PVL-MSSA ! Find out about high risks activities which could lead to this skin infection



An investigation at a rugby club into a serious infection which usually causes boils, abscesses and carbuncles found that some spread among the players may have been caused by the sharing of towels and razors or the same ice bath. The work is being presented at PHE’s annual conference this week.

The skin condition is called PVL-MSSA. This is a strain of Staphyloccocus aureus (SA) bacteria known as Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) which produces a toxin known as Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL).

You can find out more about Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MSRA here.

Most active infections present as recurrent boils and abscesses but it can lead to serious infections which can cause the skin and tissues to die (necrotising fasciitis), and may be life threatening.

Rugby is a well-recognised sport for PVL infection (as is wrestling) as the close contact and ‘turf burns’ from artificial grass can abrade the skin allowing the bacteria to multiply and get into the body.

Between August 2013 and February 2014 the PHE team in the South Midlands carried out an investigation into cases of PVL-MSSA, which included a questionnaire completed by players and staff followed by swabbing to detect the presence of PVL-MSSA bacteria.

In total four cases with an identical strain of PVL MSSA were identified, suggesting transmission within this setting. Two cases of active PVL infection with an identical strain of bacteria were found together with a positive result for colonisation (bacteria on the skin but no active infection) in a member of staff. A further case of PVL-MSSA wound infection was identified a week after the investigation had concluded in a player who had not attended the screening in February 2014.

Out of 59 people who responded to the questionnaire in February 2014, the results were as follows:

Regularly share towels 11 people (19 per cent)
Regularly share razors 6 people (10 per cent)
Regularly share clothing 3 people (5 per cent)
Use a cold bath after game/training 22 people (37 per cent)
Suffered any skin conditions in the last year 17 people (29 per cent)
Suffered from any other infections in the last year 11 people (19 per cent)

Dr Deepti Kumar, a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at PHE said: “PVL-MSSA can be a very serious infection and any positive result either for colonisation or active infection will require appropriate medical treatment not just of the patient but also of their close contacts or family. Because it can spread easily it is important to ensure that the correct procedures are in place to limit the spread of the bacteria.

“The investigation identified a number of high risk practices among the players which increase their chances of getting an infection, such as sharing towels and razors, and sharing ice baths with their fellow team members. We would urge any sportsperson who plays a sport where cuts and grazes are commonplace to practice good hygiene and not share any item with fellow team members to reduce their risk of developing an infection.”

1. Four cases of PVL infection with an identical strain linked to the Club were identified over a period of 8 months.

2. In the first round of screening in December 2013 55 players and 34 staff completed questionnaires. The club medical team took swabs from 13 players and staff in total.

3. In December 2013 nine staff and nine players were swabbed and of these 5 (three staff and two players) were reported as MSSA positive but only one was positive for PVL MSSA.

4. In February 2014 swabs were taken from 59 players and staff and of these 21 (36 per cent) were positive for MSSA. They were all negative for PVL-MSSA.

5. Many people carry strains of SA on their skin and can pass the bacteria to others by direct contact. Those who carry the bacteria on their skin without any signs of infection are said to be ‘colonised’ with the bacteria.

6. PHE data show that there are between 1,200-1,500 cases of PVL-MSSA nationally each year.

Tie One on for Multiple Sclerosis. Help raise awareness of multiple sclerosis on 30th September 2014.

Tie One on for Multiple Sclerosis

Tie One on for Multiple Sclerosis

As some of you may know the first Tie One on for Multiple Sclerosis Day too place on 31st March this year. Check out our post here to find out more!

As you can see the idea is very straight forward To help get out the word about MS we ask everyone in the multiple sclerosis community to wear an orange tie for one day to raise awareness. It gives a great opportunity to start real conversations with people about MS rather than just speaking to ourselves on Facebook and Twitter.

The next day has been set for 30th September so please Tie One on for Multiple Sclerosis then. For updates and pictures why not like the Facebook page.

Do you have a child on the autism spectrum? Texas Christian University would like your help with a survey!

