Fall in hip replacement death rates news

It was interesting to read this article today about recovery after hip replacement operations. 

According to a study of more than 400,000 patients, in The Lancet recently, death rates after hip replacement surgery have fallen by half in England and Wales between 2003 and 2011. This is mostly due to elderly patients being fitter now and also because there is better physiotherapy after the operation, with patients encouraged to start walking the day after surgery. Other reasons include the use of a spinal anaesthetic which is likely to lead to fewer complications and specific treatments to stop blood clots after surgery.

The patients most at risk after hip replacement surgery are those with severe liver disease or people who have had a heart attack, have diabetes or renal disease. Surprisingly overweight people tend to have a lower risk of death than those who are not overweight.

I think this article shows how important post-operative care is, and also the importance of a good multi-disciplinary team. The role of physiotherapists is just as important as the role of surgeons and anaesthetists in ensuring good recovery.


Great news which will save a life every 3 seconds

image from http://resultsuk.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/global-fund-logo.gif

I was really excited to read in the news here that Justine Greening, the international development secretary, has announced that the UK will support the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next three years with a pledge of £1 billion, if the overall target of $15 billion is met from other governments and donors. Barack Obama has promised $1.65 billion for 2014 and Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland have each pledged $750 million. Now, other governments like Australia, Canada and Germany will hopefully follow suit and match the UK’s offer.

If they do, it means that the UK will be able to deliver 32 million mosquito nets with the potential to protect over 64 million people (equivalent to the entire UK population) and save a life every 3 seconds. They will also be able to fund lifesaving anti-retroviral therapy for 750,000 people living with HIV and TB treatment for more than a million people. The Global Fund is estimated to have saved more than 8.7 million lives since it was set up.

I am particularly happy about this announcement as I feel I have played a small part in it myself. Back in March this year, I wrote to my MP asking him to ask Justine Greening to increase Britain’s support for the Global Fund. You can read my letter to him here.

I received a reply here and also an invitation from Jeremy Lefroy to go to Westminster to make a presentation to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (APPMG), which you can read about here.

I am really proud of the part I have played in this news today, and I hope that one day soon there will be no more malaria in the world.


Prize Giving

I’m really happy because I found out today that I have been awarded the Nowell History Cup and the Governor’s Award for academic achievement, as well as the Old Edwardian’s Plate for Community Service. The community service award was for all the charity work I’ve been doing for Malaria No More and for my volunteering in childcare and at Katharine House Hospice. It’s really encouraging and has motivated me to carry on doing more.