• Sepsis at ICU admission does not decrease 30-day survival in very old patients: a post-hoc analysis of the VIP1 multinational cohort study.

      Ibarz, Mercedes; Boumendil, Ariane; Haas, Lenneke E M; Irazabal, Marian; Flaatten, Hans; de Lange, Dylan W; Morandi, Alessandro; Andersen, Finn H; Bertolini, Guido; Cecconi, Maurizio; et al. (2020-05-13)
      Background: The number of intensive care patients aged ≥ 80 years (Very old Intensive Care Patients; VIPs) is growing. VIPs have high mortality and morbidity and the benefits of ICU admission are frequently questioned. Sepsis incidence has risen in recent years and identification of outcomes is of considerable public importance. We aimed to determine whether VIPs admitted for sepsis had different outcomes than those admitted for other acute reasons and identify potential prognostic factors for 30-day survival. Results: This prospective study included VIPs with Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores ≥ 2 acutely admitted to 307 ICUs in 21 European countries. Of 3869 acutely admitted VIPs, 493 (12.7%) [53.8% male, median age 83 (81-86) years] were admitted for sepsis. Sepsis was defined according to clinical criteria; suspected or demonstrated focus of infection and SOFA score ≥ 2 points. Compared to VIPs admitted for other acute reasons, VIPs admitted for sepsis were younger, had a higher SOFA score (9 vs. 7, p < 0.0001), required more vasoactive drugs [82.2% vs. 55.1%, p < 0.0001] and renal replacement therapies [17.4% vs. 9.9%; p < 0.0001], and had more life-sustaining treatment limitations [37.3% vs. 32.1%; p = 0.02]. Frailty was similar in both groups. Unadjusted 30-day survival was not significantly different between the two groups. After adjustment for age, gender, frailty, and SOFA score, sepsis had no impact on 30-day survival [HR 0.99 (95% CI 0.86-1.15), p = 0.917]. Inverse-probability weight (IPW)-adjusted survival curves for the first 30 days after ICU admission were similar for acute septic and non-septic patients [HR: 1.00 (95% CI 0.87-1.17), p = 0.95]. A matched-pair analysis in which patients with sepsis were matched with two control patients of the same gender with the same age, SOFA score, and level of frailty was also performed. A Cox proportional hazard regression model stratified on the matched pairs showed that 30-day survival was similar in both groups [57.2% (95% CI 52.7-60.7) vs. 57.1% (95% CI 53.7-60.1), p = 0.85]. Conclusions: After adjusting for organ dysfunction, sepsis at admission was not independently associated with decreased 30-day survival in this multinational study of 3869 VIPs. Age, frailty, and SOFA score were independently associated with survival.
    • HepCare Europe-A service innovation project. HepCheck: Characteristics of the patient population with active infection as defined by HCV RNA.

      Avramovic, Gordana; Oprea, Cristiana; Surey, Julian; Story, Alistair; Macías, Juan; Cullen, Walter; Iglesias, Maria; Mc Hugh, Tina; Crowley, Des; Naughton, Anna Marie; et al. (2019-11-27)
      BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a main cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and is consistently under-diagnosed. Community-based screening initiatives, such as HepCheck, have been identified as important components of HCV care. HepCheck focuses on screening and identifying HCV RNA-positive cases in high-risk populations and linking them to care as part of a larger European project to improve HCV care (HepCare). METHODS: HCV testing with a self-administered questionnaire was offered to 2822 individuals. RESULTS: There were 2079 patients screened. Overall, 397 (19%) of the total screened cohort were identified as having active HCV infections as measured by HCV RNA PCR. The patients were mostly male (84%), white (88%), and had a history of injecting drug use (IDU) (86%), homelessness (58%), and tattooing (42%). There were 136 new cases (7% of the total sample and 34% of identified active infections). Romania had the highest proportion of newly identified cases with 87%, then Ireland with 60%, and Spain with 43%; the UK had the lowest proportion of new cases at 10%. CONCLUSIONS: For those lost to follow-up, a major strategy is re-engagement. For those newly diagnosed, the 'seek and treat' approach is a key strategy. Thus, different priorities are defined for different countries.
    • Single Core Genome Sequencing for Detection of both Sensu Lato and Relapsing Fever Borrelia Species.

