• Disease Behaviour During the Peri-Diagnostic Period in Patients with Suspected Interstitial Lung Disease: The STARLINER Study.

      Wijsenbeek, Marlies S; Bendstrup, Elisabeth; Valenzuela, Claudia; Henry, Michael T; Moor, Catharina C; Jouneau, Stéphane; Fois, Alessandro G; Moran-Mendoza, Onofre; Anees, Syed; Mirt, Mirela; et al. (2021-06-11)
      Introduction: Disease behaviour may guide diagnosis and treatment decisions in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD). STARLINER aimed to characterise disease behaviour in patients with suspected ILD during the peri-diagnostic period using real-time home-based assessments. Methods: STARLINER (NCT03261037) was an international, multicentre study. Patients ≥ 50 years old with suspected ILD were followed throughout the peri-diagnostic period, consisting of a pre-diagnostic period (from enrolment to diagnosis) and a post-diagnostic period (from diagnosis to treatment initiation). Study length was variable (≤ 18 months). The primary endpoint was time-adjusted semi-annual forced vital capacity (FVC) change measured during the peri-diagnostic period using daily home spirometry in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Secondary outcomes included changes in FVC (home spirometry) in patients with non-IPF ILD, changes in FVC (site spirometry), changes in physical functional capacity measured by daily home accelerometry and site 6-min walk distance (6MWD), and changes in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in IPF or non-IPF ILD. Results: Of the 178 patients enrolled in the study, 68 patients were diagnosed with IPF, 62 patients were diagnosed with non-IPF ILD, 9 patients received a non-ILD diagnosis and 39 patients did not receive a diagnosis. Technical and analytical issues led to problems in applying the prespecified linear regression model to analyse the home FVC data. Time-adjusted median (quartile [Q]1, Q3) semi-annual FVC change during the peri-diagnostic period measured using home and site spirometry, respectively, was - 147.7 (- 723.8, 376.2) ml and - 149.0 (- 314.6, 163.9) ml for IPF and 19.1 (- 194.9, 519.0) ml and - 23.4 (- 117.9, 133.5) ml in non-IPF ILD. A greater decline in steps per day was observed for IPF versus non-IPF ILD, whereas an increase in 6MWD was observed for patients with IPF versus a decline in 6MWD for patients with non-IPF ILD. No clear patterns of disease behaviour were observed for IPF versus non-IPF ILD for PROs. Conclusions: Despite home spirometry being feasible for most patients and centres, technical and analytical challenges in the home-based assessments prevented firm conclusions regarding disease behaviour. This highlights that further optimisation of the technology and analysis methods is required before widespread implementation.
    • Anaplastic thyroid cancer: outcomes of trimodal therapy.

      Houlihan, Orla A; Moore, Richard; Jamaluddin, Muhammad F; Sharifah, Adrinda; Redmond, Henry Paul; O'Reilly, Seamus; Feeley, Linda; Sheahan, Patrick; Rock, Kathy (2021-06-09)
      Backround: The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of trimodal therapy [surgery, chemotherapy and external beam radiotherapy (EBRT)] in patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) treated with curative intent. Materials and methods: Retrospective review of patients with ATC treated at a tertiary referral centre between January 2009 and June 2020. Data were collected regarding demographics, histology, staging, treatment and outcomes. Results: Seven patients (4 female) were identified. Median age was 58 years (range 52-83 years). All patients received EBRT with concurrent doxorubicin. Six patients received surgery followed by chemoradiotherapy (CRT), and one underwent neoadjuvant CRT followed by surgery. Median radiological tumour size was 50mm (range 40-90 mm). Six patients had gross extrathyroidal extension and three had N1b disease. Prescribed radiotherapy schedules were 46.4 Gy in 29 bidaily fractions (n = 2, treated 2010), 60 Gy in 30 daily fractions (n = 2), 66 Gy in 30 fractions (n = 2) and 70 Gy in 35 fractions (n = 1; patient received neoadjuvant CRT). CRT was discontinued early for two patients due to toxicities. At median follow up of 5.8 months, 42.9% (3/7) patients were alive and disease-free. Only one patient developed a local failure. Three patients died from distant metastases without locoregional recurrence. Conclusions: Despite poor prognosis of ATC, selected patients with operable tumours may achieve high locoregional control rates with trimodal therapy, with possibility of long-term survival in select cases.
    • Seroprevalence study of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in healthcare workers following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in a tertiary-level hospital in the south of Ireland.

