• Glioblastoma Multiforme in the over 70's: "To treat or not to treat with radiotherapy?"

      O'Shea, Julianne; Dunne, Mary; Grogan, Roger; MacNally, Stephen; Fitzpatrick, David; Faul, Clare; Glynn, Am; Rangaswamy, Guhan (2019-07-04)
      BACKGROUND: The incidence of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is increasing among the older population and is associated with poor prognosis. Management guidelines are lacking in this group. The purpose of this study was to analyze survival data and determine predictors of survival in patients aged ≥70 years treated with radiotherapy (RT) and/or Temozolomide. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all GBM patients treated at our institution between January 2011 and January 2017 was carried out. RESULTS: One-hundred and four patients were eligible. Median age was 73.8 years (70-87). Thirty-three patients received radical RT and 71 palliative RT. Overall median survival (MS) was 6 months. The MS was 10.6 months for radical patients and 4.9 months for palliative patients (P < 0.0005). The MS was 6.9 months in patients aged 70-75 years and 5.2 months in those aged 76-80 years (P = 0.004). The debulked group had a statistically significantly longer survival (8.0 months) than the biopsy only group (4.9 months). Biopsy only (hazard ratio [HR] 2.4), ECOG performance status 3 vs 0 (HR 6.4), and increasing age (HR 1.06) were associated with statistically significant shorter survival after adjustment for the effects of concurrent chemo, delay in starting RT, and RT dose. CONCLUSION: The MS for radical patients was favorable and approaching current literature for the under 70 age group. Radical treatment should be considered for good performance patients aged 70-75 years. Increasing age was associated with shorter MS in patients aged ≥76 years. Debulking and good performance status were associated with improved survival.
    • International Variation in Criteria for Internal Mammary Chain Radiotherapy.

      Duane, F K; McGale, P; Teoh, S; Mortimer, C; Broggio, J; Darby, S C; Dodwell, D; Lavery, B; Oliveros, S; Vallis, K A; et al. (2019-07-01)
      Aims; Evidence has emerged that internal mammary chain (IMC) radiotherapy reduces breast cancer mortality, leading to changes in treatment guidelines. This study investigated current IMC radiotherapy criteria and the percentages of patients irradiated for breast cancer in England who fulfilled them. Materials and methods; A systematic search was undertaken for national guidelines published in English during 2013–2018 presenting criteria for ‘consideration of’ or ‘recommendation for’ IMC radiotherapy. Patient and tumour variables were collected for patients who received breast cancer radiotherapy in England during 2012–2016. The percentages of patients fulfilling criteria stipulated in each set of guidelines were calculated. Results: In total, 111 729 women were recorded as receiving adjuvant breast cancer radiotherapy in England during 2012–2016 and full data were available on 48 095 of them. Percentages of patients fulfilling IMC radiotherapy criteria in various national guidelines were: UK Royal College of Radiologists 13% (6035/48 095), UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 18% (8816/48 095), Germany 32% (15 646/48 095), Ireland 56% (26 846/48 095) and USA 59% (28 373/48 095). Differences between countries occurred because in Ireland and the USA, treatment may be considered in some node-negative patients, whereas in the UK, treatment is considered if at least four axillary nodes are involved or for high-risk patients with one to three positive nodes. In Germany, treatment may be considered for all node-positive patients. Conclusions: There is substantial variability between countries in criteria for consideration of IMC radiotherapy, despite guidelines being based on the same evidence. This will probably lead to large variations in practice and resource needs worldwide.
    • Key Performance Indicators in Paediatric Anaesthesia

      Doody, K; Barry, D; Holmes, C (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
      Currently no national guidelines on performance measurement exist for paediatric anaesthesia in Ireland1. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if we are achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in areas of post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) and post-operative pain when compared to international standards.
    • Varicella Related Hospital Admissions in Ireland

      McCarthy, K.N.; Ó Maoldomhnaigh, C.; Butler, K.M.; Gavin, P.J. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
      Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate trends in admissions for patients with primary varicella infection in Irish hospitals. Methods The Hospital Inpatient Enquiry System was evaluated from Irish hospitals from 2005-2016 for patients with primary varicella infection. Results There were 2717 admissions with primary varicella infection. The average annual number of admissions was 226 for an incidence of 4.87/100,000. Average length of stay (ALOS) was 5-days. Sixty-two (2.5%) patients required intensive-care with an ALOS of 26-days. The most common secondary diagnoses were cellulitis, volume-depletion and streptococcal infection. The number of admissions due to streptococcal infection and cellulitis significantly increased over the period. Conclusion Chickenpox places a consistent burden on Irish healthcare, accounting for in excess of 1100 acute and 160 intensive-care bed days annually. This study adds weight to the argument that universal varicella vaccine should be considered and provides baseline epidemiology to determine vaccine effectiveness in the future.
    • The Role of Interventional Radiology in the Management of Obstetric and Gynaecological Haemorrhage

