Posts by DreadyGeordie

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    I'm a Specialist Biomedical Scientist. My specialism is Bacteriology and Virology. At the moment I'm based in a lab testing GUM samples for Gonorrhea, Trichamonas and Candida with a bit of enteric work thrown in (using PCR, ELISA, and Culture techniques to find bugs from patients poo samples). I've also worked in the TB section, and carried out serology for HIV, Hepititis, syphillis and other viral and bacterial infections. I completed my training in a general bacteriology lab, dealing with all types of hospital and GP microbiology specimens.

    I saw a newly qualified GP a few years ago for mild depression. They advised taking St Johns Wart instead of going straight onto traditional prescription anti-d's, apparently she had read quite a bit of research that showed it was as effective in clinical trials, to treat mild depression.

    DO NOT IGNORE the warnings about sun sensitivity. I rarely burn in the sun, but when taking St Johns Wort I did burn a little bit, without sunbathing. It also seemed to make me tan in patches, and must have caused permenant sun damage. I tanned very darkly above my top lip, and even now, several years later, as soon as I go out in the sun (with SPF moisturiser) I tan in the same looks like I have a moustache lol.

    Mine did hurt when I had it removed, but just while it was being removed, went straight back to work and had no problems working for the rest of the day.

    As for infection risk, I actually did a presentation on this for uni. There is an increased of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if you come into contact with Chlamydia or N. Gonnorrhoea as the bacteria use the thread to gain entry past the cervix, therefore condoms are a must with any partner who hasn't been tested (same as any other safe sex message really). There is also research that has shown increased risk of PID due to other bacterial causes, but it has been mainly found in cultural populations which traditionally have poor hygeine surrounding tampon use, basically using the same tampon for extremely extended periods of time allowing the overgrowth of potentially pathogenic bacteria.

    There needs to be more part-time work available during school hours for this to work (to prevent the "latch-key kid"). If however thinks up these ideas looked at the bigger picture, they would address this at the same time. Obviously it isn't something that can be forced onto small buisnesses for economic reasons, but there is no reason why they couldn't look at working pattens in public sector positions to allow child friendly shift pattens - shame they never take the holistic approach.

    I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. Read up on the history of council housing. Council houses were built to accommodate general need and as part of a wider slum clearance program - they were not intended simply for those in need.

    For proof of that you only need to look at the housing stock in this area (East Gateshead). Up until the last 20 years there was only a handfull of private dwellings. Even now Council built stock dominates. Huge housing estates were built post WWII to accomodate everyone. For my parents generation it was extremely unusual to not move into a council property. Even prior to the building of the Council housing, the majority of the dwellings in this immediate area (Heworth and Pelaw Ward) were built by the Co-op, alongside the building of a huge factory complex (now demolished) to house the workers. It was also common for other employers such as the mines to provide housing for their workers.

    As for the cost of upkeep of social housing stock, the houses here were built between 1946 and 1960. It is only in the last 2 years that the council has begun a scheme to replace the original kitchens and bathrooms, re-point the brickwork and replace the cavity wall ties. The houses did have the coke fires replaced with central heating and were re-wired to modern standards about 15 years ago. These updates have more than been paid for with (at least) 40 years of rental income.

    I think it is a terrible idea. Yes there are major problems with the availability of social housing at present, but I don't think this is a solution. We already have major social problems, partly due to the breakdown of comminties and community spirit. This proposal will make sure that social housing is only ever filled with a transient population, making the building of community networks almost impossible.

    It goes against public health theories too. A main factor in personal health and wellbeing is secure dwelling. It is also accepted that the abilty of social mobility has health giving benefits, i.e. if you come from a disadvantaged background, but have secure accomodation and access to education and healthcare, you can raise your standard of living to that of one above your parents generation and are less likely to suffer from poverty linked ill health (e.g. heart disease, smoking related illness, premature death). This proposal seems to punish families who raise themselves over a certain threshold, putting stresses, such as the fear of having to move into unsecure housing, possibly away from schools and workplaces, making them more likely to "fail" and have to go back to social housing.

    It also has the potential to stigmatise those who do need to rely on social housing.

