• Targeting IgG Autoantibodies for Improved Cytotoxicity of Bactericidal Permeability Increasing Protein in Cystic Fibrosis.

      McQuillan, Karen; Gargoum, Fatma; Murphy, Mark P; McElvaney, Oliver J; McElvaney, Noel G; Reeves, Emer P (2020-07-17)
      In people with cystic fibrosis (PWCF), inflammation with concurrent infection occurs from a young age and significantly influences lung disease progression. Studies indicate that neutrophils are important effector cells in the pathogenesis of CF and in the development of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA). ANCA specific for bactericidal permeability increasing protein (BPI-ANCA) are detected in people with CF, and correlate with infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The aim of this study was to determine the signaling mechanism leading to increased BPI release by CF neutrophils, while identifying IgG class BPI-ANCA in CF airways samples as the cause for impaired antimicrobial activity of BPI against P. aeruginosa. Plasma and/or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) was collected from PWCF (n = 40), CF receiving ivacaftor therapy (n = 10), non-CF patient cohorts (n = 7) and healthy controls (n = 38). Plasma and BAL BPI and BPI-ANCA were measured by ELISA and GTP-bound Rac2 detected using an in vitro assay. The antibacterial effect of all treatments tested was determined by colony forming units enumeration. Levels of BPI are significantly increased in plasma (p = 0.007) and BALF (p < 0.0001) of PWCF. The signaling mechanism leading to increased degranulation and exocytosis of BPI by CF neutrophils (p = 0.02) involved enhancement of Rac2 GTP-loading (p = 0.03). The full-length BPI protein was detectable in all CF BAL samples and patients displayed ANCA with BPI specificity. IgG class autoantibodies were purified from CF BAL complexed to BPI (n=5), with IgG autoantibody cross-linking of antigen preventing BPI induced P. aeruginosa killing (p < 0.0001). Results indicate that the immune-mediated diminished antimicrobial defense, attributed to anti-BPI-IgG, necessitates the formation of a drug/immune complex intermediate that can maintain cytotoxic effects of BPI towards Gram-negative pathogens, with the potential to transform the current treatment of CF airways disease.
    • Technical outcome of atlantoaxial transarticular screw fixation without supplementary posterior construct for rheumatoid arthritis.

      Thomas, Philip; Amoo, Michael; Horan, Jack; Husien, Mohammed Ben; Cawley, Derek; Nagaria, Jabir; Bolger, Ciaran (2020-07-11)
      Background: transarticular screw (TAS) fixation without a supplementary posterior construct, even in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, provides sufficient stability with acceptable clinical results. Here, we present our experience with 15 RA patients who underwent atlantoaxial (AA) TAS fixation without utilizing a supplementary posterior fusion. Methods: To treat AA instability, all 15 RA patients underwent C1-C2 TAS fixation without a supplementary posterior construct. Patients were followed for at least 24 months. Pre- and postoperative sagittal measures of C1- C2, C2-C7, and C1-C7 angles, atlanto-dens interval (ADI), posterior atlanto-dens interval (PADI), and adjacent segment (i.e., C2-C3) anterior disc height (ADH) were retrospectively recorded from lateral X-ray imaging. The presence or absence of superior migration of the odontoid (SMO), cervical subaxial subluxation, C1-C2 bony fusion, screw pull-out, and screw breakage were also noted. Results: There was little difference between the pre- and postoperative studies regarding angles measured. Following TAS fixation, the mean ADI shortened, and mean PADI lengthened. There was no difference in the mean measures of C2-C3 ADH. There was no evidence of SMO pre- or postoperatively. Two patients developed anterior subluxation at C5-C6; one of the two also developed anterior subluxation at C2-C3. All patients subsequently showed C1-C2 bony fusion without screw pull-out or breakage. Conclusion: In RA patients who have undergone C1-C2 TAS fixation, eliminating a supplementary posterior fusion resulted in adequate stability.
    • Youth mental health in the time of COVID-19.

