The Health News – 15 February 2016

Overview:
• An Australian medical research team in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are trialling a new Swedish technology that aimed at increasing the number of hearts available for transplant, hoping that the machine would double the length of time doctors had to transport hearts from a donor to a recipient. The trial will run over the next 12 months using sheep hearts.

• A New South Wales Labor MP, Jo Haylen has called for police to stop using sniffer dogs to target drug users, arguing it leads to overdoses and deaths.

• The redevelopment of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne is back on track thanks to a $31.4 million funding package. Development started back in 2013, but the discovery of asbestos slowed construction and threatened the project.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th February 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-14/australian-doctors-trial-technology-for-heart-transportation/7166810

An Australian medical research team has launched a trial aimed at increasing the number of hearts available for transplant.

Donor hearts are currently transported to the recipient in an esky with about a four-hour timeframe before the heart is at risk of deteriorating.

Doctors in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are trialling a new Swedish technology that supplies the heart with oxygen during transportation.

Professor David McGiffin from Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital said it was hoped the machine would double the length of time doctors had to transport hearts from a donor to a recipient.

“If we can extend it to eight hours it means that hearts can move around Australia and New Zealand without the penalty of increasing the risk of graft dysfunction, of the heart not working properly,” he said.

In 2015, 381 hearts were available for transplant in Australia but just 81 of those were successfully used in a heart transplant.

Professor McGiffin said it was because so much can go wrong during transportation.

The trial will run over the next 12 months using sheep hearts.

Doctors involved in the trial said it would be some time before they know whether the machine could be used in Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-14/nsw-mp-jo-haylen-ban-on-police-sniffer-dogs-drugs-use/7166780

A New South Wales Labor MP has called for police to stop using sniffer dogs to target drug users, arguing it leads to overdoses and deaths.

Jo Haylen used a debate on health policy at the party’s annual state conference to launch a stinging attack on the NSW Government’s approach to the issue.

Ms Haylen, member for Summer Hill, told the 850 delegates gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall that sniffer dogs only made drug users engage in even riskier behaviour.

“Sniffer dogs are ineffective,” she said.

“They’re wrong three quarters of the time, causing unnecessary interactions between police and young people.

“They scare young people into ingesting all of their drugs at once, and cause unnecessary over-doses.”

She said the intensified presence of police at music festivals and other major events had the same effect and called for amnesty bins and pill-testing at music festivals to be introduced.

In recent months, NSW policy and police tactics have come into question following the death of a woman at the Stereosonic music festival and calls to rethink drug-driving laws.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-14/victorian-ear-and-eye-hospital-redevelopment-thrown-a-lifeline/7166464

The redevelopment of The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne is back on track thanks to a $31.4 million funding package.

Development started back in 2013, but the discovery of asbestos slowed construction and threatened the project.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the Government had to step in to save the project by providing $21.4 million to ensure the full scope of the project would be delivered.

The hospital will contribute an extra $10 million.

Ms Hennessy said the former Liberal government had “bungled” the project by failing to plan for the removal of the asbestos leaving a $30 million hole.

Ms Hennessy said the new construction will deliver seven operating rooms and 24 overnight beds as well as a new emergency department.

The asbestos removal is being monitored by WorkSafe to ensure it occurs in line with best industry practice, the minister said.

The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is the state’s largest provider of ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat services, treating 250,000 patients a year.

 

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!