Playing the bagpipes daily could be fatal warn doctors

first_imgThere have been other reported cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, arising in trombone and saxophone players, say the doctors.In 2013, bagpiper John Shone spent four weeks in hospital with pneumonia brought on by a fungus which colonised inside his instrument which he had neglected to clean for 18 months.The doctors warn that any type of wind instrument could be contaminated with yeasts and moulds, making players susceptible to the risk of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.Although there is no official guidance on the optimal hygiene regime, cleaning instruments immediately after use and allowing them to drip dry could theoretically curb the risk of microbe growth, they suggest.But bagpipers claim the risk is minimal and say more cases would have come to light if it was a common problem. Penicillin was found to be growing in the bagpipe bag  Ian Clabburn, chairman of The Bagpipe Society, said: “This type of story – infections from bagpipe bags – comes up from time to time, but this is the first report I have come across that identifies potential culprits. “There are huge numbers of highland pipers in the world, many in organisations such as the military, which may have noticed a correlated trend in lung disease over the last 150 years. I am not aware of any such being recorded.“The blowpipe is fitted with a non-return valve, which although not perfect, should minimise back infection. “Bagpipe bags are usually leather and therefore porous.  This lets moisture out, so the bag will dry unless it is stored badly.“Most modern bagpipes are also treated with a seasoning which makes the bag airtight but also often contains an antifungal agent.”The research was published in the journal Thorax. When the unnamed man was first diagnosed in 2009 doctors were puzzled by his condition because he was not a pigeon fancier, his house contained no mould or signs of water damage and he had never smoked.However, he played the bagpipes daily, and when his condition improved when he left his pipes at home during a three-month visit to Australia doctors believed they had found the cause.Samples were taken from several areas inside the bagpipes, including the bag, the neck, and the chanter reed protector and were found to contain six types of mould and fungi.It is thought the that the moist conditions inside the bag allowed mould and fungi to grow, which was then inhaled by the man who experienced breathlessness and eventually could not walk more than 20 yards. Despite treatment, the man died recently and a post mortem examination revealed extensive lung damage consistent with acute respiratory distress syndrome including lung tissue scarring.“This is the first case report identifying fungal exposure, from a bagpipe player, as a potential trigger for the development of hypersensitivity pneumonitis,” said Dr Jenny King, of Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester.“Many of the isolated fungi in this case have previously been implicated in the development of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Playing the bagpipes could be deadly, scientists have warned, after a man died from continually breathing in mould and fungus trapped in the instrument.Doctors in Manchester have identified the condition “bagpipe lung” following the death of a 61-year-old man from chronic inflammatory lung condition hypersensitivity pneumonitis.The condition is triggered by the immune system’s response to an inhaled environmental irritants and is often associated with exposure to feathers and bird droppings. “The moist environment of bagpipes promotes yeast and mould contamination, thereby making the chronic inhalation of offending antigens a likely trigger.“The clinical history of daily bagpipe playing, coupled with marked symptomatic improvement when this exposure was removed, and the identification of multiple potential precipitating antigens isolated from the bagpipes, make this the likely cause.”last_img read more

BBC weather is severe disappointment which sacrifices UK for Europe veteran forecaster

first_imgWeather forecast in 2010 Bill Giles, the forecaster Bill Giles, the forecaster Previously, weather graphics were provided by Metra Weather. They are now produced by the BBC and Meteogroup.A spokesman for the BBC said: “BBC Weather has a more realistic map which presenters can customise by adding different layers of data to tell the most relevant weather story, as well as zooming in to areas of interest to give a more detailed forecast.”Towns and city names on the maps are a reference point for audiences and we will aim to ensure that most locations are represented over a period of time.”In addition, the temperature colours are now accessible for colour blindness, unlike the suggested blocks of colour by Mr Giles.”Before the launch of the new services we talked to audiences at length to pinpoint the best possible improvements and we are confident that overall people will appreciate the new features.” “Specifically, the BBC’s new weather forecasts, which I have to say, are as disappointing as a downpour in high summer.“If a weather forecast is supposed to give you a clear idea of what might be in store tomorrow, then the new weather maps, with their state-of- the-art graphics, are a severe disappointment.”Spelling out the difficulties he had experience, he said: “For a start the UK map appears a lot smaller on screen now.“You may be able to see much further east into Europe (almost to Stockholm, in fact), but if you want to know what is going on in, say, Southampton, near where I live, then you have your work cut out.”He added that while some people liked the background colour, he found it “impossible to detect” the difference between cloud and sunshine on screen and does not “for the life of me” understand why night time images have lights on. Low temperatures shown with a blue line Weather forecast in 2010 Low temperatures shown with a blue line Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The habit of highlighting sub zero temperatures with a thin blue line underneath would leave viewers “staring very hard at the screen” to decipher, he said.Regional broadcasts can be even worse, he added, with the old weather maps “better” and “more fit for purpose”.Advising viewers to tune in to Channel 5 instead, praising its “clear graphics”, Giles told the magazine: “Has the BBC’s move away from the Met Office to an independent company ‘to secure the best value for money for the licence payers’ been a success? “I think not.“However, the long-range outlook for BBC viewers need not be gloomy. If you want to see what the weather has in store, try watching the other side instead.” The BBC’s new weather forecasts are “severe disappointment” which diminish the size of Britain to show more of Europe, veteran broadcaster Bill Giles has said.Giles, the meteorologist who led the BBC weather team for 17 years until his retirement in 2000, said the new-look weather forecasts at the corporation are “as disappointing as a downpour in high summer”.Advising viewers to change channels, he has laid out a litany of problems from on-screen background to confusing temperature displays, saying the changes were not a good use of licence fee-payers’ money.Earlier this year, the BBC launched a “new modern look” for its weather services, as it entered a new deal with MeteoGroup instead of the Met Office it had worked with for 95 years.Delivering his verdict on the changes, in Radio Times magazine, veteran broadcaster Bill Giles said: “What has happened to our weather?“It’s not the first time someone has asked me – but this query was more pressing because the weather in question was the weather on the television.last_img read more