More teen drunks end up in hospital, raising drinking age to 18 had no impact

The number of teenagers drinking themselves into a stupor and being hospitalised rose again last year, after dropping in 2016, the NRC said on Friday. Last year, 860 teenagers ended up in hospital, a rise of 70 on 2016. Most of them were in a coma when they were admitted, the paper said. Doctors have been keeping a record of how many children are admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning since 2007. Researcher and paediatrician Nico van der Lely told the paper that an alcohol-induced coma is like hitting a child on the head with a baseball bat. 'If you have been that drunk twice, your IQ will drop 10 to 15 points, and that can mean a different educational level,' he told the NRC in an interview. The figures also show that increasing the age at which teenagers can buy alcohol from 16 to 18 has not had an impact on the figures. Age The average age has only gone up slightly since 2007 – from 14.9 to 15.5 years. Boys account for 55% of the cases, a figure which has not changed over the years. Around one third of teen drunks is at a vocational school, 25% at a pre-college school and 21% at a pre-university school - so the problem plays across all classes and educational levels.  Strong alcohol, such as vodka, is by far the most popular drink among teenagers. Events like the Sneek Week sailing festival and sports weekends like Hockeyloverz are 'our main suppliers' Van der Lely said. 'It is not a question of addiction or an individual problem with a child,' he said. 'It is a problem in society.'  More >

German stores withdraw Dutch fipronil eggs

Around 73,000 Dutch eggs have been withdrawn from German supermarkets after they were found to be contaminated with the pesticide fipronil. The eggs were supplied by a Dutch biological farm to supermarkets in six German states, NOS reported. The German agriculture ministry said there was no risk to public health. Last year Dutch eggs exported to 45 countries were found to contain fipronil, which is used on poultry farms to destroy fleas, ticks and lice, but is banned by the European Union in products for human consumption. The insecticide was traced to a small poultry firm called Chickfriend, whose owners are being prosecuted for endangering public health. Two weeks ago a poultry farmer from Overijssel had to destroy his flock of 3,000 chickens and 45,000 eggs that were ready for distribution after fipronil was found on his farm. Around 100 agricultural firms are still banned from trading because traces of the chemical have been found in their chicken waste.  More >

Mobile phones can spread bacteria

Mobile telephones are a major source of bacteria and many nurses in Dutch hospitals do not regularly clean them, according to research by nursing body V&VN. One third of the 1,500 V&VN members who took part in the research said they never cleaned their phones, or did so just a couple of times a year, broadcaster RTL Nieuws reported on Friday. 'The phone would appear to be the new dishcloth - you don't realise how dirty it can be,' director Sonja Kersten said. 'We can make major improvements in this.' Hospital hygiene rules should be expanded to take phones and tablets into account, Kersten said.  Some 69% of those polled said they used their mobile phones as part of their job.   More >

Colleges limit student nurse places

Despite the nationwide shortage of nursing staff, 11 of the 17 college nursing courses have placed limits on the number of places they offer, the Volkskrant said on Friday. There are currently 120,000 vacancies in the care sector but colleges are imposing limits on student numbers because of the shortage of traineeships, the paper said. The Dutch hospital association NVZ told the Volkskrant that many hospitals do not have enough money to offer internships to trainee nurses, or enough staff to monitor trainees properly. For example, students nearing the end of their courses are often used as qualified staff, the NVZ said. This has led to colleges restricting the number of places on some courses, because they are concerned about offering good quality training. Others, however, say a limit on student numbers is a way of making sure only the most motivated people apply, the Volkskrant said.  More >

Prostate cancer ops centralised

Nine Dutch hospitals are joining forces to improve the surgical treatment of prostate cancer, in an effort to boost expertise and reduce the risk of side effects. All surgery to remove prostates will now be carried out at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital in Amsterdam with diagnosis and follow-up care taking place in their own hospitals. Amsterdam's VUmc/AMC hospital combine, the Noordwest hospital group and the Rode Kruis hospital are among the hospitals which have signed up for the deal. The new strategy means that surgeons at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital will carry out some 750 operations a year by 2020 - around 25% of the annual total in the Netherlands. Currently the hospital carries out around 300 prostate removals. Side effects Earlier this year, a study published by the Dutch medical journal Nederlands Tijschrift voor de Geneeskunde showed that a quarter of all men who have to have their prostate removed because of cancer end up suffering from permanent incontinence, However, the chance of this happening in hospitals that perform the operation on over a hundred patients a year is 30% lower than in hospitals with doctors who have less experience of this type of surgery. The Dutch urologists association NVU now recommends hospitals should carry out a minimum of a hundred prostate operations a year. Some 10,000 men are identified with prostate cancer in the Netherlands every year and around 2,500 die from the disease. European research led by Erasmus University in Rotterdam shows a two-yearly prostate cancer test for men aged 55 to 59 would save 300 lives a year.  More >