Friday, 10 June 2016

SimMed School in Galway

Transition Year students experience life as a junior doctor at the Saolta Simulation Centre

After the success of the inaugural SIMMed School in 2014, over 30 transition year (TY) students from across the West of Ireland attended the Saolta Simulation Centre at University Hospital Galway on Monday 23th March 2015 to experience what it is like to be a junior doctor.

SIMMed School is a programme developed at Saolta University Health Care Group for transition year students with an interest in pursuing a career in medicine. It is designed to immerse the student into the world of a junior doctor, managing acute medical emergency scenarios, performing procedures, communicating with relatives and staff, while working as part of a multidisciplinary team in a simulated environment.

The students perform technical skills using high tech simulators that lookS and feels like any human being. The skills demonstrated and taughtinclude taking blood, connecting drips, passing a urinary catheter, applying a plaster cast and learning to suture wounds.

SiMMed School is the brainchild of Dr. Dara Byrne, the Director of Simulation and Intern Co-ordinator for the Saolta Hospital Group. Speaking at the event, she said  "This is a first of its kind programme for transition year students in the West of Ireland.  It is a fully immersive experience for students with an interest in a career in medicine. They experience first-hand what it is like to work as a junior doctor. They embrace the challenge and learn the importance of being both technically skilled and a good communicator.”

View more on Saolta here

Friday, 27 May 2016

Hydration and Nutrition Standards Review - HIQA

A new review suggests nutrition and hydration is not viewed as a priority for some hospitals.
The review, published by the Health Information and Quality Authority, says 21% of acute public hospitals do not have a system in place to screen for malnutrition risks.
This is despite the fact that malnutrition affects more than a quarter of hospitals.


A 2012 study said the annual healthcare costs associated with disease-related malnutrition was around €1.5 billion.
The review also found that in some cases the hydration needs of patients were not met.
This mainly applied to patients in emergency departments who were deemed to be admitted, but who remained there for lengthy periods while waiting for a bed in the main hospital.
While all 42 hospitals inspected had stated that patients had access to fresh drinking water, HIQA inspectors found drinking water was only topped up by staff during the day in most inspected hospitals if a jug was seen to be empty or at a patient's request.
In a number of emergency departments, patients who were not mobile and could not access a water cooler were not routinely being offered drinks.
Less than one in three hospitals inspected had a system to replenish water jugs with fresh water during the afternoon so as to ensure that patients always had access to fresh water.
In addition, there was a lack of consistency in the meals offered to patients in emergency departments.
As part of the review, HIQA analysed information from 42 hospitals, carried out unannounced inspections in 13 hospitals, as well as speaking with patients and staff and reviewing patient records.
Susan Cliffe, HIQA's Head of Healthcare, said "food should be seen as an integral part of a patient's treatment, rather than a 'hotel service' provided by the hospital."
She added that "many patients experience unintentional weight loss of over 10% of their body weight prior to admission and their nutritional status often deteriorates while in hospital.
Nutrition and hydration is fundamental to their treatment and recovery plan of care."

Alarm Raised at Resistant Infection!

US health officials have reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to all known antibiotics, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections, if it spreads.
"We risk being in a post-antibiotic world," said Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, referring to the urinary tract infection of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman who had not travelled within the prior five months.

The superbug reportedly contains a gene called mcr-1 that confers resistance to colistin
The superbug reportedly contains a gene called mcr-1 that confers resistance to colistin

Mr. Frieden, speaking at a National Press Club lunch in Washington, DC, said the infection was not controlled even by colistin, an antibiotic that is reserved for use against "nightmare bacteria."
The infection was reported yesterday in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.
It said the superbug itself had first been infected with a tiny piece of DNA called a plasmid, which passed along a gene called mcr-1 that confers resistance to colistin.
"(This) heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria," said the study, which was conducted by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of mcr-1 in the USA."
The patient visited a clinic on 26 April 2016 with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, according to the study, which did not describe her current condition.
Authors of the study could not immediately be reached for comment.
The study said continued surveillance to determine the true frequency of the gene in the United States is critical.
"It is dangerous and we would assume it can be spread quickly, even in a hospital environment if it is not well contained," said Dr. Gail Cassell, a microbiologist and senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
But she said the potential speed of its spread will not be known until more is learned about how the Pennsylvania patient was infected, and how present the colistin-resistant superbug is in the United States and globally.
In the United States, antibiotic resistance has been blamed for at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually.
The mcr-1 gene was found last year in people and pigs in China, raising alarm.
The potential for the superbug to spread from animals to people is a major concern, Dr. Cassell said.
For now, Dr. Cassell said people can best protect themselves from it and from other bacteria resistant to antibiotics by thoroughly washing their hands, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly and preparing foods appropriately.
Experts have warned since the 1990s that especially bad superbugs could be on the horizon, but few drug makers have attempted to develop drugs against them.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Zika Virus, No. (3) - WHO

The spread of Zika is the price being paid for a massive policy failure on mosquito control, says World Health Organization leader, Margaret Chan.
Speaking at the agency's annual World Health Assembly, Dr. Chan said experts had "dropped the ball" in the 1970s with regards to getting a handle on disease-carrying insects.
More than 60 countries and territories now have continuing Zika transmission.
Most recently, the infection, spread by mosquito bites, reached Africa.

