18 TOPIC • 9 November, 2017 ENTERTAINMENT These drugs are designed to hasten the movement of food through the stomach and helping reduce stomach acid levels. They include domperidone (Motillium®, Domerid®) and metoclopramide (Maxolon®). Whilst they are not commonly used in the treatment of GORD they can help in some cases, especially if bloating or belching occurs. Recently, authorities have advised that domperidone should be used in caution in those with certain heart complaints, i.e. A higher risk of cardiac adverse drug reactions observed in patients over 60 years old, adults taking daily oral doses of more than 30mg dom- GASTRO-OESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GORD) PART 3 Acid-suppressing drugs peridone and those concomitantly taking QT-prolonging medicines or CYP3A4 inhibitors. Surgery The two groups of acid-suppressing drugs available proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers). PPIs are more effective and are used more often than H2 blockers. Proton pump inhibitors work by completely blocking the production of stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors include: omeprazole (Losec®, Romep®), lansoprazole (Zoton®, Zotrole®), pantoprazole (Protium®, Pantup®) rabeprazole (Pariet®, Razole®), and esomeprazole (Nexium®, Nexazole®). Side effects of PPIs are uncommon but may include headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain and constipation. There is no significant difference in efficacy between equivalent doses of proton pump inhibitors, including equivalent doses of esomeprazole (Nexium) and omeprazole. According to NICE in the UK, the decision to choose one over another should be based first on cost and second on individual patient response. Pantoprazole and esomeprazole have changed from POM to P in recent years meaning that pharmacists can now recommend them over the counter to their patients. Interactions of PPIs Reducing stomach acid can interfere with the absorption of some drugs. PPIs reduce the absorption of ketoconazole (anti-fungal medication) and can increase the absorption of digoxin (used for irregular heart rhythm). PPIs can also reduce the break-down of some drugs by the liver and lead to an increase in their concentration in the blood. Omeprazole is more likely than the other PPIs to reduce the break-down of drugs by the liver. PPIs can increase the concentration in the blood of diazepam, warfarin and phenytoin. PPIs can also reduce the concentration and effectiveness of clopidogrel (Plavix®), a drug used to prevent blood clots. If possible an H2 blocker and / or antacid should be considered instead of a PPI in these patients. H2- blockers Histamine causes cells in the stomach to produce acid. H2- blockers stop histamine from working on these cells so they reduce acid in the stomach and include, famotidine (Pepcid®), nizatidine (Axid®) and ranitidine (Zantac®). Side effects are similar to PPIs but may also include a rash, dizziness and / or tiredness. Cimetidine is now rarely used as it interacts with many other drugs. Drugs and stomach emptying Surgery may be performed in severe cases where medication is not working. Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication (LNF) is one of the most common types of surgery used to treat GORD. LNF is keyhole surgery that involves the surgeon making a series of small incisions in the stomach. During the procedure, the surgeon will wrap the upper section of the stomach around the oesophagus and staple it in place. By doing this, the lower oesophageal sphincter then tightens, which prevents acid moving back out of the stomach. LNF is carried out under general anaesthetic and takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Most people are discharged from hospital within two to three days with convalescence being three to six weeks. Endoscopic injection of bulking agents involves injection of a combination of plastic and liquid into the area where the stomach and oesophagus meet (known as the gastro-oesophageal junction). This then narrows the junction and helps to prevent acid leaking up from the stomach. Endoscopic augmentation with hydrogel implants is a relatively new technique. It is a similar technique to an endoscopic injection, except the surgeon uses gel to seal the oesophageal junction. Endoluminal gastroplication involves the surgeon sowing a series of folds into the LOS. This restricts how far the LOS can open, preventing acid from leaking up from the stomach. Self-care tips There are a number of self-care techniques that can help to relieve the symptoms of GORD. Targeting weight loss for those who are obese or overweight will help reduce the pressure on the stomach. This in turn will reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms Avoid tight-fitting