Young man suffered heart failure after having four cans of energy drink every day for two years


21-year old university student developed heart failure after “excessive” consumption of energy drinks, according to a new article in a leading medical journal.

The man drank four 500ml energy drinks a day for two years before he needed hospital treatment for heart failure, according to a new BMJ Case Report.

The university student required intensive care treatment and was so ill that medics were considering whether he needed an organ transplant.

He sought care after suffering for four months with shortness of breath and weight loss.

Blood tests, scans, and ECG readings revealed that he had both heart and kidney failure – with the kidney failure linked to a long standing and previously undiagnosed condition.

“We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man,” the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, wrote.

They said that the man had no medical history other than excessive intake of energy drinks – highlighted that each can the man was drinking contains 160mg of caffeine.

The doctors treating him considered a number of diagnoses, but concluded: “Energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity was felt to be the most likely cause.”

The authors said that in the three months prior to his hospital admission he was unable to continue his university studies due to his lethargy and feelings of ill health.

He spent 58 days in hospital, including a stint on the intensive care unit, which he described as “traumatising”.

“This case report adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks,” they wrote.

After nine months his heart function has appeared to have returned with “mildly impaired function”, the added.

The patient, who has not been named, added his own thoughts to the article, and called for more warning labels on the drinks.

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Lawn bowls for the young and young at heart


Date & time

Fri 16 Apr 2021
9:30am to 11:00am

Age

Seniors and children 12 years and over

Cost

Free

Bookings essential. Come and learn to play Lawn Bowls, one of the few sports where grandparents and young people can play together.

This is a GOLD’n’Kids event suitable for seniors and children 12 years and over.

Bookings

Bookings essential. To book phone David on 0407 894 727.

Requirements

Flat soled shoes, thongs and bare feet are acceptable.

Meeting point

Meet at the bowls club.

Venue

Graceville Bowls Club, 16 Wylie Street, Graceville

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The best gadgets to help manage your heart health


The Apple Watch has finally been approved to collect ECG readings in Australia, but in the years since that feature debuted internationally the market has filled with devices ready and waiting to give you information about your heart.

Unlike some other health metrics collected by gadgets like smartwatches and scales, which are more there for entertainment and general information purposes, a lot of the data collected on your heart has the potential to be diagnostically relevant. Amanda Buttery, manager of clinical evidence for the Heart Foundation, welcomes these innovations.

The Apple Watch’s heart monitoring function will soon be switched on in Australia.

The Apple Watch’s heart monitoring function will soon be switched on in Australia.

“The development of smartwatch ECG technology is promising, particularly because atrial fibrillation is known to cause a third of all strokes in Australia,” she said. Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia in which your heart beats irregularly.

“However, findings from such technology should be interpreted and discussed by a doctor in the context of a person’s overall health.”

Most people who buy smartwatches are under the age of 40, and yet the people who would derive the most benefit from the health features are much more mature than that. The Apple Watch is ideal for iPhone users over the age of 60, who are far too young to need any kind of medical alert necklace, but still want some way to monitor their health and get help if needed.

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In addition to the ECG function, which can detect cardiac abnormalities and will be activated in Australia in the coming weeks, the Apple Watch Series 4 and later features fall detection which can automatically call for help. The watch can also send alerts when your cardio fitness drops to a concerning level.

If you want a smartwatch that’s big on health information, but looks more like a traditional watch, the Withings Scanwatch was the first in Australia to have its ECG monitoring feature approved by the TGA. It also does blood oxygen monitoring (like the Apple Watch), but its face is primarily just a very nice analogue watch, with a black circle up the top that can display information when you want it to. All the measurements are synced to the Health Mate app, and can be sent to others like Google Fit or Apple Health, so you can look to see how you’re trending and bring up any concerns with your doctor. Scanwatch doesn’t have fall detection, however, which will be a dealbreaker for many.

But heart health information doesn’t have to come from a wrist-mounted gadget you wear all the time. Withings’ Body Cardio scale will take your heart rate whenever you step on it, as well as your weight and body composition information, and chart it over time. You need to be careful when tying weight to overall health though. While weight can be a factor in heart issues, the weight could just be another symptom of the larger problem, or completely unrelated. Overweight people find it difficult enough to get proper health advice from many doctors, even without getting their heart health advice from a judgy scale.

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World’s wealthiest ‘at heart of climate problem’


The world’s wealthy must radically change their lifestyles to tackle climate change, a report says.

It says the world’s wealthiest 1% produce double the combined carbon emissions of the poorest 50%, according to the UN.

The wealthiest 5% alone – the so-called “polluter elite” – contributed 37% of emissions growth between 1990 and 2015.

