Some Canadian med schools are running low on a precious resource — cadavers

Afiyana June 28, 2022 No Comments

Some Canadian med schools are running low on a precious resource — cadavers

Human cadavers are a key teaching tool for future doctors and dentists, but in some medical schools, donations have dropped since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are reminding people that body donations are important for research and education.  “In terms of learning, having a real human body, there is a superiority. It lets you actually feel and touch and look at the different structures in the way that they normally are, not in a synthetic cadaver or a 3D model,” said Dr. Olusegun Oyedele, an associate professor in the department of cellular and physiological sciences at the University of British Columbia. The Vancouver university has had trouble getting its usual number of donated bodies, as has Western University in London, Ont., where donations are down 20 per cent over pre-pandemic levels, said Haley Linklater, who oversees the body bequeathal program at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and manages the anatomy lab.  There are reports of body donations being down this year in Nigeria, Britain, Sweden and the United States.  “I would love to have 100 or more every year to be able to assist in all of our teaching and to contribute to our research, but we get a few less than that, usually 75 to 85,” Linklater said.  “During 2020, we only had 18 donors accepted because we really weren’t sure what the academic year would be like, but the following years, 2021 and 2022 thus far, we’ve only had 60 to 65 donors.”  ‘First teachers’ Linklater isn’t sure what to attribute the drop in donations to, though

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These easy wins could alleviate wait times at hospital ERs, experts suggest

Afiyana June 28, 2022 No Comments

These easy wins could alleviate wait times at hospital ERs, experts suggest

As Sarah McLeod’s asthmatic son struggled to breathe on a recent trip to the emergency room in Calgary, she looked up at the board to see a 10-hour wait time standing between her son and the care he needed.  When she came in, her son was stable. But he got worse, so McLeod talked to a nurse.  “The nurse looked through her system and there were, again, no beds available. She was obviously frustrated. She said to me that she could tell that the system was broken,” said McLeod. The nurse was able to find a bed in another unit, and McLeod’s son was eventually able to get help. But the whole ordeal took about eight hours.  “When I left the room there were still families out there that were there when I started at three in the morning,” said McLeod.  The issue of long wait times has been plaguing hospital emergency departments long before the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ontario, emergency room patients are dealing with record-high wait times to get admitted to the hospital. White Coat Black Art26:30ER Crisis and Solutions Health-care experts say there are a number of solutions that could alleviate the built-up pressure. Some of those solutions will take some time to implement — but they say others could be put into practice now. Dr. Lindy Samson, chief of staff at CHEO, (formerly Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario), says it’s important for children and their development that the wait problem is solved now, as the trickle-down effect of packed emergency departments is having an impact on surgeries. “In-patient

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New way in which T cells learn to tell friend from foe

Afiyana June 27, 2022 No Comments

Researchers identify new mechanism that teaches immune cells-in-training to spare the body’s own tissues while attacking pathogens. As part of this early education, specialized thymus cells ‘pose’ as different tissues, teaching the immune system how to recognize both friend and foe. Immune cells that mistakenly react to the body’s own proteins are eliminated or reassigned to other jobs. The findings shed light on the origins of autoimmune diseases and on the maturation of the adaptive immune system.

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New approach to treatment of deadly kidney cancer

Afiyana June 27, 2022 No Comments

Researchers have linked resistance to treatment for a deadly form of kidney cancer to low mitochondrial content in the cell. When the researchers increased the mitochondrial content with an inhibitor, the cancer cells responded to the treatment. Their findings offer hope for more targeted cancer drugs.

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Canada’s COVID-19 response better than many comparable countries, study finds

Afiyana June 27, 2022 No Comments

Canada’s COVID-19 response better than many comparable countries, study finds

Canada handled the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and weathered the ensuing upheaval better than several other nations with comparable health-care and economic infrastructure, a new study suggests. The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday, credits Canada’s strong performance to restrictive and persistent public health measures as well as a successful vaccination campaign. A team of Ontario researchers compared data from February 2020 to February 2022 in 11 countries dubbed the G10 due to the late inclusion of one subject. They analyzed data from Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States — all countries with similar political, economic, and health-care systems. “If you look at Canada compared to the G10, the differences are enormous,” study co-author Dr. Fahad Razak said in a recent interview. “If you look at our vaccination rate, we had the highest in the entire G10, we had the lowest number of people infected and lowest of people dying.” The research suggests Canada’s cumulative per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases was 82,700 per million, while all countries — with the exception of Japan — were above 100,000 per million. Canada’s rate of COVID-19—related deaths was 919 per million, once again second-lowest behind Japan. All other countries were over 1,000 per million. Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa who was not involved in the study, said the methodology of the research is sound, even if it can be challenging to compare infections and deaths across jurisdictions.  “Bottom

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Deadly rabbit disease found in Ontario for the 1st time

