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Static.www.bmj
1
27

Response from Hepatitis C Trust, BASL, BIA, BVHG, BSG, and BHIVA to article asking whether widespread screening for hepatitis C is justified

Koretz and colleagues argue that hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening should be delayed.1 We disagree. HCV transmission was common in the 1960s-80s, and because mortality occurs 30-40 years after infection deaths will rise exponentially over the next decade.2 Delaying effective intervention will have a massive impact. The authors argue that because a community study showed an increase in liver and non-liver mortality most infected people will not die from HCV. Infection can cause or exacerbate renal disease, diabetes, and dyslipidaemia and treatment reduces all cause mortality,3 indicating that both liver and non-liver related deaths are caused by …  
bmj.com
over 4 years ago
Www.bmj
1
5

Hepatitis C screening of men who have sex with men

Koretz and colleagues failed to highlight hepatitis C (HCV) as an emerging sexually transmitted infection in men who have sex with men (MSM), and the public health implications.1  
bmj.com
over 4 years ago
Preview
1
15

WHO urges introduction of single use syringes

Doctors and other healthcare workers should only use single use syringes, in a bid to stop the spread of infection through unsafe injections. In new guidance the World Health Organization is urging countries by 2020 to ditch syringes that can be reused, in favour of so called “smart” syringes that deliver a single dose and can be used only once.1  
bmj.com
over 4 years ago
Www.bmj
1
9

“Meticulous” cleaning of duodenoscopes may not eliminate infection risk, US watchdog warns

Because of their complex design, even meticulous cleaning of the specialized endoscopes used in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures may fail to prevent transmission of infection, the US Food and Drug Administration has warned.  
bmj.com
over 4 years ago
Www.bmj
1
22

Many readmissions of patients with severe sepsis for other conditions could be prevented, US study finds

More than 40% of readmissions of people previously admitted to hospital for severe sepsis could be prevented with timely outpatient care, a new US study indicates.  
bmj.com
over 4 years ago
2
1
6

WHO | WHO issues its first hepatitis B treatment guidelines

WHO guidance for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, a viral infection which is spread through blood and body fluids.  
who.int
over 4 years ago
Preview
1
48

Mycotoxins, Allergies, and Quackery (Fungal Infections - Lesson 3)

A review of the adverse effects of fungal mycotoxins, allergic disorders triggered by fungal exposure (including ABPA), and the quackery and pseudoscience co...  
YouTube
over 4 years ago
Preview
1
20

An Overview of Fungal Infections (Fungal Infections - Lesson 2)

A summary of the various types of fungal infections, including those from candida, aspergillus, cryptococcus, histoplasma, blastomyces, cocci, and dermatophy...  
YouTube
over 4 years ago
Preview
2
68

Classification and Structure of Fungi (Fungal Infections - Lesson 1)

An overview of a practical classification scheme for pathological fungi, as well as a summary of their microscopic structure. Differences between yeast and m...  
YouTube
over 4 years ago
4
0
19

Why do people elderly people get confused with infections?

I saw a 91 year old lady on the orthopaedic ward who had become acutely confused and she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. Why do people become confused with infectons and especially, it seems, urinary tract infections?  
Joy Akhtar
almost 7 years ago
5
0
27

Why did a patient's Hb fall with sepsis?

I was on the renal ward round with some other medical students and the one of the patient's Hb had fallen slightly and the consultant had mentioned that it was likely secondary to their infection. I didn't understand why this would be but didn't have the courage to ask either. Can anyone help me please?  
Jess Pobbs
almost 7 years ago
10
0
16

Which bacteria could cause urinary tract infections but would not show up on a normal urine culture?

Some bacteria species (such as Mycoplasma) are difficult to culture using standard methods. Could these bacteria cause a urinary tract infection in the absence of a positive urine culture? If so, how can these infections be diagnosed in a patient with only general symptoms of cystitis? What other hard-to-culture species besides Mycoplasma can cause urinary tract infections?  
Joshua Lotz
almost 7 years ago
6
0
21

What are the indications for combined sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim antibiotic therapy as opposed trimethoprim-only therapy?