The authors want to deter SUV drivers and frequent fliers – and persuade the wealthy to insulate their homes well.

The authors urge the UK government to reverse its decision to scrap air passenger duty on UK return flights.

And they want ministers to re-instate the Green Homes Grant scheme they also scrapped recently.

The report comes from the UK-based Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Behaviour Change.

It’s a panel of 31 individuals who study people’s behaviour relating to the environment. They were tasked to find the most effective way of scaling up action to tackle carbon emissions.

Their critics say the best way to cut emissions faster is through technological improvements – not through measures that would prove unpopular.

But the lead author of the report, Prof Peter Newell, from Sussex University, told BBC News: “We are totally in favour of technology improvements and more efficient products – but it’s clear that more drastic action is needed because emissions keep going up.

“We have got to cut over-consumption and the best place to start is over-consumption among the polluting elites who contribute by far more than their share of carbon emissions.

“These are people who fly most, drive the biggest cars most and live in the biggest homes which they can easily afford to heat, so they tend not to worry if they’re well insulated or not.

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Council shows its support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart


Council is
furthering its commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
community with a letter to the Prime Minister of Australia and the
Australian Parliament expressing its support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The
request to support the statement came from the City’s Kilangitj Aboriginal
Advisory Committee, given the alignment with the sentiment of the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

The
Uluru Statement from the Heart was developed in 2017 by Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people from around the country and is a call from Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples asking for constitutional change and
structural reform in their relationship with Australia.

The
statement calls for the enshrining of a First Nations voice in the Australian
Constitution and establishing the Makarrata Commission to supervise a process
of agreement-making with Australian governments. The commission would also oversee a
process of truth-telling about Australia’s history and colonisation.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher
said Council’s support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart is an important
step in Council’s commitment to reconciliation.

This decision further strengthens our
commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as we
progress the actions outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan.

Council’s
decision on Tuesday night to write this public letter of support follows on
from National Close the Gap Day on 18 March and the Closing the Gap 2020 Report
released last year. 

The
report continues to highlight significant discrepancies between white
Australians and Aboriginal people, particularly in the areas of life
expectancy, childhood mortality, school attainment and employment.

Councillor Jim Mason, Chair, Aboriginal
Affairs portfolio thanked the Kilangitj Aboriginal Advisory Committee for its
ongoing work in supporting reconciliation.

Supporting the Uluru Statement from the
Heart is the right thing to do, as a region and nation, as we continue to
strive towards reconciliation.

We stand with our First Nations People. We’ve heard them and we will
continue to work together, and walk together towards treaty, reconciliation and
a strong Aboriginal voice.

I’d like to thank the Kilangitj
Aboriginal Advisory Committee members for putting this request to Council, and
for their ongoing work in supporting reconciliation and in developing a better
and deeper understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In
2020 the City developed its first Reconciliation Action Plan, which outlines
the City’s commitment to action in order to better support reconciliation
within the organisation and with the community.

Further
support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community has included
the naming of key City facilities using Wadawurrung language, the commissioning
of Aboriginal artwork, establishing an Aboriginal advisory committee and
holding community-wide events to acknowledge national days and weeks of
significance.

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Council shows its support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart
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George Segal from The Goldbergs and Just Shoot Me has died at 87 following heart surgery


US comedic actor George Segal, known for his starring roles in sitcoms like Just Shoot Me and The Goldbergs, has died at the age of 87.

The news was confirmed by the star’s wife today, who revealed he died due to complications from heart surgery.

“The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery,” Sonia Segal shared in a statement via Deadline.

Segal has starred as Albert “Pop” Solomon on The Goldbergs for the past eight years, and was also known for his role as magazine publisher Jack Gallo on Just Shoot Me!, a role which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

His movie credits include Fun with Dick and Jane, Look Who’s Talking, and A Touch of Class, as well as 1966 film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton,for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Along with his Academy Award nomination, Segal was a five-time Golden Globe nominee and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Born on February 13, 1934, in Great Neck, New York, Segal got his start on the small screen after a short stint in the military. He first appeared on shows including Naked City, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Arrest and Trial.

Before his acting career took off, Segal was also an accomplished jazz musician and played the banjo on three albums.

He was married three times, firstly in 1956, to film editor Marion Segal Freed for 26 years until their divorce in 1983. The couple had two daughters together, Polly and Elizabeth Segal.

He then married Linda Rogoff, a former manager of R&B group The Pointer Sisters. They were together for 13 years until her death in 1996.

Later that year, he married his former boarding school classmate Sonia Schultz Greenbaum, who he was with up until his death.

