The Health News – 13 July 2016

Overview:
•  Pre-clinical trials have shown the drug sodium selenate slows the progression of changes in the brain that cause epilepsy. Professor Terry O’Brien, a neurologist from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the study’s lead author, said head injuries were one of the most common causes of long-term disability in young people.

• People needing an ambulance for non-urgent cases have been warned to expect delays as about 350 paramedics stop work to address an industry in crisis. Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) of SA secretary Phil Palmer said crude cost-cutting was leading to chronic staff shortages, ramping, and an unmanageable workload within the ambulance service.

• The first study of its kind in Australia observed the outcomes of 574,000 South Australian babies over a 30-year period and confirmed there were differences based on a baby’s sex. Professor Claire Roberts from the University’s Robinson Research Institute found the evidence was there and very clear that boys are more likely to be born spontaneous pre-term.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  13th of July 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-12/epilepsy-drug-may-work-as-a-preventative/7588722

Melbourne researchers think they have found a “Holy Grail” treatment to prevent epilepsy after a head injury.

Pre-clinical trials have shown the drug sodium selenate slows the progression of changes in the brain that cause epilepsy.

The researchers are looking into whether the drug could one day be put into sports drinks, for athletes playing in contact or dangerous sports.

Professor Terry O’Brien, a neurologist from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the study’s lead author, said head injuries were one of the most common causes of long-term disability in young people.

Professor O’Brien said the research went a long way in “completely preventing a number of the changes.”

The work so far has been pre-clinical and conducted on rodents.

Professor O’Brien said there were already drugs available to suppress seizures, but that existing treatments did nothing to change the underlying process.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-12/sa-paramedics-to-stop-work-in-adelaide/7588026

People needing an ambulance for non-urgent cases have been warned to expect delays … as about 350 paramedics stop work to address an “industry in crisis”.

Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) of SA secretary Phil Palmer said crude cost-cutting was leading to chronic staff shortages, ramping, and an unmanageable workload within the ambulance service.

“We’re already at the level of workload that we were at the end of winter last year and last year was the worst on record,” Mr Palmer said.

“So we’re on track to be the worst this time and we don’t believe under the current circumstances, the ambulance service can cope.

“Not a shift goes by where there is not a host of computer errors, long-distance emergency drives and large swathes of South Australia left without ambulance cover.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-12/males-more-susceptible-to-life-threatening-birth-outcomes/7587986

Male babies are more susceptible to potentially fatal complications at birth than females, new research from the University of Adelaide has found.

The first study of its kind in Australia observed the outcomes of 574,000 South Australian babies over a 30-year period and confirmed there were differences based on a baby’s sex.

Professor Claire Roberts from the University’s Robinson Research Institute found the evidence was “there and very clear”.

“Boys are more likely to be born spontaneous pre-term,” she said.

“Their mums are more likely to suffer gestational diabetes and their mothers are more likely to suffer pre-eclampsia at term.”

The study found boys were 27 per cent more likely than girls to be born prematurely between 20 and 24 weeks’ gestation, 24 per cent at 30 to 33 weeks, and 17 per cent at 34 to 36 weeks.

Mothers carrying boys were 4 per cent more likely to suffer gestational diabetes and 7.5 per cent more likely to suffer pre-eclampsia at term.

Mothers carrying girls, however, had 22 per cent higher chance of early onset pre-eclampsia resulting in a premature birth.

The research team included the University of Groningen (UOG) in the Netherlands and SA Health’s Pregnancy Outcome Unit.

It looked at the effects of a baby’s sex on potentially life threatening outcomes like premature birth, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure disorders and gestational diabetes mellitus.