The Health News United Kingdom July 19 2017

Overview

  • US doctor Dr. Michio Hirano who has offered to treat terminally ill Charlie Gard has attended a meeting at Great Ormond Street Hospital to decide whether he should travel to America for therapy.
  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London has warned improvements in life expectancy have almost “ground to a halt. Sir Michael said he was “deeply concerned” that increases in life expectancy had levelled off since two thousand and ten.He said the stagnation needs “urgent” investigation.
  • A UK-wide inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal that left at least 2,400 people dead, the prime minister has confirmed. Thousands of NHS patients were given blood products from abroad that were infected with hepatitis C and HIV. It’s been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th of July 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http:www.bbc.comnewsuk-england-london-40630462

The US doctor who has offered to treat terminally ill Charlie Gard  has attended a meeting at Great Ormond Street Hospital to decide whether he should travel to America for therapy.  

Doctor Michio Hirano will discuss Charlie’s condition with doctors treating him and independent specialists.  Great Ormond Street has given Doctor Hirano an honorary contract giving him the same status as its own physicians.  It means he can examine Charlie and has full access to his medical records.

The visit has been arranged as part of the latest stage of a court fight,  brought by Charlie’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard, from Bedfont, south west London, over whether he should be given experimental treatment in America.

Judges have heard that Charlie, who was born on August four, two thousand and sixteen,  has a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.  Doctor Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York has offered an experimental therapy called nucleoside.

The hospital added it had treated more than one thousand patients with mitochondrial disease  and offered pioneering treatment, including nucleoside treatment, where appropriate.

http:www.huffingtonpost.co.ukentryrise-in-life-expectancy-has-stalled-and-it-needs-urgent-investigation-expert-warns_uk_596dbcb7e4b0e983c0588c2b?utm_hp_ref=uk-health-news

Improvements in life expectancy have almost “ground to a halt”, a leading academic has warned.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot said he was “deeply concerned” that increases in life expectancy had levelled off since two thousand and ten.  He said the stagnation needs “urgent” investigation.

Historically, improvements in life expectancy at birth had been around a one year increase every five years for women and every three and a half years for men.

But since two thousand and ten this has slowed to a one year increase every ten years for women and every six years for men, new analysis has shown.

Sir Michael, who previously chaired a government-commissioned review into health inequalities, said the rate of increases “is pretty close to having ground to a halt”.

He added: “I am deeply concerned with the levelling off, I expected it to just keep getting better.

I would say it is a matter of urgency to try and examine why this has happened – it is not inevitable that it should have levelled off.”

Sir Michael, who is director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, said there are now many more older people  , adding: “We’ve got many more older people at very old ages and life expectancy is stagnating so problems that affect older people are going to be more numerous.”

He also highlighted that the leading cause of death among the oldest old is now dementia and Alzheimer’s.  “Dementia on the death certificate is the tip of the iceberg. If people are dying of dementia that means there is a lot of people living with dementia.”

He also stated dementia could have played an “important part” of the stagnation in increases in life expectancy  and for dementia and ischemic heart disease there are a common set of behaviours that are important – diet, smoking and the like.  Those, in general, show a social gradient  – the lower you are in the social hierarchy, the less likely you are to be seen being a non-smoker, not overweight and the like.  

http:www.bbc.comnewshealth-40566761

A UK-wide inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal that left at least two thousand four hundred people dead, the prime minister has confirmed.  A spokesman for Theresa May said it would establish the causes of the “appalling injustice” that took place in the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties.  Thousands of NHS patients were given blood products from abroad that were infected with hepatitis C and HIV.  It’s been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.  Many of those affected and their families believe they were not told of the risks involved and there was a cover-up.

Speaking to the BBC, Missus May said: “They deserve answers, and the inquiry that I have announced today will give them those answers, so they will know why this happened, how it happened.”

A recent parliamentary report found around seven thousand five hundred patients were infected by imported blood products.

Many were patients with an inherited bleeding disorder called haemophilia.

They needed regular treatment with a clotting agent Factor VIII, which is made from donated blood.  The UK imported supplies and some turned out to be infected.  Much of the plasma used to make Factor VIII came from donors like prison inmates in the US, who sold their blood.

 

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