• A comparison of maternal and paternal body mass index in early pregnancy.

      Kelly, Ross; Farah, Nadine; O'Connor, Norah; Kennelly, Mairead; Stuart, Bernard; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2011-04)
       To determine the body mass index (BMI) and the body composition of fathers-to-be and to compare the findings with those of mothers-to-be during early pregnancy.
    • A complication after a previous caesarean section.

      Barrett, Niamh; Sheehan, Sharon R; Murphy, Deirdre J; Coombe Women and Infants' University Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
    • Continuation of metformin in the first trimester of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome is not associated with increased perinatal morbidity.

      Bolton, S; Cleary, B; Walsh, J; Dempsey, E; Turner, M J; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women's Hospital, Dublin 8,, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      This study aimed to assess the perinatal outcome, especially foetal growth, following the continuation of metformin during the first trimester of pregnancy. All women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) treated with metformin in the first trimester and who delivered a baby weighing 500 g or more between 2003 and 2005 were studied. Subjects were matched for age and parity with randomly selected controls. The perinatal outcomes studied were: growth parameters, gestational age, congenital defects, hypoglycaemia and neonatal unit admission. Sixty-six pregnancies were compared with 66 controls; all had singleton deliveries. There was no difference in mean birth weight between the metformin and the control groups (p=0.84). The percentage of small (<10th centile) and large (>90th centile) for gestational age babies was lower in the metformin group. In the metformin group, there were no major congenital malformations and 24% of the babies were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) compared with 27% of the babies in the control group (non-significant). Neonatal hypoglycaemia was less common in the metformin group (18.5% vs. 24.5%) and fewer babies required intravenous glucose therapy (6.3% vs. 12%). We found no evidence that the continuation of metformin in the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with an adverse foetal outcome.
    • Correlation between birth weight and maternal body composition.

      Kent, Etaoin; O'Dwyer, Vicky; Fattah, Chro; Farah, Nadine; O'Connor, Clare; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. ekent@rcsi.ie (2013-01)
      To estimate which maternal body composition parameters measured using multifrequency segmental bioelectric impedance analysis in the first trimester of pregnancy are predictors of increased birth weight.
    • Correlation between maternal inflammatory markers and fetomaternal adiposity.

      Farah, Nadine; Hogan, Andrew E; O'Connor, Norah; Kennelly, Mairead M; O'Shea, Donal; Turner, Michael J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. drnfarah@gmail.com (2012-10)
      Outside pregnancy, both obesity and diabetes mellitus are associated with changes in inflammatory cytokines. Obesity in pregnancy may be complicated by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and/or fetal macrosomia. The objective of this study was to determine the correlation between maternal cytokines and fetomaternal adiposity in the third trimester in women where the important confounding variable GDM had been excluded. Healthy women with a singleton pregnancy and a normal glucose tolerance test at 28 weeks gestation were enrolled at their convenience. Maternal cytokines were measured at 28 and 37 weeks gestation. Maternal adiposity was assessed indirectly by calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI), and directly by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Fetal adiposity was assessed by ultrasound measurement of fetal soft tissue markers and by birthweight at delivery. Of the 71 women studied, the mean maternal age and BMI were 29.1 years and 29.2 kg/m(2) respectively. Of the women studied 32 (45%) were obese. Of the cytokines, only maternal IL-6 and IL-8 correlated with maternal adiposity. Maternal TNF-α, IL-β, IL-6 and IL-8 levels did not correlate with either fetal body adiposity or birthweight. In this well characterised cohort of pregnant non-diabetic women in the third trimester of pregnancy we found that circulating maternal cytokines are associated with maternal adiposity but not with fetal adiposity.
    • Day-surgery patients anesthetized with propofol have less postoperative pain than those anesthetized with sevoflurane.

