SAGES Quality Summit Meeting May 15 – 16, 2015, 2015 Grand Hyatt, Washington DC Meeting Goals: 1. Determine the challenges and potential solutions for the development and implementation of quality initiatives in health care, 2. Define the role of surgical & endoscopic societies as facilitators in this process, 3. Inspire society-driven patient-centered quality efforts, 4. […]
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Advancing Telementoring and Improving Outcomes to be Top Priorities The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) announced the election of Brian J. Dunkin, M.D., as President on April 18th as part of the SAGES 2015 Annual Meeting. Dr. Dunkin is the Head of Surgical Endoscopy at the Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, […]
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SAGES has proudly joined the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma, and Anesthesia Care (G4 Alliance) as a founding member organization. SAGES Board Member Dr. Horacio Asbun represented SAGES last week in Geneva at the G4 Alliance inaugural meeting. The G4 Alliance is an advocacy-based organization dedicated to building political priority for surgical care as […]
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Using Big Data To Improve Patient Care, Reduce Wasted Resources • Dana Telem, MD, of New York discusses the use of biomedical informatics to improve patient care while reducing wasteful aspects of the health system, giving specific examples.
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The SAGES Safety in Cholecystectomy Task Force, charged with establishing a universal culture of safety in laparoscopic cholecystectomy, has gained immediate momentum. This past January the Surgical Endoscopy Journal published the results of the Delphi survey, initiated in April 2014. The paper “SAGES expert Delphi consensus: critical factors for safe surgical practice in laparoscopic cholecystectomy” […]
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Immediate SAGES Past President, L. Michael Brunt, MD speaks with past president, Rick Greene, MD about current and future initiatives of the society, including safely using surgical energy and preventing bile duct injuries. Watch and comment on this at the General Surgery News Site.
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FDA Approval of ReShape™ Dual Balloon Marks Significant Step for the Weight Loss Program in Helping at Risk Group of Patients
Obesity is on the rise and is a worldwide epidemic. A recent Lancet study noted that the chance of an obese person becoming normal weight is less than .5%. Currently in the United States, the obese population outnumbers the overweight population. Bariatric surgery helps patients with severe obesity in terms of weight loss, reduction in […]
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon to assist adult patients suffering from obesity in losing and maintaining weight loss. Obesity affects more than 78.6 million U.S. adults and is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S. In 2008, an estimated $147 billion was spent in […]
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As we wrote to you recently, the move away from fee-for-service and toward value based care in this country is not coming; it’s here. SAGES leadership has committed to engaging with the organizations responsible for determining what “value based care” means, so that we may learn about and perhaps influence these decisions. The first step […]
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There are a lot of myths surrounding allergies and Allergy UK does its best to help ensure sufferers are given medically correct information and support.
Allergy UK has teamed up with Sense About Science who today launched a new guide called ‘Making Sense of Allergies’ which aims to end confusion about the condition.
The guide explores the fact that that while allergies are on the increase and although diagnosis is now better, there is concern that non-medical diagnosis could be a risk to the public. Allergy tests and natural treatments offered on the high street have no scientific basis and could be dangerous as well as ineffective. Not only can self-diagnosis like this be incorrect, it can also lead to serious allergies being trivialised and cases of malnutrition, as well as other medical conditions being undiagnosed.
’Making Sense of Allergies’ highlights these issues along with answering other common allergy-related questions such as:Do I have an allergy or an intolerance? Are allergies becoming more common? Will each reaction be worse than the last?
Our Clinical Director, Maureen Jenkins, has been involved in putting the guide together, along with other charities and...
On Friday 12th June Allergy UK supporters all over the country held Free From Feasts. From picnics to coffee evenings, the feasts were open to anyone who wanted to raise awareness of food allergy and intolerance by showing others how great free from food can be.
We were thrilled to see so many people getting involved, making their own food and getting friends and family to try their creations. To top it off we are excited to announce that we raised more than £3,000 with more money still coming in as we speak.
Read about some of our dedicated fundraisers below. Maybe you’ll be inspired to have your own Free From Feast next year!
