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Schlapbach L.J.,University of Queensland | Schlapbach L.J.,Materials Childrens Hospital | Schlapbach L.J.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Straney L.,Monash University | And 7 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: Severe infections kill more than 4·5 million children every year. Population-based data for severe infections in children requiring admission to intensive care units (ICUs) are scarce. We assessed changes in incidence and mortality of severe infections in critically ill children in Australia and New Zealand. Methods: We did a retrospective multicentre cohort study of children requiring intensive care in Australia and New Zealand between 2002 and 2013, with data from the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Intensive Care Registry. We included children younger than 16 years with invasive infection, sepsis, or septic shock. We assessed incidence and mortality in the ICU for 2002-07 versus 2008-13. Findings: During the study period, 97 127 children were admitted to ICUs, 11 574 (11·9%) had severe infections, including 6688 (6·9%) with invasive infections, 2847 (2·9%) with sepsis, and 2039 (2·1%) with septic shock. Age-standardised incidence increased each year by an average of 0·56 cases per 100 000 children (95% CI 0·41-0·71) for invasive infections, 0·09 cases per 100 000 children (0·00-0·17) for sepsis, and 0·08 cases per 100 000 children (0·04-0·12) for septic shock. 260 (3·9%) of 6688 patients with invasive infection died, 159 (5·6%) of 2847 with sepsis died, and 346 (17·0%) of 2039 with septic shock died, compared with 2893 (3·0%) of all paediatric ICU admissions. Children admitted with invasive infections, sepsis, and septic shock accounted for 765 (26·4%) of 2893 paediatric deaths in ICUs. Comparing 2008-13 with 2002-07, risk-adjusted mortality decreased significantly for invasive infections (odds ratio 0·72, 95% CI 0·56-0·94; p=0·016), and for sepsis (0·66, 0·47-0·93; p=0·016), but not significantly for septic shock (0·79, 0·61-1·01; p=0·065). Interpretation: Severe infections remain a major cause of mortality in paediatric ICUs, representing a major public health problem. Future studies should focus on patients with the highest risk of poor outcome, and assess the effectiveness of present sepsis interventions in children. Funding: National Medical Health and Research Council, Australian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, Centre of Research Excellence (1029983). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Islam F.,Griffith University | Gopalan V.,Griffith University | Smith R.A.,Griffith University | Smith R.A.,Queensland University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2015

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of cancer cells with many clinical implications in most cancer types. One important clinical implication of CSCs is their role in cancer metastases, as reflected by their ability to initiate and drive micro and macro-metastases. The other important contributing factor for CSCs in cancer management is their function in causing treatment resistance and recurrence in cancer via their activation of different signalling pathways such as Notch, Wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β, Hedgehog, PI3K/Akt/mTOR and JAK/STAT pathways. Thus, many different therapeutic approaches are being tested for prevention and treatment of cancer recurrence. These may include treatment strategies targeting altered genetic signalling pathways by blocking specific cell surface molecules, altering the cancer microenvironments that nurture cancer stem cells, inducing differentiation of CSCs, immunotherapy based on CSCs associated antigens, exploiting metabolites to kill CSCs, and designing small interfering RNA/DNA molecules that especially target CSCs. Because of the huge potential of these approaches to improve cancer management, it is important to identify and isolate cancer stem cells for precise study and application of prior the research on their role in cancer. Commonly used methodologies for detection and isolation of CSCs include functional, image-based, molecular, cytological sorting and filtration approaches, the use of different surface markers and xenotransplantation. Overall, given their significance in cancer biology, refining the isolation and targeting of CSCs will play an important role in future management of cancer. •Cancer stem cells play an important role in cancer metastases. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Beckmann M.M.,Materials Health Services | Widmer T.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Bolton E.,Materials Health Services
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2014

Background To date, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that a systematic and coordinated approach to prepregnancy care might make a difference. Aims To evaluate whether women who receive preconception care through a structured approach will be more likely to be healthy around the time of conception compared with women who plan their pregnancy but have not been exposed to preconception care. Methods A case control study was undertaken of women who attended the preconception care service and subsequently conceived, received maternity care and gave birth at Mater Health Services Brisbane between January 2010 and January 2013. Pregnancy information and birth outcomes for each woman who attended the service were matched with those of three women who reported that they had planned their pregnancy but did not attend the service. Records were matched for prepregnancy BMI, age, parity, prepregnancy smoking status and number of health conditions. Results Pregnant women who attended preconception care were more likely to have received adequate peri-conceptual folate, to report being vaccinated against influenza and hepatitis B, to have consulted with a specialist with the specific aim of optimising a pre-existing health condition and to report less weight gain up until booking. Preterm birth and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were less common amongst women who had attended preconception care, and there were trends towards a decreased incidence of gestational diabetes, LGA and fetal anomalies. Conclusion These preliminary data provide some optimism that a comprehensive preconception care service may positively influence maternal and neonatal outcomes. © 2014 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


