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In Brief

Newsbites

Blood clot prevention standard of care available

A new national standard of care has been released that aims to reduce avoidable death or disability caused by hospital- acquired VTE by improved identification of patients at risk, assessment of VTE and bleeding risk, and appropriate use of VTE prevention methods. Developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Clinical Care Standard provides information from international guidelines and other sources to support clinical decision-making and development of evidence-based policies and procedures. An estimated 5000 people die each year as a result of hospital-acquired VTE and up to 60% of all VTE cases in Australia occur within 90 days of hospitalisation, reports the Commission. The report highlights the role of GPs in preventing hospital-acquired VTE before a patient’s hospitalisation and in ongoing care after discharge. Access the report and accompanying fact sheets for clinicians and consumers at www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/clinical-care-standards/venous-thromboembolism-prevention-clinical-care-standard.

Impact of digestive-tract cancers in Australia

Every day in Australia 79 people will be diagnosed with, and 38 people will die from, digestive-tract cancers, according to the first national report of comprehensive data specific to these cancer types. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Colorectal and Other Digestive-Tract Cancers, shows that these cancers account for 21% of all cancers diagnosed and almost 28% of cancer deaths in Australia. Males have a higher incidence than females for all types of digestive-tract cancer except for cancer of the gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts (equal rates) and anal cancer (higher in females). The report also highlights the large proportion of the digestive-tract cancer burden being potentially preventable due to modifiable risk factors, with 54% of oesophageal cancer burden attributed to tobacco use and 40% of liver cancer burden attributable to alcohol use. Read the report at: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/colorectal-other-digestive-tract-cancers/contents/table-of-contents.