BBC Radio 4’s Medical Matters podcasts

BBC Radio 4’s Medical Matters podcasts

Inside Health: What Doctors Don't Tell You, Hep E, Vertigo: 2 Oct 2012
"Dr Mark Porter talks to a world expert on Hepatitis E and hears about a new health magazine which promises to reveal What Doctors Don't Tell You. And a listener finds out what might be causing her dizziness when she turns over in bed."
Hepatitis E [28 min, 13 Mb]

Inside Health: Sars like virus, Heartburn, Baby helmets: 25 Sept 2012
"Dr Mark Porter asks whether headlines identifying a 'SARS Like' virus may cause unnecessary alarm. While this new virus and SARS are both members of the same family, virologist John Oxford explains that they are more like cousins that behave differently. And should you be worried about the shape of your baby's head? Lots of parents are. Dr Margaret McCartney questions the growing trend for corrective helmets to treat so called 'flat head syndrome'. Plus Mark Porter visits the first NHS hospital to offer a new approach to treating heartburn."
Heartburn [29 min, 13 Mb]

Inside Health: Ovarian cancer, BP, Coughs, Vegetarianism, Gallstones: 18 Sept 2012
"US research says screening all women for ovarian cancer does more harm than good. And listeners' emails on gallstones, vegetarianism and a constant urge to clear one's throat."
Gallstones [28 min, 13 Mb]

Inside Health: Liver, Hepatitis C: 17 July 2012
"Recent headlines suggest that the growing increase in deaths from liver disease is entirely down to excessive alcohol consumption, but it's estimated that two thirds of liver-related deaths are caused by other conditions. Dr Mark Porter investigates two liver conditions that do not hit the headlines but could be silently creeping up on millions of people in the UK."
Liver, Hepatitis C [28 min, 13 Mb]

Inside Health: GI Bleeds, Pregnancy & Working, Frozen shoulder, Patient surveys: 3 July 2012
GI bleeds [29 minutes, 13 Mb]

Inside Health: Whooping Cough, Maternal deaths: 17 April 2012
"Why whooping cough is making a comeback. Two radically different approaches for people who suffer from severe blushing - from a psychologist and a surgeon. Concern about changes to the way maternal deaths are investigated. Intestinal transit times. And Margaret McCartney doesn't like it when doctors use euphemisms for our genitals."
Intestinal transit times [13 Mb]

Inside Health: Heart attacks, Appendix, Pain: 10 April 2012
"Dr Mark Porter reports on the possible downsides of giving morphine to people with heart attacks, antibiotics for early appendicitis, the sick note, which painkillers are best for acute pain and how blood is tested in the lab."
Antibiotics for early appendicitis [13 Mb]

Inside Health: Red Meat, Joints, Screening: 13 March 2012
"Dr Mark Porter looks at the evidence behind a study showing that a diet rich in red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer - and ponders whether to take supplements for sore knees."
Red meat and bowel cancer risk [13 Mb]

Inside Health: Vitiligo, Masks, Knees: 6 March 2012
"Dr Mark Porter tackles the confusion and prejudice that surrounds the skin condition Vitiligo. Max Pemberton discovers why surgeons may be wearing masks for their benefit rather than their patients. And Margaret McCartney reminds doctors who tweet to proceed with caution - posting photographs of the first patient you've anaesthetised is likely to get you into trouble!"
Benefits of surgical masks? 13 Mb

Inside Health: Incentives, Cough: 21 Feb 12
"Health incentives, Ace inhibitor cough, Raynauds Phenomenon, Hazards of fizzy drinks"
Health incentives 13 Mb

Inside Health: Whiplash, Statins: 14 Feb 12
"Whiplash and government efforts to reduce compensation claims. Behind the headlines that suggested weaning your baby on finger foods may be healthier than spoon feeding. Cholesterol tests and effects of statins. And the latest on patient medical records. Dr Mark Porter presents."
Patient medical records [13 Mb]

Inside Health: Gout, 07 Feb 12
"Hospital Acquired Infections - protocols for visitors to hospitals. Case for better nutrition education in medical schools. Gout on the rise due to obesity. Gluten intolerance. Shockwave Therapy for soft tissue injuries."
Nutrition education, gout and obesity, gluten intolerance [13 Mb]

Inside Health: Pseudomonas, 31 Jan 12
"The latest approach to tackling hospital superbugs. Clarification of the alcohol guidelines. A more convenient alternative to warfarin and why wearing high heels may be bad for your legs but good for your sex life."
Alcohol guidelines clarification [13 Mb]

Inside Health: Medical Devices, 10 January 2012
"Dr Mark Porter investigates medical devices and why it’s so much easier to get approval for use in humans, compared to the strict criteria new medicines have to meet."
Medical Devices [13 Mb]

Inside the Ethics Committee 14 July 2011

"Hear Joan Bakewell and her panel wrestle with a real life medical dilemma."

Gut bacteria 8 March 2011

“Our bowels are home to an ecosystem of billions of bacteria and other microbes. Many of these gut bugs perform vital jobs for us, such as helping to digest food, making vitamins and priming the immune system. In the last few years, researchers have gathered evidence that a range of health problems and conditions arise from there being an imbalance between beneficial bacteria and potentially harmful ones.”

The Pancreas 15 February 2011

“Cancer of the pancreas is one of the most difficult forms of the disease to treat. Inflammation of the pancreas - pancreatitis - can also be life threatening and at the moment there are no medicines to prevent the damage it does to the vital digestive gland. The Royal Liverpool Hospital is one of the UK's leading centres for the management of pancreatic disease. It's also home to the Liverpool National Institute of Health Research Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit where Professors Robert Sutton and John Neoptolemos treat patients and lead research into new therapies and tests for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.”

