Category Archives: Health News

Docs urge women not to fear ovarian cysts or rush into surgery after Kate Beckinsale’s rupture scare

Category : Health News , News

DOCS are urging women not to fear ovarian cysts, following the Kate Beckinsale health scare.
The Hollywood A-lister was taken to hospital when she had one that ruptured last month.
Kate Beckinsale’s tears after painful ovarian cyst rupture
But researchers at ­Imperial College London found there is usually a  one in 500 chance of the fluid-filled sacs bursting.
The findings came after a two-year study of 2,000 women with benign cysts.
They warned against “unnecessary” surgery which risks complications after finding  80 per cent of cysts fixed themselves. Only 0.4 per cent developed into ovarian cancer.
LESS SURGERY FOR NON-CANCEROUS OVARIAN CYSTS
The experts recommended a “watchful waiting” alternative to surgery that involves regular monitoring with ultrasound scans.
Lead researcher Professor Tom Bourne, from Imperial College London, said: “Our results may lead to a paradigm shift resulting in less surgery for non-cancerous ovarian cysts  on condition that trained ultrasound examiners reliably exclude cancer.”

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Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in a woman’s ovary.
They are common and typically cause no symptoms, but in some cases can trigger pelvic pain and bloating.
Some ovarian cysts turn out to be cancerous tumours and have to be surgically removed.

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Flu test that can diagnose patients in 20 minutes could save the NHS £24million and reduce bed-blocking

Category : Health News , News , NHS

A NEW test that can diagnose flu in 20 minutes could save the NHS £24million a year across England, experts say.
A throat swab analysed on an on-site computer can detect 43 strains of the virus and help A&E staff decide how to process and treat sufferers.
Science Photo Library The throat swab can detect 43 strains of the virus and help A&E staff decide how to process and treat sufferers[/caption]
Medics previously had to wait several days for results to come through — meaning patients often took up valuable bed space unnecessarily when put into isolation.
Now, those infected can be isolated, while others may be sent home.
Trials of the cobas Liat test at two hospital trusts in Norfolk and London found it can reduce admissions and bed blocking.
Berenice Constable, from Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This has had a big impact on improving timely treatment for patients and helped to ensure that beds are not closed unnecessarily.”

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Flu hits up to one in ten adults and one in three children every year.
The virus was behind a record 520,163 emergency hospital admissions last December. But a delay in ordering vaccines has led to shortages this winter.

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‘We had no idea our teenage son’s self-harm could kill him within a year’

BELINDA and Robert Stringer’s 18-year-old son Hector took his own life after they encouraged him to seek help for his self-harming.
People who self-harm are 50 times more likely to kill themselves than those who don’t and Hector was just one of the 2,000 teenage boys in the UK who hurt themselves intentionally each year.
Hector was a popular 18-year-old with a big circle of friends
The morning he was found, everything seemed normal at the family home in rural Hertfordshire.
Belinda, then 54, had just woken and was about to get ready for work at the dog rescue centre where she was deputy manager and Robert, then 49, was up the road tending to the family’s horses.
But the normality ended when Hector’s older sister Lotte, then 25, looked out of his bedroom window and saw the shed door open.
“The day before, I never would’ve thought it could happen,” Belinda said. “But when the shed door was open, somehow I knew.”
The Stringer Family Hector was the youngest of Belinda and Robert’s three children – none of the family suspected he was at risk of suicide[/caption]
Belinda raced outside to find her teenage son had hanged himself.
Confronted by the devastating scene, she had to run to the kitchen for a knife and cut him down, while Lotte rang 999 and then tried to do CPR.
But it was too late. Hector was gone.
“I just felt this terrible numbness,” Belinda says.
Robert’s phone had no signal and by the time he returned home, the police and paramedics had arrived.
“Imagine driving in and seeing police cars,” Robert says. “I was in total disbelief.”

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost – to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes. And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet, it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun has launched the You’re Not Alone campaign. To remind anyone facing a tough time, grappling with mental illness or feeling like there’s nowhere left to turn, that there is hope.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others. You’re Not Alone.
For a list of support services available, please see the Where To Get Help box below.