Hospital-acquired urinary tract infections, for example, can be treated with trimethoprim only. Combination sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim is also indicated for such infections. When specifically should the combination therapy be used?  
Joshua Lotz
almost 7 years ago
13
0
4

Question regarding your Kidney_Acute_Pyelonephritis image

Hi. This is Justine Lee who works at LIFE SCIENCE Publishing Co., Seoul, Korea. LIFE SCIENCE Publishing Co. is the book publishing company for University textbooks. I'm looking for the copy right owner of this photo image for the book titled "Infection Treatment pharmacology" which will be released in Korea soon. I'd like to use this photo image for this infection treatment book. If you can help me to find the copy right owner, would you kindly introduce me to contact? Have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Thanks in advance.  
Justine Lee
over 6 years ago
Foo20151013 2023 184etvn?1444773944
3
133

Aspergillus and Human Health

Many may be familiar with aspergillosis as the infecting agent in acute cases where the patient is severely immunocompromised - but there is more to this fungus' repertoire. There are rare cases where the patient's immune system is overwhelmed by a large inhalation of spores e.g. after gardening, but these are insignificant in terms of total numbers effected. The following are far more common:- Aspergillus and other fungi are increasingly identified as the active agent in sinusitis - if you have cases that don't respond to antibiotics this is worth thinking about. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA & aspergilloma) is an infection of immunocompetent people, causing respiratory difficulty, coughing and haemoptysis. The UK NHS has a specialist centre for these patients In Manchester (National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC)). NAC has particular expertise and extensive facilities for the diagnosis of CPA, ABPA, SAFS and use of systemic antifungal drugs. Allergic infection (Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis - ABPA and chronic sinusitis) is thought to be heavily underdiagnosed and undertreated. ABPA is particularly common in Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis patients and those with bronchiectasis. There is estimated to be 25 000 cases in the UK alone. Many (50%) of the most severe asthma cases are sensitive to fungi (SAFS) - in particular Aspergillus. These tend to be the most unstable cases that don't respond to antibiotics and several studies have been published that show giving an antifungal helps reduce the use of steroids for these patients. Last but not least - Tuberculosis is on the rise in the UK and the rest of the world. It is estimated that 2% of cases progress to CPA and should be treated using an antifungal - this is usually not done until considerable time has passed and much damage has been done. In total it is estimated that many millions of people across the world suffer from aspergillus - ABPA - 5 million, Tb - 400 000 per year and Asthma (SAFS - 1 - 4 million cases in EU & US). Sinusitis cases may number many tens of millions worldwide. So - the next time you assume aspergillus infections and aspergillosis are rare and confined to those who are profoundly immunocompromised - think again! If you have a patient who has increasingly severe respiratory symptoms, doesn't respond to multiple courses of antibiotics then give aspergillus a thought. Browse around these articles for further information Aspergillus Website Treatment Section. NB For a broader look at the prevalence of fungal diseases worldwide the new charity Leading International Fungal Education (LIFE) website is worth looking at.  
Graham Atherton
over 6 years ago
Foo20151013 2023 1ilnrlb?1444774017
6
176

