Recent Submissions

  • Value of Drains in Soft-Tissue Tumour Surgery: A Specialist Regional Centre Experience

    Akbari, Amir R (Cureus, 2022-12)
    Background The mainstay of therapy in most soft-tissue tumours (STTs) is excision. However, this often results in blood/extracellular fluid collection within large dead spaces necessitating the use of surgical drains. Whether meticulous attention to haemostasis, careful closure of dead space, and use of compression bandage obviates the need for drains was investigated. This study aimed to compare postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing surgery for STTs with and without the use of drains. Methodology A retrospective analysis of patients undergoing STT surgery over five years was undertaken using a regional STT specialist service database. Patients were stratified into the following two groups: compression bandage alone (CB) versus compression bandage with drain (CBD). The chi-square test was used to examine associations with infection, seroma, and haematoma, while the unpaired t-test was used for associations with hospital stay and time to wound healing. The unpaired t-test with Bonferroni correction was used to account for tumour dimensions across both groups. Results A total of 81 CB and 25 CBD patients were included. The mean hospital stay was significantly lower in CB compared to CBD (4.9 days, SD = 8.574 vs. 9.8 days, SD = 7.647, p = 0.0125). None of the other variables was significantly different between the two groups, including infection (21.3% vs. 24.0%, p = 0.7804), seroma (25.0% vs. 36.0%, p = 0.2865), haematoma (0.026% vs. 2.0%, p = 0.2325), and time to wound healing (55.8 days, SD = 63.59 vs. 42.3 days, SD = 58.88, p = 0.3648). Conclusions Our findings suggest that the use of drains in patients undergoing STT tumour surgery lengthens hospital stay without reducing the incidence of postoperative complications/time to wound healing. A larger, prospective trial is needed.
  • Influence of Social Support, Financial Status, and Lifestyle on the Disparity Between Inflammation and Disability in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    Walsh, David A
    Objective: To investigate how social support, financial status, and lifestyle influence the development of excess disability in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Data were obtained from the Étude et Suivi des Polyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes (ESPOIR) cohort study of people with RA. A previous analysis identified groups with similar inflammation trajectories but markedly different disability over 10 years; those in the higher disability trajectory groups were defined as having "excess disability." Self-reported data regarding contextual factors (social support, financial situation, lifestyle) were obtained from participants, and they completed patient-reported outcome measures (pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression) at baseline. The direct effect of the contextual factors on excess disability and the effect mediated by patient-reported outcome measures were assessed using structural equation models. Findings were validated in 2 independent data sets (Norfolk Arthritis Register [NOAR], Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Network [ERAN]). Results: Of 538 included ESPOIR participants (mean age ± SD 48.3 ± 12.2 years; 79.2% women), 200 participants (37.2%) were in the excess disability group. Less social support (β = 0.17 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.08, 0.26]), worse financial situation (β = 0.24 [95% CI 0.14, 0.34]), less exercise (β = 0.17 [95% CI 0.09-0.25]), and less education (β = 0.15 [95% CI 0.06, 0.23]) were associated with excess disability group membership; smoking, alcohol consumption, and body mass index were not. Fatigue and depression mediated a small proportion of these effects. Similar results were seen in NOAR and ERAN. Conclusion: Greater emphasis is needed on the economic and social contexts of individuals with RA at presentation; these factors might influence disability over the following decade.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid xanthochromia in acute bacterial meningitis as a red herring for subarachnoid haemorrhage: A case report.

    Akbari, Amir R (African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology, 2022-04)
    This article presents a case that highlights the importance of excluding underlying intracranial pathology in a patient presenting with severe headache and positive xanthochromia. This case report demonstrated that false-positive xanthochromia without subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is possible in acute bacterial meningitis when there is a combination of traumatic lumbar puncture and either hyperbilirubinaemia or raised cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) protein.
  • Civility in the care setting and the impact of incivility.

    Guzdz, Denise
    Denise Guzdz discusses the importance of healthcare staff being civil towards each other in the workplace and how incivility can affect both staff and patients.
  • Effects of haemodynamically atrio-ventricular optimized His-pacing on heart failure symptoms and exercise capacity: The His Optimized Pacing Evaluated for Heart Failure (HOPE-HF) randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial

