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Giving patients informed choices could reduce low-value care

To protect themselves from the potential harms of low value care, patients must take an active role in clinical decision making, according to the authors of a perspective article published by the Medical Journal of Australia.


The health impacts of lockdowns are not worse than those of large COVID-19 outbreaks, at least in the short term

In countries like Australia, that have avoided large-scale COVID-19 epidemics, lockdowns were not associated with large numbers of deaths. Although lockdowns are undoubtedly associated with health harms, their impact on health is unlikely to be worse than the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic itself, concludes a review published in the online journal BMJ Global Health.


New Qld website to improve awareness, early recognition and management of paediatric sepsis

Sepsis is a leading cause of preventable death and disability in children, and is a top priority for statewide paediatric patient safety. The Queensland Paediatric Sepsis Program (QPSP) have now released a new website to support families and clinicians caring for children across the state. Hosted by Children’s Health Queensland, the website is a ‘one stop shop’ for clinicians, researchers, families and communities around Queensland.


How can we encourage more doctors to practice in rural and remote locations?

Supporting clinicians to practice rurally is complex and should be part of a multifaceted strategy to provide more health care in the bush, according to the authors of a supplement and accompanying editorial published by the Medical Journal of Australia.  


UQ study calls for changes to treatment for Indigenous mental health

A University of Queensland study is calling for changes to the way depression is treated in Indigenous communities in Australia. Results show that treating depression in Indigenous communities should extend beyond just clinical approaches, ensuring connections are maintained with culture and country.


Anti-coagulant drug could treat COVID-19's emerging variants - new QUT research

QUT researchers have shown that molecules from the same family as the anti-coagulant drug heparin may interfere with the ability of the COVID-19 virus's spikes to bind to human cells. This could be used to treat people with severe effects of the virus and any emerging variants.


Australian first ‘report card’ highlights the need for national surveillance of hospital infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major threat to patient safety and the quality of healthcare globally. Despite this, Australia does not have a nationally coordinated program for the surveillance and reporting of healthcare-associated infections. Now a new Australian publication has started the process of bringing together information about healthcare-associated infections nationally, in line with international best practice. A new report, Epidemiology of Healthcare-associated Infections in Australia, published in ClinicalKey aims to fill the gaps in data while confirming healthcare associated infections are common.


Making sleep safe with babies to reduce SIDS incidence in First Nations infants

Indigenous babies die from sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) three to four times more often than non-Aboriginal babies. Co-sleeping is a culturally valued practice by many Indigenous families, however is associated with an increased risk of infant death in hazardous circumstances. The Pepi-Pod sleep space program is one approach being applied in many regions of Australia and New Zealand to enable more vulnerable babies to have a safe space for sleeping every time and place they sleep.


Study of severe COVID-19 helps uncover the roots of sepsis

Sepsis is a dreaded, life-threatening condition that can occur when an infection spins out of control. Like a tsunami after an earthquake, sepsis occurs when an infection triggers a dysregulation of the immune system, which leads to widespread organ damage and even death. The condition can result from nearly any kind of infection and afflicts tens of millions each year globally. Scientists don't fully understand how it develops or how best to stop its progression in patients.


Monash University-led dengue fever study offers hope in disease battle

Dengue fever infections dropped dramatically in an Indonesian study where a bacteria was introduced into disease-carrying mosquitoes, offering hope in the battle against an illness that sickens millions annually around the world.