Beck Row’s Mia makes the most of her hair and cash wig donation

Newmarket Journal - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 13:07

Long haired Mia Pearson decided to give hair to the Little Princess Trust but only after she grow it even longer first.

Categories: Local Press

Diluted apple juice 'as good as' rehydration drinks for children

NHS Choices - Behind the Headlines - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 13:00

"Scientists have revealed which fruit can stop toddlers crying due to stomach pains," says the Daily Mirror, missing the point of the study it reports on.

The study looked at the use of diluted apple juice to prevent dehydration in children with upset stomachs.

When children get diarrhoea or vomiting, the main danger is that they will lose too much fluid (become dehydrated). Severe dehydration can be life-threatening and can happen quickly in young children.

To prevent this, doctors often recommend giving them specially made rehydration drinks, with a mixture of salts and sugars designed to keep fluid levels stable. However, the drinks are expensive and some children don't like the taste.

The researchers wanted to see if rehydration drinks were actually better, or if drinking diluted apple juice followed by children's usual preferred drinks would work just as well for children aged over six months.

The study found that children given apple juice were less likely to need additional treatments – possibly because they were happier with the taste and more willing to drink the juice.

However, this may not work for all children, as the study didn't include any babies under six months, children with more serious stomach upsets or other conditions, and those who were already severely dehydrated.

The advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is still to give your child rehydration solution if you're worried they may become dehydrated and to seek medical advice if they don't get better. Fruit juice could make their diarrhoea worse and the current advice is that it should be avoided.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children and Child Health Evaluative Services in Toronto, all in Canada. It was funded by the Physician Services Incorporated Foundation.

No apple juice producers were involved in the funding of this study and the authors reported no conflict of interests.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), on an open-access basis, meaning it is free to read online.

The study seems to have confused the UK media. The Daily Express says "an apple a day" might cure children's tummy aches, the Daily Mirror says apples "could stop toddlers crying", while the Daily Mail says apples "could keep tummy bugs at bay".

All the headlines miss the point that the apple juice was tested as a treatment to prevent dehydration when a child has a bug, not to prevent stomach aches or infections. There's no evidence in the study to back up these headline claims.

What kind of research was this?

Researchers carried out a single-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT), to see whether diluted apple juice followed by the child's normal preferred drinks (such as milk, water or juice) worked as well to prevent dehydration as rehydration solutions.

RCTs are a good way to see which of two treatments works best. But in this case, the study was designed to see whether apple juice worked as well as rehydration solutions, not to say for certain which works best.

What did the research involve?

Researchers from a specialist children's hospital recruited 647 children aged from six months to five years who'd been brought into the emergency department with an upset stomach. Children were randomly divided into two groups and assigned to the different treatments.

The children were given their allocated fluids, designed to look the same, as soon as they'd been seen by the nurse. Their parents were told to start giving them sips of the fluid straight away. They were then seen by a doctor, who could change the treatment if necessary.

When they went home, parents were told to either keep on using the rehydration salts to replace fluid lost by diarrhoea or vomiting, or to use the diluted apple juice followed by the child's normal preferred drink. A research nurse phoned daily to check how they got on.

At the end of the study, researchers compared how many children had either needed additional treatment (such as fluids given through an IV drip) or to switch to the other treatment, or had long-lasting illness, dehydration or weight loss, or needed to go back to hospital or see the doctor with the same episode of upset tummy, within seven days.

A combination of any of these factors was called a "treatment failure".

They analysed the results to see if apple juice worked as well as rehydration salts, and to look for patterns that might explain it, such as the child's age.

What were the basic results?

Children who had apple juice followed by their preferred drinks did at least as well as those who had rehydration drinks:

  • 16.7% of children who'd had apple juice had treatment failure, and 2.5% needed fluids given through a drip
  • 25% of children who'd had rehydration drinks had treatment failure, and 9% needed fluids given through a drip

There were no significant differences between the two treatments in terms of frequency of diarrhoea and vomiting, weight loss and admission to hospital.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers say that diluted apple juice "may be an appropriate alternative" to rehydration drinks for children with mild tummy upsets in high income countries such as Canada, where few children get serious infections and there's easy access to healthcare.

They warn the results may not be relevant to low and middle income countries where children are more likely to get serious infections and to become dangerously dehydrated.

