Butter and Toothpaste No Help for Burns

An estimated one million Australians believe applying butter, moisturising cream or toothpaste was appropriate treatment for a burn, new research has revealed.

Photo: article supplied

Two in three Australians mistakenly believed minor burns were best treated by home remedies, research commissioned by Mundicare has shown, while half of Australians believed applying ice or an ice pack to a burn would help.

“The latest research shows a gap in our awareness of how to correctly treat a minor burn,” Pharmacy Guild of Australia president George Tambassis said.

“This National Burns Awareness Month we would encourage all Australians to take a few minutes to understand how best to treat a minor burn so as to not accidentally make it worse, and if unsure to seek advice from their local pharmacist.”

While an estimated 88 per cent of Australians understood it was important to treat a burn immediately, only 10 per cent knew the correct treatment for a burn.

But with 88 per cent of minor burns occurring in the home, knowing the correct treatment was important.

Julian Burton OAM, founder of the Julian Burton Burns Trust, said there were many misconceptions.

“Many people don’t realise that home remedies such as putting butter or ice directly on the burn can actually make the injury considerably worse,” he said.

“The correct first aid treatment for minor burns or scalds is pretty simple: you need to remove, cool, then cover.

This article was originally published by the Daily Liberal.

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In the Future Your Ambulance Could Be Driverless

The revolution in driverless vehicles will make many jobs obsolete. In the US alone, it is estimated that driverless vehicles will wipe out 4.1m jobs. Truck drivers, delivery drivers, taxi drivers and Uber drivers will be out of work, and sooner than you might think. But automation can be a force for good, doing jobs more cheaply, safely and efficiently. In fact, there’s one service that’s crying out for more automation: the ambulance service.

Demand for ambulance services is growing rapidly in developed countries due to a combination of a growing and ageing population, an increase of chronic diseases, and a scarcity of primary care clinics and providers. This leaves the emergency services overburdened, with a dismal outlook for the future.

With driverless vehicles already on the road, some governments are looking into the possibility of driverless ambulances. Driverless ambulances and other technology could take some of the strain off the emergency services, freeing paramedics to deal with high-risk patients where each minute waiting for treatment significantly reduces a patient’s chance of surviving. This would include cardiac arrest patients, where brain damage typically starts within four to six minutes.

Initially, health services could introduce a fleet of driverless ambulances alongside their current manned models to deal with low-risk patients – essentially starting out as “medical taxis”. Low-risk patients would be picked up by a driverless ambulance and transported to the nearest hospital or clinic for treatment. With the introduction of these ambulances, the need for paramedics to respond to every call – regardless of severity – would be greatly reduced.

However, not everyone is in favour of automated ambulances.

This article was originally published by The Conversation.

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Keep Looking When Cooking Campaign in Bid to Prevent Deadly House Fires

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is urging people to take extra precautions in the kitchen to protect themselves from deadly house fires, which have already claimed five lives this year.

FRNSW Community Safety and Research Chief Superintendent Jeremy Fewtrell said kitchen fires accounted for 45 per cent of all residential fires and 34 per cent of injuries in NSW.stove top safety to prevent house fires
“Flames or heat sources being left unattended are the most common cause contributing to kitchen fires,” he said.

“Because of these telling statistics, we have launched this Keep Looking When Cooking campaign to remind people that they must never leave cooking unattended in the kitchen.”

Superintendent Fewtrell said each year, FRNSW firefighters respond to an average of 3,865 house fires.

“On average, about 21 people die in house fires annually and some 500 people are injured,” he said.

“Sadly, already five people have died in 2017 as a result of accidental fires in their homes in NSW.

“It takes just minutes for a household fire to spread but just seconds to avoid these incidents.

“To avoid kitchen fire catastrophes, we urge people to “keep looking when cooking”. It’s a simple way to avoid losing your home or even worse, your loved ones or your own life.”

To help share this important message, FRNSW will be distributing mini-mags through local community hubs. The mini-mags feature five recipes from FRNSW firefighters, spanning multiple cuisines. Additionally, the public are encouraged to share their own recipes on social media, using the hashtag #KeepLookingWhenCooking – FRNSW will be sharing some of the best through their own channels.

