcare would be affected.

Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the world.

While the Federal Government has introduced measures to curb the use of antibiotics, experts said more needed to be done to limit the unrestrained use of antibiotics and to monitor superbugs coming into Australia from international travellers or imported food.

The Australian Medical Association has called for the urgent establishment of an Australian National Centre for Disease Control, similar to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a focus on current and emerging disease threats.

Health experts will gather to discuss antibiotic resistance at a summit in Melbourne on June 29.