The Health News – 25 January 2016

Overview:
• A small number of children with drug-resistant epilepsy will soon be able to access a new cannabis-based drug, “Epidolex,” in New South Wales which is showing promise in relieving the symptoms.

• When the doctor told Stuart Matchett he had a rare cancer he did not hear much else afterwards. It is this dilemma faced by so many cancer patients that Rare Cancers Australia is trying to solve. The charity has just released a new free mobile phone app called “Can.Recall.”

• The Mater Private Hospital in Brisbane has confirmed a patient has tested positive for Legionella bacteria infection. The Mater said it was unknown if the infection was acquired at the hospital and it was working with independent agencies to determine the source of the deadly infection.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-24/cannabis-based-drug-to-be-made-available-to-nsw-epiliepsy-kids/7110234

A small number of children with drug-resistant epilepsy will soon be able to access a new cannabis-based drug in New South Wales which is showing promise in relieving the symptoms.

The pharmaceutical drug, Epidolex, is still in a trial phase and has not yet received full approval from authorities, but the Government has now set the date of March for a compassionate access scheme to begin.

Last year, the NSW Government approached the company that makes the drug, the UK’s GW Pharmaceuticals, to see if trials could be arranged in NSW.

Pru Goward, the Minister for Medical Research, said the scheme was great news for families who had children with the condition.

GW pharmaceuticals said the drug, which had been trialled internationally, could be administered without the psychoactive effects of smoking marijuana.

Current medication used to treat epilepsy can leave children to deal with unwanted side effects, including an inability to regulate body temperature and negative effects on memory or liver functions.

The use of Epidolex is part of [a] $3.5 million batch of trials announced by the NSW Government in partnership with GW Pharmaceuticals …

New South Wales is also conducting a medicinal marijuana trial for adults with a terminal illness – the Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme.

Ms Goward said that should the drug be approved, she was confident it would be available for use in Australia within three years.

The compassionate access scheme will start in March.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-23/can.recall-app-to-help-cancer-patients-deal-with-information/7108576

When the doctor told Stuart Matchett he had a rare cancer he did not hear much else afterwards.

Even with partner Angel Conry by his side taking notes, it was hard to absorb everything they needed to know …

“You think you can understand but then you can’t ask next questions or fully comprehend what you’re hearing” …

“Other people ask you and you have to tell loved ones and you have very little to tell.”

It is this dilemma faced by so many cancer patients that Rare Cancers Australia is trying to solve.

The charity has just released a new free mobile phone app called Can.Recall.

It allows patients to record their first meeting with their specialist after initial or suspected diagnosis — whether it be an oncologist or surgeon.

It records the first consultation and users are prompted along the way with questions fully-researched by psych-oncologist professor Phyllis Butrow.

The questions range from basic concerns like “where is the cancer at the moment?” to practical issues like “will I need to fast before surgery?”

Rare Cancers Australia director Richard Vines said they developed the app in response to a common problem faced by patients who could not properly relay their diagnosis to family and friends.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-24/mater-hospital-patient-tests-positive-for-legionella/7110720

The Mater Private Hospital in Brisbane has confirmed a patient has tested positive for Legionella bacteria infection.

The hospital issued a statement … saying the patient had returned a positive result from one of three medical tests.

The Mater said it was unknown if the infection was acquired at the hospital and it was working with independent agencies to determine the source of the deadly infection.

Queensland Health has been advised and the hospital is conducting water tests and … disinfection measures.

The patient is in a stable condition and responding well to antibiotic treatment.

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