Ulster Hospital

Dundonald, United Kingdom

Ulster Hospital

Dundonald, United Kingdom
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Allen P.B.,Ulster Hospital | Peyrin-Biroulet L.,University of Lorraine
Current Opinion in Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic disabling conditions. Despite the benefits of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α agents in improving quality of life and reducing the need for surgeries, overall only one-third of patients are in clinical remission at 1 year and loss of response is frequent. It seems clear that treatment must go beyond alleviation of symptoms in IBD. It is important that treatment targets in IBD will ensure mucosal healing and deep remission. RECENT FINDINGS: The induction of deep remission might be the best way to alter the natural course of these diseases by preventing disability and bowel damage. New disability indices and the new Crohn's disease damage score have recently been developed and they can be used to evaluate the long-term effect on patients and as new endpoints in trials. Early intervention with disease-modifying anti-IBD drugs (DMAIDs) should be considered in patients with poor prognostic factors. SUMMARY: New therapeutic targets in IBD patients who failed anti-TNF-α therapy are urgently required, and tofacitinib, vedolizumab and ustekinumab appear to be the most promising drugs. Herein, we review the new and current trends in IBD therapy, with the final aim of changing disease course and patients' lives by both improving quality of life and avoiding disability. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.

Harper G.K.,Ulster Hospital | Stafford M.A.,Ulster Hospital | Hill D.A.,Ulster Hospital
British Journal of Anaesthesia | Year: 2010

Background. The minimum effective volume of local anaesthetic needed to provide effective analgesia of the four main branches of the axillary brachial plexus is unknown. This study was performed to determine the minimum volume of local anaesthetic required to surround the nerves of the axillary brachial plexus and document onset and duration of sensory and motor effects.Methods. We enrolled 19 ASA I-II patients undergoing hand or forearm surgery. The four nerves of the axillary plexus were identified with ultrasound guidance. Lidocaine 1.5% with epinephrine 1:200 000 was loaded into a syringe driver. A 22 G needle was inserted in the long axis to each nerve and injection commenced using the bolus function (600 ml h-1). The needle was repositioned until the nerve was completely surrounded. The bolus dose in millilitres displayed on the syringe driver was recorded. This was repeated for each nerve. The degree of sensory and motor block was recorded as secondary outcomes.Results. The mean (95% CI) volume to surround each nerve was: radial 3.42 (2.84-3.99) ml, median 2.75 (2.31-3.19) ml, ulnar 2.58 (2.14-3.03) ml, and musculocutaneous 2.30 (1.96-2.64) ml. The mean (95% CI) onset time for complete sensory block was: radial 22.5 (13.5-31.5) min, median 26.8 (18.5-35.0) min, ulnar 26.6 (17.8-35.4) min, and musculocutaneous 15.8 (7.45-24.2) min. The mean (95% CI) last recorded time with complete block was: radial 137.1 (105.6-168.7) min, median 144.7 (123.4-166.0) min, ulnar 183.2 (158.1-208.2) min, and musculocutaneous 158.3 (131.8-184.9) min. Seven patients required additional local anaesthetic infiltration and two required i.v. analgesia. No patient required conversion to general anaesthesia for surgery.Conclusions. We found that it is possible to surround each nerve of the axillary brachial plexus with 2-4 ml of local anaesthetic. We speculate that increasing this volume would produce blocks of quicker onset and longer duration while still using smaller volumes than previously thought. © The Author [2010]. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia. All rights reserved.

Gilroy L.,Ulster Hospital | Allen P.B.,Ulster Hospital
Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality for millions of patients worldwide. Current treatment options include corticosteroids, 5-aminosalicylates, immunosuppressants, and TNFα antagonists. However, these are frequently ineffective in achieving sustained response and remission over time. At present, gastroenterologists lack safe and effective treatments if patients fail anti-TNF therapy. Vedolizumab is a promising new agent for IBD patients refractory to anti-TNF therapy. Vedolizumab is an integrin antagonist which is thought to act by reducing inflammation by selectively inhibiting leukocyte migration in the gut. Emerging evidence from clinical trials suggests a potential role for vedolizumab in both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), particularly in patients who have previously failed biological therapy. The safety profile of vedolizumab appears reasonable, possibly because it has a "gut-selective" mode of action, with no reported cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a condition which has been linked to another integrin antagonist, natalizumab. This review discusses the available evidence for integrin antagonists and their potential role in the management of IBD. © 2014 Gilroy and Allen.

