Author: LAB24 Pathology

Maximising the Value of your Medical Aid

Most medical aids have launched their benefits and premium contributions for 2017 and, as in the past, the increases passed on to members are double figures, which outstrip inflation. Bear in mind that your actual increase may be somewhat different because often these are weighted and vary from option to option or even from dependant to dependant. The medical aid landscape can be tricky to navigate. So now, more than ever, is the time to learn how to ‘box smart’ to ensure that you maximise the value you derive from your medical scheme benefits. Dr Bobby Ramasia, Principal Officer...

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World Diabetes Day 2016

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to: Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as...

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Link between vitamin D deficiency and bladder cancer

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer, according to a systematic review of seven studies presented at the Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference (SFE-BES 2016) in Brighton. Though further clinical studies are needed to confirm the findings, the study adds to a growing body of evidence on the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D, which is produced by the body through exposure to sunshine, helps the body control calcium and phosphate levels. Vitamin D can also be obtained from food sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks. Previous studies...

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Undetectable viral loads maintained with experimental therapy

An experimental ‘four days on, three days off’ antiretroviral regimen kept viral load fully suppressed in 96% of people for 48 weeks in a French study presented recently at the International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection (HIV Glasgow). The study recruited people whose viral load had been fully suppressed on treatment for a median of four years, not people who had started treatment recently. Although people living with HIV are recommended to take antiretroviral drugs every day as prescribed, there is evidence from therapeutic drug monitoring that sufficient blood levels of many antiretroviral drugs persist for several...

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Blood Testing Market – Advanced Technologies & Growth Opportunities in Global Pharmaceutical Industry by 2020

Blood testing is a laboratory based analysis that is performed in order to determine general state of health, presence of a bacteria or virus and to assess disease progression. It is usually performed by taking a small sample of blood from the patient’s body with the help of a needle or finger prick. Cancer, cardiovascular diseases, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)/HIV, anemia and diabetes are some major diseases for which blood testing is recommended so as to confirm the diseased condition. Blood testing is also performed in order to assess how well body vital organs such as liver, kidney and...

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The Heart of the Matter

– by DR SHIVA ROY, DR DANIEL ISHAK AND DR VINAYAK NAGARAJA While the majority of patients presenting to a GP with chest pain will not have a life-threatening condition, a significant minority will be experiencing an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). In Australia, 68,200 ACS events were recorded in 2012. There is strong evidence that delay in diagnosis and management of acute coronary syndrome leads to poor prognosis and avoidable complications, including heart failure, ventricular arrhythmias, mechanical complications and sudden cardiac death, therefore early recognition and management is essential. In this article, we present a case report of a patient presenting to...

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KZN Health’s R4.1 Billion Spending Black Hole

Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department is sitting on a R4.1 billion irregular spending black hole, and things are in such a sorry state that the auditor-general cannot fathom the full extent of what is a growing problem. The damning findings emerged when a qualified audit of the department’s 2015-16 finances was scrutinised in the legislature on Tuesday. MPLs heard a litany of problems and recurring excuses and explanations, prompting Maggie Govender, chairwoman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), to conclude that officials perhaps thought the department was a place to “go and eat”. “You have to...

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Stand Up Against Corruption – Gordhan Tells Pharmaceutical Fraternity

Durban – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Saturday night called on professionals in the pharmaceutical fraternity to take a stand against fraud and corruption in the health care sector. “Stolen bed sheets, medication, food, lack of care in our public hospitals and sometimes private hospitals as well. Supply chain interference, good invoice for but not delivered, public servants and businesses people exchanging favours in the form of brown enveloped in order for things to be done, that is corrupting us from delivering efficient  human rights t our people,” said Gordhan. The minister, who began his career as a pharmacist...

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Simple Blood Test can Quickly Detect Serious Infections in Children

Using a simple decision rule and a finger prick to test blood, general practitioners can now detect serious infections in children very quickly. This ensures that seriously ill children don’t have to wait for a diagnosis until they’re hospitalized – a delay that may have fatal consequences. The procedure also prevents unnecessary hospital referrals for less serious cases. That is the conclusion of a study conducted by a clinical team at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium) in collaboration with Ghent University and University of Oxford. In the early stages, serious infections such as meningitis, pneumonia, kidney or bone...

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British Scientists May Have Just Cured the First Person Ever of HIV

A 44-year-old British man is the first of 50 people to complete a trial of a treatment which scientists say eradicates HIV cells in the entire body––including dormant cells which evade current HIV treatments. Doctors declined to identify the patient, who is a social care worker in London. “It would be great if a cure has happened. My last blood test was a couple of weeks ago and there is no detectable virus. I took part in the trial to help others as well as myself,” he said. “It would be a massive achievement if, after all these years, something is...

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