Itraconazole Toxicity and Cardiac Health Problems

Itraconazole is an antifungal drug used widely to treat fungal infections and is active against Aspergillus, Candida and Cryptococcus. It is effective and now much cheaper as it has passed out of the period of time granted to its inventor to exclusively sell it - there are now several competing manufacturers. It seems to be an increasingly useful and used drug now it has become more accessible which is a good thing in the main but this makes it increasingly important that this drug is properly understood and its very severe potential side effects appreciated and guarded against. These are the warnings published by the World Health Organisation Risk of congestive heart failure The agency says that while the available evidence suggests that the risk of heart failure with short courses of itraconazole is low in healthy, young patients, prescribers should exercise caution when prescribing the drug to at-risk patients. Amendments to the product information of all itraconazole formulations have been made to reflect this information. Risk to pregnant women By April 2000 the UMC had received 43 case reports from 5 countries regarding the use of itraconazole by pregnant women. 25 of these pregnancies ended in embryonic or foetal death. The remaining 19 reports described a variety of congenital malformation or neonatal disorders. In the 38 reports in which the route of administration was specified the drug was taken orally. The data suggested that: inspite of the approved recommendations and warnings itraconazole is being taken by pregnant women for minor indications, reported human experience seems to lend support to the experimental evidence that itraconazole is teratogenic, there is a predominance of abortion, and more firm warnings may be needed in the product information.Although not apparent from the UMC reports, a further question of interest was if itraconazole might decrease the reliability of oral contraceptives and so lead to unintended exposure in pregnancy. Care thus needs to be taken about which patients are prescribed itraconazole, adequate monitoring needs to be put in place if needed and sufficient advice given with the drug to ensure the patient is aware of the risks involved and the signs & symptoms to look out for.  
Graham Atherton
over 6 years ago
Foo20151013 2023 kphjit?1444774023
4
4068

Acids and bases as a balancing act to sustain life

This is an excerpt from "Fluids and Electrolytes Made Incredibly Easy! 1st UK Edition" by William N. Scott. For more information, or to purchase your copy, visit: http://tiny.cc/Fande. Save 15% (and get free P&P) on this, and a whole host of other LWW titles at lww.co.uk when you use the code MEDUCATION when you check out! Introduction The chemical reactions that sustain life depend on a delicate balance – or homeostasis – between acids and bases in the body. Even a slight imbalance can profoundly affect metabolism and essential body functions. Several conditions, such as infection or trauma, and certain medications can affect acid-base balance. However, to understand this balance, you need to understand some basic chemistry. Understanding pH Understanding acids and bases requires an understanding of pH, a calculation based on the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. It may also be defi ned as the amount of acid or base within a solution. Acids consist of molecules that can give up, or donate, hydrogen ions to other molecules. Carbonic acid is an acid that occurs naturally in the body. Bases consist of molecules that can accept hydrogen ions; bicarbonate is one example of a base. A solution that contains more base than acid has fewer hydrogen ions, so it has a higher pH. A solution with a pH above 7 is a base, or alkaline. A solution that contains more acid than base has more hydrogen ions, so it has a lower pH. A solution with a pH below 7 is an acid, or acidotic. Getting your PhD in pH A patient’s acid-base balance can be assessed if the pH of their blood is known. Because arterial blood is usually used to measure pH, this discussion focuses on arterial samples. Arterial blood is normally slightly alkaline, ranging from 7.35 to 7.45. A pH level within that range represents a balance between the concentration of hydrogen ions and bicarbonate ions. The pH of blood is generally maintained in a ratio of 20 parts bicarbonate to 1 part carbonic acid. A pH below 6.8 or above 7.8 is usually fatal. Too low Under certain conditions, the pH of arterial blood may deviate significantly from its normal narrow range. If the blood’s hydrogen ion concentration increases or bicarbonate level decreases, pH may decrease. In either case, a decrease in pH below 7.35 signals acidosis. Too high If the blood’s bicarbonate level increases or hydrogen ion concentration decreases, pH may rise. In either case, an increase in pH above 7.45 signals alkalosis. Regulating acids and bases A person’s well-being depends on their ability to maintain a normal pH. A deviation in pH can compromise essential body processes, including electrolyte balance, activity of critical enzymes, muscle contraction and basic cellular function. The body normally maintains pH within a narrow range by carefully balancing acidic and alkaline elements. When one aspect of that balancing act breaks down, the body can’t maintain a healthy pH as easily, and problems arise.  
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
over 6 years ago
Foo20151013 2023 xc9z4h?1444774045
2
3762

Undergraduate Co-Ordinators: Help or hindrance?