    Most, if not all local Councils have a discounted cavity wall and loft insulation scheme. Free if in reciept of certain benefits or working tax credits, and approx £100 for cavity wall and £30 for loft insulation if you have to pay yourself. To access it, I just had to ring the council switch board who gave me the number for the company that are carrying it out in our area. TBH I can't really tell how much of a difference it has made as I replaced the heating system, and installed more efficient radiators at around the same time as having the cavity wall insulation.

    My energy bills are still sky high (£130 month for gas and electric), as I have the thermostat set to 19 degrees for the baby.

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the content of the bradcast, why is it the artists of the show (Brand and Ross) who are being suspeneded/resigning and the focus of the media attention, and not the Producer of the show. Surley the artists are little more than performing monkeys, and the content of the final broadcast is decided on by the Producers and Editors? or are Ross and Brand Produdcers as well as artists of the show?

    It could be any number of things, and she really should go and get it checked out......... maybe at a well women clinic if she is shy of the doc's.

    Warts aren't usually red, but hard and lumpy, and look a bit like tiny cauliflours. Like others have said it could be a blocked duct or hair follicle that is infected, so she may need antibiotics. If she suffers coldsores she could have passed the virus from her mouth to her genitalia if she has touched the coldsore then hasn't washed her hands. In the past I've had sores which have been caused by a bad case of thrush...... easily sorted with Canasten cream once it was diagnosed, but scary and very very uncomfortable while waiting for the Dr's appointment.

    There are some STI's which can cause sores, so the best course of action would really be to have a trip to her local GUM for a full check up. Just because she hasn't had any sexual contact for a while doesn't mean it isn't something that she has been carrying for a while. Have a look on the net to see if the local GUM has it's own website, where she can read about what to expect from a make it less scary. If your local GUM doesn't have a website, Google "Newcastle GUM", which does have a good website, and describes the process of a visit.

    foodfocus is a good, free, weightloss website....... it calculates the calories you are eating, what you burn off, and draws graphs for you.

    Try not to get in the frame of mind of "I'm going on a diet". Instead, as you have maintained weight for two years, you are obviously getting the balance of "energy in = energy out" right, so decide that you are going to make a chance that will change that to "energy in

    Keeping your diet the same and squeezing some daily exercise into your normal lifestyle willl show results, as would keeping your lifestyle the same but making a few food swaps. Doing it this way wouldn't give a quick fix, and weight only comes down by a pound or so a month, but you don't feel you are depriving yourself so are more likely to keep it up.

    I put on 4 stone during pregnancy and have lost it all without dieting. It came off quickly to begin with, with breastfeeding and losing all the extra water etc. I give birth in December last year, and by March the weight loss had slowed right down, but I have still lost a stone since then (that I put on due to an injury prior to pregnancy)...... still have a stone to go. I'll be happy if it is off by next summer, as long as the dial on the scales is moving in the right direction and I'm not gaining weight I don't beat myself up about not losing any for a couple of weeks.

    Quote from freakyfairy;558946<br> <br>[B

    my midwife was telling me, that now, they encourage mothers to give their children dummies, but only at nap times and bed time, because it helps prevent cot-death...something about helping to keep their airways open....i havent researched it so i dont know exactly how its meant to work or how much truth there is in it...[/B]

    I did track down the original research and read it. A large scale study was conducted, that found that if a baby is put to sleep with a dummy, every time they are put down to sleep, it significantly reduces the chance of SIDS. However, the author warned that caution was needed when advising new parents, as if a dummy is used all the time, but on one occasion it is not used, it then significantly increases the risk of SIDS on that occasion........... sorry, I don't have a link, and I've chucked out the photocopy of the research article so I don't even have the authors name.

    Based on that I decided that I wouldn't go out of my way to use a dummy. I knew that there would be one night when it would go missing, and I would have been up all night worrying and making sure she was breathing. Didn't end up using one at all in the end, I was reluctant to start something that I would have to remove later. Luckily she decided for herself that she didn't like them anyway, and just spat them out lol.

    ... all stuff I've done many times before ;)

    Thing is, that's how serious allergic reactions happen. Something you've been into contact with before, your body suddenly identifies it as foregin, and produces antibodies against it, next time you come into contact with it the antibodies already in your body jump on it and set of a serious immune response.

