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Issue 151 - 8 September 2010


As the clean up continues and more businesses look to return to operation following Saturday’s earthquake in Canterbury, there is a range of health and safety and employment relations issues that employers and employees may be considering.


Articles in Emergency Nurse on "Disaster Management"
1. Planning for disaster.
By McBrien, Barry. Emergency Nurse, May 2010, Vol. 18 Issue 2: p8
: In this article, the author explains why major incident planning should be considered in emergency medicine.

2. Diary.
Emergency Nurse, May 2010, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p10
: A calendar of events for emergency nurses in Great Britain from June to August 2010 is presented, including Inner Cordon 2010 on June 10 to 11, Liverpool, England, Delivering Sustainable Alternatives to Admissions on June 29 in Birmingham, England and The Way Forward for Child Protection on July 6, London, England.

3. Journal scan.
By Gillespie, Mark. Emergency Nurse, Apr 2010, Vol. 18 Issue 1: p11
This section review several articles, including "Addressing the imbalance: empowering older people in disaster response and preparedness," which appeared in the "International Journal of Older People Nursing," "Provision of emergency contraception for pregnancy prevention" and "Wave of paediatric eye injuries from liquid detergent capsules" from the "British Medical Journal."

4. Disaster relief: helping the survivors of the Haiti earthquake.
By Lau, Deb. Emergency Nurse, Mar 2010, Vol. 17 Issue 10: p18-21
: Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea. On January 12, the country was the site of an earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, with the epicentre about 16 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The earthquake caused widespread loss of life and damage, and many organisations responded to appeals from the Haitian people for humanitarian aid. Among these was the UK-based charity Merlin. Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust emergency nurse Deb Lau works for Merlin and here she describes what happened when she travelled to Haiti to help provide medical relief. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

5. Picking up the pieces.
By Moore, James & McIntosh, Neil. Emergency Nurse, Mar 2005, Vol. 12 Issue 10: p14-19
: Recounts the experience of delivering emergency health care in Sri Lanka for the victims of the tsunami that struck most part of Asia in December 2004. Number of casualties caused by the disaster; Geographic and demographic background of Sri Lanka; Cause of the problem faced by non-governmental organisations in accessing the affected areas.

JOURNAL: International Journal of Environmental Health Research

6. Sewage effluent as a source of Campylobacter sp. in a surface water catchment.
By Rechenburg, Andrea & Kistemann, Thomas. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Aug 2009, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p239-249
Campylobacter sp. can regularly be found in wastewater-affected surface waters. The occurrence of Campylobacter sp. in rivers, treated sewage and combined sewer overflows was analysed in a catchment with sparse annual precipitation. During regular treatment the reduction efficacy for Campylobacter sp. varies between 1.75 and 3.5 log10. However, Campylobacter sp. concentrations do not increase downstream in the river as more sewage treatment plants discharge into it. During rain events, the Campylobacter sp. concentration in the river upstream of any sewage plant rises and in the sewer overflow water it is more than 150-fold higher than the average concentration in the river water at the river mouth. The highest Campylobacter sp. loads and the highest risk of infection occur during summertime after heavy rainfall. Risk management strategies should focus on problems regarding water scarcity, reuse of sewage effluent and the impact of heavy rain events. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

7. Building characteristics associated with moisture related problems in 8,918 Swedish dwellings.
By Hagerhed-Engman, Linda et al. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Aug 2009, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p251-265.
Moisture problems in buildings have in a number of studies been shown to increase the risk for respiratory symptoms. The study Dampness in Buildings and Health (DBH) was initiated with the aim to identify health relevant exposures related to dampness in buildings. A questionnaire study about home environment with a focus on dampness problems and health was conducted in one county of Sweden (8,918 homes, response rate 79%). Building characteristics that were associated with one or more of the dampness indicators were for single-family houses, older houses, flat-roofed houses built in the 1960s and 1970s, houses with a concrete slab on the ground that were built before 1983. Moreover, tenancy and earlier renovation due to mould or moisture problems was strongly associated with dampness. A perception of dry air was associated with window-pane condensation, e.g. humid indoor air. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

