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Found 19 results
  1. News Article
    Babies are at risk of dying from common treatable infections because NHS staff on maternity wards are not following national guidance and are short-staffed and overworked, an investigation has revealed. The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), a national safety watchdog, has warned that NHS staff on maternity wards face sometimes conflicting advice on treating women who are positive for a group B streptococcus (GBS) infection. They are also making errors in women’s care because of the pressure of work and a lack of staff, with antibiotics not being administered when they should be. HSIB’s specialist investigators examined 39 safety incidents in which GSB had been identified, and found that the infection had contributed to six baby deaths, six stillbirths and three cases of babies being left with severe brain damage. In its report, the watchdog warned that the problems on maternity wards meant that even in cases where mothers were known to be positive for GBS infection, this wasn’t shared with the mother or noted in the record, resulting in the standard care and antibiotics not being provided. It added: “The identification and escalation of care for babies who show signs of GBS infection after birth was missed. This has resulted in severe brain injury and death for some of the affected babies.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 July 2020
  2. News Article
    There are "deep concerns" for brain injury survivors after many reported losing rehabilitation services during the COVID-19 lockdown. A survey by the charity Headway found 57% of people, injured since 2018, had seen face-to-face services stopped. The first two years of recovery are crucial in regaining skills, such as talking, with fears this could affect future independence. The government acknowledged it had been "a challenging time". Headway conducted its survey across all brain injury rehab services, with 1,140 respondents. It found about 60% of those were frustrated by the situation, their anxiety and depression had increased and they felt more socially isolated. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 July 2020
  3. Content Article
    The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) published ‘Summary of themes arising from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch maternity programme (April 2018-December 2019)’ in February 2020. This described eight themes for further exploration in order to highlight opportunities for system-wide learning; one of these themes was group B streptococcus (GBS). This report, Severe brain injury, early neonatal death and intrapartum stillbirth associated with group B streptococcus infection, highlights a number of patient safety concerns and recommends that maternity care providers should consider the findings and make necessary changes to their local systems to ensure that mothers and babies receive care in line with national guidance. The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch will keep the theme of group B streptococcus under review and consider a future national investigation to explore this subject further.
  4. News Article
    Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients, scientists have warned. Neurologists are on Wednesday publishing details of more than 40 UK COVID-19 patients whose complications ranged from brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke. In some cases, the neurological problem was the patient’s first and main symptom. The cases, published in the journal Brain, revealed a rise in a life-threatening condition called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (Adem), as the first wave of infections swept through Britain. At UCL’s Institute of Neurology, Adem cases rose from one a month before the pandemic to two or three per week in April and May. One woman, who was 59, died of the complication. “We’re seeing things in the way Covid-19 affects the brain that we haven’t seen before with other viruses,” said Michael Zandi, a senior author on the study and a consultant at the institute and University College London Hospitals NHS foundation trust. “What we’ve seen with some of these Adem patients, and in other patients, is you can have severe neurology, you can be quite sick, but actually have trivial lung disease,” he added. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 July 2020
  5. News Article
    Brain complications, including stroke and psychosis, have been linked to COVID-19 in a study that raises concerns about the potentially extensive impact of the disease in some patients. The study, published in Lancet Psychiatry, is small and based on doctors’ observations, so cannot provide a clear overall picture about the rate of such complications. However, medical experts say the findings highlight the need to investigate the possible effects of COVID-19 in the brain and studies to explore potential treatments. “There have been growing reports of an association between COVID-19 infection and possible neurological or psychiatric complications, but until now these have typically been limited to studies of 10 patients or fewer,” said Benedict Michael, the lead author of the study, from the University of Liverpool. “Ours is the first nationwide study of neurological complications associated with Covid-19, but it is important to note that it is focused on cases that are severe enough to require hospitalisation.” Scientists said the findings were an important snapshot of potential complications, but should be treated with caution as it is not possible to draw any conclusions from the data about the prevalence of such complications. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 26 June 2020
  6. Content Article
    The toolkit covers the following neurological conditions: multiple sclerosis (MS) motor neurone disease (MND) Parkinson’s and the atypical Parkinsonism’s of multiple system atrophy (MSA) progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) corticobasal degeneration (CBD).
  7. News Article
    Doctors who look after patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state must ensure they initiate regular conversations with relatives about what is in the best interests of the person so that they do not get “lost in the system,” says new guidance. The Royal College of Physicians has published new and revised guidelines on prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) to take into account changes in the law and developments in assessment and management. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 6 March 2020
  8. News Article
    Artificial intelligence can diagnose brain tumours more accurately than a pathologist in a tenth of the time, a study has shown. The machine-learning technology was marginally more accurate than a traditional diagnosis made by a pathologist, by just 1%, but the results were available in less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds, compared with 20 to 30 minutes by a pathologist. The study, published in Nature Medicine, demonstrates the speed and accuracy of AI diagnosis for brain surgery, allowing surgeons to detect and remove otherwise undetectable tumour tissue. Daniel Orringer, an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine and a senior author, said: “As surgeons, we’re limited to acting on what we can see; this technology allows us to see what would otherwise be invisible to improve speed and accuracy in the [operating theatre] and reduce the risk of misdiagnosis." “With this imaging technology, cancer operations are safer and more effective than ever before.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 6 January 2020
  9. News Article
    Suspended Belfast neurologist Michael Watt has offered his "sincere sympathy" to those affected by Northern Ireland's biggest patient recall. Dr Michael Watt worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital as a neurologist diagnosing conditions like epilepsy and Parkinson's Disease. He was suspended after 3,000 patients were given recall appointments last year. Dr Watt said he recognised the "distress these events have caused". On Tuesday, a BBC Spotlight investigation found that he had carried out hundreds of unnecessary procedures on patients. The programme also obtained details of a Department of Health report, as yet unpublished, that said one-in-five patients of the consultant neurologist were misdiagnosed. Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 November 2019
  10. Content Article
    The guidelines offer updated guidance on the diagnosis, assessment, care and management of patients with PDOC. They support doctors, families and health service commissioners to ensure that everyone is aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities. The guidelines cover: Definitions and terminology of PDOC. Techniques for assessment, diagnosis and review. Care pathways from acute to long-term management. The ethical and medico-legal framework for decision-making. Practical decision-making regarding starting or continuing life-sustaining treatments, including CANH, and management of end-of-life care for PDOC patients. Service organisation and commissioning.
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