Screen babies for immunodeficiencies

Newborns should be screened for primary immunodeficiency diseases, an expert says.n newborns should be screened for severe immunodeficiency diseases to improve survival and health outcomes for those born without a functional immune system, a paediatric specialist says.

Currently babies are screened, via the heel prick blood test, for more than 40 different conditions, including inborn errors of metabolism and cystic fibrosis.

Dr Jovanka King, a specialist paediatric immunologist and immunopathologist at SA Pathology at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the University of Adelaide, wants screening to be expanded to include inherited primary immunodeficiency diseases (PID).

She says infants with an inherited PID – of which there are more than 150 types – are in-and-out of hospital with severe and recurrent infections.

Within one year they can face eight or more ear infections, two or more serious sinus infections and two or more bouts of pneumonia.

Babies born with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) – which inhibits the production of T and B immune cells – become critically unwell relatively quickly, says Dr King.

“They require long stays in hospital, expensive treatments and medications, intensive care admissions and the condition is associated with a high rate of death and other complications arising from that,” Dr King said.

A bone marrow or stem cell transplant offers a cure for SCID and the evidence shows survival is greatly improved when performed before the age of three-and-a-half months, Dr King said.

“Beyond this age, affected babies have a higher burden of infection and other complications due to their untreated disease,” she said.

“The only realistic way to achieve the goal of early transplantation for babies with SCID is to diagnose them early in the newborn period, before they develop symptoms of the disease,” she said.

But currently a diagnosis can take months and for this reason expanding screening should be a health priority, Dr King told experts at the Pathology Update 2018, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia’s (RCPA) annual conference held at the weekend.

“Conditions such as SCID are life-threatening, therefore making a diagnosis and starting treatment as early as possible is essential, Dr King said.

Studies in Sweden have demonstrated expanding screening to include PID would save lives.

“Affected infants were detected by an abnormal screening test, which enabled rapid medical assessment, confirmatory testing and commencement of treatment within the first weeks of life,” Dr King said.

Doctor King also believes this new screening would also be cost effective.

“Economic analyses performed in other countries have demonstrated that it is more cost effective to screen newborns for SCID than it is to manage a critically unwell child in whom diagnosis and treatment was delayed, which is costly to health systems.”

Xenophon wants to lure Qantas to SA

Alan Joyce is looking for a location to establish an international flight academy to train pilots.Nick Xenophon wants Qantas pilots to train in regional South .

The SA-BEST leader says he’ll ensure the next state government provide the airline with a financial incentive to set up a training base in Whyalla or Port Lincoln, if his party holds the balance of power after the March 17 election.

“The training staff, trainee pilots, support staff and ancillary staff would all live and work in the area, injecting millions of dollars a year into the local economy,” Mr Xenophon said.

Last month Qantas announced plans to address the global pilot shortage by setting up what it said could eventually be the southern hemisphere’s largest flight academy.

“Boeing estimates the world will need about 640,000 more pilots in the next 20 years, with 40 per cent in the Asia Pacific region,” Chief executive Alan Joyce said last month.

He said the company would look not just at the financial incentive package offered by states but existing infrastructure when picking a location.

“Over time, we see the potential for the academy to become a competitive advantage for in the region, it could train pilots for other airlines and grow into the largest academy of its kind in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

The company plans to open the $20 million school in 2019 and train 500 pilots a year.

South will face tough competition with Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner indicating his government would prepare a business case and mayors in far-north Queensland indicating they would also bid for the facility.

SA-BEST said an incentive for Qantas to come to SA would be similar to the $10 million offered to OZ Minerals to relocate their headquarters from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick praises toughness of Nigel Boogaard after season-threatening injury

TWO days after slamming the histrionics of Sydney defender Jordy Buijs, Jets coach Ernie Merrick has praised the toughness of Newcastle skipperNigel Boogaard, who is likely to miss the rest of the season.

Boogaardwas on Tuesday found to have a fractured tibia and torn calf in his left leg from an incident late in the 2-1 win over Sydney on Saturday night. He is expected to miss between six to 10 weeks, giving him only a slight chance of featuring in the finals.

The centre-back, who shook off a knee muscle strain to take on Sydney, walked off in the 82ndminute as the 10-man Jets fought to retain their advantage at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Buijs, on the other hand, came in for heavy criticism for his theatrics an hour earlier when rolling on the ground andholding his face after a seemingly minor collision with Roy O’Donovan, who was sent off.