clothing. Loose fitting clothing, especially trousers will reduce pressure on the abdomen and the lower oesophageal sphincter Stop Smoking Reduce or avoid consumption of heartburn inducing foods, i.e. fatty, fried or spicy. Reducing consumption of alcohol, chocolate and caffeine will also alleviate heartburn. Adjust eating habits. Little and often is easier for the digestive system to manage and process than the traditional three meals a day model. Avoid eating late in the evening to ensure that the stomach is empty at bedtime Drink alcohol only in moderation with meals Avoid bending too much, especially after meals Raise the head of the bed by eight inches by placing a piece of wood under it. This can help prevent stomach contents from rising up into the oesophagus To be continued….next week GORD (Reflux) in infants and children. For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Find us on Facebook. ENTERTAINMENT&EVENTS MEM PLAYERS PRESENT BRUSH WITH A BODY The Milltown, Empor, and Moyvore Players are proud to present their latest amateur drama production, Brush with a Body, a hilarious three act comedy taking place in Milltown Community Centre from Friday to Sunday, 17 to 19 November. This comedy farce is set in 60s London in the posh household of the Walling Family. In Sybil Walling’s absence, her children call in the chimney sweep, whose brushes dislodge a lot more than soot up the chimney. The police descend on the residence in pursuit of an amorous patient of Sybil’s son Henry, which leads to hilarious misunderstandings and surprises. The drama group would like to thank in advance everyone who is helping to get the production to the boards: all community members; all sponsors of props, costumes, raffle prizes and valuable time. You can now ring ahead to ensure the best vantage point for you to enjoy the show. Call 086-4496111 or 087-9428291 for booking. Adult admission is €12, while students and OAPs can go for €5. For more information visit the MEM Players Facebook Page. BRUSH UP ON YOUR SHAKESPEARE The Shakespeare Sessions, running at the Arts Centre until Friday, 10 November, brings abridged versions of the Bard’s best works to Mullingar. With audience interaction and a focus on students, the sessions help viewers grasp the themes and concepts of the plays while engaging in workshops and discussions. MERCHANT OF VENICE The show is an entertaining and informative synthesis of analysis and performance that has the primary goal of helping Junior Cert learners in their understanding of the play while at the same time highlighting what a fine comedy it is. MACBETH The mystery and magic of the Scottish Play as you’ve never seen it before. A riddle is put forth to the students which, once answered, will aid understanding in how to dissect the themes of bloody Macbeth for their exams. ROMEO & JULIET In this show, Shakespeare comes to life and directs a group of modern actors in his great romantic tragedy. However, problems arise as Mr Shakespeare’s 16th century attitudes and demeanour clash with those of modern performers. Once again, students are introduced to one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays with stunning performances, historical background, discussion of major themes, audience participation and interaction. KING LEAR This new version cranks up the humour as the actors explore the motivations of Lear, Kent, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, Gloucester, and Edmund with humour, discussion and arguments that focus on the major themes of the play. And, as always, the play is performed faithfully to the text with top notch dramatic performacnces. For booking and information call 044-9347777 or visit www.mullingar artscentre.ie CÉILÍÍ in Cullion Community Centre Friday, 10th November 2017 Music by: Brian Boru Céilí Band Admission €10 Light refreshments served The MEM Players’ will be performing Brush with a Body next weekend, 17 - 19 November, in the Milltown Community Centre. Castlepollard Community College Students present Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat Castlepollard Community College students have been rehearsing very hard for their upcoming musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. It will take place in the Mullingar Arts Centre on the 16, 17 and 18th of November. This year’s show includes a live band playing the songs as part of the show. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at the Arts Centre or at Castlepollard Community College. Zara Geraghty, Ciaran Butler-Ennis and Megan Doyle who will be starring in Castlepollard Community College’s production of Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat. PRESENTED BY CALLBACK THEATRE JANEY DILLIS 11th November at 8.00pm What would happen if you woke up one morning, found yourself in the middle of a snow storm and you have no power, no heat, no phone, no food? MULLINGAR ARTS CENTRE PRESENTED BY CYCLONE THEATRE THE SHAKESPEARE SESSIONS 8th – 10th November at 9.45am and 1.00pm New versions of The Merchant Of Venice, Romeo & Juliet, King Lear and Macbeth. PRESENTED BY ABBEY THEATRE ME SARA 13th – 14th November at 10.00am and 12.00am Passionate, lyrical and angry Sara invites us into a world where people are made by the stories they tell and parents need to be told who their children are. www.mullingarartscentre.ie • Box office: 044 9347777
