The Health News – 5 Dec 2014

Overview

  • In May, the Government announced co-payments for medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) would increase by $5 for general patients, and 80 cents for concession card holders from January 1, 2015.
  • A newborn baby girl’s death may have resulted from a cold sore and her mother is determined to warn others of the dangers and save lives.
  • Optometrists are seeing an increasing number of patients suffering serious injuries such as chemical burns and infections as a result of the surging popularity of eyelash extensions.


News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 5th December 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-04/government-shelves-proposed-co-payment-for-pbs-medicines/5943270

Patients have been given a reprieve with the Federal Government shelving plans to increase the cost of prescription drugs, in a move that will cost the budget $20 million a month.

In May, the Government announced co-payments for medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) would increase by $5 for general patients, and 80 cents for concession card holders from January 1, 2015.

However, the legislation does not have enough support to pass the Upper House and was today removed from the Senate’s Order of Business, meaning it will not be debated before Parliament rises for the year.
Health Minister Peter Dutton insists it is good policy and said he was determined to get it through.

Mr Dutton said he would continue to negotiate with crossbench senators over the summer break and said he would “be happy to compromise” on the proposed $5 increase.

Mr Dutton would not rule out bypassing the Parliament and introducing the co-payment via regulation rather than legislation.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/12/04/4142037.htm

A newborn baby girl’s death may have resulted from a cold sore and her mother is determined to warn others of the dangers and save lives.

A few days after baby Eloise Lampton was born in early November she was taken back to a Mackay hospital.

She was then airlifted to a Brisbane hospital where she was diagnosed with a herpes simplex virus.

Eloise died on November 25.

Mother Sarah Pugh says doctors told her the cold sore virus could have caused her death.

Sarah says doctors told her that her daughter needed to be put on life support in intensive care.

“But then she ended up getting a staph infection which put a cyst on her brain, so we were made to turn the machine off.”

Sarah says she hopes to raise awareness around the issue and wants people to take extra caution with their babies, especially in the first six months of their lives before getting vaccinated.

Dr Williams says it is possible for a baby to pick up herpes from being in contact with someone with a cold sore.

Dr Williams says he recalls a study from many years ago relating to nurses and how common it is to have the virus.

An ongoing Australian-wide study is being carried out through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit in Sydney looking into uncommon conditions such as neonatal herpes.

Professor Cheryl Jones is the paediatrician and infectious diseases specialist at the children’s hospital at Westmead and has been involved in the ongoing study for the past 20 years.

She says the herpes virus is an uncommon infection in newborns, and there are roughly four cases in Australia per every 100,000 live births.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-04/eyelash-extensions-optometrists-chemical-burns-infections/5939908

Optometrists are seeing an increasing number of patients suffering serious injuries such as chemical burns and infections as a result of the surging popularity of eyelash extensions.

A consumer group revealed shoddy lash jobs were causing infections, irritations and permanent lash loss in extreme cases.

Sydney woman Ellie Luff had her eyelashes fall out after a disastrous trip to a salon a few years ago.

Last year, the UK College of Optometrists issued a warning that eyelash extensions carried the risk of infection and allergic reaction.

Optometry Australia chief optometrist Luke Arundel said there had been increasing reports of serious injuries.

He said it was important that the glue used was pharmaceutical grade and did not contain formaldehyde.

“Proper ventilation is also important, as are hygiene measures within the salon,” Dr Arundel said.

The NSW branch of Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists said shards from the eyelash fibres scratch the cornea and leave fine fibres to embed in the eyelid, causing corneal ulcers, which can lead to vision loss.

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