Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘medical’

WA’s only confirmed case of swine flu has been cleared after a week in quarantine, Ten News has reported, while the nation’s swine flu tally has passed 400.

The  man, who tested positive last week after going to hospital with mild flu symptoms, was in home quarantine with his wife and their eight children.

Australia’s Eastern States has been particularly hard-hit by the flu and Victoria has recorded a massive surge in cases, most of them children.
 
By this afternoon the number of confirmed cases in the State had risen to 306, a rise of 94 in 24 hours.

Most of the new cases in Victoria also involved young people aged five to 18, prompting a twelfth Victorian school to be closed today.
 
According to Federal Health Department figures, there were 64 confirmed cases in NSW, 18 in Queensland, six in South Australia, four in the ACT, and one each in Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
 
However, Queensland Health officials say the State now has 22 confirmed cases, the latest being teenage girls.
 
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the Government was assessing whether to elevate the nation’s response to the disease from the contain to the sustain phase.
 
Victoria is already preparing to move into the sustain phase, under which quarantining is limited to those who share a home with a confirmed swine flu patient.
In the contain phase, anyone who has had contact with a swine flu patient is quarantined voluntarily and given antiviral drugs for a week.
 
The nation’s chief medical officer, Professor Jim Bishop, said the advice to people with flu-like symptoms may change as swine flu evolved.
 
At present, people who come down with flu-like symptoms, especially if they have recently travelled to an affected country, are being advised to seek medical advice.
 
Professor Bishop said in the future, fit and healthy people may be told to stay at home and only those in at-risk groups, including those with seek medical advice and asthma, will be advised to visit their GP.
 
“A lot of people that have these sorts of symptoms of course will, as this thing progresses, stay at home and not necessarily seek medical advice if in their own case it is a at-risk groups— and that we expect to see more of,” he said.
 
“As we move along in this marathon race, what we will need to do is obviously identify those people that we’re concerned about.
 
“If there is large numbers involved, we want to make sure the system is looking after people we most want to look after.”
 
The swine flu-affected ship Pacific Dawn docked in Sydney this morning after NSW Health authorities gave it the all-clear.
 

The P&O ship was forced to cut short its trip to the Barrier Reef last week when three crew tested positive for the virus.
 
A senior NSW Health doctor and 25 nurses boarded the ship in Brisbane on Saturday, testing all 2500 people on board during the two-day voyage to Sydney.
 
While disappointed the cruise didn’t go to plan, passengers said they still enjoyed the journey.
 
David Geers, from Brisbane, joked it was the perfect place to be quarantined for seven days.

 “If you had to be quarantined somewhere I couldn’t have thought of a better place … because we got fed, the drinks tasted the same and the staff were fantastic,” he told reporters at Darling Harbour.
 
More than 15,000 people in 53 countries have tested positive to swine flu, with deaths totalling 99.

Source www.thewest.com.au

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Fertility doctors are worried they will be under pressure to implant multiple embryos into women who cannot afford ongoing treatment due to new financial safety net caps, a leading IVF specialist says

Having two embryos implanted into the uterus instead of one raises a woman’s chance of having a multiple birth, says IVF Australia chairman Professor Michael Chapman.

As part of Medicare Safety Net restrictions unveiled in Tuesday’s budget, payments for IVF will be capped at different rates for each stage of treatment once a person reaches the safety net threshold for out-of-pocket medical expenses, which is $1,111.60, or $555.70 for those on low incomes.
This could hit women with an extra $1,500 to $2,000 of out-of-pocket costs per IVF cycle.

There are also caps on safety net payments in other areas including obstetrics, varicose vein and cataract surgery.                                                        embryo

Under the changes, pregnant women who choose to see a private obstetrician will be out of pocket by $550 unless doctors lower their fees.

“That is why the government is urging women to question their doctors about their fees,” Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

An average of $4.5 million of taxpayers’ money is paid to the top 10 per cent of IVF specialists each year.

But Prof Chapman said the government, which says it wants to crack down on specialists who charge exorbitant fees, was using the figures for political gain.

“For every doctor that gets money, there are 10 staff members, the scientists, counsellors and nurses, they get funded through the rebate,” he told AAP.

Prof Chapman said he accepted there had been a 40 per cent rise in IVF fees over the past five years but said that it was in line with general medical inflation.

