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New testing system predicts septic shock outcomes

Almost 55,000 Australians develop sepsis each year, and around 8,700 people will die from it. Sepsis affects people of all ages and patients across a broad range of clinical specialties but particularly the very young, the very old and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The condition, which happens when the body has an extreme response to a bacterial or viral infection, causing a chain reaction that can lead to organ failure and death, has had few strategies for treatment. Researchers have now developed a personalised method that can accurately predict which patients with sepsis would recover quickly, recover later, or ultimately succumb to the condition.

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Special edition of "Australian Critical Care" - A collaborative allied health research culture in intensive care

This month a special issue of Australian Critical Care journal, published in Clinical Key for Nursing, focusses on research by allied health professionals (AHPs) and the benefits of multidisciplinary, collaborative research in intensive care. Professions under the banner of allied health include physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, dietetics, psychology, and pharmacy and represent around 20% of health professionals in Australia. However, there is a lack of high-quality evidence to guide clinical care in most allied health professions, leading to an expansion in allied health research.

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World-first saliva test detects hidden throat cancer

A simple saliva test developed by QUT biomedical scientists has detected early throat cancer in a person who had no symptoms and no clinical signs of cancer. In what is believed to be a world-first, the non-invasive test picked up HPV-DNA in a saliva sample from an infected but otherwise apparently healthy person. 

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Blueprint to protect the mental health of frontline medical workers

University of Queensland researchers have developed a set of recommendations to manage the mental health of frontline medical workers during viral outbreaks, such as COVID-19.

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UQ, CSIRO, say poo could be an early warning system for tracking COVID-19

Researchers across the globe have been tracing the spread of the coronavirus through waste water and sewage and several scientific studies have picked up the clear presence of COVID-19 in patients' stools. Testing human sewage could now become a key way of tracking the pandemic's spread, and a precious early warning system for a feared second wave, said researchers from the University of Queensland and CSIRO who are developing an early warning system to track COVID-19 in the community through tracing the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA in raw sewage.

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New QUT model predicts Coronavirus course, resolution and eventual good news

COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised at QUT offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1,000 deaths for Australia.

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Australian clinicians infected with COVID-19 usually get it outside of work

COVID-19 is very uncommon in Australian healthcare workers at present, and the large majority of those who have contracted COVID-19 have done so away from work, according to the authors of an article published by the Medical Journal of Australia.

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Is it wrong to prioritise younger patients with COVID-19?

With health services overburdened around the world, clinicians are facing an ethical dilemma in having to decide who should receive treatment. But is it wrong to prioritise younger patients with COVID-19? Two experts debate the issue in The BMJ. Dave Archard, Emeritus Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, says this is no excuse for wandering blindly into discrimination, but Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, argues age is a valid criterion when supported by data.

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Spatial distancing rules for health workers may be insufficient according to an Australian-led review

Current advice for COVID-19 health workers is based on the assumption that droplets bearing the virus travel no further than 2 metres and do not remain in the air. The body of published evidence suggests otherwise in a landmark Australian and US scientific review.

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Updated Cochrane Review - PPE for healthcare workers

Cochrane has published a fast-tracked update to a 2019 Cochrane Review on personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers - "Personal protective equipment for preventing highly infectious diseases due to exposure to contaminated body fluids in healthcare staff". The full review is now published in the Cochrane Library. 

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