The lessons learned in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the two countries on the impact of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus are being shared with countries in the Northern Hemisphere to help them prepare for their upcoming flu season.
The three-month study, conducted at the height of the pandemic between June and August, reveals that 722 patients were admitted to ICUs and that at the peak of the epidemic up to 20 per cent of ICU beds were occupied by patients with swine flu infection.
The study was co-coordinated by the Monash University-based Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC). The study involved all ICUs in Australia and New Zealand with the affected patients being treated in 109 of these units. The study was conducted utilising the resources of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group (ANZICS CTG).
Dr Ian Seppelt, a specialist in Intensive Care Medicine and based at Sydney's Nepean Hospital, said the impact of the virus on ICUs across Australia and New Zealand was dramatic.
"Intensive Care Units specialise in the management of patients with life-threatening illness and the surge of patients with H1N1 placed substantial strain on staff and resources. The most severely affected patients had pneumonia affecting both lungs that was caused by the virus. The number of patients admitted to ICUs with this complication represented a 600 per cent increase compared to previous years," Dr Seppelt said.
Clinical Associate Professor Steve Webb, from the Intensive Care Unit at Royal Perth Hospital, was another key researcher on the project and said the information, which surfaced from the study will benefit other countries about to head into their winter flu season.
"Unlike previous 'seasonal' influenza strains, which impact heavily on elderly people and people with severe coexisting medical conditions, the H1N1 virus affected a different profile. Critical illness due to swine flu was most common in infants and middle aged people; with pregnant patients, the overweight, and indigenous patients particularly affected. Overall, about one-third of patients admitted to an ICU because of swine flu had no underlying health problems. " Associate Professor Webb said.
Professor Rinaldo Bellomo, Foundation Chair of the ANZICS CTG and Director of Intensive Care Research at Austin Health, Melbourne said the results of the study would be shared with health authorities in other countries to assist them better prepare for their flu season.
"We have come through our flu season and our assessment of the impact of the H1N1 strain will assist them prepare for any outbreak. The H1N1 virus has taken hold in many countries already, but many countries in the Northern Hemisphere will benefit from the lessons we have learned," Professor Rinaldo Bellomo said.
"Fortunately a vaccine is now available to prevent the complications of swine flu and it is important that all members of the community and especially those with risk factors, consider being vaccinated," he said.
For a copy of the report or to arrange an interview with the researchers contact Samantha Blair, Media & Communications, Monash University + 61 3 9903 4841 or 0439 013 951.
Samantha Blair | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy