Akanksha Gupta

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Polio eradication programme reaches 'major milestone'

The US Centres for Disease Control says it believes a major milestone has been reached in the battle to eliminate polio.<p>Experts think a second of the three forms of poliovirus has been eliminated after mass vaccination campaigns.<p>Wild poliovirus type 3 has not been detected for more than two years, …

The NHS will let you access your health records from a phone

The NHS is one of Britain's greatest achievements and the envy of countless countries around the world, but sometimes it's found it hard to ditch the paperwork and embrace technology. In its ongoing bid to improve patient care (and save a few pennies) the NHS today outlined a number of new digital …

Obesity surgery saves NHS cash and improves quality of life, says study

Weight loss surgery helps people with a range of long-term health issues and can drastically reduce overall costs to the NHS, according to a study out on Monday.<p>The research found bariatric surgery – often involving gastric bands or stomach size reduction – not only achieves weight loss but can …

Five tips on how the NHS can engage patients and the public

Over the last few years, patient engagement and patient-centred care have become buzzwords across the health service. NHS organisations at all levels across the UK have developed opportunities for feedback and involvement, taskforces have been established, and patient representatives have been …

Care Quality Commission: 'Four in five NHS hospitals not safe'

Watchdog finds 'shocking' levels of safety at NHS hospitals and warns 'public being failed' in first annual report since Ofsted-style ratings<p>Four out of five hospitals inspected by regulators are not safe, according to new annual ratings of NHS trusts which watchdogs have branded “shocking”.<p>The …

Will ‘VIP’ protect us from the flu and HIV and malaria?

Efforts to develop broadly effective vaccines for HIV and malaria have had limited success. Now scientists are testing a totally different …

Public Health

How a human lung is kept alive and breathing for a transplant

Lung in a box. Very cool.<p>To extend the time an organ can last before it’s transplanted into a recipient, engineers have developed the Organ Care System — which is essentially a box pumping blood and oxygen to the lung.<p>What’s especially neat about the OCS is that they can actually be used to improve imperfect donor lungs by flushing it with antibiotics and nutrients. Like refurbishing a lung, sort of. Putting donor lungs through the OCS helps increase and improve the number of potential donor …

Brittany Maynard: My right to death with dignity at 29 - CNN.com

Brittany Maynard with her dog Charley in San Francisco. Maynard, a 29-year-old with terminal brain cancer, has died, advocacy group Compassion and Choices said in a Facebook post on Sunday. Click through to see more photos of Maynard's life.<p>HIDE CAPTION<p>Brittany Maynard's journey<p>Brittany Maynard's …

Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change

Vicki Hornbuckle used to play the piano at her church. But that was before her liver started failing.<p>"I had to give it up because I couldn't keep up," says Hornbuckle, 54, of Snellville, Georgia. "I didn't have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You're just too tired to deal with anything. …

Liver cancer and malignant melanoma rates rise sharply in England

The number of people diagnosed with liver cancer has risen sharply. An Office for National Statistics study shows the incidence of liver cancer in England increased by 70% for males and 60% for females between 2003 and 2012.<p>It is now the 18th most common cancer in England, the ONS said. The number …

Step to Parkinson's stem cell therapy

<b>Stem cells can be used to heal the damage in the brain caused by Parkinson's disease, according to scientists in Sweden.</b><p>They said their study on rats heralded a "huge breakthrough" towards developing effective treatments.<p>There is no cure for the disease, but medication and brain stimulation can …

Neuroscience

NHS wastes over £2bn a year on unnecessary or expensive treatments

The NHS is wasting about £2bn a year and risking patients’ health by giving them too many x-rays, drugs and treatments they do not need, Britain’s leading medical body warns today.<p>Patients are too readily tested, diagnosed and treated for certain conditions, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges …

NHS Five Year Forward View: biggest challenge is on funding

Simon Stevens has drawn up a blueprint for NHS renewal and sustainability – but his call for an extra £8bn goes far beyond the main parties’ pledges<p>Simon Stevens, the NHS’s new chief executive, has shaken up next year’s general election. The Five Year Forward View (5YFV) is a blueprint for NHS …

First NHS volunteers set to leave for Sierra Leone on Ebola mission

The first batch of NHS staff who volunteered to treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone are to leave the UK for west Africa after undergoing extensive training designed to ensure none return with the virus.<p>The 50 staff will depart nearly six weeks after they were shortlisted as suitable by UK-Med, the …

Brain damage could be repaired by creating new nerve cells

Researchers have regenerated damaged areas in the brains of mice by converting structural cells into functioning neurons<p>Scientists have raised hopes that brain damage caused by strokes, stab wounds and even bullets could one day be repaired by converting structural cells into functioning …

Patients wait too long for specialist care in the NHS

Ensuring a patient is seen quickly by a specialist could cost less than a long, drawn out treatment<p>The Swedish writer, Henning Mankell, creator of Wallander, who was diagnosed with cancer in January, wrote movingly about the agony of waiting for treatment. "This waiting can be hard, at times …

Ebola is scary, but antibiotic resistance should scare us more

Ebola is the stuff of nightmares. It causes profuse bleeding and organ failure and has a high mortality rate. But while the grim spectacle of dying patients in treatment centres in the affected African countries has stoked fears, cases in the west have been extremely rare in spite of a spate of …

Scientists create lab-grown spinal cords

Photograph: RIKEN CDB<p>276<p>http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/11/26/1417001524832/97ca2784-409e-4ef2-a284-5e7bd4a3cc0f-460x276.jpeg<p>460<p>Photograph: RIKEN …

Obesity Now Costs the World $2 Trillion a Year

The global cost of obesity has risen to $2 trillion annually, according to a new report, more than the combined costs of armed violence, war and …

Public Health

Growing number of doctors support assisted dying

A major poll of doctors finds one in three back assisted dying, and one in five would assist patients to end their lives<p>One in three doctors supports assisted dying and a growing number would help their own patients to die, a survey of 8,000 medics has found.<p>The poll by the Royal College of …

Why 361 needles are better than one

<b>One in 10 of us are said to have a fear of the hypodermic needle, a necessary but frequently uncomfortable fact of medical life.</b><p>While the needle is an efficient way to administer drugs and take samples for analysis, it still involves sticking a sharp bit of metal into the body.<p>This is problematic …

One in three hospitals do nothing when visitors complain

Damning report warns that one in three hospitals refuse to take on complaints from concerned visitors, who have been told to 'mind their own business' when they try to help the vulnerable<p>One in three hospitals has admitted to doing nothing when visitors complain about poor treatment of those in …

Has Stanford University found a cure for Alzheimer's disease?

A drug which boosts the brain's immune response could prevent or cure Alzheimer's disease<p>Alzheimer's could be prevented and even cured by boosting the brain's own immune response, new research suggests.<p>Researchers at Stanford University discovered that nerve cells die because cells which are …

Antibiotic resistance: sometimes knowledge is not enough

If antibiotic resistance continues to spread, then the drugs we take for granted now will become ineffective within the next few decades. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, wasn’t exaggerating when she said it could herald the end of modern medicine, because without antibiotics, …