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News Archives, December 2004
Friday, 31 December 2004 11:04
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
BMJ hands over Prozac papers
Confidential company documents which went missing during a court case concerning a man who went on a murdering rampage while on the anti-depressant Prozac have re-emerged.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) received the documents concerning the drug from an anonymous source and have now turned them over to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The journal says the documents “went missing” 10 years ago during a controversial product liability lawsuit filed on behalf of victims of Joseph Wesbecker, who shot eight colleagues dead, wounded 12 more and then killed himself. Mr Wesbecker had a history of depression and was prescribed Prozac a month before the shootings.

Dr Richard Kapit, the administration’s clinical reviewer who approved Prozac, told the BMJ that he was not given the Lilly data. "These data are very important. If this report was done by Lilly or for Lilly, it was their responsibility to report it to us and to publish it," he said.

In a statement defending its product, Eli Lilly said: “Prozac has helped to significantly improve millions of lives. It is one of the most studied drugs in the history of medicine, and has been prescribed for more than 50m people worldwide. The safety and efficiency of Prozac is well studied, well documented and well established".

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Friday, 31 December 2004 10:34
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
Most repeat cot deaths study casts doubt
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine claim that the vast majority of second infant deaths in families who have already suffered the sudden loss of a baby are due to natural causes.

Controversy over mothers accused of murdering their babies was heightened after Angela Cannings's conviction for killing her two sons was quashed on appeal, leading to hundreds of other cases being reviewed.

Now a massive study following thousands of families after a sudden unexpected and unexplained infant death has revealed that second deaths are not rare and eight out of 10 are most likely due to natural causes.

Professor Robert Carpenter who led the study said "Although child abuse is not uncommon, from the best available data, we believe that the occurrence of a second or third sudden unexpected death in infancy within a family, although relatively rare, is in most cases from natural causes”.

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Friday, 31 December 2004 10:11
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
Scottish doctors no longer on call
From midnight on Friday Scottish GPs will no longer have the responsibility of looking after patients out of hours.

Under new laws it will fall to health boards to make sure arrangements are in place to treat those who need to see a doctor after their surgery closes.

From 1st January, any GP calls outside normal hours will be automatically forwarded to the NHS helpline NHS 24.

There, teams of nurses will decide whether the call warrants medical attention and, if so, whether it should be from a doctor or the emergency services.

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Friday, 31 December 2004 10:00
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
patient turned away
Retired cook Matilda Balmbra, 77, died after the only doctor on duty at a hospital refused to see her.

The GP at Alnwick Infirmary was working under a new system which has seen doctors' surgeries hand over cover from 6pm to 8am to the Northumberland Care Trust.

The Trust awarded a contract to a Newcastle firm called Northern Doctors Urgent Care to provide standby GPs at hospitals and medical centres.

The GP told paramedics to take Matilda Balmbra away because his contract didn't cover treating patients who turned up by ambulance.

Niece Elisabeth, 58, a local councillor said "As a councillor I observed the service and wasn't impressed. It's a dangerous shambles.

"But I didn't think for a moment I'd be the person to lose someone”.

Local MP Alan Beith called it "scandalous". He said: "A doctor not seeing a patient needing aid is completely unacceptable”.

The Northumberland Care Trust is investigating. A spokeswoman said: "We are concerned”.

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Friday, 31 December 2004 09:47
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
fast-food and obesity linked to diabetes
Researchers, from the University of Minnesota, found that People who consume fast food regularly greatly increase their risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes compared with those who don't.

The US study, involving more than 3,000 black and white adults aged 18-30, looked at the link between fast food habits and changes in body weight and insulin resistance over a 15-year period.

They found that those who had frequent meals at fast food outlets were more likely to gain weight and have increased insulin resistance, putting them in greater danger of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Dr David Ludwig, who led the research, said: "Fast-food habits have strong, positive, an independent associations with weight gain and insulin resistance in young black and white adults."

He added: "In view of the high and increasing rates of fast-food consumption, further research into the effects of this dietary pattern on public health should be given priority”.

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Friday, 31 December 2004 09:34
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
£3 million to tackle obesity
Public Health Minister Melanie Johnson announced that Healthcare professionals throughout England will receive help in the fight to tackle obesity thanks to £3 million of extra government funding.

The new money will be split amongst the nine English regions, with the funding targeted at Primary Care Trusts in the country’s most deprived areas.

Almost a quarter of adults in the UK are estimated to be obese. Illnesses related to obesity, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, are already believed to claim at least 30,000 lives each year.

Miss Johnson said: "Obesity has rapidly become a serious problem, with over half of the population recorded as either overweight or obese.

"It is essential that people eat healthily and stay active if they are to stave off the threat of killer diseases like cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. But we can't force people to be healthy nor tell them how to lead their lives.

"What we can do is provide them with the information, advice and support to make their own choices. And this job starts with the healthcare professionals”.

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Thursday, 30 December 2004 17:24
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
DEC Tsunami Earthquake Appeal
Anyone wishing to donate to the disaster relief effort can donate at the DEC website.

The Disasters Emergency Committee is made up from 12 major UK charities that co-ordinate their relief work to increase the effectiveness of their efforts.

News reports are currently stating that there are now 120,000 confirmed dead so far in 12 countries.

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Thursday, 30 December 2004 10:52
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
Botox and Surgery helps combat migraines
Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland claim that treating migraine sufferers with a mixture of Botox injections and surgery significantly reduces the amount of time they have to take off work due to their headaches.

Researchers injected about 100 patients with botox to find out which muscles triggered the migraines and then used surgery to remove the muscles.

The surgery reduced the intensity and frequency of migraines in 92% of patients and eliminated them altogether for a third of people involved.

Lead researcher Dr Bahman Guyuron said the economic impact of migraine headaches on businesses was "staggering due to the lose of employee time and productivity each year".

And he added: "Through our new surgical discoveries we are able to help the appropriate patients escape the awful effects of migraines and start living their lives again”.

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Thursday, 30 December 2004 10:11
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
Women favour surgery to beat festive flab
A survey by Detoxil detox tablets, found that a quarter of women want liposuction to help get rid of the weight they pile on over Christmas and New Year.

While 26 per cent said the fat-sucking treatment would be their choice weight-loss method, one in 10 (10 per cent) would like to have their stomach stapled in the battle to beat the bulge.

Food and dieting were at the forefront on most women's minds, with 34 per cent saying they thought about diets every single day, according to the poll of more than 1,200 women.

Many women will be making resolutions to lose weight in the New Year. But a Detoxil spokeswoman said: "Unsurprisingly, for almost a quarter of women their New Year's resolutions last for just under a week, and over half of our respondents have given up their resolutions after just one month.

"Over three-quarters of women make resolutions related to losing weight and getting fit compared to just 22 per cent who are more concerned with their work/family balance”.

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Thursday, 30 December 2004 09:50
BNN: British Nursing News Online ·
Nurses union Call for more consideration for nurses
The nursing union RCN Scotland will today call for staff to be treated with respect in a bid to cut the number of New Year assaults in hospitals.

RCN Scotland said hospital staffs often have to face drink and drug-fuelled abuse from the very people they are trying to help.

According to NHS Scotland, one in 10 staff suffers verbal or physical attacks each year with nurses and midwives at the end of most violent incidents.

RCN Scotland director James Kennedy said: "No nurse should have to deal with violence or abusive behaviour as part of their job.

"While most families are enjoying New Year celebrations together, we must remember that not everyone is on holiday.

"Aggression towards health professionals should not be tolerated at any time and I would appeal to anyone who uses these services over the New Year period to treat staff with the respect and gratitude they deserve”.

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