Research undertaken by staff affiliated to Galway university hospitals

Recent Submissions

  • A Surgical Presentation of Churg-Strauss Syndrome.

    Vasandani, Nikhil; Isaac, Martha; Bajwa, Amrit; Sheehan, Margaret; Nugent, Emmeline (2022-04-21)
    Case presentation: Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) or Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) is a rare, autoimmune vasculitis usually affecting small and medium-sized blood vessels in its later phases. It is a diffuse, systemic, multisystem disease that is reported to present with gastrointestinal manifestations but very rarely as an acute abdomen secondary to eosinophilic peritonitis. A 28-year-old relatively healthy male with a pre-existing diagnosis of inactive pulmonary sarcoidosis presented to the emergency department with an acute abdomen. After an exploratory laparotomy, multi-specialty involvement, and extensive investigations to exclude other differentials, a diagnosis of EGPA was made. The patient was treated with systemic glucocorticoids initially, followed by a tapering course of steroids and anti-interleukin 5 monoclonal antibodies as maintenance upon remission. EGPA can manifest in a myriad of ways including an acute abdomen, and medical treatment is useful in managing this presentation. Surgeons should be aware of the atypical causes of acute abdomen and should routinely broaden their differential diagnosis to include medical pathologies.
  • Candida glabrata infection of a pancreatic pseudocyst in a COVID-19 patient: A case report and review of the literature.

    Khan, Mohammad Aasim; Almas, Talal; Ullah, Muneeb; Alkhattab, Maha; Shaikh, Fathema; Shaikh, Sufyan; Bagwe, Isha; Antony, Meetty; Khedro, Tarek; Nagarajan, Vikneswaran Raj; et al. (2022-04-19)
    Introduction Pancreatic pseudocysts remain a feared complication of acute or chronic pancreatitis and are often characterized by collections of fluids due to underlying damage to the pancreatic ducts, culminating in a walled-off region bereft of an epithelial layer but surrounded by granulation tissue. While fungal infections of pancreatic pseudocysts are rarely encountered, candida albicans remains the most frequently implicated organism. Case presentation A 55-year-old male presented with pain in the left-hypochondriac region, accompanied by non-bilious emesis and nausea. Interestingly, the patient also tested positive for a COVID-19 infection. Investigative workup divulged enhancing pancreatic walls with a radiologic impression consistent with a pancreatic pseudocyst. An ultrasound-guided external drainage was performed; the drainage was conducted unremarkably, with the resultant fluid collection revealing the presence of Candida Glabrata. The patient was commenced on antifungal therapy and continues to do well to date. Discussion Infectious ailments of pancreatic pseudocysts remain a widely known complication of acute pancreatitis. While it is rare, fungal infection is a crucial consideration for patients with pancreatic pseudocysts, especially in the context of a lack of an adequate response to antibiotics, deterioration, comorbidities, and immunocompromised states. Conclusion Rapid identification of the microbe responsible for pancreatic pseudocyst infection is vital for time-sensitive treatment and a more rapid recovery, curbing associated morbidity and mortality.
  • Stylohyoid Eagle syndrome and EXTracranial INternal Carotid arTery pseudoaneurysms (EXTINCT) with internal jugular vein nutcracker syndrome: a challenging clinical scenario.

    Sultan, Sherif; Acharya, Yogesh; Soliman, Osama; Hynes, Niamh (2022-04-21)
    Case report: We report a 4-year delay in diagnosing a combined carotid arterial and jugular venous styloid compression. The symptoms, which included dull neck pain, dizziness, intermittent diplopia, tinnitus, severe incapacitating right side headache and eye bloating, were challenging and wrongly attributed initially to various facial neuralgias. The patient presented during COVID-19 pandemic and was labelled as ‘carotidynia’ first and later as a transient perivascular inflammation of carotid artery syndrome. Combined targeted duplex ultrasonography and CT angiography with 3D reconstruction revealed a long styloid process and its tendinous-ligamentous attachments, injuring the internal carotid artery. Moreover, there was substantial internal jugular vein compression on a long C1 transverse process with a nutcracker syndrome. Release of the tendinous portion of the long styloid process and repair of the carotid artery pseudoaneurysm ended the patient’s complaints and allowed him to have a better quality of life.
  • Perioperative Levosimendan Infusion in Patients With End-Stage Heart Failure Undergoing Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation.