      Lee, Sin Hang; Healy, John Eoin; Lambert, John S (2019-05-20)
      Lyme disease, initially described as Lyme arthritis, was reported before nucleic-acid based detection technologies were available. The most widely used diagnostic tests for Lyme disease are based on the serologic detection of antibodies produced against antigens derived from a single strain of Borrelia burgdorferi. The poor diagnostic accuracy of serological tests early in the infection process has been noted most recently in the 2018 Report to Congress issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. Clinical Lyme disease may be caused by a diversity of borreliae, including those classified as relapsing fever species, in the United States and in Europe. It is widely accepted that antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease is most successful during this critical early stage of infection. While genomic sequencing is recognized as an irrefutable direct detection method for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis, development of a molecular diagnostic tool for all clinical forms of borreliosis is challenging because a "core genome" shared by all pathogenic borreliae has not yet been identified. After a diligent search of the GenBank database, we identified two highly conserved segments of DNA sequence among the borrelial 16S rRNA genes. We further developed a pair of Borrelia genus-specific PCR primers for amplification of a segment of borrelial 16S rRNA gene as a "core genome" to be used as the template for routine Sanger sequencing-based metagenomic direct detection test. This study presented examples of base-calling DNA sequencing electropherograms routinely generated in a clinical diagnostic laboratory on DNA extracts of human blood specimens and ticks collected from human skin bites and from the environment. Since some of the tick samples tested were collected in Ireland, borrelial species or strains not known to exist in the United States were also detected by analysis of this 16S rRNA "core genome". We recommend that hospital laboratories located in Lyme disease endemic areas begin to use a "core genome" sequencing test to routinely diagnose spirochetemia caused by various species of borreliae for timely management of patients at the early stage of infection.
    • The Role of Religion in Buffering the Impact of Stressful Life Events on Depressive Symptoms in Patients with Depressive Episodes or Adjustment Disorder.

      Lorenz, Louisa; Doherty, Anne; Casey, Patricia (2019-04-08)
      Most studies into the role of religiousness in relation to depression severity have mainly found an inverse relationship between greater religiousness and lower levels of depressive symptoms. There is reason to assume that religiousness has a buffering effect on the relationship between stressful life events and depressive symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of religiousness in moderating the impact of stressors on depressive symptoms. n = 348 patients with either a depressive episode or adjustment disorder were assessed at referral to the liaison psychiatry services in three Dublin hospitals and n = 132 patients were followed up six months later. We assessed depressive symptoms, life events, social support, and religiosity, and used hierarchical and multiple linear regression for data analysis. The interaction of organised religious activity and the amount of life events was significant (β = -0.19, p = 0.001) in the cross-sectional prediction of depressive symptoms while non-organised religious activity (β = -0.23, p = 0.001) and intrinsic religiousness (β = -0.15, p = 0.033) interacted significantly with life events in the longitudinal analysis. This study demonstrated that various dimensions of religiousness buffered the impact of life events on outcome.
    • Bilateral Plantar Fibromatosis

      Newman, C; McQuaid, S.E (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
      Plantar fibromastosis is a hyperproliferative disorder of the plantar fascia which predominantly affects males over the age of fifty. Its etiology is incompletely understood; however up to 42% of affected patients also have a diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus.
    • Patient involvement in the implementation of infection prevention and control guidelines and associated interventions: a scoping review.

