The Health News – 5 October 2016

Overview:
•  Ambulance ramping has surged at West Australian hospitals, just a year after the State Government “banned” the practice. Labor said ambulance ramping was “out of control”, after the release of figures showing paramedics spent nearly 2,200 hours caring for patients waiting to be admitted to a metropolitan hospital in September.

• Japan’s Yoshinori Ohsumi has won the 2016 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for his discovery of how cells break down and recycle their content, which could lead to a better understanding of diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes. The Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement on awarding the prize of 8 million Swedish crowns ($1,221,903) that his discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content.

• Australian military veterans are vowing to redouble their effort to win a battle against the Australian Defence Force over trials of a controversial anti-malaria drug Mefloquine. Veterans argue that drug trial vet erans still need recognition, proper diagnosis and effective rehabilitation.

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

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-04/ambulance-ramping-on-the-rise-in-wa-labor-says/7901844

Ambulance ramping has surged at West Australian hospitals, just a year after the State Government “banned” the practice.

Labor said ambulance ramping was “out of control”, after the release of figures showing paramedics spent nearly 2,200 hours caring for patients waiting to be admitted to a metropolitan hospital in September.

That figure is 175 per cent higher than the ramping hours recorded in September 2015.

The surge in ramping hours comes after former Health Minister Kim Hames attempted to ban the practice last year, ordering hospitals to take responsibility for patients within 10 minutes of their arrival at an emergency department.

Australian Medical Association state president Andrew Miller described the situation as disastrous.

He said overcrowding at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital [this week] forced it to declare a “code yellow”, which is implemented during internal emergencies affecting service delivery.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-03/japanese-scientist-wins-nobel-medicine-prize-for-work-on-cells/7899270

Japan’s Yoshinori Ohsumi has won the 2016 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for his discovery of how cells break down and recycle their content, which could lead to a better understanding of diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes.

“Ohsumi’s discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement on awarding the prize of 8 million Swedish crowns ($1,221,903).

“His discoveries opened the path to understanding … many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection,” the statement added.

Mr Ohsumi’s work on cell breakdown — a field known as autophagy — is important because it can help explain what goes wrong in a range of diseases.

Mr Ohsumi, born in 1945 in Fukuoka, Japan, has been a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2009.

The prize for physiology or medicine is the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-04/adf-clears-military-of-wrongdoing-in-anti-malaria-drug-trial/7902498

Australian military veterans are vowing to redouble their effort to win a battle against the Defence Force over trials of a controversial anti-malaria drug.

After a year long inquiry into claims that diggers were used as human guinea pigs in the trials, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) absolved itself of any wrongdoing.

Mefloquine, also known as lariam, was a frontline drug against the tropical disease in the 1980s before its side effects became known.

Up to 5,000 ADF personnel insist they were effectively ordered to take the drug, well after the military should have known the risks.

The side effects include depression, anxiety, confusion, and hallucinations.

A number of suicides by former soldiers have been blamed on the drug, which is now regarded as a medicine of last resort.

Veterans argue that drug trial veterans still need recognition, proper diagnosis and effective rehabilitation.