The Health News Australia February 16 2018

  • An independent report has revealed that almost 1 in 4 members of the Australian Federal Police suffers from psychological distress while almost 1 in 10 has had suicidal thoughts. Fourteen percent show symptoms of clinical depression and 9% exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The report found that Australian Federal Police members were reluctant to discuss mental health issues with in-house support due to concerns about confidentiality and any impact on their career. The review, which included a staff survey, focus groups and direct contact with overseas staff, revealed shortcomings in the AFP’s mental health support.
  • A health alert has been issued for the Northern Territory region of Katherine, after the deadly Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus was detected. The state’s health department said MVE is rare, but can be fatal and the high risk period is February through June. Symptoms include severe headaches, high fever, drowsiness, tremor and seizures. Residents and tourists being urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
  • Australian kids are increasingly being left with serious injuries including spinal cord damage, fractures and sprains, as a result of playing at indoor trampoline centres. New figures from the University of Sydney revealed almost 500 children and teens ended up in hospital emergency departments across 3 states from 2012-2017.  

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/one-in-four-australian-federal-police-members-suffer-psychological-distress-20180209-h0vub2.html

An independent report has revealed that almost one in four members of the Australian Federal Police suffers from psychological distress while almost one in ten has had suicidal thoughts.
Fourteen per cent show symptoms of clinical depression and nine percent exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The report found that  Australian Federal Police members were reluctant to discuss mental health issues with in-house support due to concerns about confidentiality and any impact on their career. The review, which included a staff survey, focus groups and direct contact with overseas staff, revealed shortcomings in the AFP’s mental health support.

While AFP staff working in high-stress areas such as counter-terrorism, child exploitation and overseas deployment faced particular psychological risks the report found that, generally, members across the board felt they had “inadequate resources and excessive demands in their day-to-day work”, adding to their stress.
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The AFP commissioned the Phoenix Australia Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne to undertake the mental health review.
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The AFP’s Chief Medical Officer Doctor Katrina Sanders said the survey had a forty five percent response rate from the six thousand five hundred forty-strong workforce. The results on mental health injury had been on par with a similar survey of Australian Defence Force members.
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The report found that of those who responded to the survey: almost twenty five percent reported experiencing moderate to high levels of current psychological distress; fourteen percent reported clinically significant symptoms of depression; nine percent reported symptoms consistent with a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis; six percent reported clinically significant anxiety; nine percent reported problematic alcohol use; nine percent reported suicidal thoughts (but the report said that should not be confused with “suicidal intent”).

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/02/15/03/21/health-alert-issued-in-katherine-northern-territory-for-deadly-mosquito-virus

A health alert has been issued for the Northern Territory region of Katherine, after the deadly Murray Valley encephalitis or MVE virus was detected. The state’s health department said MVE is rare, but can be fatal and the high risk period is February through June. Symptoms include severe headaches, high fever, drowsiness, tremor and seizures.

Residents and tourists are being urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. These including using a mosquito repellent, wearing light-coloured clothes with long sleeves, long trousers and socks and avoid outdoor exposure around dusk.

The Katherine Times reported that as many as one in three patients diagnosed with the disease die from it and there have been thirty six cases in the Northern Territory since nineteen seventy four.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-15/indoor-trampolines-land-almost-500-kids-in-emergency-departments/9446602

Australian kids are increasingly being left with serious injuries including spinal cord damage, fractures and sprains, as a result of playing at indoor trampoline centres. New figures from the University of Sydney revealed almost five hundred children and teens ended up in hospital emergency departments across three states from two thousand twelve to two thousand seventeen. Lead author Doctor Lisa Sharwood said attendance at indoor trampoline parks had soared — and so had the number of injuries.

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The most common injuries were fractures and sprains, but almost twenty percent had serious spinal cord and head injuries. Most serious injuries occurred in foam pits with children landing awkwardly, attempting to perform a somersault or when more than one person was on the trampoline.
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Child-safety experts said compulsory regulation of indoor trampoline parks was urgently needed to stop more kids being seriously injured. Doctor Sharwood said: “I believe a mandatory standard is the safest way to proceed so the public can have confidence that they are going to have that fun experience in the safest environment possible.” Currently, there are no mandatory safety standards for the booming industry in Australia.
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The Australian Trampoline Park Association has a code of practice that includes safety, but only about twenty percent of Australian trampoline parks are members of the association.
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The new research looked at injuries to children and young people in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and added to data from Neuroscience Research Australia, which found in just six months of two thousand fourteen, forty children were taken to hospitals in New South Wales with injuries from indoor trampoline parks.

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