Tag Archives: Doctors

Doctors call for urgent research as flesh-eating Buruli ulcer spreads in Australia

Doctors call for urgent research as flesh-eating Buruli ulcer spreads in AustraliaWarning: graphic content Australia is facing a “rapidly worsening epidemic” of  gruesome flesh-eating ulcers that have baffled experts and prompted calls for urgent medical research to uncover the cause. Scientists said the Buruli ulcer, a bacterial infection which is most commonly seen in tropical parts of Africa, is being reported in increasing numbers in “temperate” rural areas in the state of Victoria.  The number of annual cases has increased more than 400 per cent, with a record 182 cases reported in 216 and 236 in the first 11 months of 2017. “The community is facing a worsening epidemic, defined by cases rapidly increasing in number,  becoming more severe in nature, and occurring in new geographic areas,” said an article on the outbreak in the Medical Journal of Australia. The infection typically starts as a sore on the arm or leg that fails to heal and slowly enlarges, causing severe lesions of the skin and potentially requiring amputations. Sufferers often initially dismiss the initial symptoms as an insect bite. A severe ulcer on the knee of an 11-year-old boy, which took six months to heal Credit: Medical Journal of Australia "It can really become very severe and eats away at the skin and soft tissue … leading to, often, long-term cosmetic deformities, even mobility issues and occasionally it's actually associated with death," Professor Daniel O'Brien, the article’s lead author and an infectious diseases expert, told ABC News. The outbreak has occurred in coastal areas in Victoria, including the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas.  But it has also reportedly spread to some suburbs in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city. It is believed to be the only current outbreak in the developed world. Scientists have called for urgent funding to research the causes of the outbreak. The infection is believed to spread via mosquitoes and possums. "We actually don't know for sure — we have some clues about what may be the causes, but nobody really knows why it's located here, why it moves into new areas, and in fact how we catch it," Professor O’Brien said. Known as Mycobacterium ulcerans, the infection can often be treated with antibiotics, though  severe cases can require surgery or amputation. Possum and mosquitoes are believed to help spread the disease Credit:  Auscape Gus Charles, a 12-year-old, developed a lump on his knee after visiting the Mornington Peninsula for a family holiday.  Several doctors misdiagnosed it before a surgeon sliced into the lump and found a “huge pus-filled abscess”, according to a report in Fairfax Media. Gus eventually underwent plastic surgery and spent six months recovering.  "When I first saw it after surgery I fainted because it was pretty bad," he told ABC News. His mother, Sally, told Fairfax Media: “He complained about it a bit, but he’s a pretty tough kid. And then the lump started to get bigger and bigger." She added: “It was horrible. He’s a tough kid, but he was rocked by this.” Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security 



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Bride with Stage 4 Cancer Lives to See Wedding Day After Doctors Urged Her to Move Up Ceremony

In September, doctors urged 29-year-old Laurin Bank to move up her wedding date, fearing that the cancer patient wouldn’t live to see March 24. She said “no.”

“This date was special to us,” Bank says of herself and her now-husband Michael. “We felt like moving that date was giving up and giving in to the cancer and letting it run our lives. We didn’t want to give in. That was our goal … and I was able to walk down the aisle to my husband. I was able to dance with him and I didn’t need a wheelchair or oxygen. I did it I made it.”

Bank, of Columbia, South Carolina, was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in September 2014. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy before being declared cancer-free in April 2015.

“When I learned I was cancer free I felt ecstatic,” she tells PEOPLE. “I felt free and that I had gotten my life back. And I was more ready than ever to live my life.”

Michael (left) and Laurin Bank

However, her health took a turn in August 2017 when doctors told Bank her cancer had returned as stage four, and had metastatized to her bones, liver and lungs.

“It’s not news I wanted to hear,” she tells PEOPLE. “I looked at my oncologist and said, ‘quality over quantity. That’s my goal. And if there’s treatment, I want to do it.’ I was ready to fight. I fought once and I knew I could fight again. Being stage four is scary but I’m young, so I have a lot of fight in me.”

Bank began treatment as part of a clinical trial and her health began to improve. But, in September, doctors gave her a fierce warning.

“The oncologist said waiting six more months to get married would be risky. She said she wasn’t sure whether I’d need a wheelchair to get me down the aisle. She said it would be best for us to move up our wedding date. The doctor also said with my lungs not being so strong, I might need oxygen for my wedding day.”

