Monthly media digest: July/August

27 August 2021

A digest of college news coverage for July/August 2021.

ANZCA's president on role of anaesthetists in COVID-19 response NZ

ANZCA President Dr Vanessa Beavis was asked by RNZ's Morning Report about the role of anaesthetists if there is a surge of COVID-19 patients into ICU. The story led the RNZ flagship current affairs program's news hour 30 August. 

ANZCA joins other medical colleges to support postponing elective surgery during COVID-19 infection surges

ANZCA President Dr Vanessa Beavis was interviewed by on 26 August about the joint statement.

"Various health authorities are trying hard to do the right thing and are getting a lot of pushback from private interests. There’s a lot of pressure to do surgery,” she said.

“We wanted to make the point that, at this particular point in time, really planned surgery – unless it's going to severely affect a patient in the next 30 days – should be postponed.”

The colleges also want certainty for patients on  when electives might be able to resume, she said.

“We better have a solid and good plan for restarting, because there's going to be a big catch up.”

Anaesthetists  on COVID-19 frontline in NSW hospitals

The chair of ANZCA's NSW Regional Committee Associate Professor Nicole Phillips featured in a Nine News Sydney exclusive report on 22 August.

Associate Professor Phillips explained how many anaesthetists, including at Concord Hospital where she is head of Medical Services, are on the frontline working in special COVID-19 ICU wards.

The report reached an audience of 510,000 people and was also broadcast across 13 regional NSW news bulletins. 

New Zealand doesn't have enough ICU capacity says Kiwi fellow

An ICU bed is a physical structure alone. It cannot provide care or compassion and cannot save your life. To do all these things, a bed must come with staff who literally stand next to it every hour of every day says fellow Dr Alex Psirides, an ICU specialist in Wellington in this Stuff opinion piece.

Dr Tony Diprose interviewed on TVNZ about growing COVID-19 in Fiji

John Campbell of  TVNZ Breakfast interviewed Dr Tony Diprose from Suva on 4 August. Dr Diprose is in the second of the New Zealand and Australian Medical Assistance teams who have been sent to Fiji during a surge in COVID-19 patients. 

Associate Professor Christine Ball interviewed on ABC 

Associate Professor Ball featured in a 22 minute interview on the ABC Radio Melbourne Mornings program with Virginia Trioli  on 2 August about her book The Chloroformist. (The interview starts about two hours into the link.) The interview reached 115,000 listeners.

She was also interviewed on ABC Radio Perth and in a 55 minute segment for Conversations on ABC Radio National on 9 August, reaching 130,000 listeners.

The LOLIPOP trial 

Anaesthetist Professor Tomas Corcoran was interviewed on ABC Radio Perth on 26 July about the Long-term Outcomes of Lidocaine Infusions for persistent PostOperative Pain (LOLIPOP) study in patients undergoing breast cancer surgery. It is estimated that nearly half of breast cancer patients experience some chronic pain after surgery. The five year study will administer lidocaine intravenously to patients during and up to 24 hours after breast cancer surgery. The ANZCA Clinical Trials Network secured $4.3 million from the national Medical Research Future Fund to perform a clinical trial in 4400 patients undergoing breast cancer surgery. 

Infectious trail of a medical trailblazer    

FANZCA Associate Professor Christine Ball's account of Dr Joseph Clover The Chloroformist as a medical trailblazer in anaesthesia has had positive reviews in Australian media. The Australian's Gideon Haigh reviewed the book in a 1000 word review on 24 July, describing it as " a successful procedure: you come out from it feeling better than ever." The review reached an audience of 115,000 people. 

The Canberra Times also ran a 450 word review on 17 July with Frank O'Shea writing: "The author, herself an anaesthetist at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, stresses his gentleness and the importance he placed on putting the patient at ease."

Postcode lottery of chronic pain

FPM Dean Associate Professor Mick Vagg and  FPM fellow Dr Diarmuid McCoy were interviewed for an ABC online article on 10 July about the disparity between pain specialist services in urban areas compared to those offered for residents living in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia.

As leaders in pain treatment Associate Professor Vagg and Dr McCoy say despite there being millions of people who suffer from chronic pain across the country, the specialty is under-resourced.

Christchurch fellow Dr Wayne Morriss on COVID-19 response in Fiji

Dr Wayne Morriss featured on Radio New Zealand’s flagship current affairs programme Morning Report on 2 July. He spoke about the work he was undertaking in Fiji as part of the Australian and New Zealand Medical Assistance Teams' COVID-19 response. He also featured on the TVNZ current affairs program Q & A on 4 July (49 minutes in on the episode) and again on Morning Report on 7 July on the growing death toll in the Pacific nation. As the death toll increased in Fiji, Dr Morriss appeared on TV3's AM program on 8 July forecasting more hospitalisation and a health system under pressure.

Last updated 14:34 30.08.2021