Research by staff affiliated to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown

Recent Submissions

  • Sigmoid Perforation Secondary to Accidental Ingestion of a Chicken Bone

    Boland, Patrick A.; Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown (Irish Medical Journal, 2020-01)
    Presentation We describe an unusual presentation of sigmoid colon perforation secondary to an ingested chicken bone. Diagnosis The patient presented with a 4 day history of abdominal pain and distension. On examination there were signs of peritonism. Inflammatory markers were raised. Computed tomography revealed a linear density projecting through the wall of the colon. Treatment The patient underwent emergency laparotomy and a Hartmann’s procedure. A chicken bone was found to be the causative foreign object. Conclusion Foreign body ingestion is an uncommon cause of sigmoid perforation which may mimic more common surgical presentations such as diverticulitis.
  • Urosepsis and the urologist!

    Ryan, James; O'Neill, Eoghan; McLornan, Liza (2021-03-29)
    Introduction: Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction that is caused by a dysregulated host response to the infection. Urosepsis contributes up to 25% of all sepsis cases. An important part of the management of urosepsis is to rule out possible surgical causes such as urolithiasis, obstructive uropathy, or abscess formation along the urogenital tract. Objective: The aim of this study is to look at whether urological conditions and recent urological surgery contribute significantly to all patients admitted with urosepsis. Methods: A total of 2679 urine cultures and 654 blood cultures performed in Connolly Hospital Emergency Department were reviewed between 2016 and 2018. Patients were included if they had a matching urine culture and blood culture performed within 24 hours of admission. A retrospective chart review was performed for all patients included in the study. Results: Our study included 85 patients admitted with urosepsis between 2016 and 2018. The average age was 70.3 years (21-100 years), in which 61% (n = 52) of patients were female, 18% (n = 16) had a long-term indwelling catheter, 11.8% (n = 10) were admitted as urosepsis with a urological condition. The most common urological condition predisposing patients to urosepsis in this study was bladder outlet obstruction secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia. A total of 4.7% (n = 4) of patients died during their admission. The complications as a result of urosepsis included a prostatic abscess, a psoas abscess, an ileus, an infected cyst, and 1 case of emphysematous pyelonephritis. Conclusion: In this study, the majority of patients admitted with urosepsis did not have an underlying urological condition or recent urological instrumentation. Clinicians should be aware of potential complications as a result of a urosepsis.
  • Testicular swelling leading to a diagnosis of adrenocortical carcinoma - co-incidence or causation?

    Batool, Maria; Fennell, David; Slattery, David; Leen, Eamon; Cormican, Liam; Sreenan, Seamus; H McDermott, John (2021-06-01)
    Summary: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy with an incidence of 0.7-2.0 cases/million/year. A majority of patients present with steroid hormone excess or abdominal mass effects, and in 15% of patients ACC is discovered incidentally. We present a case of 30-year-old otherwise asymptomatic Caucasian male who presented with a testicular swelling. Subsequent imaging and investigations revealed disseminated sarcoidosis and an 11 cm adrenal lesion. An adrenalectomy was performed. Histological examination of the resected specimen confirmed an ACC and also demonstrated a thin rim of adrenal tissue containing non-caseating granulomas, consistent with adrenal sarcoid. Learning points: This case highlights an unusual presentation of two uncommon diseases. This case also highlights how separate and potentially unrelated disease processes may occur concomitantly and the importance, therefore, of keeping an open mind when dealing with unusual diagnostic findings. We also hypothesize a potential link between the ACC and sarcoidosis in our patient.
  • May Measurement Month 2019: an analysis of blood pressure screening results from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

