• HepCare Europe-A service innovation project. HepCheck: Characteristics of the patient population with active infection as defined by HCV RNA.

      Avramovic, Gordana; Oprea, Cristiana; Surey, Julian; Story, Alistair; Macías, Juan; Cullen, Walter; Iglesias, Maria; Mc Hugh, Tina; Crowley, Des; Naughton, Anna Marie; et al. (2019-11-27)
      BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a main cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and is consistently under-diagnosed. Community-based screening initiatives, such as HepCheck, have been identified as important components of HCV care. HepCheck focuses on screening and identifying HCV RNA-positive cases in high-risk populations and linking them to care as part of a larger European project to improve HCV care (HepCare). METHODS: HCV testing with a self-administered questionnaire was offered to 2822 individuals. RESULTS: There were 2079 patients screened. Overall, 397 (19%) of the total screened cohort were identified as having active HCV infections as measured by HCV RNA PCR. The patients were mostly male (84%), white (88%), and had a history of injecting drug use (IDU) (86%), homelessness (58%), and tattooing (42%). There were 136 new cases (7% of the total sample and 34% of identified active infections). Romania had the highest proportion of newly identified cases with 87%, then Ireland with 60%, and Spain with 43%; the UK had the lowest proportion of new cases at 10%. CONCLUSIONS: For those lost to follow-up, a major strategy is re-engagement. For those newly diagnosed, the 'seek and treat' approach is a key strategy. Thus, different priorities are defined for different countries.
    • How Much Greater is Obstetric Intervention in Women with Medical Disorders in Pregnancy When Compared to the General Population?

      Keane, R.; Manning, C.; Lynch, C.; Regan, C.; Byrne, B. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
      The purpose of this study was to compare obstetric and neonatal outcomes between women attending a specialised maternal medicine service and the general obstetric population.
    • A Temporal Comparative Study of Women’s Rugby Injuries Presenting to an Emergency Department

      Gilmartin, S.; Ryan, J. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
      We aimed to examine the change in injury patterns, diagnostics and treatments provided to female rugby players in an emergency department between two separate seasons ten years apart.
    • Factors Contributing to Non-Exclusive Breastfeeding in Primigravid Mothers

      Panaviene, J.; Zakharchenko, L.; Olteanu, D.; Cullen, M.; EL-Khuffash, E.L (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
      We aimed to examine the factors contributing to non-exclusive breastfeeding in primigravid mothers in a large Irish tertiary maternity hospital.
    • Psychiatry in Ireland: A Lot Done, More to Do

      Kelly, B.D.; Department of Psychiatry, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
      Four decades ago, in April 1979, Time magazine printed a dramatic cover story titled “Psychiatry’s depression”, diagnosing psychiatry with “a bad case of mid-life blues” 1. The magazine pointed to a lack of knowledge about the biology of mental illness, recruitment problems into the profession, uncertainties about treatments, and the inadequacy of community care. Precisely forty years later, in April 2019, the Economist magazine, in a very similar tone, referred to “today’s crisis in the psychiatric profession” 2 and, the following month, the New Yorker cited many of the same problems again in an article about “psychiatry’s fraught history” 3.
    • A Geospatial Analysis of Adult Major Trauma Transit Time in Dublin

      Kelly, O.; O'Reilly, M; Collins, N. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-09)
      To estimate ambulance transit time of Major Trauma patients from scene to Emergency Department (ED) in order to inform future trauma network design.
    • 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.
    • Distribution of lymph node metastases in esophageal carcinoma [TIGER study]: study protocol of a multinational observational study.