    Many hospital trusts are discouraging the use of latex gloves (in favour of other types) because latex allergies often develop after using latex quite happily for a number of years. Someone I used to work with, who used latex gloves all day every day at work, was off work and helping out on her kids school's cake stall, put on a pair of latex gloves and went into anaphyactic (?sp) shock. Luckily got to a hospital in time, but now she has to carry an epi pen at all times.

    Go to the GP's, it isn't time wasting and if they think it was an allergic reaction they can perscribe stuff to carry with you to use in case of another attack.

    I've already decided that as soon as my 9month old discovers cartoon channels, the parental lock is going on the remote!

    I won't mind her watching some TV, but I'd hate her to be one of those kids where TV rules their lives. One women I work with bought her 3 year old granddaughter a portable DVD player for Christmas last year, so that her daughter would be "Allowed" to watch her soaps on a night time.......... why was the 3 year old not in bed by the time the soaps came on TV, and why did the 3 year old have control of the TV????

    Growing up I was allowed to watch the after school kids programmes on the TV, but was always encouraged to play instead. I was never allowed to watch all of the Saturday morning kids programmes...... maybe up to an hour while we had a longer breakfast, then the TV got turned off and I had to get washed and ready (but I can remember some tantrums lol).

    I've got a couple of tips.

    First one, have a hairdryer plugged in ready for when you put little one in cot, if they wake when you put them down, switch the hairdryer on and they magically go back to sleep........well mine did/does any way. It does mean you have to stand there with a hairdyer in your hand until they are in a deep sleep though.

    Secondly, I found that Amelia would wake, screaming when she was put in her cot after falling asleep on me, this got progresively(?sp) worse until she wouldn't even fall asleep (at about 4 weeks old)...... realised it must be colic. Started using Infacol before each breast feed and within a few days there was a huge improvement. Loads of people will try telling you it is reflux and to give gripe water, but when I looked at the packets Infacol passes straight through the system, but makes all the airbubbles stick together and lets lo pass wind. Gripe water contains loads of E numbers and is actually an antacid (like gaviscon etc) so changes the PH of the stomach....... refused to use it, as I didn't believe she had reflux and thought that giving her something that was going to do that might cause her more discomfort.

    Although, I understand your argument, isn't another problem with the current situation the fact that many building firms have stopped building planned developments. With new social housing being intergrated into private estates, there is a lack of new builds for Councils to purchase. Obviously divereting money away from investing into new builds isn't going to help that situation, but the few houses that are purchased as social housing on a new estate isn't going to provide enough guaranteed investment to encourage builders to continue with the planned projects if they can't sell the rest of the stock.

    I better solution may be for the Government to issue guidelines to make it more difficult for Lenders to secure Eviction Notices. Many of the stories highlighted in the press involve people who haven't been able to meet the full mortgage repayments, but the Lenders have refused to accept lower payments. Rather than a Court issuing an Eviction Notice, could the courts not force the Lenders to accept reduced payments, at a means tested amount, set by the courts........... like they do if you can't afford to pay a court fine etc.

    Quote from yoursinuk

    sorry I completely disagree. the government is not providing extra money for this..they are simply relaxing the rules on purchase for the housing associations/ councils.

    what this means in real terms is that the limited money available for new social housing stock..instead of being spent on new houses to increase homes for new tenants..will be spent on keeping exisiting occupiers in their houses.

    this is therefore a reduction on the amount of new available houses.:wall:

    But, what would be the most efficient use of monies, buying new stock for new tenants, or keeping current owners in their own homes as tenants.

    If the owners are kicked out, then Tax Payers money will be spent rehousing them. Not to mention long term costs of knock on social effects of repossesion (e.g. forced unemployment, disruption of schooling, increased cost of healthcare due to stress).

    How long does it take for money that is allocated for new housing stock, to actually provide new housing stock at the moment???? Is it possible that by bringing in these emergency measures, the money is seeing a return (in rent payments by existing occupiers) quicker than it would by it being used to purchase brand new stock??????

    I'm in favour of the reported plans to help out struggling home owners by providing shared ownership, or by councils buying the properties and renting them back. It's kind of increasing social housing stock by the back door.