      Tan, Terry; Bhinder, Rajesh; Carey, Michael; Briggs, Liam; Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Coombe Women and Infants, University Hospital, Cork St., Dublin 8, Ireland. tutan@me.com (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: There have been recent studies suggesting that patients anesthetized with propofol have less postoperative pain compared with patients anesthetized with volatile anesthetics. METHODS: In this randomized, double-blind study, 80 patients undergoing day-case diagnostic laparoscopic gynecological surgery were either anesthetized with IV propofol or sevoflurane. The primary outcome measured was pain on a visual analog scale. RESULTS: Patients anesthetized with propofol had less pain compared with patients anesthetized with sevoflurane (P = 0.01). There was no difference in any of the other measured clinical outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The patients anesthetized with propofol appeared to have less pain than patients anesthetized with sevoflurane.
    • Delivery outcomes for nulliparous women at the extremes of maternal age - a cohort study.

      Vaughan, DA; Cleary, Bj; Murphy, Dj; Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2013-06-12)
      OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between extremes of maternal age (≤17 years or ≥40 years) and delivery outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Urban maternity hospital in Ireland. POPULATION: A total of 36 916 nulliparous women with singleton pregnancies who delivered between 2000 and 2011. METHODS: The study population was subdivided into five maternal age groups based on age at first booking visit: ≤17 years, 18-19 years, 20-34 years, 35-39 years and women aged ≥40 years. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between extremes of maternal age and delivery outcomes, adjusting for potential confounding factors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Preterm birth, admission to the neonatal unit, congenital anomaly, caesarean section. RESULTS: Compared with maternal age 20-34 years, age ≤17 years was a risk factor for preterm birth (adjusted odds ratio [adjOR] 1.83, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.33-2.52). Babies born to mothers ≥40 years were more likely to require admission to the neonatal unit (adjOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.06-1.72) and to have a congenital anomaly (adjOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.07-2.76). The overall caesarean section rate in nulliparous women was 23.9% with marked differences at the extremes of maternal age; 10.7% at age ≤17 years (adjOR 0.46, 95% CI 0.34-0.62) and 54.4% at age ≥40 years (adjOR 3.24, 95% CI 2.67-3.94). CONCLUSIONS: Extremes of maternal age need to be recognised as risk factors for adverse delivery outcomes. Low caesarean section rates in younger women suggest that a reduction in overall caesarean section rates may be possible.
    • Differences in nulliparous caesarean section rates across models of care: a decomposition analysis.

      Brick, Aoife; Layte, Richard; Nolan, Anne; Turner, Michael J (BMC health services research, 2016)
      To evaluate the extent of the difference in elective (ELCS) and emergency (EMCS) caesarean section (CS) rates between nulliparous women in public maternity hospitals in Ireland by model of care, and to quantify the contribution of maternal, clinical, and hospital characteristics in explaining the difference in the rates.
    • Early pregnancy azathioprine use and pregnancy outcomes.

      Cleary, Brian J; Kallen, Bengt; Pharmacy Department, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin 8,, Ireland. bcleary@coombe.ie (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Azathioprine (AZA) is used during pregnancy by women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), other autoimmune disorders, malignancy, and organ transplantation. Previous studies have demonstrated potential risks. METHODS: The Swedish Medical Birth Register was used to identify 476 women who reported the use of AZA in early pregnancy. The effect of AZA exposure on pregnancy outcomes was studied after adjustment for maternal characteristics that could act as confounders. RESULTS: The most common indication for AZA use was IBD. The rate of congenital malformations was 6.2% in the AZA group and 4.7% among all infants born (adjusted OR: 1.41, 95% CI: 0.98-2.04). An association between early pregnancy AZA exposure and ventricular/atrial septal defects was found (adjusted OR: 3.18, 95% CI: 1.45-6.04). Exposed infants were also more likely to be preterm, to weigh <2500 gm, and to be small for gestational age compared to all infants born. This effect remained for preterm birth and low birth weight when infants of women with IBD but without AZA exposure were used as a comparison group. A trend toward an increased risk of congenital malformations was found among infants of women with IBD using AZA compared to women with IBD not using AZA (adjusted OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 0.93-2.18). CONCLUSIONS: Infants exposed to AZA in early pregnancy may be at a moderately increased risk of congenital malformations, specifically ventricular/atrial septal defects. There is also an increased risk of growth restriction and preterm delivery. These associations may be confounded by the severity of maternal illness.
    • The efficacy of fibrinogen concentrate compared with cryoprecipitate in major obstetric haemorrhage - an observational study.