    Bassi, Sukhbinder
    Aims: Excessive prolongation of PR interval impairs coupling of AV contraction, which reduces left ventricular pre-load and stroke volume, and worsens symptoms. His-bundle pacing allows AV-delay shortening while maintaining normal ventricular activation. HOPE-HF evaluated whether AV-optimized His pacing is preferable to no-pacing, in double-blind cross-over fashion, in patients with heart failure, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤40%, PR interval ≥200ms and either QRS ≤140ms or right BBB. Methods and Results: Patients had atrial and His-bundle leads implanted (and an ICD lead if clinically indicated) and were randomized, to 6-months of pacing and 6-months of no-pacing utilizing a cross-over design. The primary outcome was peak oxygen uptake during symptom-limited exercise. Quality of life, LVEF and patients' holistic symptomatic preference between arms were secondary outcomes. 167 patients were randomized: 90% men, 69±10 years, QRS duration 124±26ms, PR interval 249±59ms, LVEF 33±9%. Neither peak VO 2 (+0.25 ml/min/kg, 95% CI -0.23 to +0.73, p=0.3) nor LVEF (+0.5%, 95% CI -0.7 to 1.6, p=0.4) changed with pacing but Minnesota Living with Heart Failure quality of life improved significantly (-3.7, 95% CI -7.1 to -0.3, p=0.03). 76% of patients preferred His-bundle pacing-on and 24% pacing-off (p<0.0001). Conclusion: His-bundle pacing did not increase peak oxygen uptake but, under double-blind conditions, significantly improved quality of life and was symptomatically preferred by the clear majority of patients. Ventricular pacing delivered via the His bundle did not adversely impact ventricular function during the 6 months
  • How to be a named or designated doctor for looked-after children.

    Walker, Vicki
    There are approximately 100,000 looked after children within the care system in the UK. Children and young people enter the care system with unmet health needs and missed routine health screening and poor management of existing health conditions. They may have delayed development due to neglect and many have unmet and significant emotional health needs. Named and Designated Doctors for looked after children are passionate experts willing to stand up and advocate for children and young people. They exert influence on a larger scale within the healthcare system, offering senior level problem solving and contributions to interagency liaison and service planning. The Named and Designated roles are statutory in the UK. However, each of the four nations in the UK has slightly different versions of looked after children and safeguarding children legislation. The RCPCH, RCN and RCGPs, which support all four UK nations, have also produced guidance - Looked After Children: Roles and Competencies of Healthcare Staff. The document sets out the required knowledge, skills, and competencies at each level of health professional working with children and young people. This short review summarises some of the key aspects of the role fulfilled by Named and Designated doctors and offers practical advice to those considering the role and some real world examples of how it can be successfully implemented.
  • A Review and Comparison of the Efficacy of Prophylactic Interventional Radiological Arterial Occlusions in Placenta Accreta Spectrum Patients: A Meta-analysis

    Akbari, Amir R
    Rationale and objectives: Placenta accreta spectrum (PAS) disorders are increasingly common and associated with significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality due to the associated risk of massive haemorrhage. Currently prophylactic interventional radiology (IR) arterial occlusion is being performed occluding either the internal iliac artery (IIA), abdominal aorta (AA) or uterine artery (UA) in order to prevent this blood loss. The aim of this meta-analysis is to identify whether these IR procedures are effective in reducing estimated blood loss (EBL) and hysterectomy rates and if so which method achieves the optimal results METHODS: A literature search was conducted to acquire case-control studies assessing EBL and hysterectomies performed following IR arterial occlusion in PAS patients, yielding 16 results. Studies were analyzed together and later split into groups dependent on the artery occluded. The results of these were then inputted into forest plots to identify their overall estimated effect with confidence intervals. Results: Prophylactic IR arterial occlusion was proven to reduce both EBL and hysterectomies. When separated by artery, IIA achieved the worst outcomes with no proven effect on EBL and a minimal reduction in hysterectomies. UA scored in the middle with a modest reduction in both outcomes, whilst AA occlusion had the most significant reduction in both EBL and hysterectomies. Conclusion: Prophylactic IR arterial occlusion should be routinely considered in PAS patients to reduce both EBL and rates of hysterectomies. Current literature promotes the use of IIA occlusion; however the findings of this analysis propose that AA and UA occlusion should be favoured.
  • Impact of radiographer immediate reporting of X-rays of the chest from general practice on the lung cancer pathway (radioX): a randomised controlled trial

