Happy Birthday to the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist!
Health Check has been following the progress of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Surgical Safety checklist since 2006 and it’s now the 10th anniversary of the first big evaluation of it. The Surgical Checklist is a list that surgical staff go through right at the start of an operation to make sure they are operating on the right person, in the right way, with the right staff and the right equipment. They also check whether the patient has any allergies, whether they have been given the right kind of antibiotics to prevent infection and that they have not had anything to eat since the night before. Another part of the ethos of the checklist is that any member of staff, however junior, is encouraged to speak up if they are worried about anything being amiss. It is now used in more than a hundred hospitals globally. Michelle White is a consultant anaesthetist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, who through the organisation Mercy Ships has been training staff around the world. Dr Nina Capo-Chichi, a first year paediatric surgeon at the national hospital in Benin, took part in the training sessions.
Some people find that winter affects their mood and they even experience depression and find themselves withdrawing socially every winter, while in summer they feel fine. It is known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD, and can be far more serious than simply feeling a bit miserable in the winter. A team of researchers at the University of South Wales, in the UK, wanted to know why some people get SAD and others do not. They studied the latitude where people live and whether they have SAD, and also something more curious; their eye colour. Professor of Psychology Lance Workman explains more to Claudia.
(Photo caption: Surgeons in operating room - credit: Getty Images)
Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from Dr Graham Easton
Producer: Helena Selby
Is a Lot of Tech Use Damaging Adolescent Well-Being?
Contrary to popular beliefs, new research this week using data from 300,000 adolescents and parents in the UK and USA has found that only 0.4% of well-being in adolescents is associated with their use of technology. This is marginally more than the impact of eating potatoes and slightly less than wearing glasses. Given the regular reports about the harms of teenagers spending a lot of time looking at digital devices, what should we make of all this? Professor Andrew Przybylski, who carried out this most recent analysis, is an experimental psychologist and Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute.
The side effects of chemotherapy are pretty well-known: nausea, fatigue and patients’ hair falling out. But there has been less focus on another impact the powerful drugs can have; on nail health. Nails can become black, broken or brittle and sometimes even fall off. Until recently there was little that could be done about it, but Professor Robert Thomas, a Consultant Oncologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, has developed a novel way to help alleviate these problems. The BBC’s Marijke Peters reports.
Those who have embarked on a New Year’s exercise plan might find that it improves not only their fitness but their mood. Some family doctors even prescribe exercise for people with mild depression. But in order to make a difference, does a person have to pound the streets running or head to the gym or would a gentle walk be just as good? A review of all the best research about exercise and mood was recently published and Catherine Loveday, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster, speaks to Claudia about what we can learn from it.
(Photo caption: Teenager with tablet while lying on the floor in the room - credit: Getty Images)
Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from BBC Health and Science correspondent, James Gallagher.
Producer: Paula McGrath
Health Check Loneliness Part 2
What is the opposite of loneliness? When the BBC Loneliness Experiment asked that question, they received a huge variety of answers, but 18,000 people said they did not know. In this week's programme, the last special on loneliness, Claudia Hammond traces how an interest in loneliness has increased in society.
During the Second World War the UK government began to measure levels of loneliness to ensure the morale of the country was maintained. But social changes post war, such as the development of the welfare state and the increase in single person households could have made things worse. In recent decades, far from loneliness being a temporary condition, scientists are now beginning to understand the serious effects it is having on people’s health and the cost to society.
Health Check will also be asking how solitude is different from loneliness and hearing from the Japanese author Junko Okamoto, who, in order to improve the population’s health, is trying to overturn Japan’s surprisingly positive attitude to loneliness. Claudia also speaks to the world’s first minister for loneliness, and asks what role governments can play in tackling the loneliness problem.
(Image credit: Rabia Ali)
Health Check Loneliness Part 1
How does social media and friendship influence the development of loneliness? Claudia Hammond analyses the results of the BBC Loneliness Experiment.
Academics from the Universities of Manchester, Brunel and Exeter, supported by The Wellcome Trust, developed an online experiment to investigate loneliness, launched on BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind in February 2018. 55,000 people chose to take part and answered questions such as what people look for in friends, how they trust other people and how they use social media.
In conversation with Claudia Hammond, Professor Pam Qualter from the University of Manchester reveals the effects of discrimination on loneliness, how people who feel lonely use social media and the most unhelpful suggestions people make to overcome feeling alone. Professor Manuela Barreto of Exeter University talks about the complex relationships which make people less lonely and discusses loneliness in marriage and parenthood.
(Image credit: Rabia Ali)