Hector died in April 2011 and had been self-harming a year earlier but the Stringers thought they’d helped him through it.
“I saw a cut on Hector’s arm at home one day in the kitchen and I noticed that he had some cuts so I asked him about it, and he told me that it was just something he did.
“Hector often wore short sleeves and he didn’t try to hide the cuts. So I patched him up and took him to the GP, who told me it was just a thing some kids did.”
‘Hector wanted his pain to end’
Belinda, now 61, says she wasn’t given much information about self-harm and that Hector’s explanation for it was that he did it because sometimes he “felt numb” and it “helped him feel”.
“It was such a shock, and I had no idea at the time that it could be a sign of depression, because Hector hid it all so well – he was the life and soul of the party,” says Belinda.
She took Hector to a private counsellor and after two hour-long sessions around a fortnight apart, he said Hector was fine and didn’t need to go back.
“Hector did seem fine at the time, and he probably was then,” Belinda says.
“But we know now that young men can be very, very spontaneous. We believe that’s what happened when Hector took his own life. In that moment, he wanted his pain to end.”
The Stringer Family Hector hanged himself in the garden shed – it became a place of tribute[/caption]
As Hector was 17 at the time, and over the legal age of consent for medical treatment – his parents weren’t able to discuss his wellbeing with his psychologist or his college tutors.
“He was very distraught at college because he hadn’t kept up with his work,” Belinda says.
“I only found out after Hector’s death because his lecturer wasn’t allowed to tell me.”
Belinda says the family never suspected Hector was at risk of suicide. He hid his pain too well.
KNOW THE SIGNS From drinking too much to a lack of sleep…10 signs your loved one could be at risk of suicide
The family describe him as a popular, sensitive boy, who played guitar in a band.
“He’d spend all night talking to his friends about their problems but he kept his own to himself,” Belinda says.
As word got out about what Hector’s death, his friends started arriving at the house.
As devastating as it was, Lotte understood they’d want to see the green-painted shed where Hector spent his last moments.
She put some marker pens out and Hector’s friends started writing song lyrics for him on the shed walls.
The Stringer Family Hector spent lots of time helping friends with their problems – but he kept his own to himself[/caption]
The family say finding themselves surrounded by their son’s friends kept them going in the days and weeks following Hector’s death.
With grief weighing on the family, Robert says he felt a responsibility to hold it together for them.
Yet there were moments when anger would take over and he’d escape to nearby Wendover Woods.
“I walked and walked,” he says. “Sometimes I’d go out and shout, and I bent trees and branches in the woods with my hands. It was the only thing I could do.”
Robert and Belinda had counselling together. It helped, although Robert still panics if he sees a police uniform.
“My heart beats fast and I go hot and sweaty,” he admitted. “Lotte says I have a bit of PTSD and I ought to sort it.”

WHERE TO GET HELP

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
Hector’s House, www.hectorshouse.org.uk
Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

Lotte speaks from experience. Although she also had counselling shortly after Hector’s death, it was too soon to help with everything that unravelled afterwards and for a long time she didn’t know that she was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.
‘My brother’s suicide left me with PTSD’
“PTSD crippled me for three years,” she says. “Seeing blue lights, smelling a joss stick and really loud noises would send me into a panic.”
Eventually, when she was on holiday in the Lake District, she went into a panic after missing three phone calls from family, convinced it was because something bad had happened.
She says that’s when she realised she needed help.
“I had rewind therapy,” Lotte explains. “It’s where they take you back to the situation that triggered the PTSD and remove the emotional trigger.”
Lotte says the therapy made her realise that she’d become “like a scratched CD, constantly skipping to an emotional state of panic, re-living the awful feeling from the day Hector died over and over again”.
The Stringer Family Hector’s sister Lotte gave him CPR when he was found but she couldn’t save him – she later developed PTSD[/caption]
‘We’re at much higher risk of suicide now too’
Now, seven years after Hector’s death, she’s been released from that emotional merry-go-round.
“My mental state is very well now,” Lotte said. “But I know that we are at much higher risk of taking our own lives because we’ve been exposed to suicide.”
Because of that, she makes sure that she takes care of herself. Lotte says she’d go straight to her GP if she felt she were unwell.
Lotte urges other families who are dealing with self-harm to take it seriously and get help but don’t tell the person who is harming themselves to stop it.
She says this is because self-harm can be a coping mechanism and if someone is convinced to stop self-harming, they may turn to something else to stop their pain.
The Stringers say that’s why suicide can follow self-harm.
Hector’s self-harming was a coping mechanism and stopping could have contributed to his death, say his family
“Young people are feeling things,” Lotte said. “Their pain can outweigh their coping mechanisms and self-harm is not just a cry for help, so don’t brush things off.”
“You can’t try to fix it,” Robert agreed. “You’ve got to listen.”
As for Belinda, she misses her son every day. But she wants some good to come from what’s happened to their family.
“My life will never be the same but, while we don’t want to glamourise it, Hector’s death has helped other people,” Belinda says.
The Stringers have set up Hector’s House, a charity to prevent suicide and steer people in the right direction to get help.

