SimMan-recoveryCycling mid-life crisis

WA Health Department research says cycling-related hospital admissions have more than doubled for men aged between 45 and 64. It’s a big spike – from 20.8/1000 to nearly 50/1000. The research span (Jan 2000-Dec 2009) was a period in which the number of men donning colourful Lycra increased dramatically. And the car most likely to hit cyclists will come from behind while travelling the same way. Don’t laugh ladies – statistics for women in the same age group jumped from 9.1 to 18.7!

Freeway-Perth-skyline

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Health Professional Online Services

For those who have the PKI certificate sorted, the HPO website offers a number of helpful things. The MBS Items Online Checker www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/hpos/ allows you to check the claiming eligibility for selected MBS items, currently 104, 116, 721, 723, 729, 731, 732 and 10900. Other services available include Pathology Collection Centre search; ACIR; Centrelink forms fill-out online; Immunisation Incentive and Rural Incentive programs and HECS reimbursement Scheme; Healthcare Identifiers Service; MBS Items Online Checker; National Bowel Cancer Screening Program; Patient Verification; PIP; Prescription Shopping Information; and view a patient’s care-plan history.

Apps and social sleuthing

Are you trying to sort out what’s a useful app on your iPad or iPhone? Try this doctor-driven review site www.imedicalapps.com. On a related matter, we have learnt a quarter of managers use social media to screen candidates – examining discriminatory comments, inappropriate pictures or employee comments about past employers posted on Facebook or Twitter. On the good side, some look for positive social media clues. While others have sacked employees who take a sickie but place notes of their big day out on social media.

ParamedicsPaternal cigs risk leukaemia

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is 35% more likely if dad smokes at the time of conception, according to Telethon Institute for Child Health Research’s Dr Elizabeth Milne. Damaged sperm DNA can still fertilise an ovum and the damage is pretty immediate as past smokers show no effect. Of course, with epigenetics, other environmental factors are likely to be at play and odds are 1 in 2000 children to start with.

Alcohol up north

A Wyndam man has become the first West Australian charged under last year’s changes to the Liquor Control Act which allow residents to declare their homes alcohol-free. The occupants of only 10 homes across the state, mainly in the northern Kimberley and Pilbara, have done so since the law was introduced. Other attempts to reduce the harm caused by alcohol include light beer being the only legal takeaway alcohol sold in Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing. At the same time, $6m has been spent to complete a new sobering-up shelter at Tennant Creek. A year in construction, the new building is expected to be used by up to 4000 people by the end of this year. The Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group spokesperson says the rate of alcohol abuse in Tennant Creek is alarming and the shelter helps prevent domestic violence and relieves pressure on Police services.

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