You are on page 1of 11

Medical Advances 1. The UK fertility regulator is seeking to reduce the taboo around egg and sperm donation.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) says people should feel the same about it as they do about altruistic, or living, organ donation. It is launching a new drive to encourage more donors to come forward to help infertile couples have a child. But critics say egg donation is an invasive process, and women should be warned of the risks. 2. More advanced procedures, such as angioplasty (using a balloon to widen a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel to restore blood flow to the leg), are being used to unclog blocked arteries, a major cause of tissue death (Gangrene) leading to amputations in diabetic and the elderly. Patients with diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and chronic smokers are all at risk of their lower limb arteries being narrowed by fat deposits or eventually being blocked. 3. Girl has lung op before she was born. When she was still a foetus in her mother‘s womb, doctors operated on her lungs to fix a blocked bronchial tube in what they say was a world first. The foetus was suffering from bronchial atresia, an anomaly where the bronchi- air tubes leading from the trachea to the lungs do not connect properly with the central airways. The only 2 options available was-operation or abortion. 4. Women's annual breast exams could be improved by adding ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to the usual mammogram, according to a US study released on Tuesday. The research, published in the April 4 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that those two technologies helped spot small cancers that mammograms had missed. Mammography, which is a low-energy X-ray. Ultrasound, a scan that uses sound waves to produce a picture of the body's internal workings and is often used for pregnant women. MRI scans which use a magnetic field combined with pulses of radio wave energy.

5. Surgeons at Manchester Royal Infirmary claim to be the first in the UK to use a full 3D projection during an operation. They used the equipment during an operation on John Green, 62, from Openshaw, to remove his prostate. The team wore special glasses in order to view the procedure in 3D.

Therefore. "therefore reducing the risks of muscle and nerve damage. It was hoped that the advancement would provide better results at a fraction of the cost of current robotic and imaging techniques." It would help reduce surgeon fatigue. as it provides more flexibility than the human wrist. The decision whether to be screened is a personal one and that decision should be made with all of the potential harms and benefits fully explained. But the researchers hope to avoid the need for this in the future by improving the strip's sensitivity in order to allow the tests to be used in GP practices and people's homes. a high definition screen carried a 3D image of a hand-held robotic arm developed to carry out intricate surgical techniques. but simultaneously causes glucose intolerance – a side effect reported in humans. During the operation. which are then analysed using a strip with electrical sensors that can detect MRSA. Kidney Transplant .Doctors said the combination of robotic and 3D technologies allows for greater surgical mobility with keyhole techniques. too. Women need more accurate. US researchers say. Up to one-in-four breast cancers detected by screening would never have gone on to be fatal or cause any symptoms. It works by taking swabs from a wound or sores. The swab samples are currently processed in the laboratory to increase the amount of bacteria present before they are tested with the strips. Now the drug's dual nature has been teased apart.diagnosis of breast cancer that wouldn't cause symptoms or death. A test to show whether wounds or lesions have been infected with bacteria including MRSA has been developed by Edinburgh University scientists. It is hoped the tests will allow almost immediate detection of the bacteria. 6. It was a bittersweet discovery: a drug that extends life but at the cost of causing diabetes. raising the prospect of a new lifeprolonging drug without the harmful side effects. evidence-based and clear information to be able to make an informed choice about breast screening. Rapamycin is regularly given to prevent transplant rejection and treat cancer. Mammography might not be appropriate for use in breast-cancer screening because it cannot distinguish between progressive and non-progressive cancer. Previous studies have also shown that it extends the life of animals. 8. 9." The technology offers a more precise and quicker surgical procedure. 3D projection allowed the surgeon to have greater accuracy. this practice has caused a problem for women . 7. This would allow patients to be given more effective drugs straight away. meaning they would be able to carry out "more operations with even better outcomes.