      Power, Emmet; Hughes, S; Cotter, D; Cannon, M (2020-07-02)
      Youth mental health is a rapidly developing field with a focus on prevention, early identification, treatment innovation and service development. In this perspective piece, we discuss the effects of COVID-19 on young people's mental health. The psychosocial effects of COVID-19 disproportionately affect young people. Both immediate and longer-term factors through which young people are affected include social isolation, changes to the delivery of therapeutic services and almost complete loss of all structured occupations (school, work and training) within this population group. Longer-term mechanisms include the effects of the predicted recession on young people's mental health. Opportunities within this crisis exist for service providers to scale up telehealth and digital services that may benefit service provision for young people's mental health in the future.
    • Endovascular flow-diversion of visceral and renal artery aneurysms using dual-layer braided nitinol carotid stents.

      van Veenendaal, Penelope; Maingard, Julian; Kok, Hong Kuan; Ranatunga, Dinesh; Buckenham, Tim; Chandra, Ronil V; Lee, Michael J; Brooks, Duncan Mark; Asadi, Hamed (2020-06-28)
      Background: Visceral and renal artery aneurysms (VRAAs) are uncommon but are associated with a high mortality rate in the event of rupture. Endovascular treatment is now first line in many centres, but preservation of arterial flow may be difficult in unfavourable anatomy including wide necked aneurysms, parent artery tortuosity and proximity to arterial bifurcations. Endovascular stenting, and in particular flow-diversion, is used in neurovascular intervention to treat intracranial aneurysms but is less often utilised in the treatment of VRAAs. The CASPER stent is a low profile dual-layer braided nitinol stent designed for carotid stenting with embolic protection and flow-diversion properties. We report the novel use of the CASPER stent for the treatment of VRAAs. We present a case series describing the treatment of six patients with VRAAs using the CASPER stent. Results: Six patients with unruptured VRAAs were treated electively. There were three splenic artery aneurysms and three renalartery aneurysms. Aneurysms were treated with the CASPER stent, with or without loose aneurysm coil packing or liquid embolic depending on size and morphology. All stents were successfully deployed with no immediate or periprocedural complications. Four aneurysms completely occluded after serial imaging follow up with one case requiring repeat CASPER stenting for complete occlusion. In one patient a single aneurysm remained patent at last follow up, A single case was complicated by delated splenic infarction and surgical splenectomy.
    • Implicating androgen excess in propagating metabolic disease in polycystic ovary syndrome.

      Kempegowda, Punith; Melson, Eka; Manolopoulos, Konstantinos N; Arlt, Wiebke; O'Reilly, Michael W (2020-06-24)
      Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been traditionally perceived as a reproductive disorder due to its most common presentation with menstrual dysfunction and infertility. However, it is now clear that women with PCOS are at increased risk of metabolic dysfunction, from impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes mellitus to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease. PCOS is characterised by androgen excess, with cross-sectional data showing that hyperandrogenism is directly complicit in the development of metabolic complications. Recent studies have also shown that C11-oxy C19 androgens are emerging to be clinically and biochemically significant in PCOS, thus emphasising the importance of understanding the impact of both classic and C11-oxy C19 androgens on women's health. Here we discuss androgen metabolism in the context of PCOS, and dissect the role played by androgens in the development of metabolic disease through their effects on metabolic target tissues in women.
    • Clinical considerations in individuals with α-antitrypsin PI*SZ genotype.

      McElvaney, Gerard N; Sandhaus, Robert A; Miravitlles, Marc; Turino, Gerard M; Seersholm, Niels; Wencker, Marion; Stockley, Robert A (2020-06-18)
      α1-Antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), characterised by reduced levels or functionality of α1-antitrypsin (AAT), is a significantly underdiagnosed genetic condition that predisposes individuals to lung and liver disease. Most of the available data on AATD are based on the most common, severe deficiency genotype (PI*ZZ); therefore, treatment and monitoring requirements for individuals with the PI*SZ genotype, which is associated with a less severe AATD, are not as clear. Recent genetic data suggest the PI*SZ genotype may be significantly more prevalent than currently thought, due in part to less frequent identification in the clinic and less frequent reporting in registries. Intravenous AAT therapy, the only specific treatment for patients with AATD, has been shown to slow disease progression in PI*ZZ individuals; however, there is no specific evidence for AAT therapy in PI*SZ individuals, and it remains unclear whether AAT therapy should be considered in these patients. This narrative review evaluates the available data on the PI*SZ genotype, including genetic prevalence, the age of diagnosis and development of respiratory symptoms compared with PI*ZZ individuals, and the impact of factors such as index versus non-index identification and smoking history. In addition, the relevance of the putative 11 µM "protective threshold" for AAT therapy and the risk of liver disease in PI*SZ individuals is explored. The purpose of this review is to identify open research questions in this area, with the aim of optimising the future identification and management of PI*SZ individuals.
    • Ethical triage during the COVID-19 pandemic: a toolkit for neurosurgical resource allocation.

