The impact of Colonialism on the Mental Health of Indigenous Australians

Between 2017-18, 9.9 billion dollars was spent in mental health and 4.3 million people received mental health services (Mental Health Services in Australia, Prevalence, Impact and Burden, 2019). The proportion of older Australians is increasing and so as the life expectancy, which means an overall increase in chronic illnesses. The prevalence for dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities is 2 -5 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal Australians (The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2015). There several factors that are said to contribute to this disturbing trend. For example, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islanders, tend to have double the rates of traumatic injury, higher rates of smoking and have a markedly higher incidence of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular and renal diseases

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Dexamethasone: the cheap, old and boring drug that’s a potential coronavirus treatment

Nial Wheate, University of Sydney First, we tried the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Then we tested the antiviral drug remdesivir. But new UK research gives the strongest indication yet we may have found a useful treatment for COVID-19. This time it’s an old anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, which has been described as cheap, old and boring. Preliminary […]

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Health Check: What is Delirium?

About 10% of Australians over the age of 70 have delirium at the time of admission to the hospital, and a further 8% will develop delirium while in hospital. The incidence of delirium is higher in certain hospital wings, with more than 30% of patients with delirium following hip or cardiac surgery (Delirium Clinical Care […]

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What is A Reconciliation Action Plan and why it is important to improving Nursing practice

       A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), is a document that outline a framework for how individual organisations will help with the national reconciliation effort. It has practical actions that will drive an organisation’s contribution to reconciliation both within, and in the community in which it operates. The RAP helps to advance the five areas of […]

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Health Check: why do we crave comfort food in winter?

Megan Lee, Southern Cross University and Jacqui Yoxall, Southern Cross University It’s winter and many of us find ourselves drawn to bowls of cheesy pasta, oozing puddings, warming soups, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. These and other comfort foods can make us feel good. But why? And why do we crave them in winter and […]

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Health check: What is Anemia?

Anemia can be described as a reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This is usually caused by a decrease in the levels of red blood cells. This causes a reduction in the ratio of the volume of RBC and a general decrease in hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a protein that is responsible for transporting […]

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Health Check: do joint and muscle aches get worse in the cold?

Andrew Lavender, Curtin University The winter chill is often associated with an increase in aches and pains for many older people, particularly in the joints, but also in the muscles. Some recent studies have shown an increase in general aches and pain in older men and women, and in particular a correlation between joint pain […]

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WHAT MAKES COCAINE SO ADDICTIVE AND DANGEROUS?

Cocaine is a psychoactive alkaloid of the coca plant; it was originally used for local surgeries as an anaesthetic but has now become a recreational drug. Unlike amphetamines, which resemble the structural formula of dopamine and noradrenaline, cocaine has a similar structure to other synthetic sedatives. Cocaine is well absorbed when administered via the mucous membranes, the GI tract and IV route. Peak concentration happens within five minutes after intravenous injection, while the peak levels from smoking are usually reached within 60 minutes. Some cocaine is excreted in urine unchanged, the majority is metabolised into benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, norcocaine and other metabolites. Although cocaine has a short half-life, the elimination half-life of the metabolites lasts longer. Studies also show that the half-life of cocaine may increase the longer it is used.

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An overview of the Clotting process

Hemostasis is a complex process that involves multiple interlinked steps. The aim of the cascade is to form a plug that closes the damaged site of the blood vessels, thereby controlling bleeding. It begins with injury in the lining of the blood vessels. The process can be split into four phases, this includes; constriction of the blood vessels, formation of the temporary platelet plug, activation of the coagulation cascade and formation of the fibrin plug or the final clot. There are numerous cells that are involved in the clotting cascade, most notably are the processes associated with the endothelium, platelets and hepatocytes (LaPelusa & Dave, 2020).

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An overview of the types and causes of Edema

Over accumulation of fluid in the interstitial space is generally bad and it affects the proper function of the tissue. This is because the formation of oedema increases the diffusion distance of oxygen and other nutrients. And for the same reason it reduces the diffusional removal of potentially toxic substances of cellular metabolism. This is especially important in the lungs where pulmonary oedema can greatly affect exchange of gasses. Also, certain anatomical structures limit tissue expansion in response to oedema. For example, the kidneys, brain, and the skeletal muscles (Scallan et al., 2010a). This means that small incremental changes in transcapillary fluid filtration will induce a large increase in interstitial fluid pressure.

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