    I don't think it's fair to assume all struggling homeowners have been irresponsible, and leading luxourious lifestyles to end up in a predicament. With the huge rise in basic living costs most people on low incomes will be struggling to meet even small mortgages, along with the rest of the bills.

    Renting isn't a viable solution, as often rental costs are as high (if not higher) as mortgages on modest properties. I know there is no way we could afford to rent even a basic Tyneside flat on our income. It is the plight of homeowners, facing reposession, that is making the news, but I bet there are as many low wage families facing homelessness for non payment of rent.

    If the Government don't step in, in some shape or form, to keep families housed in existing homes, then the cost will be much higher when they have to support them once they are homeless.

    When in early labour, get in the bath and stay in there as long as possible. I took a long time medically getting into labour (unco-ordinated
    unterine contractions, with only half my waters breaking) and when I went into hospital for the second time that was the advice of the midwife. She told me from experience being submerged in warm water seemed to move things along, and I have to say I agree with her. It really eases the back pain of contractions too.

    Quote from Sarah

    Thats a brilliant idea... what lentils do you use? I do kinda the same thing but use loads of vegetables and just a little meat.

    I store my lentils and stuff in old coffee jars, so I use 1 lid full of green lentils and 1 lid full of red split peas per lb of mince (boiled for 20mins before adding to mince and veg) - doubles the portions and you really can't tell. If I'm cooking for myself I sometimes totally substitute the mince for lentils when making bolognaise (?sp).

    I make any purchase I can through the cash back site

    I compare prices for baby essentials online to make sure Boots is the cheapest that month, then save the advantage card points.

    I have started diong the grocery shopping online, making a list first and sticking to it, then using Mysupermarket to compare the prices - Tesco is always cheaper for me. I then do an internet search for voucher codes and always find one for at least £10 (which more than covers cost of delivery so save petrol costs too). Also collect Tesco club card vouchers.

    I've switched expensive breakfast cereals to Tesco value oats = 2 weeks breakfast, for me and baby for 59p + cost of milk.

    Making home grown courgette and potato soup for lunch every day = almost free.

    Make a mince based meal once or twice a week and substitute half the meat for lentils (Shhh, don't tell my partner lol).

    Haven't worked out how to stop Other Half spending money we don't have yet :rolleyes:

    This post is a bit negative. We totally failed with the reusable nappies. Bought the full set of Totsbots (for a small fortune), but found that they were far too bulky for my little one.......... she looked like a weeble, and couldn't lie down flat. Swapped to disposables, with the intention of trying again in a few weeks time.

    Did try again, but they were still a little bit bulky, but managable. The problem was she decided she didn't like any dampness what so ever, and I was having to change her as soon as she had wee'd, which was at least hourly!

    In the end I made the decision that her comfort was the most important (and wasn't convienced that washing and drying at least 12 reausable nappies a day was more environmentally friendly than using disposables) so we stuck with the disposables.

    I think a scheme like this could work, but won't work. If it does come into force, it will ineviatably take a top-down approach, with a one size fits all mentality, administrated nationally, and haemorrage money.

    What would have a better chance of working, would be funding available to a network of local community development schemes. With stakeholders including the local Jobcentre plus, local voluntary organisations, local authorities and members of the local community.

    Initiatives could be identified which are relevant to the local area, allowing long term unemployed to have an active voice (taking a bottom-up approach). It then wouldn't be demoralising menial work for the sake of it. The long-term unemployed would have the oppertuninty to play an active role in their own community, while developing skills and forming new social networks.

    Check if mobile phones are allowed on the ward, and pack it if they are. I didn't bother taking mine, but found out too late that they were permitted (wasn't any equipment in range that they could effect) and had to buy a card for the Patientline phones.

    Take plenty of change for the TV, even Jeremy Kyle is worth having on in the background when you have had no sleep, can't sleep for all the hustle and bustle, waiting for visitors/Paeds/Hearing check people etc, and your eyes are so tired they refuse to focus on a book (and baby is sleeping soundly).

    Quote from colours of thewind

    take some juice and snacks you will like - the labour ward gets the leftovers foodwise

    The food was great at my hospital. I completed my training there, so knew what to expect for the menu..... was so chuffed at going into labour on a Thursday because I knew I could have fish and chips for my lunch on the Friday, and it was as nice as I remebered yummmm. With her being my first I decided to stay in for an extra night, and made my other half wait until I'd had my lunch (lamb stew) before he came to pick us up lol.