are unlikely to trawl the internet looking for random scientific files to hack into. However. The board changed its mind when no means emerged to make those details available to those who needed them. the drugs come at a price. "If you announce that you have sensitive information by putting out a redacted paper. This will cause more problems than it solves. The published reports showed that the H5N1 virus could relatively easily mutate into a form that could spread rapidly among the human population. To prevent this. 10. 11. in theory enabling users to detect and feel objects. The NSABB had previously called for the papers to have vital details omitted." . People who use cholesterol-lowering statin may have a slightly lower risk of developing pneumonia. Bird flu is believed to kill more than half the people it infects. so would-be bioterrorists could not make them. such as public health agencies looking for viruses with the same mutations. If no one knows about it. Medical.000 middle-aged British people is now available to medical researchers around the world to help in the hunt for the causes of and treatments for disease. or redacted. lifestyle and genetic information from 500. 12.An injection of stem cells given alongside a kidney transplant could remove the need for a lifetime of drugs to suppress the immune system. One of the key problems associated with organ transplantation is the risk that the body will "recognise" the new organ as a foreign invader and attack it. making it much more lethal than other influenza strains. The US National Security Advisory Board for Biotechnology (NSABB) had asked for the two studies on H5N1 bird flu strains to be edited in case terrorists could use some of the data. Any computer can be hacked. 13. like computer hackers. it's safe. a paralysed US man made headlines after temporary electrodes placed on his brain were used to control a remote prosthetic hand. they will. and will have to do this for life. diabetes and serious infection. Last year. New generation bionics Researchers are developing prosthetic skin which might wrap around a bionic limb and feedback sensory information to the nervous system. patients take powerful drugs to suppress their immune systems. then if someone wants to know. The UK Biobank is open for researches. preventing organ rejection but increasing the risk of high blood pressure. of how the viruses were made. Troublemakers. say scientists.

the nanoparticles only released their payload when they reacted with molecules on the tumour's surface. The "encyclopaedia" details how hundreds of different cancer cells respond to anti-cancer agents. physicians should be able to up the concentration of the drug without worrying about toxic side effects. Obesity increases kidney cancer risk by about 70%. Taking a low dose of aspirin every day can prevent and possibly even treat cancer. As a result. take exercise and have a healthy diet. but if there is a family history for something like colorectal cancer. Science has shown that plenty of other cancers can also be prevented. or by protecting against sun exposure. he said. bowel and womb cancer. After that aspirin does seem to reduce the risk further . US scientists argued on Wednesday. so up to 80 per cent less of the drug needed to be injected to get the same amount into the tumour. When injected into the body. 15. 17. which can cause skin cancer. However. because it causes the higher levels of certain hormones to be produced. Half of all cancers could be prevented if people just adopted healthier behaviours. the most important things they can do to reduce their lifetime cancer risk is to give up smoking. which scientists say will speed up the search for new cancer drugs. as well as others including breast. The best known is Herceptin. 16. fresh evidence suggests.only by a small amount if there is no risk factor. The first results from early-stage trials show that cancer drugs couriered by nanoparticles may reduce the size of tumours in humans. Drug-smuggling nanoparticles could be the latest recruits in the fight against cancer. The experts say that being overweight increases the risk of this cancer. docetaxel doesn't discriminate between healthy and cancerous cells. You need these very large studies to identify small subsets of cells that are sensitive to drugs. either with vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus and hepatitis. The first volume of a "book of cancer knowledge" has been published. Prof Rothwell says for most fit and healthy people. . it tips the balance in favour of aspirin. a breast cancer drug that works in patients with an overactive HER2 gene. Researchers say that it is a step towards tailoring cancer medicine to a patient's genetic profile This is the largest study of its kind linking drug response with genetic markers. compared with smoking which increases it by about 50%.14. which can cause cervical and liver cancers." Some cancer drugs are already available for individuals with a certain genetic makeup. compared with those seen in healthy people.