TOPIC • 9 November, 2017 NEWS 19 Mergon staff play prominent role in production of new Tesla cars The Tesla cars are mainly produced in California, America, but the diligent and hard working staff at the Mergon plant on the Water Street road, Castlepollard, have certainly played their part too in this latest range of hi-tech cars. There was so much excitement and tension amongst the staff at Mergon, it was just like the first day back in the school playground, as employees gathered around the car park to see, examine, experience and take selfies of one of the many fine worldwide products Mergon have helped to produce - the seats for the Olympic Games and World Cup stadiums in Rio in Brazil in 2014 and 2016 respectively - being just a couple of the others. Despite the shares at Tesla dropping more than five percent after the company posted record losses a day later on Thursday, 2 November, confidence is high that Tesla will meet the challenges ahead and pull through its difficulties, with sales of the Tesla X and Tesla S models set to drive the company forward. The cars on display at Mergon last Wednesday were a black coloured Model X and a silver coloured Model S. Both are electric. And both were stunning. Model X catches your eye BY PAUL O’DONOVAN “If you weren’t stunned by the slick, smooth and silent arrival of the new Tesla cars, then the driving experience certainly brought a ‘wow’ factor to the Tesla X and Tesla S cars on display at the Mergon factory in Castlepollard last Wednesday afternoon, November 1. before you get in, as its ‘falcon doors’ spread their wings at the rear passenger doors, comfortably seating seven people inside, or allowing greater room for the placing of much larger objects inside. With the absence of an engine, there is of course additional space under the bonnet, for storage. The dashboard is clear and uncluttered and your attention is immediately drawn to the 17-inch dashboard screen, described by many as similar to an iPad, providing as much detailed information as required on maps, navigation, distances, journeys, times and obstacles ahead, to mention just a few of the necessities. Others include climate control and entertainment, also a vital part of the driving experience of course. There are no gears, but plenty of switches on the steering wheel and the extra active safety features have led it to be described as the safest car around. So with no petrol or diesel required how does this electric car work, I hear you ask? Well the lithium ion battery pack is situated under the floor of the car and it comes with a choice of 75D to 100D capacities, all of which are four wheel drives. Depending on the model, it can offer from 295 to 351 miles of travel for a single charge of half an hour. So what happens if anything goes wrong with the car? The Tesla is a luxury electric car, fast to drive, easy to charge, intelligently designed, and can receive software updates, much the same as a smartphone and of course it provides an excellent driving experience. A WONDERFUL EXPERI- ENCE So when the opportunity to be driven around Castlepollard in one of these cars arose, it was just too good to turn down. It was the Model S that I was fortunate enough to be driven around in. Designed from the ground up, to be the safest, exhilarating drive on the road, the model S seats five people and its autopilot Staff at Mergon examine the Tesla Model S at the factory grounds in Castlepollard. Staff at Mergon in Castlepollard proudly stand beside the Tesla Model x and Tesla Model S at the factory grounds in Castlepollard last Wednesday afternoon. capabilities ensure a stress free drive. These Tesla cars have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver...but we still had a human driving it, thank God. So we sat back and relaxed and enjoyed a smooth, elegant and slick drive.. and that was just leaving the car park at Mergon! When we got out on the main road, our tutor from Tesla explained the mechanics of the car in depth, except there weren’t any mechanics; it was all hi-tech, if I understood him correctly. Clearly one of the highlights of these cars is their ability to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in