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Prescribing crackdown issued after spike in resitant infections, flu jab boosts survival in diabetics, and anxiety eased by LSD

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 7 March.

A sharp rise in the number of infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria has caused the chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, to reissue her call for cutting prescribing and improving hospital hygiene, according to The Telegraph.

Public Health England figures show there were 600 infections by carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) last year, a group who are able to deactivate carbapenem based antibiotics ‘of last resort’ used in treating vulnerable patients or resistant bugs. Dame Sally said: ‘Antibiotic resistance poses a real threat to our ability to treat diseases. Systems of monitoring for resistant bacteria are essential in safeguarding the effect of our antibiotics.’

The Daily Express reports that diabetic patients who are given a flu jab have a greatly improved survival rates compared with those who didn’t take up the free vaccine.

A study by researchers at Imperial College London showed death rates for patients with type 2 Diabetes who were given the seasonal flu vaccine were 28% lower than non-vaccinated groups. Simon O’Neill, director of health intelligence at Diabetes UK, said: ‘This study is further evidence of the importance of being vaccinated if you have diabetes because having the flu can be much more serious for people with the condition than it is for the rest of the population.’

And finally, The Independent reports the first controlled study on the effects of LSD for more than 40 years has demonstrated promising results in alleviating extreme anxiety in a small group of patients.

A pilot trial, published in the Journal of Nervous and Medical Disease, looked at a group of 12 male and female participants and found their anxiety improved when given high doses of the drug. Dr Peter Gasser, a psychiatrist based at a private practice in Solothurn, Switzerland said: ‘All of [the patients] said after 12 months of taking the drug that it was worth taking part in the trial and they would come again if asked.’

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