according to the research by Mayo Clinic experts who studied all medical records for a county in Minnesota over that timespan. 23. Scientists have identified a genetic flaw that may explain why some people get more ill with flu than others. When the shot was given early to patients with signs of a heart attack. Between 1970 and 2009. such as interleukins 4 and 10 22. death rates from melanoma fell during the same period. showed remarkable success in preventing full cardiac . which makes cells more susceptible to viral infection. Skin cancer is on the rise among young adults. said a US study released on Tuesday. according to a US study published Monday that suggests indoor tanning beds and childhood sunburns may be to blame. Experts said those with the flaw could be given the flu jab. The mice had lower concentrations of interleukin-2 and gamma interferon – both of which promote inflammation – and higher levels of substances that dampen inflammation. 21. Classical music affects heart transplants Classical music is good for the soul and maybe the heart too. However it is a technology intensive drug that are called biologics and are very pricey.known as uterine cancer has increased by nearly 18% in the past decade. Manufactured by Genentech in Tuas. Cancer of the womb is the fourth most common cancer in women and tends to occur after the menopause. The researchers said the variant of the IFITM3 gene was much more common in people hospitalised for flu than in the general population. The number of women dying from cancer of the womb . However. suggesting that early interventions may be helping to save some lives. It has been argued that rising levels of obesity were behind the rise. said the researchers. costs $3000 to $5000 a month. 20. like other at-risk groups. Paramedics armed with a cheap. 19. Herceptin has greatly improved survival rates in breast cancer. insulin and potassium. It controls a malformed protein. Blood samples from the mice revealed that the classical music appeared to slow organ rejection by calming the immune system.18. the mixture of glucose. according to the charity Cancer Research UK. or GIK. Mice with heart transplants survived twice as long if they listened to classical music rather than pop music after their operation. the rate of melanoma among women increased eightfold and quadrupled among men. three-ingredient injection cocktail were able to reduce heart attack patients' risk of dying by 50 percent.

Hybrid operating theatres which integrate imaging technology such as MRI and CT (computed tomography provides a more detailed x-ray image) scanner into the rooms allows less invasive surgery. freezing eggs while women are at the peak of their fertility for future use could help to reverse Singapore‘s falling birth rates by deferring motherhood. Developments in surgery. since breaching the epidemic level of 780 cases in the week of Feb 12 to 18 . yet speedier and more precise. 24. feeling emotionally numb or hyper-alert to danger.when there were 815 cases . after a natural disaster or because of child abuse or sexual assault. according to the research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 61st annual scientific meeting in Chicago. Symptoms can include flashbacks. the best way for women is to conceive naturally at a young age. 3. The INV21 vaccine significantly increased EV71 immune responses. Vaccine against the virulent EV71 strain of the disease could be in the market by 2015. It provides precise images the surgeons can rely on for surgery.which affects mood and behaviour . As women age. whether that be in war.were more likely to display symptoms of PTSD. However. Nevertheless. And each shot cocktail costs only about $50. Vaccine for HFMD Hand. PTSD can arise after any kind of experience that causes trauma. and avoiding situations that act as reminders of the original trauma. . Healthcare News (Singapore) 1. Susceptibility to post-traumatic stress disorder could be partially determined by gene variants. It found those who carried two gene variants which affect the production of serotonin . Therefore. it gets harder for them to conceive and the risk of miscarriage is also higher.and even death. says a study.arrest . makes it less invasive.when the heart stops beating . 2. there should be opportunities for those who feel that they may get married only later on and would like to ―preserve‖ their fertility. In Singapore. Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) hitting epidemic levels here. are transforming the way and environments in which it is being practised.the number of HFMD cases has continued to surge. only women who might lose their fertility through medical treatments such as chemotherapy are allowed to undergo the procedure.

promote ―personalized health‖ and monitor chronic diseases. this has been met with much scepticism as many feel that this will not matter much in an industry where the human touch is important. .g. and improve work productivity and efficiency. Funds boost for the ILTC sector. As such. Doctors are also turning to apps to monitor their patient‘s conditions in between clinic visits. But it could take out the human touch which could actually be better for frail senior citizens who benefit from meaningful communication and therapeutic relationship-building. Continuing training programmes in ILTC specific areas. For example. Singapore tops the whole of SEA in terms of the number of s smartphone users. the radiologists can access the bleeding site through small cuts and put in a special type of glue to stop the bleeding (stopping bleed ―from the inside‖). For example. SGH developed a app. As smartphone becomes smarter and develops sharper images. Scientists in Singapore have found a mutation in a gene that makes some cancer drug less effective. it allows physicians to use 2-D and 3-D imaging during procedures. in the iCT operating in SGH. 5. In Neurosurgery. This can potentially change the face of health care here by allowing people to play a more active role in managing their health and monitoring their illnesses. However. Interactive Diet and Activity Tracker by HPB which allows users to track their daily caloric intake. 6. The discovery highlights the vibrancy of biomedical research in Singapore. E. This gives doctors more information on patient‘s conditions so they can make more informed treatment decisions in the next clinic visit. such as dementia and palliative care.In trauma surgery. With more than $96million will go to productivity initiatives such as redesigning work processes and making better use of technology. ―health diary‖ for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to record their flare ups. level of pain and the side effects of medication. patients may be able to communicate with their doctors from the comfort of their homes in future. It helps him to perform minimally invasive surgery with efficacy and safety.150million to help attract and retain manpower. as well as a solution to tackle the problem by the addition of another drug which is not commercially available but is used in clinical trials elsewhere. using an automatic feeder for patients who cannot eat by themselves may appear to be productive. using imaging equipment. the neuro hybrid operating theatres allow for a complete survey of brain structure and allow the surgeon to make real-time decisions during surgery.‘ 4. the big players in the healthcare industry are turning to smartphones to dish out medical information.

