The Health News – 19 January 2017

Overview:
• According to an Australian-first national analysis from the Australian Venom Unit at the University of Melbourne, South Australia has the highest rate of death and hospitalisations caused by anaphylaxis from bee stings per capita across Australia. The research indicated that out of all Australia’s venomous creatures, bees not snakes or jellyfish were posing the biggest public health risk.

• The number of stingray incidents in New South Wales is the second highest form of injury caused by marine life in the state, closely behind bluebottle stings, according to figures by NSW Ambulance. Between September 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016 there were 116 incidents involving stingrays and 169 bluebottle stings.

• From March, patients in Queensland suffering from conditions like severe epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and side effects from chemotherapy will be allowed to use the drug with permission from their doctor and health authorities.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  19th of January 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-18/south-australia-bees-highest-rate-of-death-and-hospitalisation/8190206

South Australia has the highest rate of death and hospitalisations caused by anaphylaxis from bee stings per capita across the country.

That is according to an Australian-first national analysis from the Australian Venom Unit at the University of Melbourne.

Lead researcher Ronelle Welton said over a 13-year period almost 2,000 people were hospitalised for bee stings across the state.

The research ranked a number of venomous creatures according to their level of harm.

Dr Welton said the results came as “quite a surprise.”

The research indicated that out of all Australia’s venomous creatures, bees not snakes or jellyfish were posing the biggest public health risk.

Bees and wasps were responsible for 33 per cent of hospital admissions out of almost 42,000 hospitalisations over the 13 years of analysis.

Nationally, 64 people were killed by a venomous sting or bite — half of these deaths were due at anaphylactic shock.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-18/rate-of-stingray-injuries-prompts-warning-from-paramedics/8190800

Bluebottles may be a common sight at beaches in the summer, but paramedics have warned that people need to be just as vigilant about stingrays as well.

The number of stingray incidents in New South Wales is the second highest form of injury caused by marine life in the state, closely behind bluebottle stings, according to figures by NSW Ambulance.

Between September 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016 there were 116 incidents involving stingrays and 169 bluebottle stings.

In the same period, there were 20 shark attacks, six octopus and 14 jellyfish cases.

The greatest number of calls made to triple-0 relating to a stingray incident came from southern Sydney, followed by the north coast.

NSW Ambulance paramedics treated four cases involving stingray attacks on December 30, 2016 alone.

Since the start of the year, emergency staff at Sutherland Hospital have treated five poisonings and one puncture wound by stingrays, while Prince of Wales Hospital has seen one stingray injury.

According to Mr Burke, lacerations on feet and lower legs are the predominant injuries caused by stingrays, although cases of poisoning from being stung can also occur.

Most injuries are caused by the poisonous barbs on the tail of stingrays, which are sharp and serrated.

Often pieces of barb can be left behind in the wound also, he said.

According to a spokesperson from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, hot water inactivates the toxins “which are usually painful and irritating but rarely cause serious complications”.

Ice packs can be used for pain relief if hot water is unavailable.

Mr Burke highly recommended that those injured should seek medical treatment either with a doctor or at an emergency department.

Mr Burke also recommended people download the Emergency Plus app which will give them their latitude and longitude coordinates if they need to call triple-0.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-18/medicinal-cannabis-ama-doctors-may-not-prescribe-treatment/8189514

It is likely some GPs will refuse to dispense medicinal cannabis when the drug becomes legal in Queensland, the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) state president says.

From March, patients suffering from conditions like severe epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and side effects from chemotherapy will be allowed to use the drug with permission from their doctor and health authorities.

While supporters of cannabis oil say it improves quality of life, AMA Queensland president Chris Zappala said there was not enough clinical evidence about its long-term impacts.

Dr Zappala said he would support any doctor who refused to dispense the drug.