The News – 11 September 2014

Overview

  • A coroner’s inquest in Darwin is raising questions about the treatment given to a young Indigenous man who died at a health clinic in the remote Northern Territory community of Ngukurr.
  • Crowdfunding has become a common way for entrepreneurs to finance products and ventures, however a new study has found crowd-sourced research may be more trouble than it is worth
  • Teenagers who regularly use cannabis before they turn 17 are much more likely to drop out of high school or university, or attempt suicide, than those who never smoked a new study has found.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 11th September 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-10/death-could-have-been-prevented-inquest-hears/5735086

A coroner’s inquest in Darwin is raising questions about the treatment given to a young Indigenous man who died at a health clinic in the remote Northern Territory community of Ngukurr.

The man who died was taken to the the Sunrise Health Clinic in Ngukurr in February 2012 after becoming unwell while playing a game of football.

For cultural reasons the family of the 25-year-old who died have asked that he be referred to as Mr Daniels.

Daphne Daniels, the aunt of the dead man, told the inquest she does not think he received adequate care from the nurse on duty at the clinic, Nigel Linklater.

Dr Hugh Heggie, a rural doctor and director with the Northern Territory’s Department of Health, agreed.

He told the proceedings that Mr Linklater should have called a doctor immediately because of Mr Daniels’ serious condition.

That could have saved Mr Daniels’ life, the inquest heard.

Instead, a doctor was only called hours later, when the 25-year-old started having a cardiac arrest.

By then it was likely too late, and Mr Daniels died shortly afterwards.

Also puzzling to Dr Heggie and the family of Mr Daniels is why a number of standard procedures – such as checking blood pressure – were not undertaken when he presented to the clinic in very poor health.

There are inconsistencies in the three different accounts given by Mr Linklater as to why he did not take Mr Daniels’ blood pressure.

Dr Heggie said the case highlights the urgent need to tackle the high incidence of heart disease among Indigenous Australians, even those as young as Mr Daniels.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-10/crowd-sourced-research-more-trouble-than-it-is-worth-study/5734444

Crowdfunding has become a common way for entrepreneurs to finance products and ventures, however a new study has found crowd-sourced research may be more trouble than it is worth.

As scientists increasingly look to community collaboration to source funds and manpower, a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface has found that crowd-sourced research is vulnerable to sabotage.

One of the study’s authors, Manuel Cebrian, was part of a University of California Shredder Challenge team that used volunteers in a race to reassemble shredded documents.

A series of staged attacks by at least one of the team’s volunteers cost it the $50,000 prize.

Three years on, in the study on crowd-sourcing, Dr Cebrian has concluded this sort of behaviour is the norm, rather than the anomaly, even when there is no money at stake.

Dr Cebrain said the pro and anti-climate change debate was particularly at risk as well as other, seemingly less competitive scenarios, such as exploring the migration of birds or oceanography.

“These scenarios are really good because probably they are some of the safest crowd-sourcing problems that you can think of,” Dr Cebrian said.

“If studying oceans or counting birds, which seems completely harmless, actually has to do with proving there is climate change undergoing – then there might be some people who want to alter those counts or those studies,” he said.

Deakin University researchers have been using the crowdfunding site Pozible to find money for their projects.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-10/daily-cannabis-smoking-puts-teenagers-at-serious-risk/5732272

Teenagers who regularly use cannabis before they turn 17 are much more likely to drop out of high school or university, or attempt suicide, than those who never smoked a new study has found.

Australian research by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales has been hailed as the best evidence yet of the harms of marijuana during teenage years.

“Our findings are particularly timely given that several US states and countries in Latin America have made moves to decriminalise or legalise cannabis, raising the possibility that the drug might become more accessible to young people,” study author Professor Richard Mattick said.

In the study, Australian and New Zealand researchers combined data on 3,765 participants who used cannabis from three large, long-running studies to look at the link between the frequency of cannabis use before age of 17.

Researchers also looked at seven developmental outcomes up to the age of 30 years, including whether the teenagers completed high school, obtained a university degree, were dependent on cannabis, used other illicit drugs, attempted suicide, suffered depression or were on welfare.

It found teenagers who were daily users of cannabis before age 17 were more than 60 per cent less likely to complete high school or obtain a degree compared to those who had never used the drug.

The large meta-analysis also indicated daily users of cannabis during adolescence were seven times more likely to attempt suicide.

In addition, those teenagers had a chance of cannabis dependence 18 times higher than others, and were eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life.

“Efforts to reform cannabis legislation should be carefully assessed to ensure they reduce adolescent cannabis use and prevent potentially adverse effects on adolescent development.”

The research was published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

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