      Faller, Eamonn; Wyse, Adrianne; Barry, Rachel; Conlon, Kevin; Everard, Cormac; Finnegan, Paula; Foran, Claire; Herlihy, Emer; Kerr, Gerry; Lapthorne, Susan; et al. (2021-06-08)
      Objective: This study investigated seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies, using the Abbott antinucleocapsid IgG chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) assay, in five prespecified healthcare worker (HCW) subgroups following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting: An 800-bed tertiary-level teaching hospital in the south of Ireland. Participants: Serum was collected for anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid IgG using the Abbott ARCHITECT SARS-CoV-2 IgG CMIA qualitative assay, as per the manufacturer's specifications.The groups were as follows: (1) HCWs who had real-time PCR (RT-PCR) confirmed COVID-19 infection (>1-month postpositive RT-PCR); (2) HCWs identified as close contacts of persons with COVID-19 infection and who subsequently developed symptoms (virus not detected by RT-PCR on oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal swab); (3) HCWs identified as close contacts of COVID-19 cases and who remained asymptomatic (not screened by RT-PCR); (4) HCWs not included in the aforementioned groups working in areas determined as high-risk clinical areas; and (5) HCWs not included in the aforementioned groups working in areas determined as low-risk clinical areas. Results: Six of 404 (1.49%) HCWs not previously diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection (groups 2-5) were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of recruitment into the study.Out of the 99 participants in group 1, 72 had detectable IgG to SARS-CoV-2 on laboratory testing (73%). Antibody positivity correlated with shorter length of time between RT-PCR positivity and antibody testing.Quantification cycle value on RT-PCR was not found to be correlated with antibody positivity. Conclusions: Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in HCWs who had not previously tested RT-PCR positive for COVID-19 was low compared with similar studies.
    • Factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients attending an acute hospital ambulatory assessment unit.

      Ronan, Geoffrey; Kumar, Lakshman; Davey, Mary; O Leary, Catriona; McAleer, Sarah; Lynch, Jenny; Lavery, Ros; Campion, John; Ryan, Joseph; O'Donoghue, P J; et al. (2021-04-06)
      To describe the factors associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in mild-to-moderate patients attending for assessment. This observational study was conducted in a Model 4 tertiary referral center in Ireland. All patients referred for SARS-CoV-2 assessment over a 4-week period were included. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms, comorbidities, medications, and outcomes (including length of stay, discharge, and mortality) were collected. Two hundred and seventy-nine patients were assessed. These patients were predominantly female (62%) with a median age of 50 years (SD 16.9). Nineteen (6.8%) patients had SARS-CoV-2 detected. Dysgeusia was associated with a 16-fold increased prediction of SARS-CoV-2 positivity (p = .001; OR, 16.8; 95% CI, 3.82-73.84). Thirteen patients with SARS-COV-2 detected (68.4%) were admitted, in contrast with 38.1% (99/260) of patients with SARS-CoV-2 non-detectable or not tested (p = .001). Female patients were more likely to be hospitalized (p = .01) as were current and ex-smokers (p = .05). We describe olfactory disturbance and fever as the main presenting features in SARS-CoV-2 infection. These patients are more likely to be hospitalized with increased length of stay; however, they make up a minority of the patients assessed. "Non-detectable" patients remain likely to require prolonged hospitalization. Knowledge of predictors of hospitalization in a "non-detectable" cohort will aid future planning and discussion of patient assessment in a SARS-CoV-2 era.
    • Fulvestrant-Big Mac Index: Defining Inequality in Oncology.

      O'Reilly, David; Abu Al-Saud, Yassmeen; O'Reilly, Seamus; Ronayne, Cian (2021-04)
    • Skin deep: Cutaneous manifestation of PIP implant rupture.

      Casey, Máire-Caitlín; Kelly, Edward Jason (2021-03-19)
      PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse, France) implants were readily employed for breast reconstruction until withdrawn from the market in 2010. These implants have an early and increased risk of rupture compared to non-PIP implants. This report outlines a significant cutaneous manifestation of PIP-implant rupture not previously described in the literature. This patient developed significant cutaneous xanthomatous inflammation with sinus tract formation that has yet to resolve despite explantation. Further investigation is warranted to elucidate the aetiology of this clinical sign and the optimal management of the cutaneous manifestation.
    • Staff-Care by Chaplains during COVID-19.

      Tata, Beba; Nuzum, Daniel; Murphy, Karen; Karimi, Leila; Cadge, Wendy (2021-03-17)
      The aim of this study was to understand how chaplains delivered spiritual care to staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. The researchers analyzed data collected from an International Survey of Chaplain Activity and Experience during Covid-19 (N = 1657). The findings revealed positive changes that emerged and new practices evolved around the use of technology as useful tools for maintaining contact with staff.
    • Inside the skin of a patient with diabetes: fostering cognitive empathy through insulin pump simulation.