They point out that parents have been discouraged from giving children with stomach upsets sugary drinks like fruit juice, because it could make diarrhoea worse. However, they say their results provide evidence that "in children with minimal dehydration, promoting fluid consumption is more important" than how much sugar is in the fluid.

They say that children over two years of age seemed to get most benefit from apple juice, perhaps because they were more used to drinking sweetened drinks and were fussier about taste.


This study shows that diluted apple juice may work as well as rehydration salts for children with mild stomach upsets in preventing dehydration. But it might not work for all children, especially those with more serious stomach upsets, babies under six months, or children who are already more severely dehydrated.

It's important to remember that the children in this study were seen by a doctor before being allowed to continue with the diluted apple juice. They were all over six months old, didn't have other conditions that might have made the stomach upset more serious (such as diabetes) and had been checked for dehydration or other signs of serious illness.

There is also some missing information from the study that could have affected the results. We don't know whether parents continued to use apple juice or rehydration drinks as directed when they got home, or whether the child was receiving any treatment other than the hydration or anti-sickness tablets.

Most of the study results came from databases recording treatments given and visits to doctors or hospitals, or from phone calls by research nurses to the families after they'd left hospital. Not many parents returned the diary they'd been given to record their child's symptoms and whether the parents were happy with the treatment, so we don't know for sure if the parents were happy with the advice and their child's recovery.

If other studies also show that diluted apple juice works well for children with mild stomach upsets, doctors might decide to start recommending it instead of rehydration drinks.

For now, NICE advice is to encourage your child to drink fluids when they have a tummy bug, but to avoid giving your child fruit juice. See a doctor if you're worried your child is losing too much fluid.

Links To The Headlines

An apple a day could keep tummy bugs at bay: Toddlers given watered down juice recover from illness quicker. Mail Online, May 3 2016.

Scientists have revealed which fruit can stop toddlers crying due to stomach pains. Daily Mirror, May 3 2016.

Diluted apple juice 'ideal for treating tummy bug in children'. Daily Express, May 3 2016.

Links To Science

Freedman SB, Willan AR, Boutis K, et al. Effect of Dilute Apple Juice and Preferred Fluids vs Electrolyte Maintenance Solution on Treatment Failure Among Children With Mild Gastroenteritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. Published online April 30 2016.

Categories: NHS Choices

Apple warn iPhone users of scam targeting its customers in UK today

Newmarket Journal - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 12:14

Apple are warning its iPhone users of a scam targeting its customers today.

Categories: Local Press

More needs to be done to ensure the A10 is upgraded from Cambridge to King’s Lynn

Ely Standard - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 10:33

Plans to improve the A10 do not go far enough to ensure the entire stretch from Cambridge to King’s Lynn is upgraded, according to a county councillor.

Categories: Local Press

Cambridge artist and printmaker Paul Hawdon brings ‘Traces of Memory’ etchings exhibition to Babylon Gallery, Waterside, Ely

Ely Standard - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 10:26

‘Traces of Memory’, an exhibition by Cambridge-based artist and printmaker Paul Hawdon, is at the Babylon Gallery until Sunday (May 8).

Categories: Local Press

Man arrested after Haddenham police raid uncovers fifty cannabis plants and 850 grams of dried bud with an estimated street value of £6,000

Ely Standard - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 09:46

Fifty cannabis plants and approximately 850 grams of dried bud thought to be worth around £6,000 at current street value were recovered during a raid in Haddenham yesterday.

Categories: Local Press

Britain could be ‘hotter than Ibiza’ this weekend

Newmarket Journal - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 09:38

Following the coldest end to April in over 30 years, and a wash-out Bank Holiday for many, spring - or possibly summer - will arrive this weekend.

Categories: Local Press

Man charged with Wisbech murder - and also charged with ‘preventing her lawful and decent burial’

Ely Standard - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 09:08

Police investigating the murder of a woman in Wisbech have charged a man.

Categories: Local Press

Ambulance staff and volunteers thanked after eight per cent increase in bank holiday calls

Newmarket Journal - Wed, 04/05/2016 - 07:00

Ambulance staff and volunteers have been thanked for their hard work during another busy bank holiday weekend.