Texas Christian University have ask us to help then find mothers of children with autism (ASD) to participate in a survey.

They share “I am part of the Families, Autism, and Child Emotion Studies Lab at Texas Christian University. We are starting an exciting new research project here at TCU, in which we study the social and emotional functioning of parents raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder. As I’m sure you understand, the success of our research depends, in part, on our ability to recruit a large number of families who are willing to share their time with us. We would greatly appreciate your help in spreading the word about this study to families who may be interested or participating yourself. Any help we can get is always greatly appreciated! ”

They have produced a flyer giving more information on the study which we reproduce below.

Families, Autism, and Child Emotion Studies Lab

Families, Autism, and Child Emotion Studies Lab

If you wish to take part please contact Dr Naomi Ekas at tcufaces@gmail.com.

Otherwise it would be great if you could share this flyer.

The Benefits of First Aid Training – How it helped saved a three year old from choking!

Andy Cave

Andy Cave

We at PatientTalk.Org are strong supporters of as many people as possible receiving first aid training.

St John Ambulance have produced a number of cases studies which we feel show that value of formal training. Today’s example looks at choking.

Andy Cave, 35, experienced every parent’s fear when his young daughter choked on a coin in November 2013 but he drew on skills he’d learned just weeks before to save her.
Three-year-old Keerah had been playing with her money-box when suddenly she started to struggle. As she began to turn pale, Andy began to perform first aid on his daughter. After three back slaps, the coin eventually dislodged, clearing Keerah’s airway and saving her life. Following the incident, Andy reached out to his friends on social media, encouraging them to learn first aid. Since his experience, he believes all parents should be taught basic life saving skills that he said helped him to deal with an incredibly scary situation.

Blood Cancer Awareness Month – please share this brilliant infographic from Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

This month is National Blood Cancer Awareness Month promoted by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The have produced a brilliant infographic below. Please do share to help us raise awareness of blood cancers such as Leukemia and Lymphoma.

National Blood Cancer Awareness Month

National Blood Cancer Awareness Month

The Caldwell Foundation would like to know more about communication difficulties faced by people with autism!

The Caldwell Foundation

The Caldwell Foundation

Can you help? We have been asked to post the following by The Caldwell Foundation.

They share “The Caldwell Foundation is a small charity providing communication support to people with autism who experience distress and isolation in their lives because of their communication difficulties. Do visit our website at http://thecaldwellfoundation.org.uk

We have just launched a survey to find out more about the communication difficulties experienced by people with autism and by those who care for and work with them.
The survey is very short and would really help us get our charity up and running.
We’d love to hear your views and experiences. Just click on the relevant link below.


PS As part of the survey we have a prize draw in which recipients could win a copy of Phoebe Caldwell’s DVD Learning the Language AND a copy of her latest book, The Anger Box!!!”

If your child is developmentally delayed, you need to understand more about motor planning. A guest post about Autism and ADHD from Dr. Sonya Doherty

Dr. Sonya Doherty

Dr. Sonya Doherty

Welcome to our latest guest post from Dr. Sonya Doherty. You can read the original post on her blog here. Dr. Sonya Doherty is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor who is an active member of the CAND. Sonya Doherty completed her undergraduate training at the University of Western Ontario in a Bachelor of Science Honors Kinesiology program.

She writes “How’s that for a blog title?????

Children diagnosed with autism and ADHD have tremendous difficulty with motor planning.  New areas of research are showing that motor planning problems can be prevented, treated and reversed.  So, what does that mean for your child?  Better communication, less sensory issues (which means more social interaction), openness to new foods, improved eye contact, restored focus and attention, better coordination, enhanced fine motor and gross motor skills….

Are you with me?  Are you ready to immerse yourself in a little cellular physiology so I can introduce you to a wonderful researcher who has helped in the recovery of thousands of children by improving their motor planning?

Okay, let’s get started.  You may be asking, what the heck is motor planning and how does it impact my child?

