Last year's gaming sensation, Overwatch, and Czech born mathematician, Johann Karl August Radon, have both contributed to improving breast Imaging on the North Coast of New South Wales.

Digital breast tomosynthesis generates three dimensional images of the breast using the same principles as those used in the past for intravenous pyelograms. Modern radiology equipment can reconstruct an image of the breast in seconds, which allows the radiologist to hone in on areas of interest and get a clearer view of possible lesions. Such lesions, obscured by overlapping breast tissue, may not have been detected on 2D mammography.

The high speed of the image rendering combined with the better spatial orientation also enables accurate placement of localisation wires for excision biopsy of putative lesions.

On 4 May, following an identified spike in cases of whooping cough, the North Coast Public Health Unit issued an ‘Urgent vaccination plea’ urging parents to immunise their children against preventable diseases.

Acting Director of Public Health, Greg Bell, said there had been 37 whooping cough notifications in the previous week, more than double that of the previous week.

“Anyone can contract whooping cough, it spreads easily by sneezing and coughing, and can be a life threatening infection for infants,” Mr Bell said.

Public health units actively follow up all cases involving children under five years of age by attempting to contact parents by phone. For those cases involving patients older than five years, the PHU sends either an SMS or letter in an attempt to provide all cases with information relating to whooping cough in a timely manner.

Blood pressure the focus for Heart Week

Chips and chocolate, and a lack of exercise were identified as some of the main culprits affecting people’s cholesterol levels and high blood pressure by clinical staff running public screenings at Lismore Base Hospital as part of Heart Week 2017.

The National Heart Foundation’s promotion is especially relevant for regional/rural residents who have a 27 per cent higher rate of hypertension than urban dwellers (38.6 per cent of all adults compared to 30.5 per cent).

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic is an annual community service that checks blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and discusses the results with members of the public being screened.

A comprehensive new report on the makeup of general practice in Australia has found that while GPs continue to play a critical role in the health sector they face “significant challenges due to funding and demographic changes in the medical workforce”.

Notable factors include falling GP job satisfaction, which could hurt GP recruitment and retention; a trend for larger practices and corporate ownership; declining real Medicare funding per GP and new funding models such as Health Care Homes due to commence in July 2017; and a continuing rise in the number of doctors choosing to specialise rather than enter general practice.

The ANZ, Melbourne Institute Health Sector Report on general practice from the University of Melbourne analyses 10 years of the latest available public data about general practice as well as a custom designed study, the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life survey of doctors. 

NNSW Richmond Clarence Health Service Group GM Lynne Weir with one of the five large-capacity birthing baths in the new Women’s Care Unit.

Today (1 May) it felt like visiting the brand new hospital-with-no-patients that featured in the legendary ‘Yes Minister’ program.

From tomorrow, however, things will be much busier as Lismore Base Hospital’s purpose-built Women’s Care Unit begins to fill up with expecting mothers, parents with newborns and staff who have been eagerly awaiting their impressive new workspace.

The facility, described by Local Health District’s Richmond Clarence Health Service Group, Lynne Weir, as “a giant leap forward for women’s care in the area”, is the latest floor to open as part of LBH’s $180M Stage 3B redevelopment.