Thanks to those who read my last post. I was encouraged to hear from my colleagues at Med school that the post sounded very positive and hopefully. A few of them queried whether I had actually written it because there was a noticeable lack of sarcasm or criticism. So... the following posts may be a bit different. A little warning - some of what I post may be me playing "Devil's advocate" because I believe that everything should be questioned and sparking debate is a good way of making us all evaluate what we truly think on a subject. With no further a do, let's get on to the subject of today's post .... An Introduction to Clinical Medicine The previous year was my first as a clinical med student. Before we started I naively thought that we would be placed in helpful, encouraging environments that would support us in our learning, so that we were able to maximize our clinical experience. My hope was that there would be lots of enthusiastic doctors willing to teach, a well organised teaching schedule and admin staff that would be able to help us with any difficulties. I hoped these would all be in place so that WE medical students could be turned from a bunch of confused, under-grad science students into the best junior doctors we could possibly be. It seems that medical school and the NHS have a very different opinion of what clinical medical teaching should be like. What they seem to want us to do is 1) listen to the same old health and safety lecture at least twice a term, 2) re-learn how to wash our hands every 4 weeks, 3) Practicing signing our name on a register - even when this is completely pointless because there are no staff at the hospital anyway because the roads are shut with 10 inches of snow most of the time, 4) Master the art of filling in forms that no one will ever look at or use in anyway that is productive, 5) STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THE BUSY STAFF because we are useless nuisances who spread MRSA and C.Dif where ever we go! How we all learn medicine and pass our exams is any ones guess! Undergraduate Co-Ordinators - Why won't you make life easier for us? While at my last placement I was elected as the 3rd year student representative for that hospital. While I was fulfilling that role it got me wondering what it is that Under-grad Co-Ordinators actually do? I thought this may be an interesting topic of debate. 1) Who are they and how qualified are they? 2) what is their job description and what are they supposed to be doing? 3) Are they a universal phenomena? or have they just evolved within the West Midlands? 4) Does anyone know an under-grad Co-Ordinator (UC - not ulcerative colitis) who has actually been more benefit than nuisance? 1) UC's as a species are generally female, middle aged, motherly types who like to colonize obscure offices in far flung corners of NHS training hospitals. They can normally be found in packs or as they are locally known "A Confusion of co-ordinators". How are they qualified? I have absolutely no idea, but I am guessing not degrees in Human Resource Development. 2)I am fairly certain what their job should involve: 1) be a friendly supportive face for the poor medical students; 2) organise a series of lectures; 3) organise the medical students into teaching firms with enthusiastic consultants who are happy to give them regular teaching; 4) ensure the students are taught clinical skills so that they can progress to being competent juniors; 5) be a point of contact for when any students are experiencing difficulties in their hospital and hopefully help them to rectify those problems to aid their learning. What do they actually do? It seems to be a mystery. I quite regularly receive emails that say that I wasn't in hospital on a certain day, when I was in fact at another hospital that they specifically sent me to on that day. I often receive emails saying that my lectures are cancelled just as I have driven for over an hour through rush hour traffic to attend. I sometimes receive emails saying that I, specifically, am the cause of the whole hospitals MRSA infection because I once wore a tie. I never receive emails saying that such and such a doctor is happy to teach me. I never receive emails with lecture slides attached to them so that I can revise said lectures in time for an exam. I NEVER receive any emails with anything useful in them that has been sent by a UC! Questions 3 and 4, I have no idea what the answers are but would be genuinely pleased to hear people's responses. The reason I have written this blog is that, these people have frustrated my colleagues and I all year. I am sure they are integral to our learning in some way and I am sure that they could be very useful to us, but at the moment I just cannot say that they are as useful as they should be. To any NHS manager/ medical educator out their I make this plea I am more than happy to give up 2 weeks of my life to shadow some UC to see what it is they do. In essence I want to audit what it is they do on a day to day basis and work out if they are a cost-effective use of the NHS budget? I want to investigate what it is they spend their time on and how many students they help during a day? I would like someone with a fresh pair of eyes to go into those obscure offices and see if they can find any way of improving the systems so that future generations of medical students do not have to relive the inefficiencies that we have lived through. I want the system to be improved for everyone's sake. OR if you won't let a medical student audit the process, could you manager's at least send your UC's to learn from other hospitals where things are done better! If we (potential future) doctors have to live by the rule of EVIDENCED BASED MEDICINE, why shouldn't the admin staff live by a similar rule of EVIDENCED BASED ADMINISTRATION? Share good ideas, learn from the best, always look for improvements rather than keep the same old inefficient, pointless systems year after year. My final point on the subject - at the end of every term we have to fill in long feedback forms on what we thought of the hospital and the teaching. I know for a fact that most of those forms contain huge amounts of criticism - a lot of which was written exactly the same the year before! So, they are collecting all of this feedback and yet nothing seems to change in some hospitals. It all just seems such a pointless waste. Take away thought for the day. By auditing and improving the efficiency, of the admin side of an undergraduate medical education, I would hope the system as a whole would be improved and hence better, more knowledgeable, less cynical, less bitter, less stressed junior doctors would be produced as a result. Surely, that is something that everyone involved in medical education should be aiming for. Who is watching (and assessing) the watchers!  
jacob matthews
over 6 years ago
Foo20151013 2023 1fflsju?1444774064
4
2737