      Ahmed, S; Harrity, C; Johnson, S; Varadkar, S; McMorrow, S; Fanning, R; Flynn, C M; O' Riordan, J M; Byrne, B M; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-10)
      Fibrinogen replacement is critical in major obstetric haemorrhage (MOH). Purified, pasteurised fibrinogen concentrate appears to have benefit over cryoprecipitate in ease of administration and safety but is unlicensed in pregnancy. In July 2009, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service replaced cryoprecipitate with fibrinogen.
    • An emergency department intervention to protect an overlooked group of children at risk of significant harm.

      Kaye, P; Taylor, C; Barley, K; Powell-Chandler, A; Emergency Department, Royal United Hospital, Coombe Park, Bath, UK., philip_bath@hotmail.com (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Parental psychiatric disorder, especially depression, personality disorder and deliberate self-harm, is known to put children at greater risk of mental illness, neglect or physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Without a reliable procedure to identify children of parents presenting with these mental health problems, children at high risk of significant harm can be easily overlooked. Although deliberate self-harm constitutes a significant proportion of emergency presentations, there are no guidelines which address the emergency physician's role in identifying and assessing risk to children of these patients. METHODS: A robust system was jointly developed with the local social services child protection team to identify and risk-stratify children of parents with mental illness. This allows us to intervene when we identify children at immediate risk of harm and to ensure that social services are aware of potential risk to all children in this group. The referral process was audited repeatedly to refine the agreed protocol. RESULTS: The proportion of patients asked by the emergency department personnel about dependent children increased and the quality of information received by the social services child protection team improved. CONCLUSIONS: All emergency departments should acknowledge the inadequacy of information available to them regarding patients' children and consider a policy of referral to social services for all children of parents with mental health presentations. This process can only be developed through close liaison within the multidisciplinary child protection team.
    • Endosomal gene expression: a new indicator for prostate cancer patient prognosis?

      Johnson, Ian R D; Parkinson-Lawrence, Emma J; Keegan, Helen; Spillane, Cathy D; Barry-O'Crowley, Jacqui; Watson, William R; Selemidis, Stavros; Butler, Lisa M; O'Leary, John J; Brooks, Doug A (Impact Publishers, 2015-11-10)
      Prostate cancer continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in men, but a method for accurate prognosis in these patients is yet to be developed. The recent discovery of altered endosomal biogenesis in prostate cancer has identified a fundamental change in the cell biology of this cancer, which holds great promise for the identification of novel biomarkers that can predict disease outcomes. Here we have identified significantly altered expression of endosomal genes in prostate cancer compared to non-malignant tissue in mRNA microarrays and confirmed these findings by qRT-PCR on fresh-frozen tissue. Importantly, we identified endosomal gene expression patterns that were predictive of patient outcomes. Two endosomal tri-gene signatures were identified from a previously published microarray cohort and had a significant capacity to stratify patient outcomes. The expression of APPL1, RAB5A, EEA1, PDCD6IP, NOX4 and SORT1 were altered in malignant patient tissue, when compared to indolent and normal prostate tissue. These findings support the initiation of a case-control study using larger cohorts of prostate tissue, with documented patient outcomes, to determine if different combinations of these new biomarkers can accurately predict disease status and clinical progression in prostate cancer patients.
    • Epidural analgesia practices for labour: results of a 2005 national survey in Ireland.