Ross Dethick and his friend Hannah held an amazing Free From Feast coffee evening near their home in Scotland. They raised an incredible £1,697! Here they are presenting our Fundraising Manager Rebecca Carey with a cheque when they visited the Rainforest Café in London.
The Basket Company supported our event this year and donated several brilliant prizes for competitions. A big thanks goes to Melanie Knibb from Le Coin de Mel and Nathalie Dyson-Coope from the Intolerant Gourmand who hosted competitions on their blogs as well as their own Free From...
The Food Standards Agency has rescinded the recall of ground cumin sold by the Bart Ingredients Company and detailed in the Allergy Alert originally issued on 31st January 2015.
The affected product had tested positive for the presence of almond protein which is not declared on the label. The level of almond protein detected was considered to be a risk to people with an allergy to almond. Bart Ingredients Company subsequently produced test results from samples of the same material that contradicted the positive result.
There is no evidence that the contamination was a result of fraudulent activity.
Additional testing by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC) has shown a spice called mahaleb was present and not almond protein. Mahaleb and almond are from the same ‘Prunus’ family of trees and shrubs. However, mahaleb is not one of the 14 allergens identified in food allergen legislation.
The FSA will now work with public analysts, analytical scientists, the industry and local authorities to review these testing methodologies. As with all significant incidents, we will also work together to review our actions and identify what lessons can be learned.
LGC used a type of...
Allergy UK launches new Accreditation Scheme for Caterers
National charity, Allergy UK has launched a brand new accreditation scheme to help foodservice operators cater for food allergies.
The Allergy Aware Scheme will recognise catering outlets that provide exceptional service for those with food allergies and intolerances, and those that offer ‘gold standard’ allergen management.
The scheme aims to put peace of mind on the menu for the estimated two million people in the UK suffering from food allergies.
With around 4,800 hospital admissions a year being due to allergic reactions to food, safety for customers is more important than ever before. Worryingly, admissions for anaphylaxis (severe allergy) have increased by 615% in 20 years, so it is no surprise that 92% of those with severe allergies worry about eating out.
The recent EU Food Information Regulations state that all catering outlets must now be able to provide information on which of the top 14 allergens (including egg, nuts and milk) are present in every dish served. The charity hopes caterers will see the legislation as an opportunity.
The Allergy Aware Scheme is being launched by the charity’s CEO...
Research shows takeaways are not complying with food allergy regulations
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has published new research today [AP1] (10th July 2015) that shows many takeaways are still not adhering to the new EU food allergy regulations, putting allergy sufferers at risk.
More than two thirds of takeaway outlets appear to be breaking the law according to the undercover investigation, with chicken shops appearing to be the worst offenders.
Ten types of takeaways were visited including Chinese, sushi, pizza and fish and chip shops with over half being unable to state whether their food contained an allergen. The new allergy labelling laws that came into place in December last year states that all catering outlets must be able to provide information on the top 14 allergens present in their food.
In response the RSPH is calling for online food delivery sites to make sure takeaways are in line with the law before signing them up. They are also encouraging outlets to train their staff properly and want consumers to understand the risks of not communicating their needs clearly when ordering food.
Allergy UK understands the dangers of catering outlets not...
The National Allergy Strategy Group (NASG) is working to support the growing number of people affected by allergic disease across the UK.
The NASG is a coalition of patient charities (Allergy UK and the Anaphylaxis Campaign), and medical professionals (the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology).
We are urging our supporters to contact their MPs, for them to consider being part of the All Party Parliamentary Working Group for Allergy, that is being re-formed following the General Election.
If you are interested, we have provided a suggested letter that you could use to contact your MP. You can contact them by email or post (https://www.writetothem.com/) or give them a call.
We really value your support and hope that you will consider showing your MP how important allergy is, and how they can make a difference.
Chief Executive Allergy UK
Template letter for MP's:
Dear (insert MP's name)
I am a supporter of the National Allergy Strategy Group (NASG) which is a coalition of the patient charities, Allergy UK and Anaphylaxis Campaign, and medical professionals the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The NASG is...