    Abdelshafy, Mahmoud; Elsherbini, Hagar; Elkoumy, Ahmed; Simpkin, Andrew J; Elzomor, Hesham; Caliskan, Kadir; Soliman, Osama (2022-04-28)
    Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy has been instrumental in saving lives of patients with end-stage heart failure (HF). Recent generation devices have short-to-mid-term survival rates close to heart transplantation. Unfortunately, up to 1 in 4 patients develop a life-threatening right-sided HF (RHF) early post LVAD implantation, with high morbidity and mortality rate, necessitating prolonged ICU stay, prolonged inotropic support, and implantation of a right-ventricular assist device. Pre-operative optimization of HF therapy could help in prevention, and/or mitigation of RHF. Levosimendan (LEVO) is a non-conventional inotropic agent that works by amplifying calcium sensitivity of troponin C in cardiac myocytes, without increasing the intra-cellular calcium or exacerbating ischemia. LEVO acts as an inodilator, which reduces the cardiac pre-, and after-load. LEVO administration is associated with hemodynamic improvements. Despite decades long of the use of LVAD and more than two decades of the use of LEVO for HF, the literature on LEVO use in LVAD is very limited. In this paper, we sought to conduct a systematic review to synthesize evidence related to the use of LEVO for the mitigation and/or prevention of RHF in patients undergoing LVAD implantation.
  • Instrumentation failure during microlaryngoscopy.

    van den Berg, Nadia; Corbett, Mel; Cleere, Eoin; Keogh, Ivan (2022-04-25)
    Equipment failure can be a cause of morbidity during surgical procedures. We present two cases where a broken surgical instrument, a heart-shaped curved micro-grasper, colloquially termed ‘sweetheart’ micro-forceps, compromised patient safety during microlaryngoscopy. We discuss the importance of thorough safety protocols and communication between team members to mitigate this risk. Microinstruments used during microlaryngoscopy are at risk of failure or breakage due to their small size. Surgeons must be alert to the risk of equipment failure during surgery as a potential cause of patient morbidity. In our patient, loss of the broken instrument in the respiratory tract could have resulted in iatrogenic aspiration, respiratory infection and would have necessitated rigid bronchoscopy for removal. Instruments and equipment must checked and communicated by the surgical team before and after use to prevent potential patient morbidity.
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans of the scalp.

    Al-Khattab, Maha; Kennedy, Sharon; Jones, Deirdre (2022-04-26)
    Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a rare entity. Due to its high propensity for local recurrence, knowledge of the appropriate management, both surgical and medical, is important for optimal patient outcomes.
  • Keeping an Eye on Bisphosphonate Therapy in Myeloma: A Case Report of Ocular Inflammation Postzoledronic Acid Infusion.

    Faryal, Rehman; Hayat, Amjad (2021-02-13)
    Bisphosphonates have evolved over the past decades from oral to more potent intravenous preparations. Along with significant paradigm shift in the management of myeloma over the past years, stronger nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, due to their antiresorptive action on the bones, have found their way as a key and integral part in the management of bone disease in myeloma. Multiple randomized controlled trials have established efficacy of bisphosphonates in reducing skeletal-related events in myeloma. Some well-documented adverse events include acute-phase reactions, esophageal irritation, and osteonecrosis of the jaw. Across all clinical indications, the incidence of inflammatory eye reactions after bisphosphonate infusion ranges from 0.046% to 1%. However, data from myeloma patients are extrapolated from few reported cases in literature with varying management strategies including discontinuation, switching to different forms, and rechallenging with steroid cover. Inflammatory eye reactions can vary from self-limiting conjunctivitis and episcleritis to serious uveitis and vision-threatening orbital inflammation. We present a similar case of a patient with IgG kappa myeloma who developed flu-like symptoms followed by severe orbital inflammation within 48-72 hours after receiving zoledronic acid infusion. The patient was successfully managed with intravenous methyl prednisolone followed by oral tapering dose of steroids and discontinuation of further bisphosphonate therapy. A complete recovery was noted in a week's time.
  • Community Occupational Therapy for people with dementia and family carers (COTiD-UK) versus treatment as usual (Valuing Active Life in Dementia [VALID]) study: A single-blind, randomised controlled trial.

