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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Robertson L.,The Freeman Hospital
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Patients undergoing major amputation of the lower limb are at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Risk factors for VTE in amputees include advanced age, sedentary lifestyle, longstanding arterial disease and an identifiable hypercoagulable condition. Evidence suggests that pharmacological prophylaxis (for example heparin, factor Xa inhibitors, vitamin K antagonists, direct thrombin inhibitors, antiplatelets) is effective in preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) but it is associated with an increased risk of bleeding. Mechanical prophylaxis (for example antiembolism stockings, intermittent pneumatic compression and foot impulse devices), on the other hand, is non-invasive and has no side effects. However, it is not always appropriate in patients with contraindications such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), arteriosclerosis or bilateral lower limb amputations. It is important to determine the most effective thromboprophylaxis and whether this is one treatment alone or in combination with another. To date, no systematic review has been conducted examining the effectiveness of thromboprophylaxis in preventing VTE in people undergoing amputation. To determine the effectiveness of thromboprophylaxis in preventing VTE in people undergoing major amputation of the lower extremity. The Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the Specialised Register (last searched May 2013) and CENTRAL (2013, Issue 4). Clinical trials databases were searched (May 2013). No date or language restrictions were applied. Non-English trials were translated where required and reference lists of identified studies were handsearched. Randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised controlled trials in which people undergoing a major unilateral or bilateral amputation (for example hip disarticulation, transfemoral, knee disarticulation and transtibial) of the lower extremity were allocated to different types or regimens of thromboprophylaxis (including pharmacological or mechanical prophylaxis) or placebo. Selection of studies, data extraction and risk of bias were completed independently by two review authors. Any disagreements were resolved by discussion. Meta-analysis could not be completed as the two included studies compared different treatments and therefore the data could not be pooled. Two studies with a combined total of 288 participants met the inclusion criteria for this review. One study compared low molecular weight heparin with unfractionated heparin and found no difference between the treatments in the prevention of DVT (odds ratio (OR) 1.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.28 to 5.35). No bleeding events or deaths occurred. This study was open label and therefore at a high risk of performance bias. Additionally, the method of randomisation was not reported and therefore the risk of selection bias was unclear. In the second study heparin did not significantly improve prevention of pulmonary embolism (OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.44 to 2.37) when compared to placebo. Furthermore, when the level of amputation was considered, the incidence of pulmonary embolism was similar between the two treatment groups: above knee amputation (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.31 to 1.97) and below knee amputation (OR 1.53, 95% CI 0.09 to 26.43). Ten participants died during the study; five underwent a post-mortem and three were found to have had a recent pulmonary embolism, all of whom had been on placebo. Bleeding events were reported in less than 10% of participants in both treatment groups but specific data were not presented. This study did not report the methods used to conceal allocation of treatment and therefore it was unclear if selection bias occurred. However, this study appeared to be free from all other sources of bias. No study looked at mechanical prophylaxis. As only two studies were included in this review, each comparing different interventions, there is insufficient evidence to make any conclusions regarding the most effective thromboprophylaxis regimen in patients undergoing lower limb amputation. Further large-scale studies that are of good quality are required. Source

Dudley N.,Lincoln County Hospital | Russell S.,The Christie NHS Foundation Trust | Ward B.,The Freeman Hospital | Hoskins P.,University of Edinburgh
Ultrasound | Year: 2014

Quality Assurance of ultrasound systems is necessary to ensure the reliability of results and to check for deterioration in performance; a number of bodies have produced guidelines. Testing has traditionally been the responsibility of Medical Physics Departments but the important role of sonographers has been recognised and recent publications have included tests to be performed by ultrasound users. Since there are differences in approach between these publications the BMUS QA Working Party was established to provide a consistent set of guidelines specifically for sonographers. Three levels of testing are recommended, to include infection control and inspections for scanner and probe damage, basic display checks and further tests to assess drop-out, sensitivity and noise. These tests should form part of a programme that includes more comprehensive testing at longer intervals, perhaps by a Medical Physics Department. Source