The latest dengue curricular. the number of people with dementia will also rise sharply. In addition. Level of customer satisfaction with the healthcare industry here fell to an all time low. train more home-based care givers. These detect the presence of the dengue virus in the blood. Private hospitals fared better than public hospitals in the survey by Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore. advocates the use of the more reliable antigen tests. although many could be monitored in the community. Recent not-in-my-backyard. GPs can do better at dengue detection. they will be found at community clinics and medical centres. high-margin facilities which mainly treat non-emergency cases and give high contact time. Hence we must enhance our mental health capabilities to cope with this increased burden. more nursing home beds. nimby syndrome. Fewer than half of doctors routinely order diagnostic tests when they suspect someone has dengue. 9. Comments: Caring well for our seniors is a collective responsibility. 10 specialized teams will be set up to support general pracitioners in treating patients with mild to moderate mental conditions. The priority is to let them grow old gracefully and with dignity within a closely knit community. While public hospitals deal with high-volume. This is because private hospitals are small-volume. with more than 4600 cases reported by the end of the peak transmission period last October. The teams that will provide community-level care will be made up of nurses. such as anxiety and mental depression. protests in Woodlands and Toh Yi over plans to build eldercare facilities. Therefore grassroots have to make our community more inclusive and welcome our seniors. increase capacity of day care and rehabilitation services. Also. 10. Expand network of senior activity centres. Studio apartments. Called the Assessment and Shared Care Teams (Ascat). issued to doctors by the ministry last August. . have fittings such as grab bars and alarms and are sold on 30-year leases. by providing counselling and psychotherapy services. a housing option for the elderly. elderly and families will get subsidies amounting to 250million to tap these various services. doctors are sending patients to hospitals too often. Also. Bringing mental health care to nearby clinics In a rapidly aging population. doctors and psychologists. 8.7. Dengue hit epidemic levels here last year. largely emergency cases and offer less contact time.

Our society is aging and more and more people will have pain conditions and a lot more will not be suitable for surgery because if their old age. The guidelines are expected to contain details on when and who doctors should prescribe painkillers for. Others with stable conditions can opt for tele-care services to save them a trip to the clinic. Pain Association of Singapore is drawing up guidelines for the use of painkillers. tele-ophthalmology where images of the eyes are sent to a specialist for examination. and when to wean patients off it to prevent addiction. South Korea (3). North Korea (7).important in future to cope with the demands of an aging population.But many doctors still use the serology tests which look for antibodies produced by the body in response to an infection. 13. Five countries have been rated as ‗extreme risk‘ for the spread of influenza. how much to give. France (9) and Spain (10) are rated ‗high risk. For example. Therefore there needs to be a guideline to help doctors better recognize and have more knowledge of pain care for chronic pain.advanced practice nurses. Team based approach in polyclinics. developed to identify the vulnerability of countries to influenza pandemics. patients with complex chronic conditions. pharmacists and dieticians helps to give patients more well-rounded care. The New Age Polyclinics Wider use of Information technology to power tele-health services in the past 5 years in polyclinics have helped to trim waiting time further. 12. as well as a proposal for the Health Ministry to recognize pain management as a specialized medicine discipline. Frees up time for doctors to work on more complicated cases. including Singapore (1). For instance. for chronic pain. while Belgium (6).‘ A new report and maps. due to its highly urbanised and transient population. UK (2). . as well as it‘s prominence as a travel hub and links to growth economies where such diseases are most likely to emerge. 11. medical social workers. Geylang Polyclinic has a scheme where patients monitor their blood pressure at home and a nurse will call regularly to check on the readings. Patients with chronic ailments can go to Family Physician Clinic where consultations are longer and by appointment. Italy (8). has identified Singapore as having the highest risk in terms of the speed in which a disease could spread. care managers and coordinators. the Netherlands (4) and Germany (5).