    McDonnell, Barry J; Rees, Emma; Cockcroft, John R; Beaney, Thomas; Clayton, Bethan; Le Kieu, Phuong; Brady, Adrian J B; Padmanabhan, Sandosh; McCallum, Linsay; Dolan, Eamon; et al. (2021-05-20)
    In the UK, heart and circulatory diseases account for 29% of all deaths (14% through coronary heart disease and 8% through stroke). In 2015, the prevalence of hypertension was 20% in the UK and 23% in the Republic of Ireland. In 2019, 14% of people registered with a UK general practice had hypertension and yet it was the attributable risk factor for around half of all deaths from coronary heart disease or stroke. We participated in May Measurement Month 2019 to increase awareness of blood pressure (BP) measurement, and to identify the proportion of undiagnosed hypertension and degree of uncontrolled hypertension in the community. The 2019 campaign set up screening sites within the community at places of worship, supermarkets, GP surgeries, workplaces, charity events, community pharmacies, gyms, and various other public places. We screened 10194 participants (mean age 51 ± 18 years, 60% women) and found that 1013 (9.9%) were on antihypertensive treatment, while 3408 (33.4%) had hypertension. Of the 3408 participants with hypertension, only 33.5% were aware of their condition despite 98.8% having previous BP measurements. In those on antihypertensive medication, only 38.2% had controlled BP (<140 and <90 mmHg). Our UK and Republic of Ireland data demonstrate concerning levels of undiagnosed hypertension and sub-optimal BP control in many individuals with a diagnosis. This evidence supports a critical need for better systematic community and primary care screening initiatives.
  • Low uptake of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy in people with type 1 diabetes in Ireland: a retrospective cross-sectional study.

    Gajewska, Katarzyna Anna; Bennett, Kathleen; Biesma, Regien; Sreenan, Seamus; Division of Population Health Scineces, RCSI: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, Ireland. 2Division of Population Health Scineces, RCSI: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, Ireland. 3Department of Health Sciences, Global Health, Univeristy Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. 43U Diabetes, RCSI: University of Medicine and Health Scineces, Dublin, Ireland. 5Diabetes and Endocrinology. RCSI: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Connolly Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (PMC, 2020-06-23)
    Background: The uptake of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) therapy in those with type 1 diabetes varies internationally and is mainly determined by the national healthcare reimbursement systems. The aim of this study is to estimate national and regional uptake of CSII therapy in children, adolescents and adults with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted utilizing the national pharmacy claims database in 2016. Individuals using CSII were identified by dispensing of infusion sets. The uptake of CSII was calculated as the percentage of people with type 1 diabetes claiming CSII sets in 2016, both in children and adolescent (age < 18 years) and adult populations (≥ 18 years). Descriptive statistics including percentages with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are presented, stratified by age-groups and geographical regions, and chi-square tests used for comparisons. Results: Of 20,081 people with type 1 diabetes, 2111 (10.5, 95% CI: 10.1-10.9%) were using CSII in 2016. Uptake was five-fold higher in children and adolescents at 34.7% (95% CI: 32.9-36.5%) than in adults at 6.8% (95% CI: 6.4-7.2%). Significant geographical heterogeneity in CSII uptake was found, from 12.6 to 53.7% in children and adolescents (p < 0.001), and 2 to 9.6% in adults (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Uptake of CSII in people with type 1 diabetes is low in Ireland, particularly in those ≥18 years. Identification of barriers to uptake, particularly in this group, is required.
  • Optimum nutritional strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation (BACPR).