Robertson L.,The Freeman Hospital
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a common problem, affecting up to 50% of the population in industrialised countries. It is a chronic condition which, if untreated, can progress to serious complications that in turn can interfere with working ability. Standing at work is a known risk factor for CVI, yet the true effect of non-pharmacological preventive strategies remains unknown. This is an update of a review first published in 2012. To assess the efficacy of non-pharmacological strategies and devices to prevent CVI in a standing worker population. For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the Specialised Register (last searched September 2013) and CENTRAL (2013, Issue 8). We also handsearched reference lists of relevant studies. Randomised and non-randomised controlled trials that recruited standing workers to evaluate non-pharmacological devices or strategies used to prevent CVI were eligible for inclusion. Trials had to report an objective measure of clinical features of CVI or complaints associated with this condition in order to be included. Selection of the trials, quality assessment and data abstraction were completed independently by two review authors. We resolved disagreements by discussion. Only one trial was eligible for inclusion in the review so we did not perform meta-analyses. The primary outcomes of this review were clinical features of CVI and its associated symptoms. No new included studies were identified for this update. One prospective cross-over trial was included in this review. It measured the effect of no compression followed by two phases with different gradients of compression stockings on symptoms in 19 female flight attendants who were required to stand, almost continuously, for long periods of time. The included study provided some evidence that compression stockings improved symptoms of leg fatigue in standing workers. However, the strength of the evidence in this review is weak as it is based on only one very small trial which was at high risk of bias. The included study did not address any of the secondary outcomes including quality of life or economic impact of the interventions. Nor did the study report the length of time that the population were required to stand at work. Furthermore, no trials were found which measured the effectiveness of other non-pharmacological interventions or strategies aimed at preventing CVI in standing workers. Due to the extremely limited number of trials, there is insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for preventing CVI in standing workers. Further large-scale studies examining all possible non-pharmacological interventions and outcomes are required. Source

O'Hara J.,The Freeman Hospital | O'Hara J.,Newcastle University | Goff D.,Speech Kingdom | Cocks H.,Sunderland Royal Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Clinical Otolaryngology | Year: 2016

Objectives: To assess the between-group change in swallowing function from baseline to 12 months following treatment, for patients treated for resectable stage III and IVA oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. To assess the within-group change in swallowing function between 3 and 12 months following treatment. Design: Non-randomised cohort study. Setting: A single head and neck cancer unit with oncology services held at the nearby regional treatment centre. Participants: Twenty-five patients treated with Transoral Laser Microsurgery +/- adjuvant (chemo)radiotherapy (Transoral Laser Microsurgery) observed alongside an historic cohort of 33 patients treated with (chemo)radiotherapy. Main Outcome Measures: The patient reported MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI), an objective timed Water Swallow Test, and the clinician rated normalcy of diet subsection of the Performance of Swallowing Scale. Results: Between baseline and 12 months, patients treated with primary (chemo)radiotherapy demonstrated greater deterioration in swallowing function compared to Transoral Laser Microsurgery for all 3 swallowing measures. Between 3 and 12 months, the only significant change was an improvement in Performance of Swallowing Scale scores in the (chemo)radiotherapy group. Conclusions: This is the first study to report the results of a complimentary set of swallowing measures for patients treated with Transoral Laser Microsurgery, observed alongside a cohort of (chemo)radiotherapy patients. The preliminary results suggest a benefit in swallowing function for Transoral Laser Microsurgery over (chemo)radiotherapy during the year following treatment. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Binai N.,Northumbria University | O'Reilly S.,Northumbria University | Griffiths B.,The Freeman Hospital | van Laar J.M.,Northumbria University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Circulating monocytes are a highly plastic and functionally heterogeneic cell type with an activated phenotype in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). CD14 + monocytes have the potential to differentiate into extra-cellular matrix (ECM) producing cells, possibly participating in fibrogenesis. Aim: To study the effect of GM-CSF, IL-4 and endothelin -1 (ET-1) alone or in combination on monocyte differentiation into myofibroblasts. Methods: CD14 + cells were isolated from peripheral blood from 14 SSc patients and healthy controls by positive selection and incubated with different combinations of GM-CSF, IL-4 and ET-1 for 14 days. Type-1 collagen and α-SMA were detected by Western blot, qPCR and confocal microscopy. HLA-DR, CD11c and CD14 expression was analysed by flow cytometry. A collagen gel contraction assay was performed for functional myofibroblast assessment. Results: GM-CSF both induced collagen and α-SMA expression after 14 days. ET-1 further increased GM-CSF-induced collagen expression in a dose dependent manner up to 30-fold. IL-4/GM-CSF combination leads to a more DC-like phenotype of monocytes associated with reduced collagen and α-SMA expression compared to GM-CSF alone. Collagen and α-SMA expression was higher in monocytes from SSc patients and monocytes were more prone to obtain a spindle form. In contrast to controls, ET-1 and IL-4 alone were sufficient to induce α-SMA expression in monocytes from SSc patients. Despite the induction of α-SMA expression, monocyte-derived myofibroblasts only had a moderate capability of contraction in functional analyses. Conclusion: SSc monocytes display increased maturation towards myofibroblasts demonstrated by their phenotype and α-SMA expression when compared to monocytes from healthy controls, however only with minor functional contraction properties. © 2012 Binai et al. Source

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