      Ryan, Paul MacDaragh (2021-02-26)
      In order to best treat a patient, the carer must be able to clearly see their point of view. In the case of the complexities of insulin pump therapy, physicians may not fully understand the common challenges that drive patients to non-adherence. The author undertook a three-day simulation using wearable technology to explore this experience. This form of simulation represents a simple yet effective means by which to foster cognitive empathy in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education settings alike.
    • Irritant contact dermatitis in healthcare workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study.

      Kiely, L F; Moloney, E; O'Sullivan, G; Eustace, J A; Gallagher, J; Bourke, J F (2020-09-05)
      COVID-19 healthcare workers (HCWs) require frequent handwashing and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent infection. However, evidence is emerging that these practices are causing adverse effects on their skin integrity. A single-centre, cross-sectional study of HCWs from an Irish hospital was undertaken to evaluate the degree of COVID-19-related irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) between April and May 2020. Of 270 participants surveyed, 223 (82.6%) reported symptoms of ICD. The hands were the most commonly affected site (76.47%) and the most frequently reported symptom was dry skin (75.37%). Nearly all (268; 99.26%) HCWs had increased hand-washing frequency, but 122 (45.35%) did not use emollients. In the ICD group, 24.7% cited a history of dermatitis compared with 4.3% of unaffected staff (P < 0.001). The ICD group recorded PPE usage for an average of 3.15 h compared with the non-ICD group at 1.97 h (P = 0.21). Promoting awareness of COVID-19-related ICD is vital to highlight prevention and treatment for frontline staff.
    • Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Standard Versus a Modified Low-Phosphorus Diet in Hemodialysis Patients.

      Byrne, Fiona N; Gillman, Barbara A; Kiely, Mairead; Palmer, Brendan; Shiely, Frances; Kearney, Patricia M; Earlie, Joyce; Bowles, Maria B; Keohane, Fiona M; Connolly, Pauline P; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-08-18)
      There was no significant difference in the change in serum phosphate between the standard and modified diets. Although total dietary phosphorus intake was similar, phytate-bound phosphorus, found in pulses, nuts, and whole grains, was significantly higher in the modified diet (P < 0.001). Dietary fiber intake was also significantly higher (P < 0.003), as was the percentage of patients reporting an increase in bowel movements while following the modified diet (P = 0.008). There was no significant difference in the change in serum potassium or in reported protein intake between the 2 diets. Both diets were similarly well tolerated.
    • Severe maternal morbidity in Ireland annual report 2018

      Leitao, S.; Manning, E.; Corcoran, P.; Campillo, I.; Cutliffe, A.; Greene, R.A.; National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, 2020-08)
      The seventh report from the National Clinical Audit of Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) in Ireland reports on 401 cases of SMM occurring in all 19 Irish maternity units in 2018.
    • Two cases of deliberate implant mismatch in knee arthroplasty.

      Marie-Hardy, Laura; O'Loughlin, Padhraig; Bonnin, Michel; Ait Si Selmi, Tarik (2020-06-17)
      Cases: Knee arthroplasty is increasingly common with good clinical results. However, there is a cohort of patients whose native knee anatomy may not marry well with standard implants. The current authors describe two cases (one unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA), one total knee arthroplasty (TKA)), during which deliberately implanting an implant designed for the contra-lateral distal femur (TKA) or contralateral femoral condyle (UKA) respectively, led to a better fit than correct-sided implants. Conclusion: The authors share their experience to raise awareness of a potential solution to such an intra-operative challenge and suggest that implant customisation may ultimately address challenges with grossly abnormal native anatomy.
    • Cardiovascular Clinical Trials in a Pandemic: Immediate Implications of Coronavirus Disease 2019.

      Spitzer, Ernest; Ren, Ben; Brugts, Jasper J; Daemen, Joost; McFadden, Eugene; Tijssen, Jan Gp; Van Mieghem, Nicolas M (2020-05-01)
      The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019, and by 24 April 2020, it had affected >2.73 million people in 185 countries and caused >192,000 deaths. Despite diverse societal measures to reduce transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, such as implementing social distancing, quarantine, curfews and total lockdowns, its control remains challenging. Healthcare practitioners are at the frontline of defence against the virus, with increasing institutional and governmental supports. Nevertheless, new or ongoing clinical trials, not related to the disease itself, remain important for the development of new therapies, and require interactions among patients, clinicians and research personnel, which is challenging, given isolation measures. In this article, the authors summarise the acute effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on current cardiovascular trials.
    • Uropathogenic Biofilm-Forming Capabilities are not Predictable from Clinical Details or from Colonial Morphology.

