• Mortality in perforated duodenal ulcer depends upon pre-operative risk: a retrospective 10-year study.

      Larkin, J O; Bourke, M G; Muhammed, A; Waldron, R; Barry, K; Eustace, P W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co., Mayo, Ireland., larkin.dundalk@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Most patients presenting with acutely perforated duodenal ulcer undergo operation, but conservative treatment may be indicated when an ulcer has spontaneously sealed with minimal/localised peritoneal irritation or when the patient's premorbid performance status is poor. We retrospectively reviewed our experience with operative and conservative management of perforated duodenal ulcers over a 10-year period and analysed outcome according to American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score. METHODS: The records of all patients presenting with perforated duodenal ulcer to the Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, between January 1998 and December 2007 were reviewed. Age, gender, co-morbidity, ASA-score, clinical presentation, mode of management, operative procedures, morbidity and mortality were considered. RESULTS: Of 76 patients included, 48 (44 operative, 4 conservative) were ASA I-III, with no mortality irrespective of treatment. Amongst 28 patients with ASA-score IV/V, mortality was 54.5% (6/11) following operative management and 52.9% (9/17) with conservative management. CONCLUSION: In patients with a perforated duodenal ulcer and ASA-score I-III, postoperative outcome is uniformly favourable. We recommend these patients have repair with peritoneal lavage performed, routinely followed postoperatively by empirical triple therapy. Given that mortality is equivalent between ASA IV/V patients whether managed operatively or conservatively, we suggest that both management options are equally justifiable.
    • Perioperative modifications of respiratory function.

      Duggan, Michelle; Kavanagh, Brian P; Department of Anesthesia, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland., Michelle.Duggan@hse.ie (2012-01-31)
      Postoperative pulmonary complications contribute considerably to morbidity and mortality, especially after major thoracic or abdominal surgery. Clinically relevant pulmonary complications include the exacerbation of underlying chronic lung disease, bronchospasm, atelectasis, pneumonia and respiratory failure with prolonged mechanical ventilation. Risk factors for postoperative pulmonary complications include patient-related risk factors (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tobacco smoking and increasing age) as well as procedure-related risk factors (e.g., site of surgery, duration of surgery and general vs. regional anaesthesia). Careful history taking and a thorough physical examination may be the most sensitive ways to identify at-risk patients. Pulmonary function tests are not suitable as a general screen to assess risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. Strategies to reduce the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications include smoking cessation, inspiratory muscle training, optimising nutritional status and intra-operative strategies. Postoperative care should include lung expansion manoeuvres and adequate pain control.
    • Screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip: current practices in Ireland.

      O'Grady, M J; Mujtaba, G; Hanaghan, J; Gallagher, D; Department of Paediatrics, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co, Mayo, Republic, of Ireland. michael_ogrady2001@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the current approach to screen for developmental dysplasia of the hip in the Republic of Ireland. METHODS: Two-pronged prospective and retrospective study. (1) Postal questionnaire to consultant paediatricians responsible for the routine neonatal care of infants in the Irish Republic in June 2006. (2) Retrospective database review to identify infants undergoing radiological follow-up and their outcome. RESULTS: All maternity units surveyed responded. Most units (84%) were dependent on radiographs at 4-6 months for imaging hips, only two units primarily used ultrasound (10.5%). We estimate that neonatal hip examination is performed by an experienced examiner in less than 30% of routine newborn examinations. On retrospective analysis, 94% of radiographs performed were normal. CONCLUSIONS: The most effective interventions, selective ultrasound and examination by an experienced clinician are not widely practiced. There is a need for the development of national guidelines based on available resources.