    Wenborn, Jennifer; O'Keeffe, Aidan G; Mountain, Gail; Moniz-Cook, Esme; King, Michael; Omar, Rumana Z; Mundy, Jacqueline; Burgess, Jane; Poland, Fiona; Morris, Stephen; et al. (2021-01-04)
    We aimed to estimate the clinical effectiveness of Community Occupational Therapy for people with dementia and family carers-UK version (Community Occupational Therapy in Dementia-UK version [COTiD-UK]) relative to treatment as usual (TAU). We hypothesised that COTiD-UK would improve the ability of people with dementia to perform activities of daily living (ADL), and family carers' sense of competence, compared with TAU.
  • Human Monocyte Subset Distinctions and Function: Insights From Gene Expression Analysis.

    Cormican, Sarah; Griffin, Matthew D (2020-06-04)
    Monocytes are a highly plastic innate immune cell population that displays significant heterogeneity within the circulation. Distinct patterns of surface marker expression have become accepted as a basis for distinguishing three monocyte subsets in humans. These phenotypic subsets, termed classical, intermediate and nonclassical, have also been demonstrated to differ in regard to their functional properties and disease associations when studied in vitro and in vivo. Nonetheless, for the intermediate monocyte subset in particular, functional experiments have yielded conflicting results and some studies point to further levels of heterogeneity. Developments in genetic sequencing technology have provided opportunities to more comprehensively explore the phenotypic and functional differences among conventionally-recognized immune cell subtypes as well as the potential to identify novel subpopulations. In this review, we summarize the transcriptomic evidence in support of the existence of three separate monocyte subsets. We also critically evaluate the insights into subset functional distinctions that have been garnered from monocyte gene expression analysis and the potential utility of such studies to unravel subset-specific functional changes which arise in disease states.
  • Mixed infected laryngocoele presenting as airway obstruction: a case report.

    James, Danielle L; Garry, Stephen; Corbett, Mel; Lang, John (2021-02-28)
    Laryngocoele is a rare entity, defined as an abnormal cystic dilatation of saccule of the laryngeal ventricle. Three types of laryngocele have been described, based on their relation to the thyrohyoid membrane: internal, external or mixed type. Symptoms are variable, including neck swelling, shortness of breath, dysphonia and fever, if the laryngocoele becomes infected. Patients may also present in extremis with airway obstruction. We present the case of a healthy 34-year-old gentleman with acute airway obstruction due to a mixed infected laryngocoele. Flexible nasoendoscopy showed a large cystic swelling arising from the laryngeal ventricle. Computed tomography of neck confirmed a right paraglottic collection extending into the ventricle and glottis, causing significant airway compromise. The patient was managed with microlaryngoscopy and cystic decompression. At outpatient follow up, he was completely asymptomatic and is currently under surveillance. Endoscopic decompression is a safe and effective initial management for mixed laryngocoele.
  • Awake Proning as an Adjunctive Therapy for Refractory Hypoxemia in Non-Intubated Patients with COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Failure: Guidance from an International Group of Healthcare Workers.

    Stilma, Willemke; Åkerman, Eva; Artigas, Antonio; Bentley, Andrew; Bos, Lieuwe D; Bosman, Thomas J C; de Bruin, Hendrik; Brummaier, Tobias; Buiteman-Kruizinga, Laura A; Carcò, Francesco; et al. (2021-03-11)
    Non-intubated patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 could benefit from awake proning. Awake proning is an attractive intervention in settings with limited resources, as it comes with no additional costs. However, awake proning remains poorly used probably because of unfamiliarity and uncertainties regarding potential benefits and practical application. To summarize evidence for benefit and to develop a set of pragmatic recommendations for awake proning in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, focusing on settings where resources are limited, international healthcare professionals from high and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with known expertise in awake proning were invited to contribute expert advice. A growing number of observational studies describe the effects of awake proning in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in whom hypoxemia is refractory to simple measures of supplementary oxygen. Awake proning improves oxygenation in most patients, usually within minutes, and reduces dyspnea and work of breathing. The effects are maintained for up to 1 hour after turning back to supine, and mostly disappear after 6-12 hours. In available studies, awake proning was not associated with a reduction in the rate of intubation for invasive ventilation. Awake proning comes with little complications if properly implemented and monitored. Pragmatic recommendations including indications and contraindications were formulated and adjusted for resource-limited settings. Awake proning, an adjunctive treatment for hypoxemia refractory to supplemental oxygen, seems safe in non-intubated patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory failure. We provide pragmatic recommendations including indications and contraindications for the use of awake proning in LMICs.
  • Camptodactyly and DiGeorge syndrome: A rare hand anomaly.

