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31 Mar 2017
SGH and public healthcare institutions find that platelet transfusions may not help dengue patients

A recent finding from the Adult Dengue Platelet Study (ADEPT) found that bleeding risk in dengue may not improve by platelet transfusion alone. It could change the way public hospitals handle dengue patients, and avoid blood shortage during the dengue season. SGH is one of the six public healthcare institutions to be part of the study. The report noted that SGH has a wide range of practices on when a transfusion should be done if there are no signs of active bleeding.

Straits Times, pg B6

31 Mar 2017
KKH & A*STAR, researchers uncover how Zika may be harming foetus’ brain

Scientists here have, for the first time, uncovered a possible way that the Zika virus damages an unborn baby’s brain. They found that the virus targets a type of cell called microglia, which directs nerve cells to properly create the brain structure. One of the study’s researchers, Assoc Prof Jerry Chan, Senior Consultant, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH shared that that the microglia cells are hit badly and that may be the reason why brain growth is dysregulated and abnormalities arise. Commenting on the effort, Prof Duane Gubler, Emeritus Professor from Duke-NUS’ Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme shared that such studies are very important to help in the understanding of the virus, which has been around for more than 70 years but has little known about how it develops.

Straits Times, pg B06

18 Mar 2017
Preventing dementia in stroke patients

Since strokes can cause dementia, NNI has started a rehabilitation scheme for patients to help slow or prevent the onset of the mental disease. The NNI Stroke Memory Rehabilitation Programme (SMaRT), which focuses on strengthening skills such as memory and planning abilities, will be rolled out over the next three years. Said to be the first such programme here, it is expected to benefit about 2,500 stroke patients each year once it is fully implemented. "Current rehabilitation programmes focus on physical and functional rehabilitation, but not cognition," said Assoc Prof Nagaendran Kandiah, Senior Consultant, Neurology, NNI. While cognitive decline may continue after a stroke, a significant number of patients will show stabilisation when provided with suitable intervention programme.

Straits Times, pg B05

17 Mar 2017
NCCS & GIS study set to change liver cancer treatment

The team, from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), found that the genetic characteristics of liver cancer tumours can vary widely, not only across different patients but also across different parts of a single tumour from one patient. This quashes the prevailing assumption that any given case of liver cancer is caused by a single type of genetic mutation. Their work suggests that treatment should be customised to each patient, a concept called precision medicine.

 Over 60 tumours samples were taken from nine patients at NCCS and SGH. Their findings were published last month in Nature Communications. Prof Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant, Division of Surgical Oncology, NCCS shared that their study sets the scientific basis for clinical trials of new treatments which he expects to take place within three to five years.

Straits Times, pg B04

 

10 Mar 2017
Home-grown blood cancer drug to start patient trials

The developers of home-grown blood cancer drug ETC-206 hope to start trials in August on patients who are in the late stages of the cancer. Clinical trials began last December and will test up to 34 healthy volunteers. ETC-206 was primarily developed by the Experimental Therapeutics Centre and the Drug Discovery and Development Unit, which are under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, as well as the Duke-NUS Medical School. Duke-NUS Associate Professor Ong Sin Tiong said the drug aims to inhibit a cancer-causing enzyme in cells to the point where cancer cells are killed and normal cells are left intact.

The Straits Times, pg B13

07 Mar 2017
Caring for patients beyond the hospital

Introduced in 2014 in the SingHealth cluster, Patient Navigators (PNs) are trained nurses who plan post-discharge care for patients with complex health and social issues to help them transition home smoothly. There are about 100 of them across the SingHealth cluster, working closely with community partners to provide seamless care.  The PNs have helped to reduce A&E attendances by 52 per cent within six months, for nearly 5,000 at-risk SGH patients enrolled between April 2015 to June 2016.

The Straits Times, pg B15
18 Jan 2017
Singapore Health Quality Service Awards honours 3,585 who have made great impact on patients' lives

The seventh Singapore Health Quality Service Awards was held today. Minister of State for Health, Mr Chee Hong Tat presented the awards to a record number of 3,585 healthcare professionals from 26 public and private healthcare institutions, and agencies from the Intermediate and Long-Term Care sector. 

The Straits Times, pg B6

Lianhe Zaobao, pg 7

15 Jan 2017
SingHealth launches Esther Network Singapore for person-centred care

Esther Network Singapore was launched by SingHealth to deliver person-centred care in close partnership with community partners.  It has trained 60 Esther Coaches and plans to train 40 more this year, to drive person-centred improvement work.

Three Esther Coaches spoke about the projects they are working on. Dr Jeffrey Tuan, Senior Consultant, Division of Radiation Oncology, NCCS, is working on a project to make outpatient radiation treatment more accessible to patients with social and financial issues. Ms Eunice Gwendolene Chua, Occupational Therapist, SGH, and her team plan to train wheelchair-bound patients and their caregivers to navigate the public transport system safely and confidently. Ms Seng Gek Siang, Senior Staff Nurse (Patient Navigator), Department of Emergency Medicine, SGH is working with case managers from NTUC Health Cluster Support to test out the handover interventions for vulnerable patients discharged from SGH. 

Lianhe Zaobao, pg 7

12 Jan 2017
Paramedics get emergency care training boost with SingHealth and SCDF tie-up

SingHealth and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance pre-hospital emergency care and training for paramedics in Singapore. Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, witnessed the signing ceremony between SingHealth and SCDF. Under the MOU, more than 250 SCDF paramedics will undergo attachments at the emergency departments of SGH and KKH to strengthen their clinical skills and competencies, and a first-ever national paramedic educator training programme will also be jointly developed.

 

Lianhe Zaobao, pg 18

23 Nov 2016
New multinational study led by NHCS reveals titin gene mutations affect heart function in healthy individuals

A new transnational study found that around one per cent of healthy people around the world carry gene mutations in a protein called titin that can potentially cause heart failure in their bodies. The study is led by NHCS in collaboration with Duke-NUS, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association. The next step of the study is to find out the specific genetic factors or environmental triggers, such as alcohol or viral infection that may put certain people with titin mutations at risk of heart failure. Assoc Prof Sebastian Schäfer, Senior Research Fellow, NHCS, and Prof Stuart Cook, Tanoto Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC were interviewed for the story. The study is funded by Tanoto Foundation, NMRC and SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine. The research paper was published in leading medical journal, Nature Genetics.

ZB, p4

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