When the flu comes to town

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a highly contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. Depending on the strain and our immune system, we can experience anything from mild symptoms to being laid up in bed for two weeks to developing serious complications. Dr Victoria D’Abrera from St John of God Pathology says there are…

What’s the difference between COPD and asthma?

Because asthma and COPD have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two conditions. Respiratory Physician Professor Peter Bremner says airway narrowing occurs in both diseases and sometimes people with COPD also have asthma. “The inflammatory process leading to airway narrowing differs between asthma and COPD,” Professor Bremner says. “Furthermore, in emphysema, there is destruction of the lung tissue.”…

Septic shock treatment examined

St John of God Murdoch Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is participating in a global trial which aims to discover if patients with septic shock recover better with or without a low dosage of steroids. Approximately one quarter of people who suffer septic shock that is not rapidly reversed will die. Principal Investigator Dr Adrian Regli says administering hydrocortisone is standard practice for…

Welcome to the second edition of Inside Health

For many, palliative care can be a confusing subject and we have tried to address some of the myths associated with this type of medical care. You will find some professionals’ perspectives which may assist some readers if they are faced with a situation that requires palliative care. Flu viruses are more prevalent in the…

When to get home help

The effects of aging, illness or disability can impact our ability to perform the normal activities of daily life. Most people would like to live independently and stay in their homes as they age, but there are daily tasks that they might need help with. Home visits from occupational therapists and physiotherapists can help those…

End of life care

It is a common misconception that palliative care is only for those who are dying but in fact, its main focus is on the management of symptoms and maximising quality of life for patients and families. In their daily work of treating and supporting patients with life limiting illness, Murdoch Community Hospice caregivers espouse the…

Additional ways to ease the pain

Complementary therapies can provide additional support to medication for those who are in a great deal of pain and can also be beneficial for carers of the sick, offering respite from a sometimes stressful job. These therapies can help patients cope with the fear associated with dying and further decline, and are designed to restore…