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COVID-19: “startling” change in emergency presentations – the numbers are down but the complexity is up

Emergency physicians have noticed a startling change to the types of presentations to EDs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of people attending Australian EDs in 2020 was significantly lower than 2019, but workload hasn't dropped with more complex patients being treated, according to a research letter published in the MJA.


Personal protective respirator masks (PPE) often do not fit correctly, especially for women and Asian healthcare workers

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has put the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, under the global spotlight. However a paper published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) reveals that masks do not always fit correctly and hospitals can lack the time and financial resources to ensure every healthcare worker has a mask that fits correctly.


CKN continues to champion clinician education and development

CKN’s commitment to Queensland clinicians doesn’t end with providing access to one of the country’s most comprehensive online clinical libraries. Through its dedicated Brisbane-based trainer, Ms Hanwool Jeong, CKN has been able to provide both in-hospital and online webinar training on key point of care tools, research databases, journals, guidance on how to best to find information using CKN’s powerful discovery search, and develop a cohort of "super user" CKN Clinical Champions.


Lessons from the COVID-19 frontline captured in “Health Worker Voices” WhatsApp project

Voice memos from clinicians are being collected via a private WhatsApp channel to capture their experience of the coronavirus pandemic and improve future preparedness. Led by researchers at the University of Melbourne’s Nossal Institute for Global Heath, the project is analysing the stories and collating key lessons about health systems’ responses to the pandemic across a range of places and over different time periods. The project is open to all clinicians, with contributions being anonymous and securely encrypted.


UV-detecting stickers warn young footballers to apply sunscreen

Simply putting a UV-detecting sticker on sun-exposed skin while playing outdoor sport was found by QUT researchers to increase sunscreen use and reduce the incidence of dangerous skin damage among 14-18-year-old rugby league players.


Nanoparticles identified as the missing piece needed for lower-cost, high-quality MRI

Lowering the cost of magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) could revolutionise how doctors diagnose and screen for many diseases. Researchers from the University of Sydney and Massachusetts General Hospital in the USA have developed a new technique involving nanoparticles to improve the image quality of medical scans by portable low-cost MRI machines. The development can help improve access to diagnostic imaging worldwide.


Menopause symptoms linked to a 70% increase in cardiovascular disease

New research from The University of Queensland has shown that women who have hot flushes and night sweats after menopause are 70% more likely to have heart attacks, angina and strokes.


Ultra-rapid testing a game changer for children in intensive care

Ultra-rapid genetic testing can transform the diagnosis and treatment of critically ill children with suspected genetic conditions, according to an Australian Genomics study published in JAMA.


Drug used to slow kidney disease found to be ineffective and no different than a placebo

Following a major clinical trial, clinicians find the drug allopurinol does not prevent worsening of kidney disease. The Australasian Kidney Trials Network led a large, two-year study known as "CKD-FIX", to assess the effectiveness of allopurinol, in slowing the rate of decline in kidney function.


Potential causal role of human papilloma viruses (HPVs) in prostate cancers

Human papilloma viruses (HPVs), a common group of viruses known to cause cervical cancers, may also have a causal role in prostate cancer, according to a literature review published in the journal Infectious Agents and Cancer, supporting the case for universal HPV vaccination.