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To determine whether patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia were being screened according to international guidelines, and to review recent evidence in order to provide up-to-date guidelines for the initial systemic management of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia.
A retrospective case note analysis was conducted, assessing patients in terms of screening for: genetics, cerebral arteriovenous malformations, pulmonary and hepatic arteriovenous malformations, and gastrointestinal telangiectasia. Databases searched included Medline, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Embase.
Screening investigations were most frequently performed for hepatic arteriovenous malformations and least frequently for genetics. Recent data suggest avoiding routine genetic and cerebral arteriovenous malformation screening because of treatment morbidities; performing high-resolution chest computed tomography for pulmonary arteriovenous malformation screening; using capsule endoscopy (if possible) to reduce complications from upper gastrointestinal endoscopy; and omitting routine liver enzyme testing in favour of Doppler ultrasound.
Opportunities for systemic arteriovenous malformation screening are frequently overlooked. This review highlights the need for screening and considers the form in which it should be undertaken.
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0.8-million-year-old sedimentary deposit. A combination of analyses indicated that these had been heated to 400–600°C, compatible with burning. Inspection of the sediment and hydroxyapatite also suggests combustion and degradation of the bone. The results provide new insight into Early Palaeolithic use of fire and its significance for human evolution.
To assess the feasibility of designing and implementing a speech in noise test in children before and after grommet insertion, and to analyse the results of such a test in a small group of children.
Twelve children aged six to nine years who were scheduled to undergo grommet insertion were identified. They underwent speech in noise testing before and after grommet insertion. This testing used Arthur Boothroyd word lists read at 60 dB in four listening conditions presented in a sound field: firstly in quiet conditions, then in signal to noise ratios of +10 (50 dB background noise), 0 (60 dB) and −10 (70 dB).
Mean phoneme scores were: in quiet conditions, 28.1 pre- and 30 post-operatively (p = 0.04); in 50 dB background noise (signal to noise ratio +10), 24.2 pre- and 29 post-operatively (p < 0.01); in 60 dB background noise (signal to noise ratio 0), 22.6 pre- and 27.5 post-operatively (p = 0.06); and in 70 dB background noise (signal to noise ratio −10), 13.9 pre- and 21 post-operatively (p = 0.05).
This small study suggests that speech in noise testing is feasible in this scenario. Our small group of children demonstrated a significant improvement in speech in noise scores following grommet insertion. This is likely to translate into a significant advantage in the educational environment.
Teflon amorphous fluoropolymer (TAF) multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) suspensions have the potential for creating conductive coatings on insulating films for numerous applications. However, there are few studies on polymer MWCNT suspension properties and even fewer that use Teflon. To define mechanical and electrical property relationships, bilayer films of TAF-MWCNT were created with differing concentrations of MWCNTs. Nanoindentation revealed that addition of 8 wt% MWCNTs to TAF increased the elastic modulus by about 25% and hardness by about 15%. Conducting indentation showed 8 wt% MWCNT films exhibit uniform stable conductance once indentation depth exceeds several hundred nanometers. Films with lower concentrations of CNTs were insulating. The two techniques provide a unique description of structure property relationships in this suspension film system.
Outcomes following admission to residential alternatives to standard in-patient mental health services are underresearched.
To explore short-term outcomes and costs of admission to alternative and standard services.
Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), Threshold Assessment Grid (TAG), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and admission cost data were collected for six alternative services and six standard services.
All outcomes improved during admission for both types of service (n = 433). Adjusted improvement was greater for standard services in scores on HoNOS (difference 1.99, 95% CI 1.12–2.86), TAG (difference 1.40, 95% CI 0.39–2.51) and GAF functioning (difference 4.15, 95% CI 1.08–7.22) but not GAF symptoms. Admissions to alternatives were 20.6 days shorter, and hence cheaper (UK£3832 v. £9850). Standard services cost an additional £2939 per unit HoNOS improvement.
The absence of clear-cut advantage for either type of service highlights the importance of the subjective experience and longer-term costs.
Differences in the content of care provided by acute in-patient mental health wards and residential crisis services such as crisis houses have not been researched.
To compare planned and actual care provided at alternative and standard acute wards and to investigate the relationship between care received and patient satisfaction.
Perspectives of stakeholders, including local service managers, clinicians and commissioners, were obtained from 23 qualitative interviews. Quantitative investigation of the care provided at four alternative and four standard services was undertaken using three instruments developed for this study. The relationship of care received to patient satisfaction was explored.
No significant difference was found in intensity of staff– patient contact between alternative and standard services. Alternative services provided more psychological and less physical and pharmacological care than standard wards. Care provision may be more collaborative and informal in alternative services. All measured types of care were positively associated with patient satisfaction. Measured differences in the care provided did not explain the greater acceptability of community alternatives.
Similarities in care may be more marked than differences at alternative and standard services. Staff–patient contact is an important determinant of patient satisfaction, so increasing it should be a priority for all acute in-patient services.
‘High stakes’ postgraduate medical examinations should conform to current educational standards. In the UK and Ireland, national assessments in surgery are devised and managed through the examination structure of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons. Their efforts are not reported in the medical education literature. In the current paper, we aim to clarify this process.
To replace the clinical section of the Diploma of Otorhinolaryngology with an Objective, Structured, Clinical Examination, and to set the level of the assessment at one year of postgraduate training in the specialty.
