The Health News – 3 May 2017

Overview:

• Shammi Pal was 61 when she gave birth to her daughter Angel, who is now seven months old. Ms Pal and her husband Lucas Arora didn’t meet until they were in their late 40s. An ad in an Indian newspaper led Ms Pal to a clinic in western India run by fertility specialist Dr Mehul Damani. She conceived with a donor egg and sperm and returned to Australia to prepare for the birth of her baby.

 Under changes to be unveiled in next week’s budget, the Australian Government intends to change the prescribing software used by doctors, with the default setting switched to prescribe generic drugs.

• Professor Brian Draper, lead researcher from UNSW, said their study identified a gap in the medical guideline about health professionals sharing information with relatives. Professor Draper said their findings found that families in particular, as well as health professionals, were often aware of changes in the behaviour of an at-risk family member.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  3rd of May 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-02/is-61-too-old-to-become-a-mother/8489250

Melbourne woman Shammi Pal was 61 when she gave birth to her daughter Angel, who is now seven months old.

Ms Pal claims that as an older mother she’s faced disapproval and feared her child would be taken away from her.

Asked what she’d say to people who think women her age shouldn’t have children, she said, “They are crazy”.

“They are not thinking right, because women at any age can have babies and this is proven by doctors around the world. And I think they should be given a chance.”

Ms Pal and her husband Lucas Arora didn’t meet until they were in their late 40s.

“We were a childless couple and we were craving a child,” she said.

“I loved everybody else’s children and I only prayed I get one for myself.”

The couple tried IVF programs in Australia, but at 52 Ms Pal was told she had reached the cut-off age.

An ad in an Indian newspaper led Ms Pal to a clinic in western India run by fertility specialist Dr Mehul Damani.

She conceived with a donor egg and sperm and returned to Australia to prepare for the birth of her baby.

At Melbourne’s Mercy Hospital she sensed the disapproval of medical staff, claiming she was told, “You shouldn’t have a baby at this age.”

Angel was born on September 12 last year, but after the difficult birth Ms Pal said there were more problems ahead.

“I started to feel quite queer that something is going on and they are not letting me go near my baby,” she said.

“There were people marching in and out of my hospital room, social workers and all these other people.”

Authorities wanted to be sure Ms Pal was well enough and that she and her husband were both capable of looking after her baby.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services …[stated]… “child protection practitioners are obliged to assess and respond to all reports made about welfare concerns for children” and that, “the age of carers is not a factor”.

After a couple of long and difficult months, Ms Pal and her husband were able to take their daughter home.

Australian Fertility Specialist Professor Michael Chapman does have concerns about women choosing to go overseas for IVF treatment.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-02/budget-2017-doctors-split-on-generic-drug-proposal/8489220

Australia’s peak GP group has come out in support of a government proposal to encourage doctors to prescribe generic medications.

Under changes to be unveiled in next week’s budget, the Government intends to change the prescribing software used by doctors, with the default setting switched to prescribe generic drugs.

GPs could still prescribe particular brands but under the new “opt out” regime, they would have to actively nominate a drug other than the generic name.

A split has opened up between doctors’ groups over the proposal, but the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGPs) said it supported the changes.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-02/suicide-study-shows-better-communication-could-help-save-lives/8489388

An Australian suicide study has shown a worrying failure in communication between family members and health professionals.

Professor Brian Draper, lead researcher from UNSW, said the study identified a gap in the medical guideline about health professionals sharing information with relatives.

The research team examined 74 suicide cases in New South Wales and Queensland, and found poor communication in a quarter of the cases meant that warning signs went unheeded.

Professor Draper said their findings found that families in particular, as well as health professionals, were often aware of changes in the behaviour of an at-risk family member.

“Such as stockpiling pills or getting rid of … giving away possessions to people.”

Professor Draper said while families were often aware of these warning signs, a lot of the time they failed to pass the information on to a health professional.

Another reason for a family member to not communicate their concerns was in order to avoid upsetting the person.

“So we were seeing a lack of communication occurring between families and health professionals, and back the other way,” he said.

He said he hoped their findings would help improve the general practice of health professionals.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!