Motor planning is the steps the brain puts in place to allow the body to move.  Many neuroscientists believe the reason we have a brain is to produce adaptable and complex movement.  Every way we affect the world relies on contraction of muscles.  Speaking, walking, focusing, eye contact and even having a bowel movement!  Another important piece of information about movement is that contraction of muscles requires a plan.  That plan is formulated by the brain relying on both experience and sensory input.  In the case of autism, sensory processing is impaired and the overwhelming sensory stimuli reduce the brain’s effectiveness when creating a motor plan.  I believe this is what drives many repetitive behaviours.  Repetition is very important to motor planning.  Without the ability to rely on sensory input, children with autism “bank” their experiences.  They attempt to memorize enough information as possible to compensate for the sensory overload, with the goal of stabilizing motor planning.

Problems with motor planning are not the lack of desire or ability to move, they are caused by inconsistent instructions from the brain.  Imagine that you want to blow a bubble.  If the parts of your brain that control motor planning are intact, your mouth will receive a succinct plan to coordinate the muscles of your mouth to get in the right position and then contract synergistically to create the movement needed to blow a bubble.  If your child’s motor planning systems are not strong or have been damaged, blowing a bubble or sucking from a straw can be extremely difficult.  Because the instructions from the brain are inconsistent, some skills can be strong and others more difficult.  You may also find that one day your child can perform a motor movement and the next day it is very difficult for them.  As in saying words or making eye contact.

As many of you know, two and a half years ago our youngest son regressed after his first surgery to repair a severe birth defect.  A birth defect that is linked to mounting toxicity in our environment and, like autism, ADHD, speech delay and other developmental issues, is on the rise.  There were many researchers and medical practitioners who have helped us in our pursuit to recover as many skills as possible for our son.  Dr. Claudia Morris, who will be presenting at Autism Canada’s upcoming conference, developed a motor planning therapy that helped her own son using omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in addition to therapeutic doses of vitamin E.  These nutritional treatments address toxic damage to the cells, including cell membranes and the energy producing mitochondria.  Despite over two years of biomedical treatment, we are still not 100% sure what caused the regression for our son.  What I am sure of is that the combination of anesthetics, antibiotics, Tylenol and morphine he was given changed the way his cells were functioning.

Cells are like any living organism, they are designed to communicate with each other.  Disruption in this communication impacts the signals that go back and forth.  A significant toxic insult will cause the cells to all start “screaming” at each other. Chronic toxic exposure over time will have the same result.  Alert signals will escalate and in the end, in an effort to protect themselves, the cells stop communicating in some ways so they aren’t overwhelmed by the alert signals coming in from their neighbours.  As an isolated entity, the cell is much less effective.  Things slow down.  The brain has trouble communicating clear instructions to the muscles, disrupting motor planning.  Motor planning becomes very difficult without smooth cellular communication.  A recent study used a century old drug to improve cell signalling in an animal model of autism.  The results was nothing short of incredible.  The drug reversed all autism symptoms for a few weeks by blocking “danger” signals thought to come from damaged mitochondria.

Dr. Morris has shown, that motor planning can be improved by repairing cells, and restoring cellular communication.  You see, one of the thousands of children Dr. Claudia Morris has helped is my own.  Her research and brave foray into nutritional therapies for motor planning is the treatment approach that helped reconnect our son’s mouth to his brain, allowing him to chew, swallow and speak.  Two and half years ago, Magnus would gag at most foods, choke on many others, couldn’t suck on a straw or blow.  He certainly couldn’t coordinate his articulation muscles to speak.  The words he had weren’t clear and he could use only one word at a time and with great effort.  Repairing his cell membranes and supporting mitochondrial function with Dr. Morris’s program has allowed cellular communication to return.  Once his cells were again communicating, we were able to see progress through introducing new foods and textures.  His speech pathologists were able to expertly advise us on the fastest way to get his muscles caught up by strengthening them and training the motor planning centers to be able to perform better.  Today, Magnus can eat anything and is beginning to speak in sentences as long as 7 words. In practice, I have seen the same results time and time again.  If a child has motor planning problems, improving the cell’s use of essential fatty acids and repairing the cell membrane consistently results in improvements that are life changing.

