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Fast-track faxes, sperm zappers and tummy tuckers

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Monday 30 January

A Times investigation (paywall) has revealed that healthy organs, ready for transplant surgery, are going to waste due to ‘shortcomings in the transplant system’. According to the Times, three people are dying every day through who could have been saved if a replacement organ was readily available.

The investigation also found that specialist teams, tasked with maximising the organs available for transplant, are still not automatically notified when a potential donor reaches intensive care, in breach of headlines. A fast-track system used to alert hospitals to the availability of donor organs has also been relying on faxes, which ‘often go unnoticed’.

It’s probably fair to say that most men wouldn’t volunteer to have anything fired at their genitals, but what about the ‘sperm zapper’? The Telegraph reports that scientists are developing a new form of male contraception whereby high frequency sound waves are fired at the testicles.

So far, experiments have only been undertaken on rats and resulted in a temporary but substantial reduction in sperm count. Unfortunately, the Telegraph haven’t got round to putting this story online so, if you want to read more, you can find it on page 10 next to a picture of people on horses accompanied by a pack of bloodhounds which has nothing to do with anything else on the page .

Finally, why go to the gym when you can go to a plastic surgeon?  This seems to be the logic of an ever-increasing number of people as the number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery on a whole rose by 6% last year.

The Independent reports that a tummy tuck was the ‘fastest-growing procedure’ in 2011 as over 4,000 men alone had their excess fat sliced and sucked out of them, marking a 15% increase on 2010. Amid the chaos of the PIP implants scandal and new claims that a second type of breast implant could be linked to cancer, the cosmetic surgery has reassuringly ‘called for calm’.