    Hurley, C M; McHugh, N; Carr, S; Kelly, J L (2021-03-19)
    The most common deletion syndrome is 22q11.2 and it effects an estimated 1 in 3000 live births. Major features of this multisystem condition include congenital abnormalities, developmental delay, learning difficulties, immunodeficiency, endocrine anomalies and an array of psychiatric disorders. However, variability in phenotype and severity may cause the diagnosis to be overlooked. Early clinical recognition and treatment of DiGeorge syndrome has been shown to increase early life survival, decrease complications and enhance overall quality of life. Skeletal anomalies are infrequently described in 22q11.2 but a subset of patients exhibit upper and lower limb deformities. We present the case of a 5 year-old girl with bilateral fifth digit camptodactyly caused by a fibrous band, and the surgical management of this condition. The current report adds to the body of evidence that camptodactyly is a rare clinical feature of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and may serve as a diagnostic aid in these patients.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on a cohort of patients treated with clozapine.

    Fahy, Y; Dineen, B; McDonald, C; Hallahan, B (2021-04-05)
    Objectives: To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions on a cohort of patients with severe and enduring mental illness treated with clozapine. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 63 individuals attending a clozapine clinic within the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services to determine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life, by utilising Likert scale data. The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) were additionally utilised to measure anxiety symptoms cross-sectionally. Results: Anxiety symptoms were low with a median BAI score of 4.0 and HAM-A score of 4.0. Likert scale measurements recorded only a modest adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, quality of life and occupational and social functioning. Free-text comments from patients (n = 55), were grouped into five themes: neutral impact (n = 22), negative psychological impact (n = 13), negative social impact (n = 11), positive psychological impact (n = 5) and media coverage inducing anxiety (n = 4). Conclusions: Three months into the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, the impact on individuals with treatment-resistant psychotic disorders attending a clozapine clinic has been modest, with preliminary evidence demonstrating minimal increases in subjective symptoms of anxiety and reduced social functioning. Reduced social engagements and supports attainable both within the community and from mental health services were noted by some participants.
  • Death in hospital following ICU discharge: insights from the LUNG SAFE study.

    Madotto, Fabiana; McNicholas, Bairbre; Rezoagli, Emanuele; Pham, Tài; Laffey, John G; Bellani, Giacomo (2021-04-13)
    Background: To determine the frequency of, and factors associated with, death in hospital following ICU discharge to the ward. Methods: The Large observational study to UNderstand the Global impact of Severe Acute respiratory FailurE study was an international, multicenter, prospective cohort study of patients with severe respiratory failure, conducted across 459 ICUs from 50 countries globally. This study aimed to understand the frequency and factors associated with death in hospital in patients who survived their ICU stay. We examined outcomes in the subpopulation discharged with no limitations of life sustaining treatments ('treatment limitations'), and the subpopulations with treatment limitations. Results: 2186 (94%) patients with no treatment limitations discharged from ICU survived, while 142 (6%) died in hospital. 118 (61%) of patients with treatment limitations survived while 77 (39%) patients died in hospital. Patients without treatment limitations that died in hospital after ICU discharge were older, more likely to have COPD, immunocompromise or chronic renal failure, less likely to have trauma as a risk factor for ARDS. Patients that died post ICU discharge were less likely to receive neuromuscular blockade, or to receive any adjunctive measure, and had a higher pre- ICU discharge non-pulmonary SOFA score. A similar pattern was seen in patients with treatment limitations that died in hospital following ICU discharge. Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients die in hospital following discharge from ICU, with higher mortality in patients with limitations of life-sustaining treatments in place. Non-survivors had higher systemic illness severity scores at ICU discharge than survivors.
  • Mutation Underlying Silent Stroke.

    Faryal, Rehman; Lee Tokar, Lisa; Langabeer, Stephen E; Krawczyk, Janusz (2021-06-01)
  • Interhospital and interindividual variability in secondary prevention: a comparison of outpatients with a history of chronic coronary syndrome versus outpatients with a history of acute coronary syndrome (the iASPIRE Study).

