The Health News – 18 August 2015

Overview:

• Paramedics attended 27 per cent more ice-related incidents in regional Victoria in the past financial year, and ice use in metropolitan Melbourne jumped by 10 per cent, according to new research.

• People using e-cigarettes will be asked to stick to nine designated smoking areas at next month’s Royal Adelaide Show. The show’s general manager, Michelle Hocking, told 891 ABC Adelaide that organisers would be making a polite request for cooperation.

• The Western Local Health District board has decided to knock down the building which sits alongside the town’s Multi-Purpose Health Service and Health One.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th August 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-17/ambulance-call-outs-for-ice-incidents-rise/6703050

Paramedics attended 27 per cent more ice-related incidents in regional Victoria in the past financial year, and ice use in metropolitan Melbourne jumped by 10 per cent, according to new research.

But drug and alcohol research body Turning Point said the figures still pale in comparison to the number of paramedic call-outs due to the misuse of alcohol and prescription drugs.

“In 2013-14 in metro Melbourne, we had 1,237 ice-related attendances and in regional Victoria 295,” Turning Point Associate Professor Belinda Lloyd said.

The increase in call-outs for ice incidents were not as high as in previous years.

“We’ve seen a slowing down of the rate of increase than we’ve seen in previous years, so the numbers are higher than we’ve seen in previous years but that degree of increase has slowed down,” she said.
Associate Professor Lloyd also said healthcare organisations, law enforcement agencies, the Government and community have made good inroads in tackling the issue of ice.

Paramedics said the situations they confront in the field, involving ice use, were unpredictable and terrifying.

“We’ve had paramedics punched and kicked,” Ambulance Victoria’s acting general manager of emergency operations, Mick Stephenson, said.

“These are a very complex group of patients to manage, given that they often take four or six other adults to hold them down when they’re behaving in that way.”

Mr Stephenson can recall numerous situations where paramedics were at risk because of out-of-control patients on ice.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-17/e-cigarette-smokers-asked-use-designate-area-royal-adelaide-show/6701752

People using e-cigarettes will be asked to stick to nine designated smoking areas at next month’s Royal Adelaide Show.

The new rule cannot be legally enforced but the show’s general manager, Michelle Hocking, told 891 ABC Adelaide that organisers would be making a polite request for cooperation.

“What we’re doing this year is we are asking politely – if you do want to have an e-cigarette can you go to a smoking zone,” she said.

“And we’re sure other members of the public will help us police that.”

Ms Hocking said organisers made the call in the interest of public safety and in keeping with the event’s child friendly appeal.

Ms Hocking said she sought advice from the health department and was told some e-cigarette juices can be harmful as they contain nicotine.

Callers into ABC 891 Adelaide asked Ms Hocking whether South Australia was over-policing such issues

They asked whether the sale of alcohol and junk food at the show could also portray the wrong message to children.
But Ms Hocking said e-cigarettes were clearly different.

“You’re consuming junk food, there’s no third element of that like a vapour or smoke that is going to upset the person standing next to you, you’re consuming that yourself,” Ms Hocking said.
“We don’t get complaints from other people saying the person next to me was eating a doughnut and now I’m fat.” [she said]

Ms Hocking said she was aware of other Adelaide venues also banning e-cigarettes.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-07/old-gulgong-hospital-demolition-to-pave-way-for-expansion-of-he/6679420

Gulgong’s former hospital will be demolished because of asbestos and the cost of refurbishments.

The Western Local Health District board has decided to knock down the building which sits alongside the town’s Multi-Purpose Health Service and Health One.

Work has started to remove the toxic fibres which were discovered in the old hospital five years ago.

The board’s chairman Doctor Robin Williams said there has been no risk to public health.

“Certainly not because it has no public access to it and it’s in the roof space,” he said.

“If it wasn’t to be refurbished we’d be looking at something like a $2 million build to do that, and then you’d still be left with a 114 year old building which isn’t really fit for any real health purpose.”

Dr Williams said the building needed to go if Gulgong’s health services were expanded.

“The way that the new building has been configured, if we ever want to expand it in the future we would have to go over the footprint of the old hospital,” he said.

“That ultimately means that we have to get rid of the old building now.”

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