The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said people in hospitals with Covid-19 now “tend to be younger” than in previous waves. As a result, the need for critical care has decreased, relieving the pressure the NHS experienced in previous months.
He told Sky News: “There’s much less stretch on critical care capacity than we saw in January and February.
“The third bit, which seems to us particularly significant, is there are very few who have had the double vaccination dose and then the two to three weeks of protection build-up afterwards [that are being hospitalised].
“And that’s why our chief executives are saying that they do think that the link between Covid-19 and very high levels of hospitalisation and mortality that we have seen in the previous waves – that that link has been broken for this pattern of variants.”
Mr Hopson added: “It’s what the clinical trial evidence would have suggested, but it’s very reassuring to see that evidence on the ground.”
The remarks come after a top scientist warned Britain would have to learn to live with the coronavirus.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said lockdown measures had “very profound consequences” on people’s wellbeing, education and economy.
The expert said he was hopeful Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be able to scrap all lockdown restrictions on June 21 from the data seen so far.
However, Sir Jeremy acknowledged the next few weeks will be “crucial” in Britain’s roadmap to recovery.
“She loved connecting every day with the wonderful people of the North East, and it gives us great comfort to know how many lives she was an integral part of every single day.
“We’d like to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support we have received at such a difficult time, reinforcing how deeply cherished she was by so many people. We will love and miss her, always.”
Lisa was from County Durham and studied at Bournemouth University.
She began her career working for the North East commercial stations Century Radio and Real Radio.
Here, she won the Sony Gold Award for breakfast show of the year.
She then continued her career at Metro Radio and Heart.
Lisa had joined the BBC radio station back in 2016 as a daytime presenter.
BBC Radio Newcastle also paid tribute to the presenter on their Twitter account.
They wrote: “We are so sorry and saddened to share with you that after a short illness our beautiful colleague Lisa Shaw has died.
“Everyone at the station is devastated and thinking about Lisa’s lovely family.
“She was a brilliant presenter, a wonderful friend and a loving wife and mum.”
Many of Lisa’s colleagues have also begun paying their respects.
Head of BBC Local Radio Chris Burns said: “Lisa was a talented presenter who had already achieved a lot and would have achieved much more.”
BBC Radio Newcastle’s executive editor Rik Martin said the station were “devastated and thinking about Lisa’s lovely family”.
He added: “She was a trusted colleague, a brilliant presenter, a wonderful friend, and a loving wife and mum.
“She loved being on the radio and was loved by our audiences.
“We’ve lost someone special who meant a great deal to a great many people.”
Neil Connery has died aged 82, just seven months after his brother Sean Connery’s death. The news was announced by his friend Steve Begg, who said: “He looked and sounded like his big bro.” He added on Facebook: “My good friend and Edinburgh drinking buddy Neil Connery passed away early this morning, I am sad to report.
“He considered me a lackluster challenge when it came to the drinking stakes but I considered him with respect.
“He looked and sounded like his big bro so going out with him was always interesting to say the least. Miss you Neil.”
Sean’s sibling made his film debut in the 1967 film O.K. Connery, a James Bond-inspired movie.
The film was retitled Operation Kid Brother in America and is also known as Operation Double 007.
Millions of contributors to the Zoe Covid Study app have shown that up to one in 20 people who catch coronavirus suffer from long Covid. Here are the symptoms, longevity and risk factors. The analysis of the ongoing research has identified six commonly reported symptoms of long Covid, which are:
Shortness of breath
Loss of smell
Loss of taste
Zoning in on a sub-section of 4,000 app users, who all tested positive for Covid with a PCR test, two groups were identified.
The first group experienced persistent respiratory symptoms, including coughing and shortness of breath.
The second group had “multi-system effects”, such as heart palpitations, pins and needles, and brain fog.
Long Covid seemingly lingers for more than eight weeks, with two percent of the users experiencing symptoms for 12 weeks or more.
“With millions of confirmed COVID-19 infections across the UK, this adds up to hundreds of thousands of people potentially affected with long COVID,” the researchers hypothesised.
PARIS (Reuters) – France has decided to widen its COVID-19 vaccine rollout to people aged 16-17 who could face a high risk of a major illness from the virus, said the country’s health ministry on Thursday, as the country gradually accelerates its vaccine programme.
The health ministry said this category of 16-17 year olds would be allowed to get the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine from Thursday onwards.
An investigational, orally dissolving film formulation of dexmedetomidine (BXCL501, BioXcel Therapeutics) may offer rapid relief from acute agitation related to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (BD), results of two phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled trials show.
Dr Leslie Citrome
For both disorders, BXCL501 showed “superiority over placebo” by meeting the primary endpoint of reduction of agitation as measured by the excited component of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), study investigator, Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, told Medscape Medical News.
The findings were presented at the virtual American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2021 Annual Meeting.
Acute agitation in patients with schizophrenia or BD is often encountered in emergency departments (EDs) and inpatient units. When nondrug tactics fail to calm the patient, drug options include injectable antipsychotics or benzodiazepines. BXCL501 is a thin, orally dissolving film for sublingual or buccal use.
“Dexmedetomidine is a highly-selective alpha-2a receptor agonist and we haven’t really had one of those before in psychiatry for this purpose. And we haven’t had much in the way of orally dissolving thin films that are absorbed in the oral mucosa so this represents an opportunity to provide a potential intervention that does not require an injection and yet could possibly be of use in people who are agitated,” Citrome said.
The study, known as SERENITY I, included 380 adults (mean age 45.6 years, 63% male) with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophreniform disorder, and acute agitation in the emergency department (total score ≥ 14 on the PANSS-Excited Component (PEC) scale at baseline and a score ≥ 4 on at least one of the five PEC items).
