News Stories of Interest, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good morning. It’s Abolition (of slavery) Day in French Guiana, Army Day in Jordan, Reconciliation Day in the Republic of Congo, the Queen’s Birthday in the Solomon Islands and Portugal Day in … this won’t come as a complete surprise to readers … Portugal. Here in Alberta, there were, as always, a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]Canada needs national palliative care plan: CMA

The Canadian Medical Association is calling for the creation of a national palliative care strategy to ensure people across the country have access to a high-quality, dignified end-of-life experience.

[ ]Canada’s high hysterectomy rate under scrutiny

More than 40,000 Canadian women lost their uteruses to hysterectomies in 2012-2013, according to data released last week by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The statistics suggest the surgery, which involves removing the uterus and sometimes the fallopian tubes and ovaries as well, is being over-prescribed in Canada at an alarming rate, at a time when many women are having babies later in life.

[ ]Adult survivors of childhood heart surgery returning to hospital

A half century ago, only 20 per cent of those born with a heart defect survived to adulthood. With medical advances today’s survival rate is 95 per cent. However, this success has resulted in a rapid increase in cases of congenital heart defects in adults and these surgeries are complex, says Dr. Erwin Oechslin of the adult congenital cardiac clinic at University Health Network’s Toronto General Hospital. In fact, the TGH’s database shows a 70-per-cent growth in congenital cardiac patients at the centre since 2006.

[ ]Ottawa pulls web pharmacy’s licence

Ottawa has temporarily pulled the licence of one of Canada’s largest Internet pharmacies after an inspection turned up “significant concerns” with the company’s wholesale operations, but the decision has no bearing on the company’s ability to sell hundreds of different drugs directly to patients over the Web.

[ ]Registration program aims to improve Alberta’s dismal donor rate

Fewer than 10 out of every one million Albertans are registered organ donors at their death, the Edmonton Journal reports on a follow-up story to its report the province is introducing a new program to ask Albertans if they want to register as an organ donor each time they renew their driver’s licence or identification card. The comparable figures for B.C. and Ontario are 15 and 17, respectively.

[ ]Alberta health official testifies at Winnipeg fatality hearing

One of the country’s leading emergency department experts says Canada’s hospital waiting rooms aren’t being clogged by people coming in with the flu, earaches and sprained ankles. Grant Innes told an inquest into a man’s death during a 34-hour wait at a Winnipeg hospital that backlogs occur when admitted patients are stuck on stretchers because they can’t get a hospital bed or the specialist treatment they need. Innes, head of emergency medicine for Alberta Health Services, said emergency room overcrowding is a problem across Canada. But contrary to popular belief, studies show patients with minor complaints don’t take up a lot of hospital resources, he said.

[ ]New technology brings cochlear implants under water

Using new technology, an Edmonton boy’s cochlear hearing implant has been equipped with a custom, waterproof sleeve sealed with rubberized components that allows him to hear sound in water as clearly as he would on dry land.

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)

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