Why Geriatric Medicine?

Y4-ewZBYDr James Fisher is a final year Geriatric Medicine trainee working at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; he tweets @drjimbofish. Here he describes an ongoing project that seeks to understand more about career choices and recruitment to Geriatric Medicine.

Geriatricians of tomorrow: We need you! As the number of people living with frailty grows, geriatricians are increasingly in demand. Already, in terms of consultant numbers, Geriatric Medicine is the biggest hospital medical specialty – but to meet the needs of the ageing population, further expansion in numbers will be needed.

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Neuraminidase inhibitor use in the elderly: where are we?

BGS Logo CMYKDr Tristan Clark is associate professor in infectious diseases at the University of Southampton. Here he gives an update on neuroaminidase inhibitor use in older people, and invites readers to participate in a new survey of practice.

Influenza causes excess hospitalisations and 10,000 excess deaths every year in the UK and most of this burden falls on the elderly. Although the rate of hospitalisation in adults with influenza is 5-20 per 100,000 it is 1200 per 100,000 in those over 85 years old. Once hospitalised with influenza, 10-30% of adults are admitted to critical care units and 3-15% will die. Influenza vaccine uptake remains sub-optimal in the over 65s with only 70% accepting vaccination. Furthermore, whilst influenza vaccination is highly effective in healthy younger adults, protection decrease with age and high quality evidence for significant protection in the elderly is lacking.

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Microneedles: the next step in transdermal drug delivery?

microneedles-pennyHelen Quinn is a pharmacist and PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast.

Pharmaceutical research in a laboratory and clinical practice may sometimes feel like worlds apart but it is my belief that the best informants of research are those who are actually involved in caring for the patient.  This should be the principal motivation behind any research. My PhD project is based on the use of microneedles, an innovative form of transdermal drug delivery, which is rapidly gathering pace towards commercialisation. In an industry traditionally focussed on the discovery of new drugs, a new method for delivery of medication is long awaited to challenge the accepted routes of oral and parenteral delivery, which although suitable for the majority, are not without their drawbacks, particularly in the geriatric patient.

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