      O’Brien, C.; Healy, G.M.; Anglim, B.C.; O’Brien, A.; Duignan, J.; Patel, A.; Cheung, M.; Cantwell, C.P. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
      Aim We will review our experience of emergent arterial embolization used to treat haemodynamically unstable patients with obstetric and gynaecological haemorrhage. Methods This is a retrospective study of patients with haemodynamically unstable obstetric and gynaecological haemorrhage treated with emergent arterial embolization from 2010 to 2015. Results 22 patients (average age 41 (SD +/-9) years) had emergent arterial embolization. 63% had post-partum haemorrhage(PPH). 82% of cases were performed with conscious sedation and local anaesthesia. Embolization was technically successful in all cases. Embolization was clinically successful in 95% (21/22). In one case of PPH the patient represented six days later with recurrent bleeding and was treated with surgical suturing of the cervix. There were no complications or deaths. Conclusion Arterial embolization is a highly successful treatment of obstetric and gynaecological haemorrhage in unstable patients.
    • Circumcision Rates after the Release of Preputial Adhesions

      Aworanti, O.M; Rasheed, F.; Aldiab, A; Mortell, A. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
      The non-retractile foreskin in children is one of the most frequent indication for referral to a paediatric surgeon in Ireland. This is probably due to parental concerns when children complain of related symptoms coupled with a misperception among some general practitioners (GP) of the natural separation process of the inner surface of the prepuce from the glans surface1,2,3. Phimosis from the Greek word ‘Ψιμoσισ’ (muzzling) generally describes the non-retractile foreskin. Phimosis is best classified as either pathological or physiological. Pathological phimosis is either due to balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) or due to a constricting phimotic ring that hinders retraction, both usually in the older boy. Physiological phimosis is simply the non-retractile or incompletely retractile state of the foreskin in usually asymptomatic young boys. Foreskin retraction has been established to be complete by the age of 3 years in 90% 1 and by the age of 16 years in 99% 2 of boys. During this preputial separation process, complaints such as local discomfort, ballooning of the foreskin during micturition and smegma retention cysts are common and require simple reassurance only 3. No pathologic sequelae have been attributed to these physiologic processes on assessing urine flow rates, post-void residual bladder volumes and bladder wall thickness in young boys with physiologic phimosis 3. Furthermore, as partial separation of the foreskin ensues, young boys can suffer from episodes of balanoposthitis1,3. This inflammation of the glans and prepuce (or prepuce only - termed posthitis) generally resolves with antibiotic treatment and can be prevented with improved local hygiene. Therefore, absolute and strong indications for a medical circumcision are limited to pathological phimosis due to BXO and prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) usually in children with vesicoureteric reflux or posterior urethral valves respectively4,5
    • A Prospective Audit of Inappropriately Occupied Hospital Beds in Patients with Newly Acquired Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

      Smith, E.; Synnott, K. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
      Aim To quantify the inappropriate bed occupancy amongst patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) awaiting transfer of care from the acute to community. Methods A prospective audit was carried out, of all newly acquired cases of TSCI in 2017, who progressed through acute care and specialist rehabilitation. Results Forty-four patients who were audited spent a total of 3915 days occupying a hospital bed, inappropriate for their phase of care, 78 awaiting admission to specialist acute care, 3126 awaiting admission to rehabilitation and 711 awaiting discharge from rehabilitation. Conclusion Valuable health-care resources are being wasted because TSCI patients cannot move seamlessly from one phase of care to the next. This impacts negatively on the quality of care being delivered to this patient cohort.
    • Incidence of Asymptomatic Chiari Malformation

      O’Reilly, E.M; Torreggiani, W (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
      Aim The aim of this study is to define the incidence of asymptomatic Chiari malformation in an Irish population. Methods MRIs performed over 24 months were analysed. Exclusion criteria include: space occupying lesion, hydrocephalus, Chiari symptoms and inadequate views. Data were analysed to give incidence of asymptomatic Chiari and to analyze the relationship between symptom and position of the cerebellar tonsils (Chi square and Fishers exact test). Results Sample Characteristics: 147 patients (Male = 65: Female = 82), age range 15 to 93 years (M age = 53.35, SD= 16.67). 2%had a Chiari malformation (n=2). There was no significant association between symptom and tonsil position (Fishers exact test, ² (8) = 9.98, p = .23.) Conclusion This study shows an asymptomatic Chiari Malformation rate of 2%. This study supports the idea that in asymptomatic patients, a tonsil herniation of up to 5 millimeters may be an incidental and inconsequent finding.
    • The co-design, implementation and evaluation of a serious board game 'PlayDecide patient safety' to educate junior doctors about patient safety and the importance of reporting safety concerns.