Experts predict the same strain could reach Europe in the summer.
According to Dr. Chan, outbreaks that become emergencies always reveal specific weaknesses in affected countries and illuminate the fault lines in our collective preparedness.

Dr Chan
Image: European PA                            

"Zika reveals an extreme consequence of the failure to provide universal access to sexual and family planning services," she said.
Dr. Chan added that Latin America and the Caribbean, which have been hit hardest by Zika, have the highest proportion of unintended pregnancies in the world.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tanning Injections - Health Warning!

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has issued a warning over tanning injections which are being bought illegally over the internet.
The warning follows a sharp increase in the number of products seized in Ireland last year.
In 2015, 305 seizures were made, compared to just four in 2014 and five in 2013.

The HPRA says last year's figure related to one major seizure and an investigation is on-going.
The products come in powder form and in some cases with a solution. They are mixed and injected into the stomach with an insulin needle.
The hormone in the injections, which can be bought online for as little as €40, encourages the production of melanin, making the skin turn brown.
However, the side effects can be serious, including nausea, depression and cardiovascular problems.
The injections have also been linked to skin cancer and stroke.
The Irish Cancer Society has described the practice of tanning injections as 'sheer madness'

The Irish Cancer Society has described the practice of tanning injections as "sheer madness".
The HPRA has urged people not to use the injections, and has advised anyone who has been using the product to stop immediately and contact their doctor.

Data Analysis - New Edition of SPSS

The new edition of Pallant's SPSS Survival Manual has arrived at The James Hardiman Library.

The 6th Edition, 2016 of Pallant's research work is located at 005.55 SPSS.P rather than the regular number for Statistics titles (519.5)

SPSS Survival Manual

The SPSS Survival Manual throws a lifeline to students and researchers grappling with this powerful data analysis software.
In her bestselling guide, Julie Pallant guides you through the entire research process, helping you choose the right data analysis technique for your project. From the formulation of research questions, to the design of the study and analysis of data, to reporting the results, Julie discusses basic and advanced statistical techniques. She outlines each technique clearly, with step-by-step procedures for performing the analysis, a detailed guide to interpreting data output and an example of how to present the results in a report. For both beginners and experienced users in psychology, sociology, health sciences, medicine, education, business and related disciplines, the SPSS Survival Manual is an essential text.
Illustrated with screen grabs, examples of output and tips, it is supported by a website with sample data and guidelines on report writing. This sixth edition (2016) is fully revised and updated to accommodate changes to IBM SPSS procedures, screens and output. It covers new SPSS tools for generating graphs and non-parametric statistics, importing data, and calculating dates. 'An excellent introduction to using SPSS for data analysis. It provides a self-contained resource itself, with more than simply (detailed and clear) step-by-step descriptions of statistical procedures in SPSS.
There is also a wealth of tips and advice, and for each statistical technique a brief, but consistently reliable, explanation is provided.' - Associate Professor George Dunbar, University of Warwick..'This book is recommended as ESSENTIAL to all students completing research projects - minor and major.' - Dr John Roodenburg, Monash University.


UK Diabetes Treatment Trial:

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Hailed as Major Breakthrough:
A trial run of a Type 2 diabetes treatment by a West Midlands hospital trust has been hailed as a major breakthrough.
The two-year programme involved putting a latex tube, known as an Endo-barrier device, into the patient's small intestine to reduce the rate at which food is absorbed.
About one hundred people took part in the project at City and Sandwell hospitals, losing on average two stone in weight and drastically reducing their blood sugar levels.
Nick Pharhani, 52, who lost four-and-a-half stone (28 kg), said: "I do feel a lot more positive about myself."

Fat man eating a apple isolated on white background

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Ireland's commitment to eHealth : The Future Health Summit

More than 1,500 delegates will gather in Dublin's Citywest Convention Centre on May 26th and 27th next to discuss some of the main health issues facing society to-day.
The Future Health Summit is actually a series of 15 separate summits covering areas as diverse as mental health, medtech, oncology, wellbeing at work, clinical leadership, diabetes, eHealth and homecare.
The theme for the 2016 summit is 'Empowering the Patient; information, choice and accountability'.
The summit is now the must-be-at European event for present and future healthcare leaders.
International interest has been growing every year with a huge range of innovators and global leaders attending from over 30 countries this year.
One of the summits within the conference which is attracting most attention is the Festival of ehealth. This event is aimed at demonstrating Ireland's commitment to ehealth and how technology is delivered to health in Ireland.
Chaired by HSE chief information officer, Richard Corbridge, the event will feature a number of leading international speakers who will be addressing topics like security, how to deploy technology successfully, the latest clinical equipment and so on.
One of the key areas for discussion will be the electronic patient record system which Corbridge and his team hope to introduce to Ireland in the coming years.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Feeling Arty in the world of Medicine

The dotMed conference aims to reconnect with the art and humanity of medicine

Monday, 16 May 2016

Nutrition at a Glance!

The James Hardiman Library has recently acquired the second edition of a popular title from the 'At a Glance Series' which is published by Wiley Blackwell :
Image result for nutrition at a glance 2016 image  Located at 612.3 NUT

Nutrition at a Glance (2016) - this publication, edited by Sangita Sharma covers such topics as the relationship between diet, health and disease; as well as assessing  the consequences of food choices. It also glances at the public health features of sports nutrition, as well as the impact of genetically modified foods and aspects of food safety.