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Ir Med J [journal]
- The cricoid cartilage--a useful palpable landmark to identify the recurrent laryngeal nerve. [Letter]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):125-6.
- Unknown knowns-- where did the DAMAs go? [Letter]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):124-5.
- Best for the child or to reassure the doctor! [Letter]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):124.
- The World Health Organisation analgesic ladder: its place in modern Irish medical practice. [Journal Article]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):122-4.
Pain is the single most common reason why patients seek medical care. Worldwide, there are 10 million new cases of cancer each year, with 6 million deaths annually. The World Health Organisation (WHO) first published Cancer Pain Relief in 1986, designed to be a simple, intuitive and accessible guide to the management of cancer pain that would be applicable and useful whatever the language, culture, economy, country and clinical setting. In Ireland today, we have ready access to many different opioids, and the WHO guidelines may seem inadequate and outdated. This article describes the evolution and use of the WHO guidelines, as viewed from the global perspective of its 193 member nations. The WHO ladder still remains valid today in Ireland, even as we await the imminent publication of new evidence-based national cancer pain guidelines this year.
- Parental experience of enzyme replacement therapy for Hunter syndrome. [Letter]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):120-2.
We aimed to establish the profile of Irish patients with Hunter Syndrome (Mucopolysaccharidosis type II, MPS II) receiving weekly intravenous Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) with recombinant iduronate-2-sulfatase and to assess the social impact and parental opinion of ERT through the use of a parental questionnaire. Nine patients aged 3.5- 14 years have received a mean of 2 (range 0.5-3.5) years of ERT. Treatment was associated with clinical improvements from baseline in hepatosplenomegaly in 6/7 (85%) respiratory manifestations in 4/6 (67%) and a mean reduction in urinary glycosaminoglycan excretion of 62%. Changes noted by parents included increased energy 3/9 (33%) and softening of skin, hair and facial features 8/9 (89%). Parents report that seven hours weekly were spent on hospitalizations for ERT. Parental employment was adversely affected in 8 (89%) families. One day of school/preschool (20%) was lost every week for 8 (89%) children. All parents believed the benefits of ERT out-weigh the difficulties involved. All families would welcome the introduction of home based therapy. In conclusion the social and educational burden of hospital-based ERT on these children and their families is significant. The introduction of home-based therapy is likely to improve overall quality of life for MPSII patients and their families.
- Smoking in vehicles is lower than mobile telephone use while driving, but is socially patterned. [Letter]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):118-20.
Legislation is being considered which bans smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 16. This was an observational survey of smoking by drivers and passengers and mobile phone use by drivers in 2,230 cars over three time periods in two Dublin locations. The observed prevalence of mobile telephone use (2.56%) was higher than smoking (1.39%) (p < 0.01), but was low in both. There was no significant variation according to time of day. There was an inverse pattern according to car value for smoking drivers (p = 0.029). Eight adult passengers and just one child were observed as being exposed to a smoking adult driver. In conclusion, the public health importance of regulating passive smoke exposure is clear but the resources required to police such a ban in vehicles may be labour intensive for the yield in detection or prevention.
- Patient knowledge of peripheral vascular disease in an outpatient setting: an Achilles heel? [Journal Article]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):116-8.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) has numerous modifiable risk factors. This study aimed to establish patients' awareness of risk factors and causes of PVD and their understanding of mechanisms of secondary prevention. A prospective survey of awareness of PVD among patients attending a tertiary vascular clinic for management of peripheral vascular disease was undertaken. Institutional review board approval was granted. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 18.0 software. There was a 100% response rate, with 97 participants (53 male). Seventeen patients (19%) reported an interval of greater than six months from the onset of symptoms to first seeking medical attention with their General Practitioner. Only 19 (20%) could correctly identify 3 or more risk factors for peripheral vascular disease. Patients have limited awareness of PVD and its consequences. Educational initiatives are needed to encourage patients to seek early medical attention and raise awareness of modifiable risk factors in the community.
- General practitioners' perspectives on revised entry and selection methods to medicine and the HPAT. [Journal Article]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):113-5.
Revised selection mechanisms to medicine now include an adjunct admission test known as the HPAT. Stakeholder acceptability is a key issue. General Practitioners (GPs) represent an important stakeholder group. A questionnaire was administered to a regional sample of GPs evaluating their knowledge of the new selection system, views on acceptability, performance on sample HPAT questions and perceptions of their relevance. 92 respondents (75.4%) reported they had little or no knowledge of the HPAT. GPs supported the use of aptitude tests (85 respondents 69.7%). However almost one third (39 respondents, 32%) either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the reforms introduced. The majority strongly supported the Leaving Certificate as a selection tool (118 respondents, 96.7%). GPs performed well in the sample questions. Items from Section 2, measuring interpersonal understanding, were judged to be the most relevant.
- Factors affecting receipt of a medical card in a cohort of colorectal cancer patients, 2002-2006. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Ir Med J 2013 Apr; 106(4):110-3.
The criteria for allocation of medical cards to colorectal cancer patients < 70 were explored. All invasive colorectal cancers diagnosed during 2002-2006 (n = 4,762) were abstracted and linked to the PCRS master file to determine medical card status. Determinants of medical card possession before diagnosis were; age 65-69yr vs. 15-54 yr (OR = 3.95 (95% CI); 3.20-4.88), other status vs. married (OR = 1.89; 1.61-2.23), most vs. least deprived (OR = 3.65; 2.89-4.61), smoker vs. non-smoker (OR = 1.98; 1.64-2.37), ED population density (< 1/ha vs. > 15/ha; OR = 1.47; 1.20-1.80). Determinants of medical card possession after diagnosis were; age 65-69 yr vs. 15-54 yr (OR = 0.77; 0.62-0.96), most vs. least deprived (OR = 2.15; 1.72-2.70), stage IV vs. 1: OR = 2.49; 1.85-3.36), chemotherapy (OR = 2.30; 1.87-2.83), radiotherapy (OR = 1.40; 1.13-1.72), ED population density (< 1/ha vs. > 15/ha; OR = 1.47; 1.19-1.82), HSE South vs. DNML (OR = 1.76; 1.40-2.21). Medical card possession among colorectal cancer patients was determined by greater age and deprivation before diagnosis; and younger age, greater deprivation, advanced stage and treatments warranted by extent of disease after diagnosis. Low population density of ED of residence also predicted card receipt.