      Ward, Marie; Ní Shé, Éidín; De Brún, Aoife; Korpos, Christian; Hamza, Moayed; Burke, Elaine; Duffy, Ann; Egan, Karen; Geary, Una; Holland, Catherine; et al. (2019-06-25)
      A serious game based on the PlayDecide framework was co-designed and implemented in two large urban acute teaching hospitals. To evaluate the educational value of the game voting on the position statements was recorded at the end of each game by a facilitator who also took notes after the game of key themes that emerged from the discussion. A sample of players were invited on a voluntary basis to take part in semi-structured interviews after playing the game using Flanagan's Critical Incident Technique. A paper-based questionnaire on 'Safety Concerns' was developed and administered to assess pre-and post-playing the game reporting behaviour. Dissemination workshops were held with senior clinicians to promote more inclusive leadership behaviours and responsiveness to junior doctors raising of safety concerns from senior clinicians.
    • Impact of Introduction of a Clinical Pathway for the Management of Pyelonephritis on Obstetric Patients: a Quality Improvement Project

      Clooney, L; Ronayne, A; Glennon, K; Brennan, M; Hickey, N; Magee, C; Cooley, S; Eogan, M; Drew, R.J (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-06)
      Acute pyelonephritis is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. It occurs in 0.5–2% of pregnant women and can result in significant maternal and fetal morbidity1,2. Additionally there is a financial burden on the hospital due to prolonged inpatient stays, increased preterm birth rate and associated neonatal care 3. Although there have been many studies evaluating the benefit of treating asymptomatic bacteriuria to prevent pyelonephritis in pregnancy, there is little recent evidence around how to treat pyelonephritis in pregnancy 4-6. In 1995 a study was published which showed the benefit of ceftriaxone in pregnancy, when compared to cefazolin but did not address issues such as prophylaxis during the remaining pregnancy and need for additional gentamicin
    • Hip Fracture and the Weekend Effect in an Irish Trauma Hospital

      Downey, C; Flannery, S; Izydorczyk, A; Quinlan, J.F. (2019-06)
      We examined the relationship between the 1-year mortality (OYM) rate and (i) those admitted at the weekend, (ii) those who underwent surgery at the weekend and (iii) those admitted during the NCHD changeover months (January & July) for the management of hip fracture in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).
    • Caring for Caregivers: An Evaluation of Schwartz Rounds in a Paediatric Setting

      Silke, A; Rushe, H; Keating, K; Thurstan, R; Barrett, E (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-06)
      Schwartz rounds (SR) are a multi-disciplinary intervention that aim to support clinical and non-clinical healthcare professionals in their work. Temple Street Children’s University Hospital (TSCUH) is the first paediatric hospital to introduce SR. SR are a popular intervention, with numerous sites adopting them in the US and the UK. First introduced in Ireland in 2015, they were piloted at sites in Galway University Hospital and Blackrock Hospice. SR have since spread to 15 other sites across Ireland, including regional hospitals, children’s hospices and ambulance services. 2 Only one paper has been published on the topic of SR in paediatric hospitals. This paper hopes to highlight the potential for SR in the paediatric context by evaluating the views of staff who attended SR at TSCUH.
    • Awareness and Preventative Behaviours Regarding Toxoplasma, Listeria and Cytomegalovirus Among Pregnant Women

      Basit, I; Crowley, D; Geary, M; Kirkham, C; Mc Dermott, R; Cafferkey, M; Sayers, G (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-06)
      Serious fetal infections can be transmitted transplacentally or perinatally. Vaccination is a key prevention method as shown by the dramatic reduction of congenital rubella. Reducing the risk of toxoplasmosis, listeriosis and CMV in pregnancy requires knowledge of their epidemiology and appropriate prevention strategies in the absence of vaccines. Primary infection with Toxoplasma gondii occurs following ingestion of active or inactive cysts. Sources of cysts include undercooked or raw meat (e.g. uncooked or dried meats), contaminated unwashed cooking surfaces and utensils, contaminated cat litter, soil and water supplies, unwashed soil-grown fruits and vegetables, unpasteurised milk, and less frequently, transplanted organs and blood products. Primary toxoplasmosis in pregnancy can lead to chorioretinitis, deafness, microcephaly, developmental delay, late onset of ocular defects, and stillbirth.
    • The Prevalence of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infection Over a Ten-Year Period in Children with Cystic Fibrosis