@NewcastleJetsFC coach Ernie Merrick on the departure of @[email protected]@ALeaguepic.twitter苏州美甲/OJ5i2RIHHB

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) March 6, 2018Herald that Buijs “put on an injury display like a B-grade actor that was embarrassing”.

On Tuesday, he praised the resilienceof Boogaard in facing his injury blow.

“He’s taken it well, he’s a tough character, mentally and physically,” Merrick said.“He walked off the park and if I ever ask him how it is, he always says it’s 100 per cent, ready to go, but he’ll have to sit out for a few weeks now.

“He’s had a great year withhe and Nikolai [Topor-Stanley] as the centre of defence, their stats this year have been better than any other pair in the league.”

@NewcastleJetsFC coach Ernie Merrick on the injury to Nigel Boogaard @[email protected]苏州美甲/5nxaHzRZ7W

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) March 6, 2018

Merrick held out little hope of having Boogaard back this season, which could end for the Jetswith the grand final on May 5.

Nigel Boogaard

“Because he hyper-extended his knee, there’s a compression fracture on his tibia,” he said.“It’s not a slight fracture, it’s fairly major.

“The good news is there’s no damage to the articular area of the knee and nor has the ACL been damaged.

“If either of those had been damaged, it would have been very bad and he would have been out for a very long time.

“The good news is it’s a six to 10 week injury. It’s unlikely, but there’s a very small chance he could play in the finals, but he doesn’t have to have an operation. He can gostraight into rehabilitation, which he’s doing upstairs as we speak.”

Boogaard is off-contract at season’s endand Merrick said the injury would have no bearing on the club’s desire to retain the 31-year-old.

“His contract negotiations will continue. It will make no difference to those. We want to keep him at this club,” he said.“He’s very good technically.Strategically, he’s a good on-field leader and he’s a good person to have aroundon and off the fieldat the club.”

The Jets next play on March 17 against Welllington and Merrick indicated Lachlan Jackson would get first crack at replacing Boogaard.

“Lachlan Jackson comes into consideration,Ben Kantarovski canplay as a centre-back, so can Ivan Vujic and Johnny Koutroumbis, so we’ve got a few options,” he said.“Lachlan seems the most obvious one because he’s played twice now against Sydney and has done a very good job.”

Knights the great unknown of NRL: Manly

Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans will carry much of the attacking burden for Manly in 2018.Expect the unexpected from Newcastle this NRL season.

That’s the opinion of Manly ace Tom Trbojevic as the Knights get set to launch their campaign against the Sea Eagles on Friday night.

There’s high expectation in the Hunter that the arrival of Mitchell Pearce, Connor Watson and Kalyn Ponga will usher in a new era for Nathan Brown’s side after three years of failure.

A bumper 25,000-strong crowd is expected for the round-one clash and some rusted-on supporters are tipping the Knights to climb into finals contention for the first time since 2013.

Trbojevic said the Knights were an unknown quantity for everyone in the competition and they didn’t know what they were set to throw at them.

“It’s very tough to do homework,” Trbojevic said.

“That’s why we can’t really do too much, it’s all about yourselves.

“They’ve got some really big name inclusions – Mitchell Pearce, Connor Watson, Kalyn Ponga, there’s some great players there.

“They haven’t played much together, so you don’t know how to take them on.”

Bookmakers have the Knights and Sea Eagles at even money, with the jury still out on Trent Barrett’s side after the departure of Blake Green, who is set to be replaced by rookie Lachlan Croker at five-eighth.

The hype around the Knights has reached fever pitch with the club having signed up 13,935 members – about 2000 more than they had last year.

Trbojevic said he was bracing for an inhospitable welcome at McDonald Jones Stadium and it was up to his side to embrace the pressure.

“It’s going to be a hostile environment,” he said.

“But then again everyone loves playing the big stages and that’s going to be a big one on Friday night.”

Women’s team ready for Indian cricket test

captain Meg Lanning had an interrupted Women’s World Cup campaign last year.Returning captain Meg Lanning says the n women’s cricket team is well prepared for difficult conditions in India.

The star batter is back from a seven-month stint on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury and will bolster the visitors significantly for the one-day series starting on March 12.

The three ODIs will be followed by a T20 tri-series against the hosts and England.

have two warm-up matches against India A in Mumbai, on March 6 and tywo days later.