The last episode of the 1980s family comedy The Goldbergs filmed before his death is set to air in the US on April 7. The series is expected to pay tribute to Segal during the episode.

Adam F. Goldberg, the show’s creator, shared his condolences on Twitter, calling him a “legend” of the industry and sharing a collage of photos from their time working together.

Melissa Joan Hart, who was a director on The Goldbergs, shared a photo to honour the “great man”, with a number of co-stars and friends adding to the flood of tributes.

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Heart scare for Swayn


MPNFL

PINES coach Paddy Swayn is on the mend after a medical scare.

Swayn was taken to Frankston Hospital for emergency pacemaker surgery after suffering from a “cardiac episode at home”, Peninsula Health says.

Swayn said “on behalf of my family and I, we would like to thank the Ambulance Victoria staff, and all the nurses and doctors at Peninsula Health for their professionalism and level of care.”

“Everyone ensured I was safe and quickly on that road to recovery, all the while keeping my wife informed during some difficult hours. I feel extremely fortunate to live in a state that has such a great level of medical knowledge, resources and care for its citizens,” the 2018 MPNFL premiership coach said.

Pines’ season is due to kick off against Frankston YCW under lights at Frankston Park on 9 April.

First published in the Frankston Times – 23 March 2021

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Heart attack survivor makes CPR course plea after ‘miracle’ escape


There’s only one word 58-year-old heart attack survivor John Alam’s rescuers are using to describe him: lucky.

The man from Bangor in Sydney’s south was cycling through nearby Menai on February 7 when he suffered a massive heart attack.

The first bit of luck came when an off-duty firefighter saw Mr Alam’s legs sticking out of bushland and rushed to start CPR.

Cyclist and heart attack survivor John Alam (centre) meets with the emergency services personnel who helped save his life. (Fire and Rescue NSW)

The next person on the scene was another Fire and Rescue NSW officer, who helped keep the cyclist alive until they could wave down, incredibly, a passing ambulance.

Meanwhile, off-duty police officer Constable Tenille Jago arrived for good measure to lend yet another expertly qualified helping hand.

The paramedics used the defibrillator to revive Mr Alam and rushed him to Sutherland Hospital, where he made a full recovery after a quadruple bypass.

“(I) just saw him slumped over in the garden with his legs sticking out of the bushes,” said Chris Smith, one of the off-duty firefighters.

” … Everything aligned for him that day and he’s a pretty lucky guy.”

According to the paramedics, CPR and early defibrillation can make all the difference.

“Somebody saw him. The fact he was on the ground, below a barrier is just amazing,” Alex Walmsley said.

“It truly is a Sunday miracle.”

The cyclist’s wife, Mary, said she would be eternally grateful to her husband’s rescuers while Mr Alam had a very personal message for every Australian.

“We’ve just all gotta learn CPR,” he said.

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RAH doctors cleared of wrongdoing over ‘unauthorised’ heart procedure on man who died after surgery


Cardiologists at South Australia’s biggest hospital have been cleared of wrongdoing after they performed an ‘unauthorised’ heart procedure on an elderly patient who died after surgery.

Documents obtained by the ABC show Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) doctors performed a heart valve repair procedure called MitraClip on four patients in 2015.

One of those patients, a 77-year-old man with chronic kidney disease, developed severe kidney failure “post procedure” and died a few days later.

It is unknown whether the procedure contributed to the man’s death.

The next month, medical services director Peter Satterthwaite reviewed his death as part of a regular mortality committee convened by the hospital.

“I was surprised to see this procedure being provided at the Royal Adelaide Hospital,” Dr Satterthwaite said in an email to cardiologists.

“The prevailing view is that this is not a procedure we should be providing in public hospitals.”

‘Critical breach of clinical governance’ warning

Documents show there was a plan in 2013 for a limited MitraClip program to occur at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, but doctors required approval from the hospital, including from its ethics committee before they could go ahead with the operation.

Just one month after the 77-year-old’s death in 2015, top officials warned a “critical breach of clinical governance” had occurred.

SA Health’s chief executive at the time, David Swan, was among several senior executives informed about legal advice being sought from the Crown Solicitor’s Office.

Four MitraClip procedures were performed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.(

ABC News: Dean Faulkner

)

Two years later, SA Health commissioned an investigation into the use of MitraClip, and found there was “no reasonable basis” for allegations of misconduct against the cardiologists involved.

In that same year, a coronial investigation into the man’s death was closed without proceeding to a public inquest.

Under South Australian law, the ABC is unable to access the coroner’s report or findings.

Ongoing investigation

SA Health blocked the release of dozens of documents about the incident that the ABC sought under Freedom of Information, telling the state’s Ombudsman last year that they would infringe an ongoing investigation.