    Butler, Tom; Kerley, Conor P; Altieri, Nunzia; Alvarez, Joe; Green, Jane; Hinchliffe, Julie; Stanford, Dell; Paterson, Katherine (2020-02-25)
    Nutrition has a central role in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease yet only relatively recently has food been regarded as a treatment, rather than as an adjunct to established medical and pharmacotherapy. As a field of research, nutrition science is constantly evolving making it difficult for patients and practitioners to ascertain best practice. This is compounded further by the inherent difficulties in performing double-blind randomised controlled trials. This paper covers dietary patterns that are associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes, including the Mediterranean Diet but also low-carbohydrate diets and the potential issues encountered with their implementation. We suggest there must be a refocus away from macronutrients and consideration of whole foods when advising individuals. This approach is fundamental to practice, as clinical guidelines have focused on macronutrients without necessarily considering their source, and ultimately people consume foods containing multiple nutrients. The inclusion of food-based recommendations aids the practitioner to help the patient make genuine and meaningful changes in their diet. We advocate that the cardioprotective diet constructed around the traditional Mediterranean eating pattern (based around vegetables and fruits, nuts, legumes, and unrefined cereals, with modest amounts of fish and shellfish, and fermented dairy products) is still important. However, there are other approaches that can be tried, including low-carbohydrate diets. We encourage practitioners to adopt a flexible dietary approach, being mindful of patient preferences and other comorbidities that may necessitate deviations away from established advice, and advocate for more dietitians in this field to guide the multi-professional team.
  • Acute diabetic neuropathy following improved glycaemic control: a case series and review.

    Siddique, N; Durcan, R; Smyth, S; Tun, T Kyaw; Sreenan, S; McDermott, J H (2020-02-26)
    Summary: We present three cases of acute diabetic neuropathy and highlight a potentially underappreciated link between tightening of glycaemic control and acute neuropathies in patients with diabetes. Case 1: A 56-year-old male with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes (T2DM) was commenced on basal-bolus insulin. He presented 6 weeks later with a diffuse painful sensory neuropathy and postural hypotension. He was diagnosed with treatment-induced neuropathy (TIN, insulin neuritis) and obtained symptomatic relief from pregabalin. Case 2: A 67-year-old male with T2DM and chronic hyperglycaemia presented with left lower limb pain, weakness and weight loss shortly after achieving target glycaemia with oral anti-hyperglycaemics. Neurological examination and neuro-electrophysiological studies suggested diabetic lumbosacral radiculo-plexus neuropathy (DLPRN, diabetic amyotrophy). Pain and weakness resolved over time. Case 3: A 58-year-old male was admitted with blurred vision diplopia and complete ptosis of the right eye, with intact pupillary reflexes, shortly after intensification of glucose-lowering treatment with an SGLT2 inhibitor as adjunct to metformin. He was diagnosed with a pupil-sparing third nerve palsy secondary to diabetic mononeuritis which improved over time. While all three acute neuropathies have been previously well described, all are rare and require a high index of clinical suspicion as they are essentially a diagnosis of exclusion. Interestingly, all three of our cases are linked by the development of acute neuropathy following a significant improvement in glycaemic control. This phenomenon is well described in TIN, but not previously highlighted in other acute neuropathies. Learning points: A link between acute tightening of glycaemic control and acute neuropathies has not been well described in literature. Clinicians caring for patients with diabetes who develop otherwise unexplained neurologic symptoms following a tightening of glycaemic control should consider the possibility of an acute diabetic neuropathy. Early recognition of these neuropathies can obviate the need for detailed and expensive investigations and allow for early institution of appropriate pain-relieving medications.
  • Distribution of lymph node metastases in esophageal carcinoma [TIGER study]: study protocol of a multinational observational study.