Lanning said there is no need for a dramatic shake-up for after they won the Ashes during the summer.

“We need to slightly tweak our games to suit the conditions and the opposition, but there won’t be any major changes,” she said.

“It’s about adapting to the conditions… the heat and the different pitch conditions and once we get into the matches we’ll be getting more specific about how we want to play the game.”

Lanning, who averages 54.52 in the one-day format, will slot straight back in at No.3 after last playing in the World Cup semi-final loss against India last July.

Veteran vice-captain Alex Blackwell has retired, meaning acting Ashes captain Rachael Haynes will be Lanning’s permanent deputy.

Lanning has high hopes for uncapped pair Nicola Carey and Sophie Molineux, with allrounder Tahlia McGrath missing due to injury.

“They’ve had good domestic seasons and slotted in very nicely so we’re looking forward to seeing how they go in the tour,” Lanning said.

Molineux could provide a spinning option with her left-arm orthodox, an art that is crucial on the turning wickets of India.

“Our spinners have done quite well over here in the past,” Lanning said.

“We’ve got good some variety within our spinning ranks and these two practice matches will see how they operate best.”

Shock last delivery for Aussie milkman

Aussie Farmers Direct struggled to compete with the major supermarkets and has collapsed.Nostalgia for the days of the milkman led Heather and Geoff Roberts to invest in Aussie Farmers Direct.

The Melbourne couple in their late 50s took out two franchises and a truck lease for $120,000 to deliver fresh milk and groceries to elderly and time-poor customers.

After completing his overnight deliveries on Monday, Mr Roberts woke up in the afternoon to devastating news the grocery delivery service that began 13 years ago was to close immediately after going into voluntary administration.

They are among 100 franchisees and 260 employees hit by the closure – most of them from Victoria.

“The reason we went into it was because we liked the idea of supporting n primary industry,” he told AAP, adding he grew up in regional areas.

“What appealed to me was Aussie Farmers were paying fair farm gate prices.”

The Roberts, who have a son with special needs, are owed a month’s worth of delivery fee payments and have started filling out Centrelink forms, while they try to find other options for their delivery business and customers.

They had invested Mrs Robert’s superannuation into the venture and had planned to retire in the next five years and hire a driver to keep the business ticking along.

“I haven’t had a holiday for the past two-and-a-half years while I was doing deliveries,” he said, adding that won’t happening now either.

Administrator Craig Shepard said there was little cash in the company, which struggled to compete with the supermarket giants in a tough retail environment exacerbated by low wage growth.

The company had expanded to NSW, Queensland, WA, SA and the ACT, but Mr Shepard said Aussie Farmers Direct had struggled to compete with the major supermarkets and the promotion of low-cost imported products they sold.

A creditors’ meeting will be called next week.

Franchisees are secondary creditors down the list behind farmers and employees.

Meeting to help turn the tide on Stockton erosion woes

LANDFILL: Workers on site at the former Stockton rubbish dump where 5000 tonnes of household garbage has been stockpiled after it was exposed to the sea by worsening erosion. Picture: Jonathan CarrollDECADES of household rubbish hasbeingstockpiled on Stockton beach as the suburb continues to waitfor a solution to itsworsening erosion problem.

Morethan 5000 tonnes of garbage hasbeen dug up after Fairfax Media revealed in Januarythat an old council landfill site, on Hunter Water land, was spewing rubbish into the sea.

Tubesof nappy rash cream, used bandages, car parts and asbestos were among the items discovered in mounds of household rubbish at the site, just north of Corroba Oval.

It’sthe latesttwist tothe suburb’s worseningerosion problem that has been an issue for decades. A large area of the tip has since been dug up andthe mountain ofrubbish covered with geo-fabric.

RELATED:High tide of discontent asStockton erosioncrisis

A Hunter Water spokeswoman said workers had excavated up to four-metres deep and 10 metres behind the high-tide mark.

About 3000 tonnes of sand wasbrought in to re-fill parts of the coastline.The next phase of work involves installing large sand containers to protect the site from further erosion.

A Hunter Water spokeswoman said the authority was working with Newcastle City Council and the Environment Protection Authority to investigate if further remediation works were needed.