      Whelan, Shane; O'Grady, Mary Claire; Corcoran, Dan; Finn, Karen; Lucey, Brigid (2020-04-30)
      Antibiotic resistance is increasing to an extent where efficacy is not guaranteed when treating infection. Biofilm formation has been shown to complicate treatment, whereby the formation of biofilm is associated with higher minimum inhibitory concentration values of antibiotic. The objective of the current paper was to determine whether biofilm formation is variable among uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates and whether formation is associated with recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), and whether it can be predicted by phenotypic appearance on culture medium A total of 62 E. coli isolates that were reported as the causative agent of UTI were studied (33 from patients denoted as having recurrent UTI and 29 from patients not specified as having recurrent UTI). The biofilm forming capability was determined using a standard microtitre plate method, using E. coli ATCC 25922 as the positive control. The majority of isolates (93.6%) were found to be biofilm formers, whereby 81% were denoted as strong or very strong producers of biofilm when compared to the positive control. Through the use of a Wilcox test, the difference in biofilm forming propensity between the two patient populations was found to not be statistically significant (p = 0.5). Furthermore, it was noted that colony morphology was not a reliable predictor of biofilm-forming propensity. The findings of this study indicate that biofilm formation is very common among uropathogens, and they suggest that the biofilm-forming capability might be considered when treating UTI. Clinical details indicating a recurrent infection were not predictors of biofilm formation.
    • Uropathogenic Biofilm-Forming Capabilities are not Predictable from Clinical Details or from Colonial Morphology.

      Whelan, Shane; O'Grady, Mary Claire; Corcoran, Dan; Finn, Karen; Lucey, Brigid (2020-04-30)
      Antibiotic resistance is increasing to an extent where efficacy is not guaranteed when treating infection. Biofilm formation has been shown to complicate treatment, whereby the formation of biofilm is associated with higher minimum inhibitory concentration values of antibiotic. The objective of the current paper was to determine whether biofilm formation is variable among uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates and whether formation is associated with recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), and whether it can be predicted by phenotypic appearance on culture medium A total of 62 E. coli isolates that were reported as the causative agent of UTI were studied (33 from patients denoted as having recurrent UTI and 29 from patients not specified as having recurrent UTI). The biofilm forming capability was determined using a standard microtitre plate method, using E. coli ATCC 25922 as the positive control. The majority of isolates (93.6%) were found to be biofilm formers, whereby 81% were denoted as strong or very strong producers of biofilm when compared to the positive control. Through the use of a Wilcox test, the difference in biofilm forming propensity between the two patient populations was found to not be statistically significant (p = 0.5). Furthermore, it was noted that colony morphology was not a reliable predictor of biofilm-forming propensity. The findings of this study indicate that biofilm formation is very common among uropathogens, and they suggest that the biofilm-forming capability might be considered when treating UTI. Clinical details indicating a recurrent infection were not predictors of biofilm formation.
    • Case report of spuriously low sodium and calcium in a 36-year-old male in primary care.

      Costelloe, Seán J; McCarthy, Kelly; O'Connell, Marguerite; Butler, Mark (2020-04-15)
      An unseparated serum specimen for a 36-year-old male was received from primary care. The specimen arrived in the laboratory at Cork University Hospital one day after collection, as documented on the paper request card, and was promptly centrifuged. Analysis was delayed for three days due to operational constraints and serum indices were run at the same time as the biochemical analyses. Results showed a moderately haemolysed specimen with remarkably low concentrations of both sodium (119 mmol/L) and total calcium (1.15 mmol/L), with all other parameters within their appropriate reference intervals (RIs). The complete report was released electronically and both sodium and calcium results were phoned to, and acknowledged by, the requesting general practitioner (GP). Discussion between the medical scientists and clinical biochemist on duty raised the possibility that the specimen was significantly older than initially thought. Further discussion of results with the GP clarified that the documented time of collection corresponded with specimen receipt by the courier, rather than the time of phlebotomy. Thus, the specimen was 7 days old when received in the laboratory and 10 days old when analysed. This case illustrates the dangers of multiple convergent preanalytical errors. Laboratories should be mindful of the stability of analytes in unseparated blood and unusual patterns of results which might suggest a specimen is "old", and that this may coexist with erroneous request information. Any potential adverse effects on patient care were prevented in this case by laboratory vigilance.
    • ERS International Congress, Madrid, 2019: highlights from the Allied Respiratory Professionals' Assembly.