My Grandfather's Complimentary Medicine - The secret to a healthy old age?

Complimentary medicine (CAM) is controversial, especially when it is offered by the NHS! You only have to read the recent health section of the Telegraph to see Max Pemberton and James LeFanu exchanging strong opinions. Most of the ‘therapies’ available on the market have little to no evidence base to support their use and yet, I believe that it has an important role to play in modern medicine. I believe that CAM is useful not because of any voodoo magic water or because the soul of a tiger lives on in the dust of one of its claws but because modern medicine hasn’t tested EVERYTHING yet and because EVERY DOCTOR should be allowed to use a sugar pill or magic water to ease the anguish of the worried well every now and again. The placebo effect is powerful and could be used to help a lot of patients as well as save the NHS a lot of money. I visited my grandfather for a cup of coffee today. As old people tend to do we discussed his life, his life lessons and his health . My grandfather is 80-something years old and worked as a collier underground for about 25 years before rising up through the ranks of management. In his entire life he has been to hospital twice: Once to have his tonsils removed and once to have a TKR – total knee replacement. My granddad maintains that the secret of his good health is good food, plenty of exercise, keeping his mind active and 1 dried Ivy berry every month! He takes the dried ivy berries because a gypsie once told his father that doing so would prevent infection of open wounds; common injuries in those working under ground. It is my granddad’s firm belief that the ivy berries have kept him healthy over the past 60 years, despite significant drinking and a 40 year pack history! My grandfather is the only person I know who takes this quite bizarre and potentially dangerous CAM, but he has done so for over half a century now and has suffered no adverse effects (that we can tell anyway)! This has led me to think about the origin of medicine and the evolution of modern medicine from ancient treatments: Long ago medicine meant ‘take this berry and see what happens’. Today, medicine means ‘take this drug (or several drugs) and see what happens, except we’ll write it down if it all goes wrong’. Just as evidence for modern therapies have been established, is there any known evidence for the ivy berry and what else is it used for? My grandfather gave me a second piece of practical advice this afternoon, in relation to the treatment of open wounds: To stop bleeding cover the wound in a bundle of spiders web. You can collect webs by wrapping them up with a stick, then slide the bundle of webs off the stick onto the wound and hold it in place. If the wound is quite deep then cover the wound in ground white pepper. I have no idea whether these two tips actually work but they reminded me of ‘QuickClot’ (http://www.z-medica.com/healthcare/About-Us/QuikClot-Product-History.aspx) a powder that the British Army currently issues to all its frontline troops for the treatment of wounds. The powder is poured into the wound and it forms a synthetic clot reducing blood loss. This technology has been a life-saver in Afghanistan but is relatively expensive. Supposing that crushed white pepper has similar properties, wouldn’t that be cheaper? While I appreciate that the two are unlikely to have the same level of efficacy, I am merely suggesting that we do not necessarily dismiss old layman’s practices without a little investigation. I intend to go and do a few searches on pubmed and google but just thought I’d put this in the public domain and see if anyone has any corroborating stories. If your grandparents have any rather strange but potentially useful health tips I’d be interested in hearing them. You never know they may just be the treatments of the future!  
jacob matthews
over 6 years ago