The Health News – 1 February 2017

• The head of two major public hospitals in Adelaide, the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth, has been terminated. Julia Squire has been dismissed as chief executive of Central Adelaide Local Network.

• The Mediterranean diet is known for its physical health benefits. Studies show that it can also be used as a weapon in battling mental health problems.

• Tamika Ullrich, a 23-year-old woman who complains of experiencing headaches, neck pain and spasms, has been found dead in her home a day after she was given painkillers and a muscle relaxant before being discharged from Northam Hospital. Investigation results show that the woman died of chronic hydrocephalus.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  1st of February 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

The head of two major public hospitals in Adelaide, the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth, has been sacked.

Julia Squire had been chief executive of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Late last year, the nursing union said Ms Squire had promised not to shut down a 20-bed ward, S7, at the Royal Adelaide.

It was closed this month but threats of industrial action from nurses saw it reopened by SA Health, under what it said was a flexible arrangement based on patient demand.

SA Health said its deputy chief executive Len Richards would take over the top job for now, and continue until after the opening of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital later in the year.

Meanwhile, a union says long-standing problems with air-conditioning at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital led to surgery cancellations in the past day.

Because of high humidity in Adelaide on Monday afternoon, and air-conditioning problems at the hospital, the hospital had to cancel elective surgery at short notice.

Industrial officer of the South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association, Bernadette Mulholland, said the union had been asking for the system to be fixed for a year.

The Mediterranean diet is well known for its physical health benefits and it is now being hailed as the latest weapon in tackling mental health problems.

Researchers at Deakin University have found the diet can help those suffering from severe depression.

They put dozens of patients with major depressive disorders on a Mediterranean-style diet rich in wholegrains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and nuts.

After 12 weeks of healthy eating, researchers said one third of the participants reported a significant improvement in their mood and symptoms.

The results of the study were published … in the international journal BMC Medicine.

Professor Felice Jacka, director of Deakin University’s Food and Mood Centre, said the Mediterranean diet had been credited with improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of diabetes and increasing longevity.

Professor Jacka randomly selected 31 participants to embrace the Mediterranean diet and reduce their intake of sweets, refined cereals, fried food and sugary drinks.

Another 25 participants received social support which involved weekly visits from researchers.

Only 8 per cent of those in the social support group showed improvement in their symptoms.

One of the participants who changed her diet, Sarah Keeble, described the program as life changing.

Professor Jacka said people suffering from depression should not replace therapy and drug treatments with the Mediterranean diet.

An inquest has cleared a WA country doctor of any failings in his treatment of a 23-year-old woman who died a day after being discharged from Northam Hospital.

Tamika Ullrich presented at the hospital’s emergency department in December 2012, complaining of headaches, neck pain and spasms.

She was given painkillers and a muscle relaxant before being discharged and was found dead at her home the next day.

Coroner Barry King was tasked with clarifying the cause of Ms Ullrich’s death, however he also investigated the quality of care given to the woman by Anthony Boyd, who was the GP on duty at the hospital the day she presented.

The coroner found the woman died of chronic hydrocephalus, or a build up of fluid on the brain, which caused instability in her cardio-respiratory system.


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