• Operative surgical yield from general surgical outpatient clinics; Time to change the way we practice?

      Irfan, M; McGovern, M; Robertson, I; Waldron, R; Khan, I; Khan, W; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-07)
      The aim of this study was to compare the number of patients attending surgical outpatient clinics in a general hospital to the number of resulting elective procedures scheduled in a single year. Patients initially assessed at private consulting rooms are not included in this study. The number of surgical outpatient appointments issued in 2011 totalled 6503 with non-attendances running at 1489(22.9%).The number of elective surgical theatre cases performed in 2011(i.e. the surgical yield from that period) came to 1078 with an additional 1470 patients referred for endoscopy and 475 patients referred for minor operations. Operative surgical yield from the currently structured outpatient clinic model is low, with the number of theatre cases coming to only 16.58% of the original number of outpatient appointments issued. Recommendations for the improvement of outpatient services are made. These findings are relevant in the context of streamlining access to surgical services.
    • Opportunity Costs in Paediatric Training: The Specialist Registrars Experience.

      O’Neill, MB; Nabialek, T; Kandamany, N (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-08)
      In the training process, there is a tension between the work life and home life of trainees. This study explored both the personal impact and the opportunity costs of training from the Specialist Paediatric Registrar (SPR) perspective. The survey explored 1) career progression2) perceived functional effectiveness at work 3) psychological impact of hospital based training and 4) the personal and social cost of training. Fifty-three (71%) SPRs responded of whom 47 (89%)were married or in long term relationships. Seventy-five percent of trainees had a definite career plan with 86% intending to undertake fellowship training. Seventy percent believed they were efficient time managers but 53% had difficulty in making time for academic pursuits and fifty percent experienced negative feelings, which lingered after work and interfered with their relationships at home. Seventy-four percent stated training was undertaken at significant personal cost with only 21% achieving a very satisfactory work/life balance. To address these difficulties trainee wellbeing should be addressed at the Basic Specialist Training (BST) level and the career path clearly explained outlining the challenges that are likely to be encountered.
    • Paediatric surgery - A general hospital experience

      Fahy, E; Ahmed, K; Lowery, AJ; Khan, W; Waldron, R; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal, 2012-12)
    • Parental Decisions regarding pre-hospital therapy and costing of the Emergency Department Visit

      McGovern, M; Kernan, R; O’Neill, M B (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-02)
      Paediatric patients represent a large percentage of Emergency Department (ED) visits and there is often a perception that the acuity of these presentations is low. The decision-making process that results in parents attending the ED is poorly understood. We designed a cross-sectional cohort study to explore the reasons for attendance, the treatment initiated at home and to assess parental perception of the economic cost of attendance. Data was collected on 200 patients using a survey administered to parents in ED with a follow-up phone call 4-6 weeks later. Our results suggest that attendances are often prompted by parental anxiety rather than clinical deterioration and that prior ED usage is common among those presenting for assessment. Many parents had attempted community therapy with 128/200 patients (64%) having been referred by a healthcare professional and medical therapy at home having been employed by 114/200 (57%) parents before attendance. Parental knowledge of the safety of over-the-counter medications was variable the economic cost of an ED visit was poorly understood by participants. The results of our study suggest that parental desire for control over worrisome symptoms drives much of their management strategy prior to hospital attendance. Strategies in the ED may need to focus more on managing parental expectations than on managing the illness itself and management strategies employed should focus not only on medical therapy of the child’s illness but on educating and empowering the parent.
    • Patient satisfaction and acceptability: a journey through an ambulatory gynaecology clinic in the West of Ireland

      Uzochukwu, I; Burke, C; Ni Bhuinneain, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-06)
      Ambulatory Gynaecology allows a “see-and-treat” approach to managing gynaecological conditions, providing a more streamlined, integrated care pathway than the traditional gynaecology clinic and inpatient care model. This study was designed to assess patient satisfaction and acceptability of Ambulatory Gynaecology services in Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, Ireland. It also provided for feedback from patients as to how the service might be improved. Eighty questionnaires were appropriately completed. Outcomes revealed positive responses in 84% with respect to their experience before attending the clinic, 93% relating to the Ambulatory Gynaecology clinic environment, 96% for communication within the service, 91% for their experience during the procedure and 88% for aftercare information. This study concludes that an ambulatory approach to managing a range of gynaecology referrals is a highly acceptable approach in an Irish gynaecological population. Valuable feedback was gained from the study, which will allow us to further enhance the service for our patients.
    • Perioperative modifications of respiratory function.