Toohill J.,Griffith University | Fenwick J.,Griffith University | Fenwick J.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Gamble J.,Griffith University | Creedy D.K.,Griffith University
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2014

Background: Childbirth fear is reported to affect around 20% of women. However reporting on levels of symptom severity vary. Unlike Scandinavian countries, there has been limited focus on childbirth fear in Australia. The aim of this paper is to determine the prevalence of low, moderate, high and severe levels of childbirth fear in a large representative sample of pregnant women drawn from a large randomised controlled trial and identify demographic and obstetric characteristics associated with childbirth fear.Method: Using a descriptive cross-sectional design, 1,410 women in their second trimester were recruited from one of three public hospitals in south-east Queensland. Participants were screened for childbirth fear using the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire Version A (WDEQ-A). Associations of demographic and obstetric factors and levels of childbirth fear between nulliparous and multiparous women were investigated.Results: Prevalence of childbirth fear was 24% overall, with 31.5% of nulliparous women reporting high levels of fear (score ≥66 on the WDEQ-A) compared to 18% of multiparous women. Childbirth fear was associated with paid employment, parity, and mode of last birth, with higher levels of fear in first time mothers (p < 0.001) and in women who had previously had an operative birth (p < 0.001).Conclusion: Prevalence of childbirth fear in Australian women was comparable to international rates. Significant factors associated with childbirth fear were being in paid employment, and obstetric characteristics such as parity and birth mode in the previous pregnancy. First time mothers had higher levels of fear than women who had birthed before. A previous operative birth was fear provoking. Experiencing a previous normal birth was protective of childbirth fear. © 2014 Toohill et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Rahman A.,Griffith University | Latona J.,Gold Coast University Hospital
Australian Family Physician | Year: 2014

Background The strategy of whether to continue anticoagulation and antiplatelet agents during surgery depends on an evaluation of the thromboembolic risk and haemorrhagic risk of the individual patients. Procedures that carry a significant risk of bleeding may require temporary cessation of the medication. Objective We briefly review the use of common oral anticoagulant and antiplatelet agents, including clinical indications and limitations associated with those agents. We also discuss the risks of thromboembolism, and balancing bleeding risk in patients receiving oral anticoagulation therapy, temporary interruption of such therapy and management of such patients undergoing an elective surgical procedure. Discussion Generally, patients at high risk of thromboembolism should be considered for a more aggressive perioperative management strategy with bridging therapy. Current recommendations for dual antiplatelet treatment range from 4 weeks in patients undergoing elective stenting with bare metal stents, up to 12 months in patients with drug-eluting stents or patients undergoing coronary stenting for acute coronary syndrome. If a patient is to undergo high-bleeding-risk surgery and an antiplatelet effect is not desired, clopidogrel, prasugrel and ticagrelor should be discontinued 5-7 days before the procedure. Early, effective communication between general practitioners and specialists is useful in managing high-risk patients on anticoagulation/antiplatelet agents during the perioperative periods.


Franks Z.,Griffith University | Nightingale R.,Gold Coast University Hospital
Australian Family Physician | Year: 2014

Background The association between perceived decreased fetal movement (DFM) and adverse outcomes in pregnancy is widely acknowledged. However, in the general practice setting, a common first point-of-call for pregnant women, guidelines for appropriate management of DFM are lacking. Objective This article reviews the current evidence surrounding women presenting with DFM and suggests appropriate management in the community setting and the indications for hospital referral. Discussion Maternal perception of DFM is a common reason for women to make contact with their healthcare provider. Women presenting on multiple occasions with DFM are at increased risk of poor perinatal outcomes, including fetal death, intrauterine fetal growth restriction (IUFGR) or preterm birth. An evaluation of women presenting with DFM should involve a thorough history, examination and auscultation of fetal heart, cardiotocography (CTG) and ultrasound if indicated.


