The Health News Australia February 23 2018

  • A world-first Australian study has found injections of placenta cells can reduce brain injury and aid recovery in stroke victims. Giving stroke victims an injection of placenta cells could help heal the brain, according to researchers who are preparing human trials of the treatment. The study, published in medical journal Stroke, could potentially add to currently limited stroke treatments in Australia. Only about 13% of patients receive clot-busting drugs because they need to be given within 4.5 hours of a stroke occurring.
  • The number of whooping cough cases have dropped to a 5 year low in Queensland, but health authorities have warned parents not to become complacent. Cases of the highly contagious infection fell by one thousand last year, the lowest the state has seen in 5 years. Most hospitalisations and deaths from whooping cough occur in babies younger than 6 months old.
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has conceded it did not have a complete backup plan for a crucial trainee doctor exam that crashed while being held online for the first time. Hundreds of trainee doctors will have to resit the exam, even if they managed to complete it before a “technical glitch” kicked participants out of the online test on Monday. In exam centres across Australia and New Zealand about 1,200 trainees, or registrars, sat the basic training written exam, which is a requirement to enter a specialist area of medicine, but a “technical fault” left a number of them locked out and unable to complete the second half.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/cardiology/5/news/aap/research-shows-placenta-cells-new-hope-for-stroke-victims/3189/

-first Australian study has found injections of placenta cells can reduce brain injury and aid recovery in stroke victims. Giving stroke victims an injection of placenta cells could help heal the brain, according to researchers who are preparing human trials of the treatment.

The seven-year research project, led by La Trobe University in Victoria, has already proved promising in mice, where injections of human amnion epithelial cells – found in the inner lining of placenta and discarded after birth – reduced brain injury and aided recovery. While most beneficial within ninety minutes of a stroke, the experimental therapy was still successful up to three days after a stroke.
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The study, published in medical journal Stroke, could potentially add to currently limited stroke treatments in Australia. Only about thirteen percent of patients receive clot-busting drugs because they need to be given within four point five hours of a stroke occurring.

A Monash Health team, led by director of neurology Doctor Henry Ma, will conduct the first human trial of the therapy on acute stroke patients in Victoria this year. Doctor Ma said:
“The trial will be a great opportunity to translate this exciting research finding into clinical practice which may benefit stroke patients in the future.” Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability in adults.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/02/21/10/46/queensland-whooping-cough-cases-drop

The number of whooping cough cases have dropped to a five year low in Queensland, but health authorities have warned parents not to become complacent. Cases of the highly contagious infection fell by one thousand last year, the lowest the state has seen in five years.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Doctor Jeannette Young said despite the drop, epidemics typically occur in Australia every three to four years. Doctor Young also stated:  “While we can’t predict when the next epidemic will occur, there is always some level of disease circulating in the community, which is why it’s so important to be vigilant and keep up to date with vaccinations.”

Most hospitalisations and deaths from whooping cough occur in babies younger than six months old. Doctor Young said: “For adults and adolescents, whooping cough may only cause a persistent cough – but for babies it can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening health issues. Free vaccines are available for pregnant women and babies.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/21/medical-body-admits-it-didnt-have-full-backup-plan-for-crashed-doctor-test

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has conceded it did not have a complete backup plan for a crucial trainee doctor exam that crashed while being held online for the first time.
Hundreds of trainee doctors will have to resit the exam, even if they managed to complete it before a “technical glitch” kicked participants out of the online test on Monday.

In exam centres across Australia and New Zealand about one thousand two hundred trainees, or registrars, sat the basic training written exam, which is a requirement to enter a specialist area of medicine, but a “technical fault” left a number of them locked out and unable to complete the second half.

The exam itself costs more than one thousand eight hundred dollars to sit and requires intensive study, often performed around hospital shifts. As well as the exam fee and other related costs of studying medicine, the trainee doctors also pay about three thousand dollars a year to be members of the college.
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However, according to the college president, Doctor Catherine Yelland, the extent of the backup plan appears to have been the preparation of an alternative paper exam. No backup date for a resit had been prepared, even though “it wasn’t possible to have a written exam in place at the same place.” She thanked staff for reorganising a new exam date within twenty four hours, and said all one thousand two hundred trainees would be contacted personally on Wednesday.
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The New South Wales branch of the Australian Medical Association told Pedestrian it had requested the state’s health department advise local health districts of the incident and that those affected “may be understandably distressed and may need support”.

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