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GM pigs take step to being organ donors

GM pigs take step to being organ donors The most genetically modified animals in existence have been created to help end a shortage of organs for transplant, say US researchers. The scientists successfully rid 37 pigs of viruses hiding in their DNA, overcoming one of the big barriers to transplanting pig organs to people. The team at eGenesis admits preventing pig organs from being rejected by the human body remains a huge challenge But experts said it was a promising and exciting first step. The study, published in the journal…

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Surgery waiting numbers highest in decade, says NHS England

Surgery waiting numbers highest in decade, says NHS England The number of people waiting for routine surgery in England is at its highest level for a decade, figures from NHS England show. It is estimated more than four million people were waiting for operations in June – a figure last seen in 2007. The rise is partly because of growing demand and the NHS performing more procedures. But some doctors argue the higher numbers reflect growing strain on the health service. The NHS in England is failing to meet its…

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Widow shocked over husband's 'avoidable' death

Widow shocked over husband's 'avoidable' death Barbara Vavalidis had been planning a carefree retirement after decades of hard work and a busy family life. Instead she is mourning the loss of her partner of 45 years, the father of her two sons. Stefanos Vavalidis died in London in January 2016, aged 69. He had fallen ill while on holiday abroad in May 2015, and spent the last eight months of his life in hospital. Mrs Vavalidis is suing the private GP who was the family’s trusted doctor for more than…

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NHS to fund baby Oliver's US heart operation

NHS to fund baby Oliver's US heart operation The family of a baby boy who have been fundraising for him to have life-saving heart surgery in the US has been told the NHS will now fund his treatment. Doctors in Boston have agreed to operate on Oliver Cameron, who was born with a rare heart tumour, after his first birthday in January. Earlier, his parents warned time was running out to raise the £150,000 needed for his treatment. The NHS said it would pay because the procedure was not available…

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Medical school places to increase next year

Medical school places to increase next year An extra 500 medical school places in England have been confirmed for next year by the government. The Department of Health announced in October it planned to add up to 1,500 more places each year – a boost of 25% on current student doctor numbers – and says it will hit that target by 2020. It is part of a plan to use UK-trained doctors to ease NHS staffing pressures. But the British Medical Association says the plan will not address the immediate…

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UK rations hepatitis B vaccine amid global shortage

UK rations hepatitis B vaccine amid global shortage UK health officials are putting a temporary limit on who can have a hepatitis B vaccination because stocks are running low. The move is in response to the wider, global shortage of the jab caused by manufacturing issues. UK travellers are being told they may not be able to get it before they leave Britain for higher-risk countries. Babies and high-risk groups will be prioritised under the measures that are expected to continue into 2018. A spokeswoman for Public Health England said:…

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PKU funding battle: Family wins High Court challenge over drug

PKU funding battle: Family wins High Court challenge over drug The family of a seven-year-old boy whose condition could cause brain damage have won a High Court challenge over an NHS decision not to fund a life-changing drug. The child, “S”, has a rare condition that means too much protein could cause permanent brain injury. He also has autism, which affects his ability to comply with dietary restrictions. A judge quashed the funding decision and remitted it for reconsideration. The parents of the boy, who has phenylketonuria or PKU, want…

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Australian teenager in hospital after sea bug attack

Australian teenager in hospital after sea bug attack An Australian teenager is recovering in hospital after being bitten by multiple “mite-sized sea critters”. Sam Kanizay, 16, found his feet and ankles covered in blood after soaking his legs in Melbourne’s Brighton Beach on Saturday evening. Jarrod Kanizay said his son arrived home with what “looked like a war injury” and that his legs would not stop bleeding. The family are seeking expert opinion to identify the flesh-eating bugs. Marine biologists have said they were likely to have been sea fleas,…

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Children consuming online time 'like junk food'

Children consuming online time 'like junk food' Parents must intervene to stop their children overusing social media and consuming time online “like junk food”, the children’s commissioner has said. In an interview with the Observer, Anne Longfield criticised the ways social media giants use to draw children into spending more time. She said parents should be proactive in stopping their children from bingeing on the internet in the summer holidays. Ms Longfield has launched a campaign to help parents with the issue. She said: “It’s something that every parent will…

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Bed found for suicidal girl after judge's criticism

Bed found for suicidal girl after judge's criticism A bed has been found for a suicidal girl, a day after a judge criticised a lack of care provision available when she is freed from youth custody. Sir James Munby, said there would be “blood on our hands” if the 17-year-old did not receive adequate supervision. The girl, known as X, is due to be released in 10 days and was without a place at a secure unit. Mike Prentice, NHS North’s medical director, said the bed would available ahead of…

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