8. Mercury exposure in a high fish eating Bolivian Amazonian population with intense small-scale gold-mining activities
By Barbieri, Flavia Laura et al. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Aug 2009, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p267-277
: Methylmercury exposure in Amazonian communities through fish consumption has been widely documented in Brazil. There is still a lack of data in other Amazonian countries, which is why we conducted this study in the Bolivian Amazon basin. Simple random sampling was used from a small village located in the lower Beni River, where there is intense gold mining and high fish consumption. All participants were interviewed and hair samples were taken to measure total mercury concentrations. The hair mercury geometric mean in the general population was 3.02 μg/g (CI: 2.69-3.37; range: 0.42-15.65). Age and gender were not directly associated with mercury levels. Fish consumption showed a positive relation and so did occupation, especially small-scale gold mining. Hair mercury levels were lower than those found in Brazilian studies, but still higher than in non-exposed populations. It is necessary to assess mercury exposure in the Amazonian regions where data is still lacking, using a standardized indicator. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

9. Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 associated with seawater and plankton from coastal marine areas of the Caribbean Sea.
By Fernández-Delgado, Milagro et al. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Aug 2009, Vol. 19, Issue 4, p279-289
: The aim of this study was to characterize the virulence properties and the antimicrobial resistance of Vibrio cholerae isolates from a coastal area of the Caribbean Sea. Three V. cholerae isolates were obtained from seawater and plankton using the HP selective medium for Helicobacter pylori. These V. cholerae isolates belonged to the non-O1, non-O139 serogroups and they did not have cholera toxin genes. They were resistant to penicillins and some cephalosporins and were sensitive to netilmicin, tetracyclines, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim and quinolones. This is the first study that provides biochemical and molecular evidence of non-O1, non-O139 V. cholerae isolates, non-toxigenic, carrying antibiotic resistance in seawater and plankton from a coastal area of the Caribbean Sea. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

10. Evaluation on the effectiveness of actions for controlling infestation by rodents in Campo Limpo region, Sao Paulo Municipality, Brazil.
By de Masi, Eduardo et al. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Aug 2009, Vol. 19 Issue 4: p291-304
Rodents are responsible for the transmission of more than 60 diseases both to human beings and to domestic animals. The increase in rodent infestation in a given area brings several health problems to the nearby population. Thus, when infestation increases, it is time to take intervention measures. Although many countries have implemented programs aimed at controlling rodent infestation, literature on studies evaluating the effectiveness of intervention measures in urban areas is scarce. Aimed at contributing to the understanding of rodents' population dynamics in urban areas, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the control methods proposed by “Programa de Vigilancia e Controle de Roedores do Municipio de Sao Paulo”
(Program for Rodents Surveillance and Control in Sao Paulo Municipality), conducted on Jardim Comercial District. As a first step, a survey to assess infestation rates was conducted in 1529 dwellings located in the area studied. After that, a chemical control upon rodents was accomplished in every dwelling infested. One week and six months after completion of control measures, a new evaluation on infestation rates was carried out, in order to verify the effectiveness of the procedures taken and to estimate the re-infestation capacity. Initial infestation rate was 40.0%, and the final infestation rate, 14.4%. Therefore, the effectiveness of the control methods utilized was 63.8%. It can thus be concluded that the control methods applied were quite effective.

11. Preparation and photo-catalytic behavior of conjugated polymers based on paper-making wastewater.
By Libang Feng et al. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Aug 2009, Vol. 19 Issue 4: p305-313
: Based on alkaline paper-making wastewater, a polymer catalyst (FQ) was prepared and characterized by FTIR, ESR and element analysis techniques. The results show that the catalyst has conjugated structure and the conjugate degree increases after heat treatment. The catalyst has quite high photo-catalytic activity, which was verified by the fact that the simulated dyeing wastewater containing methylene blue (MB) or acridine orange (AO) can be degraded completely in 20 minutes under natural light using FQ as the photo-catalyst. Therefore, the synthetic dyeing wastewater can be disposed of using the materials coming from paper-making wastewater. It is a very promising method to treat one kind of wastewater with the materials from another kind of wastewater.