      Al Shidhani, K; O’Reilly, R; Javadpour, S; O’Sullivan, N; McNally, P; Cox, D.W (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-06)
      A retrospective observational study was performed at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC), Dublin, the largest paediatric tertiary CF referral centre in Ireland. Patient’s case notes, microbiology laboratory results and data from the Cystic Fibrosis Registry of Ireland (CFRI) database were used as sources for the data collection. We compared the prevalence of PA infection in 2014 with 2004. PA infection was defined as one positive culture on an airway sample (either a sputum, throat swab or broncho-alveolar lavage sample). The modified Leed’s criteria was used to classify PA infection into never infected, free of infection (negative PA culture for > 12 months), intermittent infection ( positive PA culture for < 6 months) and chronic infection ( positive PA culture for > 6 months).
    • Primary External Ventricular Drains in the Management of Open Myelomeningocele Repairs in the Neonatal Setting in Ireland

      Finnegan, R; Kehoe, J; McMahon, O; Donoghue, V; Crimmins, D; Caird, J; Murphy, J (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-05)
      The aim of this study is to outline the role of primary external ventricular drains (EVD) in the management of open myelomeningoceles in the neonatal setting in Ireland.
    • Oxygen Therapy in Ireland: A Nationwide Review of Delivery, Monitoring and Cost Implications

      O’Donnell, C; Davis, P (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-05)
      Our aim was to establish which hospitals in Ireland are running oxygen clinics and to compare oxygen prescription in hospitals to a guideline standard. Long term oxygen therapy is known to be of benefit to a specific cohort of patients but is not without risk.
    • Maternal sepsis is an evolving challenge

      Turner, Michael J.; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (Wiley, 2019-04-26)
      Despite major advances in the last century, particularly in high resource settings, maternal sepsis remains a common and potentially preventable cause of direct maternal death globally. A barrier to further progress has been the lack of consensus on the definition of maternal sepsis. Publications from two recent multidisciplinary consensus conferences, one on sepsis in the non-pregnant adult and the other on sepsis in the pregnant woman, concluded that the criteria for diagnosing sepsis should be clinically-based, applicable at the bedside, and should not be laboratory-based. Informed by reviews of the evidence, in 2017 WHO published a new definition of maternal sepsis based on the presence of suspected or confirmed infection. It also announced a Global Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis Initiative to identify the diagnostic criteria for the early identificati on, epidemiology, and disease classification of maternal sepsis. Standardizing the criteria for maternal sepsis optimizes clinical audit and research. It may facilitate the evaluation of the role of different clinical parameters and biomarkers in the diagnosis, earlier recognition and management of maternal infection and sepsis. Further work is required to develop an international consensus on the criteria for diagnosing maternal sepsis and any associated organ dysfunction.
    • Where does Pelvic and Acetabular Fracture Treatment fit into the Newly Proposed Major Trauma Model in Ireland?

      Fenelon, C; Murphy, E.P; O’Daly, B.J; Leonard, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
      Major trauma continues to be the biggest cause of death in people aged between 5 and 45 years of age. Suboptimal trauma management results in greater ongoing costs to patients, hospitals and society. Trauma networks in the United States, Australia and more recently the United Kingdom have proven successful in significantly reducing morbidity and mortality. In the UK, analysis by the Trauma Audit Research Network (TARN) has shown that a major trauma patient has a 19% increase in the odds of survival following major trauma since its introduction in 2012. No integrated trauma network yet exists in Ireland but a recent report “A Trauma System for Ireland” published in January of 2018 outlined plans of how such a trauma network would be introduced. The report called for the introduction of two regional trauma networks, a central and south network, with one major trauma centre for each. However, the report made no mention of where the treatment of pelvic and acetabular fractures fell within it.
    • An Under-Recognised Cause of Iatrogenic, Severe Metabolic Acidosis

      Spring, A; Owens, R; Fratita, M; O’Dwyer, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
      Pyroglutamic acidosis is an uncommonly diagnosed but important cause of a high anion gap metabolic acidosis. Our case report concerns an elderly male admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) following the acute onset of coma which developed during treatment of a prosthetic joint infection. A diagnosis of pyroglutamic acidosis was ultimately made and later confirmed with laboratory testing. Blood gas analysis revealed a profound high anion gap metabolic acidosis.
    • Congenital Atrial Haemangioma

      Daly, A; Franklin, O; Nölke, L (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
      Cardiac hemangioma is a rare form of primary cardiac tumor. Only small a number of cardiac hemangioma cases have been reported in the literature and therefore appreciation of the best management strategies for primary cardiac tumors in neonates is somewhat lacking. We present the rare case of a neonate who presented with symptoms arising from a congenital atrial haemangioma on day three of life. This report serves to remind the paediatric medical community of the rare diagnosis of primary cardiac tumours, diagnostic clues and therapeutic interventions used to address this unusual diagnosis.