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Woman gives birth to boy, the ‘life changing’ asthma drug and are smokers bad parents?

The birth of a baby in a London hospital is on the front page of every single newspaper in Britain today.

As for the less important health news, the Guardian and BBC News lead with the House of Commons health committee’s critique of NHS England’s plans to solve the A&E crisis. MPs have warned of an impending winter A&E crisis and claimed the plans put in place to tackle it are inadequate.

The Guardian picks out the line that there is an ‘extraordinary’ lack of consultants in Britain’s hospitals, with the report finding that more than 80% of A&E units do not have enough doctors on duty. As Pulse is also reporting, the committee found that NHS England’s plans ‘lack sufficient urgency’.

Children as young as six will now benefit from a ‘life changing’ asthma injection, the Telegraph reports.

Campaigners welcomed new NICE guidance which entitles thousands to omalizumab, marketed under the name Xolair, going forward. The NHS is obliged from today to make the drug available to all eligible patients, said the paper.

The asthma drug, administered via a monthly injection, is ‘life changing’ for the most severely affected asthma sufferers, said NICE, with the only alternative to date being oral corticosteroid therapy.

Dr Robert Niven, senior lecturer in respiratory medicine at the University Hospital of South Manchester, said: ‘Many patients unnecessarily accept the everyday limitations and sudden asthma attacks, which are a feature of severe allergic asthma.’

‘I would urge anyone who has been on numerous courses of oral steroids for treating their asthma to be seen by their doctor for an assessment.’

And over at the Daily Mail is the latest on smoking cessation… as the paper reports on a study that shows smoking may make you a ‘bad parent’.

The poll by drugs company Pfizer found that smokers feed their children less, buy them smaller birthday presents and even pilfer from their kids’ piggy banks to fund their habit.

A fifth of smokers polled on how they afford cigarettes in tough economic times said they cut back on Christmas and birthday presents, 9% had stolen from their child’s money box and 17% cut back on food and drink.

GP Dr Sarah Jarvis, who is involved in Pfizer’s quit smoking campaign, said: ‘Most smokers are fully aware of the financial burden that a smoking habit can have on their lives but the vast majority are not taking advantage of the free help available to them from their healthcare professional.’

‘Smoking is extremely addictive, and while 70% of people who still smoke say they want to quit, the average number of times a smoker has tried to quit before succeeding is four.’

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…


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