The Health News Australia December 15 2017

  • A staggering variety of so-called feminine hygiene products seek to help with “vaginal odour” and discharge, and “keep you fresh.” Data suggest around half of all women use “panty liners” to absorb discharge with up to thirty percent using them on a daily basis. While Australian women are generally not big fans of “douching”, a French term for washing out the vagina using a liquid spray, it’s important to understand why cleaning the vagina is not recommended.
  • The managers of NSW Ambulance have “no overall strategy” to better manage troubled parts of the system and no way to monitor their solutions, a government audit has found. The NSW auditor-general found the emergency service faces increasing demands from the state’s growing and ageing population. Many paramedics were forced to rely on their personal phones to find additional medical information as they made decisions about complex patient treatment.
  • Abortion statistics have dived to 30-year lows but no-one seems to have told the medical fraternity. An ABC investigation has found that Australia has been following international trends and many of the available statistics point to a marked reduction in terminations across the country to a rate as low as 13.5  per 1,000 women. Despite the available evidence, key opinion leaders, including the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, academics and family planning clinics, continue to mistakenly suggest Australia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the developed world — even though it is lower than countries like the UK and Canada.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/why-vagina-cleaning-fads-are-unnecessary-and-harmful/9255450

A staggering variety of so-called feminine hygiene products seek to help with “vaginal odour” and discharge, and “keep you fresh”. From deodorants to cucumber cleanses, scented “panty liners”, and the newest fad “vaginal steaming”, these products actively promote the view that women’s vaginas should be discharge-free and either have no smell at all or exude the whiff of rose petals or vanilla pods. Many women perceive vaginal discharge as undesirable and unnatural rather than physiological and normal.

Data suggest around half of all women use “panty liners” to absorb discharge with up to thirty percent using them on a daily basis. While Australian women are generally not big fans of “douching”, a French term for washing out the vagina using a liquid spray, it’s important to understand why cleaning the vagina is not recommended. The vagina is self-cleaning, and vaginal discharge plays an important role in keeping the vagina healthy.

Doctor Elizabeth Farrell shares advice on how to practice good gynaecological healthcare. From puberty, when oestrogen kicks in, the vagina becomes colonised with healthy bacteria from the lactobacillus group which produce lactic acid. This finely balanced vaginal ecosystem is referred to as the vaginal microbiome and the resulting acidity of the vagina provides protection against sexually transmissible infections.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2017/12/14/05/12/nsw-ambulance-struggle-with-demand-audit

The managers of New South Wales Ambulance have “no overall strategy” to better manage troubled parts of the system and no way to monitor their solutions, a government audit has found. The New South Wales auditor-general found the emergency service faces increasing demands from the state’s growing and ageing population. Acting Auditor-General Ian Goodwin said in a statement on Wednesday: “Increasing demand is a key issue for New South Wales Ambulance because demand has grown in recent years and continued growth is expected.”

The service introduced multiple strategies to manage the demand placed on ambulances by patients with less urgent medical needs. The report says but even with a dedicated patient transport service, results have not improved as expected.

Many paramedics were forced to rely on their personal phones to find additional medical information as they made decisions about complex patient treatment. Making the problem worse is that New South Wales Ambulance does not seem to be collaborating enough with other health services, including general practitioners and local health districts, to reduce demand pressures. But the auditor was unable to truly grasp whether the strategies were working because New South Wales Ambulance doesn’t have a data system to track improvements.

Mister Goodwin made five recommendations, which include better monitoring of solutions along with further training and mobile technology for paramedics.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/the-rate-of-abortion-in-australia-is-lower-than-you-think/9250122

Abortion statistics have dived to thirty-year lows but no-one seems to have told the medical fraternity. An ABC investigation has found that Australia has been following international trends and many of the available statistics point to a marked reduction in terminations across the country to a rate as low as thirteen point five per one thousand women. Despite the available evidence, key opinion leaders, including the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, academics and family planning clinics, continue to mistakenly suggest Australia has one of the highest rates of abortion in the developed world — even though it is lower than countries like the UK and Canada.

….
The eighty thousand figure was from the two thousand five paper by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which pulled together a complex web of medical statistics to estimate terminations around the country. It was based on figures from the year two thousand three — fourteen years ago — and suggested a rate of nineteen point seven abortions for every one thousand women of childbearing age. That study also cast a wide net to include any kind of abortion, such as those done during multiple pregnancies and after traumatic injury, not just unintended pregnancies. The ABC has also found at least six major and recent academic papers by Australian contraceptive specialists from academic centres such as Monash University, which cite this eighty thousand figure to support the need for long-acting contraceptives.
….
However, researchers routinely ignored that both the South Australia and West Australian health departments keep detailed, current and public statistics on terminations. In South Australia, the rate of terminations among childbearing women has dropped from sixteen point seven to thirteen point five for every one thousand women between two thousand three and two thousand fifteen.

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