“[The] information contained within the documents is sensitive of nature and involved extensive in-house investigations not only of the topic matter, but also of staff involved.”

SA Health has refused to answer the ABC’s questions about the nature of the investigation.

Committee rejected device over ‘safety, effectiveness’ months after man’s death

MitraClip is a medical device used to repair mitral heart valves in patients too sick for open heart surgery.

It was first approved for use in Australia by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration more than a decade ago.

While the device is used in hospitals across Australia, its manufacturer Abbott Vascular confirmed it is currently not approved for use in South Australia’s public hospitals.

A graphic representation of the MitraClip device repairing a mitral valve.
The MitraClip device is used to repair leaking mitral valves in cardiology patients.(

Abbott Vascular

)

In a decision published in December 2015, eight months after the elderly patient’s death, the medical committee that considers the use of new medical devices rejected the use of MitraClip in South Australia’s public hospitals.

The decision was made due to concerns about the lack of high-quality evidence about its “effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness”.

The document stated it was also unclear what patients would benefit from the procedure.

An Abbott Vascular spokesperson told the ABC that “with more than 100,000 patients treated in over 65 countries, the MitraClip therapy has shown improved clinical outcomes and quality of life through a minimally-invasive option”.

Meeting minutes changed after warning over liability for ‘unauthorised’ procedures

Emails released under Freedom of Information show that on April 13, 2015 — six days before the elderly man died — doctors and bureaucrats from the Central Adelaide Local Health Network attended a regular cardiology meeting at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Whether or not the use of MitraClip was discussed at that meeting would be the subject of a volley of internal communication over the following month.

Dr Christopher Zeitz wrote to fellow members of the Cardiology Stream committee on May 29: “You will note from the minutes circulated today that [the cardiologist] is advising that he informed the last meeting of his intent to push ahead with a clinical program with MitraClip.”

Several committee members responded that they did not recall any discussion about MitraClip at the meeting.

In another email the following day, seen by the ABC, Dr Zeitz warned that liability for the unapproved procedures could shift from the doctors to the committee if the written meeting minutes continued to mention MitraClip.

“I know that the clinicians involved have been advised that, because these procedures occurred without authorisation from the organisation, that there is no indemnity from the clinicians,” Dr Zeitz wrote.

“If the minutes as currently recorded stand, the liability will shift from the clinician to the committee.”

The written record was revised to confirm that the procedure was not discussed.

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South Australian Labor MP Tony Piccolo hospitalised after suffering heart attack during run



A South Australian Labor MP is recovering in hospital following a heart attack during a group run on the weekend.

Member for Light Tony Piccolo shared the news on his Facebook page on Sunday, saying he had a “pretty poor result at Gawler Parkrun” on Saturday morning.

He said he crossed the finish line in 28 minutes and 36 seconds. “Worst result in 12 months,” he wrote alongside a photo of him in a hospital bed.

Mr Piccolo, who is 61, was rushed to hospital following the event.

“I wasn’t feeling that well, which was unusual for me because I tend to do the five kilometres quite well, and I had to stop a few times,” he told the ABC on Sunday.

“I was just short of breath and [had] just tightness of the chest.

“I finished the run, the five kilometres, but then I was just feeling worse, so I rang my family doctor and they recommended I go to the local hospital.

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“They did a couple of tests and told me I had a heart attack, so they quickly got an ambulance and I was ferried very quickly to the Lyell McEwin Hospital where I had a stent put in very quickly.”

He said he was “very surprised” to hear the diagnosis because, although he had felt unwell, he did not expect it to be so serious.

Mr Piccolo said he was “generally reasonably fit” and ran regularly, so he was recovering “very quickly” and would likely leave hospital on Monday.

He said he was thankful for the “wonderful” doctors and nurses who treated him.

“I’d very much like to thank both the nurses and doctors at both the Gawler Health Service and also the Lyell McEwin,” he said.

“They were very efficient, very professional, but also very caring. I can’t fault the care I got from the people involved.”

SA Labor leader Peter Malinauskas sent his best wishes to the MP, posting on social media that he hoped Mr Piccolo had “a very speedy recovery”.

“Never seen a harder working, more committed Member of Parliament,” Mr Malinauskas said.

Despite the heart attack, Mr Piccolo’s recorded run time was just three and a half minutes below his average.

“My best time is 24 minutes and 23 seconds,” he said.

“I usually do around 25 minutes or just under and I did 28 minutes and 36 seconds, which is probably the worst result in about 12 months.

“Looking back, perhaps next time I might stop sooner.”

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