The Health News – 15 May 2017

Overview:

New tools to address the growing childhood obesity epidemic have been launched including a website showing a healthy weight calculator and a video of a nutritionist giving a guided tour in a supermarket to highlight better food choices. Dr Kerry Chant, chief health officer at NSW Health said new and clear ways have to be found to reach families.

• South Australia Health’s director of health protection, Chris Lease, said three cases of  Legionnaires’ disease had been reported recently in two males and one female. The new cases follow a cluster of nine cases in January, which were suspected to have been contracted within the Adelaide CBD, although the source was not identified.

• Ms Merten died in 2014 from a brain injury after she fell over more than 20 times at the Mental Health Unit of Lismore Base Hospital, on the state’s north coast. Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the State’s Chief Psychiatrist Dr Murray Wright and a parliamentary committee would review whether failures in mental health care persist.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  15th of May 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-13/one-in-five-nsw-children-now-considered-obese-or-overweight/8523762

Australians need to reset their understanding of what is a normal weight, with more than one-in-five school aged children in New South Wales now considered overweight or obese, health experts say.

New data indicates there is a disconnect within society about what is now considered a ‘normal’ weight, said Kerry Chant, chief health officer at NSW Health.

“GPs have told us that sometimes it’s actually hard for them to raise healthy weight with families,” Dr Chant said.

New tools to address the growing childhood obesity epidemic have been launched including a website showing a healthy weight calculator and a video of a nutritionist giving a guided tour in a supermarket to highlight better food choices.

Dr Chant said new and clear ways have to be found to reach families.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-12/legionnaires-disease-cases-reported-in-adelaide/8522482

Three Legionnaires’ disease cases in Adelaide have prompted health authorities to urge businesses to decontaminate air-conditioning and industrial cooling towers.

SA Health’s director of health protection, Chris Lease, said three cases of the disease had been reported recently in two males and one female.

He said all three people, aged 58 to 77, had been hospitalised.

“While there is no source identified for the recent cases which may or may not be related, the investigation into the cases is continuing and precautionary work to address the identified areas of risk is already underway,” Dr Lease said.

He said when a cluster of cases with locations in common were found the health authority would work with local councils to identify areas of risk.

The new cases follow a cluster of nine cases in January, which were suspected to have been contracted within the Adelaide CBD, although the source was not identified.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-12/nsw-government-inquiry-lismore-mum-miriam-merten-death/8521198

The New South Wales Government has announced an independent review and parliamentary inquiry into the death of Lismore woman Miriam Merten, who died after she was left to wander a hospital while naked and covered in faeces.

Ms Merten died in 2014 from a brain injury after she fell over more than 20 times at the Mental Health Unit of Lismore Base Hospital, on the state’s north coast.

A coronial inquest heard she was locked in a seclusion room for hours, and when the two nurses supervising her unlocked the door they allowed her to wander around.

She continued to fall over outside the seclusion room.

CCTV footage of the incident has just come to light.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the State’s Chief Psychiatrist Dr Murray Wright and a parliamentary committee would review whether failures in mental health care persist.

Coroner Jeff Linden found she died from “traumatic brain injury caused by numerous falls and the self-beating of her head on various surfaces, the latter not done with the intention of taking her life”.

Ms Merten’s daughter, Corina Leigh Merten, said she only found out exactly how her mother died when a journalist contacted her recently.

She said that at the time of her mother’s death, nurses gave her a different version of how she died.

Mr Hazzard said the department had conducted an internal review to determine what went wrong and make improvements to the health care system.

Dr Wright said he was shocked by the footage of Ms Merten’s treatment despite 25 years as a practicing psychiatrist.

He said despite reforms made over the past decade there was “still clearly room for improvement”.

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