The Health News – 5 July 2016

Overview:
• Visiting a doctor can be a difficult task for some Indigenous Australians but some health workers are trying to make it easier. Malcolm Laughton’s job as an But Indigenous health officer at Aboriginal health service Danila Dilba is to speak with people before they see a doctor, to help them explain what is wrong and to ensure the contact is culturally appropriate.

• More that 2,100 braille and raised-letter signs have been installed at pedestrian crossings in the City of Sydney area. They were officially launched on Monday by Lord Mayor Clover Moore who said it was the world’s largest tactile network.

• A child who died from complications arising from an undiagnosed herpes infection was suffering from an unusual case and all medical practitioners who assessed her acted appropriately, a doctor has told an inquest into the girl’s death.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  5th of July 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-04/visiting-a-doctor-can-be-uncomfortable–for-indigenous-people/7567272

Visiting a doctor can be a difficult task for some Indigenous Australians but some health workers are trying to make it easier.

“Some of them rely on medicines from the bush I think and it is hard for them to come into the mainstream places to get white man’s medicine,” explained Andrea Mitchell, a Larrakia woman from Darwin.

“They do find it really hard to explain to a white person what their problem is and how to go about it.”

She said language and cultural barriers dissuaded some Indigenous people from visiting the doctor, which could lead to health conditions deteriorating.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a life expectancy of 69.1 years for men and 79.7 years for women – much lower than non-Indigenous Australians.

But Indigenous health officers like Malcolm Laughton are working to change that.

His job at Aboriginal health service Danila Dilba is to speak with people before they see a doctor, to help them explain what is wrong and to ensure the contact is culturally appropriate.

He said initially Indigenous health officers were used when infectious diseases that required long-term treatment were more common, and Indigenous people from remote communities where they may not speak English may have needed someone to help them so treatment was more effective.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-04/sydney-launches-largest-tactile-network-for-blind-pedestrians/7566852

The world’s most comprehensive network of braille and tactile signs to help visually impaired pedestrians has been rolled out across Sydney.

More that 2,100 braille and raised-letter signs have been installed at pedestrian crossings in the City of Sydney area.

They were officially launched on Monday by Lord Mayor Clover Moore who said it was the “world’s largest tactile network”.

“It’s one of the most significant projects we’ve done to make sure our city is welcoming and accessible,” Cr Moore said.

The aluminium panels feature street names and building numbers in both braille and large, raised lettering.

They have been placed next to push buttons at signalised crossing areas.

Nicole Holmes, who uses a guide dog, said the signs would make a big difference to those who are blind or vision impaired.

According to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, there are around 100,000 people with non-correctable vision loss in NSW.

That number is predicted to increase by more than 20 per cent by 2020.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-04/doctor-defends-handling-of-briony-klingberg-fatal-herpes-case/7567626

A child who died from complications arising from an undiagnosed herpes infection was suffering from an unusual case and all medical practitioners who assessed her acted “appropriately”, a doctor has told an inquest into the girl’s death.

Briony Caitlin Klingberg, 10, died from organ failure in January 2015 after contracting a herpes infection.

The Coroners Court has heard Briony was severely unwell for nearly a week before her death, was vomiting and had sores on her throat.

It heard that despite multiple doctor and hospital visits, the herpes virus was not diagnosed and she was repeatedly sent home.

The inquest previously heard one doctor thought she had a throat infection while another, who saw her later, thought she may have had glandular fever.

Dr Peter Joyner, who was called as an expert witness, has told the inquest it was a rare case.

He said after reviewing the medical notes he formed the opinion the GPs who saw her had made a “very good, comprehensive” examination.

Outside court, Dr Joyner said it was an unusual case and he did not think it was fair to level too much criticism at the doctors who assessed Briony.

Dr Joyner said the case reinforced the need for medical practitioners to investigate a child’s illness further if that child kept presenting for multiple visits.

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