The Stringers have now moved their family home to near Aberystwyth, and they have another shed in the garden that they call Hector’s House.
Not that Belinda needs anything physical to feel close to her son.
“I feel his presence all the time,” Belinda said. “I don’t feel like he’s completely left me. It’s how I cope with it.”

 


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Bone crushers, knife washers and hospital pixies – the bizarre NHS hospital jobs you never knew existed

Category : Health News , News

LOUISE Jordan plucks the tissue off the bloody human hip in front of her, places the bone in the blender and uses all her strength to grind it into a mincemeat texture.
Once crushed, the bone and its gooey middle will be used during surgery for life-saving operations.
Louise’s job is vital to saving lives
It’s not a scene you see everyday at NHS hospitals across the UK – but behind the blue curtains, thousands of people just like Louise have life-saving jobs that go unnoticed.
A whopping 125 million of us visit hospitals each year – but it isn’t just doctors and nurses that keep the cogs running smoothly.
From putting bloody surgery knives through industrial dishwashers, to freezing and recycling thigh bones to crush for surgery, and keeping on top of crucial maintenance work, the hidden heroes often lurk backstage.
Doctors and nurses are at the forefront of the NHS, but many work just as hard behind the scenesChannel 5
The cleaning staff are vital in battling deadly infectionsChannel 5
A new Channel 5 documentary, The Secret Life of the Hospital, provides a never-before seen look into the inner workings of the wards at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and meets these unsung heroes.
Recycled “old lady bones” crushed in a ‘mincer’
With the NHS desperately in need of funding, the thousands it costs to dispose of hospital waste makes a huge dent in the spending budget.
But throughout the hospital, recycling systems have been put in place to save any unnecessary disposal.
While you might be getting to grips with your compost bin, and plastic and glass tubs, the NHS recycles the ‘bones of old men and ladies’.
The femoral head is a precious bone recycled for surgery
People undergoing a hip replacement are encouraged to donate their femoral head – the top part of their thigh bone – to be used in spinal surgery. 
If donated, the bones are kept in a bank for up to five  years, given a sell-by date, and frozen at -80 degrees celsius to keep them in optimum condition.
“We have never disposed of a femoral head when it’s reached its sell-by date. They are always implanted prior to that happening,” says Louise Jordan, bone bank coordinator.
When the time arrives, they are extracted and put into a machine that looks like an old-fashioned food mincer.
Patricia Burgess, theatre matron explains how the process works.
“I remove the soft tissue and cartilage from the head,” she says, while holding a small and bloodied fist-sized bone in her hand.
The bone is grinded down into a mince-meat texture for surgeryChannel 5
She then inserts the bone into the mincer, twists it by hand, and it comes out like full-fat mince-meat, dropping into a bowl.
The resulting mixture is then used for jobs as important as fusing a spine.
Louise adds: “It’s a win, win situation really. People like upcycling.”
The hospital ‘pixies’ who save lives
But Louise and her team aren’t the only heroes at work behind the scenes.
Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome is the leading cause of neonatal death, and while paediatric doctors save baby’s lives every day, it’s the machines like incubators that enable them to give a premature newborn a chance they may never have had.
Jobs like Becky’s are not usually seen, but if a device breaks down, the results could be devastating
