Welcome to Medshop Australia’s monthly series, News Brief, where we talk about what you may have missed. These are mostly articles we’ve posted in our social media news feeds. We consider them the most newsworthy events in Australian health and medicine from the last month. You will find links to the original articles. Let’s look back and review the top stories from November.
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As reported by 3AW News Talk, an exciting breakthrough in melanoma detection has been announced by the Victorian minister of health. The breakthrough comes in the form of a new blood test that can detect the presence of melanoma mutations in a person's DNA.
The blood test was developed by scientists working on the Melbourne Melanoma Project, an incentive to reduce the number of deaths from melanoma. This test is a world first and a triumph of medical innovation that will limit the need for invasive biopsies and weeks of waiting around for test results to determine the presence of melanoma.
The test can also be used to track the treatment progress for melanoma by accurately demonstrating the melanoma status throughout the treatment process.
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As reported by Yahoo news, Western Australia is experiencing a methamphetamine crisis.
The drug commonly referred to as "ice" is noted to be causing more problems than heroin, cocaine, and marijuana combined. This is having a significant impact on the hospital services and health professionals who are required to attend to patients affected by the drug.
The state government has created the equivalent of 6 full-time positions for nurses dedicated exclusively to treating methamphetamine patient presentations. Many people consider that this measure will not be significant enough in tackling the crisis.
Patients presenting to hospitals while under the influence of methamphetamine are often delusional, violent and unpredictable, posing significant risks to staff and other patients alike.
It is apparent that much more needs to be done in the fight against methamphetamine use.
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As reported by the Australian Journal of Pharmacy, the debate about whether Lyme disease actually exists in Australia has been weighed in on by a group of pathology researchers, who have published their findings in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Their research and verdict attests that there is “no convincing evidence that classic Lyme disease occurs in Australia, nor is there evidence that the causative agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, is found in Australian animals or ticks.”
In light of this conclusion, they are advising treatment providers that until there is proven evidence to suggest otherwise, treating patients with Lyme disease type presentations through the use of intravenous and oral antibiotics is likely doing more harm than good.
It is possible that patients can acquire Lyme disease overseas and in these cases the Lyme disease treatment protocols should be carried out in those cases. For patients who claim to have acquired Lyme disease in Australia, the research advises against doctors administrating the conventional treatments.
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As reported by Yahoo News, a Brisbane couple has made medical history by experiencing one of the only 10 medically documented cases of superfetation in the world.
Superfetation occurs when a woman who is already pregnant continues to ovulate and falls pregnant again during the initial pregnancy.
The couple Mr. and Mrs. Hill had struggled to conceive naturally due to Mrs. Hill's polycystic ovary condition so they sought fertility treatment to increase their chance of conception.
While hopeful that the treatment would lead to conception, the couple was definitely not expecting to fall pregnant twice. Mrs. Hill explains that after only having sex once, the sperm was able to stay alive for 10 days at which time the second egg was fertilised.
Both daughters Charlotte and Olivia were born in good health.
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As reported by PC Authority virtual reality technology is revolutionising doctor training and helping to save lives in the process. Companies Mativision and Samsung are leading the way and partnering up to deliver the world's first virtual reality doctor training programs.
Trainee doctor and surgeons observation of procedures have long been the standard training practice. Now thanks to these emerging technologies, trainee surgeons can watch complex operating procedures live via a headset, with interactive content that provides additional patient data during the operation.
This is only the very beginning of how virtual reality will revolutionise doctor and surgical training processes.
And there you have it, all the Australian medical news we see fit to print. We hope you enjoyed this month's medical news instalment. See you back here at the end of December for our last one in 2016. Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page. We love to hear from you.
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