Afiyana June 27, 2022 No Comments

Deadly rabbit disease found in Ontario for the 1st time

Two pet rabbits infected with a highly contagious virus that’s newly detected in Ontario have died, causing concern among veterinarians and pet owners. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said it’s the first time rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHDV-2) has been detected in Ontario. It previously was found in B.C. and Alberta.  The virus is not known to cause disease in humans, according to both the United States Department of Agriculture and the CFIA. The rabbits in the Ontario case were from the same household and previously healthy, according to Dr. Jamie McGill Worsley, a veterinarian in Forest in Lambton County.  The rabbits quickly died.  “This was devastating for a pet owner with no warning and initially no understanding,” she said, “As we did testing, we started to become more suspicious that maybe this [virus] was the case.” Samples were sent to a lab. Earlier this month, the CFIA confirmed it was RHDV-2. The source of the infection isn’t known, the agency said. “Immediately following this, the CFIA placed a quarantine on the site,” the agency said in a statement. “An investigation has been completed and no high-risk contacts have been identified that could result in spread of the disease from this premise. The CFIA is collaborating with the province and continues to monitor the situation.” The CFIA’s website says the virus is found in most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba and some parts of Asia and Africa, and there have been occasional outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada, in 2011, 2016 and 2018. What is RHDV-2 According to the CFIA, the disease is highly contagious in wild and domestic rabbits. The virus doesn’t

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Monkeypox not a global health emergency ‘at this stage,’ says WHO

Afiyana June 26, 2022 No Comments

Monkeypox not a global health emergency ‘at this stage,’ says WHO

The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in more than 50 countries should be closely monitored, but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency. In a statement Saturday, a WHO emergency committee said many aspects of the outbreak were “unusual” and acknowledged that monkeypox — which is endemic in some African countries — has been neglected for years. “While a few members expressed differing views, the committee resolved by consensus to advise the WHO director general that at this stage the outbreak should be determined to not constitute” a global health emergency, WHO said in a statement. WHO nevertheless pointed to the “emergency nature” of the outbreak and said controlling its spread requires an “intense” response. The committee said the outbreak should be “closely monitored and reviewed after a few weeks.” But it would recommend a re-assessment before then if certain new developments emerge, such as cases among sex workers, spread to other countries or within countries that have already had cases, increased severity of cases or an increasing rate of spread. WATCH | WHO calls on nations to stop monkeypox spread:  WHO urges nations to help halt spread of monkeypox 18 days ago Duration 0:48 The World Health Organization is warning the monkeypox virus could take hold in non-endemic countries if they don’t control the current outbreak. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus convened the emergency committee on Thursday after expressing concern about the epidemic of monkeypox in countries that haven’t previously reported the disease. “What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries

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How provinces are trying to catch kids up on routine vaccines

Afiyana June 25, 2022 No Comments

How provinces are trying to catch kids up on routine vaccines

Some young learners are struggling to build early reading skills, while others stumble over math concepts. Repeated pandemic pivots have left students out of practice with classroom learning, impacted their mental health and distanced them from peers. The CBC News series Learning Curve explores the ramifications of COVID-19 for Canadian students and what they’ll need to recover from pandemic-disrupted schooling. Since 2017, Chantell Plunkett has worked on in-school vaccination programs in Brampton, Ont., immunizing kids against preventable illnesses like HPV, hepatitis B and meningococcal disease. Then, the pandemic hit — and with schools shut down, in-school vaccination programs were suspended across the country, leaving many kids to fall behind on their scheduled immunizations. In Ontario’s Peel region, where Plunkett is a clinic supervisor for public health, those who missed scheduled shots in Grade 7 have now gone on to high school. They “haven’t really finished off their series with us,” Plunkett said. “We are behind a lot,” she added. Brampton-based nurse Chantell Plunkett says that the Peel region is behind in catching kids up on vaccines against HPV, hepatitis B and meningococcal disease. (Submitted by Chantell Plunkett) Between school-closures, personnel shortages and public health units stretched thin, Canadian children and teenagers are lagging behind on routine shots that prevent various cancers and sexually transmitted diseases. Public health units are now hustling to catch them up — but there’s still work to be done, with multiple provinces reporting insufficient vaccine uptake. Experts say that improving access to routine vaccines will make all the difference. School programs negatively affected, study says About two months

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The U.S. wants to ban Juul. Where is Canada on regulating e-cigarettes?

Afiyana June 25, 2022 No Comments

The U.S. wants to ban Juul. Where is Canada on regulating e-cigarettes?

Earlier this week, regulators in the United States ordered Juul to pull its vaping products from the market, dealing a major blow to one of the most powerful players in the industry. The company is appealing the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking a federal court to block a government order to stop selling its electronic cigarettes. While the attempted ban in the U.S. doesn’t directly affect Canada, some health advocates say it raises questions about the slow pace of regulation in this country. Here’s a closer look at the FDA’s decision and what’s happening in Canada.  Why was Juul banned? As part of the FDA’s review process, companies had to demonstrate that their e-cigarettes benefit public health. In practice, that means proving that adult smokers who use them are likely to quit or reduce their smoking, while teens are unlikely to get hooked on them. In its decision, the FDA said that some of the biggest e-cigarette sellers like Juul may have played a “disproportionate” role in the rise in teen vaping. The agency said that Juul’s application didn’t have enough evidence to show that marketing its products “would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.” On Friday, the e-cigarette maker asked the court to pause what it called an “extraordinary and unlawful action” by the FDA that would require it to immediately halt its business. The company filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington as it prepares to appeal the FDA’s decision. That dispute is far from over.  Juul products are shown

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