This article was originally published by Fire and Rescue NSW.

Click here to read entire article.

Plans for Firefighting Force with No Board Nor CEO Stir Up Smouldering Concerns

Victoria’s new urban firefighting force would not have a board  or chief executive, raising concerns that its new commissioner would simply act as a rubber stamp for government.

Under the controversial overhaul of firefighting, Fire Rescue Victoria will be set up to replace the MFB and take control of 35 CFA stations in built-up areas that currently have paid firefighters.

Legislation to create FRV is due in parliament in next week, with its fate set to be decided by the crossbench in the upper house.

Photo: article supplied

Much of the bill subsumes the MFB act and  critically  includes provisions to abolish the role of chief executive and an independent board and reinvest the powers in a commissioner.

The government says the arrangement would be similar to other Australian emergency services and Victoria Police.

The plan to remove the board has the full backing of the United Firefighters Union, with national secretary Peter Marshall saying the current structure meant fire services were being run like a corporation rather than an emergency service.

“A board with the power of direction actually interferes with the running of the fire service and has been shown to have historically done so,” Mr Marshall said.

But senior sources in the field say removing the board removes an important level of independence and scrutiny.

Under the radical firefighting reforms, the CFA would become a volunteer-firefighter-only force but retain an independent board.

Other sources say that an independent board also provides the minister with protection from political exposure especially in the case of major problems, as well as pressure from central agencies trying to push an agenda.

The current MFB board has opposed the United Firefighters Union’s workplace agreement proposal and has criticised existing consultations as giving too much power to the union over key decision making.

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said the use of a commissioner was consistent with recommendations from the Fire Services Review and emergency management best practice.

This article was originally published by The Age.

Click here to read the entire article.

PTSD: Call for State Government to Recognise Occupational Stress as Cause

Emergency services personnel suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are calling on the State Government to legally recognise occupational stress as a cause for the condition.

Mr Ross holds his service medals. Picture: Ian Currie

Niddrie man Matt Ross has spent the past year clawing his way back from the brink of darkness after years of exposure to trauma during a 20-plus-year career as a police officer.

Mr Ross has struggled with the weight of disturbing memories of knocking on the doors of families to tell them a loved one had died.

“I needed to get some help,” Mr Ross said.

“My marriage was hanging by a thread. I was trying to deal with my symptoms with booze until that became a problem and I’m drinking a bottle of vodka a day and staying in bed until late in
the afternoon.”

A diagnosis of PTSD and several admissions to a psychiatric clinic helped Mr Ross with his struggles.

But many ex-emergency service workers are forced to seek support on their own while grappling with WorkCover and private insurance companies to prove they have a mental health condition as a result of their work experiences.

This article was originally published by The Herald Sun.

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Change Needed To Remedy Public Hospitals

This content is produced by The Australian Financial Review in commercial partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Government policy changes are needed to facilitate greater choice for public hospital patients undergoing elective surgery, a report finds.

The Productivity Commission is currently exploring the potential to introduce greater choice within public hospitals to empower patients, improve hospital quality and generate better health outcomes.

State and territory governments are also interested in greater competition for public hospital services, although to date this has primarily focused on commissioning and contestability of non-clinical services.

Photo: article supplied

The research, by Macquarie University’s Centre for the Health Economy (MUCHE), undertaken with funding from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, finds Australians would value greater choice over public hospitals for elective surgery, and value quality over convenience. Given the right response from hospitals, this could improve hospital quality, health outcomes, efficiency and equity.

However, it notes reducing barriers to exercising patient choice is one of the key policy prescriptions required by government.

The report says there are potentially several barriers to exercising informed choice in health care, such as greater travel costs and an increased opportunity cost of time waiting for surgery.

Travel costs

“One way to stimulate greater choice for public patients undergoing elective care could be through government subsidies to cover travel and accommodation expenses for those patients willing to choose a non-local hospital,” the research finds.

Subsidised travel and accommodation has been used in some European countries to manage hospital waiting times. Travel and accommodation assistance is available in Australia such as the NSW government’s Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS).

Governments must secondly introduce incentives for hospitals to respond to patient demand for quality.

This article was originally published by the Australian Financial Review.

Click here to read the entire article.


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