Primary healthcare news, information & resources


What we've been reading - September 2017


Keeping up with medicine is made easier when we share clinical stories with our colleagues. On this page we share brief learnings and articles that have interested our GP liaison team during the month of September. If you come across an article, video or resource you think clinical and management teams should know about, send it to communications@pinnacle.health.nz 

Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Following comments during a Pinnacle Education Pod (PEP) talk on antibiotic use, Pinnacle MHN medical director Dr Jo Scott-Jones explored the concept of using probiotics for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). He came across a Dynamed article that referenced a systematic review of 223 studies which found that moderate quality evidence suggests a protective effect of probiotics in preventing AAD. A BPAC article also discusses the use of probiotics in a similar context. Dr Scott-Jones says the next time he visits his local pharmacist he will be inquiring about the supply and bioavailability of their probiotics, and if asked, will be "much more positive about the role of probiotics in the future."

Substance withdrawal management

The Substance Withdrawal Management document is a useful resource from Matua Raki, National Addiction Workforce Development. It provides an overview of the effects of substances, associated withdrawal symptoms and risk assessment, and general withdrawal management strategies that may be useful for practices wanting to undertake more of their own addictions management for straightforward cases. This guideline, and other useful resources, can be found on our addiction resources page


Mumps outbreaks spike

TV3's Newshub recently reported that low immunisation rates are being blamed for a massive spike in mumps cases in Auckland. There have been 300 cases in Auckland since January - more than the last 16 years combined, and in 80 per cent of the cases the patient wasn't fully vaccinated.

In August we noted similar rates in the Waikato region relative to population size - 15 probable or confirmed cases of mumps in the first six months of the year, when previously we had not seen any cases since 2012.  

The current number of probable or confirmed mumps cases notified in the Waikato DHB region since 1 January 2017 is 43, with about three more being notified and confirmed each week.

Low vaccination rates are fueling mumps outbreaks, and it is important to protect children from mumps by getting them immunised on time.

Waikato DHB are also urging health professionals to notify them of suspected cases of mumps too. This will ensure no delays in processing lab results and resulting advice given to the patient regarding isolation and potential quarantine measures.

Buccal swabs in viral mediums for PCR is the preferred test for mumps.

For resources and more information on mumps and immunisation, check out our previous article on mumps. 

11 drugs you should seriously consider deprescribing 

The Medscape article '11 drugs you should seriously consider deprescribing' discusses polypharmacy, which is taking five or more medications daily, and contains information on reducing the number of medications taken by patients to potentially reduce side effects and drug interactions. 

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