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Health News

BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR SERIOUS BACTERIAL ILLNESSES

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A Bacterial illness and bacterial infection.
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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR SERIOUS BACTERIAL ILLNESSES

 

NSW Health is advising the community to be aware of the signs and symptoms of rare but severe, invasive bacterial illnesses and infections following recent increases in cases.

Dr Trevor Chan, Clinical Director, Emergency Care Institute at the Agency for Clinical Innovation said late winter and spring are usually peak times for meningococcal disease in NSW, while cases of invasive group A Streptococcus (iGAS) are steadily increasing.

“It’s very important the community is aware of the risks of these infections. While meningococcal and iGAS are rare, both can be very serious and can cause death or permanent disability,” Dr Chan said.

“So far, 28 cases of meningococcal disease have been reported in NSW this year. 544 cases of iGAS have been notified in NSW to the end of August this year.

“In the early stages, invasive bacterial infections can appear similar to more common viral illnesses. Occasionally they can occur at the same time, or follow a viral infection.

“Rapid intervention and treatment for invasive bacterial infections are available and can be lifesaving.

“We urge people to pay close attention to symptoms, trust their instincts, and seek urgent medical care if symptoms worsen or if they or the people they care for are getting worse.

“Bacterial infections, like meningococcal and iGAS can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Intervention and treatment for invasive bacterial infections are available and can be lifesaving,” Dr Chan said.

A Bacterial illness and bacterial infection.

A Bacterial illness and bacterial infection.

A person with sepsis often reports feeling the sickest they have ever felt. Other indicators of serious illness include fever, a fast heart rate, difficulty breathing, cold hands and feet or a mottled look to the skin, difficulty waking or increased lethargy or confusion. The person looks unwell and may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, headache or muscle aches and pains.

Symptoms to look out for in young children that may indicate severe illness include irritability, difficulty waking, high-pitched crying, refusal to eat/feed, fewer or no wet nappies or decreased urination, cold or mottled limbs, and difficulty breathing. For more information see the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network website – signs of serious illness in children.

People with meningococcal disease may experience severe headache, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights, or unexplained joint or limb pain. A non-blanching rash of red- purple spots may also occur but often presents later in the illness. Do not wait for a rash to occur to seek urgent medical care.

People with iGAS may develop a red, warm, painful, and rapidly spreading skin infection which may have pus or ulceration. Children may present with a sunburn-like rash. The rash and skin changes are not always present so do not wait for a rash to seek care if the person is very unwell.

For more information on iGAS, meningococcal disease and sepsis see the NSW Health website.

If you are concerned about your or your child’s health call your GP or healthdirect on 1800 022 222. If you or the person you care for is seriously unwell call 000 or go to your local Emergency Department.

 

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A Heartfelt Journey: One Father’s Solo Trek to Transform Lives with Lifestart Disability Services

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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

A Heartfelt Journey: One Father’s Solo Trek to Transform Lives with Lifestart Disability Services

 

Scott Berry, a devoted Australian father, is embarking on a transformative journey from Brisbane to Sydney, cycling solo to raise vital support for Lifestart Disability Services, an organisation that has been a lifeline for his family for over two decades.

Commencing his heartfelt mission on Thursday, May 16th, Scott, a dedicated father of three from Kellyville, will pedal his way from Komatsu’s office in Brisbane to a jubilant reception awaiting him in Sydney, spanning a challenging 9-day trek – all in honour of Lifestart.

Lifestart extended a helping hand to Scott, his wife Julia, and their three sons over twenty years ago when their son Nathan was diagnosed with Autism as a toddler. Now 24 years old, Nathan stands as a shining example of the transformative power of Lifestart’s support and early intervention, leading a happy, independent life and contributing positively to his Hills community.

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Motivated by gratitude and a deep love for his family, Scott seized an opportunity provided by his employer, Komatsu Construction, to undertake a personal challenge for a charitable cause. For Scott, it was a chance to pursue his passion for cycling while giving back to the organization that profoundly impacted his family’s journey.

A poignant reunion awaits at the finish line on Friday, May 24th, where Nathan’s longtime therapist, Louise Ulliana, a speech pathologist, will surprise the Berry family. The reunion holds special significance as the Berrys credit Louise with positively shaping Nathan’s life during his formative years.

The critical importance of early intervention in childhood development cannot be overstated, and Lifestart’s support was pivotal in guiding Nathan’s educational journey, including the crucial transition to primary school.

Beyond providing support within the NDIS framework, Lifestart recognises the holistic needs of families and communities, offering initiatives like Start Strong Pathways and Speak UP to empower children and their support networks.

