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Gaillimh, Ireland

Blanco R.,Kings College | Parras T.,University of London | McDonnell J.G.,Galway University Hospital | Prats-Galino A.,University of Barcelona
Anaesthesia | Year: 2013

We present a novel ultrasound-guided regional anaesthetic technique that may achieve complete paraesthesia of the hemithorax. This technique may be a viable alternative to current regional anaesthetic techniques such as thoracic paravertebral and central neuraxial blockade, which can be technically more challenging and have a higher potential side-effect profile. We performed the serratus block at two different levels in the midaxillary line on four female volunteers. We recorded the degree of paraesthesia obtained and performed fat-suppression magnetic resonance imaging and three-dimensional reconstructions of the spread of local anaesthetic in the serratus plane. All volunteers reported an effective block that provided long-lasting paraesthesia (750-840 min). There were no side-effects noted in this initial descriptive study. While these are preliminary findings, and must be confirmed in a clinical trial, they highlight the potential for the serratus plane block to provide analgesia following surgery on the thoracic wall. We suggest that this novel approach appears to be safe, effective, and easy to perform, and is associated with a low risk of side-effects. This article is accompanied by an Editorial by Tighe and Karmakar, pp 1103-1106 of this issue. © 2013 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland. Source

Liew A.,McMaster University | Eikelboom J.W.,McMaster University | O'Donnell M.,Galway University Hospital | Hart R.G.,McMaster University
Canadian Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Warfarin is effective for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolism but produces variable anticoagulant effects and requires routine monitoring of the international normalized ratio (INR) to optimize the balance between efficacy and safety. The new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have a more predictable anticoagulant effect and were recently demonstrated to be at least as efficacious and safe as warfarin despite being administered in fixed doses without routine coagulation monitoring. Specific laboratory tests have been developed to measure the anticoagulant effect of the NOACs but are not yet widely available, and the relation between drug levels and both coagulation test results and outcomes is uncertain. It remains to be demonstrated whether adjustment of the dose of NOACs, according to the results of laboratory testing, may lead to even greater efficacy and safety. The principles of bleeding management in patients treated with NOACs compared with patients receiving warfarin are similar. Most patients can be safely managed by interrupting drug treatment, performing local measures to stem the bleeding, and providing transfusion support as required. In patients with major or life-threatening bleeding and those requiring surgery, the anticoagulant effects of warfarin can be reversed using oral or intravenous vitamin K, fresh frozen plasma (FFP), and prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs). Specific antidotes are under development for the NOACs but are not yet approved for clinical use. PCCs and recombinant factor VIIa may improve hemostasis in patients in whom bleeding develops during treatment with a NOAC, but their efficacy is unproven. © 2013 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Source

Angland S.,Galway University Hospital | Dowling M.,National University of Ireland | Casey D.,National University of Ireland
International Emergency Nursing | Year: 2014

There has been an increase in violence and aggression in emergency departments (EDs) in recent years. Among professional health care workers, nurses are more likely than other staff members to be involved in aggressive incidents with patients or relatives. This research study was undertaken to determine nurses' perceptions of the factors that cause violence and aggression in the ED. Using a qualitative approach, twelve nurses working in an Irish ED were interviewed. Thematic analysis of the interview data revealed that environmental and communication factors contributed to violence and aggression in the ED. Participants perceived waiting times and lack of communication as contributing factors to aggression, and triage was the area in the ED where aggression was most likely to occur. A number of key recommendations arise from the study findings and they all relate to communication. To address the aggression that may arise from waiting times, electronic boards indicating approximate waiting times may be useful. Also, information guides and videotapes on the patient's journey through the ED may be of benefit. Consideration to the appointment of a communication officer in the ED and communication training for ED staff is also recommended. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Osnabrugge R.L.J.,Erasmus Medical Center | Mylotte D.,McGill University | Mylotte D.,Galway University Hospital | Head S.J.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 7 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of aortic stenosis (AS) in the elderly and to estimate the current and future number of candidates for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Background Severe AS is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. A proportion of these patients is at high or prohibitive risk for surgical aortic valve replacement, and is now considered for TAVR. Methods A systematic search was conducted in multiple databases, and prevalence rates of patients (>75 years) were pooled. A model was based on a second systematic literature search of studies on decision making in AS. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to estimate the number of TAVR candidates in 19 European countries and North America. Results Data from 7 studies (n = 9,723 subjects) were used. The pooled prevalence of all AS in the elderly was 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.6% to 18.2%), and the prevalence of severe AS was 3.4% (95% CI: 1.1% to 5.7%). Among elderly patients with severe AS, 75.6% (95% CI: 65.8% to 85.4%) were symptomatic, and 40.5% (95% CI: 35.8% to 45.1%) of these patients were not treated surgically. Of those, 40.3% (95% CI: 33.8% to 46.7%) received TAVR. Of the high-risk patients, 5.2% were TAVR candidates. Projections showed that there are approximately 189,836 (95% CI: 80,281 to 347,372) TAVR candidates in the European countries and 102,558 (95% CI: 43,612 to 187,002) in North America. Annually, there are 17,712 (95% CI: 7,590 to 32,691) new TAVR candidates in the European countries and 9,189 (95% CI: 3,898 to 16,682) in North America. Conclusions With a pooled prevalence of 3.4%, the burden of disease among the elderly due to severe AS is substantial. Under the current indications, approximately 290,000 elderly patients with severe AS are TAVR candidates. Nearly 27,000 patients become eligible for TAVR annually. © 2013 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation Published by Elsevier Inc. Source

Liew A.,McMaster University | Eikelboom J.W.,McMaster University | O'Donnell M.,Galway University Hospital
Current Opinion in Cardiology | Year: 2012

Purpose of review: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation is increasing because of an aging population. Vitamin K antagonists have been the standard therapy for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation but are underutilized and often poorly managed because of their inherent limitations. This study critically reviews the recently completed phase 3 randomized controlled trials of new oral anticoagulants (OACs) for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: RE-LY (dabigatran), AVERROES (apixaban), ARISTOTLE (apixaban) and ROCKET-AF (rivaroxaban). Recent findings: On the basis of their favorable pharmacological characteristics and excellent efficacy and safety profile as demonstrated by the results of the randomized controlled trials, the new OACs have the potential to replace vitamin K antagonists as the first-line treatment for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation, with warfarin reserved for patients with contraindications to the new OACs and those unable to afford them. Summary: The new OACs represent a major advance for patients with atrial fibrillation with the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality due to cardioembolic stroke. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

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