Seeking signs of sepsis

Medical Matters September has been designated ‘Sepsis Awareness Month’ in a campaign to increase knowledge and recognition by the public of one of the most common yet poorly understand medical conditions. In fact, sepsis occurs more frequently than heart attacks affecting about 17,000 people each year in Ireland and is the leading cause of death…

Checking the changes

Medical Matters   Doctors are often asked to do blood tests or checks on people as they get older to make sure all is well and give reassurance to their patients. The old adage of “prevention is better than cure” is so true and indeed early detection and treatment can also make a big difference.…

Cannabis: Food for Thought

Medical Matters Last week saw the signing of new legislation that will allow for the operation of a Medical Cannabis Access Programme in Ireland.  The law allows a medical consultant to prescribe cannabis-based products for patients who suffer with any one of three specified conditions. These include spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, intractable nausea due…

A habit going up in smoke

Medical Matters   It’s now just over 50 years ago since it was first announced that smoking causes lung cancer, a moment which spelled the beginning of a decline in tobacco use. Despite all of the negative effects from smoking and restrictions on its use in public places, a considerable number of people still use…

Healing harmonies

Medical Matters   Music has been used for millenia to raise our spirits. The ancient Greeks recognised that physical and mental well-being could be enhanced by music. Indeed, music was used to improve performance in athletes at the ancient Olympic games. Pythagorus believed that it could soothe ailments of the spirit, body and soul and…

Can someone be ‘too old’ to drive?

Medical Matters   The issue of fitness to drive has garnered some media attention in recent weeks after Britain’s Prince Philip was involved in a road traffic accident that came close to inflicting serious injury. Undoubtedly, if he had youth on his side and wasn’t in his 98th year many eyebrows may not have been…

Act FAST to fight strokes

Medical Matters   Speed is of the essence when faced with a stroke. The latest figures for life expectancy in Ireland have once again improved with the average age of death for males now at 79.9 years and females 83.6 years. This puts life expectancy for males here at higher than the EU average and…