Friday Five

Organ donation, free public transport and the Stay Well campaign – this week’s Friday 5

Organ donation numbers hit record high

In January 170 organ donations took place which led to over 400 lifesaving operations, a record high for the NHS. Experts believe this can be credited to the consultation the NHS have been running into whether England should follow Wales’ opt-out organ donation system. The consultation has received an overwhelming 11,000 responses to date with just under a month until it closes, highlighting the strong public interest in this issue.

Read more on i News.


Germany to trial free public transport to curb pollution

In a bit to cut levels of pollution, Germany is to trial a number of options including free public transport across five cities – Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Reutlingen and Mannheim. The idea came as the country is facing legal action from the European Commission as its air quality is breaching EU legal levels. Other ideas proposed in the letter to the EU Environment Commissioner include low emission zones and extra incentives for the use of electric cars.

Read more on The Telegraph.


The NHS urges parents to take children to pharmacists rather than GPs

As part of the new Stay Well campaign the NHS is asking parents to take their children to see a pharmacist before booking a GP appointment in a bid to save the system millions of pounds. Figures show that each year there are 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million A&E avoidable visits costing £850 million, where pharmacists could have provided the same help and support.

Read more on Sky News.


Probe created to view lung infections inside the body

Scientists from Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Bath Universities have created a new probe to allow them to view infections in the lung in situ. The probe allows doctors to see live infections inside the body for the first time, cutting down time sending samples to labs, and is being trialled to see if critically ill patients have pneumonia. Currently these patients are given broad spectrum antibiotics as a precautionary measure, however, research has shown complications from this has led to tens of thousands of people dying worldwide.

Read more on the BBC.


Scientists warn blood thinning drugs could cause strokes in over 65s

New research has raised concerns around polypharmacy in patients with chronic kidney disease who also have an irregular heartbeat. Scientists from University College London warn that the prescribing of blood thinners to these patients may increase the risk of a stroke rather than decrease it. The study had 7,000 patients who were monitored for 506 days, and the research found that patients on blood thinners were 2.6 times as likely to have a stroke than those who were not.

Read more on The Guardian.


Quote of the week – Richard Lloyd on the similarities between working in the NHS and the armed forces, as he works with Step into Health to aid the NHS workforce crisis by introducing ex-military personnel to the health system:

… they share more than bureaucracy: in both NHS and military roles, “you’re faced with the grim realities of life and death”, says Lloyd. “The great staff I work with are faced with unfortunate situations for people. And in the military we’ve seen the very worst that can happen to people, or the worst that people are capable of.”

Read more on The Guardian.