In roles we never hear of in medical dramas or doctor documentaries – staff behind the scenes are tasked with the vital role of making sure these life-saving devices stay in optimum condition.
“We have something like 30,000 assets on a hospital site. That does vary from a handheld thermometer, to ventilation machines, incubators and ECGs,” says Becky Watson, Clinical Technologist.
“Our job is to look after anything a patient is connected to.”
Incubators save lives, and Becky says maintenance is ‘proactive rather than reactive’
If an incubator, which provides crucial UV light and the right temperature for a premature or poorly baby fails, the outcome could be devastating.
Similarly, if a patient needs urgent blood scans, their samples are shot across the hospital through a tube-like system that gets to the blood sciences lab at speed.
Each hospital has around 30,000 devices costing thousands, and a team to make sure they keep running. Gary fixes a CT machine.Channel 5
If stuck or jammed with a build-up of cylinders of blood, crucial treatment could be delayed.
The team also have to service the £480K CT scan machines, which allow doctors to analyse for brain damage and skull fractures, and X-ray machines – used for a staggering 42 million appointments a year.
Becky adds: “We replace the parts straight away. We tend to be the pixie service. We drop in, unseen, to pick up the equipment that’s failed, and then we drop it back when it’s tested and fixed.”
Bloody knives in the dishwasher and robot cleaning machines
Bloodied knives, used to cut open bodies and perform surgeries, can be used around 1300 times before they are decommissioned as the NHS simply can’t afford to buy new equipment per patient.
This unique robots exert poisonous gas to blitz the wards once a yearChannel 5
Each device can cost from £400-£8000, so they’re all put through an industrial dishwasher, before being wrapped and put through a sterilising machine.
Colour-coded tape is used to indicate when the equipment is ready to be re-used.
Surgical equipment is so expensive it has to be washed and re-used
Before and after a patient reaches the surgeon’s table, they also require clean bed sheets. Open wounds especially are easily contaminated with infections.
The state-of-the-art laundry room washes 260,000 pieces of laundry a week – including bed sheets and doctors’ and nurses’ scrubs – and 14 million items a year.
The trays go in to a sterilising machine ready for theatre
Ian Cross, linen services coordinator says: “Patient gowns, nightwear, and theatre suits – you name it, we’ve got it. [Dangerous germs] go through a double wash, so we’re going to absolutely kill whatever is in it.”
The industrial cleaning machines clean 260,000 items a week, but need to be carefully managed by staff
Once a year – ward by ward – the hospital also undergoes an intense ‘deep clean’, and a special ‘stem-cleaning’ robot, similar to a Doctor Who droid, is wheeled out.
The process only takes two and a half hours, during which time, the ward is closed and completely sealed so the robot can release a hydrogen peroxide vapour, which it sucks back in after the allotted time.
The laundry team are on hand to pick out mobiles, latops and precious items from the bed sheetsChannel 5
The last MRSA statistics showed the disease contributed to 364 registered deaths, with 1 in 30 of us living with the bacteria harmlessly in our noses, armpits or groin.

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While it’s usually harmless on the surface, if it gets deeper into the body it can cause a ‘superbug’ – resistant to anti-biotics.
With this in mind – cleaners and behind-the-scenes workers could be saving as many lives as doctors. We just don’t see it.
The Secret Life of The Hospital: Revealed is on Channel 5, tonight at 9pm
 


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Five Brits have died after accidentally coming in contact with skin patches containing fentanyl — the painkiller that ‘killed Prince’