    Hagens, Eliza R C; van Berge Henegouwen, Mark I; van Sandick, Johanna W; Cuesta, Miguel A; van der Peet, Donald L; Heisterkamp, Joos; Nieuwenhuijzen, Grard A P; Rosman, Camiel; Scheepers, Joris J G; Sosef, Meindert N; et al. (2019-07-04)
    Background: An important parameter for survival in patients with esophageal carcinoma is lymph node status. The distribution of lymph node metastases depends on tumor characteristics such as tumor location, histology, invasion depth, and on neoadjuvant treatment. The exact distribution is unknown. Neoadjuvant treatment and surgical strategy depends on the distribution pattern of nodal metastases but consensus on the extent of lymphadenectomy has not been reached. The aim of this study is to determine the distribution of lymph node metastases in patients with resectable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction carcinoma in whom a transthoracic esophagectomy with a 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy is performed. This can be the foundation for a uniform worldwide staging system and establishment of the optimal surgical strategy for esophageal cancer patients. Methods: The TIGER study is an international observational cohort study with 50 participating centers. Patients with a resectable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction carcinoma in whom a transthoracic esophagectomy with a 2- or 3-field lymphadenectomy is performed in participating centers will be included. All lymph node stations will be excised and separately individually analyzed by pathological examination. The aim is to include 5000 patients. The primary endpoint is the distribution of lymph node metastases in esophageal and esophago-gastric junction carcinoma specimens following transthoracic esophagectomy with at least 2-field lymphadenectomy in relation to tumor histology, tumor location, invasion depth, number of lymph nodes and lymph node metastases, pre-operative diagnostics, neo-adjuvant therapy and (disease free) survival. Discussion: The TIGER study will provide a roadmap of the location of lymph node metastases in relation to tumor histology, tumor location, invasion depth, number of lymph nodes and lymph node metastases, pre-operative diagnostics, neo-adjuvant therapy and survival. Patient-tailored treatment can be developed based on these results, such as the optimal radiation field and extent of lymphadenectomy based on the primary tumor characteristics.
  • Mycoplasma Pneumonia: Late Treatment Leading to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Renal Failure.

    Cummiskey, A Graham; Reardon, Michael (European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, 2019-01-01)
    Mycoplasma pneumonia is one of the most common types of pneumonia, although it is often not diagnosed due to mild clinical course.
  • "Say BOO to the FLU!" Introduction of the Seasonal Influenza Peer Vaccination Programme in the Emergency Department and AMAU.

    Donaghy, Lisa; Martin, Patrick; Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown (2018-07-01)
    The Seasonal Influenza Peer Vaccination Programme was developed by the Republic of Ireland Health Service Executive (HSE)1 with the aim of increasing the number of health care workers receiving annual flu vaccinations. Supporting these efforts, various studies illustrated that increasing health care staff vaccination rates decreased patient illness and death,2 while other research reported a 40% reduction of influenza-related deaths in hospitals with higher rates of health care workers' influenza vaccinations.3 Flu vaccination recommendations from The WorldHealthOrganization (WHO) include a target uptake of 75% in health care staff and people age 65 and older.3 In accordance with HSE national guidelines that health care organizations achieve and/or surpass the minimum threshold goal of 40% of employees receiving the flu vaccine,4 and recognizing that Peer-to-Peer Influenza Vaccination Programmes are an essential aspect of the overall infection prevention and control arrangements in our health care setting, Connolly Hospital In Dublin, Ireland, initiated the Peer Vaccination Programme in the Emergency Department and Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) during the 2016–2017 flu season. The challenges facing successful ED and AMAU programme implementation included the large volume of interdisciplinary staff serving theED area, a vast cohort of undifferentiated complex patients at risk for increased complications if exposed to influenza, and an elevated risk of exposure to the influenza virus for all members of the health care team. Similar to programs in other countries, the Peer-to-Peer Vaccination Programme vaccinates health care workers against the influenza viruses identified as those most likely to circulate in the upcoming season.5 Although recognizing that frontline staff have a duty of care to protect their patients and colleagues, receiving the flu vaccine is not a mandatory requirement for health care worker employment in Ireland.
  • Identifying factors that influence the ‘6-hour target’ in the Emergency Department by applying Regression Analysis.

    Borhan, F; Borhan, N; Ahmed, S; Varghese, L; O’Conor, E (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-02)
    To determine factors within the Emergency Department (ED) that have maximum influence on the ‘6-hour target’.
  • Magnetic Stent Removal in a Nurse-Led Clinic; a Nine-Month Experience.

