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Daily digest October 8 2015

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Heart attack test 'cuts hospital stays'

A blood test can more than halve the number of people admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack, say doctors.

They say the rapid test, which looks for a chemical in the blood, would reduce stress for patients, save money and ease pressure on hospital wards, the BBC reports.

Trials on 6,304 people, in the study led by University of Edinburgh and published in the Lancet medical journal, suggested it was 99.6% accurate.

The British Heart Foundation said the test would produce faster answers without affecting patient safety.

Read more on the BBC News website

Experts call for tests on use of flu drugs in pandemic

New trials are urgently needed to establish whether the anti-flu drug Tamiflu would help save lives in a pandemic, experts have said.

The Guardian reports that flu pandemics are highly dangerous, with the potential to kill millions around the world, and each winter in the UK hundreds die of flu. 

Yet the drugs available to treat people, of which the best known and most widely used is Tamiflu, appear to have only a modest effect and have only been tested on seasonal flu, according to a report by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Wellcome Trust.

The senior doctors on the review panel urge that plans should be put in place to test whether the drugs would work in a pandemic.

Read more on The Guardian website

Majority of us confuse dementia with 'old age' - and miss out on vital treatment as a result

Dementia patients are missing out on treatment because most people wrongly think the symptoms are simply a normal side effect of getting older, Mail Online reports.

More than 75% of people cannot distinguish between Alzheimer’s disease and examples of everyday age-related forgetfulness, a study has found.

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin said that misplacing keys, forgetting telephone numbers or forgetting the names of casual acquaintances are all examples of normal forgetfulness.

But getting lost in familiar places, regularly struggling to recall words, being no longer able to cook a meal, set the table, drive your car, use money correctly or dress yourself appropriately are all possible symptoms of dementia

Read more on the Mail Online website

Australian doctors reattach toddler’s head to spine

Surgeons in Australia have reattached the head of a toddler to his spine in a ‘miracle’ procedure following a car crash which left him with a severed neck, The Telegraph reports.

Jaxon Taylor, a 16-month-old, suffered an ‘internal decapitation’ last month after a head-on collision and was taken to a hospital in Brisbane where doctors used a fragment of one of his ribs to graft his severed vertebrae together.

The toddler survived the operation and will have to wear a halo brace for about eight weeks.

Read more on The Telegraph website

 

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