The Health News Australia February 13 2018

  • Doctors have been warned to watch out for codeine-dependent patients following the introduction of prescription-only codeine drugs earlier this month. Identifying codeine-dependent patients may be difficult, but a study recently released has said it is vital doctors pick up signs of addiction to prevent serious health complications, which could be fatal. The study’s release comes after products containing codeine, such as Nurofen Plus became prescription-only on February 1.
  • Medical experts are calling for a national strategy to help women maintain a ‘normal’ weight before they conceive a baby to avoid serious complications. According to new Australian research, a steady increase in the rate of overweight and obese first time mums is to blame for a “substantial” proportion of serious pregnancy and birth complications. Medical experts say helping women lose weight prior to conceiving a baby needs to be the focus of a national approach to combat the public health issue.
  • A costly wastewater recycling plant installed at the trouble-plagued Perth Children’s Hospital is likely to stay switched off due to Health Department fears of cross-contamination. The $230,000 wastewater treatment facility is designed to treat used shower-water with ultraviolet light and chlorine to use it for flushing hospital toilets. However, the Department of Health has questioned the use of recycled water due to the increased risk of exposure to dangerous pathogens present in a hospital setting.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 13th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/02/12/08/07/doctors-warned-following-codeine-overhaul

Doctors have been warned to watch out for codeine-dependent patients following the introduction of prescription-only codeine drugs earlier this month. Identifying codeine-dependent patients may be difficult, but a study recently released has said it is vital doctors pick up signs of addiction to prevent serious health complications, which could be fatal.

The study’s release comes after products containing codeine, such as Nurofen Plus became prescription-only on February one. Doctor Suzanne Nielsen, lead author of the study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, says doctors need to ask the right questions early, and often, because “it’s generally a very hidden problem”. The senior researcher at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales says “We don’t see any difference between things like age, gender and unemployment.”
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The research, which used data from forty one publications, showed clinical identification of dependence was often delayed and the prevalence of mental health conditions alongside codeine-dependence was very high. Tolerance to the drug can develop quickly and the harms outweigh the benefits when used in low doses with drugs such as paracetamol and ibuprofen painkillers – which are not made significantly more effective by the addition of codeine, according to the study.

Doctor Nielsen said that detoxification and medication based treatments were among a number of options available for those with codeine addictions, but removing the stigma was the first step for people reluctant to come forward and seek help.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/womens-health/58/news/aap/call-for-a-national-strategy-to-help-women-maintain-a-normal-weight-before-pregnancy/3171/

Medical experts are calling for a national strategy to help women maintain a ‘normal’ weight before they conceive a baby to avoid serious complications. According to new Australian research, a steady increase in the rate of overweight and obese first time mums is to blame for a “substantial” proportion of serious pregnancy and birth complications. Medical experts say helping women lose weight prior to conceiving a baby needs to be the focus of a national approach to combat the public health issue.

Researchers, led by gynaecologist Associate Professor Kirsten Black and Miss Kate Cheney, analysed the data for more than forty two thousand first-time mothers who gave birth to a single child at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney between January nineteen ninety and December two thousand fourteen. They found that the prevalence of mothers who were overweight increased from twelve point seven percent in nineteen ninety to nineteen ninety four to sixteen point four percent in two thousand ten to two thousand fourteen. The prevalence of obesity rose from four point eight percent to seven point three percent over the same period, while the proportion of women with a ‘normal’ weight range fell from seventy three point five percent to sixty eight point two percent.

The study found if the overweight and obese women were to have moved down one Body Mass Index category during two thousand ten to two thousand fourteen, nineteen percent of preeclampsia, fourteen percent of gestational diabetes and eight point five percent of caesarean deliveries could have been prevented.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/waste-flows-at-perth-children-s-hospital

A costly wastewater recycling plant installed at the trouble-plagued Perth Children’s Hospital is likely to stay switched off due to Health Department fears of cross-contamination. The two hundred thirty thousand dollar wastewater treatment facility is designed to treat used shower-water with ultraviolet light and chlorine to use it for flushing hospital toilets.

However, the Department of Health has questioned the use of recycled water due to the increased risk of exposure to dangerous pathogens present in a hospital setting. And it claims builder John Holland installed the system without approval which put it in breach of department guidelines. The problem-prone one point two billion dollar hospital was originally due to be completed in two thousand fifteen but has suffered from issues including water contaminated with lead and potentially deadly legionella bacteria, asbestos in roof panels and non-compliant fire doors.

A health department spokeswoman says it considered a draft proposal for the system and found it presented, “a high-exposure risk level” based on guidelines for recycled water in Western Australia in two thousand eleven.

She added the cost of running and maintaining the system also outweighed any potential savings. The spokeswoman said main contractor John Holland had asserted it thought approval from the department was only required prior to turning the system on, not before it was installed.
The system is currently bypassing recycled water outside the system to the sewer drainage network.

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