    O’Connell, L; Broe, MP; Rooney, D; Elhag, S; Cheema, I; McGuire, BB (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-02)
    Ureteric stents are frequently inserted post endourological procedures. However, subsequent endoscopic stent removal requires a second procedure for the patient and the availability of necessary resources. Longer duration of indwelling stents can lead to increased risk of symptoms and complications. The use of magnetic stents removed with a magnetic retrieval device (BlackStar©), offers an alternative which obviates the need for cystoscopy. We assessed the outcomes for this novel method of stent removal in our institution. A retrospective analysis was performed of all patients undergoing magnetic stent insertion and subsequent removal in a nurse-led clinic over a nine-month period. Patients were followed up with a prospective validated Ureteral Stent Symptoms Questionnaire (USSQ)3. A cost analysis was also performed. In total, 59 patients were treated using magnetic stents. The complication rate was low (6.7%). The median duration of indwelling stent was 5.8 days (range 1-11 days). Patients reported haematuria and lower urinary tract symptoms but >90% experienced no functional impairment with minimal days of employment lost (mean 0.75 days). All patients reported satisfaction with nurse-led stent removal and 97% were happy to have stents removed via this method in the future. The total financial savings were estimated at €47,790 over this period. Nurse-led removal of magnetic stents is safe and well tolerated by patients and enables expedient stent removal. It also provides a significant cost benefit and frees up valuable endoscopic resources.
  • A Retrospective Audit of In-Hospital 30-day Mortality from Acute Myocardial Infarction in Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown

    Hensey, M; Cronin, M; Keelan, E; O’Neill, J; Galvin, J (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-09)
    In 2015, The Department of Health published the first annual report of the “National Healthcare Quality Reporting System.” Connolly Hospital was reported to a mortality rate within 30 days post-Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) of 9.87 per 100 cases which was statistically significantly higher than the national rate. We carried out a retrospective audit of patients who were HIPE-coded as having died within 30 days of AMI from 2011-2013 and identified 42 patients. On review, only 23 patients (54.8%) were confirmed as having had an AMI. We identified 12 patients who had AMI included on death certificate without any evidence for same. If the 22 patients incorrectly coded were excluded, the mortality rate within 30 days post-AMI in CHB would fall to 4.14 deaths per 100 cases, well below the national average. Inaccuracies of data collection can lead to erroneous conclusions when examining healthcare data.
  • An unusual case of multiple self-inflicted punctures to the precordium

    Borhan, F; Borhan, N; O’Riordan, B (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-06)
    Sewing needles, albeit a rare case of penetrating cardiac injury, are potentially life-threatening. We report a case of successful intra-cardiac needle removal from a 32 year old who inserted multiple needles into the chest and abdomen.
  • Imitation, the greatest form of flattery?

    Murphy, A; Parihar, V; Shahin, A; Farrell, R (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-01)
    A recent interesting case at our institution reminded us to remain cognisant of the oldest known venereal disease; known as the great imitator , syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum
  • Clinical characteristics, management, and control of permanent vs. nonpermanent atrial fibrillation: insights from the RealiseAF survey.

    Murin, Jan; Naditch-Brûlé, Lisa; Brette, Sandrine; Chiang, Chern-En; O'Neill, James; Steg, P Gabriel; 5Connolly/Mater Hospitals/Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. (PLoS ONE, 2014)
    Atrial fibrillation can be categorized into nonpermanent and permanent atrial fibrillation. There is less information on permanent than on nonpermanent atrial fibrillation patients. This analysis aimed to describe the characteristics and current management, including the proportion of patients with successful atrial fibrillation control, of these atrial fibrillation subsets in a large, geographically diverse contemporary sample.
  • Major cost savings associated with biologic dose reduction in patients with inflammatory arthritis.

