The Health News – 19 June 2015

Overview:

• WA’s peak medical body says that women who ignore advice against having a home birth are “selfish,” after a Perth coroner found the death of two newborns that could have been prevented.

• Lindt Cafe siege survivor Louisa Hope and her mother Robyn. Louisa is setting up a fund to help nurses at the Prince of Wales hospital where she was treated, after being shot in the foot during the dramatic hostage situation.

• Leukaemia Foundation and Myeloma Australia carried out A survey of 675 blood cancer patients, in the hope the test drugs will provide a cure for them. But ill patients are missing out on clinical trials due to red tape and difficulty of getting trials approved.

The Health news on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th June 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-18/women-choosing-homebirths-selfish-peak-medical-groups-says/6555662

Women who ignore advice against having a home birth are “selfish”, WA’s peak medical body says, after a coronial inquest found the death of two newborns could have been prevented.

A Perth coroner released her findings… on the deaths of three newborn babies in Perth in 2010 and 2011.
In two of the cases, the mothers were advised against having home births because of the risk of complications.
WA coroner Sarah Linton found the deaths would most likely have been prevented if the babies were born in hospital.

The WA Australian Medical Association has urged pregnant woman to listen to their doctor’s advice if giving birth at home is deemed not safe.
President Michael Gannon said it was selfish to put a baby at risk if a home birth was deemed unsuitable.

Dr Gannon said obstetricians and midwives were “tearing their hair out” trying to convince women to take the safer option.

Dr Gannon said there should be more community education that hospitals are the safest place to give birth.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-18/lindt-cafe-siege-survivor-announces-fund/6557112

Lindt Cafe siege survivor Louisa Hope is setting up a fund to help nurses at the hospital where she was treated, after being shot in the foot during the dramatic hostage situation.

Louisa and her mother Robyn were among a group taken hostage at the Lindt Cafe siege six months ago, with [the] gunman … using Louisa as a human shield.
Both were wounded in the final operation to break the siege — Robyn in the neck and shoulder, Louisa with a massive hole in her foot.
Louisa, who has multiple sclerosis, said she would set up the fund to help nurses at the Prince of Wales Hospital in the Sydney suburb of Randwick “to get some good out of the situation”.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-18/seriously-ill-patients-missing-out-on-clinical-trials/6555042

Serious[ly] ill patients are missing out on clinical trials due to red tape, according to cancer research and advocacy groups.

After exhausting all other avenues, many people with serious diseases seek to be part of clinical trials, in the hope the test drugs will provide a cure, but often miss out on trial participation due to the difficulty in getting trials approved.
A survey of 675 blood cancer patients, carried out by the Leukaemia Foundation and Myeloma Australia, showed 40 per cent of patients have tried to access new medicines that are not subsidised on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Those patients who were successful accessed new medicines through clinical trials.
Myeloma Australia CEO Steve Roach said he wants access for patients to future trials to be boosted, but there are obstacles preventing this.
“There’s a very heavy bureaucracy around getting clinical trials up and going in Australia,” Mr Roach said.
“Hospitals have to get ethics approvals, so their ethics committees have to approve each and every trial individually.
“So any major hospital, be it Royal Prince Alfred in Sydney or the Royal Melbourne in Melbourne, may have already approved that trial and say it’s a good trial to go ahead but the next hospital along the line has to get the same approval through their internal process and we think that that isn’t necessary.”
Last month the Government announced a clinical trial registry to help connect patients to new medical trials but Mr Roach is calling for a national ethics approval process.

The chair of the Australian Health Ethics Committee Professor Ian Olver agrees the next step to boost patient access to new drugs would be to streamline the approval process.
But he said making that happen would require agreement between the Commonwealth and the states.

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