    Curneen, James Mg; Judge, Conor; Traynor, Bryan; Buckley, Anthony; Saiva, Lavanya; Murphy, Laura; Murray, Donal; Fleming, Sean; Kearney, Peter; Murphy, Ross T; et al. (2021-06)
    Background: Studying variability in the care provided to secondary prevention coronary heart disease (CHD) outpatients can identify interventions to improve their outcomes. Methods: We studied outpatients who had an index CHD event in the preceding 6-24 months. Eligible CHD events included acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and coronary revascularisation for stable chronic coronary syndrome (CCS). Site training was provided by a core team and data were collected using standardised methods. Results: Between 2017 and 2019, we enrolled 721 outpatients at nine Irish study sites; 81% were men and mean age was 63.9 (SD ±8.9) years. The study examination occurred a median of 1.16 years after the index CHD event, which was ACS in 399 participants (55%) and stable-CCS in 322. On examination, 42.5% had blood pressure (BP) >140/90 mm Hg, 63.7% had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) >1.8 mmol/L and 44.1% of known diabetics had an HbA1c >7%. There was marked variability in risk factor control, both by study site and, in particular, by index presentation type. For example, 82% of outpatients with prior-ACS had attended cardiac rehabilitation versus 59% outpatients with prior-CCS (p<0.001) and there were also large differences in control of traditional risk factors like LDL-C (p=0.002) and systolic BP (p<0.001) among outpatients with prior-ACS versus prior-CCS as the index presentation. Conclusions: Despite international secondary prevention guidelines broadly recommending the same risk factor targets for all adults with CHD, we found marked differences in outpatient risk factor control and management on the basis of hospital location and index CHD presentation type (acute vs chronic). These findings highlight the need to reduce hospital-level and patient-level variability in preventive care to improve outcomes; a lesson that should inform CHD prevention programmes in Ireland and around the world.
  • SafePsych: improving patient safety by delivering high-impact simulation training on rare and complex scenarios in psychiatry.

    Tong, Kezanne; McMahon, Eimear; Reid-McDermott, Bronwyn; Byrne, Dara; Doherty, Anne M; National Forensic Mental Health Service, Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Ireland. 2School of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland. 3Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Galway, Galway, Ireland. 4Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation, National University of Ireland - Galway, Galway, Ireland. 5Department of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, School of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland anne.doherty@ucd.ie. 6Department of Psychiatry, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (BMJ Journals, 2021-09-10)
    Introduction: Despite an evidence base demonstrating simulation to be an effective medical education tool, it is not commonly used in postgraduate psychiatry training as it is in other medical specialties. Objective: This paper outlines the development and effectiveness of a hybrid-virtual simulation-based workshop designed to improve patient care by improving clinical skills of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) in detecting and managing rare and complex psychiatric emergencies. Methods: Three clinical vignettes based on near-miss psychiatric cases were developed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians and nurses in psychiatry and experts in simulation-based medical education. The workshop, 'SafePsych' was delivered in a simulation laboratory while and broadcast via Zoom video-conferencing platform to observers. Debriefing followed each clinical scenario. Participants completed preworkshop and postworkshop questionnaires to evaluate clinical knowledge. Results: The workshop was attended by consultants (n=12) and NCHDs in psychiatry and emergency medicine (n=19), and psychiatric nurses (n=5). In the psychiatry NCHD group, test scores significantly improved following the workshop (p<0.001). There were significant improvements in the test scores with a mean difference of 2.56 (SD 1.58, p<0.001). Feedback from participants and observers was positive, with constructive appraisals to improve the virtual element of the workshop. Conclusion: Simulation-based training is effective in teaching high risk, rare complex psychiatric cases to psychiatry NCHDs. Further exploration of the learning needs of nursing staff is required. Future workshop delivery is feasible in the COVID-19 environment and beyond, using a virtual element to meet social distancing requirements while enhancing the reach of the training.
  • A Comparison of Presentations with Self-Harm to Hospital in Lithuania and Ireland.