      Hulsbergen, Alexander F C; Eijkholt, Marleen M; Balak, Naci; Brennum, Jannick; Bolger, Ciarán; Bohrer, Anna-Margarete; Feldman, Zeev; Holsgrove, Daniel; Kitchen, Neil; Mathiesen, Tiit I; et al. (2020-05-14)
      Background: The COVID-19 pandemic confronts healthcare workers, including neurosurgeons, with difficult choices regarding which patients to treat. Methods: In order to assist ethical triage, this article gives an overview of the main considerations and ethical principles relevant when allocating resources in times of scarcity. Results: We discuss a framework employing four principles: prioritizing the worst off, maximizing benefits, treating patients equally, and promoting instrumental value. We furthermore discuss the role of age and comorbidity in triage and highlight some principles that may seem intuitive but should not form a basis for triage. Conclusions: This overview is presented on behalf of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies and can be used as a toolkit for neurosurgeons faced with ethical dilemmas when triaging patients in times of scarcity.
    • Initial Assessment of the Percutaneous Electrical Phrenic Nerve Stimulation System in Patients on Mechanical Ventilation.

      O'Rourke, James; Soták, Michal; Curley, Gerard F; Doolan, Aoife; Henlín, Tomáš; Mullins, Gerard; Tyll, Tomáš; Omlie, William; Ranieri, Marco V (2020-05)
      Objectives: Maintaining diaphragm work using electrical stimulation during mechanical ventilation has been proposed to attenuate ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction. This study assessed the safety and feasibility of temporary percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation on user-specified inspiratory breaths while on mechanical ventilation. Design: Two-center, nonblinded, nonrandomized study. Setting: Hospital ICU. Patients: Twelve patients mechanically ventilated from 48 hours to an expected 7 days. Interventions: Leads were inserted to lie close to the phrenic nerve in the neck region using ultrasound guidance. Two initial patients had left-sided placement only with remaining patients undergoing bilateral lead placement. Percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation was used for six 2-hour sessions at 8-hour intervals over 48 hours. Measurements and main results: Data collected included lead deployment success, nerve conduction, ventilation variables, work of breathing, electrical stimulation variables, stimulation breath synchrony, and diaphragm thickness measured by ultrasound at baseline, 24, and 48 hours. Primary endpoints included ability to capture the left and/or right phrenic nerves and maintenance of work of breathing within defined limits for 80% of stimulated breaths. Lead insertion was successful in 21 of 22 attempts (95.5%). Analysis of 36,059 stimulated breaths from 10 patients with attempted bilateral lead placement demonstrated a mean inspiratory lag for phrenic nerve stimulation of 23.7 ms (p < 0.001 vs null hypothesis of <88ms). Work of breathing was maintained between 0.2 and 2.0 joules/L 96.8% of the time, exceeding the 80% target. Mean diaphragm thickness increased from baseline by 7.8% at 24 hours (p = 0.022) and 15.0% at 48 hours (p = 0.0001) for patients receiving bilateral stimulation after excluding one patient with pleural effusion. No serious device/procedure-related adverse events were reported. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated the ability to safely and successfully place percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation leads in patients on mechanical ventilation and the feasibility of using this approach to synchronize electrical stimulation with inspiration while maintaining work of breathing within defined limits.
    • Protocol for the EARCO Registry: a pan-European observational study in patients with α-antitrypsin deficiency.

      Greulich, Timm; Altraja, Alan; Barrecheguren, Miriam; Bals, Robert; Chlumsky, Jan; Chorostowska-Wynimko, Joanna; Clarenbach, Christian; Corda, Luciano; Corsico, Angelo Guido; Ferrarotti, Ilaria; et al. (2020-03-02)
      The EARCO Registry is a non-interventional, multicentre, pan-European, longitudinal observational cohort study enrolling patients with AATD. Data will be collected prospectively without interference/modification of patient's management by the study team. The major inclusion criterion is diagnosed severe AATD, defined by an AAT serum level <11 µM (50 mg·dL-1) and/or a proteinase inhibitor genotype ZZ, SZ or compound heterozygotes or homozygotes of other rare deficient variants. Assessments at baseline and during the yearly follow-up visits include lung function testing (spirometry, body plethysmography and diffusing capacity of the lung), exercise capacity, blood tests and questionnaires (symptoms, quality of life and physical activity). To ensure correct data collection, there will be designated investigator staff to document the data in the case report form. All data will be reviewed by the EARCO database manager.
    • Beaumont Hospital and National Ambulance Service: Pathfinder Service

