31 Aug 2020

Global caution on use of aerosol boxes in treating COVID-19 patients

Diagram of an aerosol box. Image: Peter Chan
Two Australian studies lead to a global caution on use of aerosol boxes in treating COVID patients – with one warning it increases exposure by up to 500%.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has urgently withdrawn approval for the use of aerosol boxes that have been used globally to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

Studies have found that these boxes potentially increase the healthcare worker’s risk of exposure to aerosolized and droplet particles that potentially contain SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by up to 500%.

Study investigates gout medication for improving outcomes after heart attacks

Professor Jamie Layland
by Jessica Mills, Peninsula Health

Research investigating the impact of common gout medication Colchicine, in patients with acute coronary syndrome, led by Peninsula Health and Monash University cardiologist Professor Jamie Layland, has been published in premier cardiology journal Circulation.

The COPS Trial (COlchicine in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes) is a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial to assess the impact of low-dose colchicine on long-term cardiovascular outcomes in patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes. This is the first Australian multi-centered clinical trial to be led by Peninsula Health.

Keeping heart lines clean

Professor David McGiffin, Professor Anton Peleg, Dr Yue Qu
The ventricular assist device (VAD), a mechanical pump that helps the heart move blood, can be a vital therapy for end-stage heart disease. However, infections on the ‘driveline’, the cable connecting the internal pump to the batteries and computer controlling the device carried outside the body, can cause serious complications.

Monash University microbiologists Dr Yue Qu and Professor Anton Peleg are part of a collaboration that has gained a grant from the Medtronic External Research Program to further research into driveline infection.

Congratulations to Prof Andrew Wei on his promotion!

See more about Professor Andrew Wei's research group
Congratulations to Andrew Wei on his promotion to Adjunct Professor! Professor Harshal Nandurkar, Director of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, writes:

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Andrew Wei has been promoted to Adjunct Professor at Monash University.

This is a much deserved recognition for his academic scholarship and clinical leadership in acute myeloid leukaemia and his mentorship of post doctoral scientists, advanced trainees in haematology and fellows. His work has delivered international recognition for Alfred Health and Monash University.

Urgent government funding is needed for effective, diverse and equitable medical research

Figure 1 from the article showing gendered trends in application and funding rates
Dr Jess Borger recently co-authored an article on the loss of women from the medical research sector, published in Women's Agenda. She, Dr Kate Lawlor and Dr Kylie Quinn discuss how the government needs to inject funding into research or we will lose Early-Mid Career Researchers (EMCRs), especially women, from the system. They canvass the following topics:
  • Government support of research has been waning
  • The impact of COVID-19 on research is inequitably distributed
  • Australia lags behind the global response
  • Women and EMCRs receive less funding support
  • How do we mitigate a loss of women from research?

Paul Zimmet on defeating COVID-19 - The first lesson is "Be humble"

Professor Paul Zimmet AO walks his talk:
Respect the disease; follow medical advice
Professor Paul Zimmet AO
2018 Senior Victorian Australian of The Year
Adapted from the Maccabi Life community announcement

Recently, we have witnessed the hostility of an unruly minority, demonstrating and defying the Prime Minister and Government’s State of Emergency restrictions. They have ignored personal distancing, wearing of masks, defied the rules on limited outdoor gatherings and activities - including sport and entertainment - and refused to follow other health and safety procedures put in place to protect us all.

Welcome to CCS communications interns Riya Kiran and Ramesh Vidyasagar!

L-R: Riya Kiran and Ramesh Vidyasagar, CCS comms interns
Welcome to our two new communications interns, Riya Kiran and Ramesh Vidyasagar! They will be working with Julia Veitch on respectively stories and videos of our Central Clinical researchers' work.

Second-year Monash student Riya Kiran has a strong passion for journalism and its substantive role in disseminating crucial information to the general public. Her curiosity for news writing developed in Year 10 when she completed her work experience at the Herald Sun, and since then has been actively pursuing writing opportunities to further this interest.
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