The Health News – 11 July 2016

Overview:
• What began as a pin-hole sized lesion on the bottom of Alan Tillotson’s foot quickly turned into a nasty infection, leading to the amputation of his leg. According to Diabetes Australia, the problem is on the rise, and is the focus of this year’s National Diabetes Week campaign.

• The brain monitoring tests, known as video EEGs, are only available at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), with 74 patients currently on the list. Epilepsy WA chief executive Suresh Rajan said the test allowed neurologists to identify the part of the brain affected by seizures and determine future treatment.

• The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been asked to investigate medical claims made by Melbourne clinic Hypermed, called by Health Minister Jill Hennessey followed the death of a man in a hyperbaric chamber at the South Yarra clinic in Melbourne’s inner east. The death is being investigated by the coroner and WorkSafe.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  11th of July 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-10/diabetes-australia-calls-on-urgent-action-to-reduce-amputations/7577688

What began as a pin-hole sized lesion on the bottom of Alan Tillotson’s foot quickly turned into a nasty infection, leading to the amputation of his leg.

Like many people with diabetes, the 65-year-old country Victorian truck driver isn’t quite sure how the wound first developed.

It might have been something as minor as a small stone in his thong.

But poor circulation meant the tiny ulcer would not heal, and quickly turned into to a much larger problem.

“I was first diagnosed with diabetes when I went to have my eyes checked,” …

“It wasn’t until four years later, two years ago, that all the ulcers started. [he said.] I’d come into hospital, they’d keep me in for three or four weeks. These ulcers kept on flaring up.

“The last ulcer affected the bone … so it was either get rid of it earlier, or lose the whole leg completely.”

Having already had his toes removed, Mr Tillotson decided to have his leg removed beneath the knee to prevent further spread.

His surgery is one of just an estimated 4,400 diabetes-related amputations occurring in Australia each year.

“It’s a staggering number,” Diabetes Australia CEO Greg Johnson said.

According to Diabetes Australia, the problem is on the rise, and is the focus of this year’s National Diabetes Week campaign.

People who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk.

However, there is no formal national reporting system to monitor the problem.

With most amputations occurring on lower-limbs, health specialists are urging people with diabetes to carefully manage their condition, as well as maintaining good foot health.

It can be as simple as regular moisturising and daily foot checks for lesions.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-09/epilepsy-patients-wait-more-than-a-year-for-critical-test/7583258

Some Perth epilepsy patients are waiting up to 18 months for a critical test to determine treatment and some may die before they are eligible, the Epilepsy Association says.

The brain monitoring tests, known as video EEGs, are only available at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), with 74 patients currently on the list.

Epilepsy WA chief executive Suresh Rajan said the test allowed neurologists to identify the part of the brain affected by seizures and determine future treatment.

“If you don’t have the diagnosis and the treatment regime in place right at the start, one per cent of people with unmanaged epilepsy will die from the condition, we know that,” Mr Rajan said.

… [He also said] he understood the long wait times were down to a lack of available beds at RPH.

Health Minister John Day was confident the situation would improve by the end of this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-09/melbourne-clinic-hyperbaric-chamber-treatment-claims/7583170

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been asked to investigate medical claims made by Melbourne clinic Hypermed over its hyperbaric chamber treatments.

The call by Health Minister Jill Hennessey followed the death of a man in a hyperbaric chamber at the South Yarra clinic in Melbourne’s inner east.

The death is being investigated by the coroner and WorkSafe.

Meanwhile, Ms Hennessy wants the ACCC to investigate claims made by Hypermed surrounding treatments for cancer, HIV and cerebral palsy.

The Minister said the company had been making unfounded assertions unsupported by scientific evidence.

Ms Hennessy said WorkSafe and the chief health officer had been asked to issue a safety warning to Victorians.

The chiropractor involved had been struck off the list of registered health practitioners but continued to practise around hyperbaric chambers.