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Rates of sepsis have been hugely underestimated, according to a new Australian study

While the focus has been on World Sepsis Day this week, Australian researchers are “on the verge” of breakthroughs in the management of sepsis, according to experts. “We need to be able to show the impact of these interventions, but we can’t do that unless we are able to record the patients who truly have sepsis,” says Professor David Paterson, Director at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research. He said that recent research published online in the MJA was an important step in improving the “counting” of cases of sepsis and septic shock in Australian hospitals.

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Higher risk of gout in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea

Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea have a higher risk of developing gout, even beyond the first years after being diagnosed with the sleep disorder, according to UK researchers. They noted that apnoea was associated with a range of serious comorbidities and it had previously been shown that people with it had a higher risk of developing gout in the first year after diagnosis.

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Queensland Ambulance Service grants dying man's wish for one last caramel sundae

A dying man has had his wish for one last caramel sundae granted by Queensland Ambulance officers. Gold Coast cancer patient Ron McCartney was leaving his home for the last time to go into palliative care at Robina Hospital. His wife Sharon McCartney was by his side and mentioned that Mr McCartney had barely eaten in two days. Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officers Kate Hanafy and Hanna Hoswell asked him if he could eat anything, what would it be? Mr McCartney replied that he'd love his favourite food — a caramel sundae.

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Townsville nurses write the book on neonatal care

Nurses from Townsville Hospital and Health Services have literally helped write the book on neonatal care, with the first-ever neonatal teaching textbook written in Australia and New Zealand – “Neonatal Nursing in Australia and New Zealand: Principles for Practice”.

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Nurses need training to counter structural racism

Research conducted with child health nurses in South Australia has found that they don't feel able to challenge structural racism, say Australian researchers, who suggest there is an urgent need for the introduction of anti-discriminatory education and training in the nursing workforce. Nurses are often the ones identifying racism or potential racism in service delivery but are often not given the education and training needed to help them counter racism in practice, say the authors.

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Russian trolls accused of spreading anti-vaccine propaganda online

Social media bots and Russian trolls promoted discord and spread false information about vaccines on Twitter to sow division and distribute malicious content, according to new research led by the George Washington University. Using tactics similar to those at work during the 2016 United States presidential election, these Twitter accounts entered into vaccine debates months before U.S. election season was underway. 

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Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are more likely to have an autistic child

The five to ten percent of Australian women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) not only face challenges with pregnancy, obesity and diabetes, now a new study by researchers from Cambridge University's Autism Research Centre shows that women with PCOS are more likely than other women to have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

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Nurse-led services deliver high-quality, cost-effective care, but is Queensland ready for it?

Like many countries, Australia’s healthcare system is facing major challenges. An ageing population and high burden of chronic disease have driven the need for service development and innovation. Nurses in particular have responded by reshaping healthcare services, and the last decade has seen a proliferation of advanced practice roles and nurse-led services seeking to improve patient experience and address gaps in health services.

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A study of Queensland cancer patients brings new developments in lymphoma treatment

The early 2000s saw a significant breakthrough in the treatment of certain kinds of lymphoma. The addition to standard treatment of a monoclonal antibody that depletes B-cells, known as rituximab, was shown in clinical trials to improve 5-year survival by around 20% for both diffuse large B-cell and follicular lymphomas. Rituximab is now on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for these cancers. 

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Chronic lung disease bronchiectasis emerging from the shadows

Once neglected by researchers and underdiagnosed in practice, there is renewed interest in the chronic lung disease bronchiectasis, according to the authors of a narrative review of the condition published in the MJA.

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