Each week, journalists turn to Unity Health Toronto’s experts and programs to help make sense of our world. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the headlines for the week of July 24-30.

New ‘ultra potent’ opioids hitting Toronto streets in recent weeks as overdose deaths mount
Toronto Star on July 26, 2021
Feature of work led by Karen McDonald, Dr. Dan Werb, Dr. Daniel Beriault

Toronto’s street drug supply is being increasingly contaminated with a new category of “ultra-potent” opioids as overdose deaths rise. The opioids were identified by the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation (CDPE), a Toronto-based research agency housed at St. Michael’s Hospital that collects and tests small samples of street drugs collected from users and dealers. Dr. Daniel Beriault, head of biochemistry at Unity Health Toronto, Karen McDonald, the lead of Toronto’s Drug Checking Service at St. Michael’s Hospital, and Dr. Dan Werb, the executive director of the CDPE and a research scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, discuss the implications with the Toronto Star.

Also in CBC News, Global News, Global News Morning

When will kids under 12 be vaccinated?
CTV News Toronto on July 26, 2021
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak

With the school year just weeks away, many are wondering when children under the age of 12 will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Dr. Fahad Razak, an internist at St. Michael’s Hospital and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, tells CTV News Toronto that it’s important to see the results of clinical trials, the degree of protection and any safety signals. “The hope is that what we’ve seen in other age ranges will be replicated in younger children,” he says.

Neurovascular team performs novel brain aneurysm procedure
Hospital News on July 29, 2021
Feature of work led by Dr. Vitor Pereira and St. Michael’s neurovascular team

In May, the Neurovascular team at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto performed the first surgery in North America using a novel stent that may simplify surgical treatments for complex aneurysms and decrease procedural risks for the patient. Dr. Vitor Pereira, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital who specializes in minimally-invasive procedures of brain and spinal cord blood vessels, led the team, and describes the experience as “rewarding.”