We know that many toxins can damage the body on a cellular level.  There are too many to list here but one that I feel is really important to mention is Tylenol.  Tylenol is toxic to cells because it depletes glutathione, which is the body’s most important antioxidant.  Antioxidants protect cells, so the depletion of glutathione by Tylenol is one way cells get damaged.  Women who take Tylenol in pregnancy are more likely to have a child diagnosed with ADHD.   Tylenol has also been linked to asthma.  Dr. William Shaw wrote a ground breaking paper that identifies Tylenol as one of the major causes of autism, ADHD and asthma.
We also know that genes can be damaged by toxins and that damaged genes are passed along to the next generation.  Epigenetic damage to some genes directly weakens cell function.  The microbiome, the ecosystem in the gut, also plays a crucial role in protect cells from toxicity.  Our gut is the most important detoxification organ.  Diarrhea and constipation increase risk of toxicity because heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs and even breakdown products of microbes are removed when we have a bowel movement.  Overgrowth of certain microbes can damage cell membranes.  Research by Dr. Derrick MacFabe has shown in an animal model, overgrowth of the species clostridia, will deplete carnitine.  Carnitine is a shuttle that fuels the energy producing mitochondria with much needed essential fatty acids.   Low carnitine levels negatively impact motor planning and disrupt cell signalling.  These are just a few examples of how toxicity directly impacts cell function.

While hundreds of millions worth of research dollars are investigating what is contributing to disorders such as autism, very little research is focused on treatment.  We now know incontrovertibly that environmental toxicity is picking off at risk children with increasing devastation each generation.  Repair of the cell membranes is an elegant treatment strategy.  It is so simple.  It is so beautiful.  We have 100 TRILLION cells.  We have 100 TRILLION cell membranes.  If a treatment can help to repair 100 TRILLION cell membranes; guess what?  Motor planning will improve.  Eye contact will improve.  Focus, hand writing, walking up stairs, chewing food, blowing bubbles, speaking.  They will all get better.  And I am delighted to tell you that just as it did for our son, this approach has helped hundreds of children in my practice.

Simple.  Elegant.  Effective.  I for one, can’t wait to hear Dr. Morris speak this October at the Autism Canada Foundation.  I hope you will all join me there as we continue to learn how to help our children get better and feel better.

Dr. Sonya Doherty, ND FMAPS (candiate)

To hear Dr. Claudia Morris at this year’s conference - REGISTER HERE!  Autism-Conference

Fibromyalgia – Seeking people with fibromyalgia – Nursing students MacEwan University from would like you help with a very short survey.

MacEwan University Fibromyalgia Research

MacEwan University Fibromyalgia Research

A couple of days ago Maria Keirstead got in touch with us at our FaceBook Page FibromyagiaTalk.

Keirstead wrote “My name is Maria and am a third year nursing student at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. Myself and another student, Jessica, are currently working on a project related to fibromyalgia and have created a questionnaire to help guide us.”

With Fibro being one of the big subjects covered by this blog we are delighted to help Maria and Jessica in any way we can.

You can download the questionnaire here.Fibromyalgia Questionnaire from MacEwan University.

It would be great if you could respond by September 17th, 2014. Thank-you so much.
If you have any questions for us or would like to reply via email, we can be reached at flemingm16@mymacewan.ca or use the comments box below!

We are always delighted to help promote our readers events, blogs, research and publications. Indeed if you have anything you would like us to blog about please email us at patienttalkblog@gmail.com. Thanks.

“Feelings Matters” a new book about bullying from Bully Off

Feelings Matter from Bully Off

Feelings Matter from Bully Off

As regular readers know we are always delighted to help promote our readers events, blogs, research b and publications. Indeed if you have anything you would like us to blog about please email us at  patienttalkblog@gmail.com.  Thanks.