Meneilly Z.,Ulster Hospital
Journal of perioperative practice | Year: 2013

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) presents a significant risk for women requiring Caesarean section. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains the leading direct cause of maternal death in the UK and is the second most common cause of maternal death worldwide, accounting for 11% of maternal deaths (RCOG 2009). This article uses a reflective cycle to explore the role of the preoperative practitioner in the prevention of DVT for women undergoing elective Caesarean section.

Semple C.J.,Ulster Hospital | Mccaughan E.,University of Ulster
European Journal of Cancer Care | Year: 2013

When a parent is diagnosed with cancer it can have a profound impact on the family, especially the children. This paper reports on the experience of parental cancer for parents' and their children and the impact of a psychosocial intervention for young children whose parent has cancer. Using a qualitative design, data were generated from separate focus groups with children (n=7) and parents (n=6). One-to-one interviews were conducted with professionals delivering the intervention (n=2). Findings indicated that parents are often the gatekeeper to how, when and the context in which children learn about parental cancer. Many parents expressed a lack of confidence and skills as they considered communicating with their children about cancer. Parents stated the need for professional input mainly due to changes in their children's behaviour. Children had a number of fantasies and misconceptions surrounding cancer. This psychological intervention normalized their experience of parental cancer. It also improved children's understanding of cancer and equipped them with coping strategies. Professionals perceived the intervention led to improved family communication and promoted discussion of emotions. Open communication is pivotal for children whose parents have cancer but parents need supported and resourced to promote family coping when diagnosed with cancer. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease who do not respond to steroid therapy often require treatment with immunomodulators in an attempt to achieve a response and maintain remission. However, a major concern and controversy is whether these treatments are putting the patients at a significantly increased risk of developing lymphomas. This case reports a patient with severe ulcerative colitis who had been previously treated with azathioprine and infliximab, and subsequently developed diffuse large B-cell colonic lymphoma.

Dasari B.V.M.,Belfast Health and Social Care Trust | Neely D.,Belfast Health and Social Care Trust | Kennedy A.,Belfast Health and Social Care Trust | Spence G.,Ulster Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Annals of Surgery | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review was to assess the safety and effectiveness of esophageal stents in the management of benign esophageal perforation and in the management of esophageal anastomotic leaks. BACKGROUND: Benign esophageal perforation and postoperative esophageal anastomotic leak are often encountered. Endoscopic placement of esophageal stent across the site of leakage might help control the sepsis and reduce the mortality and morbidity. METHODS: All the published case series reporting the use of metallic and plastic stents in the management of postoperative anastomotic leaks, spontaneous esophageal perforations, and iatrogenic esophageal perforations were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed (1990-2012). Primary outcomes assessed were technical success rates and complete healing rates. Secondary outcomes assessed were stent migration rates, stent perforation rates, duration of hospital stay, time to stent removal, and mortality rates. A pooled analysis was performed and subgroup analysis was performed for plastic versus metallic stents and anastomotic leaks versus perforations separately. RESULTS: A total of 27 case series with 340 patients were included. Technical and clinical success rates of stenting were 91% and 81%, respectively. Stent migration rates were significantly higher with plastic stents than with metallic stents (40/148 vs 13/117 patients, respectively; P = 0.001). Patients with metallic stents had significantly higher incidence of postprocedure strictures (P = 0.006). However, patients with plastic stents needed significantly higher number of reinterventions (P = 0.005). Mean postprocedure hospital stay varied from 8 days to 51 days. There was no significant difference in the primary or secondary outcomes when stenting was performed for anastomotic leaks or perforations. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic management of esophageal anastomotic leaks and perforations with the use of esophageal stents is technically feasible. It seems to be safe and effective when performed along with mediastinal or pleural drainage. Esophageal stent can, therefore, be considered as a treatment option in the management of patients who present early after esophageal perforation or anastomotic leak with limited mediastinal or pleural contamination. Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Nutt C.L.,Ulster Hospital | Russell J.C.,Ulster Hospital
Anaesthesia | Year: 2012

