27 Mar 2009

Far North kids' in pain from rotting teeth - teacher

7:07 am on 27 March 2009

A Kaitaia preschool teacher says children in the Far North are still suffering from the pain of rotting teeth because of inadequate dental services.

Clair Harper-Lee says the Government's funding model for free dental care for children may work in the cities, but it has not worked in poor rural areas.

Ms Harper-Lee says a shortage of dentists in the Far North, coupled with poverty and a lack of public transport, has put dental care out of reach for many. She says generations of deprived Far North children have learned to live with chronic pain, and accept it as normal.

Northland Health says it is trying to recruit dentists and therapists.

Blood-sugar levels research

New Zealand, Australian and Canadian intensive care specialists have published a study showing that a commonly used method of controlling blood sugar levels actually increases the risk of death.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows the commonly accepted practice of lowering blood-sugar levels in critically ill patients results in 10% more deaths.

It compared patients whose very high blood-sugar levels were reduced to those of a healthy person with those whose levels were not reduced so low.

Its results revealed that the more extreme treatment led to a higher risk of death.