An article in today’s Mail Online (15th July 2015), explains how children are remaining undiagnosed due to tests not being sophisticated enough.
New research into cow's milk allergy has found that for every UK child who had a cow's milk reaction due to IgE in their blood, there was a child who suffered a reaction, who did not. Specialists are warning that not all allergies can be detected via IgE tests.
The study was published online in the medical journal Allergy.
Our Clinical Director, Maureen Jenkins said: “The EuroPrevall study has been a large, Europe-wide study of thousands of infants and children, the results of which confirm the message that we consistently promote, that an increasing number of babies and young children have cow's milk allergy. The diagnosis of some of these infants and children is confirmed by blood tests for levels of specific IgE, the antibody implicated in rapid allergic reactions that may cause rashes, vomiting, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea.
“However, not all allergic reactions to milk and other foods cause raised levels of specific IgE; the immune system can act in a different way to produce the non-IgE type of reactions, which may also be...
Now the summer holidays are here, our helpline has been answering a huge number of calls concerning travelling with an allergy. We know that this can be a worrying time for those affected by allergy, so we are here to offer advice to make sure you can travel with peace of mind.Flying
The Allergy UK helpline receives a great deal of calls at this time of year from people concerned about having an allergic reaction on a plane during a flight. Our advice is to make sure you are prepared and speak to the airline or holiday company as early as possible.
If you are worried about eating airline meals, check if you can bring your own food onto the plane and if so remember to take extra snacks in case your flight is delayed. Bring some wet wipes with you and wipe down all surfaces, seatbelts and arm rests, in your area, to avoid any risk of cross-contamination from previous passengers.
There is a lot of debate over the presence of nuts on planes. Each airline has a different policy; some will make an announcement to passengers and some may stop selling nuts on that particular flight, however there is no such thing as a ‘nut free flight’. Unfortunately airlines have no control over...
The first week of July was certainly action-packed at Allergy UK, with the annual Allergy & Free From Show. On 3rd to 5th July Olympia, London was host to over 30,000 visitors on the hunt for the latest free from goodies and top allergy advice.
The event provides a unique opportunity for those with allergies and intolerances to meet experts in their field. It is a real rarity to see so many businesses focused on allergies and intolerances under one roof. Allergy UK’s stand was packed to the brim with useful factsheets and information. We were also delighted to meet so many of our supporters, and provide advice to those struggling to either get a diagnosis or keep their symptoms under control.
Allergy UK’s presence at the show is intended to make a real difference to people’s lives. Our Clinical Director, Maureen Jenkins spent the entire show in back to back appointments and saw a multitude of people with complex allergy issues. The sessions were fully booked every day and Maureen offered some invaluable clinical advice, which we hope will lead to a much-needed diagnosis for some patients.
On our main stand this year we had an amazing set of prize giveaways thanks to our...
At Allergy UK we want to see a time where every school, pre-school and nursery holds generic adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs), and that there are sufficient numbers of trained staff to operate the devices.
Over 1600 of you took part in a survey, hosted by Allergy UK, to share your views on whether AAIs should be made available in educational establishments.
The results were overwhelming. 99% of parents/carers are in support of schools holding generic AAIs. But it wasn’t just parents: 98% healthcare professionals and 96% teachers are in agreement too.
Adrenaline auto-injector devices are the first line treatment in a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. We believe that within schools, children at risk of anaphylaxis should have access to two adrenaline auto-injectors at all times, although the majority require one dose. But over and above this, we aspire that any child who is showing anaphylactic symptoms, even without a prior diagnosis, has access to adrenaline.
We just wanted to take the opportunity to say a big thank you for your support, your feedback can help us make a difference. Allergy UK and the Anaphylaxis Campaign are working with the professional...
When I accepted a nine month contract as a press officer at Allergy UK I had no idea what to expect. I have hay fever and mysteriously developed a cat allergy while I was at university but I was about to have the best ‘on the job’ allergy education in the Allergy UK press office.
