The News – 09 March 2015

Overview

  • A senior surgeon says for women to protect their surgical careers, “complying with requests” for sex from male colleagues is a safer option than reporting the harassment.
  • The father of a man who died from a prescription drug overdose hopes a coronial inquest will push for the national rollout of an electronic database to monitor the prescription history of patients before drugs are dispensed.
  • A revolutionary new exercise system has been developed to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) build muscle mass and improve their physical health. Researchers at the University of Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences have developed a specially adapted bicycle.



News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th March 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-07/sexual-harassment-rife-in-medical-profession-surgeon-says/6287994

A senior surgeon says for women to protect their surgical careers, “complying with requests” for sex from male colleagues is a safer option than reporting the harassment.
Vascular surgeon Dr Gabrielle McMullin is a co-author of Pathways to Gender Equality – The Role of Merit and Quotas. The book was launched at Parliament House in Sydney on Friday night.
… after the book launch Dr McMullin issued the reluctant warning to women entering medicine.
Despite increasing numbers of women entering the medical profession, Dr McMullin said sexual harassment in hospitals was rife.
She said she told trainees that giving in to sexual harassment was an easier path than pursuing the perpetrators, because of sexism among many male surgeons.
“What I tell my trainees is that, if you are approached for sex, probably the safest thing to do in terms of your career is to comply with the request,” she said.

Dr Saxon Smith, president of the Australian Medical Association in New South Wales, said there were clear guidelines that sexual harassment was not tolerated and that women should speak out.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-08/prescription-drug-inquest-starts-in-perth/6289342

The father of a man who died from a prescription drug overdose hopes a coronial inquest will push for the national rollout of an electronic database to monitor the prescription history of patients before drugs are dispensed.
Perth man Daniel Hall, 26, died in 2010 after overdosing on OxyContin, which is also known as ‘hillbilly heroin’.
His father Murray Hall said Daniel, who had a history of prescription drug abuse, had been prescribed the painkiller after day surgery on his nose.
“I spoke to him Friday afternoon and everything was good as gold,” he said.
“Something went badly wrong Friday night to 10:00am Saturday and at about 12:00pm on the Saturday his mother realised it was a bit quiet.
“She went into his room and he had passed away.”

An inquest, which begins Monday in the Coroner’s Court of Western Australia, will look at the deaths of three men, including Daniel, who overdosed on prescription drugs.
It will also examine the importance of doctors and pharmacists being able to access patient drug history in real time.
The Australian Medical Association of Western Australia said a national, real-time reporting database, the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs system, was operational and ready to monitor patient use of medications such as OxyContin.


Mr Hall said an electronic database may have saved his son life.

Dr Choong said a national system would save lives.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-07/new-exercise-bike-helps-people-with-ms-build-muscle-mass/6288212

A revolutionary new exercise system has been developed to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) build muscle mass and improve their physical health.
Researchers at the University of Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences have developed a specially adapted bicycle …to involuntarily activate the leg muscles to drive the pedals, similar to methods used for spinal cord injuries.
Usually people with MS, a disease of the central nervous system, have a less active lifestyle, and the researchers are investigating how those with limited mobility and extreme fatigue can get the benefits of more exercise.
Lead researcher Dr Che Fornusek said results from early trials had been positive for those who still have sensation in their legs.
“Their leg muscles grew and the participants reported better blood flow, better skin and their legs felt better,” Dr Fornusek said.
“Their legs were less stiff. Larger muscle mass in itself is important because it has an effect on the central metabolism and if you’ve got a decent muscle mass it can give you protection from metabolic diseases like diabetes.”
Dr Matthew Miles, chief executive of MS Research Australia, said it was important to find new treatments and interventions for those suffering from the progressive form of the disease.
“It’s a wonderful and novel approach,” Dr Miles said.
“The ability to take what we know in spinal disease and to look at how that might affect other diseases such as MS is of great importance to us.”


Dr Fornusek said the field has changed its position on exercise and the heating of the body, which 10 to 15 years ago was thought to have a negative impact on the disease.


Through the study, he hoped to determine whether increased activity might even slow the MS disease process.

A further trial is currently underway with results expected in a year.

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