- The controversy over whether Lyme disease exists in Australia is set to be inflamed by new research that has found no evidence of the bacteria responsible for it around Sydney.
- Jamie Donaldson was unaware he had a common heart condition until he collapsed after a half-marathon and was dead for six minutes.
- Amy Rickhuss recovers after cardiac arrest at The Cosmetic Institute in Parramatta, during breast implant surgery. The clinic had immediately called an ambulance and she had been taken to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd February 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
The controversy over whether Lyme disease exists in Australia is set to be inflamed by new research that has found no evidence of the bacteria responsible for it around Sydney.
But the new findings have been quickly dismissed as flawed by those who say they have they have contracted the disease from tick bites in Australia.
In July last year a clinical advisory committee on the disease was wound up by Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Baggoley.
But he said the way forward was to monitor research including that being done by Professor Peter Irwin at Murdoch University and also a team at the University of Sydney.
…tests on some 300 ticks taken amongst several thousand from the tick hotspot on the North Shore have failed to show any evidence of the Borrelia bacteria linked to Lyme disease in the United States and Europe.
A second study of 84 dogs exposed to 160,000 ticks to produce the antiserum jab used on pets if they get paralysis after a tick bite showed no sign of exposure to the bacteria in Australia he said.
“We have detected Borrelia in European ticks but to date we haven’t found it in Australian ticks,” he said.
The latest twist comes as 16-year-old Francesca Wallis from Lindfield on the North Shore, who was bitten by a tick seven years ago, prepares to travel to a clinic in Germany next month for $40,000 treatment for a catalogue of debilitating symptoms which developed after the bite.
Her parents say her GP believes that following blood tests in the US that Francesca has Lyme disease.
Jamie Donaldson was unaware he had a common heart condition until he collapsed after a half-marathon and was dead for six minutes.
After weeks in hospital, the 34-year-old father of three learned he had a heart condition known as Long QT, which is usually only discovered during an autopsy even though about one in 2000 Australians have the syndrome.
“I was bewildered. There was no warning, no precursor and I had no idea,” Mr Donaldson said. “We need a way to detect conditions before you experience what can be quite severe consequences.”
Cardiac arrests account for slightly more than 10 per cent of Australian deaths. But the quest to find a way to detect heart conditions before a crisis has made a big leap forward after a five-year project by Australian scientists.
They have developed a way explore why people who have exactly the same gene flaw that causes Long QT have such different experiences of the syndrome, from never noticed to sudden death.
The findings will enable researchers to develop more accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for a syndrome more than 100,000 Australians have.
The researchers with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute created software that simulates hundreds of hearts each beating to its own genetic drum.
But the heart is a complex organ of more than a billion cells. Simulating even one heartbeat requires powerful processing machinery.
To simulate hundreds of thousands of beats, the researchers used the CSIRO’s supercomputer that is among the world’s 10 most powerful.
Biochemist Adam Hill led the team of computer scientists and cardiac specialists to a breakthrough report on understanding heart disturbances that was published in the most recent edition of leading global science journal Nature.
Dr Hill said computer-assisted medical research was a rapidly growing field that had come a long way since the first cell simulations decades ago.
Amy Rickhuss was lying on an operating table at a cosmetic surgery on Friday morning, markings on her chest outlining the breast augmentation she had dreamed of having for years.
When she woke up hours later she knew something was not right.
Halfway through the routine procedure at The Cosmetic Institute in Parramatta, Ms Rickhuss, 20, had gone into cardiac arrest.
The clinic had immediately called an ambulance and she had been taken to Westmead Hospital in a serious condition. She regained consciousness and was put under observation.
The procedure was carried out using sedation and injections of local anaesthetic, rather than general anaesthetic.
Dr Erez Ben, an anaesthetist at The Cosmetic Institute said, while it was possible, it was highly unlikely the local anaesthetic was injected into a blood vessel.
Ms Rickhuss is the third patient of The Cosmetic Institute to go to hospital in the last six months.
Two patients have previously been admitted to hospital after epilepsy and seizure-related instances during and after cosmetic procedures.
President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Dr Tony Kane said there is one message to take home from Ms Rickhuss’ story.
‘Any surgery carries risks and some of those are potentially life threatening. People need to need to consider that before having cosmetic surgery,” he said.
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