My main job for the last few months has been setting up interviews between journalists and our clinical team. This could be for a magazine, a radio or TV programme or sometimes medical journals. Requests can range from hay fever to food allergy and some ask for comments on interesting new research. I’ve picked up a lot of advice and nuggets of knowledge from these interviews. I didn’t know you could develop a severe allergy at any time of your life or that there is no scientifically proven food intolerance test.
Allergy Awareness Week was my biggest project here and I learnt an incredible amount about anaphylaxis. We worked really hard to push out important messages to the public about how to help someone having an anaphylactic reaction. I also got to make some videos with Penny, a girl with a severe nut allergy. Hearing her insight on coping with allergy as a young adult was a real eye-opener. I get...
Although awareness of food allergies is increasing due to factors such as more stringent food labelling, media attention on the condition and a higher number of people suffering (what they think) are the symptoms, there is still a lot of confusion about allergy. So we’re here to clarify the causes of allergy, the difference between immediate and delayed reactions, and what causes food intolerance.
An IgE allergy diagnosis (immediate reaction)
Food allergy is an abnormal response by the body’s immune system. Symptoms are usually immediate and can be severe. An allergic person produces IgE antibodies to the food they are allergic to. It is these antibodies that trigger a reaction when they next come into contact with the allergen. The body has a particular type of cell called a mast cell, these are scattered throughout the connective tissues of the body, especially beneath the surface of the skin, near blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, within nerves, throughout the respiratory system, and in the digestive and urinary tracts. Mast cells store a number of different chemicals including the one most of us know about - histamine.
An allergic person will have...
Supermarkets to most shoppers are a handy place that sells all of the essential items that any household could possibly need. But to an individual with multiple allergies it is a place that proves to be time consuming, and sometimes incredibly dangerous.
We recently asked our allergic community on Facebook what are the challenges they face with food choice, and how exactly supermarkets can make the whole experience a little bit easier.
One of the issues raised was the fact that although there is ‘free from’ food available, the cost to have this privilege is significantly more than the cost of ‘non free from’ food. The profitability of the free from market is evidenced by the fact that the gluten free market alone is growing by 15 per cent every year and is worth £238 million annually.
Although the gluten free market seems to be rocketing, the prevalence of other allergen free foods is less readily available according to our Facebook supporters. With a lack of affordable free from foods, and, according to our audience, other foods overthrown with ‘may contain’ labels it seems as though the allergic customer has nothing but hassle when shopping.
So what would make supermarket...
With National Eczema Week reaching its 40th Anniversary, we at Allergy UK want to highlight the struggles of an eczema sufferer, and aid these sufferers with advice.
Eczema affects up to 10% of adults and up to 20% of school children[i]. The condition is characterised by inflammation of the skin with intense itching, reddening, dryness, scaling and sore broken skin.
However it should be known that the condition affects people emotionally as well as physically. Over one in four (27%) of those with eczema said they are embarrassed by their skin and 22% have avoided social occasions because of their condition.
A survey[ii] from Allergy UK has shown that the three biggest triggers for Eczema, are cold weather, house dust mite and pets.
With cold weather being the biggest trigger, research found that 91% of those with eczema say their skin dries out more in winter, meaning up to 3.8 million UK adults are suffering during the colder months[iii]. While 77% say their skin itches more. So with the fast approaching winter months, it is essential to understand how to manage symptoms at this time of year.
As an example of the daily struggles of an eczema sufferer, Liza Dethick...
Allergy UK, in association with leading experts in allergy and health education, are collaborating to provide much needed practical support for schools, by launching the first phase of new educational resources to help schools create whole-school allergy policies.
The national charity is involved in a Whole-School Allergy Awareness & Management Collaboration, which aims to help schools to use clinical guidelines for allergy management in schools and implement policy effectively.
The vision of the group is that schools develop age-specific, whole school, allergy-aware management policies.
With 50% of children now suffering from some form of allergy, the national charity understands the challenges that schools face when it comes to managing allergic conditions.
Amena Warner, Nurse Advisor at Allergy UK comments: “We are aware of the pressures schools face, but also the growing parental concern about keeping allergic children safe in school. There is a solid base of clinical guidance and legislation available, but the Collaboration aims to translate this complex guidance into a user-friendly format that schools can access and implement with ease.”
