Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lack of guidelines on kidney stone attacks could put travel workers and passengers at risk

12.03.2007
Inadequate guidelines about the dangers of kidney stones could be putting travellers’ lives – and their medical insurance – at risk, according to the March issue of the urology journal BJU International.

Urologists have called for UK transport companies to put stringent staff guidelines in place to tackle the condition, which can cause sudden, severe and debilitating pain.

And they’re urging family doctors to ensure that kidney stone sufferers who are planning to travel overseas are aware of the risks and that they inform their insurance company to avoid costly unpaid medical bills.

Patients should also inform their employers if a sudden kidney stone attack could put them, or others, at risk.

“Kidney stones affect about one in ten people and the pain can be notoriously severe, with up to 40 per cent of attacks needing hospital admission” says urologist Nigel Borley, a specialist registrar from St George’s Hospital, London.

“The pain is so disabling, that even with intravenous morphine, pain relief only averages 36 per cent.”

“If transport workers, such as pilots and train drivers, are suddenly incapacitated by kidney stone pain it can pose a real safety risk to them and their passengers” adds co-author Commodore David Rainsford, a consultant physician to the UK Civil Aviation Authority and consultant in renal disease to the Royal Air Force.

The authors contacted major UK supervising and professional bodies and asked them if they issued any formal or informal guidelines for transport staff who could be affected by kidney stone attacks.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority was the only civilian body they talked to that had formalised guidelines for managing kidney stones. Although the guidelines only covered pilots, most of the major airlines surveyed also adopted the guidelines for cabin crew.

Very strict guidelines are also in place for the Royal Air Force, with pilots being immediately grounded and referred for investigation if they suffer from renal colic or are found to have kidney stones.

Royal Navy and British Army personnel are also screened before entry and a positive kidney stone result would mean a medical downgrade and restricted duties.

The Rail Safety and Standards Board, which is responsible for the safety of Britain’s railways, has no specific guidelines for train drivers with kidney stones, but there are general guidelines covering conditions that could cause sudden incapacity.

The UK’s Drivers Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), which is responsible for the safety of private and public service drivers, has a “surprisingly large” list of conditions that could be hazardous to road safety, say the authors. But kidney stones are not specifically listed.

However DVLA does provide general guidance that it should be notified of any medical conditions “likely to affect ability to safely control a vehicle.”

Travel insurance companies the authors spoke to provided more categorical responses. They said that if they knew that a person had a kidney stone they would not be covered for treatment abroad.

And if the person didn’t declare their condition, and then claimed for treatment abroad, their insurance would be invalid.

“It is clear that there are few guidelines for workers in charge of other people’s safety and for patients with stone disease waiting to travel” says Nigel Borley.

The authors have devised their own guidelines for family doctors and urology colleagues, which are published in the journal. But they stress that it’s essential for governing bodies to develop formal guidelines for the protection of their own staff and the travelling public.

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>