      Hagens, Eliza R C; van Berge Henegouwen, Mark I; van Sandick, Johanna W; Cuesta, Miguel A; van der Peet, Donald L; Heisterkamp, Joos; Nieuwenhuijzen, Grard A P; Rosman, Camiel; Scheepers, Joris J G; Sosef, Meindert N; et al. (2019-07-04)
      Background: An important parameter for survival in patients with esophageal carcinoma is lymph node status. The distribution of lymph node metastases depends on tumor characteristics such as tumor location, histology, invasion depth, and on neoadjuvant treatment. The exact distribution is unknown. Neoadjuvant treatment and surgical strategy depends on the distribution pattern of nodal metastases but consensus on the extent of lymphadenectomy has not been reached. The aim of this study is to determine the distribution of lymph node metastases in patients with resectable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction carcinoma in whom a transthoracic esophagectomy with a 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy is performed. This can be the foundation for a uniform worldwide staging system and establishment of the optimal surgical strategy for esophageal cancer patients. Methods: The TIGER study is an international observational cohort study with 50 participating centers. Patients with a resectable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction carcinoma in whom a transthoracic esophagectomy with a 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy is performed in participating centers will be included. All lymph node stations will be excised and separately individually analyzed by pathological examination. The aim is to include 5000 patients. The primary endpoint is the distribution of lymph node metastases in esophageal and esophago-gastric junction carcinoma specimens following transthoracic esophagectomy with at least 2-field lymphadenectomy in relation to tumor histology, tumor location, invasion depth, number of lymph nodes and lymph node metastases, pre-operative diagnostics, neo-adjuvant therapy and (disease free) survival. Discussion: The TIGER study will provide a roadmap of the location of lymph node metastases in relation to tumor histology, tumor location, invasion depth, number of lymph nodes and lymph node metastases, pre-operative diagnostics, neo-adjuvant therapy and survival. Patient-tailored treatment can be developed based on these results, such as the optimal radiation field and extent of lymphadenectomy based on the primary tumor characteristics.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Adipose tissue as a key player in obstructive sleep apnoea.

      Ryan, Silke; Arnaud, Claire; Fitzpatrick, Susan F; Gaucher, Jonathan; Tamisier, Renaud; Pépin, Jean-Louis (2019-06-26)
      Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a major health concern worldwide and adversely affects multiple organs and systems. OSA is associated with obesity in >60% of cases and is independently linked with the development of numerous comorbidities including hypertension, arrhythmia, stroke, coronary heart disease and metabolic dysfunction. The complex interaction between these conditions has a significant impact on patient care and mortality. The pathophysiology of cardiometabolic complications in OSA is still incompletely understood; however, the particular form of intermittent hypoxia (IH) observed in OSA, with repetitive short cycles of desaturation and re-oxygenation, probably plays a pivotal role. There is fast growing evidence that IH mediates some of its detrimental effects through adipose tissue inflammation and dysfunction. This article aims to summarise the effects of IH on adipose tissue in experimental models in a comprehensive way. Data from well-designed controlled trials are also reported with the final goal of proposing new avenues for improving phenotyping and personalised care in OSA.
    • 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.
    • Thinking forward: promising but unproven ideas for future intensive care.

      Marini, John J; DeBacker, Daniel; Gattinoni, Luciano; Ince, Can; Martin-Loeches, Ignacio; Singer, Pierre; Singer, Mervyn; Westphal, Martin; Vincent, Jean-Louis (2019-06-14)
      Progress toward determining the true worth of ongoing practices or value of recent innovations can be glacially slow when we insist on following the conventional stepwise scientific pathway. Moreover, a widely accepted but flawed conceptual paradigm often proves difficult to challenge, modify or reject. Yet, most experienced clinicians, educators and clinical scientists privately entertain untested ideas about how care could or should be improved, even if the supporting evidence base is currently thin or non-existent. This symposium encouraged experts to share such intriguing but unproven concepts, each based upon what the speaker considered a logical but unproven rationale. Such free interchange invited dialog that pointed toward new or neglected lines of research needed to improve care of the critically ill. In this summary of those presentations, a brief background outlines the rationale for each novel and deliberately provocative unconfirmed idea endorsed by the presenter.
    • 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.