The Health News – 28 April 2015

Overview

  • Hospitals in Nepal are struggling to treat thousands of injured earthquake survivors, as Oxfam warns the 2,500 death toll is ‘just the beginning’.
  • A former soldier keen to raise awareness about mental health issues has walked into Adelaide after a 400-kilometre trek from Mildura in north-western Victoria.
  • Victoria’s health authorities are advising anyone planning to pick wild mushrooms to exercise extreme caution because it is likely to be a bumper season for the potentially fatal death cap mushroom.



Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 28th April 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-27/nepal-hospitals-overflowing2c-towns-cut-off3a-aid-groups/6423272

Hospitals in Nepal are struggling to treat thousands of injured earthquake survivors, as Oxfam warns the 2,500 death toll is ‘just the beginning’.

Aftershocks continue to jolt Kathmandu and surrounding areas in the wake of Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake.
… Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said 830 Australians in Nepal had been confirmed safe, but that the Government was looking into reports one Australian had been killed when the earthquake triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest.
“The Australian embassy in Kathmandu is urgently seeking to confirm these reports,” she said.

[In] one Kathmandu hospital … “The stretchers spill out into the corridors while many patients lie on the floor clearly in pain”.
“The injuries range in seriousness but most commonly they are suffering fractures and head wounds. And as the weather worsens outside, the homeless take refuge in the hospital too making the already chaotic scene worse.”
Blocked roads and downed power lines are also posing challenges as search crews scour the wreckage of houses and historic temples in search of survivors.
The US together with European and Asian nations is sending emergency crews to reinforce those scrambling to find survivors in the devastated capital Kathmandu and in cut-off rural areas.
“Tragically, more bodies are being pulled from collapsed buildings every hour,” the Australian Red Cross said in a statement.

The World Health Organisation has given emergency health kits with medicines and supplies to hospitals treating the injured.
[Some] Survivors slept in the open in Kathmandu overnight, braving the cold for fear of being crushed by teetering buildings.
Hundreds of structures, including office blocks and a landmark nine-storey tower, crashed to the ground at around midday on Saturday when the quake struck.

… Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia was offering $5 million in aid as a first response and would be considering what else it could do to help on the ground.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-27/ptsd-walk-mildura-adelaide-nathan-shanahan/6423450

A former soldier keen to raise awareness about mental health issues has walked into Adelaide after a 400-kilometre trek from Mildura in north-western Victoria.

Nathan Shanahan is now a firefighter but spent six years in the army, a background that led to his fundraising challenge.
“I did it because from being in the army I had a couple of mates that had post traumatic stress [disorder], I actually have depression and anxiety myself,” he [stated]…
“I just wanted to try and shake that negative stigma and get more awareness out there that you still can achieve things, relatively big things when you are suffering.
“I basically wanted to help get rid of that negative stigma that I think is attached to any sort of mental illness or condition.”
Mr Shanahan said the walk, which took less than a fortnight, had left him with a sense of achievement.

The money raised will go to Soldier On, an organisation that supports those with physical or psychological injuries from defence force service.
“The goal was $10,000, we hit that I think it was a day before we left … and I just had a look and it was up to $27,000 so it really skyrocketed once I hit the road,” Mr Shanahan said.
“The support was just unbelievable so it’s a credit to everyone in the country South Australia area and Mildura as well.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-23/bumper-season-for-potentially-fatal-death-cap-mushroom-prompts-/6417040

Victoria’s health authorities are advising anyone planning to pick wild mushrooms to exercise extreme caution because it is likely to be a bumper season for the potentially fatal death cap mushroom.

Recent rain and warm soil have provided perfect growing conditions for the mushrooms which are often found near oak trees.
The poisonous mushroom looks almost identical to common straw mushrooms in its early stages.
If eaten they can cause stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea and in 80 per cent of cases, death.
Acting chief health officer Professor Michael Ackland said the real danger occurs when those symptoms ease after a couple of days.
“Unfortunately that period where the symptoms subside is associated with very serious liver failure and possibly kidney disease which can be terminal,” he said.
Professor Ackland recommended people only buy safe mushrooms from retail stores.
Last year four people were poisoned after eating the death cap mushrooms in New South Wales and the ACT.

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