      Corcoran, Grace; Kenna, Lawrence; Beaumont Hospital, National Ambulance Service (Beaumont Hospital, 2020-02-26)
      Presentation on integration of ambulance service and Beaumont Hospital ED.
    • Diagnostic Accuracy of Prion Disease Biomarkers in Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

      Llorens, Franc; Villar-Piqué, Anna; Hermann, Peter; Schmitz, Matthias; Calero, Olga; Stehmann, Christiane; Sarros, Shannon; Moda, Fabio; Ferrer, Isidre; Poleggi, Anna; et al. (2020-02-12)
      Human prion diseases are classified into sporadic, genetic, and acquired forms. Within this last group, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (iCJD) is caused by human-to-human transmission through surgical and medical procedures. After reaching an incidence peak in the 1990s, it is believed that the iCJD historical period is probably coming to an end, thanks to lessons learnt from past infection sources that promoted new prion prevention and decontamination protocols. At this point, we sought to characterise the biomarker profile of iCJD and compare it to that of sporadic CJD (sCJD) for determining the value of available diagnostic tools in promptly recognising iCJD cases. To that end, we collected 23 iCJD samples from seven national CJD surveillance centres and analysed the electroencephalogram and neuroimaging data together with a panel of seven CSF biomarkers: 14-3-3, total tau, phosphorylated/total tau ratio, alpha-synuclein, neurofilament light, YKL-40, and real-time quaking induced conversion of prion protein. Using the cut-off values established for sCJD, we found the sensitivities of these biomarkers for iCJD to be similar to those described for sCJD. Given the limited relevant information on this issue to date, the present study validates the use of current sCJD biomarkers for the diagnosis of future iCJD cases.
    • Biological and clinical implications of mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

      Diop, Fary; Moia, Riccardo; Favini, Chiara; Spaccarotella, Elisa; De Paoli, Lorenzo; Bruscaggin, Alessio; Spina, Valeria; Terzi-di-Bergamo, Lodovico; Arruga, Francesca; Tarantelli, Chiara; et al. (2020-01-31)
      BIRC3 is a recurrently mutated gene in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but the functional implications of BIRC3 mutations are largely unexplored. Furthermore, little is known about the prognostic impact of BIRC3 mutations in CLL cohorts homogeneously treated with first-line fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR). By immunoblotting analysis, we showed that the non-canonical nuclear factor-κB pathway is active in BIRC3-mutated cell lines and in primary CLL samples, as documented by the stabilization of MAP3K14 and by the nuclear localization of p52. In addition, BIRC3-mutated primary CLL cells are less sensitive to flu-darabine. In order to confirm in patients that BIRC3 mutations confer resistance to fludarabine-based chemoimmunotherapy, a retrospective multicenter cohort of 287 untreated patients receiving first-line FCR was analyzed by targeted next-generation sequencing of 24 recurrently mutated genes in CLL. By univariate analysis adjusted for multiple comparisons BIRC3 mutations identify a poor prognostic subgroup of patients in whom FCR treatment fails (median progression-free survival: 2.2 years, P<0.001) similar to cases harboring TP53 mutations (median progression-free survival: 2.6 years, P<0.0001). BIRC3 mutations maintained an independent association with an increased risk of progression with a hazard ratio of 2.8 (95% confidence interval 1.4-5.6, P=0.004) in multivariate analysis adjusted for TP53 mutation, 17p deletion and IGHV mutation status. If validated, BIRC3 mutations may be used as a new molecular predictor to select high-risk patients for novel frontline therapeutic approaches.
    • External quality assessment demonstrates that PD-L1 22C3 and SP263 assays are systematically different.

