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264 records found from year 2006
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Monday, 24 July 2006 09:58
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
HOPE FOR BREAST CANCER PATIENTS
Thousands of women with early breast cancer could get life-saving treatment with the official recommendation today that Taxotere should be given to patients after surgery.

Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug already given to women with late-stage breast cancer, will be given to certain women in the early stages of the disease, under draft guidance to be issued today by the government's drugs watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

The guidance comes nine months after the Scottish equivalent of Nice, the Scottish Medicines Consortium, approved the use of Taxotere for Scottish women in the early stages of the disease.

David Miles, consultant oncologist at London Bridge hospital, said: "If Taxotere is routinely available in the UK it has the potential to prevent the deaths of hundreds of women with breast cancer each year.

"We welcome this landmark [ruling] from Nice, which represents an important step forward for the treatment of early stage breast cancer in the UK. Results from numerous clinical trials confirm that Taxotere-containing regimens are the foundation for effective treatment strategies at every stage of breast cancer”.

The guidance is still open to consultation, but the final version is not expected to be changed when it is published next month.
   

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Sunday, 23 July 2006 09:50
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
HOSPITALS THROW AWAY 19,000 BLOOD DONATIONS
The Sunday paper Scotland on Sunday revealed that blood supplies to Scottish hospitals are to be cut back after it was discovered that they throw away 19,000 donated units a year.

The paper can reveal that the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service has issued new restrictions to prevent the waste, amid fears that it will discourage donors from giving blood.

Yesterday, Professor Ian Franklin, national medical and scientific director of the SNBTS, said it was reviewing the amount of blood being sent out to hospitals amid plummeting donor numbers and a decrease in the number of transfusions.

Under the Blood Express initiative, the SNBTS will hold on to more supplies at its central blood banks in hospitals in Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It will limit supplies to Scotland's remaining hospitals. In emergencies, supplies can be sent from the nearest blood bank. Medical centres in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland will be exempt from the scheme because they are so remote.

But the revelation that thousands of units of blood have been thrown away has angered patients' groups and opposition politicians, following numerous urgent pleas for donations from the service.

Franklin said: "We want to make maximum use of the donor's gift. Although we can collect enough blood, it is getting harder and harder to do it. We always worry about compassion fatigue.

"The Blood Express programme is educating nurses and doctors about the appropriate use of blood and maximising the delivery of blood to patients, while minimising stockpiles, increasing efficiency and making sure stock does not go out of date.

"We do not want stock levels to be so low that there is no contingency there should they need it. We do get occasions where one patient needs up to 60 units of blood. That will stretch things and we will have to move stocks around, so we do need a comfort zone”.

   

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Sunday, 23 July 2006 09:33
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
GROUND-BREAKING KEYHOLE SURGERY
A Scottish cardiac surgeon Ciro Campanella is offering heart patients who go under the knife each year keyhole surgery.

The consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary is planning a revolutionary heart bypass operation that will allow patients to leave hospital just one day after undergoing surgery.

Patients who need major heart surgery normally have to endure traumatic operations, during which the chest is cut open and the ribs separated to allow doctors to reach their heart. It takes weeks for them to recover.

But Campanella is using endoscopic implements that are inserted through a tiny incision in the patient's chest.

He claims the small hole needed to reach the heart can heal and allow patients to get back on their feet faster than in the traditional operation. He is aiming to begin carrying out "short-stay" procedures by the autumn.

It will be the first time patients who have had major heart surgery can leave after just a few hours in hospital, and is expected to revolutionise heart surgery. The risk of infection will also be dramatically reduced, while waiting times will be cut, freeing up beds for other patients.

"We are looking at this for selected patients," said Campanella. "There needs to be some fine tuning before we can definitely say we can do the surgery endoscopically and have the patients going away the following day.

"Unless you try to push forward, there will be no progress in terms of helping patients.

"The bottom line is that the disruption of the normal anatomy of the body is very minimal”.
   

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Saturday, 22 July 2006 09:45
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
COCA-COLA PULLS ADVERT
Following complaints from Scottish mental health campaigners the soft drinks giant Coca-Cola yesterday axed an advert that referred to "psychos".

