The Health News United Kingdom February 23 2018

  • Researchers have found the genetic cause of a blood-vessel disorder that can cause deadly bleeds and stroke. Scientists at University College London Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who led the study, called it an “enormous step” towards understanding and treating arteriovenous malformation (AVM). And they now believe targeted cancer drugs may be able to treat it. AVM, which usually worsens over time, can cause swelling and disfigurement. An AVM is an abnormal collection of blood vessels where high-pressure arterial blood feeds directly into low-pressure veins.
  • A High Court judge has ruled that doctors in Liverpool can withdraw life-support treatment from a seriously ill toddler against his parent’s wishes. The parents of 21-months-old Alfie Evans wanted to take their son to Rome for treatment which they hoped would prolong his life. But specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital argued that continuing to provide treatment was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”. Mister Justice Hayden, who visited Alfie in hospital ahead of his decision on Tuesday, ruled in favour of the hospital and granted it permission to withdraw treatment for the toddler.
  • A second children’s hospital is reconsidering its decision to hand back a hefty donation from the Presidents Club in the wake of the harassment scandal, it is claimed. Evelina London Children’s Hospital may keep two six-figure donations it had previously vowed to return after concerns were raised that sick children could lose out. The change of heart follows a similar rethink by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) which has revealed it is in discussions with the Charity Commission about the £530,000 it had collected from the disgraced club since 2009.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43119315

Researchers have found the genetic cause of a blood-vessel disorder that can cause deadly bleeds and stroke. Scientists at University College London Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) who led the study, called it an “enormous step” towards understanding and treating arteriovenous malformation (AVM). And they now believe targeted cancer drugs may be able to treat it.

AVM, which usually worsens over time, can cause swelling and disfigurement. An AVM is an abnormal collection of blood vessels where high-pressure arterial blood feeds directly into low-pressure veins. Teams in London, Edinburgh and Cambridge, collaborated on the research, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The researchers took biopsies from one hundred sixty children with blood vessel disorders including AVMs and sequenced the DNA in the affected tissue. They found four faulty genes that could trigger the condition, all involved in the signalling pathway between cell surface receptors and the nucleus. The same gene mutations are also involved in the growth of many cancers.
….
The discovery means doctors now have the potential to treat AVMs with cancer drugs.
One of the patients involved in the research is thirteen-year-old Nikki Christou.  She has an AVM on the right side of her face and skull and can have a severe bleed at any time.
Nikki has had thirty operations and hundreds of outpatient appointments.

Her family set up the Butterfly AVM Charity and, along with the Wellcome Trust, were key funders for the research project. Nikki has her own YouTube channel – Nikki Lilly, with three hundred thousand subscribers, and won CBBC’s Junior Bake Off in two thousand sixteen.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/alfie-evans-parents-of-seriously-ill-toddler-lose-lifesupport-court-battle-a3771461.html

A High Court judge has ruled that doctors in Liverpool can withdraw life-support treatment from a seriously ill toddler against his parent’s wishes. The parents of twenty one-months-old Alfie Evans wanted to take their son to Rome for treatment which they hoped would prolong his life.

But specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital argued that continuing to provide treatment was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”. Mister Justice Hayden, who visited Alfie in hospital ahead of his decision on Tuesday, ruled in favour of the hospital and granted it permission to withdraw treatment for the toddler. He had heard that Alfie, who was born on May nine,two thousand sixteen, was in a “semi-vegetative state” and had a degenerative neurological condition doctors had not been definitively diagnosed.

Alfie’s parents, Kate James and Tom Evans, who are both in their twenties, had argued that their son was responding to treatment. Doctors disputed this. The judge praised Mister Evans and Miss James, saying they had left no stone unturned in their quest for help for their son.

Alfie’s mother left the court hearing before Mr Justice Hayden reached his conclusion and, when the decision was announced, Mister Evans broke down. Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile, adding that he had reached his conclusion with great sadness.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/20/second-childrens-hospital-poised-reverse-decision-keep-presidents/

A second children’s hospital is reconsidering its decision to hand back a hefty donation from the Presidents Club in the wake of the harassment scandal, it is claimed. Evelina London Children’s Hospital may keep two six-figure donations it had previously vowed to return after concerns were raised that sick children could lose out.

The change of heart follows a similar rethink by Great Ormond Street Hospital which has revealed it is in discussions with the Charity Commission about the five hundred thirty thousand pounds it had collected from the disgraced club since two thousand nine. Evelina, which is supported by Guy’s and Saint Thomas’ Charity, received four donations totalling two hundred sixty five thousand pounds from the Presidents Club in nineteen ninety eight, two thousand thirteen, two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen.

At last month’s controversial dinner at the Dorchester hotel, London, at which female hostesses were groped and sexually harassed by businessmen, restaurant tycoon Richard Caring also pledged to donate four hundred thousand pounds for a new intensive care unit at the hospital. It is understood that in the wake of the scandal, which resulted in the Presidents Club closing down, he has offered to donate the money privately.

Evelina said last month that it was not the kind of event it wished to be associated with and would “therefore be declining funding from it and returning all previous donations from the Presidents Club”. In a statement, a spokesperson for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity said: “We have written to the Charity Commission about our proposed course of action and are currently in dialogue with them about our next steps.”

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