    Murphy, C L; Awan, S; Sullivan, M O; Chavrimootoo, S; Bannon, C; Martin, L; Duffy, T; Murphy, E; Barry, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-01)
    The purpose of this study was to explore whether patients with Inflammatory Arthritis (IA) (Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) or Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)) would remain in remission following a reduction in biologic dosing frequency and to calculate the cost savings associated with dose reduction. This prospective non-blinded non-randomised study commenced in 2010. Patients with Inflammatory Arthritis being treated with a biologic agent were screened for disease activity. A cohort of those in remission according to standardized disease activity indices (DAS28 < 2.6, BASDAI < 4) was offered a reduction in dosing frequency of two commonly used biologic therapies (etanercept 50 mg once per fortnight instead of weekly, adalimumab 40 mg once per month instead of fortnightly). Patients were assessed for disease activity at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months following reduction in dosing frequency. Cost saving was calculated. 79 patients with inflammatory arthritis in remission were recruited. 57% had rheumatoid arthritis (n = 45), 13% psoriatic arthritis (n = 10) and 30% ankylosing spondylitis (n = 24). 57% (n = 45) were taking etanercept and 43% (n = 34) adalimumab. The percentage of patients in remission at 24 months was 56% (n = 44). This resulted in an actual saving to the state of approximately 600,000 euro over two years. This study demonstrates the reduction in biologic dosing frequency is feasible in Inflammatory Arthritis. There was a considerable cost saving at two years. The potential for major cost savings in biologic usage should be pursued further.
  • Re-attenders to the emergency department of a major urban hospital serving a population of 290,000.

    Ramasubbu, B; Lee, B; Collins, N (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-01)
    The national Emergency Medicine Programme (EMP) in Ireland, defines a re-attender as any patient re-presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) within 28 days with the same chief complaint. A retrospective, electronic patient record audit was carried out on all re-attenders to Connolly ED during November 2012. There were 2919 attendances made up from 2530 patients; 230 patients re-attended a total of 389 times. The re-attendance rate was 13% (389/2919). 63 (27%) were frequent presenters. There was a significantly higher admission rate at second attendance than first (89 (39%) vs 39 (17%), p < 0.001). 25% (57/230) of patients 'left before completion of treatment' (LBCT) at first attendance (significantly higher than the number at second attendance (p < 0.01)). 14/57 (25%) of those who LBCT at first attendance required admission at second attendance. 28/89 (31%) of second attendance admissions were failed discharges from first attendance. Reasons for re-attendance are multi-factorial and include both patient and departmental factors.
  • Methotrexate use and risk of lung disease in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease: systematic literature review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

    Conway, Richard; Low, Candice; Coughlan, Robert J; O'Donnell, Martin J; Carey, John J (2015)
    To evaluate the relative risk of pulmonary disease among patients with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease treated with methotrexate.
  • Vitamin D as an adjunctive therapy in asthma. Part 2: A review of human studies.

    Kerley, Conor P; Elnazir, Basil; Faul, John; Cormican, Liam (2015-03-05)
    Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is highly prevalent worldwide, with adverse effects on bone health but also potentially other unfavorable consequences. VDD and asthma-incidence/severity share many common risk factors, including winter season, industrialization, poor diet, obesity, dark skin pigmentation, and high latitude. Multiple anatomical areas relevant to asthma contain both the enzyme responsible for producing activated vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor suggesting that activated vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) may have important local effects at these sites. Emerging evidence suggests that VDD is associated with increased airway hyperresponsiveness, decreased pulmonary function, worse asthma control, and possibly decreased response to standard anti-asthma therapy. However the effect is inconsistent with preliminary evidence from different studies suggesting vitamin D is both beneficial and detrimental to asthma genesis and severity. Current evidence suggests that supplementation with moderate doses of vitamin D may be appropriate for maintenance of bone health in asthmatics, particularly steroid users. However emerging data from an increasing number of randomized, controlled, intervention studies of vitamin D supplementation in pediatric and adult asthma are becoming available and should help determine the importance, if any of vitamin D for asthma pathogenesis. The purpose of this second of a two-part review is to review the current human literature on vitamin D and asthma, discussing the possible consequences of VDD for asthma and the potential for vitamin D repletion as adjunct therapy.

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