    Pack a few pairs of pj bottoms for yourself. I stupidly only packed one pair, and a nightie. I immediatley bled over the pj's and couldn't get in touch with my partner to bring in a spare pair. I did have the clean nightie, but felt a bit self concious the next day climbing on and off the bed when there were visitors wandering about.

    Also pack some moist toilet paper - and have plenty at home for the first week or so. Even escaping the dreaded tearing, I was still rather tender. Having a pack of moist toilet paper prevent going to the loo turning into an ordeal. Also, although I couldn't fault the cleanliness of the ward, and the toilets were checked and cleaned very regularly (immediatley if anything was reported) - some of the mums didn't clean up after themselves :vomit:. Having the moist toilet paper meant I could wipe any blood splashes off the toilet seat without having to find a member off staff to clean the toilets before being able to use it.

    Don't forget to pack your Gaviscon - the heartburn clears up pretty quick after birth, but not immediatley.

    I am very pro vaccine, and my daughter is having all her vaccinations.

    I have read a lot of the primary research (particuarly surrounding MMR as I conducted a literature review for my is posted on this forum somewhere), and have to keep up with current literature as I work in virology/bacteriology.

    There are possible side effects with all vaccines, which is why I will always support the parents right to choose. Media scare stories do annoy and frustrate me as they are nearly always sensationalised and often include errors - which does prevent many parents from knowing what to do for the best. On one hand the media creates scares over the MMR and Pertussis vaccines, and the administration of multiple vaccines -yet there is a wealth of evidence showing no risks of the conditions proposed. On the other hand, the media has in the past, called for Smallpox vaccinations to be available in case of a terrorist attack. Yet the Smallpox vaccine is a high risk vaccine, and colleages who have to have the vaccine (as they trained to deal with a smallpox outbreak) are even compensated for even agreeing to have it.

    Although it may be seen by some as a biased source of information, I would suggest googling "DOH, Green Book". This will give all information available to healthcare workers on all vaccines available in the UK, including possible side effects and risks. It does include references to primary literature, so it is possible to read all the background info too ( is a good scientific search engine to use to find academic journal articles - but you may need an athens password or a universitys institutional password to access full text articles).

    There is sometimes suggestions (in the Media) that information is withheld, and the public is only told what "They" want you to know. As I said I work in virology, and although I am no where near as important to possibly be reagrded as "They", all the diagnostic work I carry out, and all the clinical decisions made by the medics I work alongside, is underpinned by the thoery and knowledge, that the information given by official sources is based on.

    Quote from Stardusts Dad

    As long as there is some personalisation about the interview as well - I've interviewed people in the past where we've just read from a 'script' and puts marks out of 10 for the answer ..... it felt very impersonal and could well rely on the interviewers interpretation of the answer.

    I've been interviewed in this manner for NHS jobs. Basically my understanding of it is, each candidate is asked the same questions, there answers are then scored in the same way an exam would be marked. The more robust the answer, the higher the mark i.e. showing poor understanding, good understanding, answering question fully, partially answering question, drawing on relevant past experience, being able to cite current research etc.

    The only reason that there could be a need for positive discrimination is if it was believed that minority populations were being discriminated against in interview processess - basically trying to solve the promblem by ensuring that a certain percentage of each minority group is employed to circumnavigate (?sp) racist etc practices.

    But surely that is more like sticking a plaster over a problem, rather than tackling and solving it, and like StardustsDad said, cause more problems in the long run.

    Surely a better solution would be legislation which required all interviewers to conduct interviews using a standard questions (to each candidate), with tick box records, then the interviewee ending up with a numeric score. The candidate with the highest score gets the job (this process happens in some, if not all NHS trusts). The benefit to this is the "score card" is kept on record, so if a candidate feels they have been discriminated against they can ask for a copy of the score (freedom of information). If one member of the panel was racist then there cards may show lower scores for ethnic minorities, disabled candidates etc, than the other interviewers. The "score cards" could also be subject to random audits to discover by a regulatory body.