To better help and support...
Research which is set to transform pollen monitoring will help to identify which grass pollen(s) sufferers are allergic to enabling them to better manage their condition.
Allergy UK has worked in collaboration with the research, which is led by Bangor University, along with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Exeter, Worcester, the National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Met Office.
Read the full article:
A team of researchers are developing a new generation of pollen monitoring which they hope will lead to improved forecasts for thousands of the UK population suffering from summer allergies.
For millions of people, the onset of spring and summer brings misery as they battle with itchy eyes and sneezing brought about by their reaction to pollen. Around 5% of the adult UK population has reported suffering hay fever and around 10% suffer asthma that can be aggravated by pollen.
However, with around 150 different species of grass in the UK and no easy way of distinguishing between their different pollen grains, identifying which species of grass pollen people are allergic to is a very difficult task.
Understanding which species of grass pollens are in the air in high quantities at...
Halloween in an allergic household can be a spooky time for both parents and children. With an abundance of sweets containing unknown ingredients, and face painting sessions it could turn in to an allergic child’s parent’s worst nightmare.
There are many ways to avoid issues that you may face on Halloween if you do have an allergic child, without preventing your child from joining in on the fun. These include:Holding an allergen-free Halloween party - this way you can control what is eaten. If your child wants to wear face paint, do a skin test (50 pence piece-sized area of skin on the inside of your child’s wrist). If not, consider making a homemade face paint recipe, this way you know exactly what is going in to the mixture. Introduce the ‘Switch Witch’ into your Halloween celebrations; simply make sure your child doesn’t eat any of the treats they collect when trick or treating with friends. Let the Switch Witch swap these sweets for known safe treats when the child is asleep. Encourage your peers to give out non-food items for trick or treaters, such as a bouncy ball or a plastic spider. By doing this the risk of an oral allergic reaction will be reduced.
To ensure that...
We have recently seen a lot of concern over how safe the flu vaccine is for those who suffer from egg allergy, especially from those who have experienced severe allergic reactions to egg. We asked our clinical team to clarify how safe the vaccine is for those allergic to egg:
During the 2015 / 16 influenza season, the nasal influenza vaccine (Fluenz Tetra) will be offered to children aged 2-4 years old and schoolchildren in years 1 and 2. Primary school-aged children in areas of the country that previously participated in the pilot programme last year will also be offered the vaccine. Schoolchildren will be offered the vaccine via a schools-based programme.
Children aged 2 -18 years with long term health conditions (e.g. asthma requiring previous hospital admission), should also be offered Fluenz Tetra. Children between 6 months and 2 years with long term health conditions will be offered the injected flu vaccine.
In all settings providing vaccination, facilities should be available and staff trained to recognise and treat anaphylaxis.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have advised that children with egg allergy can safely be vaccinated with Fluenz Tetra in...
Allergy UK has asked their friend Winston to come out to play this Halloween and make himself known to trick or treaters up and down the UK!
We would like to see ‘Winston the Watermelon’ taking the place of pumpkins inside and outside of people’s homes across the UK, not only to raise awareness of allergies, but to show trick or treaters that you are an allergy aware household. Who knows, you may even be able to provide an extra special treat for those ghosts and ghouls who have to be a little more vigilant about which treats they can enjoy?
As you can see, Winston is a little bit different to the conventional Halloween pumpkin, some may even say more stylish, representing the Allergy UK brand colours! But being different doesn’t stop him from getting involved in all of the festivities, and why should it? He is encouraging everybody else to do the same to show support for the 6-8% of children in the UK who have a proven food allergy and who may be feeling a little anxious about trick or treating this Halloween.
To show your support and to get involved you could give out non-food treats to trick or treaters, or even throw a not-so-terrifying, allergy safe party.
SAGES and ACS will be conducting FLS Testing at the ACS 2015 Clinical Congress. More information is available at: FLS Testing Information SAGES will also be conducting FES and FUSE testing during ACS. For more information, please visit: FES Testing Information http://www.fuseprogram.org/testing-information/acs-meeting-2015/ See you there!
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