      Fernandes Agreli, Heloise; Murphy, Michael; Creedon, Sile; Ni Bhuachalla, Cliodhna; O'brien, Deirdre; Gould, Dinah; Savage, Eileen; Barry, Fiona; Drennan, Jonathan; Smiddy, Maura P; et al. (2019-03-23)
      From an identified 2078 papers, 14 papers were included in this review. Our findings provide insights into the need for a fundamental change to IPC, from being solely the healthcare professionals (HCPs) responsibility to one that involves a collaborative relationship between HCPs and patients. This change should be underpinned by a clear understanding of patient roles, potential levels of patient involvement in IPC and strategies to overcome barriers to patient involvement focusing on the professional-patient relationship (eg, patient encouragement through multimodal educational strategies and efforts to disperse professional's power).
    • 'HepCheck Dublin': an intensified hepatitis C screening programme in a homeless population demonstrates the need for alternative models of care.

      Lambert, John S; Murtagh, Ross; Menezes, Dee; O'Carroll, Austin; Murphy, Carol; Cullen, Walter; McHugh, Tina; Avramovic, Gordana; Tinago, Willard; Van Hout, Marie Claire (2019-02-07)
      Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. Prevalence of HCV in homeless populations ranges from 3.9 to 36.2%. The HepCheck study sought to investigate and establish the characterisation of HCV burden among individuals who attended an intensified screening programme for HCV in homeless services in Dublin, Ireland. Methods: The HepCheck study was conducted as part of a larger European wide initiative called HepCare Europe. The study consisted of three phases; 1) all subjects completed a short survey and were offered a rapid oral HCV test; 2) a convenience sample of HCV positive participants from phase 1 were selected to complete a survey on health and social risk factors and 3) subjects were tracked along the referral pathway to identify whether they were referred to a specialist clinic, attended the specialist clinic, were assessed for cirrhosis by transient elastography (Fibroscan) and were treated for HCV. Results: Five hundred ninety-seven individuals were offered HCV screening, 73% were male and 63% reported having had a previous HCV screening. We screened 538 (90%) of those offered screening, with 37% testing positive. Among those who tested positive, 112 (56%) were 'new positives' and 44% were 'known positives'. Undiagnosed HCV was prevalent in 19% of the study sample. Active past 30-day drug use was common, along with attendance for drug treatment. Unstable accommodation was the most common barrier to attending specialist appointments and accessing treatment. Depression and anxiety, dental problems and respiratory conditions were common reported health problems. Forty-six subjects were referred to specialised services and two subjects completed HCV treatment. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the current hospital-based model of care is inadequate in addressing the specific needs of a homeless population and emphasises the need for a community-based treatment approach. Findings are intended to inform HepCare Europe in their development of a community-based model of care in order to engage with homeless individuals with multiple co-morbidities including substance abuse, who are affected by or infected with HCV.
    • Operative Management of Perinatal Lumbar Disc Herniation and Cauda Equina Syndrome: A Case Series

      Ahern, DP; Gibbons, D; Dodds, M; Timlin, M; Cassidy, N; Morris, S; Synnott, K; Butler, JS (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-11)
      Perinatal lumbar discectomy for lumbar disc herniation or cauda equina syndrome is a rare clinical scenario. This case series outlines the surgical management of this clinical scenario at a national tertiary referral centre over a 10-year period
    • The Case for Shared Medical and Psychiatric Units: Are They Needed and How They Could Run?