Category : Drugs , Health News , News

AT least five Brits have died after accidentally coming into contact with skin patches containing the same drug that killed music legend Prince.
The patches are made with fentanyl – a painkiller 50 times stronger than morphine.
Getty Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2016[/caption]
GPs prescribe them to combat severe pain.
But they can cause fatal overdoses – especially in children.
Health chiefs last night urged doctors to remind patients to dispose of them properly.
Even used patches still contain enough of the drug to kill a child.
Alamy Fentanyl is a painkiller 50 times stronger than morphine and even used patches contain enough of the drug to kill a child[/caption]
In June 2016, 15-month-old Amelia Grace Cooper, from Newquay in Cornwall, died after a fentanyl patch got stuck on her skin.
She was found dead in her parents’ bed.
A coroner ruled the tragic tot came into contact with the patch – used by her mother Sara Talbot – after sharing her bed.
Now the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority has confirmed there have been at least five UK deaths since it last issued a safety warning over the patches in 2014.
Amelia Grace Cooper died after a used patch got stuck to her skin
It’s not clear how many were children.
But the MHRA said toddlers chewing patches found in the bin is one of the biggest dangers.
The drug kills by shutting down breathing and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.
The MHRA said: “We continue to receive reports of preventable accidental transfer of fentanyl patches, with five fatal incidents.

“Patients should be given clear information on the risk of accidental transfer and ingestion of patches and need for appropriate disposal.”
It added: “Fentanyl patches should be stored out of sight and reach of children. After use, they should be folded so that the adhesive side of the patch sticks to itself and then placed back into the original sachet.
“Used patches should be kept out of sight and reach of children.”
Music icon Prince was 57 when he was found dead in April 2016.
Getty It is thought that Prince used fentanyl to feed a painkiller addiction[/caption]

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Subsequent tests revealed he was killed by an accidental overdose of fentanyl, which works by stopping pain signals from reaching the brain.
Some reports suggested he used fentanyl patches to feed a painkiller addiction.
The drug has also been linked with a steep rise in deaths among drug abusers who inject it to get high.
The Office for National Statistics said there were 75 fatalities in England in 2017, up from 58 in 2016.

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Why I decided to have laser eye surgery to correct my eyesight — and how the surgery actually works for patients

Category : Health News , News

I KEEP reaching for my glasses first thing in the morning – but I have better than 20/20 vision for the first time in 30 years.
At the ripe old age of 47, I finally decided to take the plunge and have laser eye surgery.
Getty – Contributor The surgeon will use anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye, so you don’t feel pain[/caption]
Despite having perfect vision, the ingrained habit of looking for my glasses as soon as I wake up might take me some time to get used to!
After visiting one of the high street practitioners, I was told I might need a more invasive procedure which involved replacing the eye’s lens – a procedure which carries more risks than one of the laser treatments.
But after a recommendation, I spoke to David Allamby, medical director at Focus Clinic in London, who said I would be suitable for something called ‘blended vision’ surgery.
It would correct my chronic short-sightedness but also have the added benefit of staving off the need to wear reading glasses which become inevitable for those in their late 40s or early 50s. A win/win scenario.
David Allamby, medical director at Focus Clinic in London, who said I would be suitable for something called ‘blended vision’ surgery
A world-renowned specialist in laser eye surgery, David pioneered ‘blended vision’ where one eye is predominantly used for far vision and the other for reading.
After an initial consultation and tests to make sure I was suitable for the procedure, I had the short and pain-free surgery – and like thousands before me – wondered why I didn’t have it done sooner.
As soon as I came out of the surgery room I could see the prescription letters on the wall and the television – albeit my vision was slightly blurred.
But within a few hours, I was watching the television with totally clear sight.
Getty – Contributor Most people get some degree of temporary eye dryness in the first three to six months after laser eye surgery[/caption]
At the next day’s check-up I was given another eye test which revealed my vision was better than 20/20 – indeed Focus Clinic has a 100 per cent success rate for short-sighted patients achieving 20/20 vision or better.
The waiting room at the clinic makes it clear that Mr Allamby is ‘surgeon to the stars’ with two walls of photos featuring celebrities such as David Gandy, Denise van Outen, Brian May, Sue Barker and countless others.

What kinds of vision problems can and can't be fixed by laser eye surgery?

CAN: Most myopic, or short-sighted, prescriptions and correct mild to moderate amounts of long-sightedness. Many patients who suffer from presbyopia, which is the requirement for reading glasses in middle age.
CAN’T: Some conditions affecting the immune system, including rheumatoid disease, SLE (systemic lupus) and other so-called collagen vascular diseases, will likely block you from having laser eye surgery.

