The Health News – 30 November 2016

Overview:
• Justice Malcolm Blue today visited the Royal Adelaide Hospital to inspect five alleged defects as part of a civil trial between the State Government and project consortium South Australian Health Partnership and an independent expert. Alleged defects include incorrect room sizes, the height of a loading dock and water pipes being laid through a data equipment room.

• It appears scurvy, a historical disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and generally associated with old-world sailors on long voyages, is making a surprise comeback in Australia, due to poor modern dietary habits. Clinician-researcher Professor Jenny Gunton heads the Diabetes Centre at Westmead Hospital and investigated whether a vitamin C deficiency was behind one of her patient’s unhealed wounds.

• An eighth person has died following last week’s freak thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said. Last week hospitals were overwhelmed when after a cool change and storm caused respiratory problems for thousands of people, with more than 8,500 attending emergency departments.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  30th of November 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-29/new-rah-inspected-by-the-supreme-court/8076564

The doors of the new $2 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital have been thrown open — not to patients but to the Supreme Court.

Justice Malcolm Blue today visited the site to inspect five alleged defects as part of a civil trial between the State Government and project consortium South Australian Health Partnership and an independent expert.

Alleged defects include incorrect room sizes, the height of a loading dock and water pipes being laid through a data equipment room.

Government lawyer Dick Whitington QC told the court many of the alleged defects could not be rectified, and the Government feared if it accepted them, it would give up its right to pursue compensation.

The problems are holding up so-called technical completion of the hospital, which is already almost a year behind schedule.

Mr Whitington told the court the builder had adopted its own remedies for potential leaks from water pipes in the data room, by putting drip trays under the pipes.

But the hospital’s loading dock was 70 centimetres short, with no remedy in sight.

It has previously been suggested the new hospital could be finished by March and ready for patients in June but that is far from guaranteed.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-29/resurgence-of-the-rare-condition-of-scurvy-among-diabetics/8073136

There has been a resurgence of the rare condition of scurvy among a group of diabetes patients at a major western Sydney hospital.

It appears scurvy, a historical disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and generally associated with old-world sailors on long voyages, is making a surprise comeback in Australia, due to poor modern dietary habits.

Clinician-researcher Professor Jenny Gunton heads the Diabetes Centre at Westmead Hospital and investigated whether a vitamin C deficiency was behind one of her patient’s unhealed wounds.

Professor Gunton diagnosed her with scurvy on the basis of the blood test and her symptoms, and decided to then test everyone who came to the clinic whose wounds were also not healing.

Around a dozen of them — two thirds of the group tested — had extremely low vitamin C levels and were given the same diagnosis.

Professor Gunton said health authorities did not tend to test for scurvy these days and generally did not keep population data on the incidence of it.

She said it could be a more widespread issue than is generally known.

In a research paper she has just had published in the international journal Diabetic Medicine, she said there was no predominant social pattern to the incidence of scurvy and patients with poor diets appeared to be from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-29/thunderstorm-asthma-eighth-person-dies-from-melbourne/8074776

An eighth person has died following last week’s freak thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne, health authorities have said.

One person remains in a critical condition in intensive care, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said.

Last week hospitals were overwhelmed when after a cool change and storm caused respiratory problems for thousands of people, with more than 8,500 attending emergency departments.

The humid weather change last Monday caused pollen, most likely from rye grass, to burst into tiny particles that were able to be inhaled through the nose and enter the lungs.

It caused many people, including those who had no history of asthma or respiratory issues, to experience mild to severe breathing difficulties.

One man described the feeling as being like an elephant standing on his chest.

The Victorian Government has announced it would review authorities’ ability to respond to medical emergencies.

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