Category: public health

CoVID is no longer just a health concern. As clinicians we now understand the disease a little better, are comforted that most cases are mild and self-limiting, and relieved that the intensive care resources are becoming equipped to manage the increase in patient numbers. Even the danger to health care workers of too much exposure […]

What will happen to our healthcare services once the acute phase of CoVID-19 has passed is anyone’s guess. The backlog of non-urgent surgery and medical treatment grows daily as physicians not involved in acute life-threatening care are furloughed and patients are reticent to see clinicians for fear of catching CoVID-19, if their offices are even […]

In times of overwhelming disaster and limited resources, ingenuity and repurposing can save lives.  For example, the use of stapling wounds on the suture-poor battle fields more than a century ago was game changer. It worked because the purpose of a suture and a staple were similar – to hold two opposing surfaces together. Wrap […]

CoVID-19 is all about lungs and breathing. As the infection increases in seriousness so the need for breathing assistance becomes greater. Critical and intensive care units (ICUs) provide the optimal support for these life-threatening breathing problems. But are they ready for the expected surge in cases? There will never be enough ICU beds. Overall, critical […]

Global travel no doubt contributes to polluting our planet, but is it really responsible for the spontaneous outbreaks of CoVID-19 (coronavirus) occurring around the world? The recent outbreak in Italy, which has not been linked to any human carrier, makes me wonder. It is time to look into transmission beyond human-to-human. Granted we humans are […]

Every year around this time lettuce gets bad press. Since 1995 there have been 35 outbreaks of E coli infections related to leafy greens. Last year it was cos lettuce. This year it’s romaine. The problem isn’t with the humble leaf, after all, it is nearly all water,  It’s the water that’s the problem. The […]

Drugs are here to stay but the way they should be used is changing. It started with antibiotics – too many are unnecessary. Now many drugs are prescribed for courses that are too long. No ‘one-size-fits-all’ – neither for the choice of drug nor the duration of use. More than two thirds of antibiotic courses for acute […]

What goes in must come out – in some form or another. Our bodies are relatively efficient processing systems, so when we have extracted what we require from pharmaceutical agents, the rest is excreted in urine and faeces and finally makes its way to our wastewater.  Seventy-two percent of these pharmaceuticals end up in our […]

About one third of the world’s population experiences at least 20 days per year of extreme heat conditions that can be considered deadly. Block quote: In heatwaves we need to change the way we think about our environment. The most vulnerable groups are children, older adults and individuals with type 2 diabetes especially those with associated co-morbidities […]

The human body is really one large water storage tank with entry and exit valves. Water makes up about 60% of our bodies. Each litre of water weighs 1 kilogram, so in a person who weighs 60 kilograms, 36 kilograms is water. Nearly one third of our daily water supply comes from what we eat. […]

Most of the biologic waste generated in our homes has the potential to be toxic. The cooked food scraps, fruit and vegetable peels may be organic but that doesn’t mean they are free from harbouring dangerous bacteria. Clostridium perfringes, enterococci and fecal coliforms, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus are all strains of bacteria which have […]

For the fitness industry, January is an important month. Our over indulgence in food and drink combined with a decrease in physical activity provides a fertile ground for gym marketeers. The recommended space behind treadmills is 11 times the length of a credit card. Commercial fitness centers can be dangerous places. Currently, there are no […]

Being an olympian is a dangerous occupation. In the sixteen days of competition one in ten athletes will sustain an injury during the games. Of these injuries one in three will prevent the athlete from competing or continuing to compete. During the games we only hear of the spectacular injuries and so far in Rio, […]

The Olympics are never without a health issue. In the pastit has been doping. But doping is never going to be eradicated, despite the number of exposes of athletes, withdrawn medals and public outrage. Now there is a new target – the Zika virus. The Olympics are a global health risk, rather than a celebration […]