Talking to some of the patients in the reception area who were there to have a check-up after their procedure, they describe it as ‘life-changing’.
And in the days following my treatment, I am left wondering why I left it so long. Maybe it was hearing horror stories all those years ago, but Focus – www.focusclinics.com – have performed 20,000 operations and you really do feel in safe hands with Mr Allamby.
In laser eye surgery, the lasers are in fact only active for around 10% of the total duration of the procedure
Just before the treatment, he goes through all the numbers again, not just double checking all the figures but treble checking – nothing is left to chance.
Mr Allamby said: “When it comes to Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), there are increased risks for younger middle-aged patients.
“The main ones are retinal detachment and retinal tear, particularly for short-sighted patients.
“In patients aged 65 plus, the risks aren’t as great.

Is the treatment permanent or does the effectiveness wear off?

Your surgery should last many years – it’s a common myth that your surgery will ‘wear off’. Studies show most patients still have excellent vision a decade and longer after treatment.

“That’s why, in Vaz’s case, he was a perfect candidate for LASIK blended-vision, which has lower risks than the more invasive lens replacement procedure.
“There are upsides to RLE. Patients benefit from long lasting, often permanent, correction and it prevents the need for cataract surgery in the future.
“RLE is, however, more expensive – costing between £7,000 and £7,500 depending on the lens implant – whereas LASIK Blended Vision at Focus Clinics costs £5,400.
“And we’re delighted Vaz is so pleased with the results.”
Getty – ContributorThe treatment takes around four to five minutes per eye. You are told to focus on a green light while a slight pressure is put on the eye and there is no getting around a brief very slight burning smell but it is completely painless and feels non-invasive.

What are the potential side effects?

Most people get some degree of temporary eye dryness in the first three to six months after laser eye surgery. Others can report some night vision issues, such as glare, halos and star-bursting of light. But a recent study called, ‘Patient-Reported Outcomes With LASIK’, found that most symptoms of both dry eye and night vision problems were actually reduced compared to pre-op. Your eyes need time to heal and may feel dry and itchy after surgery, but this will soon pass, and eye drops will relieve this too

There are a few do’s and don’ts before and after the op.
In a bid to stop the eyes drying, patients are told to start taking flaxseed capsules around a month beforehand and six months after.
You are also told not to wear your contact lenses for at least a week before your treatment.
Patients are given a series of eye drops – some to be used for a week following the surgery – and one for three months to keep the eyes lubricated.

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And because the eyes can be sensitive to light, you are advised to wear sunglasses outside for the first week and to also wear eye shields at night for one week to stop you accidentally rubbing them.
Certain activities such as swimming and contact sports are limited for a few weeks afterwards.
Now, where did I put my glasses..

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Cancer-stricken mum who turned down chemo to save unborn baby’s life dies aged 29

Category : Health News , News

A CANCER-stricken mum who turned down chemotherapy to save her unborn baby’s life has died aged just 29.
Gemma Nuttall, from Rossendale, Lancashire, sadly lost her five-year battle with ovarian cancer on Sunday.
Gemma Nuttall who turned down cancer treatment when she was pregnant so her baby could survive has died
Kate Winslet had stepped in to help the mum-of-one raise the funds she needed for immunotherapy and initially the treatment had been a success.
But the cancer returned and she was taken into a hospice earlier this month, before tragically passing away early on Sunday morning.
Winslet, whose own mother was going through cancer treatment at the same time, said it was “tragically sad” and offered her support to Gemma’s mum and daughter.
She told MailOnline: “Gemma was such a beacon of strength and fought this battle so incredibly hard, with grace and dignity throughout.
‘It was a privilege for me to be let into her life for a brief time and to try and help.”
The brave 29-year-old had been battling ovarian cancer for five years
She held off having chemotherapy so she could give birth to daughter Penelope, now fourSplash News
Hollywood actress helped Gemma raise the funds she needed for the immunotherapy and has paid tribute after learning of her deathGetty – Contributor
The Titanic star added: “My heart breaks for her mum Helen and her daughter Penelope. They have lost a wonderful mother and daughter.”
Gemma’s mother, Helen Sproates, confirmed her daughter’s death in a post on Facebook and said her “world will never be the same again”.
Ms Nuttall’s mother, Ms Sproates, said: “It is with an utterly broken heart that I have to tell you all that my beautiful warrior lost her battle early this morning.
“We fought so hard but we just couldn’t do it anymore – I am one very proud but devastated mum right now.
Kate Winslet called in to This Morning to surprise Gemma Nuttall – whose life she helped saveRex Features
“Sleep tight Gemma – My world will never be the same again.”
Gemma, a dental nurse, first learned she had aggressive ovarian cancer at her 16-week scan and was offered a termination so she could start life-saving treatment.
But she chose to delay any treatment until after the birth of her daughter Penelope and after the birth doctors were able to remove the ovarian tumour.
She began a gruelling round of chemotherapy while her baby battled for her life in intensive care.