Patients were randomly allocated to a single oral dose of BXCL501: 120 mcg, 180 mcg, or placebo. A total of 372 patients (97.9%) completed the study.
Mean PEC total score was 17.6 at baseline. The mean change from baseline in the PEC total score at 2 hours (primary endpoint) was -8.5 and -10.3 with BXCL501 120 mcg and 180 mcg, respectively, versus -4.8 for placebo (P < .0001 vs placebo).
PEC response rates (≥ 40% reduction from baseline) were 80.6% and 89.6% with BXCL501 120 mcg and 180 mcg versus 47.6% with placebo (P < .0001 vs placebo).
Compared with placebo, significant improvement in the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale (CGI-I) was observed with both BXCL501 doses at 1 and 2 hours after dosing and in the Agitation and Calmness Evaluation Scale (ACES) at 2 hours postdosing.
The incidence of adverse events (AE) was 39.5%, 37.3%, and 15.1% with BXCL501 120 mg, 180 mg, and placebo groups.
All AEs were mild or moderate. The most common AEs with BXCL501 were somnolence, dizziness, dry mouth, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, hypoesthesia, and paresthesia. No drug-related severe or serious AEs occurred.
Nipping It in the Bud
SERENITY II had a similar design. This study included 380 adults (mean age 48, 55% female) with bipolar I or II disorder and acute agitation in the ED (total score ≥ 14 on the PEC scale at baseline and a score ≥ 4 on at least one PEC item). A total of 362 (95.3%) of patients completed the study.
Mean PEC total score was 18 at baseline. The mean change from baseline in the PEC total score at 2 hours (primary endpoint) was -9.0 and -10.4 with BXCL501 120 mcg and 180 mcg, respectively, versus -4.9 for placebo (P < .0001 vs placebo).
Bipolar patients also saw significant improvement on the secondary outcomes of CGI-I and ACES, with a similar adverse event profile as seen in patients with schizophrenia.
BXCL501 demonstrated “rapid, robust and clinically meaningful efficacy” in both patient populations and represents a “novel, non-invasive and well tolerated treatment of agitation,” the investigators conclude in their APA abstracts.
“Patients who are agitated are in psychic pain and they want relief from this psychic pain. We’re also worried that they might get worse and that agitation escalates to aggression potentially requiring restraints. We want to avoid that,” Citrome said.
“By nipping it in the bud with a pharmacological intervention, we can ease their psychic pain and we can manage a potentially dangerous situation. Offering an oral medicine that would work quickly would be ideal in my mind and patients might potentially be more accepting of that than an injection,” Citrome said.
Based on the SERENITY I and II data, BioXcel Therapeutics has submitted a new drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Negotiation First, Medication Second
Reached for comment, Samoon Ahmad, MD, professor, department of psychiatry, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, cautioned that, “when we talk about treating an agitated patient, medication is only part of the picture.”
“There is a negotiating process with the patient. Number one, you offer them an environment that is conducive to making them feel calm, safe and secure and that they are being listened to. Providing all of those things sometimes can be very helpful,” said Ahmad, who serves as unit chief of inpatient psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City.
“If someone starts throwing chairs at you or assaulting you, that is not really the time to negotiate a medicine; you basically have to restrain the patient, and many times give them intramuscular medicine,” Ahmad said.
He also noted that patients in the SERENITY trials had moderate-to-severe acute agitation.
“These are people you can potentially negotiate with. But again, when a patient crosses a certain line, you have to immediately do something and that could be intramuscular injection or something oral, which they may spit right in your face, which has happened numerous times,” Ahmad said.
“I don’t think intramuscular options will ever go away but an oral agent could be a useful tool as well,” said Ahmad, founder of the Integrative Center for Wellness in New York City.
He cautioned that clinicians are not going to be using this medicine in their offices. “If a patient walks in and is floridly psychotic, you will need to call 911. We’re really talking about its use either in the ED or acute inpatient setting,” Ahmad said.
American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2021 Annual Meeting. Presented May 1, 2021.
The SERENITY studies were funded by BioXcel Therapeutics. Several authors have financial relationships with the company. Ahmad disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Aged 27, the mum-of-two – who was in the throws of a custody battle with the father of her children, Kevin Federline, at the time – marched into a random salon and shaved off all her hair, which her ex manager Sam Lutfi claimed was Britney’s way to hide evidence of her addiction to amphetamines. Posting on Instagram, Britney, now 39, acknowledged that she’s “had some pretty tough times” in her life. However, the multimillion pound singer highlighted that she’s “had waaaayyyy [sic] more amazing times”.
Exercise improves mental health by:
Helping with concentration levels
Helps the body release feel-good hormones, i.e. endorphins
Helps with getting a better night sleep
Can increase confidence
Fitness routines can help manage mental health
Fitness goals help with motivation
Lacking motivation, feeling fatigued and tired might make it more difficult to consistently work out.
However, the charity stated: “You can do it! Doing little bits often can make a big difference to your physical and mental well-being.”
Starting small, such as walking to the nearest shop instead of taking the car or public transport, can be the beginning of a good exercise routine.
These prescriptions give free to reduced rate exercise sessions, and the charity encourages working out with other people.
It is not known what the quizzer’s illness was and whether or not it was related to his Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2019.
When he went public with his diagnosis he vowed to “fight it with every breath I have”.
Writing in a post on his blog, Paul said: “In the time since my Parkinson’s started, I have been ludicrously busy, and fully intend to keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy, keep quizzing and keep being hopeless at Tasks.”
He continued: “Dancing on Ice is, I suspect, out of the question. A lot of people have asked, ‘What can I do to help?’ The answer is to treat me exactly the same as before.”