The ad, which has appeared in newspapers and on billboards, was part of the campaign for the new product Coca-Cola Zero - which is designed to taste like normal Coke but without the sugar.

The campaign points out that many things in life would be better without a downside - in this case "blind dates without the psychos".

But those working with people with mental illness failed to see the funny side.

Linda Dunion, the See Me campaign director, said: "Psycho is a term we are trying to dissuade people from using. It is used to trivialise serious mental illness and as a shorthand for horrendous crime”.

Ms Dunion said people with mental illness felt belittled and ridiculed by the term and such advertising was undermining the campaign's own efforts to tackle stigma.

"It is not necessary for them to be using an advert that might offend people”.

Ms Dunion said it was "fantastic news" Coca-Cola had decided to stop using the ad.

The company apologised for any offence and said: "The insights used are tongue-in-cheek and designed to be humorous and appeal to our target audience.

"It was never our intention to offend people."

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Thursday, 20 July 2006 09:09
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
MEAT PLANT WORKERS CONTRACT 'FARM FEVER'
Eleven members of staff who work at a meat processing plant in Bridge of Allan in Stirlingshire, Scotland, have contracted a rare infection known as Q fever.

Q-fever is a rare infection caused by the Coxiella burnetii organism, which lives in farm animals such as sheep, cattle and goats as well as wild animals and ticks.

Humans can catch the infection from contact with animals or from drinking unpasteurised milk.

It can also spread if people inhale dust that contains particles of infected animal tissue.

Within a few weeks of becoming infected a person will experience a high fever, severe cough, headaches and muscle pains. However, many will fight off the infection without needing treatment.

When this is the case the symptoms disappear after one or two weeks. However, some people can develop more severe problems.

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: "While we would not expect there to be any cases in people who do not work at the plant, there is a small theoretical risk of contracting Q-fever by air-borne spread within a half-mile radius of the plant.

"We will be increasing our surveillance and have contacted GPs in this area to notify NHS Forth Valley if any patient presents with a flu-like illness of this nature”.

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Thursday, 20 July 2006 08:57
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
£48M RADIOS FOR SCOTLANDS AMBULANCE SERVICE
A £48m digital communications system is to be introduced to Scotland's ambulance sercice.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said yesterday the switch to the new radio service, which promises to bring an end to reception problems, is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

It has decided to drop its current analogue system to invest in the 02 Airwave digital radio network. It guarantees that ambulance staff can stay in instant communication, even in remote areas or within the confined spaces of buildings and tunnels, where radio coverage has often failed in the past.

Adrian Lucas, chief executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: "The benefits of the new system will enable us to deliver higher standards of care to patients in every part of Scotland, as well as improved safety for our frontline staff”.

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Wednesday, 19 July 2006 10:27
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
THE TEACHING OF PRESCRIBING NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Leading pharmacologists said yesterday that patients are being put at risk from adverse reactions to drugs because doctors are not properly trained in prescribing drugs.

Top doctors said the problem was being caused because the General Medical Council (GMC) was placing less emphasis on pharmacology in UK medical schools.

They also said the risk was being compounded by the use of more complex medicines in the health service.

Recent research suggests that about one in 16 hospital admissions is caused by adverse reactions to drugs, most of which are avoid-able. One recent study put the cost of the problem to the National Health Service at £466 million.

Prof Sir Michael Rawlins, the chairman of the Government's medicines watchdog the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) blamed the GMC, which is responsible for undergraduate medical education, for falling levels of knowledge.

Prof Rawlins, who is a professor of clinical pharmacology at Newcastle University, said: "There has been a decline in the teaching of pharmacology and that has an effect on basic drug safety. The competence of young doctors in prescribing is a very serious problem. Frankly, the GMC have not made sure that young doctors are taught to prescribe safely”.

Prof David Webb, the chairman of the Scottish Medicines Consortium and a professor of therapeutics and clinical pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, said medical students were privately expressing concerns at their own lack of prescribing knowledge.

He said: "Patients are becoming ill and some are dying as a result of poor prescribing. There is no doubt about that. A substantial proportion of that is undoubtedly avoidable. Our medical schools could be training much better and safer doctors.

"The increasing focus on performance targets within the health service has marginalised specialities such as CPT where performance is difficult to measure. Distinct courses and assessments in CPT, formerly a staple in the curriculum, are disappearing”.

