Healthcare Matters

News today: 29/05/2012

Cure tinnitus ‘by listening to the sea’ claim

People with tinnitus have been “advised to listen to the sea to cure ringing in ears”, according to Metro, the free commuters’ newspaper. Its story, which may seem comforting only to sailors and fishermen, is based on a new study that explored how best to help patients with tinnitus, a common distressing condition that causes a constant ringing or other noise in the ears.

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News today: 28/05/2012

A day in the life of … Dr Jane Collins
chief executive of Great Ormond Street hospital 

Fundraising, safety inspections and Midsomer Murders all feature in a regular day in the life of Dr Jane Collins

Over recent years my focus has been on patient safety, explicitly aiming for zero harm, so some mornings I may walk around a few of the wards with my colleagues and together we’ll examine various safety aspects. We have recently been awarded Foundation Trust (FT) status, which will allow us to remain a standalone children’s hospital. The process required lots of rigorous scrutiny, so it is reassuring to know that we met the regulator’s stringent criteria.

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News today: 04/04/2012

Janet Balaskas: campaigner for active birth movement

Thirty years ago, a rally in Britain forced the medical profession to rethink how women should give birth.

On 4 April 1982 up to 6,000 people travelled from across the country to Hampstead Heath in north London to defend a woman’s right to give birth in any position she chose. It was a key moment in what became known as the active birth movement.

The action was prompted by a dispute at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital, when one woman tried to give birth on all fours. She was asked to sign a disclaimer during the final stages of labour absolving the midwives of all responsibility. In the end, she gave in and gave birth on her back.e chose. It was a key moment in what became known as the active birth movement.

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News today: 23/03/2012

Lung cancer screening programme trial for Scotland

Ten thousand smokers in Scotland are to take part in a trial screening programme for lung cancer.

The trial will involve people who have smoked at least 20 a day for more than 20 years, who are most at risk. They will have a simple blood test that detects cancer at its earliest stages of development.


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News today: 12/03/2012

DNA analysis shows huge genetic diversity in tumours

Taking a sample from one part of a tumour may not reveal its full genetic identity, according to research by scientists from Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

They carried out the first genome-wide analysis of the genetic variation between different regions of the same tumour using samples of kidney cancer.

They found around two third of genetic faults were not repeated across other biopsies from the same tumour. The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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News today: 07/03/2012

Fewer premature births after smoking ban in Scotland

Since Scotland introduced a ban on smoking in public places in 2006 there has been a 10% drop in the country’s premature birth rate, say researchers.

They believe this is a smoke-free benefit that can be chalked up alongside others, like reductions in heart disease and childhood asthma.




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News today: 06/03/2012

Binge Drinking

Study: Does Alcohol in Movies Drive Teens to Binge Drink?

A new study from six European countries, including Scotland, suggests that teens who see more boozy scenes in movies are more likely to binge drink.

Although the study doesn’t prove that watching drinking on screen directly leads to alcohol consumption in real life, the authors believe that media influence does come into play, suggesting that teens who watch drinking scenes in movies may be more likely to imitate movie stars or view binge drinking as socially acceptable. Notably, the association between movie viewing and binge drinking persisted across various cultures, indicating that drinking laws or social norms about alcohol didn’t fully explain teens’ drinking habits.

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