Survey data reveals a high degree of medical consensus that shaking a young child is capable of producing subdural hematoma (a life-threatening pooling of blood outside the brain), severe retinal hemorrhage, coma or death, according to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Recent media reports and judicial decisions have called into question the general acceptance among physicians of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma. General acceptance of concepts in the medical community is a critical factor for admitting medical expert testimony in courts. In cases of child maltreatment, courts often rely on medical expert testimony to establish the most likely cause of a child’s injuries.
Read more: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-07/arh-sbs072016.php
[Article abstract is yet to be published online in the Journal of Pediatrics]
The Conversation July 22, 2016
The Zika outbreak, arriving on the heels of Ebola and just in time for the Rio Olympics, has challenged global health agencies to respond rapidly and effectively. Determining the appropriate response is far from straightforward, though, as there is much we don’t yet know about the Zika virus.
A pair of papers published recently in the journal Science have reviewed current evidence about the spread and control of Zika. These studies use mathematical models to help understand how the virus may spread. Insights from these models can help to prioritise efforts to control Zika and minimise the harm it causes.
Read more: https://theconversation.com/is-the-end-of-zika-nigh-how-populations-develop-immunity-62816
Link to fulltext Science articles: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/07/13/science.aaf8160 and http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/07/13/science.aag0219
ABC News Dominic Cansdale 22 July 2016
A north Queensland man will stand trial for murder over the death of his four-month-old son in the southern city of Maryborough in 2013.
Ry Liam Smith, 25, has appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court charged with murder and failing to supply the necessaries of life.
Smith, who is originally from Townsville, was charged with murder after his baby son was found unresponsive in a house in Maryborough.
The child was taken to hospital but later died.
Giving evidence in court, paediatrician Dr Catherine Skellern said the baby’s brain and spinal injuries could have been caused by shaking.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-22/man-accused-of-murdering-baby-son-admitted-killing-court-told/7652552
The Courier Mail Jeremy Pierce 22 July 2016
A FORMER police officer will stand trial for allegedly murdering his defacto wife in a calculated plot to cash in a multimillion-dollar life insurance policy.
Lainie Coldwell was found at the base of a tree with massive head injuries in August 2009.
Her partner Louis Mahony told police she had fallen from a ladder trying to remove decorative lights.
But authorities doubted his story and the investigation was ramped up with the efforts of the homicide and cold case squads before Mahony was charged with murder in December last year.
Read more: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/former-policeman-to-stand-trial-for-murder/news-story/fb9ff23540f8ec7c9b64feff1d281640
ABC News Andrew Kos 21 July 2016
A man accused of murdering a fellow South Korean national for money grabbed him around the neck after he feared he was going to be hit, a Brisbane Supreme Court jury has heard.
Sanghyun Hwang, 31, is accused of murdering Min Tae Kim, 28, over a botched money exchange in December 2013.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-22/min-tae-kim-killing-sanghyun-hwang-grabbed-victims-court-hears/7652362
Brisbane Times Darren Gray July 22 2016
New rebates of up to $1200 will be available for Victorian farmers, in a bid to cut the worrying toll of deaths and injuries from quad bike crashes.
The rebates were a powerful investment that would “save lives”, Premier Daniel Andrews said, announcing the scheme at the 2016 Victorian Farmers Federation conference on Friday.
“Just in the last few months we’ve had two farmers die. There’s been so many lives lost, so many families touched by this. It’s something we can do a meaningful thing about,” he said.
“Too many Victorians have died or have been seriously injured using quad bikes and that’s why the Labor Government is taking action to protect our farmers,” he said.
The new subsidy scheme involves $600 rebates for eligible farmers to retro-fit rollover protection bars to existing bikes. Farmers can get the $600 rebate for up to two quad bikes.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/victoria/new-rebate-scheme-to-boost-quad-bike-safety-and-reduce-deaths-20160722-gqbimy.html
The Guardian Denis Campbell 22 July 2016
Alcohol causes seven forms of cancer, and people consuming even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to new analysis.
Health experts endorsed the findings and said they showed that ministers should initiate more education campaigns in order to tackle widespread public ignorance about how closely alcohol and cancer are connected. The study sparked renewed calls for regular drinkers to be encouraged to take alcohol-free days, and for alcohol packaging to carry warning labels.
Fresh analysis of evidence accumulated over recent years implicates alcohol in the development of breast, colon, liver and other types of cancer.
The study, published in the scientific journal Addiction, concludes that there is more than simply a link or statistical association between alcohol and cancer that could be explained by something else. There is now enough credible evidence to say conclusively that drinking is a direct cause of the disease, according to Jennie Connor, of the preventive and social medicine department at Otago University in New Zealand.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/22/alcohol-direct-cause-seven-forms-of-cancer-study?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+AUS+v1+-+AUS+morning+mail+callout&utm_term=182795&subid=28187&CMP=ema_632
Link to open access article in Addiction journal: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.13477/abstract