      Dodson, Andrew; Parry, Suzanne; Lissenberg-Witte, Birgit; Haragan, Alex; Allen, David; O'Grady, Anthony; McClean, Emma; Hughes, Jamie; Miller, Keith; Thunnissen, Erik (2019-12-17)
      PD-L1 inhibitors are part of first line treatment options for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. PD-L1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays act as either a companion or a complementary diagnostic. The purpose of this study is to describe the experience of external quality assurance (EQA) provider UK NEQAS ICC and ISH with the comparison of different PD-L1 assays used in daily practice. Three EQA rounds (pilot, run A and run B) were carried out using formalin fixed paraffin embedded samples with sample sets covering a range of epitope concentrations, including 'critical samples' near to clinical threshold cut-offs. An expert panel (n = 4) evaluated all returned slides simultaneously and independently on a multi-header microscope together with the participants own in-house control material. The tonsil sample was evaluated as 'acceptable' or 'unacceptable', and for the other samples the percentage of PD-L1 stained tumour cells were estimated in predetermined categories (<1%, 1 to <5%, 5 to <10%, 10 to <25%, 25 to <50%, 50 to <80%, 80 to 100%). In the pilot and the two subsequent runs the number of participating laboratories was 43, 69 and 76, respectively. The pass rate for the pilot run was 67%; this increased to 81% at run A and 82% at run B. For two 'critical samples', in runs A and B, 22C3 IHC had significantly higher PD-L1 expression than SP263 IHC (p < 0.001), whilst the PD-L1 scores for the other six samples were similar for all assays. In run A the laboratory developed tests (LDTs) using 22C3 scored lower than the commercial 22C3 tests (p = 0.01). After the initial testing, improvement in performance of PD-L1 IHC is shown for approved and LDT PD-L1 assays. Equivalency of approved PD-L1 22C3 and SP263 assays cannot be assumed as the scores cross the clinically relevant thresholds of 1% and 50% PD-L1 expression.
    • Doctors don't Do-little: a national cross-sectional study of workplace well-being of hospital doctors in Ireland.

      Hayes, Blánaid; Prihodova, Lucia; Walsh, Gillian; Doyle, Frank; Doherty, Sally (2019-03-10)
      Objectives: To measure levels of occupational stress, burn-out, work-life balance, presenteeism, work ability (balance between work and personal resources) and desire to practise in trainee and consultant hospital doctors in Ireland. Design: National cross-sectional study of randomised sample of hospital doctors. Participants provided sociodemographic data (age, sex), work grade (consultant, higher/basic specialist trainee), specialty, work hours and completed workplace well-being questionnaires (Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Scale, overcommitment, Maslach Burnout Inventory) and single item measures of work ability, presenteeism, work-life balance and desire to practise. Setting: Irish publicly funded hospitals and residential institutions. Participants: 1749 doctors (response rate of 55%). All hospital specialties were represented except radiology. Results: 29% of respondents had insufficient work ability and there was no sex, age or grade difference. 70.6% reported strong or very strong desire to practise medicine, 22% reported good work-life balance, 82% experienced workplace stress, with effort greatly exceeding reward, exacerbated by overcommitment. Burn-out was evident in 29.7% and was significantly associated with male sex, younger age, lower years of practice, lower desire to practise, lower work ability, higher ERI ratio and greater overcommitment. Apart from the measures of work ability and overcommitment, there was no sex or age difference across any variable. However, ERI and burn-out were significantly lower in consultants than trainees. Conclusions: Hospital doctors across all grades in Ireland had insufficient work ability, low levels of work-life balance, high levels of work stress and almost one-third experienced burn-out indicating suboptimal work conditions and environment. Yet, most had high desire to practise medicine. Measurement of these indices should become a quality indicator for hospitals and research should focus on the efficacy of a range of individual and organisational interventions for burn-out and occupational stress.
    • "Do as we say, not as we do?" the lifestyle behaviours of hospital doctors working in Ireland: a national cross-sectional study.

      O' Keeffe, Anthony; Hayes, Blánaid; Prihodova, Lucia (BMC Public Health, 2019-02-11)
      This study was conducted to assess the lifestyle behaviours of a national sample of hospital doctors working in Ireland. We also sought to compare the prevalence of these behaviours in doctors to the general Irish population. This was a national cross-sectional study of a randomised sample of hospital doctors working in Irish publicly funded hospitals and residential institutions. The final cohort consisted of 1749 doctors (response rate of 55%). All hospital specialties were represented except radiology. The following data were collected: sociodemographic data (age, sex), work grade (consultant, trainee) average hours worked over a two-week period, specialty and lifestyle behaviours (smoking, alcohol, physical activity). Lifestyle data for the general population was provided by the Healthy Ireland 2015 study. Half of participants were men (50.5%). Just over half of the sample were consultants (54.3%), with 45.7% being trainees. 9.3% of doctors surveyed were smokers, 88.4% consumed alcohol and 24.5% were physically inactive. Trainees were more likely to smoke and be physically inactive when compared to consultants. Smoking rates amongst doctors were lower than the general population (9.3% -v- 23%). Doctors were more likely to consume alcohol than the general population (88.4% -v- 71.7%) but less likely to engage in binge drinking on a typical drinking occasion (12.8% -v- 39.5%). Doctors were more compliant than the general population with minimum exercise targets (75.5% -v- 70.5%), but less likely to engage in health enhancing physical activity (19.1% -v- 33%). While the prevalence of health behaviours amongst hospital doctors in Ireland compares favourably to the general population, their alcohol consumption and engagement in health enhancing physical activity suggest room for improvement. Continued health promotion and education on the importance of personal health behaviours is essential.
    • The Doctor Can See You Now: A Key Stakeholder Study Into The Acceptability Of Ambulance Based Telemedicine.