      Duggan, Michelle; Kavanagh, Brian P; Department of Anesthesia, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland., Michelle.Duggan@hse.ie (2012-01-31)
      Postoperative pulmonary complications contribute considerably to morbidity and mortality, especially after major thoracic or abdominal surgery. Clinically relevant pulmonary complications include the exacerbation of underlying chronic lung disease, bronchospasm, atelectasis, pneumonia and respiratory failure with prolonged mechanical ventilation. Risk factors for postoperative pulmonary complications include patient-related risk factors (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tobacco smoking and increasing age) as well as procedure-related risk factors (e.g., site of surgery, duration of surgery and general vs. regional anaesthesia). Careful history taking and a thorough physical examination may be the most sensitive ways to identify at-risk patients. Pulmonary function tests are not suitable as a general screen to assess risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. Strategies to reduce the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications include smoking cessation, inspiratory muscle training, optimising nutritional status and intra-operative strategies. Postoperative care should include lung expansion manoeuvres and adequate pain control.
    • Recurrent adult jejuno-jejunal intussusception due to inflammatory fibroid polyp – Vanek’s tumour: a case report

      Joyce, Kenneth M; Waters, Peadar S; Waldron, Ronan M; Khan, Iqbal; Orosz, Zolt S; Németh, Tamas; Barry, Kevin (2014-06-27)
      Abstract Background Adult intussusception is a rare but challenging condition. Preoperative diagnosis is frequently missed or delayed because of nonspecific or sub-acute symptoms. Case presentation We present the case of a sixty-two year old gentleman who initially presented with pseudo-obstruction. Computerised tomography displayed a jejuno-jejunal intussusception, which was treated by primary laparoscopic reduction. The patient re-presented with acute small bowel obstruction two weeks later. He underwent a laparotomy showing recurrent intussusception and required a small bowel resection with primary anastomosis. Histological examination of the specimen revealed that the intussusception lead point was due to an inflammatory fibroid polyp (Vanek’s tumour) causing double invagination. Conclusions Adult intussusception presents with a variety of acute, intermittent, and chronic symptoms, thus making its preoperative diagnosis difficult. Although computed tomography is useful in confirming an anatomical abnormality, final diagnosis requires histopathological analysis. Vanek’s tumours arising within the small bowel rarely present with obstruction or intussusception. The optimal surgical management of adult small bowel intussusception varies between reduction and resection. Reduction can be attempted in small bowel intussusceptions provided that the segment involved is viable and malignancy is not suspected. Virtual Slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/7292185123639943
    • Recurrent sigmoid volvulus - early resection may obviate later emergency surgery and reduce morbidity and mortality.

      Larkin, J O; Thekiso, T B; Waldron, R; Barry, K; Eustace, P W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland., larkin.dundalk@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Acute sigmoid volvulus is a well recognised cause of acute large bowel obstruction. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed our unit's experience with non-operative and operative management of this condition. A total of 27 patients were treated for acute sigmoid volvulus between 1996 and 2006. In total, there were 62 separate hospital admissions. RESULTS: Eleven patients were managed with colonoscopic decompression alone. The overall mortality rate for non-operative management was 36.4% (4 of 11 patients). Fifteen patients had operative management (five semi-elective following decompression, 10 emergency). There was no mortality in the semi-elective cohort and one in the emergency surgery group. The overall mortality for surgery was 6% (1 of 15). Five of the seven patients managed with colonoscopic decompression alone who survived were subsequently re-admitted with sigmoid volvulus (a 71.4% recurrence rate). The six deaths in our overall series each occurred in patients with established gangrene of the bowel. With early surgical intervention before the onset of gangrene, however, good outcomes may be achieved, even in patients apparently unsuitable for elective surgery. Eight of the 15 operatively managed patients were considered to be ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) grade 4. There was no postoperative mortality in this group. CONCLUSIONS: Given the high rate of recurrence of sigmoid volvulus after initial successful non-operative management and the attendant risks of mortality from gangrenous bowel developing with a subsequent volvulus, it is our contention that all patients should be considered for definitive surgery after initial colonoscopic decompression, irrespective of the ASA score.
    • Screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip: current practices in Ireland.