    Kamal, Samah; McGovern, Mark; Kunideliene, Aida; Casey, Patricia; Doherty, Anne M (2021-03-02)
    Suicide is a serious problem globally, especially in Europe, with suicide rates varying between different countries. Self-harm is a known risk factor for dying by suicide and represents an opportunity to intervene in order to treat any associated mental illness and reduce risk. This study aimed to compare the characteristics of people presenting to hospital with self-harm at two clinical sites: Galway, Ireland and Kaunas, Lithuania. Data were obtained from the services' database and anonymised for analysis. Over a 5-month period, 89 patients presented with self-harm at the Lithuanian site and 224 patients presented with self-harm at the Irish site. This study found significant differences in presentation, diagnosis and treatment between the two sites. All patients at the Lithuanian site were admitted to psychiatry, compared to 22% of patients at the Irish site (p < 0.001). In Lithuania, the main clinical diagnoses were adjustment disorder (37.1%) and major depression (20.2%), compared to substance misuse being the main clinical diagnosis (33.8%) in Ireland (p < 0.001). There were significant differences in the prescription of psychotropic medications (which were three times more commonly prescribed at the Lithuanian site) after controlling for age, gender and psychiatric history (p < 0.001). Further research is required to understand the cultural context behind and further association between hospitalisation and future death by suicide.
  • Impact on percutaneous coronary intervention for acute coronary syndromes during the COVID-19 outbreak in a non-overwhelmed European healthcare system: COVID-19 ACS-PCI experience in Ireland.

    Connolly, Niall Patrick; Simpkin, Andrew; Mylotte, Darren; Crowley, James; O'Connor, Stephen; AlHarbi, Khalid; Kiernan, Thomas; Arockiam, Sacchin; Owens, Patrick; John, Amal; et al. (2021-04-02)
    Aims: To evaluate temporal trends of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) treated via percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) throughout the COVID-19 outbreak in a European healthcare system affected but not overwhelmed by COVID-19-related pathology. Methods and results: We performed a retrospective multicentre analysis of the rates of PCI for the treatment of ACS within the period 2 months pre and post the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Ireland, as well as comparing PCI for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) with the corresponding period in 2019. During the 2020 COVID-19 period (29 February-30 April 2020), there was a 24% decline in PCI for overall ACS (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.76; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.88; p<0.001), including a 29% reduction in PCI for non-ST-elevation ACS (IRR 0.71; 95% CI 0.57 to 0.88; p=0.002) and an 18% reduction in PCI for STEMI (IRR 0.82; 95% CI 0.67 to 1.01; p=0.061), as compared with the 2020 pre-COVID-19 period (1 January-28 February 2020). A 22% (IRR 0.78; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.93; p=0.005) reduction of PCI for STEMI was seen as compared with the 2019 reference period. Conclusion: This study demonstrates a significant reduction in PCI procedures for the treatment of ACS since the COVID-19 outbreak in Ireland. The reasons for this decline are still unclear but patients need to be encouraged to seek medical attention when cardiac symptoms appear, in order to avoid incremental cardiac morbidity and mortality due to a reduction in coronary revascularisation for the treatment of ACS.
  • Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with pre-existing anxiety disorders attending secondary care.

    Plunkett, R; Costello, S; McGovern, M; McDonald, C; Hallahan, B (2020-06-08)
    Objectives: To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with established anxiety disorders during a period of stringent mandated social restrictions. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 individuals attending the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services with an International Classification of Diseases diagnosis of an anxiety disorder to determine the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and mood symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life. Results: Twelve (40.0%) participants described COVID-19 restrictions as having a deleterious impact on their anxiety symptoms. Likert scale measurements noted that the greatest impact of COVID-19 related to social functioning (mean = 4.5, SD = 2.9), with a modest deleterious effect on anxiety symptoms noted (mean = 3.8, SD = 2.9). Clinician rated data noted that 8 (26.7%) participants had disimproved and 14 (46.7%) participants had improved since their previous clinical review, prior to commencement of COVID-19 restrictions. Conditions associated with no 'trigger', such as generalised anxiety disorder, demonstrated a non-significant increase in anxiety symptoms compared to conditions with a 'trigger', such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Psychiatric or physical comorbidity did not substantially impact on symptomatology secondary to COVID-19 mandated restrictions. Conclusions: The psychological and social impact of COVID-19 restrictions on individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorders has been modest with only minimal increases in symptomatology or social impairment noted.

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