The Health News United Kingdom March 17 2018

  • More babies are dying within a year of being born, in a “disturbing reversal” of several decades of the NHS’s success in reducing infant mortality. Health professionals, charities and midwives voiced serious concern at the trend in England and Wales, which was confirmed in data published by the Office for National Statistics. The rate rose from 2.6 neonatal deaths per 1,000 births in 2015 to 2.7 for every 1,000 births in 2016. Smoking among mothers, maternal obesity, poverty and the England-wide shortage of midwives were all cited as potential explanations for the rise.
  • Stephen Hawking has died aged 76, after living with motor neurone disease (MND) for more than 50 years. The scientist was first diagnosed with MND when he was 21 and was not expected to see his 25th birthday, yet he defied doctors’ prognosis by half a century. Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rare disease affecting two in every 100,000 people in the UK each year. It is a fatal, rapidly progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It affects the nerves that control the body’s movement, it can affect arms and legs, speech and swallowing, or ability to breathe.
  • Doctors were left stunned after finding an a massive ‘air pocket’ where part of a man’s brain was supposed to be. The 84-year-old patient, who has not been named, arrived at the Accident and Emergency department of Causeway Hospital, in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, saying he had felt unwell for several months. But a CT scan soon showed something the doctors were not expecting – a “large 9 cm air-filled cavity within the right frontal lobe.” The findings were so unusual, doctors asked the patient if he had failed to mention any previous brain surgery or birth defects which he claimed he had not.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/15/concern-at-rising-infant-mortality-rate-in-england-and-wales

More babies are dying within a year of being born, in a “disturbing reversal” of several decades of the NHS’s success in reducing infant mortality. Health professionals, charities and midwives voiced serious concern at the trend in England and Wales, which was confirmed in data published by the Office for National Statistics. The rate rose from two point six neonatal deaths per one thousand births in two thousand fifteen to two point seven for every one thousand births in two thousand sixteen. Smoking among mothers, maternal obesity, poverty and the England-wide shortage of midwives were all cited as potential explanations for the rise.

The infant mortality rate, showing deaths within the first year of a child’s life, also rose, from three point seven to three point eight per one thousand live births over the same period. There is particular concern that both have risen for the second year in a row after years of steady improvement.
….
The Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Norman Lamb, an ex-health minister, urged ministers to urgently look into “this disturbing reversal of historic falls in infant mortality. The fact that the NHS is under such strain may well be contributing to this.”
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The rise emerged as a new report warned that Britain already has the fourth highest infant mortality among fifteen Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries analysed by the Nuffield Trust and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
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Doctor Ronny Cheung, an NHS paediatrician in London and visiting fellow at the Nuffield Trust found that the rates of death among babies aged less than twenty eight days and also those aged up to a year had plateaued since two thousand thirteen. The UK had the fourth highest infant mortality rate among all the fifteen countries in two thousand fourteen.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/motor-neurone-disease-symptoms-and-prognosis-explained_uk_5aa8f091e4b001c8bf1562b8?utm_hp_ref=uk-health

Stephen Hawking has died aged seventy six, after living with motor neurone disease or MND for more than fifty years. The scientist was first diagnosed with MND when he was twenty one and was not expected to see his twenty fifth birthday, yet he defied doctors’ prognosis by half a century.

Motor neurone disease is a rare disease affecting two in every one hundred thousand people in the UK each year. It is a fatal, rapidly progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It affects the nerves that control the body’s movement, it can affect arms and legs, speech and swallowing, or ability to breathe.

The disease can affect adults of any age, but usually when they are fifty years old and over. It tends to be more common in men than women, but this evens out with age.

Common symptoms and effects of MND include pain and discomfort, muscle cramps and spasms, stiff joints, incontinence, bowel problems, speech and communication issues; eating and drinking difficulties, saliva and mucus; coughing and a feeling of choking and  
cognitive changes. According to the NHS, in most cases the condition isn’t painful.

Sadly, the life expectancy for most people diagnosed with MND is short. The disease kills one third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. There is currently no cure for MND, although you can have treatment to improve quality of life and help ease the progressive loss of bodily functions.  The condition kills five people every day in the UK and can affect up to five thousand adults at any one time.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/doctors-stunned-after-finding-empty-space-where-mans-brain-should-be-a3789056.html

Doctors were left stunned after finding an a massive ‘air pocket’ where part of a man’s brain was supposed to be. The eighty four-year-old patient, who has not been named, arrived at the Accident and Emergency department of Causeway Hospital, in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, saying he had felt unwell for several months.  A brief examination, detailed in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), struggled to find an answer for his complaint. He was not a smoker and he claimed he rarely drank alcohol.

But a CT scan soon showed something the doctors were not expecting – a “large nine centimeter air-filled cavity within the right frontal lobe”.  The findings were so unusual, doctors asked the patient if he had failed to mention any previous brain surgery or birth defects which he claimed he had not.  

Doctor Finlay Brown told The Washington Post: “I wasn’t able to find very many documented cases of a similar nature.”

It was agreed the air pocket had probably developed as the result of an unnoticed “small stroke”.  The elderly patient declined surgery, citing age and health factors. He was given medication to help prevent a secondary stroke.

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