approximately 2.9 seconds or 4.2 seconds, depending on what model you are in. For me it was an extreme sudden dash, a much greater force than taking off in an airplane...before it seemed like we had suddenly returned to earth. I believe the Model S cars start from approximately €90,000 while the Model X cars are in the region of €120,000, but we are told these are the cars of the future and proof that you can drive electric cars with confidence. As our driver swung the car around at the junction to Fore before returning to the factory at Mergon...I wondered what St Feichin would have made of it all? MERGON’S VITAL INPUT Caolan Bushell, VP of Business Development at Mergon and Michael Daly, President of Mergon Corp, US Plant, but based in Castlepollard, were both delighted to inform us of the great work the staff at Mergon had contributed since the Tesla deal had been struck. Twelve people were taken on in the Mergon factory in Castlepollard as a result of the Tesla contract, as well as others being taken on in their South Carolina and Czech Republic factories. A total of 260 people work in the Mergon factory, parts of which are run on a three shift basis, others on a four shift basis. So how did the Tesla contract come about? “One of our old buyers with BMW moved to work with Tesla and they were looking for suppliers at the time and he suggested that they meet up with us, both with our factory here in Castlepollard and in South Carolina,” said Caolan, “So we went over and met with them and they were impressed with what we had to show, and after that, we started working with them in the US. The relationship has expanded and grown over the years to the point where we have engineers from Tesla coming over, visiting us from Silicon Valley and working on the development.” 72 HOURS SQUEEZED INTO ONE DAY “We are involved in making parts for the Model X and the Model S, both of which are here today, as well as the Model 3. So what we have discovered is that we can now work much, much faster at design and development as a result of working with them. Our engineers are stationed in California and they make their design for their eight hours and we have an Asian partner that we make a lot of our tooling with and they do some designs overnight and they pass the design onto us here in Castlepollard, so esentially we are getting 72 hours work done in a day. So there is a huge amount of work compressed into a huge amount of time and that really impressed them and set us apart from our competitors.” One of those people heavily involved in the engineering process is also local. Paul Kelly, from Mullingar, is Engineering Manager in South Carolina, and is just one of the people working on the project in the US. DEMANDING PROJECT Describing the work Mergon have been involved in in this process, Caolan said, “The Model S competes against the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S class. We manufacture all of the air ducts for the heating and air conditioning on it. This is the first model we were involved with Tesla on. Model X is a performance SUV. We have 48 parts in this, the most we have ever had on a vehicle, and it has been a very demanding project for us. We did the heat and air conditioning ducts, we do some wheel well ducts, that develop down force on the car and suck it to the ground and improves the battery life and the washer tank assembly, which is a very complex unit at the front of the car. These are hugely hi-tech cars. “They are like an iPad on wheels. The way the driver interfaces with the car in relation to the dashboard is completely different than anything that has ever been done before. When we deal with Tesla, it is more like dealing with a technology company than with an automotive company. It is certainly the way forward in cars. The Model 3 car, the new latest model, they have orders for 450,00 of them and they are struggling to meet the orders at the moment, but that will resolve itself over time and we hope that that will be a very, very successful programme. “These cars are available in Ireland from the Tesla salesroom in Sandyford. It is there just under a year now, and they are selling quite well and the announcement from the Government recently of 0% VIK will help the cars to sell also. You can also order the cars on line. “With regards to the price range, the model S starts at €90,000 while the Model X in Ireland starts at €120,000, while the car on view at Mergon last Wednesday, cost in the region of €200,000. “It is fantastic to get the cars down here to Mergon in Castlepollard to see the product and the Tesla cars are so different and the workers can see their product here in front of the factory and that gives them a great sense of achievement,” said Caolan.