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In The News

Common blood pressure drug may increase cardiac arrest risk

March 20, 2019

A preliminary study concludes that a drug that doctors commonly prescribe to treat angina and blood pressure might increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body. If a person does not receive treatment, cardiac arrest can be lethal within minutes.
According …

Victorian child dies of flu during significant summer outbreak

A young child has died in Victoria due to what health authorities have labelled one of the biggest summer outbreaks of flu the state has seen.
The deputy chief health officer Brett Sutton confirmed a young child died from the outbreak and said it was likely there had been other deaths …

Vaping is an urgent threat to public health

The evidence shows that vaping is creating a generation of nicotine-addicted youth, who start with e-cigarettes and move on to smoke tobacco products. Youth are using e-cigarettes (also known as vaping devices) at a rapidly increasing rate — a practice that constitutes an urgent threat to public health.
Preliminary survey data …

Stillbirth risk up with high serum bile acids in pregnancy

March 13, 2019

The risk of stillbirth is increased in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy when serum bile acids concentrations are ≥100 µmol/L or more, according to a review published in the March 2 issue of The Lancet.
Caroline Ovadia, from King’s College London, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies …

Cervical cancer self-tests helping to break down barriers and increase screening rates

The test takes about two minutes, which I spend lying on my back with my legs prised open.
The doctor gently inserts a speculum — to hold the walls of my vagina apart — before sliding in what looks like a thin, double-headed toothbrush to take a scraping of cells from …

We asked five experts: is vegetarianism healthier?

Four out of five experts say a vegetarian diet is healthier.
brooke lark unsplash
Vegetarianism is on the rise in Australia, as many vegetarians will gladly tell you. While many people who eschew meat products do so for the sake of animals and the environment, we’re starting to learn more about the …

Data Governance, AI And Healthcare: An Exciting New World of Health Provision

March 06, 2019

As AI becomes more commonplace, there’s an increased need for data governance. It’s an issue that’s been identified by the government, as it recently announced an ethics group to oversee large groups of data sets. An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Artificial Intelligence was set up in January 2017 to …

NSW Emergency Departments Deluged with More Patients Than Ever

Record numbers of patients are flooding NSW emergency departments, as hospitals and ambulance services struggle to treat the rising tide of sicker, more complex patients on time.
Westmead Hospital’s emergency department reported the worst treatment times for the second quarter in a row, as staff dealt with an influx of critically ill …

New Childhood Stroke Guidelines a Step Towards a Brighter Future

Stroke Foundation has hailed the release of the first ever Australian guidelines for childhood stroke rehabilitation as a step forward in improving the lives of our youngest stroke survivors.
The Subacute Rehabilitation of Childhood Stroke Clinical Guidelines were developed by researchers and health professionals from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and …

My Patient Swapped Chemotherapy for Essential Oils. Arguing is a Fool’s Errand

February 27, 2019

“Tell me why I should have your chemotherapy when I can be healed naturally!”
His face is set, his arms defensively squared. His friend carries a pamphlet that features a suspiciously healthy woman with glamorous hair and a glowing complexion. This is the urgent appointment of the day, for whom other …

People with Autism Dying at Twice Rate of General Population: New Study

People with autism spectrum disorder are dying at twice the rate of the general population, a landmark Australian study published on Tuesday has found.
The biggest cause of death is injury or poisoning from suicide, self-harm or accident, the University of NSW analysis involving the records of almost 36,000 people with …

Hack of Melbourne Medical Records Shows Risk to Health Data

Are you worried about your medical records falling into the wrong hands?
For patients at the cardiology private practice Melbourne Heart Group, that scenario may have just become a reality after a ransomware attack saw their medical files hacked and scrambled.
It’s unclear whether the private practice has paid a ransom to …