Category Archives: Health

Drowning deaths in Australia up 71% over summer holiday period


A recent report from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia shows a dramatic escalation in the number of drowning deaths this summer.

In the period from the 24th of December to the 12th of January, 41 people drowned – a 71% increase on the same period 12 months ago.

Royal Life Saving’s CEO Rob Bradley said thousands of people have been affected by these 41 drowning deaths, which he described as deeply troubling.

Surf lifesaving flag at Kingston Beach

Surf lifesaving flag at Kingston Beach

“Frankly, we are horrified and we remind people to make sure you are swimming at a recognised swimming location.  Do not over-estimate your ability,” he said.

Mr Bradley said the drownings happened at many different water locations.

“A common misconception is that most drownings happen at the beach. Inland waterways are very treacherous. Rivers and lakes may appear on the surface to be calm and tranquil but can be very dangerous,” Mr Bradley said.

In Tasmania, 10 surf life saving clubs provide volunteer patrol services on weekends from December to March.

Kingston beach, in the south of the state, is patrolled during these months on Sundays and public holidays.

Kingston beach patrol captain Phil Leishman said swimming between the flags is the safest way to go, but that not everyone heeds that message.

“The parents will bring the younger kids in here, but the teenagers will always go outside because it’s not cool, they don’t think it’s cool to swim between the flags,” he said.

Watch chair and surf lifesavers on Kingston Beach

Surf life savers on Kingston Beach

Kingston Beach with flags

Kingston Beach on a public holiday

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Filed under Health, National News, State and Local

New mothers at risk on road

(100 word version)

Sleep deprived new mothers have been compared to drink drivers when it comes to their ability to control a motor vehicle.

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) studied 24 new mothers to determine the effect of post-partum fatigue on their driving.

Dr Kerry Armstrong, from QUT, said new mothers are at risk behind the wheel from sleep deprivation.

“Research has shown that if someone’s awake for 17 hours, it can be similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 per cent,” she said.

“If they’ve been awake for 24 hours, it’s similar to being two times over the limit,” Dr Armstrong said.

Dr Armstrong said the research showed that where previous research only showed fatigue effects up to six weeks post-partum, their research showed mothers could be effected for 12 weeks, and even up to years.

Word count: 137

Based on this story  http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/1005527/new-mums-drive-in-a-haze-study

Study exercise was to find an online news story, and ‘role play’ the interview with a friend or family member, having them play the role of the interviewee, and me as the interviewer. Therefore all comments in this post are not those of Dr Kerry Armstrong – they have been made up for the purposes of this study task.

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Filed under Health, National News

New mothers at risk on road

(Week 4 tutorial task)

300 word version

Sleep deprived new mothers have been compared to drink drivers when it comes to their ability to control a motor vehicle.

Researchers from Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety studied 24 new mothers from southeast Queensland to determine the effect of post-partum fatigue on their driving.

Dr Kerry Armstrong, from QUT, said new mothers are at risk behind the wheel from sleep deprivation.

“Previous research has shown that that post-partum fatigue should disappear after six weeks, but we’ve found that the new mothers still felt exhausted 12weeks after giving birth”, Dr Armstrong said.

“And of course all parents will tell you that they can have interrupted sleep patterns for a lot longer than that – up to years,” she said.

“To put it in context, research has shown that if someone’s awake for 17 hours, it can be similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 per cent”, Dr Armstrong said.

“Then, if they’ve been awake for 24 hours, it’s similar to being two times over the limit, or 0.1 percent”, Dr Armstrong said.

Dr Armstrong said the study also showed new mothers often showed a decreased awareness of their body’s need for rest, and the safety implications of fatigue.

“New mums tend to push through the tiredness to get things done that need to be done: looking after the baby, washing, cooking and so on,” Dr Armstrong said.

“It’s clear that new mums need to be more aware of the risks of post-partum fatigue,” she said.

Dr Armstrong said the research would be used to help develop ways to help new mums with this situation and raise awareness of post-partum fatigue and the safety implications, including brochures and other intervention methods.

Word count: 289

Based on this story  http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/1005527/new-mums-drive-in-a-haze-study

Study exercise was to find an online news story, and ‘role play’ the interview with a friend or family member, having them play the role of the interviewee, and me as the interviewer. Therefore all comments in this post are not those of Dr Kerry Armstrong – they have been made up for the purposes of this study task.

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Filed under Health, National News

Avoid ankle sprains

Here’s a helpful article. Well, for me at least, with my constant ankle-injuring.

This Runner’s World article gives instruction on an exercise to do to strengthen ankles to hopefully avoid sprains!

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Paige dances into spotlight after open-heart surgery

An inspirational story about a girl who had open heart surgery a year ago to fix a hole in her heart. She is now about to perform in her local dance studio’s graduation concert.

Story on the Advocate website here.

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