Hepatitis C 18 Jan 2011

“Experts at Europe's largest liver transplant unit - at King's College Hospital in London - explain how vague symptoms help to keep hepatitis C "hidden" inside the body for years. Dr Mark Porter looks at the latest ways to manage this condition.”

Patient Safety 31 Aug 2010

“Surgery and medication account for around a fifth or so of the incidents reported to the National Patient Safety Agency. But the biggest cause of all is far more mundane, but potentially just as serious - everyday accidents like trips and falls account for around a third of all incidents and can vary in severity from nothing but injured pride, to a fatal head injury. Reporter Angela Robson went to Rotherham Hospital to find out how staff there are tackling the problem with patients who are at risk of falling. Mark discusses how hospitals are dealing with the issue of patient safety with Professor Charles Vincent, Director of the Centre for Patient Safety and Service Quality at Imperial College, London.”

Constipation 11 Aug 2010

Dr Mark Porter investigates constipation, to discover the causes and treatments of this extremely common problem that is often suffered in silence due to embarrassment. He visits Southampton General Hospital to talk to Nick Coleman, consultant gastroenterologist, about how to manage this uncomfortable condition.

Gallstones 4 Aug 2010

“The gallbladder is tucked beneath the liver and aids digestion. It is possible to function without it and when gallstones develop they can be troublesome and painful. Dr Mark Porter examines the causes and treatment of gallbladder problems and visits Gloucester Royal Hospital to see its surgical removal.”

Telemedicine 28 July 2010

Telemedicine is bringing benefits to both patients and doctors in Wales, England and Scotland. Specialist advice, treatment and clinics can be run more frequently than if long-distance travel is needed, with the latest technology being used to see patients, scans and test results. Daily monitoring measurements can be sent to GPs' computers. “Mark Porter reports on these projects and asks how far can telemedicine go? Do the patients like it?”

Parasites 23 Feb 2010

“Parasites invade our bodies in a variety of ingenious ways - through the food we eat or an insect bite, to boring directly under our skin. Some, like the beef tapeworm, at several metres in length, can hide harmlessly in our gut for years, while others, like malaria, can kill in a day. Dr Mark Porter visits the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in London where Professor Peter Chiodini and his colleagues diagnose and treat the patients who have picked up parasites, both here and abroad. … Emerging infections are always a concern for doctors, and parasites are no exception. Mark hears about a parasite threatening to reach our shores, and that man's best friend is the host that's likely to bring it here.”

Childhood Obesity 29 Dec 2009

“Dr Mark Porter reports on the unique study that is tracking obesity from childhood. Researchers in Plymouth have been following the progress of a group of 300 children since they were born. Now they are teenagers, and data from taking blood samples and weighing them has helped the scientists to reveal that obesity follows gender lines and that diet is more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight.”

Barrett’s Oesophagus 28 July 2009

“Dr Mark Porter explores the diagnosis and treatment of Barrett's oesophagus. Barrett's oesophagus is a condition that affects some people who have had severe heartburn for a long time. Mark finds out how it is dealt with at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.”

Communication 21 July 2009

“Dr Mark Porter explores how to improve communication between the medical profession and patients. He finds out if doing role play with actors can change senior specialists' approaches to patients. The experience of being in hospital and undergoing lots of procedures can be daunting for anyone, but particularly for children. They may not understand what the doctors and nurses are telling them. Mark talks to the children and the paediatric medical teams to see if a scheme being run by the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London is working. And what happens when patients or their families don't understand English well? Mark sits in on a consultation with an advocate who has to translate both the language and the medical terms.”

Surgery 19 May 2009

“Dr Mark Porter investigates the past and future of surgery. He meets Prof Harold Ellis, a surgeon who qualified in the summer that the NHS was born, and hears about some of the latest surgical techniques, including how a gall bladder can be removed with just one tiny incision through the bellybutton."

Food intolerance 14 April 2009

“Dr Mark Porter reports on food intolerance. Many people think they have an intolerance or an allergy to certain foods. Mark discovers the difference between these conditions and asks what happens when we go to a clinic to be investigated.”

Appendicitis 27 Jan 2009

“Dr Mark Porter examines the diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis and talks to doctors to discover how they decide when it is time to remove the appendix. The appendix can cause a serious medical emergency - peritonitis - if it ruptures, and surgery to remove it is one of the commonest procedures in UK hospitals. But deciding when the organ needs to be taken out is not easy. The symptoms of appendicitis can be similar to other conditions such as urinary tract infections and gastroenteritis. Mark talks to doctors about how they diagnosis appendicitis, sometimes including using scanning, and then how they decide to go ahead and operate. He also discovers how it is particularly difficult to detect the condition in young children, and asks if a high fibre diet can prevent appendicitis.”

Bariatric surgery 12 Aug 2008

“Dr Mark Porter talks to a patient and her surgeon about the gastric bypass surgery which has led to her losing almost ten stone. He also talks to psychologists about the controversial operation.“

Bowel Cancer 15 April 2008

“Dr Mark Porter visits Yeovil District Hospital to explore a pilot scheme using keyhole or laparoscopic surgery to improve the treatment and recovery of patients with colo-rectal cancer.”

Liver disease 19 Feb 2008

“Dr Mark Porter looks at liver disease with Professor Humphrey Hodgson, who explains why liver problems are rife in the UK and what listeners can do to prevent them.”

Irritable Bowel Syndrome 4 Sept 2007

“Dr Mark Porter looks at Irritable Bowel Syndrome, exploring current understanding of this condition and how it is best treated.”