Tipping point on Stockton erosion: decades of waste piled on beach DISGUSTED: An old landfill was uncovered on Stockton beach on Friday, with rubbish washing into the water. Keith Craig of the Stockton Community Action Group described it as a “terrible” situation. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

DISGUSTED: An old landfill was uncovered on Stockton beach on Friday, with rubbish washing into the water. Keith Craig of the Stockton Community Action Group described it as a “terrible” situation. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebook Garbage tip washing into the sea at StocktonPictures: Max Mason-HubersShe said the rubbish was being stockpiled on site until an “appropriate” disposal method was identified.

Meanwhile, a community information session onerosion will be held atStockton RSL on Wednesday from 4.30pm to 6pm.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes will host the session that will look at remediation work, future plans and possible long-term solutions.

RELATED:Mine relic revealsStockton’s erosionproblem

Staff from the Office of Environment and Heritage and Hunter Water will attend.

Representatives from Mission will also be at the meeting to discuss the future of the suburb’s only child-care centre that is under threat from erosion.

The centre was forced to close for several days in Januarywhen large seas threatened the children’s outdoor play area.

Residents argue that Stockton should be categorized as an erosion “hotspot” to qualify for additional funding, but the state government saidlast month itdid not meet the criteria.

In December, the council removed Stockton from its coastal management plan, which proposes measures to address erosion along the coastline and is submitted to the state government to secure money from an $82 million funding pool.

It came after the state government’s Office of Environment and Heritage refused to sign off on anearlier version of the plan, which did address a long-term solution for the Stockton erosion problem.

READ MORE:Garbage tip washing into the sea atStockton

Newcastle Jets question judiciary consistency but opt against appeal of Roy O’Donovan suspension

THE Newcastle Jets have not appealed the two-match suspension handed to striker Roy O’Donovan despite questions raised over the consistency of the A-League’s independent match review panel.

GONE: Roy O’Donovan leaves the pitch at McDonald Jones Stadium after being shown a straight red card on Saturday. Picture: AAP/Darren Pateman

O’Donovan was sent off for a 13th-minute clash with Sydney’s Jordy Buijs in Newcastle’s 2-1 win on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.The Irishman was given a straight red and the two-game sanction despite outcries over Buijs’ over-reaction to the seemingly accidental blow to the head.

The Jets had until midday on Tuesday to appeal, but after a delay following an inquiry to the FFA from theclub, Newcastle decided against challenging the penalty.

Earlier, Jets coach Ernie Merrick said he was “enormously disappointed” with the sanction before adding“but I don’t really want to say too much”.Merrick was fined $3000 for his post-match comments on the refereeing performance following the 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers in round 20.

@NewcastleJetsFC coach Ernie Merrick on the injury to Nigel Boogaard @[email protected]苏州美甲/5nxaHzRZ7W

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) March 6, [email protected] coach Ernie Merrick on the departure of @[email protected]@ALeaguepic.twitter苏州美甲/OJ5i2RIHHB

— Craig Kerry (@craigkerry77) March 6, 2018

“He was off after 10 minutes so that’s virtually a suspension for one game, and now he’s got another two,” Merrick added about the O’Donovan sanction.“And comments made after the game by some players in the opposition side aren’t sanctioned?I just can’t work it out anymore, but I won’t say too much.”

Merrick appeared toreferto comments from Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque made after the loss to Newcastle,which included:​”There were a lot of contentious calls, there will be a different referee in the grand final so what happened tonight won’t happen again.”

Merrick said replacing O’Donovan and Japan-bound Andrew Nabbout, the Jets’ mainstriking options this year, will be achallenge.

“Joey Champness is playing really well every time he comes on and he’sprobably due a start,” he said.“There’s Kosta Petratos, as well as maybe moving a midfielder forward, a very attacking type of midfielder, or we can go with one of the younger ones, I guess Angus Thurgate, so we’ve got a few options.”

A plus for the Jets is the expected return of South Americans Ronny Vargas and Pato Rodriguez for their next clash, againstWellington on March 17.Vargas has not played since a sickening ankle injury in round three and Rodriguez (calf) has missed the past two games.

Merrick said Rodriguez was “very fit” andwould able to start against Wellington, but Vargas come off the bench as he rebuilds hit match fitness.

Theatre on Brunker’s Perfect WeddingKen Longworth

AWKWARD: Madeline Valentinis and Lee Mayne as the ‘happy’ couple, and Bridget Barry as the groom’s surprise bed mate.THE comedy Perfect Wedding begins with a man waking in a hotel room on the morning of his wedding day to find an attractive woman he doesn’t know sleeping beside him.

