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Belfast, United Kingdom

Spence M.,Queens University of Belfast | Alderdice F.A.,Queens University of Belfast | Harper R.,Ulster Hospital Dundonald | McCance D.R.,Regional Center for Endocrinology and Diabetes | Holmes V.A.,Queens University of Belfast
Diabetic Medicine | Year: 2010

Aims Pre-pregnancy care optimizes pregnancy outcome in women with pre-gestational diabetes, yet most women enter pregnancy unprepared. We sought to determine knowledge and attitudes of women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes of childbearing age towards pre-pregnancy care. Methods Twenty-four women (18 with Type 1 diabetes and six with Type 2 diabetes) aged 17-40 years took part in one of four focus group sessions: young nulliparous women with Type 1 diabetes (Group A), older nulliparous women with Type 1 diabetes (Group B), parous women with Type 1 diabetes (Group C) and women with Type 2 diabetes of mixed parity (Group D). Results Content analysis of transcribed focus groups revealed that, while women were well informed about the need to plan pregnancy, awareness of the rationale for planning was only evident in parous women or those who had actively sought prepregnancy advice. Within each group, there was uncertainty about what pre-pregnancy advice entailed. Despite many women reporting positive healthcare experiences, frequently cited barriers to discussing issues around family planning included unsupportive staff, busy clinics and perceived social stereotypes held by health professionals. Conclusions Knowledge and attitudes reported in this study highlight the need for women with diabetes, regardless of age, marital statusor type of diabetes, to receive guidance about planningpregnancy in amotivating, positive and supportive manner. The important patient viewpoints expressed in this studymayhelp health professionals determine howbest to encourage women to avail of pre-pregnancy care. Source

McCain S.,Ulster Hospital Dundonald
BMJ case reports | Year: 2014

A 41-year-old woman developed severe abdominal pain, distension and faeculent vomiting. CT of abdomen and pelvis revealed small bowel malrotation with a right paraduodenal hernia. At emergency laparotomy, a right paraduodenal hernia containing jejunum and ileum was identified. She had a viable duodenum with 50 cm of ischaemic proximal jejunum which was exteriorised as an end jejunostomy; 180 cm of infarcted jejunum and ileum was resected. The proximal end of 150 cm of healthy ileum was exteriorised as a closed mucous fistula and 50 cm distally a feeding ileostomy was constructed. On day 5 postoperatively, jejunal effluent began to be recycled via her feeding ileostomy and she never required parenteral nutrition. Despite having only 50 cm of jejunum proximal to her stoma, recycling of effluent enabled her electrolytes to remain normal. She put on weight postoperatively and proceeded to closure of her stomas at 6 months, not requiring laparotomy. 2014 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Source

Bell J.M.,Queens University of Belfast | Shields M.D.,Queens University of Belfast | Agus A.,Northern Ireland Clinical Trial Unit | Dunlop K.,Ulster Hospital Dundonald | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Despite vaccines and improved medical intensive care, clinicians must continue to be vigilant of possible Meningococcal Disease in children. The objective was to establish if the procalcitonin test was a cost-effective adjunct for prodromal Meningococcal Disease in children presenting at emergency department with fever without source. Methods and Findings: Data to evaluate procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and white cell count tests as indicators of Meningococcal Disease were collected from six independent studies identified through a systematic literature search, applying PRISMA guidelines. The data included 881 children with fever without source in developed countries.The optimal cut-off value for the procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and white cell count tests, each as an indicator of Meningococcal Disease, was determined. Summary Receiver Operator Curve analysis determined the overall diagnostic performance of each test with 95% confidence intervals. A decision analytic model was designed to reflect realistic clinical pathways for a child presenting with fever without source by comparing two diagnostic strategies: standard testing using combined C-reactive protein and white cell count tests compared to standard testing plus procalcitonin test. The costs of each of the four diagnosis groups (true positive, false negative, true negative and false positive) were assessed from a National Health Service payer perspective. The procalcitonin test was more accurate (sensitivity=0.89, 95%CI=0.76-0.96; specificity=0.74, 95%CI=0.4-0.92) for early Meningococcal Disease compared to standard testing alone (sensitivity=0.47, 95%CI=0.32-0.62; specificity=0.8, 95% CI=0.64-0.9). Decision analytic model outcomes indicated that the incremental cost effectiveness ratio for the base case was £-8,137.25 (US $ -13,371.94) per correctly treated patient. Conclusions: Procalcitonin plus standard recommended tests, improved the discriminatory ability for fatal Meningococcal Disease and was more cost-effective; it was also a superior biomarker in infants. Further research is recommended for point-of-care procalcitonin testing and Markov modelling to incorporate cost per QALY with a life-time model. © 2015 Bell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Dunlop K.A.,Ulster Hospital Dundonald | Coyle P.,Royal Group of Hospitals | Mitchell S.,Royal Group of Hospitals | Fairley D.,Royal Group of Hospitals | And 3 more authors.
Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease | Year: 2011

Early meningococcal disease (MD) diagnosis is difficult. We assessed rapid molecular testing of respiratory specimens. We performed genotyping of respiratory swabs, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid from children with suspected disease and nasal swabs (NSs) from matched controls. Thirty-nine of 104 suspected cases had confirmed disease. Four controls were carriers. Throat swab ctrA and porA testing for detection of disease gave a sensitivity of 81% (17/21), specificity of 100% (44/44), positive predictive value (PPV) of 100% (17/17), negative predictive value (NPV) of 92% (44/48), and relative risk of 12. NS ctrA and porA testing gave a sensitivity of 51% (20/39), specificity of 95% (62/65), PPV of 87% (20/23), NPV of 77% (62/81), and relative risk of 4. Including only the 86 NSs taken within 48 h of presentation, the results were sensitivity of 60% (18/30), specificity of 96% (54/56), PPV of 90% (18/20), NPV of 82% (54/66), and relative risk of 5. Swab type agreement was excellent (kappa 0.80, P < 0.001). There was exact phylogenetic agreement from different specimen sites for individuals. Carried genosubtypes were P1.7 and P1.21-7. Prehospital rapid molecular testing of easily obtained respiratory specimens could accelerate diagnosis of MD. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Murray A.M.,Royal Victoria Hospital | Keville N.,Ulster Hospital Dundonald | Gray S.,Ulster Hospital Dundonald
BMJ Case Reports | Year: 2014

A pleasant 74-year-old man was discharged home following a complication-free transurethral resection of his prostate (TURP) and successful trial without catheter. Unfortunately, on postoperative day 6, he presented to A&E with chest pain requiring emergency intervention for a confirmed myocardial infarction. A drug-eluting stent was inserted into his right coronary artery and he was started on dual antiplatelet therapy of aspirin and clopidogrel. On day 7, the patient developed significant haematuria requiring transfusion and an obstructive uropathy, requiring an emergency laparotomy and 1 L of organised clot evacuation from his bladder. The dual antiplatelet treatment was restarted on day 4 postlaparotomy, following debate between both the cardiology and urology teams regarding its appropriate reintroduction. On day 7, he was rushed back to the theatre for a re-laparotomy after CT confirmed reaccumulation of clot following an acute deterioration at ward level. The patient made an excellent recovery and was discharged home with regular outpatient follow-up. Source

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