      Fanning, Rebecca A; Briggs, Liam P; Carey, Michael F; Department of Perioperative Medicine, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. rebecca.fanning@gmail.com (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The last 25 years have seen changes in the management of epidural analgesia for labour, including the advent of low-dose epidural analgesia, the development of new local anaesthetic agents, various regimes for maintaining epidural analgesia and the practice of combined spinal-epidural analgesia. We conducted a survey of Irish obstetric anaesthetists to obtain information regarding the conduct and management of obstetric epidural analgesia in Ireland in 2005. The specific objective of this survey was to discover whether new developments in obstetric anaesthesia have been incorporated into clinical practice. METHODS: A postal survey was sent to all anaesthetists with a clinical commitment for obstetric anaesthesia in the sites approved for training by the College of Anaesthetists, Ireland. RESULTS: Fifty-three per cent of anaesthetists surveyed responded. The majority of anaesthetists (98%) use low-dose epidural analgesia for the maintenance of analgesia. Only 11% use it for test-dosing and 32% for the induction of analgesia. The combined spinal-epidural analgesia method is used by 49%, but two-thirds of those who use it perform fewer than five per month. Patient-controlled epidural analgesia was in use at only one site. CONCLUSION: It appears that Irish obstetric anaesthetists have adopted the low-dose epidural analgesia trend for the maintenance of labour analgesia. This practice is not as widespread, however, for test dosing, the induction of analgesia dose or in the administration of intermittent epidural boluses to maintain analgesia when higher concentrations are used. Since its introduction in 2000, levobupivacaine has become the most popular local anaesthetic agent.
    • Establishing the accuracy and acceptability of abdominal ultrasound to define the foetal head position in the second stage of labour: a validation study.

      Ramphul, Meenakshi; Kennelly, Mairead; Murphy, Deirdre J; Academic Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Trinity College Dublin & Coombe Women & Infant's University Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. ramphulm@tcd.ie (2012-09)
      To compare the diagnosis of the foetal head position in the second stage of labour by ultrasound scan performed by a novice sonographer and by clinical assessment, to that of an expert sonographer (gold standard); and to evaluate the acceptability of ultrasound in the second stage of labour to women and clinicians.
    • Evidence-based planning and costing palliative care services for children: novel multi-method epidemiological and economic exemplar

      Noyes, Jane; Edwards, Rhiannon Tudor; Hastings, Richard P; Hain, Richard; Totsika, Vasiliki; Bennett, Virginia; Hobson, Lucie; Davies, Gareth R; Humphreys, Ciarán; Devins, Mary; et al. (2013-04-25)
      Abstract Background Children’s palliative care is a relatively new clinical specialty. Its nature is multi-dimensional and its delivery necessarily multi-professional. Numerous diverse public and not-for-profit organisations typically provide services and support. Because services are not centrally coordinated, they are provided in a manner that is inconsistent and incoherent. Since the first children’s hospice opened in 1982, the epidemiology of life-limiting conditions has changed with more children living longer, and many requiring transfer to adult services. Very little is known about the number of children living within any given geographical locality, costs of care, or experiences of children with ongoing palliative care needs and their families. We integrated evidence, and undertook and used novel methodological epidemiological work to develop the first evidence-based and costed commissioning exemplar. Methods Multi-method epidemiological and economic exemplar from a health and not-for-profit organisation perspective, to estimate numbers of children under 19 years with life-limiting conditions, cost current services, determine child/parent care preferences, and cost choice of end-of-life care at home. Results The exemplar locality (North Wales) had important gaps in service provision and the clinical network. The estimated annual total cost of current children’s palliative care was about £5.5 million; average annual care cost per child was £22,771 using 2007 prevalence estimates and £2,437- £11,045 using new 2012/13 population-based prevalence estimates. Using population-based prevalence, we estimate 2271 children with a life-limiting condition in the general exemplar population and around 501 children per year with ongoing palliative care needs in contact with hospital services. Around 24 children with a wide range of life-limiting conditions require end-of-life care per year. Choice of end-of-life care at home was requested, which is not currently universally available. We estimated a minimum (based on 1 week of end-of-life care) additional cost of £336,000 per year to provide end-of-life support at home. Were end-of-life care to span 4 weeks, the total annual additional costs increases to £536,500 (2010/11 prices). Conclusions Findings make a significant contribution to population-based needs assessment and commissioning methodology in children’s palliative care. Further work is needed to determine with greater precision which children in the total population require access to services and when. Half of children who died 2002-7 did not have conditions that met the globally used children's palliative care condition categories, which need revision in light of findings.