His fiancée is due to arrive within minutes to get ready for the marriage ceremony, so he has to quickly get the woman out of sight.

The man attended his stag party the previous night and obviously drank too much. So when his best man arrives to help him prepare for the ceremony he seeks his aid in keeping the scantily clad young woman hidden in the suite’s bathroom, asking that if she is discovered he will say she is his girlfriend.

Nothing, of course, goes right, with one pretense after another having to be adopted, and a chambermaid finding herself increasingly more caught up in the deceptions as first the bride and then her mother arrive. And the mother’s happily repeated singing of Here Comes the Bride, as she refers to the wedding as being “perfect”, doesn’t help.

Perfect Wedding, by English writer Robin Hawdon, whose other works include the comedy Don’t Dress for Dinner, has been a worldwide hit, with many reviews noting that as well as being a riotous comedy it is also a touching love story.

Adamstown’s Theatre on Brunker is staging Perfect Wedding for a four-weekend season from April 6 to 28, with watchers having a choice of dinner-and-show or show only. The cast includes: Lee Mayne as the groom, Bill; Madeline Valentinis as the bride, Rachel, who expects others to accept her commands; Carl Gregory as the best man, Tom, who is dependable; Bridget Barry as the attractive girl in the bed, Judy; Sandy Aldred as the ever more annoyed chambermaid, Julie; and Amanda Woolford as the bride’s emotional mother, Daphne. Brian Wark directs.

Lee Mayne notes that Bill isn’t the only one who tries to lie his way out of an embarrassing situation.

“Virtually no one tells the truth, and, late in the play, Bill doesn’t know what the truth is anymore.”

Brian Wark points to the story being very fast-moving, with confusion growing because of the similarity of the names of Judy and Julie. And, as Carl Gregory mentions, a lot of people have been to weddings where unexpected things have happened, a factor that has added to appreciation of Perfect Wedding.

Theatre on Brunker’s shows are staged in St Stephen’s Church Hall, near Adamstown Post Office. Perfect Wedding has performances on Friday and Saturday, from April 6 to 28, with dinner beginning at 7pm and the show at 8pm. There will also be a show-only matinee on Sunday, April 22, at 2pm.

The dinner-and-show cost is $45, and show-only tickets are $22, concession $18.

Bookings: 4956 1263.

Newcastle Doctor Jeremy Coleman takes stand in sexual assault trial in Newcastle District Court

ACCUSED: Dr Jeremy Coleman, left, leaving Newcastle courthouse with his solicitor, Metin Ozmen. He is facing a lengthy sexual and indecent assault trial in Newcastle District Court. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers THE Newcastle general physician and allergy and immunology specialist accused of sexually and indecently assaulting 46 female patients says he always asked permission before conducting a breast or vaginal exam.

Dr Jeremy Coleman, 46, was giving evidence for the second day during his marathon sexual assault trial in Newcastle District Court, telling the jury that before he conducted anexamination he would explain why and ask for consent.

The well-known Newcastle doctor,who has seen more than 40,000 patients and conducted more than 150,000 consultations during his career, has pleaded not guilty to more than60 counts of sexual and indecent assault against 46female patientsbetween 1989 and 2013.

The trial has previously heard that very few patients resisted the request, with Crown prosecutor Paul Marr summarisingthe general sentiment as “this man is a specialist, maybe there is some reason for this”.

The prosecution contends that Dr Coleman did not have a “proper medical purpose” for the examinations that are the subject of the trial.

Defence barrister Pauline David has said that Dr Coleman’s only purpose for examining and touching every patient was a medical one.

“The defence position is that everything he did was proper and everything he did was for a proper medical purpose,” Ms David said during her opening address in August.

However, Dr Coleman’s evidence on Tuesday about conducting breast examinations contrasts sharplywith the prosecution case that Dr Coleman would touch women’s breasts in a sensual way or without warning.

“Some of the ladies were subject to touching of their breasts, in a way that they say had nothing to do withthe medical examinations,” Mr Marr said during his opening.

“Some described a sensual touching of their breasts, some described their nipples being touched, palm placed on his breasts and he spun his hands.”

Mr Marr said one patient described getting dressed after an examination when Dr Coleman “came up beside her and put his hand inside her top so that his hand is on her breast”.

Dr Jeremy Coleman on the process of conducting an external vaginal examination.