      Duffy, R.M; Sadlier, M; Van Der Ploeg, A.H.; Sheehan, J; 1. Mater Misericordiae University Hospital . 2. Academic Centre of Psychiatry, University of Groningen (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-10)
      A diagnosis of major mental illness is associated with a 15-20 year reduction in life expectancy. Individuals with mental illness face many difficulties accessing and receiving healthcare, many of these barriers exist in secondary care. On medical and surgical wards, the majority of mental healthcare is delivered by consultation liaison services. Hospital based psychiatry is increasingly important; well designed services are often cost-effective and can reduce patient’s length of stay. Some individual’s care needs, however, exceed the capacity of such a service. There is a significant unmet need for individuals with severe co-morbid mental and physical illness, due to their increased lengths of stay, costs and readmission rate. In these cases ‘both medical and psychiatric safety features form a prerequisite for the physical settings’ 4. This paper examines the need for shared care units (SCU), with additional mental health input. A Vision for Change proposes one adult liaison mental health services for 300,000 people and a national 6-10 bed neuropsychiatry unit. While the proposed neuropsychiatry unit does not currently exist it would only address a small proportion of the individuals who could benefit from a SCU. In Ireland there are currently just over 10,000 acute inpatient beds. Overall 52.5 people per 100,000 require inpatients mental health services. Based on these numbers there is a need for 5 inpatient beds nationally where medical and psychiatric needs can be addressed simultaneously. This calculation however falsely assumes no association between physical and mental health morbidity. In reality a bidirectional association is well established. Psychological morbidity is higher in medical inpatients. A study of general medical and trauma orthopedic admissions, showed that 64% of those over 70 had significant psychiatric morbidity including 8% with delusions and 6% with hallucinations. Patients with major mental illnesses have increased levels of mortality, even in highly income countries greatly reduced life expentancy Kishi and Kanthol suggest that one percent of patients admitted to general hospital would benefit from a SCU4. Compounding this association between physical and psychological illness is the fact that Ireland’s population is aging, older patients have higher rates of inpatient care for both physical and mental health reasons. A review of four studies of such wards demonstrated that SCUs reduce psychiatric symptoms, shorten in length of stay, improve functional outcomes and a decrease the need for long-term care. A medical and mental health unit for older individuals with delirium and dementia has been trialed in the UK with initially favorable and cost effective results11. We identify three cohorts of patients who may benefit from this service. The interventions such a ward could deliver are examined and some of the potential practical considerations are discussed. Key potential benefits that this shared model could provide are highlighted.
    • Sarcomatoid Carcinoma of the Prostate Presenting in a 44 Year Old

      Conroy, M; Greally, M; MacEneaney, O; O’Keane, C; McCaffrey, J; Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-10)
      We present the case of a 44-year-old man diagnosed with metastatic sarcomatoid carcinoma of the prostate. The pathogenesis and optimal treatment of this rare and aggressive subtype of prostate cancer are not fully clear. The patient was managed using a multimodality approach of chemotherapy, hormonal blockade and radiation therapy, with palliative intent.
    • Transcatheter Mitral Valve-in-Ring Implantation

      Tanner, RE; McCarthy, J; Walsh, K P; Blake, G; Casserly, I P (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-05)
      Failed surgical mitral valve repair using an annuloplasty ring has traditionally been treated with surgical valve replacement or repair1. For patients at high risk for repeat open heart surgery, placement of a trans-catheter aortic valve (i.e., TAVI valve) within the mitral ring (i.e., Mitral-Valve-in-Ring, MViR) has emerged as a novel alternative treatment strategy2-5 . We describe our experience of a failed mitral valve repair that was successfully treated with a TAVI valve delivered via the trans-septal approach, and summarise the data relating to this emerging treatment strategy.
    • Outcomes of a Clinical Leadership Training Program Amongst Hospital Doctors

      Kelly, D; McErlean, S; Naff, K (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-04)
      To evaluate the effectiveness of formal leadership training amongst medical trainees and to review the current literature in this area
    • Is The Consent Process Appropriate - The Interns’ Perspective?

      Rohan, P; Keane, K; Nason, GJ; Caulfield, RH (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2018-04)
      Consent is an integral component to any medical procedure involving a competent patient, a communicating doctor, and transfer of information about the procedure. The aim of this study was to assess interns’ experience of the consent process.
    • Iatrogenic Bowel Injury at Exchange of Supra-Pubic Catheter

      Foran, AT; Nason, GJ; Rohan, P; Keane, GM; Connolly, S; Hegarty, N; Galvin, D; O’Malley, KJ (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-04)
      Suprapubic catheter insertion and exchange is a common urological procedure, but it is not without risks and complications. While bowel perforation is a recognised complication at suprapubic catheter insertion, it is not commonly reported at suprapubic catheter exchange. We report our experience of recognition, diagnosis and subsequent successful management of the most important complication related to suprapubic catheters.
    • Bacteraemia in the ED: Are We Meeting Targets?

