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UK nurses could be poached to plug US workforce, assessing the impact of mobiles on children's development, and skin implant could save sleep apnoea sufferers' lives

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 20 May.

A senior health official has warned the NHS could be ‘stuffed’ by UK-trained nurses leaving for the US, which is currently trying to address a shortfall of 100,000 nurses needed to implement President Obama’s healthcare reforms.

Health Education England’s chief executive, Professor Ian Cumming, warned that morale was at an all-time low amongst nursing staff and said: ‘If you’re offered a three-year fixed term contract on a similar salary with the opportunity to do an MA and accommodation provided – and you get to live in New York, San Francisco or Hawaii, or anywhere else you like – if you’re in your 20s and a newly qualified nurse then you might be interested.’

A Government-backed investigation into the impact of mobile technology on children’s mental development could form the basis for updated guidance, the BBC reports.

The study, led by Imperial College London, will follow 2,500 11 to 12 year olds from September, it will compare their cognitive skills and usage of mobile phones and other wireless devices to assess whether they have a detrimental effect.

Currently the NHS guidance says children under 16 should only use mobile phones for essential purposes, lead investigator, Dr Mireille Toledano told the BBC: ‘The advice to parents is based on the precautionary principle given in absence of available evidence […].’

‘Carrying out the study is important in order to provide the evidence base with which to inform policy and through which parents and their children can make informed life choices.’

And sleep apnoea patients will sleep more soundly with the news that a newly-developed implant technology can cut the risk of death by regulating their breathing through the night.

The Telegraph reports that patients with central sleep apnoea and a risk of heart failure have double the risk of dying, but the Remede® implant – which goes below the skin – has been effective at regulating heart function and breathing.

Professor William Abraham from the Ohio State University told the Telegraph: ‘The device stimulates the diaphragm via the phrenic nerve, causing the diaphragm to contract.

Adding: ‘Patients using the device tell us they haven’t slept so well in years.’

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