Welcome back to The Medic Portal’s news summary blog. This post will bring you the key stories relating to health news from 6th to 12th February. This week has seen new research published related to the benefits of the use of e-cigarettes, a study that indicates women who work night shifts may be more likely to suffer from infertility and hundreds of “never happen” incidents have occurred in the NHS in the last nine months.
Researchers at Harvard University studied 500 women who were seeking fertility treatment and found that those who worked nightshifts or had a job involving heavy lifting were less fertile. The findings were based on the number of eggs produced by women during IVF treatment. The number of eggs produced was 28 per cent less for those working nightshifts. It is thought that nightshifts could disrupt the natural circadian rhythm and prevent eggs from developing. The recommendations are that women who are trying to get pregnant should avoid heavy lifting and night work.
A study of 181 smokers or ex-smokers has found long-term vaping to be far safer than smoking. Previous studies have only focused on the short term effects of swapping from smoking to e-cigarettes. The researchers found lower levels of toxic chemicals and cancer-causing substances in samples provided by those using e-cigarettes than current smokers. The research supports Public Health England’s 2015 report that concluded “e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco”.
In the past nine months 314 “never events” were recorded in the NHS. Never events are serious incidents that should “never” happen in the NHS. Such events might include medical equipment being left inside patients to procedures being completed on the wrong part of the body. Some errors also included the wrong patients having required procedures due to mistaken identities. Experts believe that the new figures highlight the increasing failures of the NHS. Additional figures have shown that 82,730 planned operations were cancelled at the last minute due to limited resources. Some of the “never events” included medical mistakes but also dental errors and issues with hospital equipment.
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