Through generous donations, Lifestart ensures that families receive comprehensive support beyond NDIS, fostering educational opportunities and building essential life skills. With dedicated professionals like speech pathologists and occupational therapists, Lifestart profoundly impacts the trajectory of children’s lives.

Scott, accompanied by family members, Nathan’s therapist, and a Lifestart representative, will be available for interviews and visual opportunities upon the completion of his inspirational ride.

For further details, including a VNR of the Berry family and b-roll of Lifestart, please visit the provided link.

 

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Health News

Study shows 20 per cent of Australians are harmed by others’ drinking

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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

Study shows 20 per cent of Australians are harmed by others’ drinking

 

A recent study conducted by La Trobe University, published in the Addiction journal, sheds light on the profound impact of excessive alcohol consumption on Australians, revealing that approximately 20% of adult Australians have experienced harm due to the drinking behaviours of acquaintances. The study delves into the repercussions on family members, friends, and colleagues.

Dr. Anne-Marie Laslett, the lead researcher, emphasises the pressing need for policy reforms and enhanced services, particularly to support regional women and children who bear the brunt of family members’ drinking habits.

The research, spanning both urban and rural areas, unveils a disparity in the harm experienced, with women disproportionately affected, especially when residing with or being related to heavy drinkers.

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Key findings indicate that nearly two-thirds of participants reported the presence of heavy drinkers in their social circles, with over 22% acknowledging adverse effects from the drinking habits of acquaintances. Specific instances of harm included emotional distress, neglect, and disruptions to familial roles.

Notably, 15% of women reported emotional distress compared to 8% of men, highlighting gender discrepancies in the impact of alcohol-related harm. Furthermore, serious consequences such as verbal abuse, financial strain, and even physical or sexual harm were reported by some participants.

Dr. Laslett underscores the urgent need for comprehensive interventions, including targeted support services for women and youth affected by others’ drinking. While advocacy organisations like the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) have been championing harm prevention initiatives, immediate government action is imperative to address this multifaceted issue effectively.

Drawing from international research, Dr. Laslett suggests psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and anger management, as effective strategies to alleviate the strain experienced by family members affected by others’ drinking habits. Tailored programs addressing intimate partner violence and alcohol abuse have shown promise overseas and warrant further exploration in the Australian context.

In conclusion, the study underscores the urgency of adopting a multifaceted approach encompassing policy reforms, targeted interventions, and enhanced support services to mitigate the far-reaching consequences of excessive alcohol consumption on individuals and their communities.

 

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Regional NSW’s Biggest Hospital Move Successfully Completed

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Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

Regional NSW’s Biggest Hospital Move Successfully Completed

 

By Sarah Waters

The new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen is in full swing following the biggest hospital move in regional NSW history.

More than 120 patients were safely transferred by NSW Ambulance, and private patient transfer companies, last Tuesday, from the now closed Tweed Hospital on Powell Street in Tweed Heads.

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Northern NSW Local Health District’s Director Clinical Operations Lynne Weir said the transition to the new facility was the culmination of more than 12 months of logistical planning, while the project itself had been more than six years in the making.

“This is a momentous milestone for everyone involved in the project, and of course for our patients, staff and the wider community,” Ms Weir said.

“The level of collaboration, expertise and engagement which has brought us to this point is simply outstanding.

“We are looking forward to a bright future delivering the excellent healthcare we’re known for, in our brand-new health facility,” she said.

Tweed Valley Hospital is now the major referral and teaching hospital in the Tweed-Byron region.

It will provide a wide range of inpatient, day only and outpatient services in the brand new, state of the art facility.

These services include emergency, trauma and critical care, surgical services, cancer services, women’s care and newborn services, paediatric services, renal unit, intensive care, cardiac catheter laboratory and mental health.

Meanwhile, A range of community-based and outreach health services will continue to be delivered on the old Tweed Hospital site in Tweed Heads.

The Tweed Heads Community Health Centre (THCHC) will be established, and will initially provide services such as wound clinics, women’s health services, stomal therapy, Child and Family services, Needle and Syringe Program counselling, Alcohol and Other Drug counselling and some antenatal services.

Additional community-based services may also be offered from the site in the future.

In the short term, services will continue to be provided from the exiting Community Health building – level 2 administration block, accessed from Florence Street.

BreastScreen NSW services will continue to be delivered from the current location at Powell Street.

For more information please visit here. The Tweed Valley Hospital’s new telephone number is: 02 6677 2000.

 

For more Tweed Shire news, click here.

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