    Geary, S
    The National Optimal Lung Cancer Pathway recommends rapid progression from abnormal chest X-rays (CXRs) to CT. The impact of the more rapid reporting on the whole pathway is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of immediate reporting of CXRs requested by primary care by radiographers on the time to diagnosis of lung cancer. Method: People referred for CXR from primary care to a single acute district general hospital in London attended sessions that were prerandomised to either immediate radiographer (IR) reporting or standard radiographer (SR) reporting within 24 hours. CXRs were subsequently reported by radiologists blind to the radiographer reports to test the reliability of the radiographer report. Radiographer and local radiologist discordant cases were reviewed by thoracic radiologists, blinded to reporter. Results: 8682 CXRs were performed between 21 June 2017 and 4 August 2018, 4096 (47.2%) for IR and 4586 (52.8%) for SR. Lung cancer was diagnosed in 49, with 27 (55.1%) for IR. The median time from CXR to diagnosis of lung cancer for IR was 32 days (IQR 19, 70) compared with 63 days (IQR 29, 78) for SR (p=0.03).8258 CXRs (95.1%) were reported by both radiographers and local radiologists. In the 1361 (16.5%) with discordance, the reviewing thoracic radiologists were equally likely to agree with local radiologist and radiographer reports. Conclusions: Immediate reporting of CXRs from primary care reduces time to diagnosis of lung cancer by half, likely due to rapid progress to CT. Radiographer reports are comparable to local radiologist reports for accuracy.
  • An inconvenient truth concerning surgery for mesothelioma.

    Roberts, Mark (Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018-09)
  • Manipulation of distal radius fractures: a comparison of Bier's block vs haematoma block

    Kulkarni, Sushrut; Kulkarni, S S; Busby, C
    Introduction: Displaced distal radius fractures often require manipulation under anaesthesia. Many anaesthetic techniques are described, with the two most commonly used being Bier's block (BB) and haematoma block (HB). Despite national guidance preferring a BB, an HB is often performed instead. This study aims to compare the analgesic properties of a BB with those of an HB when manipulating distal radius fractures. Methods: This is an observational cohort study comparing the management of displaced distal radius fractures requiring reduction across two National Health Service trusts. Patients aged over 18 with isolated, displaced distal radius fractures were recruited. Patient demographics, AO fracture classification and grade of clinician performing the procedure were recorded. A numeric rating scale (NRS) pain score was obtained for each patient after manipulation. The quality of reduction was judged against standardised anatomical parameters. Results: Some 200 patients were recruited (100 HB, 100 BB). There were no differences in age (BB: median 66.5 years, interquartile range [IQR] 55-74; HB: median 67 years, IQR 55-74; p = 0.79) or fracture characteristics (p = 0.29) between cohorts. Patients undergoing BB had significantly lower pain scores with a lower IQR than those undergoing HB (p < 0.005). Patients undergoing BB manipulation were more likely to have the fracture reduced and normal anatomy restored (p < 0.005). BBs were performed mainly by Foundation Year 2 junior doctors, whereas HB manipulations were performed by a range of clinicians from emergency nurse practitioners to consultants. Conclusions: BB provides better analgesia than an HB. This can be performed successfully and reliably by Senior House Officer-level junior doctors.
  • Presymptomatic, asymptomatic and post-symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2: joint British Infection Association (BIA), Healthcare Infection Society (HIS), Infection Prevention Society (IPS) and Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) guidance

    Weinbren, Michael (BMC Infectious Diseases, 2022-05)
    This is the second of two guidance articles produced by the British Infection Association (BIA), the Healthcare Infection Society (HIS), the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) and the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath). Both articles refer to the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Using evidence that emerged during the first wave of the pandemic, the articles summarise aspects of the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and provide guidance on how to reduce the risk of transmission. This article focuses on the risks of presymptomatic, asymptomatic and post-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 transmission, allowing healthcare workers and the public to understand how transmission occurs and to take action to protect themselves and others. The guidance recognises further waves of the pandemic, the possibility of reinfection, the emergence of new variants of the virus and ongoing immunisation programmes.
  • Association of pain and risk of falls in community-dwelling adults: a prospective study in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).

    Walsh, David A
    Purpose: To investigate the longitudinal associations between pain and falls risks in adults. Methods: Prospective cohort study on data from 40,636 community-dwelling adults ≥ 50 years assessed in Wave 5 and 6 in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Socio-demographic and clinical information was collected at baseline (Wave 5). At 2-year follow-up (Wave 6), falls in the previous 6 months were recorded. The longitudinal associations between pain intensity, number of pain sites and pain in specific anatomic sites, respectively, and falls risk were analysed by binary logistic regression models; odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) were calculated. All analyses were adjusted for socio-demographic and clinical factors and stratified by sex. Results: Mean age was 65.8 years (standard deviation 9.3; range 50-103); 22,486 (55.3%) participants were women. At follow-up, 2805 (6.9%) participants reported fall(s) in the previous 6 months. After adjustment, participants with moderate and severe pain at baseline had an increased falls risk at follow-up of 1.35 (1.21-1.51) and 1.52 (1.31-1.75), respectively, compared to those without pain (both p < 0.001); mild pain was not associated with falls risk. Associations between pain intensity and falls risk were greater at younger age (p for interaction < 0.001). Among participants with pain, pain in ≥ 2 sites or all over (multisite pain) was associated with an increased falls risk of 1.29 (1.14-1.45) compared to pain in one site (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Moderate, severe and multisite pain were associated with an increased risk of subsequent falls in adults.
  • Amlodipine induced hyponatraemia