      O'Grady, M J; Mujtaba, G; Hanaghan, J; Gallagher, D; Department of Paediatrics, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co, Mayo, Republic, of Ireland. michael_ogrady2001@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the current approach to screen for developmental dysplasia of the hip in the Republic of Ireland. METHODS: Two-pronged prospective and retrospective study. (1) Postal questionnaire to consultant paediatricians responsible for the routine neonatal care of infants in the Irish Republic in June 2006. (2) Retrospective database review to identify infants undergoing radiological follow-up and their outcome. RESULTS: All maternity units surveyed responded. Most units (84%) were dependent on radiographs at 4-6 months for imaging hips, only two units primarily used ultrasound (10.5%). We estimate that neonatal hip examination is performed by an experienced examiner in less than 30% of routine newborn examinations. On retrospective analysis, 94% of radiographs performed were normal. CONCLUSIONS: The most effective interventions, selective ultrasound and examination by an experienced clinician are not widely practiced. There is a need for the development of national guidelines based on available resources.
    • Scrotal metastases from colorectal carcinoma: a case report.

      McWeeney, Doireann M; Martin, Sean T; Ryan, Ronan S; Tobbia, Iqdam N; Donnellan, Paul P; Barry, Kevin M; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co, Mayo, Ireland., doireannmcweeney@gmail.com. (2012-01-31)
      ABSTRACT: A 72-year-old man presented with a two month history of rectal bleeding. Colonoscopy demonstrated synchronous lesions at 3 cm and 40 cm with histological analysis confirming synchronous adenocarcinomata. He developed bilobar hepatic metastases while undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Treatment was complicated by Fournier's gangrene of the right hemiscrotum which required surgical debridement. Eight months later he re-presented with an ulcerating lesion on the right hemiscrotum. An en-bloc resection of the ulcerating scrotal lesion and underlying testis was performed. Immunohistological analysis revealed metastatic adenocarcinoma of large bowel origin. Colorectal metastasis to the urogenital tract is rare and here we report a case of rectal carcinoma metastasizing to scrotal skin.
    • Seatbelt injury causing small bowel devascularisation: case series and review of the literature.

      O'Dowd, Vincent; Kiernan, Christine; Lowery, Aoife; Khan, Waqar; Barry, Kevin; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      The use of seatbelts has increased significantly in the last twenty years, leading to a decrease in mortality from road traffic accidents (RTA). However, this increase in seatbelt use has also led to a change in the spectrum of injuries from RTA; abdominal injuries, particularly intestinal injuries have dramatically increased with the routine use of seatbelts. Such intestinal injuries frequently result from improper placement of the "lap belt". We present 3 cases in which passengers wearing a seatbelt sustained significant devascularisation injuries to the small bowel requiring emergency surgical intervention. A high index of suspicion is crucial in such cases to prevent delays in diagnosis that can lead to severe complications and adverse outcomes. It is evident that while advocating seatbelt use, the importance of education in correct seatbelt placement should also be a focus of public health strategies to reduce RTA morbidity and mortality.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal.

      Martin, F T; Kavanagh, D; Waldron, R; Department of Colorectal Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo,, Ireland. fiachra1978@yahoo.com (2012-01-31)
      Squamous cell carcinoma ofthe anal canal represents 1.5% of all malignancies affectingthe gastrointestinal tract. Over the past 20 years dramatic changes have been seen in both the epidemiological distribution of the disease and in the therapeutic modalities utilised to manage it. CLINICAL MANAGEMENT: Historically abdominoperineal resection had been the treatment of choice with local resection reserved for early stage disease. Work by Nigro et al. has revolutionised how we currently manage carcinoma of the anal canal, demonstrating combined modality chemoradiotherapy as an appropriate alternative to surgical resection with the benefit of preserving sphincter function. Surgery is then reserved for recurrent disease with salvage abdominoperineal resection. This article reviews current literature and highlights the changing therapeutic modalities with selected clinical cases
    • Staff attitudes to an ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block room for orthopaedic patients