A study published two years ago found that at two hospitals on Merseyside, 1,225 patients aged 17 or over out of 18,820 were admitted as a result of adverse drug reactions. Other research has suggested that between five and 10 per cent of all hospital inpatients experience an adverse drug reaction during their stay.

A spokesman for the GMC said: "We refute the suggestion that medical undergraduates are failing to learn to prescribe properly. It is clearly stated in our guidance that medical students must be taught to prescribe safely and effectively”.
   

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Wednesday, 19 July 2006 08:56
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
HEART SURGERY SURVIVAL RATES ARE REVEALED FOR HOSPITALS IN SCOTLAND
A website, which was put together by the Healthcare Commission and the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, allows patients having heart surgery in Scotland to compare the performance of hospitals and see which units and surgeons have the best survival rates.

New data published yesterday includes information from the four cardiac units in Scotland, alongside statistics for all 37 units in Britain as a whole.

The data showed that all four Scottish units fell below the British average for heart bypass surgery survival at 98.3 per cent, although Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary came close at 98.2 per cent.

But the units scored well for aortic valve replacements, with only Glasgow Royal Infirmary falling slightly below the British average of 97.7 per cent survival.

The organisations said the hope was that patients would be able to use the data when considering where they would have their surgery and discuss the information with their GP.

But they stressed that the website, which can be found at heartsurgery.healthcarecommission.org.uk could not tell patients their own chances of survival.
   

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Wednesday, 19 July 2006 08:31
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
OVER-50S CATCHING HIV AND HERPES
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) have reported that the number of over-50s contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases has more than trebled in the last five years.

HPS found infections such as chlamydia and herpes among senior citizens are among the most rapidly rising in Scotland.

Health workers are concerned that older couples are not heeding the safe sex message.

The rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has been put down, in part, to the increasing numbers of older people beginning new sexual relationships following a divorce or the death of a partner.

Health workers claim that, as this age group is unlikely to have received sex education, many are having unprotected intercourse unaware of the dangers.

Figures show that the number of HIV cases among over-50s have trebled from 0.7 to 2.2 per cent of those tested in the last five years. In over-60s, the figure jumped from 0.6 to 1.6 per cent.

Chlamydia leapt from 43 in 2000 to 91 in 2005. And reported cases of herpes trebled from 32 to 107 during the same period. Sexual health consultant Dr Ruth Holman said evidence showed older people were swapping partners more than ever.

Dr Holman, of NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said: "You hear about swingers and about women going abroad to pick up men.

"These things would not have happened a few years ago.

"Also people are more frequently having relationships at older ages with more partners and more sexual experimentation”.

But she warned over-50s needed to be taught more about safe sex.

She said: "In the past, the assumption was that if you are over 50, then you are definitely not having sex”.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2006 10:10
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
28,000 PEOPLE WAIT TO SEE A PHYSIOTHERAPIST IN SCOTLAND
According to the first ever official survey over 28,000 people are waiting for their initial appointment with a physiotherapist in Scotland.

The unprecedented investigation found patients can face delays of up to a year for their first treatment session.

Lewis Macdonald, Deputy Health Minister, called for health boards to examine therapy services in light of the information and drive waiting times down.

Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, policy officer in Scotland for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: "We're concerned patients might be waiting for such periods before seeing a physiotherapist. Early intervention is so often essential in restoring function. We want progress to address patient need”.

Hundreds of physiotherapy students and graduates from across the UK are expected to gather in London today to protest at the lack of NHS jobs for newly qualified staff.

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KEY WORKERS ARE PRICED OUT OF HOMES
DIET 'AFFECTS ARTERIES OF FOETUS'
BOOST FOR CERVICAL CANCER
ONE IN 20 VIOLENT CRIMES COMMITTED BY MENTALLY ILL
FISH OIL 'AIDS WEIGHT LOSS' WITHOUT DIET
STAFFS MAY STRIKE OVER HEAT
BEAT A FAG WITH A JAG
ALCOHOL KILLS RECORD NUMBER OF WOMEN IN SCOTLAND
FORMER PRESIDENT URGES GMC REMODELLING
DARK SKIN 'DOES NOT BLOCK CANCER'
Nurses Reconnected

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