SEVERE TOOTH DECAY IN CHILDREN COULD MEAN WIDER NEGLECT
Researchers at King’s College Hospital in London said untreated tooth pain should “ring alarm bells” for any clinician. The team discovered that 40 per cent of children who needed dental or maxillofacial surgery due to dental decay were known to social services.
The findings have led to a new process at King’s College Hospital A&E unit for children admitted with dental infections, which sees them assessed for child neglect and referred to a safeguarding team if necessary.
The King’s team looked at the patient data of children who attended the hospital with a dental or maxillofacial infection requiring surgery between January 2015 and January 2017. “Over half of the children we cared for were aged between 5 and 8, and indicates this age group is at greatest risk of harm,” said study co-author, Kathy Fan, a consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon at King’s. “Sadly, by the time we treated the children they would already have suffered a sustained period of oral neglect, and probably been in pain.” Tooth decay was the main reason for hospital admissions among 5 to 9-year-olds in England. Researchers in the US are working on a technology that could make homes of the future adjust to your activity without the need for invasive cameras. So when you leave a room, you would not require anyone to tell them that the lights, or the fans needed to be switched off. Sensors hidden in the walls or floors could automatically detect that the room was empty and do the needful.
This system would read not only the vibrations, sounds – and even the specific gait, or other movements – associated with people and animals in a building, but also any subtle changes in the existing ambient electrical field.
“There is actually a constant 60Hz electrical field all around us, and because people are somewhat conductive, they short out the field just a little,” said Soumyajit Mandal, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, US. “So, by measuring the disturbance in that field, we are able to determine their presence, or even their breathing, even when there are no vibrations associated with sound,” he explained.