Current Medicare rebates, which work out to about $4,200 per child, go towards employing about 2,000 people in private IVF clinics nationally and investing in research and facilities, Prof Chapman said.

He estimated out-of-pocket costs for patients would rise from $1,600 to between $3,000 and $3,500 when the safety net caps come into effect on July 1, 2010.

It can often take more than one IVF cycle for a woman to fall pregnant.

“Certainly, patients are going to be more out of pocket for IVF than they have been in the past,” Prof Chapman said.

He warned doctors would be under pressure to implant more than one embryo per cycle into women as a result of safety net restrictions, increasing the chance of multiple births.

“Over the last five years in Australia the twin rate has dropped dramatically because we have been able to put one embryo back,” he said.

“But if patients think they won’t be able to afford the next cycle they will put a lot of pressure on the doctor to put two embryos back.”

Ms Roxon said her department would work with medical professionals to restructure the system to better reflect stages in a treatment cycle.
www.sbs.com.au

Read Full Post »

sharksA Navy diver who lost a hand and a leg in a Sydney Harbour shark attack is back diving and walking, and says he wants to return to work at the scene of the attack.

Doctors said navy clearance diver Paul de Gelder was lucky to survive the mauling by a 2.7-metre bull shark off Garden Island Naval Base on February 11.

After seven weeks in hospital, Mr de Gelder has told 60 Minutes he is determined to put the experience behind him.

He is already walking with a prosthetic leg, driving high performance cars and confronting his fears head-on by swimming with sharks at an Manly’s Oceanarium.

The extremely fit 31-year-old appeared comfortable examining graphic medical photographs of his injuries taken just before doctors decided to amputate his leg and hand.

Asked whether he planned on being a Navy clearance diver again, he said: “I do, I’ve never stopped”.

After five years as a clearance diver and working on peacekeeping mission in East Timor, he said his goal was to get back to working exactly where he was before the incident.

“That will be something that I’ll have to do,” he told the Nine Network.

“It’s going to be a tough bridge to vivid savagcross, but you can’t show weakness.”

Mr de Gelder gave an account of the e 6.30am (AEDT) attack while visiting the scene north of the Garden Island docks.

“It’s all a little bit nerve-wracking really,” he said.

“I kind-of wish I didn’t come out that day but you can’t change the past. You have to look to the future.”

He said that during equipment testing sharks were “everywhere” off Garden Island and the thought of the predators circling came into his mind “every time”.

“You just put it to the back of your mind and try not to worry about it.

“You have an obligation, a role and a job that you have to get on with so you don’t let the things that scare you stop you from doing that.”

He said sharks were in his mind on the morning the attack.

“Then it was in my leg,” he joked.

“I remember it all.”

Mr de Gelder was on the surface when the shark began mauling his leg and hand.

“I was swimming on my back. I had my fins on and a wetsuit on, and I was just checking my direction and when I got halfway back from turning around I got hit in the leg and looked down and there was a big toothy grin.

“(It was) grey, white, toothy and beady.

“I’d never seen a shark up close before. To see it like that was not something you expect.

“You look down and there’s a big monster attached to you and your mind goes into panic mode.”

At one point, the shark’s head was just 50cm away from Mr de Gelder’s face.

“We were pretty much staring eye to eye for about three or four seconds.”

In one bite it took his “whole hand and the whole of the back of my leg”.

“It just felt like getting hit in the leg with a plank of wood, you don’t feel the teeth go in or anything.

“I think the adrenalin, the panic, probably puts a numb on the pain and you don’t feel it.”

Four navy colleagues dragged him onto a boat and got him to shore before he was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital in a critical condition.

“I thought he was dead,” Navy colleague Lane Patterson said.

Doctors said he most probably would have died in the water if the main artery in his leg had been severed.

He is now living with his girlfriend in an apartment paid for by the Navy and is being helped by his life-long friend Brock who quit his job to care for him.

But he is still getting used to the new hi-tech leg and will soon have a bionic hand fitted.

I get out of bed and it’s a bit of a struggle,” he said.

“It takes all your strength to sort of roll yourself out and get going in the mornings, physically.

“Mentally, I just want to bound out of bed, go and have breakfast and run down to the water and go for a swim but … baby steps.”

http://www.ninemsn.com.au

Read Full Post »