      Gilligan, P; Bennett, A; Houlihan, A; Padki, A; Owens, N; Morris, D; Chochliouros, I; Mohammed, A; Mutawa, A; Eswararaj, M A; et al. (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-06)
      Using telecommunications technology it would be possible to link a patient and paramedic to a Doctor in the Emergency Department (ED) at the point of first patient contact. A questionnaire-based study on telemedicine in the pre-hospital environment involving patients, paramedics, doctors and nurses in the ED, was performed to assess if they would want and accept telemedicine in pre-hospital emergency care. When asked 98.5% (55) of patients, 89% (11) of doctors, 76% (14) of nurses and 91% (42) of ambulance personnel saw the potential of an audio-visual link from the pre-hospital environment to the ED. The potential benefits were felt to be in diagnosis of time-dependent illnesses, time management, increased hospital preparedness for incoming patients and increased triage efficiency. Stakeholder enthusiasm for pre-hospital telemedicine must be met with the technological requirements to provide such a service. As noted by one patient a pre-hospital audio-visual link to the ED could be “potentially a life saving service”.
    • Seasonal Variation in the Emergency Department Prevalence Of Sepsis

      McNevin, C; McDowell, R; Ni Shearcaigh, A; Wakai, A (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-05)
      The incidence and mortality of sepsis and severe sepsis in hospitalised patients is seasonal and consistently highest during the winter. The primary aim of this study was to measure the seasonal variation in the prevalence of emergency department (ED) patients with sepsis. This cross-sectional study was performed over two four-week periods in the summer and in the winter, respectively. The clinical records of all patients presenting to the ED during the study periods were retrospectively screened to determine if they met the criteria for “uncomplicated” sepsis and severe sepsis or septic shock. The prevalence of “uncomplicated” sepsis was higher in the winter (43.9 per 1000) compared to the summer (30.7 per 1000). The prevalence of severe sepsis or septic shock was also higher in the winter (17.7 per 1000) compared to the summer (11.7 per 1000). This quantitatively demonstrates the increased ED burden of sepsis in the winter that can be used to inform healthcare planning and resource allocation.
    • Needs of informal caregivers across the caregiving course in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a qualitative analysis.

      Galvin, Miriam; Carney, Sile; Corr, Bernie; Mays, Iain; Pender, Niall; Hardiman, Orla (BMJ Open, 2018-01-27)
      Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), is a debilitating terminal condition. Informal caregivers are key figures in ALS care provision. The physical, psychological and emotional impact of providing care in the home requires appropriate assistance and support. The objective of this analysis is to explore the needs of informal ALS caregivers across the caregiving course.
    • Isolated Unilateral Pulmonary Artery Agenesis complicated by Symptomatic Aspergilloma

      Daly, A; Gunaratnam, C; Redmond, K C; Eaton, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-11)
      Isolated unilateral pulmonary artery agenesis is a rare diagnosis. Poor blood flow to the lung parenchyma renders the tissue susceptible to opportunistic infections. We present the unusual case of isolated unilateral pulmonary artery agenesis complicated by aspergilloma. Management options and considerations are discussed.
    • The Avocado Hand

      Rahmani, G; Martin-Smith, J; Sullivan, P (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-11)
      Accidental self-inflicted knife injuries to digits are a common cause of tendon and nerve injury requiring hand surgery. There has been an apparent increase in avocado related hand injuries. Classically, the patients hold the avocado in their non-dominant hand while using a knife to cut/peel the fruit with their dominant hand. The mechanism of injury is usually a stabbing injury to the non-dominant hand as the knife slips past the stone, through the soft avocado fruit. Despite their apparent increased incidence, we could not find any cases in the literature which describe the “avocado hand”. We present a case of a 32-year-old woman who sustained a significant hand injury while preparing an avocado. She required exploration and repair of a digital nerve under regional anaesthesia and has since made a full recovery.