After initially beating the illness, Gemma said she enjoyed getting in to a routine and got a job as a trainee manager at her mum’s soft play business, Funtazia in Blackburn.
But sadly, a year later, her cancer returned and after rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, doctors said little could be done to save her.
Gemma’s mum Helen had read about immunotherapy, which boosts the body’s natural defences, available at the Hallwang Clinic in Germany.
The 56-year-old sold her house and started a fundraising page to raise further donations to cover the cost of the huge cost of the therapy.
Gemma with her daughter Penelope after being given the all-clear earlier this year and appearing on This MorningRex Features
Gemma flew to Germany last May and began a six-session course, which costs up to £70,000 a time, but only had enough funds for the first round.
In July, Helen received an email from Kate Winslet’s PA saying she wanted to offer her support and had contacted her Titanic co-star Leonardo Di Caprio for help.
The pair auctioned themselves off for three dates at DiCaprio’s annual fundraising event and raised $1.35 million (£955,000), which they were able to also give to other charities.
Gemma got the all-clear at the start of this year and in February appeared on This Morning to revisit the amazing moment the 42-year-old actress offered to help pay for her treatment.
Gemma’s mum Helen confirmed her daughter had sadly lost her cancer battle in a post on Facebook on Sunday
Hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield then surprised the brave mum as they revealed the Hollywood star was on the other end of the phone.
Winslet said: “I lost my own mother last year in May to ovarian cancer and we as a family were given a very poor prognosis for my mum.
“After a four year battle… we decided to look elsewhere and we also stumbled across those places in Germany.
“Simultaneously I came across [Gemma’s] petition campaigning to have immunotherapy made available on the NHS and my heart sunk as at that point.
Kate Winslet called on Titanic co-star Leonardo Di Caprio to help her raise the funds needed for GemmaGetty – Contributor
“I thought ‘this poor young woman is probably years away from her being able to access that kind of treatment on the national health service’.
“I found her Go Fund Me page and I saw how much she needed to raise and at that point there was only £9,000 in the fund and I just thought ‘I cannot have this happen’.
“My own mother was very, very, very unwell and I just though my mum would be very grateful if I could do this for someone else, another young mum.
“We got close to £200,000 and I thought, ‘right it’s time to call my friend Leo’.

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“I phoned Leo and I said ‘do you think that we could do a charity dinner or something’ and he said ‘let’s go one better, come with me to Saint Tropez to my benefit fundraiser and we will auction off a dinner with Jack and Rose’.”
Gemma had viewers in tears as she told the actress: “Thank you so much for all your hard work and me being able to have my treatment that I really did need. You saved my life.”
Gemma’s funeral is due to take place at the end of the month.