    Nuam, Cing San; Fernando, Devaka; Tun, Thein Zaw (Clinical Medicine, 2022-07)
    Hyponatraemia (serum sodium <135 mmol/L) is a common finding in clinical practice. Patients with hyponatraemia have increased morbidity and mortality compared with patients without hyponatraemia. Hyponatraemia is often iatrogenic and avoidable. These can be classified into 5 main types: hypovolaemic hyponatraemia, euvolaemic hyponatraemia, hypervolaemic hyponatraemia, hypertonic hyponatraemia and pseudohyponatraemia. Patients can be asymptomatic to severe cerebral oedema, leading to brainstem herniation, respiratory arrest and death.
  • Tumour-induced osteomalacia.

    Fernando, Devaka; Nuam, Cing San; Tun, Thein Zaw (Clinical Medicine Journal, 2022-07)
    Phosphate is important for normal mineralisation of bone. Phosphate is important in its own right for neuromuscular function, and profound hypophosphataemia can be accompanied by encephalopathy, muscle weakness and cardiomyopathy. Hypophosphataemia can be due to intracellular uptake of phosphate from the extracellular fluid, reduced intestinal phosphate absorption, increased renal excretion, decreased renal tubular absorptive capacity and genetic defects in renal tubule phosphate transporters.

    Christou, A (Neuroncology, 2022-09)
    BACKGROUND: Despite operative and adjuvant therapies, high-grade glioma (HGG) remains incurable, with the extent of surgical resection being one of the modalities that can improve patient survival. Enabling maximal safe and minimising post-operative neurological morbidity is a key aim of surgical resection. Numerous intraoperative surgical adjuncts are used at surgery and intraoperative ultrasound (IoUS), is one such adjunct. IoUS is a cost-effective, easy to use, repeatable surgical adjunct, safe for the patient and potentially available in all centres. Although it's commonly used, no up to date systematic review exists collating and quantifying the level of evidence, delineating its impact on the extent of surgical resection. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The study was registered with the PROSPERO data- base (CRD42022300034). Keywords across Medline/PubMed and Embase between 1996 and November 2021 were used. We included articles with adult supratentorial, histopathologically confirmed HGG patients aimed for resection, evaluating the correlation of IoUS use and gross-total resection (GTR). Meta-analyses were conducted according to the statistical heterogeneity between the studies using the Open Meta Analyst software. RESULT(S): 2942 articles were identified of which 16 were qualitative assessed and 10 used for quantitative meta-analysis. In qualitative assessment, a mean 4.63/8 Newcastle-Ottawa-Scale score was found for studies with no cohorts (no use of IoUS) and a mean score of 6/9, for studies including exposed versus non-exposed cohorts. The RCT was of moderate quality according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) tool. A pooled analysis across 10 studies of HGG aimed for resection with the use of IoUS, led to GTR achieved in 168/365 cases, resulting in an overall GTR rate of 51.1% (95% CI, 33.9%-68.3%, p<0.001), with great heterogeneity across studies (93.02% p<0.001). In a subgroup meta-analysis of 3 studies of HGG aimed for complete resection only, GTR was achieved in 43/62 cases, yielding a 72.7% GTR rate (95% CI 41.6%-100%, p<0.001) with significant heterogeneity across studies (I2 92.1%, p<0.001). In 4 case-controlled studies, a total of 43.6% (48/110) GTR rate was achieved when IoUS was used versus 24.7% (65/263) when IoUS was not used, resulting in an odds ratio = 2.009 (95% CI 1.157-3.490, p <0.001) for achieving GTR. CONCLUSION(S): The meta-analysis showed a high GTR rate (72.7%) when HGG were aimed for complete resection and a two-fold probability of achieving GTR when IoUS is used than not used.
  • 671 Are clinicians assessing the impact of social media and/or time spent online on the physical and mental health of adolescents in paediatric admissions?

