Wednesday, 28 November 2012

News in brief ...

Cholera becoming resistant to antibiotics in China

Antibiotic resistance is observed with increasing frequency among epidemic Vibrio cholerae strains in China, researchers from Beijing have warned.
Since the 1990s strains of V. cholerae have shown a rapid increase in the prevalence of resistance to antibiotics such as  nalidixic acid, tetracycline and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.
This study serves as a warning of the rapid dissemination of resistance in the past 20 years," say researchers from the State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing.
Read more: International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.

China's medical demand for helium creates world shortage

A shortage of helium caused by increasing demand for MRI machines in China is beginning to affect other countries - and even Disneyland balloons.
Tokyo Disney Resort has suspended sales of Disney-character balloons, and at least one hospital in the country has suspended use of MRI because of a lack of helium .
In hospitals, liquid helium is used to cool electromagnets inside MRI machines
However gas wholesalers say helium stock have run out as demand for helium for hospital use has increased mainly in emerging countries such as China. This has resulted in an at least threefold increase in helium prices in the last decade, greatly increasing the cost of semiconductor production, which relies heavily on helium.
Furthermore, due to an accident at a helium production facility in the United States, the supply-demand balance has been very tight since July, according to an Iwatani division chief. The situation may not improve until next spring at the earliest, observers say.
Read more: Daily Yomiuri


Elderly Chinese suffer from untreated depression

Depression is a common condition among older patients attending primary care clinics in Beijing, and most people do not receive treatment, a study. has found.
 A study of 1275 adults aged over 60 years at a primary care clinic in urban China found that 11% had major depression, with depression more likely to occur in older people, females and those with a  lower educational level or living alone.
Less than 1% of these patients received treatments and yet more than 60% of patients with depression initially remained depressed throughout the 12-month follow-up period.
Read more: Journal of Affective Disorders.


Rural areas urgently need newborn hearing screening

Urgent measures should be taken by the Chinese government to promote newborn hearing screening in the rural areas, researchers say.
Newborn hearing screening has been successfully implemented in Chinese cities , but not in rural areas, according to the authors of a new report.
Researchers screened for hearing problems in 11,568 babies born in five rural areas of Hubei. Overall, about 92%  newborns had normal hearing but 8% had a high-risk of hearing loss. While 71% newborns passed the initial screening test, 58 infants were diagnosed as hearing loss, and the prevalence of congenital hearing loss among newborns in rural areas was 0.5% .
Read more: International Journal of Pediatric Otolaryngology


Spinal fractures increasingly common in elderly Chinese

There has been a five fold increase in spinal fractures among older people over the let decade, new findings from Sichuan show.
Doctors from the Department of Orthopedics, Xinqiao Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing reviewed hospital records on all patients who was 60 years of age or older with spinal fracture at two university-affiliated hospitals between January 2001 and May 2011.  A total of 996 patients with spinal fractures were identified, of whom 35% were males. The annual incidence of spinal fractures among the elderly rose from 24 to 130 cases per 100,000 hospital admissions between 2001 and 2010.
The causes of spinal fractures include traumatic spinal fractures (72%), osteoporotic fracture with no specific cause (27%) and spinal fracture caused by tumour and tuberculosis (2%).
The lumbar region was the most common region of spinal fracture, followed by the thoracic and the cervical regions. Lumbar spinal fractures and thoracic spinal fractures were more commonly seen as a result of accidental falls from low heights and osteoporotic spinal fractures respectively. Spinal fractures usually occur outdoors causing by accidental falls from low heights, most frequently happen on the road.
Read more: Injury


Hospitals tricked into buying shoddy dentures

An unlicensed denture processing factory in Beijing has been ordered to suspend production for allegedly using recycled metal materials to make dentures.
The Beijing Jingjiayi Denture Processing Centre is also accused of using illegal cleansing cream to whiten the dentures to meet the requirement of hospitals and clinics.
The factory, in the city's Tongzhou District, has been ordered to suspend production after a local law enforcement team found it had no license following an undercover investigation by the newspaper.
The investigation found the factory melted recycled residue of metal materials to make dentures and used shoe polish and furniture cleansing products to whiten and brighten the dentures.
Since the purity of the metal was lower, the dentures would unavoidably have small holes on them. The poorly-made dentures were also likely to cause irritation in the mouth and other oral diseases if they were not disinfected under strict conditions, according to Shao Dongsheng, a former prosthodontist with Beijing Stomatological Hospital.
The unlicensed dentures and false teeth were sold to small- and medium-sized hospitals and dental clinics in Beijing at low prices.
Read more: Shanghai Daily

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