they are so difficult to change later in life. who has stated he will expand this "to study other applications of telemedicine". or in some cases. 14. Healthcare News (General) 1. CTs. Rather. Healthy lifestyle habits therefore need to be developed from young.0%). and MRIs) from one location to another for the purposes of interpretation and/or consultation. This has been confirmed by the Health Minister. Statistics show that obese people will spend at least 20% more on healthcare over their lifetime. Teleradiology in Singapore Teleradiology is the electronic transmission of radiological images (e. Compare this to 1998 when the figure was only about 2500 (or 6.g. Experts say the more sophisticated CT scan.Increasing focus on getting patients to take charge of their own health. since it has to do with what we eat and how we decide to live. Experts believe that obesity is not just a lifestyle disease but also a lifestyle choice. do not even have running water with which to wash their hands. Starting in December 2005. ultrasound and MRI images may also find their way to India. do not have protocols to follow nor the means to record patients' information. Often doctors and nurses in developing countries have not received adequate training. are not adequately supervised.conducts support group sessions and workshops.8%) of our youth (aged 18) entered adulthood already obese based on our National Health Survey findings. This was extended to other NHG polyclinics in April 2006. The obesity epidemic is already affecting Singapore‘s young In 2010. Obesity leads to so many other health problems including diabetes and heart disease. the harm caused by health care is often the result of failing processes and weak systems. with the aim that the Indian doctors will take over the reading of X-rays from eventually from all of them. . 15. Poor hospital care poses a risk to the lives of many patients in the developing world Hospital care is a global health concern but it is important not to blame doctors and nurses. Ang Mo Kio polyclinic has been sending 700 x-rays a month to India for reporting. It is not the intent of health professionals to fail on patients. x-rays. It is therefore important that we inculcate the right healthy lifestyle habits from young. about 6000 (or 10.

Richard Lee Norris was given what physicians say is the most extensive face transplant ever carried out. up to three quarters of US lung cancer cases could be avoided if people did not smoke.Reflection: Therefore more has to be done to improve healthcare globally especially in these developing countries. tongue and jaw last week. and tends to take a short-term view rather than a long-term approach. which can cause skin cancer. After her termination. The case of Amanda Trujillo has generated a great deal of passionate commentary across the nursing blogosphere. For instance. Research and development to make healthcare more affordable. said the article in the US journal Science Translational Medicine. including new teeth. The request angered the patient‘s physician — not the transplant surgeon. her nursing career would be finished 3. incidentally. or by protecting against sun exposure. nor someone with any knowledge of transplant surgery — who complained to Trujillo‘s manager. Also. Half of all cancers could be prevented if people just adopted healthier behaviours. My hope is for the quality of healthcare globally to increase and cost to decrease. 4. If the Board finds against Trujillo. in the event. the hospital subsequently reported her to the Arizona State Board of Nursing for exceeding her scope of practice. nose. Believe we can play our part to raise healthcare standards in these places. much of the research on cancer focuses on treatment instead of prevention. is the nurse who was fired by Banner Health Del E. which can cause cervical and liver cancers. Webb Medical Center for requesting multi-disciplinary hospice care case management consult for a pre-transplant patient with end-stage liver disease. Smoking is blamed for a third of all US cancer cases and being overweight leads to another 20 percent of the deadly burden that costs the United States some $226 billion per year in health care expenses and lost productivity. Science has shown that plenty of other cancers can also be prevented. she may well face the loss of her license or other sanctions. . as you may well know. Trujillo. 2. US scientists argued on Wednesday. either with vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus and hepatitis.