Today we have been asked by Jessica and Lindsey, the Founders of Bully Off, to tell you about their new book “Feelings Matter”.  As that parent of a child with autism you can imagine that this subject is one very close to my heart.

They say “The funds raised from sale of the book pay for services on offer – we offer a personalised service to parents where we can we visit them etc, we carry out anti bullying magic shows/workshops, liaise with schools on a victims behalf, we will be selling a book, which will be on sale from 1st December, and wondered if you could post for us the page and book cover? The title is “Feelings Matter”, and will include true stories from authors, parents, children and schools, our ethos is “keeping everybody included” and we cover special educational needs from all points of view in our book, (parents/pupils/teachers). We also have a teenager diagnosed with Aspergers acting as a bully off mentor speaking to other children in his area suffering from bullying. We work with local consultants to offer counselling and produce school planners with an anti bullying campaign throughout (as well as healthy eating and internet safety info). We would be entirely grateful if you could share the page and book. All proceeds of the book will be spent on widening the services geographically and help to maintain consistency in the level of service currently on offer”

The book  will be on sale from 1st December at £5.99, but they will be taking pre orders at their facebook page. The link to the page is  https://www.facebook.com/Bullyoff14

The Bully Off web site will be ready on the 12th october and you will be able to access it here!

You can follow them on Twitter at @ BullyOff1



World Sepsis Day is Saturday 13th September. Find out about the signs and symptoms of blood poisoning and how people are planning to mark the day!

World Sepsis Day 2014

World Sepsis Day 2014

It is now about twelve months since my father in law nearly dies from blood poisoning due to a botched operation.

I blogged about it at the time here in a post entitled “Sepsis, Scepticemia and Blood Poisoning. Find out about the signs and symptoms of blood poisoning.”

So you can imagine I’m very keen to show my support for Saturday’s World Sepsis Day.

There are loads of different ways the day is being marked by I rather like it that A sepsis survivor, Ian Hillier, 42, from Syston, is helping Leicester’s Hospitals mark World Sepsis Day by releasing 200 balloons at 12pm on Friday September 12 at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Which is in fact the day before!

The 200 balloons represent the number of lives in Leicester that could be saved if sepsis is detected early and properly managed. Which show the extent of the issue in the UK.

The condition, which kills more people than breast cancer in the UK, occurs when an infection starts to overwhelm the body, leading to impaired function of key body organs such as the kidneys, lungs and heart. Early symptoms of sepsis can appear benign, such as flu like illness or a pulled muscle.

Ian, who will be joined by his wife and daughter, said: “I was diagnosed with sepsis in June which had started with what I thought was a pulled muscle in my arm.

“Thanks to the early intervention of my GP and staff at the Royal, it was quickly diagnosed – before it was too late – and the treatment I received during my stay at the Royal saved my life.”

He added: “I’m delighted to have been asked to release these balloons – it’s important we continue to fight this disease which can affect any of us at any time.”

John Ashworth MP, Leicester South, is backing the balloon launch. He said: “As sepsis is estimated to cause 37,000 deaths a year, the work of Leicester’s Hospitals in increasing the recognition and treatment of patients with sepsis is vital.”

Leicester’s Hospitals has introduced a number of initiatives to improve the treatment of patients with sepsis, including training nearly one hundred members of staff to be ‘sepsis champions’.

John Parker, consultant anaesthetist at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “Our champions will actively promote prompt recognition and treatment of sepsis and ensure it is regarded by all as a medical emergency.

“Treatment within one hour of diagnosis is vital, so clinical staff will also have access to special ‘sepsis 6 boxes’, which we have developed. They contain life saving antibiotics, intravenous fluids and blood culture bottles.”

The newly introduced initiatives have already seen significant improvements in sepsis treatment at Leicester’s Hospitals. In 2013, 27% of patients received intravenous antibiotics within one hour of developing severe sepsis. For the year so far, this figure has risen to 50%.

World Sepsis Day takes place on Saturday 13 September 2014. For more information visit: www.sepsistrust.org

Please feel free to share what you are doing to mark World Sepsis Day in the comments section below.

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