Robinson P.C.,University of Queensland | Robinson P.C.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Horsburgh S.,University of Otago
Maturitas | Year: 2014

Gout is a common inflammatory arthritis precipitated by an inflammatory reaction to urate crystals in the joint. Gout is increasingly being recognised as a disease primarily of urate overload with arthritis being a consequence of this pathological accumulation. It is associated with a number of important co-morbidities including chronic kidney disease, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of gout is increasing around the world. Significant progress has been made in determining the genetic basis for both gout and hyperuricaemia. Environmental risk factors for gout have been identified as certain foods, alcohol and several medications. There is, however, little evidence that changing these environmental risks improves gout on an individual level. Treatment of gout encompasses two strategies: firstly treatment of inflammatory arthritis with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, colchicine or interleukin-1 inhibitors. The second and most important strategy is urate lowering, to a target of 0.36 mmol/L (6 mg/dL) or potentially lower in those with tophi (collections of crystalline urate subcutaneously). Along with urate lowering, adequate and prolonged gout flare prophylaxis is required to prevent the precipitation of acute attacks. Newer urate lowering agents are in development and have the potential to significantly expand the potential treatment options. Education of patients regarding the importance of life long urate lowering therapy and prophylaxis of acute attacks is critical to treatment success as adherence with medication is low in chronic diseases in general but especially in gout. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Krishnamoorthy R.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Ravi Kumar A.S.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Batstone M.,Gold Coast University Hospital
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery | Year: 2014

Clear cell odontogenic carcinoma (CCOC) is a rare neoplasm; only 75 cases have been reported in the English language literature. They have a tendency for recurrence and a capacity to metastasize. There is very little known regarding the metabolic features of this tumour or the utility of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) scans in the staging and follow-up of these tumours. We present two cases of CCOC with their relevant FDG-PET/CT scan findings. The first patient had primary CCOC of the mandible that was FDG-avid, and the other had recurrence of CCOC of the anterior mandible and superomedial orbit that was not FDG-avid. FDG uptake in CCOC appears to be variable. Although FDG-PET/CT is useful in other head and neck cancers and has benefits compared to other imaging modalities, further studies are needed to investigate the sensitivity of FDG-PET/CT in CCOC.


Alassaf M.,Gold Coast University Hospital
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports | Year: 2015

INTRODUCTION Pneumoperitoneum, observed by radiography, is typically associated with the perforation of hollow viscous. More than 90% of all cases of pneumoperitoneum are the result of a gastrointestinal tract perforation. These patients usually present with signs of acute peritonitis and require immediate surgical exploration and intervention. However, rare cases of idiopathic spontaneous pneumoperitoneum do occur without any indication of visceral perforation and other known causes of the free intraperitoneal gas. PRESENTATION OF CASE A 66-year-old male presented to the emergency department on three separate occasions with similar episodes six months apart. Upon physical examination and subsequent testing, chest radiography revealed the presence of free intraperitoneal gas. A computerized tomography (CT) was performed in which pneumatosis and pneumoperitoneum was reported with the first two admissions and both laparotomies were negative. This patient continues to be followed for prostate cancer and bony metastases. All subsequent CT scans (last performed 01/2014) have shown no acute or chronic abdominal pathology and no obstructions. He also had upper and lower endoscopies in 2011, which were negative. DISCUSSION This case revealed very different finding than anticipated. The patient presented to the emergency department with symptoms unrelated to the CT findings of free intraperitoneal gas. On two separate occasions, the patient underwent a laparotomy with negative findings. The conventional course of treatment for pneumoperitoneum was followed, but was it necessary? Though the presentation of pneumoperitoneum is most often associated with significant pathology requiring surgical intervention, a more conservative approach may be applicable in cases similar to the one presented here. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. on behalf of Surgical Associates Ltd. This is an openaccess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.


Acksteiner C.,Gold Coast University Hospital | Steinke K.,University of Queensland
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology | Year: 2015

Introduction Microwave ablation (MWA) is a relatively new minimally invasive treatment option for lung cancer with substantially lower morbidity and mortality than surgery. This retrospective study was performed to evaluate the safety, effectiveness and follow-up imaging of MWA in the elderly aged 75 years and above. Methods Eleven percutaneous computed tomography (CT)-guided MWA of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were performed in 10 patients aged 75 years and older. All but one patient were treated with a high-powered MWA system delivering maximally 140 W. Follow-up with CT and fludeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) was carried out over a maximum period of 30 months and a median period of 12 months. Results There were no peri-procedural deaths or major complications. Seven patients were disease free at the time of manuscript submission. Three patients showed growth of the treated lesions, one patient aged 90 years deceased due to unknown cause after approximately 18 months. One patient presented with local progression and disseminated metastatic disease at 12 months; he is still alive. One patient showed increasing soft tissue at the ablation site 15 months post-treatment. Three consecutive core biopsies over 2 months failed to confirm tumour recurrence. Conclusions MWA therapy is a promising option of treating early-stage NSCLC in the elderly with good treatment outcome and negligible morbidity. Determining successful treatment outcome may be challenging at times as local tissue increase and PET-CT positivity do not seem to necessarily correlate with reccurrence of malignancy. © 2014 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

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