      Moore, DM; Duggan, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-09)
      Ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks have well recognised benefits in orthopaedic patients. Some hospitals, to maximise these benefits, establish dedicated â block roomsâ to deliver this service. Orthopaedic surgery makes up a large proportion of our hospitals work load, and many of these patients would benefit from ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks. We analysed the attitudes of key staff in our hospital towards the establishment of a block room. Sixty questionnaires were distributed and 47 (78%) were completed. Orthopaedic surgeons (n=6) were concerned ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks would delay theatre lists (83%), and cause patients pain (67%) and increased anxiety (67%). Anaesthetists (n=10) and Nurses (n=30) were concerned there was insufficient experience in their departments to deliver this service (80% and 77%, respectively). However, 91% of all staff believed funding should be available for a block room. Our survey has identified areas of concern, and deficiencies that we must address before proceeding with the development of such a service.
    • Successful Introduction of Ring-Fenced Inpatient Surgical Beds in a General Hospital Setting

      Coyle, D; Lowery, AJ; Khan, W; Waldron, R; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal, 2012-09)
    • A Survey of Clinical Uncertainty from the Paediatric Basic Specialist Trainee Perspective

      O’Neill, MB; Sarani, ZA; Nicholson, AJ; Elbadry, M; Deasy, AM (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-06)
      This study was undertaken to evaluate uncertainty from the Basic Specialist Trainee perspective. The survey of trainees explored 1) factors in decision making, 2) the personal impact of uncertainty, 3) the responses to both clinical errors and challenges to their decision making and 4) the potential strategies to address uncertainty. Forty-one (93%) of trainees surveyed responded. Important factors in decision making were clinical knowledge and senior colleague’s opinion. Sixty percent experienced significant anxiety post call as a consequence of their uncertainty. When errors are made by colleagues, the trainee’s response is acceptance (52.5%), and sympathy (32%).Trainees are strongly influenced by the opinions of senior colleagues often changing their opinions having made confident decisions. Solutions to address uncertainty include enhanced knowledge translation, and to a lesser extent, enhanced personal awareness and resilience awareness. To enhance the training experience for BST and lessen the uncertainty experienced these strategies need to be enacted within the training milieu.
    • Utilisation of clinical networks to facilitate elective surgical workload; a preliminary analysis

      Burke, T; Waters, P; Waldron, RM; Joyce, K; Khan, I; Khan, W; Kerin, M; Barry, K; Mayo General Hospital and Galway University Hospital (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-12)
      Clinical networks have potential to increase elective surgical workload for benign conditions in non-cancer centres. The aims of this study were to determine outcomes for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy in our unit and to evaluate early experience in managing benign surgical workload referred from the tertiary centre within our clinical network. An analysis of cholecystectomies performed at Mayo General Hospital was conducted (2003-2013). A review of elective procedures more recently referred from Galway University Hospital (GUH) waiting lists was also conducted. 1937 consecutive cholecystectomies were performed with an overall laparoscopic conversion rate of 1.7% (33/1875). The total major complication rate was 0.93% (18/1937). 151 selected procedures originating from GUH have been performed since December 2013 without adverse events. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed in significant volume in the general hospital environment. This and other appropriate benign surgical procedures may be performed outside of tertiary units according to network agreements.
    • Variations in the presentation of aphasia in patients with closed head injuries.

      Kavanagh, Dara Oliver; Lynam, Conor; Duerk, Thorsten; Casey, Mary; Eustace, Paul W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      Impairments of speech and language are important consequences of head injury as they compromise interaction between the patient and others. A large spectrum of communication deficits can occur. There are few reports in the literature of aphasia following closed head injury despite the common presentation of closed head injury. Herein we report two cases of closed head injuries with differing forms of aphasia. We discuss their management and rehabilitation and present a detailed literature review on the topic. In a busy acute surgical unit one can dismiss aphasia following head injury as behaviour related to intoxication. Early recognition with prolonged and intensive speech and language rehabilitation therapy yields a favourable outcome as highlighted in our experience. These may serve as a reference for clinicians faced with this unusual outcome.
    • Withholding truth from patients.

      O'Sullivan, Elizabeth; Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co Mayo. lizosul@eircom.net (2012-01-31)
      The issue of whether patients should always be told the truth regarding their diagnosis and prognosis has afforded much debate in healthcare literature. This article examines telling the truth from an ethical perspective. It puts forward arguments for and against being honest with patients, using a clinical example to illustrate each point.