      Borhan, N; Borhan, F; Ni Cheallaigh, C; Dinesh, B; O’Reilly, K; Moughty, A (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-03)
      When sepsis is identified early in the Emergency Department (ED) and its severe form is treated aggressively with the protocolised care bundle of early goal directed therapy (EGDT), improvements in mortality are significant1,2. Surviving sepsis guidelines recommend the administration of effective intravenous antimicrobials within the first hour of recognition of septic shock and severe sepsis without septic shock3. The Mater University Hospital has antimicrobial guidelines to guide empiric prescribing in adult sepsis available on the hospital intranet and on a smartphone app.
    • A Borderline Ovarian Tumour in a Patient with Classic Bladder Exstrophy; a Case Report.

      Beauchamp, K; Ryan, G; Gibney, B; Walsh, T; Brennan, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-02)
      A 37-year-old Romanian lady presented with a large pelvic mass, urosepsis and deteriorating renal function. She had undergone separation from her conjoined twin. Imaging revealed grossly abnormal anatomy and a suspicious pelvic mass. Examination was consistent with classic bladder exstrophy. Postoperative histology showed borderline ovarian tumour (BTO)
    • Maximising Refractive Outcomes with an Extended Depth of Focus IOL.

      Power, Barry; Murphy, Rory; Leccisotti, Antonio; Moore, Tara; Power, William; O'Brien, Paul (The Open Ophthalmology Journal, 2018-01-01)
      To assess the impact of the magnitude of preoperative and postoperative corneal astigmatism on refractive outcomes in patients undergoing cataract surgery or lens exchange with an extended depth of focus intraocular lens. To compare visual outcomes of steep and temporal on-axis corneal incisions. Department of Ophthalmology, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin, Ireland. Prospective cohort analysis. Fifty-three consecutive adult patients (94 eyes) undergoing routine phacoemulsification with Symfony IOL implantation were analysed. Exclusion criteria: targets for mini-monovision, incomplete data, other ocular pathology. Data were prospectively collected on pre- and postoperative refraction, keratometry, distance vision, near vision, surgical wound site and Surgically Induced Astigmatism (SIA).
    • New Delhi Metallo-Β-Lactamase-Producing Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriacae Isolated From Bronchial Washings.

      Cullivan, S; Brady, DM; O’Callaghan, DS (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-11)
      The prevalence of Carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriacae species is increasing and poses a potential major public health risk. In recent years, several new carbapenemases have been identified, including New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM). A 78-year-old non-smoking female with prior medical history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and prior coronary artery bypass grafting was referred to our respiratory outpatient service for evaluation of a chronic cough and dyspnoea in 2013. Clinical examination revealed bibasal pulmonary crepitations but was otherwise unremarkable. Computed tomography of the chest demonstrated atelectasis of the lingula and right middle lobe. She underwent bronchoscopy, which demonstrated laryngeal mucosa inflammation, consistent with her GERD. There was no growth on bacterial, fungal or mycobacterial bronchial washings cultures.
    • Epithelioid Angiomyolipoma – a case report and review of the literature

      Keane, F; Harrold, E; Barrett, C; McCaffrey, J (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-08)
      Herein we present the case of a 43-year-old female in whom a left renal mass was identified incidentally on imaging performed for staging of a newly diagnosed breast carcinoma. The mass was resected and histologic examination and immunohistochemistry confirmed a diagnosis of epithelioid angiomyolipoma
    • Survey of Bereaved Relatives: VOICES MaJam

      O Coimín, Diarmuid; Korn, Bettina; Prizeman, Geraldine; Donnelly, Sarah; Hynes, Geralyn; Curran, Mairead; Codd, Margaret (Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, 2017-06)
      The report presents findings and recommendations from the largest survey of bereaved relatives undertaken by two adult acute hospitals in Ireland in conjunction with their academic partners TCD and UCD. The findings provide significant insight into the quality of care delivered at end of life from the perspective of bereaved relatives. This report will be of interest to all healthcare staff involved in improving end-of-life care in acute hospitals and other healthcare settings.