- Doctors in Adelaide’s major hospitals are struggling to cope with high workloads as emergency patient numbers surge. All metropolitan hospitals have again been on the extreme “code white” rating, with ramping occurring across the system.
- Throughout the developed world, non-communicable diseases are now the major cause of illness and death in children, mirroring trends in adults. Among these, immune, gut, developmental disorders and mental illness feature prominently.
- The public health director has said that flu has contributed to more than half a dozen deaths in nursing homes in the past week in Tasmania as stocks of Tamiflu treatment run low. Dr Mark Veitch said while the flu season has peaked and was easing off, the recent news about flu deaths had prompted more testing in homes, thus increasing the number of cases reported.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Doctors in Adelaide’s major hospitals are struggling to cope with high workloads as emergency patient numbers surge, their union has said. All metropolitan hospitals have again been on the extreme “code white” rating, with ramping occurring across the system. At one stage, the ambulance union said there were eighteen ambulances with patients ramped at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, with more en route. To ease strain, elective surgeries have been cancelled and some city patients have been diverted to country hospitals. SA Health is urging the public to be patient, especially as staff get used to the new hospital which opened last week.
SA Health’s coding system rates the escalating pressure a hospital is facing. The data is calculated by comparing the number of patients in an emergency department with the number of beds available.
It starts at code green, which means resourcing is adequate and waiting times are acceptable.
As bed numbers reduce, that rises to a code amber and at code red, only five percent of patient beds are available.Code white is the highest level in the rating system and indicates services and patient safety could be compromised, with no beds available.
Throughout the developed world, non-communicable diseases are now the major cause of illness and death in children, mirroring trends in adults. Among these, immune, gut, developmental disorders and mental illness feature prominently. All are shaped by environmental factors in very early life.Yet, our health professionals often recommend approaches to behaviour problems in infants – such as with breastfeeding, crying and fussing, or sleep – that have been demonstrated to be ineffective. Some recommendations actually risk worse health outcomes for both the mother and baby. From the moment their baby is born, Australian parents receive vastly conflicting advice from different health disciplines, or even from different health professionals in the one discipline. Confusion during an already challenging life transition drives parents to seek opinions from multiple providers: the GP, paediatrician, midwife, child health nurse, pharmacy nurse, lactation consultant, dentist, and the emergency department. Many visit complementary and alternative medicine practitioners. Yet less than two percent of the National Health and Medical Research Council funding goes to research into primary care, the first port of call for new parents. Research performed in hospitals or specialised settings, including concerning issues of early life care, often isn’t relevant in the community. We must take primary care research seriously if we want to ensure parents are provided with consistent, evidence-based advice that is beneficial to the baby, themselves and society at large. Up to ninety six percent of Australian women want to breastfeed at the time of the birth. Women want to breastfeed so much that not being able to do so affects their mental health. Yet multiple studies demonstrate serious gaps in health professional training in the two most common post-birth problems: breastfeeding difficulty and unsettled infant behaviour. Both increase a woman’s risk of postnatal depression and are linked with poorer infant outcomes.
The public health director has said that flu has contributed to more than half a dozen deaths in nursing homes in the past week in Tasmania as stocks of Tamiflu treatment run low, Doctor Mark Veitch told ABC Radio Hobart the flu season death toll had risen to twenty one after a significant number of fresh outbreaks in the past week. He added: “We’ve had a total of twenty one deaths reported to us in the whole year, about seven or eight of those who have been in the past week.”
Doctor Veitch said while the flu season has peaked and was easing off, the recent news about flu deaths had prompted more testing in homes, thus increasing the number of cases reported.
The Royal Hobart Hospital was operating at level four, the highest in its recently revised escalation plan, for the second time on Tuesday. A level four status means the hospital is using other resources to deal with high demand, including calling in extra staff. Pharmacist and Tasmanian president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, John Dowling, said while Tamiflu did not cure the flu, it did shorten its duration and provided symptomatic relief. He said the drug could be a lifesaver for elderly patients. The drug is virtually unavailable in community pharmacies.Mister Dowling said the Federal Government had released some of its stockpile – normally reserved for pandemics – to the public for those most in need. The Royal Hobart Hospital has some Tamiflu in supply but can only dispense it with a hospital prescription, not a prescription from a GP, making it difficult for members of the general public to obtain.