News in brief: COVID claims another meeting; Lack of referral to palliative care in ESLD; Waiting lists for procedures back on the agenda

Wednesday, 21 Apr 2021

New format GESA AGW 2021

GESA has provided early advice that AGW 2021 will be a hybrid meeting in early to mid September given the realities of possible disruption to travel and attendance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

GESA 21 was originally planned to be a face-to-face meeting in Brisbane. However the GESA board concluded there would be a serious risk to the Society and its members and supporters if it had to cancel for reasons such as COVID-19 outbreaks, snap lockdowns, restrictions and border closures.

Instead the event will incorporate single day meetings of the three major clinical streams (Endoscopy, IBD, Hepatology) in a capital city over two weekends in September.

GESA aims to have all meetings streamed online and available on-demand after the event, to maximise the opportunity for participation by all members.

Palliative care underdone in end stage liver disease 

Patients with end stage liver disease (ESLD) are missing out on the benefits of referral to palliative care.

A retrospective study of 116 patients with chronic liver disease admitted to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane between 2016 and 2019 has shown that only 21.5% were referred to palliative care and only 13% during their first admission.

“This is concerning given ESLD is often complicated by burdensome symptoms such as diuretic-resistant ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, bacterial peritonitis, and recurrent variceal bleeding. These often result in hospitalisation and contribute to a poor quality of life,” the researchers said.

The study found more patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were referred to palliative care compared with those with other diagnoses (63% v 15%, p = 0.0001).

About 40% of patients had formal acute resuscitation plans documented.

Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Political pressure on endoscopy waiting lists

Endoscopy waiting lists have become a political issue in the ACT, with claims that at least two people have developed colorectal cancer while waiting more than a year to be seen.

The opposition is calling on the Labor government in the ACT to put more resources into reducing the waiting lists for endoscopy, which currently stand at 7200 people with a median wait time of 519 days.

Opposition health spokesperson Giulia Jones said one person had been on the waiting list for eight years and the government needed to explain how it was going to reduce wait times to reasonable levels..

“These are not highly complex procedures, they’re the types of procedures we should be able to pump through a lot of in a day,” she told the Canberra Times.

“So it really is shocking that the list has got to be so long and of course, that people have developed cancer whilst waiting over a year to be seen.”

Already a member?

Login to keep reading.

Email me a login link

© 2022 the limbic