Categories: Local Press

Let the kids be kids say Haddenham parents

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 17:31

Children enjoyed a day of pond dipping, football and arts and crafts as part of a national stand against Government education policy which they say is ruining the school experience for young people.

Categories: Local Press

St Albans pervert who filmed women in swimming pool changing rooms sentenced

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 17:13

A pervert who secretly filmed hundreds of women was finally caught after he filmed a woman in the changing rooms of a swimming pool.

Categories: Local Press

Man whose driving forced coach off the road near March- with 70 on board- gets a suspended sentence and driving ban

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 16:20

A man whose driving caused a coach to overturn near March into a ditch – injuring 22 of the 70 passengers on board- has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Categories: Local Press

Crash leaves two vehicles damaged on A10 at Brandon Creek near Littleport

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 15:56

Four people walked away uninjured following a crash on the A10 at Brandon Creek on Monday.

Categories: Local Press

Man arrested for being in possession of cannabis following Haddenham police raid

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 15:46

A man was arrested in Haddenham earlier today for being in possession of cannabis.

Categories: Local Press

A 20-strong team of Network Rail workers from Ely are set to parachute out of a plane for a charity close to their hearts

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 14:46

A team of daredevil Network Rail workers are to jump out of a plane later this summer to raise money for the St Thomas’ Lupus Trust.

Categories: Local Press

Gene breakthrough promises 'bespoke' breast cancer treatment

NHS Choices - Behind the Headlines - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 14:30

"Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' genetic discovery," says The Independent, about widely reported research investigating genetic mutations in people with breast cancer.

The researchers took samples of cancer cells from 560 people with breast cancer (556 women and four men). They compared the DNA from the cancerous cells with DNA from normal cells.

They found 93 genes that had mutated in the cancer cells and concluded that they could have caused normal tissue to become cancerous. They also found 12 genetic patterns linked with breast cancer.

These findings have been called "groundbreaking" in the media. While they are certainly interesting, it's important to remember that, even if the gene is present, it doesn't mean the person will get cancer, just that their risk is increased.

It's hoped that the study will lead to more personalised treatments for breast cancer, similar to drugs used for other DNA mutations that are already known.

If there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you may be worried about your own risk. It's best to visit your GP, who can assess you and refer you to a genetic clinic if necessary.

The study was carried out by researchers from a number of institutions, including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, East Anglian Medical Genetics Service, and the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Funding for the study was provided by multiple organisations, including the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme, the Wellcome Trust and the Institut National du Cancer (INCa) in France. The ICGC Asian Breast Cancer Project was funded through a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature.

These findings have been reported accurately in the media. It's good to see explanations stating that, while this may be an important discovery, it may still be decades before targeted treatments become available. One of the researchers told the media: "Overall, I'm optimistic, but it's a tempered optimism".

Links To The Headlines

Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' gene discovery. Independent, May 3 2016

Breast cancer breakthrough: Hope for new treatments after scientists uncover detailed picture of genetic events that cause it. Daily Mail, May 3 2016

Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'milestone' genetic find. BBC News, May 3 2016

Study points towards personalised treatment for breast cancer. The Guardian, May 3 2016

Links To Science

Nik-Zainal S, Davies H, Staaf J, et al. Landscape of somatic mutations in 560 breast cancer whole-genome sequences. Nature. Published online May 2 2016

Categories: NHS Choices

Thousands of people help Glasswells celebrate milestone year

Newmarket Journal - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 14:25

Thousands of people helped home furnishings business Glasswells celebrate its 70th anniversary over the weekend.

Categories: Local Press

Manea rail station car park discussions continue amid safety concerns

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 12:56

Safety issues have delayed a car park at Manea rail station for two years because the planned entrance is too close to the level crossing.

Categories: Local Press

Ely schoolgirl Lolly hopes to bring in the cash for children’s charity

Ely Standard - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 12:31

A ten-year-old Ely schoolgirl is pulling on her running shoes to raise money for charity on Sunday.

Categories: Local Press

Ex-Cambridge United goalie gets on his bike to support Mildenhall fan Simon Dobbin

Newmarket Journal - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 12:22

Former Cambridge United goalkeeper Danny Potter is returning to the club on a bike to help raise money for brain damaged fan Simon Dobbin.

Categories: Local Press