In the news this month:
In Profile – Raising Awareness of the Symptoms of Bowel Cancer
-The journalist Jeremy Bowen has been speaking about his own experience of the disease
The latest NHS & Medical News
-The NHS has established a forum to help deliver its ‘Long Term Plan’
-Type 2 Diabetes – An 800 calorie a day diet is one of the approaches to tackling the disease being trialled by the NHS
-Scientists investigate which bacteria have the potential to survive in sterile hospital environments
-Good news on the longevity of hip and knee replacements
-Fantastic *NEW* Care Product range from Newtons Medical Supplies.
-PRODUCT DISCOUNT OF THE MONTH – Covidien Genius™ 2 Tympanic Thermometer
In Profile – Raising Awareness of the Symptoms of Bowel Cancer
Our ‘In Profile’ section looks at a prominent medical or surgical development which has featured in the news this month.
You may have read some of the recent media coverage concerning the veteran BBC reporter – Jeremy Bowen – who has chosen to speak publicly about his treatment for bowel cancer. Jeremy’s experiences have been highlighted throughout April, which is officially ‘Bowel Cancer Awareness Month’.
Awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer is being promoted by Bowel Cancer UK, the national charity which is dedicated to bowel cancer research and to providing guidance and support to people who experience the disease.
How prevalent is bowel cancer?
According to the charity, bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK with almost 42,000 people being diagnosed each year. As Jeremy Bowen pointed out in a recent interview in the Guardian, people often find it embarrassing to discuss bowel issues and toilet habits with their GP and this can lead to a delay in seeking help.
Jeremy’s decision to speak out has had an immediate positive impact, which the NHS has described as the ‘Bowen Bounce’ resulting in more people raising concerns with their GP.
A full list of the symptoms of bowel cancer can be found on the Bowel Cancer UK website.
The latest NHS and Medical News
New NHS Forum to deliver the ‘Long Term Plan’
The NHS has established a new forum of people to support the development of the NHS Long Term Plan. Known as the NHS Assembly, the diverse selection of participants was selected from 500 applicants. They come from a range of relevant disciplines including patients, NHS staff, clinical leaders and local community representatives.
The NHS Long Term Plan was published at the beginning of the year. Its aim is to look ten years into the future to find the most effective and efficient ways to utilise the additional NHS funding which has recently been announced by the government.
The objective of the NHS assembly is to share the experience and views of those frontline stakeholders who use, work with or work within the NHS on a daily basis.
Type 2 Diabetes – Is an 800 calorie a day diet an effective way to manage the condition?
According to a recent article in The Independent new figures show that one person is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes every 3 minutes in England and Wales. This disease is a serious challenge for the NHS to manage on a day to day basis and is estimated to cost the service £10 billion a year.
90% of people who experience Diabetes have Type 2, which is caused by the hormone insulin not working properly in the body. If the pancreas does not create enough insulin, blood glucose will continue to rise, leading to a variety of health problems. Type 2 Diabetes is often linked to obesity and lifestyle issues. It tends to develop over time and most frequently (but not exclusively) affects older people.
The NHS is working on programme of preventative measures to help individuals manage Type 2 Diabetes and has launched an extensive Diabetes Prevention Programme. The nine month long programme will encourage people to maintain a healthy weight, to improve their nutritional intake, do more exercise and use a variety of apps and other methods to monitor their own condition.
As outlined in a recent article in the HuffPost, one of the approaches that will be trialed is a liquid 800 calories a day diet. An earlier trial by Diabetes UK showed that half of those who had tried this form of diet had actually achieved remission from their symptoms after a year.
Initial results from the Diabetes Prevention Programme have led the NHS to expand the initiative which is hoped to treat 200,000+ people a year in the future.
At Newtons Medical Supplies we specialise in providing a range of surgical products to the NHS and other medical organisations which are focused on sterile services, decontamination and surgical procedures. This means that we are always interested in the latest research related to bacteria and germ prevention in hospital environments.
Which bacteria might have the best survival rates in a sterile atmosphere?
The human body is an absolute breeding ground for many different types of bacteria, most of which are benign or even beneficial. However, some are or can become pathogens – meaning that they are likely to cause infection and disease. The human mouth in particular is home to many different types of germs.
A team of US researchers from the Forsyth Institute, the J. Craig Venter Institute, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Los Angeles have recently undertaken a study to ascertain which human-mouth dwelling bacteria are likely to survive in a sterile hospital environment. Their paper is due to be published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
In the experiment, hundreds of samples of saliva were stored in test tubes to measure how well they survived outside of the sheltered environment of the human mouth. The microbes were tested every day to find out which had the greatest capacity to survive.
Scientists were interested to discover that the bacteria with the best survival rate was Klebsiella which was able to live without nutrients for up to 100 days. This bacteria usually only makes up about one percent of bacteria in the human mouth. Analysis of the results showed that when dwelling alongside the many other bacteria in the human mouth, Klebsiella is unlikely to cause any problems. However, it is actually an ‘opportunistic pathogen’ which has mutated to survive without nutrients when it is forced to adapt to a different environment – such as a hospital surface.
When adapted in this way it can cause serious medical conditions like pneumonia and meningitis which are a particular problem for people with compromised immune systems. Klebsiella has also been shown to develop a resistance to antibiotics.
Understanding as much as possible about these microbes is one of the best ways to manage them in hospital environments. The results of the study will be used to plan effective methods for dealing with these pathogens.
Good news on the longevity of hip and knee replacements
Two of the most commonly performed surgeries in the UK are hip and knee replacements. These surgeries can make a huge difference to people’s lives by restoring mobility.
A recent study in the Lancet has indicated that hip and knee replacements actually last longer than had originally been thought. NHS advice on the lifespan of artificial joints was previously based on the estimated life of the replacement rather than real life studies of recipients. Joints had been thought to last around 15 years.
This is how long the replacement joints actually lasted:
Hip – 15 years: 89%, 20 years: 70% and 25 years: 58%
Total knee: 15 years: 93%, 20 years: 90% and 25 years: 82%
The longer lifespan of joint replacements means less of a burden on the NHS to repeat surgeries and increased and extended mobility for people with artificial joint replacements.
*NEW* Care Product Range
At Newtons Medical Supplies, we are constantly reviewing and expanding our quality product range in order to meet the needs of our customers.
We have recently launched a brand new Care Product Line with a number of useful and effective products including bed rails and bed liners and featuring the high quality range of Medokare brand products.
Product Discount of the Month
Every month we offer our customers a great product at a fantastic discount.
This month we are offering the Covidien Genius™ 2 Tympanic Thermometer at a fantastic price of £9.99 (normal price £18.99).