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What is the Zika virus and how is it spread? Symptoms, treatment and travel advice

THE spread of the Zika virus caused global headlines back in 2015 and 2016 after an outbreak which began in South America.
While the number of cases have dropped dramatically since then, the virus still poses a “significant” long-term problem according to the World Health Organisation.
Getty Images Zika is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes but can also be transmitted sexually[/caption]
What is Zika?
Zika was first noted in Uganda in 1952, but it was in early 2015 in Brazil that the virus really began to threaten public health.
The virus generally only causes a very mild infection, with only one-fifth of infected people actually becoming noticeably ill as a result of the disease.
Zika has also been connected to the neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis.
It has also linked to the microcephaly birth defect in babies, which causes them to be born with abnormally small heads.
Microcephaly is also associated with incomplete brain development.
Doctors have now hoping to develop a vaccine that will offer total protection against the devastating effects of the Zika virus.
What has Brazil said about Zika?
Brazil declared an end to its public health emergency for the Zika virus in late 2016.
The Health Ministry said efforts to control the mosquitoes that spread Zika would continue as would assistance to affected families.
Brazil declared the emergency in April 2015, during a surge in cases of Zika and associated birth defects.
The spread coincided with Rio de Janeiro hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, with several high profile athletes opting not to travel to Brazil out of concerns over Zika.
Most people infected with Zika never develop symptoms, but infection during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly, in which a baby’s skull is smaller than expected.
In 2017, Zika cases fell dramatically. From January through mid-April, the Health Ministry recorded 95 percent fewer cases than during the same period last year.
The World Health Organization lifted its own international emergency in November, even while saying the virus remained a threat.
How is Zika spread?
Zika is mostly spread by the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes, which bite during the day and night.
However, Zika can also be transmitted sexually with the virus able to stay in an infected male’s semen for months.
Most worryingly, it can be passed on from mothers to babies in the womb – which leads to babies being born with severe birth defects.
One of the best ways to prevent catching Zika is to prevent being bitten by a mosquito.
Wearing insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers and avoiding stagnant water can all help limit your risk of being bitten.
People have also been warned not to travel to areas known to have high rates of Zika.
What are the symptoms of Zika?
While Zika does not necessarily impact all those who carry the virus, these are the kinds of symptoms that sufferers can experience:

rash
itching all over the body
fever
headache
joint pain (with possible swelling)
musle pain
conjunctivitis
lower back pain
pain behind the eyes

Babies can also be born with severe birth defects from the virus.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for Zika – although scientists are currently working on a vaccine.
NHS guidelines suggest drinking plenty of water and taking paracetamol can relieve symptoms in adults.
People have also been warned to seek urgent advice to help rule out a malaria diagnosis if starting to feel unwell.

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Is it safe to travel to areas where Zika is present?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed the countries and regions it advises pregnant women not to travel to.
Among the places where there is a high risk of Zika are the Caribbean islands, South America, Fiji, Tonka and Thailand.
In October 2018 it was confirmed that Meghan Markle would travel to Fiji and Tonga as part of a royal tour with Prince Harry despite the concerns over Zika.
All travelers to affected regions are urged to follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.


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Penny Lancaster pays tribute to NHS ‘heroes’ who saved her son’s life – before presenting The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards

Category : Health News , News

AFTER her young son had a terrifying accident at home, Penny Lancaster paid tribute to the NHS staff that saved him.
Aiden was taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious when he fell over the top of the banister. The seven-year-old tried to slide down it on his stomach.
Dan Charity – The Sun Penny will present a gong at our Who Cares Wins awards on Monday night[/caption]
Penny, 47, says: “I heard, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’ It sounded like a piece of furniture had been thrown down.”
The Loose Women star, who is married to Rod Stewart, faced every parent’s worst nightmare when she found her son lying unconscious.
She called 999 immediately.
She says: “Paramedics arrived at once and were so professional. They had to immobilise Aiden’s body by fitting a neck collar, head brace and laying him on a spinal board, taking all the precautions in case there was a spinal injury, before moving him.
Getty – Pool Aiden, right, was taken to hospital after he fell over the top of a banister[/caption]
“It was really frightening but everyone I dealt with was incredible. There’s nothing like the NHS.”
Aiden was taken to hospital in Harlow, Essex.

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Amazingly, there was no lasting damage.
Penny will present a gong at our Who Cares Wins awards on Monday night.
She adds: “It’s an incredible event and there are some really heartwarming stories.”


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