Michael (left) and Laurin Bank

However, she says she and Michael picked March 24 because it’s the anniversary of their first date three years ago.

“Mike looked at me and said, ‘Don’t you dare worry. It’s going to be okay,’ ” says Bank, who chronicles her health journey on her personal blog, The Polka Dot Queen. “We didn’t want to give in to the cancer. We wanted to have [our wedding] on our terms.”

And they did. On March 24, a smiling Bank walked down the aisle, wed Michael and danced energetically in front of 230 of her closest family and friends.

Laurin (left) and Michael Bank

Laurin (left) and Michael Bank

“I danced until the last song of the night,” she says. “The wedding day was the best day ever. I was so shocked that I made it! I felt good and I felt strong. It was an emotional morning. As I walked down the aisle to him, I was just bursting with joy and happiness because I was so excited to marry him.”

Now, Bank says her health is improving and she’s continuing her treatment. She says she and Michael are looking forward to their trip to Italy in September, as they haven’t been able to fly overseas for their honeymoon as a result of Bank’s illness.

“Our goal is to go on our dream honeymoon like we originally planned,” she says. “Until then we’re planning a bunch of mini trips to celebrate and enjoy.”

Michael adds: “I made the decision that I want to be there for her and support her 100 percent. I’m going to support her through this fight.”


www.health.com/syndication/laurin-bank-cancer-wedding-move-ceremony “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com

After Death of Ruthie Ann Miles’ Daughter, Should Doctors Alert DMV of Drivers With Medical Condition?

After Death of Ruthie Ann Miles’ Daughter, Should Doctors Alert DMV of Drivers With Medical Condition?The 44-year-old driver, Dorothy Brun, suffers from multiple sclerosis, heart problems and a seizure disorder.



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OxyContin Drugmaker Vows To Stop Promoting Opioids To Doctors

OxyContin Drugmaker Vows To Stop Promoting Opioids To DoctorsThe maker of painkiller OxyContin will stop promoting opioid drugs to doctors and will slash its sales force by half, a decision that follows the company receiving a barrage of lawsuits that cite the ongoing opioid epidemic.



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Doctors Speak to ABC News About Some of the Siblings in California 'Torture' Case

Doctors Speak to ABC News About Some of the Siblings in California 'Torture' CaseSurveillance video showed parents David and Louise Turpin being led away in handcuffs.



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Doctors say new Medicaid rules 'like asking people to work with an anchor on their back'

Doctors say new Medicaid rules 'like asking people to work with an anchor on their back'As many as 6.3 million people could lose Medicaid benefits as a result of the new change. Dr Gary Leroy’s patients are “salt of the earth”: inner-city people working in Dayton, Ohio as dishwashers, car mechanics and patient care assistants. Although the vast majority have jobs, most qualify for Medicaid, a public health insurance program which serves 74 million poor and disabled Americans.



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Women more likely to die after heart attack because doctors see it as a male problem, study finds 

Women more likely to die after heart attack because doctors see it as a male problem, study finds Women are being left at risk of repeat heart attacks and early death because doctors see heart disease as a male problem, a new study has shown. Researchers from The University of Leeds and the British Heart Foundation claim women are dying because many are not offered stents to unblock arteries, or prescribed statins, after their first heart attack. Around 42,000 men and 28,000 women die from coronary heart disease in Britain each year, with most deaths related to an original heart attack. But the new study, which looked at data from more than 180,000 people over 10 years, found three times the expected number of women died in the first year of a heart attack, compared to men. A large percentage of women were not prescribed statins Credit: Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy  Experts claim women are being denied life saving treatment because they are not considered at high risk. “We need to work harder to shift the perception that heart attacks only affect a certain type of person,” said Professor Chris Gale, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the University of Leeds who co-authored the study. “Typically, when we think of a heart attack patient, we see a middle-aged man who is overweight, has diabetes and smokes. This is not always the case. Heart attacks affect the wider spectrum of the population – including women. “The findings from this study suggest that there are clear and simple ways to improve the outcomes of women who have a heart attack ­­– we must ensure equal provision of evidence-based treatments for women.” Heart attack: Symptoms and treatment The research found that women were less likely than men to receive the recommended treatments after a heart attack. Women who had a the type of attack where the coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot, were 34 per cent less likely than men to receive procedures which clear blocked arteries and restore blood flow to the heart, such as bypass surgery or a stent. They were also 24 per cent less likely to be prescribed statins, which help to prevent a second heart attack, and 16 per cent less likely to recommended aspirin, which helps to prevent blood clots. Critically, when women did receive all of the treatments recommended for patients who have suffered a heart attack, the number of women dying decreased dramatically. Previous BHF research has also shown that women are 50 per cent more likely than men to receive the wrong initial diagnosis and are less likely to get a pre-hospital ECG, which is essential for swift diagnosis and treatment. Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Heart attacks are often seen as a male health issue, but more women die from coronary heart disease than breast cancer in the UK. “The findings from this research are concerning – women are dying because they are not receiving proven treatments to save lives after a heart attack. “We urgently need to raise awareness of this issue as it’s something that can be easily changed. By simply ensuring more women receive the recommended treatments, we’ll be able to help more families avoid the heartbreak of losing a loved one to heart disease.” Women were less likely than men to receive artery opening surgery or a heart bypass  Researchers worked with the Karolinksa Institutet in Sweden, and the findings are based on Swedish health records between 2003 and 2013.  But Sweden has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, so the experts believe the situation could be even worse in Britain. “Sweden is a leader in healthcare, with one of the lowest mortality rates from heart attacks, yet we still see this disparity in treatment and outcomes between men and women,” added Prof Gale. “In all likelihood, the situation for women in the UK may be worse.” The research was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.



