The Health News – 22 June 2016

Overview:
• Summer Jamsek was born at Frances Perry House in Melbourne, in April 2010, but died 16 hours later after being transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital. The eight-day inquest investigated the cause of death and whether her condition should have been detected and treated earlier.

• The Grog Survey iPad app, which allows people to electronically keep track of their alcohol consumption and to submit the information anonymously. tablet app being trialled in South Australia and Queensland could boost efforts to curb alcohol addiction in Australia’s Indigenous communities, researchers say.

• The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking food giant Heinz to court over its Little Kids Shredz products. The products’ packaging is covered in images of fresh fruit and vegetables and statements such as 99 per cent fruit and veg when they contain more than 60 per cent sugar.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  22nd of June 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-21/anti-depression-unlikely-to-have-caused-death-of-newborn-coroner/7530042

It is unlikely a commonly-prescribed anti-depressant taken by a woman during pregnancy contributed to the death of her newborn baby, a Victorian coroner has found.

Summer Jamsek was born at Frances Perry House in Melbourne, in April 2010, but died 16 hours later after being transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Her mother, Sonja Jamsek, took the anti-depressant drug Lexapro during the pregnancy.

Ms Jamsek raised concerns the drug had contributed to her daughter’s death and hospital staff did not recognise her condition quickly enough.

The eight-day inquest investigated the cause of death and whether her condition should have been detected and treated earlier.

Coroner Phillip Byrne ruled Summer likely died from naturally-occurring pulmonary hypertension.

He also found the actions of medical staff were not “causal factors” in Summer’s death, and if doctors had administered antibiotics earlier than they did, it was unlikely to have changed the outcome.

Ms Jamsek’s lawyer Paula Shelton said there was a need for further studies into the drug’s effects.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-21/grog-survey-app-trial-sa-qld-aim-to-curb-alcohol-addiction/7528936

A tablet app being trialled in South Australia and Queensland could boost efforts to curb alcohol addiction in Australia’s Indigenous communities, researchers say.

They have devised the Grog Survey iPad app, which allows people to electronically keep track of their alcohol consumption and to submit the information anonymously.

The researchers hope the app will produce accurate and reliable data that can be used to inform policy and community efforts to tackle alcohol and drug abuse.

Scott Wilson from SA’s Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council said the most reliable data dates back to a National Drug Strategy Household Survey in 1994, making it difficult to assess the problem and various interventions.

“When they do the big household surveys, they ring people, and so if you don’t have a landline for example, you’re probably not going to get phoned,” Mr Wilson said.

“If you’re transient, or if you’re actually one of the people caught up in a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse, you’re probably not the one who’s going to answer the phone at all.”

Paper surveys can also be problematic where English is not the preferred language.

Professor Kate Conigrave from the University of Sydney said the tablet-based questionnaire, in English and an Indigenous language (initially Pitjantjatjara) may be the answer.

“We wanted something that was totally confidential and anonymous, that someone could sit there and use the app on their own with the headphones on, and not have to be telling a person about what they’re drinking,” she said.

“Our chief goal is to get this app working well… and it’ll be a tool that can be used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and by local communities and health services, and indeed it can be used by local clinics, to make it much easier to assess what people are drinking.”

Outreach workers and volunteers will head to Indigenous communities to ask people to complete the questionnaire.

The Grog Survey app is the result of collaboration between the University of Sydney, SA’s Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council and digital agency Nest.

It will be trialled from July in South Australia’s Port Lincoln … as well as by the Inala Health Service in Queensland.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-21/heinz-toddler-fruit-food-mostly-suger-accc-allege/7529082

An infant food that claimed to be almost entirely fruit and vegetables has come under attack for being mostly sugar.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking food giant Heinz to court over its Little Kids Shredz products.

The products’ packaging is covered in images of fresh fruit and vegetables and statements such as “99 per cent fruit and veg”, when they contain more than 60 per cent sugar.

By contrast an apple is 10 per cent sugar.

The ACCC will allege in the Federal Court that Heinz broke consumer laws by making false and misleading claims and misleading the public.

The ACCC’s action follows a complaint by the Obesity Policy Coalition about food products for toddlers.

The Shredz product range includes “peach apple and veg”, “berries apple and veg” and “strawberry and apple with chia seeds” varieties.