High-risk surgery is performed in every acute hospital. These patients often have increased peri-operative risk related to their poor cardiorespiratory reserve. Formal risk assessment is recommended for such patients; cardiopulmonary exercise testing is a well established triage tool, but is unavailable in many hospitals. We investigated whether a simple exercise test could predict postoperative outcome using a prospective trial of 121 patients undergoing elective major abdominal surgery. Each patient completed a shuttle walk test and was followed up for 30 days after surgery. There was one postoperative death (0.8%), with 53 patients (44%) developing complications. The mean (SD) shuttle walk test distance was significantly different between patients who suffered complications and those who did not (276.6 (134.5) vs 389.6 (138.9) m, respectively; p < 0.001). A cut-off distance of 250 m had a specificity of 0.88 and a sensitivity of 0.58 to predict postoperative complications. Patients unable to complete a shuttle walk test above this cut-off distance were three times more likely to have a postoperative morbidity. We conclude that the shuttle walk test can help identify patients who are at increased peri-operative risk. © 2012 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

Tennyson C.,Ulster Hospital | Lee R.,London Chest Hospital | Attia R.,Guys and St Thomas Hospital London
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery | Year: 2013

A best evidence topic in cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was is there a role for HbAlc in predicting morbidity and mortality outcomes after coronary artery bypass surgery? Eleven studies presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are tabulated. The studies presented analyse the relationship between preoperative HbAlc levels and postoperative outcomes following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) in diabetic, non-diabetic or mixed patient groups. Four studies found significant increases in early and late mortality at higher HbAl c levels, regardless of a preoperative diagnosis of diabetes. One study demonstrated that 30-day survival outcomes were significantly worse in patients with previously undiagnosed diabetes and elevated HbAlc compared with those with good control [HbAl c > 6%; odds ratio 1.53, confidence interval (CI) (1.24-1.91); P = 0.0005]. However, four studies of early mortality outcomes in diabetic patients only showed no significant differences between patients with normal and those with deranged HbAlc levels (P= 0.99). There were mixed reports on morbidity outcomes. Three studies identified a significant increase in infectious complications in patients with poorly controlled HbAlc, two of which were irrespective of previous diabetic status [deep sternal wound infection (P = 0.014); superficial sternal wound infection (P = 0.007) and minor infections (P = 0.006) in poorly controlled diabetics only]. Four studies presented outcomes for total length of stay (LOS). Three of these papers looked specifically at diabetic patients, of which two found no significant differences in length of stay between good and poor preoperative glycaemic control [LOS: P= 0.59 and 0.86 vs P < 0.001]. However, elevated HbAlc vs normal HbAlc was associated with prolonged stay in hospital and in intensive care unit (ICU) in patients irrespective of previous diabetic status [total LOS (P< 0.001)]. Elevated HbAlc levels were also a significant predictor of reduced intraoperative insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients (R =-0.527; P< 0.001). Furthermore, higher HbAlc levels were associated with a reduced incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation (P = 0.001). We conclude that elevated HbA1 c is a strong predictor of mortality and morbidity irrespective of previous diabetic status. In particular, the mortality risk for CABG is quadrupled at HbAl c levels > 8.6%. Some studies have called into question the predictive value of HbAl c on short-term outcomes in well-controlled diabetics; however, long-term outcomes in this population have not been reported.

Neligan P.C.,University of Washington | Lannon D.A.,Ulster Hospital
Clinics in Plastic Surgery | Year: 2010

The pedicled anterolateral thigh flap is a useful addition to our armamentarium. It provides excellent cover for defects in the lower abdomen, pelvis, and perineum. It also has the added advantage of not sacrificing any muscle, thereby minimizing the risk for donor morbidity. This article reviews the major applications of the proximally pedicled anterolateral thigh flap, describes the technique of flap harvest, and discusses techniques of flap transposition as well as pointing out some potential hazards. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

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