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Daily Digest 20 October 2009

Today's roundup - including hopes of a futuristic new treatment for elderly patients and an airlift rescue for Britain's biggest patient.

By Ian Quinn

Today's roundup - including hopes of a futuristic new treatment for elderly patients and an airlift rescue for Britain's biggest patient.

GPs could soon have the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders if a story in today's Daily Mail is to be believed - admittedly a tall order.

It reports on a £50m research initiative by scientists at the University of Leeds who plan to develop ways to repair dodgy knees and hips with new parts that never wear out, slashing the need for GP visits among elderly patients.

Unlike stem cell studies, which effectively grow spare parts for humans, the programme is focusing on using the body's own regenerative systems, and researchers hope that it will eventually mean patients will be able to buy replacement human tissue off the shelf.

On a similar theme, The Sun reports on British medics who have developed a revolutionary ‘second skin' tissue treatment which it reckons will slash the risk of patients dying from MRSA.

But in the tradition of the patient being told he's going to lose both his legs but that the man in the bed next door wants to buy his slippers, it's a case of good news bad news when it comes to the superbug, as the newspaper is among those reporting on fears that MRSA cases could soar this winter due to the risk of swine flu cases blocking isolation beds.

The Telegraph is also among those reporting on calls by the MRSA Working Group and patient groups for the early discharge of patients from hospital.

Patient bed blocking goes to new extremes though in the most heavyweight health story of the day.

Many of today's papers report on the case of a 70 stone man from Suffolk, reported to be on a diet of 20,000 calories a day, akin to that of your average water buffalo and thought to be Britain's - if not the world's - most overweight patient, who NHS Suffolk has considered airlifting to hospital by helicopter for treatment.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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