The Health News Australia February 14 2018

  • Researchers will test more than 3,000 pregnant women in Melbourne in a bid to develop a test to predict who will give birth prematurely. Australian researchers are hoping to develop a swab test to predict which women will give birth prematurely. In Australia, up to 10% of pregnant women will experience spontaneous premature labour but currently doctors have no way of knowing who is at risk. Globally, about 15 million babies are born premature each year and more than a million die as a result.
  • One of Australia’s highest-profile medicinal cannabis suppliers is prepared to face nine-years’ jail in a court case that could set a national legal precedent. Adelaide woman Jenny Hallam, 45, was raided by police in January last year, halting the supply of her cannabis oil to almost 300 Australians suffering from a range of medical conditions. Ms. Hallam said her clients included people with terminal cancer, epilepsy, pain, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease.
  • A new study has found that Australian GPs are prescribing antibiotics at up to 9 times recommended rates in a trend that could see the emergence of deadly superbugs and put common medical procedures at risk. Antibiotics are not recommended for people with chest colds caused by acute bronchitis or children with bronchiolitis. But patients with these conditions were given antibiotics in 85% of cases, a study published in The Medical Journal of Australia has found.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/medical-technology/65/news/aap/australian-researchers-developing-a-test-to-predict-premature-labour/3175/

Researchers will test more than three thousand pregnant women in Melbourne in a bid to develop a test to predict who will give birth prematurely. Australian researchers are hoping to develop a swab test to predict which women will give birth prematurely. In Australia, up to ten percent of pregnant women will experience spontaneous premature labour but currently doctors have no way of knowing who is at risk.

Globally, about fifteen million babies are born premature each year and more than a million die as a result. The Predicting Preterm Labour study will test more than three thousand Melbourne women over three years for protein biomarkers to check how closely they are associated with impending labour. Scientists from the University of Melbourne-Carmentix collaboration have already identified several biomarkers associated with labour.

The study involving women planning to give birth at either the Royal Women’s Hospital or the Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne will zero in on the most “promising” of those biomarkers. University of Melbourne researcher and obstetrician Doctor Di Quinzio says with no drug available to stop labour, such a test would enable clinicians to offer potentially life-saving care to mothers and babies.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/02/12/12/03/jenny-hallam-medicinal-cannabis-supplier-set-for-government-showdown-in-south-australia-court

One of Australia’s highest-profile medicinal cannabis suppliers is prepared to face nine-years’ jail in a court case that could set a national legal precedent. Adelaide woman Jenny Hallam, forty five, was raided by police in January last year, halting the supply of her cannabis oil to almost three hundred Australians suffering from a range of medical conditions.

Some of Miss Hallam’s clients, who she said all received the medicinal cannabis for free, may now appear in court to help her try to avoid a jail term similar in length faced by convicted ice manufacturers. Miss Hallam told Nine.com.au she had witnesses prepared to bring their medical records into a South Australian court and tell a jury how medicinal cannabis had improved their quality of life and explain why the current system was “broken”.

Medicinal cannabis was legalised in November two thousand sixteen, but Nine has been contacted by many people who claim they have been forced onto the black market because of what they see as a bureaucratic quagmire. Miss Hallam said her clients included people with terminal cancer, epilepsy, pain, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease.

People who have contacted Nine complain that Australian GPs are unaware of how to get approval for medicinal cannabis and of its perceived benefits.

Miss Hallam will next appear in court on March two, as proceedings move towards a possible a District Court trial.

https://www.thesenior.com.au/health/antibiotics-prescribed-at-up-to-nine-times-recommended-rates/

A new study has found that Australian general practitioners are prescribing antibiotics at up to nine times recommended rates in a trend that could see the emergence of deadly superbugs and put common medical procedures at risk. Antibiotics are not recommended for people with chest colds caused by acute bronchitis or children with bronchiolitis. But patients with these conditions were given antibiotics in eighty five percent of cases, a study published in The Medical Journal of Australia has found.

Researchers believe that GPs were prescribing antibiotics at a rate four to nine times higher than recommended by clinical guidelines for acute respiratory infections including rhinosinusitis (which affects the nose and sinuses) and bronchitis. Up to four point sixty one million patients could have been inappropriately prescribed antibiotics.

The overuse of antibiotics is a global problem that has accelerated the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs. About seven hundred thousand deaths every year are blamed on antimicrobial resistance and there have been warnings the toll could rise to ten million people annually by two thousand fifty, which is more than cancer kills today.  Antibiotic resistance could also undermine the basics of modern medicine, by making it dangerous to perform chemotherapy and major surgeries such as caesareans and hip replacements.

The latest Australian study used research from about twenty two thousand five hundred cases managed by GPs over five years to March two thousand fifteen.

The researchers believe GPs over prescribing antibiotics may be worried about missing a serious infection or complication in their diagnosis, an idea backed by Australian Medical Association vice president Tony Bartone. Last month letters were dispatched to five thousand three hundred Australian GPs warning them they all had a higher than average rate of antibiotic prescribing, as the Department of Health continues to monitor dispensing of antibiotics.

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