    Walker, Vicki (2022-08)
    Aims There is significant evidence that prolonged periods of screen time are associated with a variety of negative impacts on adolescent mental and physical wellbeing; namely adiposity, unhealthy diet, depressive symptoms and quality of life (1). However, the evidence-base to support a direct link between 'toxic' screen time causing obesity, mental health problems and educational failure has always been contested (2 3). Current RCPCH guidance on the health impacts of screen time highlights the link between higher screen time and less healthy diets, higher energy intake and obesity. There is a complex relationship between mental health and digital use with positive impacts e.g. maintain social friendships/ groups, support for health conditions, online education and negative impacts e.g. cyber-bullying, body dysmorphia, exploitation/grooming. The aim of this audit was to ascertain whether social media/time spent online is discussed and documented in the admission clerking or the first detailed history. If possible, we wanted to establish any associations between indicators of poor mental and physical health with social media/time spent online The majority of evidence in the current RCPCH guidance is based on television time, but recommendations now need to focus on newer uses of digital media, such as social media. A recommendation to include social media as an important factor in assessing adolescent health and wellbeing was advocated in 2018 (4). Methods We undertook a retrospective review of 40 paediatric admissions in a medium district general hospital. Patients were eligible if they were admitted, for any reason, from 1st January 2021 - 31st May 2021, aged 11 years old and above. Results Of the 38 admissions included, three had documentation regarding social media/time spent online (figure 1); one of these had a HEADSSSS assessment (figure 2). A further two had HEADSSSS assessments without clarifying social media/time spent online. Of these five patients: * Two admission documentations specified time spent online platform (XBOX), of which, one patient had a BMI of 30 * Three HEADSSSS assessments were carried out in patients with a presentation and/or history of mental health problems * Of these, one HEADSSSS assessment specified which social media platform the patient was using, and if they experienced cyber bullying Conclusion Our audit highlights a gap in use of social media screening in paediatric medical histories amongst health care professionals. Good practice was demonstrated for young people presenting with emotional health problems. This was a broad cohort, therefore questions relating to impact of social media may not be appropriate for every patient. The updated HEADSSSS assessment includes a fourth 'S' for social media use (4). Updating the clerking proforma to include this and raising awareness through training will support professionals to appropriately assess for new and evolving factors such as social media use, which are impacting on adolescent physical and mental health.
  • Age and the anaesthetist: considerations for the individual anaesthetist and workforce planning

    Fleming, Robert (Anaesthesia, 2022-09)
    There is clear evidence of a growing workforce gap and this is compounded by demographic data that show the current workforce is ageing. Within the current workforce, more doctors are taking voluntary early retirement and the loss of these experienced clinicians from departments can have wide-ranging effects. Older doctors are at risk of age-related health problems (e.g. sight, musculoskeletal, menopause) and are more susceptible to the effects of fatigue, which may increase the risk of error and or complaint. The purpose of this working party and advocacy campaign was to address concerns over the number of consultants retiring at the earliest opportunity and whether a different approach could extend the working career of consultant anaesthetists and SAS doctors. This could be viewed as ‘pacing your career’. The earlier this is considered in a clinician's career the greater the potential mitigation on individuals.

    Smith, Susan; Jones, Steve (HemaSphere, 2022-06)
    Background: Ibrutinib (IBR) is an oral covalent Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor (BTKi), licensed for treatment of relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Under NHS interim Covid-19 agreements in England, IBR with or without rituximab (R) was approved for the frontline treatment for MCL patients (pts) as a safer alternative to conventional immunochemotherapy. Although recent phase 2 studies have reported high response rates in low-risk patients for this combination in the frontline setting, randomised phase 3 and real-world data are currently lacking. Aims: To describe the real-world response rates (overall response rate (ORR), complete response (CR) rate) and toxicity profile of IBR +/- R in adult patients with previously untreated MCL. Methods: Following institutional approval, adults commencing IBR +/- R for untreated MCL under interim Covid-19 arrangements were prospectively identified by contributing centres. Hospital records were interrogated for demographic, pathology, response, toxicity and survival data. ORR/CR were assessed per local investigator according to the Lugano criteria using CT and/or PET-CT. Results: Data were available for 66 pts (72.7% male, median age 71 years, range 41-89). Baseline demographic and clinical features are summarised in Table 1. 23/66 pts (34.8%) had high-risk disease (defined as presence of TP53 mutation/deletion, blastoid or pleomorphic variant MCL, or Ki67%/MiB-1 ≥30%). IBR starting dose was 560mg in 56/62 pts (90%) and was given with R in 22/64 pts (34%). At a median follow up of 8.7 months (m) (range 0-18.6), pts had received a median of 7 cycles of IBR. 19/60 pts (32%) required a dose reduction or delay in IBR treatment. New atrial fibrillation and grade ≥3 any-cause toxicity occurred in 3/59 pts (5.8%) and 8/57 (14.0%) respectively.

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