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German doctors in stand against 'invasive' age testing of asylum-seekers

German doctors in stand against 'invasive' age testing of asylum-seekersDoctors in Germany on Tuesday spoke out against proposals for medical tests to check the age of asylum-seekers. Leading politicians have called for compulsory tests amid allegations that migrants are lying about their age and posing as minors in order to avoid deportation and claim extra benefits. But senior doctors warned that medical tests would not be reliable and risked harming asylum-seekers’ health. “The investigations are complex, expensive and laden with great uncertainty,” Prof Frank Ulrich Montgomery, the president of the German Medical Association said. “If you carried them out on every refugee, it could interfere with human wellbeing.” The demands for medical tests have intensified since the killing of a 15-year-old girl who was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife in the street in south-west Germany last week. An Afghan refugee is accused of killing her in a jealous rage after she broke off their relationship. He claims he is also 15 but her family believes he is much older. An Iranian asylum-seeker is already on trial for the rape and murder of a woman jogger in 2016. The accused initially claimed to be 16, but has since admitted he is in fact 33.  Asylum applications in Germany Under German law minors face lighter sentences if they are convicted of crimes. Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian interior minister, at the weekend called for mandatory age-testing and said his Christian Social Union party (CSU) would demand it in coalition talks with Angela Merkel. “Too many asylum-seekers are still falsely posing as adolescents,” Mr Herrmann said. “I want everyone who comes to our country and claims to be a teenager to have their age be medically checked. Minors cost the state more money in special care and have a lower criminal liability. We cannot just leave it like that.” Thomas Strobl, a senior MP in Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat party (CDU), called for compulsory X-rays to measure asylum-seekers’ bone development. “In cases of doubt, we should turn to medical examinations such as the X-ray of the carpal bones,” he said. But Prof Montgomery of the German Medical Association, a radiologist, said X-rays to test their age would expose migrants to unnecessary radiation. “X-rays without a medical indication are an invasion of physical integrity,” he told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. In criminal cases such as the killing of the 15-year-old girl, the courts can already order medical tests to determine the suspect’s age. But medical experts say the tests are unreliable and that stress and trauma can cause the human body to age faster.



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Doctors find brain abnormalities in victims of Cuba mystery

Doctors find brain abnormalities in victims of Cuba mysteryWASHINGTON (AP) — Doctors treating the U.S. embassy victims of suspected attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain hearing, vision, balance and memory damage, The Associated Press has learned.



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Border without doctors? South Koreans urge more funding for trauma care after defector drama

Border without doctors? South Koreans urge more funding for trauma care after defector dramaBy Josh Smith and Heekyong Yang SEOUL (Reuters) – A defector’s treatment for critical injuries suffered during a dramatic dash from North Korea has highlighted a shortage of South Korean trauma doctors and again underscored Seoul’s lack of preparedness in the event of hostilities with Pyongyang. The defector, identified only by his family name of Oh, was shot at least four times by his former comrades during his daring escape into South Korea last week. American military helicopters flew the wounded soldier not to one of the many hospitals in Seoul, closer to the border, but to the Ajou University trauma center an hour south of the capital.



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