      Oliveira, Ana; Rutter, Matthew; Quijano-Campos, Juan Carlos; Herrero-Cortina, Beatriz; Clari, Marco; O'Rourke, Aoife; McGowan, Aisling; Burtin, Chris; Sajnic, Andreja; De Brandt, Jana (2020-04-06)
      This article provides an overview of outstanding sessions that were (co)organised by the Allied Respiratory Professionals' Assembly during the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Session content was mainly targeted at allied respiratory professionals such as respiratory physiologists, respiratory physiotherapists and respiratory nurses, and is summarised in this document. Short take-home messages related to pulmonary function testing highlight the importance of quality control. Furthermore, novel findings regarding the assessment of functional status call attention to bodily factors that can affect functional status. Regarding pulmonary rehabilitation, data were presented about the use of equipment and type of exercise training in COPD and lung cancer. Recent developments in physical activity-related research give insight in enablers of physical activity after hospital admission. The importance of integrated respiratory care was also highlighted, with the occupational therapist, nurse, and nutritional and psychological counsellor playing a pivotal role, which relates directly to research in the field of respiratory nursing that formulates the need for more nursing led-interventions in the future. To conclude, this review provides readers with valuable insight into some of the emerging and future areas affecting clinical practice of allied healthcare professionals.
    • 'I've always done what I was told by the medical people': a qualitative study of the reasons why older adults attend multifactorial falls risk assessments mapped to the Theoretical Domains Framework.

      Racine, Emmy; Soye, Anna; Barry, Patrick; Cronin, Finola; Hosford, Orla; Moriarty, Eileen; O'Connor, Kieran A; Turvey, Spencer; Timmons, Suzanne; Kearney, Patricia M; et al. (2020-02-18)
      Sixteen interviews were conducted. Three main themes explained participants' reasons for attending the multifactorial risk assessment; being that 'type of person', being 'linked in' with health and community services and having 'strong social support'. Six other themes were identified, but these themes were not as prominent during interviews. These were knowing what to expect, being physically able, having confidence in and being positive towards health services, imagining the benefits given previous positive experiences, determination to maintain or regain independence, and being 'crippled' by the fear of falling. These themes mapped on to nine TDF domains: 'knowledge', 'skills', 'social role and identity', 'optimism', 'beliefs about consequences', 'goals', 'environmental context and resources', 'social influences' and 'emotion'. There were five TDF domains that were not relevant to the reasons for attending.
    • Histologic Case Definition of an Atypical Glomerular Immune-Complex Deposition Following Kidney Transplantation.

      Chin, Kuo-Kai; Charu, Vivek; O'Shaughnessy, Michelle M; Troxell, Megan L; Cheng, Xingxing S (2020-02-05)
      Introduction: Immune-complex deposition in the transplanted kidney can present as well-phenotyped recurrent or de novo glomerular disease. However, a subset, herein termed immune-complex glomerulopathy not otherwise specified (ICG-NOS), defies classification. We quantified, categorized, and characterized cases of transplant ICG-NOS occurring at a single US academic medical center. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our single-institution pathology database (July 2007-July 2018) to identify and categorize all cases of immune-complex deposition in kidney allografts (based on immunofluorescence microscopy). We extracted clinicopathologic and outcome data for ICG-NOS (i.e., immune complex deposition not conforming to any well-characterized glomerular disease entity). Results: Of 104 patients with significant immune deposits, 28 (27%) were classified as ICG-NOS. We created 5 mutually exclusive ICG-NOS categories: Full-house, Quasi-full-house, IgA-rich, C1q-rich, and C1q-poor. Overall, 16 (57%) patients met criteria for definite or possible allograft rejection, including 9 (32%) with antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), 3 (11%) suspicious for ABMR, 1 (4%) with T-cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), and 9 (32%) with borderline TCMR. After a median follow-up of 2.3 (range, 0.1-14.0) years after biopsy, 7 (25%) allografts had failed and an additional 8 (29%) had persistent renal dysfunction (hematuria, 14%; proteinuria, 21%; and estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2, 11%). Conclusion: In contrast to prior studies, our findings suggest that ICG-NOS is not necessarily a benign glomerular process and that there may be an association between ICG-NOS and alloimmunity. Our immunofluorescence-based classification provides a framework for future studies aiming to further elucidate ICG-NOS pathogenesis and prognosis.
    • Development of an Insulin-Prescribing Chart for Paediatric Diabetes

      Finn, B.P; O’Neill, T.; Bradfield, A.; O’Sullivan, T.; Beattie, S.; O’Connell, S.M. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
      Our aim was to design a new insulin prescribing tool in compliance with the Irish Medicines Safety Network recommendations.