Australian Medical News Brief October 2017

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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 October...

 

National strategy urged to tackle antibiotic resistance

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As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, a national strategy to counter the rising incidence of antibiotic resistance is under development.

The call to action has been spurred on by a recent study that emerged from Bond University's Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice. The results demonstrated that currently, 1600 people in Australia die annually from antibiotic resistance.

"It will get steadily worse until 2050 when deaths from currently treated infections will overtake total cancer deaths," says the report, published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

There is concern that without reliable antibiotic effectiveness, procedures including chemotherapy, transplants and certain invasive diagnostic procedures will become increasingly dangerous to perform.

The strategy is set to hone in on General Practice with measures to prevent unnecessary prescription of antibiotics and increasing education amongst medical professionals and the general public.

 

The $95,000 Fake Corpse Training a Generation of Doctors

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As reported by Gizmo Crazed, Scientists in Florida have developed the world's first synthetic cadaver, introducing the SynDaver.

Manufactured from a library of polymers, the scientists have created synthetic cadavers that even twitch and bleed like real humans. They currently come with a hefty price tag of $95,000.00 USD.

The cadavers are controlled through wireless programming to enable practitioners the ability to rehearse elaborate medical scenarios including the patient going into shock and "dying."

The SynDaver has eyes with screens that dilate in response to light or trauma, lungs that pump air around the body and a heart that pumps fluid that is warmed to body temperature.

With more than 600 muscles and 206 bones with every movable joint found in the human body, the materials are designed to feel as lifelike as possible.

The SynDaver is programmed with a wide range of diseases and ailments, enabling practitioners to respond to conditions including pancreatic cancer. It is a truly revolutionary piece of medical equipment for doctor training.

 

Surgical glue could be a ‘medical breakthrough’, saving lives in emergencies

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As reported by The West, a collaboration between the University of Sydney and the Innovation Research Centre at Harvard Medical School has resulted in a revolutionary new surgical glue being developed.

Surgical glue is not a new invention, but the formulation named MeTro is a significant advancement in comparison to existing formulas.

MeTro combines an elastic protein with light-sensitive molecules, resulting in a glue that solidifies immediately on contact with tissue surfaces into a gel-like phase. The elasticity is maintained which enables the glue to be very effective on shape-changing internal organs such as the lungs and heart.

University of Sydney based Professor Weiss has commented, “When you watch MeTro, you can see it act like a liquid, filling the gaps and conforming to the shape of the wound.”

Initial testing in animals has proven to be successful however clinical testing on humans has yet to occur.

As Professor Weiss has stated, “The potential applications are powerful - from treating serious internal wounds at emergency sites such as following car accidents and in war zones, as well as improving hospital surgeries."

We look forward to seeing this product become available for use in the not too distant future.

 

Australian doctors say children raised in same-sex parented families do as well as those by heterosexual couples

Dreamworld Reopens Six Weeks After Fatal Ride Accident

As reported by Business Insider, 13 top Australian paediatricians have published a journal in the Medical Journal of Australia to combat misinformation in light of the marriage equality debate.

One of the no campaign claims that the journal debunks is that children and adolescents with same-sex parents are at risk of poorer health and well being than other children.

Citing research and evidence from studies, the doctors confirm that the wellbeing of children with same-sex parents do just as well as those raised by heterosexual couples.

The paediatricians took this opportunity to state that it is the discrimination towards same-sex parents and their children that causes the most harm.

Senior author Frank Oberklaid from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute had this to say:

“The negative and discriminatory rhetoric of the current same-sex marriage debate is damaging the most vulnerable members of our community — children and adolescents. Young LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) people are much more likely to experience poor mental health, self-harm and suicide than other young people. Sadly, this is largely attributed to the harassment, stigma and discrimination they and other LGBTIQ+ individuals and communities face in our society.”

The group of paediatricians made it clear that they do not wish to get involved with the politics of the situation, they are first and foremost concerned with the facts relating to the effects this debate is having on children.

 

World-first holographic doctor launched in Perth

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As reported by The West, the future of virtual reality and it's role in healthcare has taken another step forward with the technology for the world's first "holographic doctor" being trialled in Australia.

The holographic doctor can be suspended in the living rooms of patients, with Perth being the first state to commence with the trials.

Developed by community health provider Silver Chain in conjunction with Microsoft, health care professions visit clients in holographic form, being projected via a "HoloLens" headset.

A nurse will visit the patient in the community and the doctor or specialist effectively sees through the eyes of the nurse who is responsible for physical tests such as taking blood pressure.

The remote interaction with doctors and specialists means that it will be easier and more efficient for patients living in remote communities to receive medical care.

It saves the patients the time, money and hassle of transport and will enable patients to stay at home for longer.

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