Original drawing by Jeni Binns

This is the second of a two-part article by Dr Andrew Binns on Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). The first, “Childhood trauma can trigger later life obesity”, appeared in GP Speak issue of Spring 2015. 

Domestic and family violence has been much in the news of late, occasioned by such dramatic events as the death of Luke Batty at the hands of his father, and a series of killings - at the time of writing, 63 deaths this year. The prevalence of this crime is alarming: one in six Australian women experience violence from a current or former partner.

The widespread community response has included high-level political involvement from state premiers and a commitment by the federal government to a $100M Women’s Safety Package to improve frontline support and services, leverage innovative technologies to keep women safe, and provide education resources to help change community attitudes to violence and abuse.

Perioperative anaemia and iron deficiency cause significant waste in the health system. Making surgery safer and eliminating this waste are the aims of the National Patient Blood Management Collaborative. Several North Coast hospitals are part of this collaborative.

Dr Chris Lowry, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine Lismore Base Hospital outlines the program. 

When referring patients for major elective surgery, it is useful to stop and consider how they may be “optimised” for their procedure. As well as the usual considerations about smoking cessation and exercise programs, it is a good time to screen for anaemia and iron deficiency.

Anaemia, even mild anaemia, is independently associated with postoperative morbidity and mortality. This includes pulmonary, thrombo-embolic and wound complications. This relationship is true even without the added increased risk of perioperative blood transfusion. Anaemia should be regarded as a relative contraindication to major elective surgery.

 Annie Hewitt, APD

Annie Hewitt is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Director of Australian Dietitian. She consults in Lismore, Ballina, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah and Brisbane on a weekly basis. Annie has experience in chronic disease management and a particular interest in the treatment of food intolerances"

Considering it is such an essential part of our daily lives and health, eating is surprisingly easy to become disconnected from. For many, comfort food cravings - whether triggered by boredom, loneliness or as a reward - are a common  experience, with serious health consequences for some. Despite this, there is growing research to suggest that the practice of mindful eating may assist individuals to better manage their cravings and improve their appreciation and relationship with food.

Food cravings

Although food cravings are a common experience for many of us, what makes it different from hunger? Psychological scientist Eva Kemps of Flinders University suggests that the key difference between hunger and cravings is how specific they are. “We don’t just want anything, we want salt and pepper chips or chocolate” says Professor Kemps. 

Chris Crawford, PSM

After 15 years running the region’s health service - under various names, and varying footprints - Northern NSW Local Health District Chief Executive, Chris Crawford, will step down at the end of 2015. Over a suitably healthy lunch (Japanese) with GP Speak editor Robin Osborne, he reflected on his time in this highly challenging role.

To be clear from the start, Chris Crawford is not going anywhere, except in early January 2016 when he takes his younger son on a trip through the mostly southern states of the USA. He did a similar trip with his elder son, focusing on the eastern states.

For permanent living, however, Chris loves the Northern Rivers, “A place where many people come to retire, but we [his wife Catherine Cusack is a Liberal Party Member of the NSW Upper House] came here while we were working, and we still are, and we’re still here.”

Kevin Hogan, MP for Page

I opened the new Emergency Department at Casino Hospital last month.

This major $3 million upgrade is wonderful news for the Casino Hospital ED staff, patients and the wider community.

It was due to a Federal Government grant. The previous government promised this during the last election campaign. Visiting it after the election I could see it was badly needed and lobbied the [then] Health Minister Peter Dutton to also honour the commitment.

The upgrade includes a new triage area, two new resuscitation bays, a redesigned Ambulance entry, four new treatment bays, relocation of the ED waiting area, a multifunctional Safe Assessment Room, a dedicated ED staff room, a refurbished Clean Utility Room and improved security for the entire ED.