Conferences, seminars, Courses

12. The 5th Annual NDNQI® Conference - "Heating Up Nursing Quality" 
Date: January 26-28, 2011
Venue: Hyatt Regency Miami. 
More information:

13. Creating a Healthier Future: Population Health Approaches to Planning Conference
VHA's Population Health Planning Conference
: 14 and 15 October 2010
Venue: Hilton on the Park Melbourne.
To register:

Journals Table of Contents

14. From Registered Nurse Journal (Ontario)
. Light Dawns [Grassroots nursing for impoverished parents]
14B. Building on the past, shaping the future [How nursing today is different in many ways to nursing in 1967]
14C. Executive Director's Dispatch: An unforgettable journey [Doris Grinspun's Phd journey]
14D. Taking great pains [Nurse Practitioner Anaesthesia Care]
14E. Nurses on hand at G20; Tackling cultural health barriers; Coping advice to pass along; leading neonatal nurse receives Order of Canada; Location confirmed for new NP clinic
14F. Sex assault nurse examiners needed; Nurse endorses asthma clinic
14G. Nursing teacher honoured (Gail Donner); Ontario's pandemic preparedness - A+; Needle stick safety; patient  wait times; Update on CRNBC split
14H. Grassroots nursing for impoverished parents
14I. A trip down RNAO lane [RNAO's 85th anniversary]
14J. Discover the power of nursing [RNAO's knowledge exchange "festival" promises to advance your professional credibility
14K. Calorie disclosure a necessity; Shortcomings in retirement home regs; Workplace violence bill needs work
14L. What nursing means to me [Perspective from a registered nurse for patients with chronic illnesses]

15. From Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, Volume 26. No.2, August 2010

15A. Publication of research findings can be a challenge for many
15B. Children living with a mentally ill parent: The role of public health nurses
15C. Practice nurse use of evidence in clinical practice: A descriptive survey
15D. What do New Zealand pre-dialysis nurses believe to be effective care?
15E. Conference report [International network of indigenous health knowledge and development]

News - National

16. Elderly and disabled forced to evacuate
The Press - 8 September 2010
Up to 200 "distressed" aged-care residents will have to leave Christchurch rest homes damaged in Saturday's earthquake. A Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman said almost 200 rest-home residents were being relocated to other facilities because of structural problems with their buildings and water problems.

17. Misuse of medicines endangering children
Bay of plenty Times - 7 September 2010
It is vital that parents worldwide should understand the proper usage of medicines. Rebekah Moles, lead researcher. Many parents give their children too large or frequent doses of non-prescription medicines for fever, coughs and colds, putting their health at risk, says an Australian study. "Many children are being put at risk by parents' over-use of widely available over-the-counter medicines for fever, coughs and colds," concluded the study by University of Sydney researchers presented at a conference of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

News - International

18. Medical research funding under a cloud
The Australian - 8 September 2010
VICTORIA'S medical research institutes warned yesterday they face a growing shortfall in covering indirect research costs that will ultimately hit jobs and curtail research if the issue is not addressed. The Victorian state government yesterday maintained its capped funding for indirect costs at $25.7 million a year, via its
Operational Infrastructure Support program.

19. Violence: Not in My Job Description
Workplace Violence in Healthcare Settings
Have you ever been slapped, kicked, shoved, or bitten by a patient? Have you had your hair, earring, or clothing pulled? Has a patient ever thrown something at you, knocked something out of your hands, or spit in your face? Has a relative used abusive language, sworn at you, or threatened you if you tried to enforce a hospital policy or did not comply with a demand? If the answer to all of these questions is "no," consider yourself one of the lucky few nurses to have escaped verbal and physical abuse at the hands of patients, family members, or visitors in the course of your duties.

20. Mobile Phone is a Hygiene Risk, Study Says
Technology, from smart and mobile phones to laptops, could be spreading illnesses and potentially killer diseases because of poor hand hygiene, according to research released by the Co-operative Pharmacy, a pharmacy retail chain in the United Kingdom. The Co-operative Pharmacy commissioned the hand hygiene study, which revealed that 1 in 3 people use a mobile phone when in the restroom, while 1 in 20 people also surf on a laptop. Almost 1 in 3 people admitted to not using soap and 1 in 5 people don’t always wash their hands after using restroom facilities. 

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