After ‘blueprinting’ against the whole curriculum, an Objective, Structured, Clinical Examination comprising 25 stations was divided into six clinical stations and 19 other stations exploring written case histories, instruments, test results, written communication skills and interpretation skills. The pass mark was set using a modified borderline method and other methods, and statistical analysis of the results was performed.
The results of nine examinations between May 2004 and May 2008 are presented. The pass mark varied between 68 and 82 per cent. Internal consistency was good, with a Cronbach's α value of 0.99 for all examinations and split-half statistics varying from 0.96 to 0.99. Different standard settings gave similar pass marks.
We have developed a summative, Objective, Structured, Clinical Examination for doctors training in otorhinolaryngology, reported herein. The objectives and standards of setting a high quality assessment were met.
The draft paper sets out the authors' views of what good practice for the actuarial aspects of internal models will look like in 2012, the year Solvency II is expected to be implemented. Actuaries working on internal models can expect to have to follow such practices if their internal models are to be approved for use in calculating regulatory capital. The paper is therefore relevant for actuaries who plan to work on internal model implementation for Solvency II.
Moreover, the risk quantification techniques discussed in the paper can also be used in the Own Risk Solvency Assessment (ORSA) process also required by Solvency II. The paper is therefore relevant to actuaries working in companies that are not planning to apply to use an internal model.
The paper covers both life and non-life insurance and reinsurance, and reviews current practice as well as setting out possible future practice. This leads to identification of areas for research by the Profession to prepare for 2012 and an indication of the directions this work might take.
The paper is effectively a work in progress, and readers should ask themselves what they should do in response to the ideas discussed.
To examine the contribution of genetic factors to food choice, we determined dietary patterns from food frequency questionnaires in 3262 UK female twins aged 18 to 79 years. Five distinct dietary patterns were identified (fruit and vegetable, high alcohol, traditional English, dieting, low meat) that accounted for 22% of the total variance. These patterns are similar to those found in other singleton Western populations, and were related to body mass index, smoking status, physical activity and deprivation scores. Older subjects had higher scores on the fruit and vegetable and traditional English patterns, while lower social deprivation was associated with higher scores for fruit and vegetable, and lower scores for traditional English patterns. All 5 patterns were heritable, with estimates ranging from 41% to 48%. Among individual dietary components, a strongly heritable component was identified for garlic (46%), coffee (41%), fruit and vegetable sources (49%), and red meat (39%). Our results indicate that genetic factors have an important influence in determining food choice and dietary habits in Western populations. The relatively high heritability of specific dietary components implicates taste perception as a possible target for future genetic studies.
Based on a simple model of lithic procurement, reduction, and use, we generate predictions for patterns in source diversity and average distance-to-source measurements for flaked stone assemblages left behind by small-scale and residentially mobile populations. We apply this model to geochemical data from obsidian artifacts from three regions in western North America. As predicted, results show markedly different patterns in the geochemical composition of small flakes, large flakes, and formal tools. While small flakes and tools tend to have greater source diversity and are on average farther from their original source, the large flake assemblage is composed of fewer and closer sources. These results suggest that a failure to include very late stage reduction (e.g., pressure flakes) and microdebitage in characterization studies may bias interpretations about the extent of residential mobility and/or trade patterns because more distant sources will be underrepresented.
The success of efforts to re-establish mammalian carnivores within their former range is dependent on three key factors: methodological considerations, the biological requirements of the target species, and the involvement of local human communities for whom large carnivores pose a threat. We consider the role of these factors in the first 13 years of an effort to re-establish wild lions in northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. We employed soft-release methods to mitigate the characteristic problems associated with restoration of large carnivores. A pre-release captivity period facilitated acclimatization of reintroduced lions and promoted long-term bonding of unfamiliar individuals into cohesive groups. All individuals remained in the release area and established enduring, stable home ranges. Reintroduced lions successfully reproduced and raised 78% of their cubs to independence. Human activity was the cause of all post-release mortality. Despite rapid population growth and the re-establishment of the species at Phinda Private Game Reserve, the population is small and isolated with little prospect for re-colonizing additional areas where the species has been extirpated, or for connecting with other isolated lion populations in the region. Accordingly, although we essentially overcame the short-term technical and biological challenges facing lion reintroduction, the long-term value of the Phinda population for addressing the conservation issues facing the species remains equivocal.
Since the first thyroidectomy was reportedly performed by the Moorish surgeon Albucasis in AD 330, the surgical treatment of thyroid and parathyroid disorders has been approached with trepidation. Even with modern technical advances, many regard pathology in this anatomic location only operable by those with significant experience. This notion is especially true in children. The technical difficulties are more pronounced in younger individuals, and these children must survive a lifetime with the end result of their surgeon's work.
In this chapter, the long-term outcome of surgical diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, including thyroglossal disorders, in children is discussed. Graves' disease, the most common of these disorders, is the first entity considered. Malignancies of the thyroid gland are then considered with a discussion of papillary and follicular carcinoma, followed by a review of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. Next, childhood disorders of the parathyroid glands are discussed, with emphasis on hyperparathyroidism. Finally, we consider the management and long term outcome of thyroglossal disorders, including cysts and sinuses.
Toxic diffuse goiter or Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in children. It is more common in girls than boys, with a ratio of approximately 4:1 to 5:1, and the incidence increases throughout childhood with a peak in the adolescent years.
Graves' disease is an autoimmune process mediated by circulating autoantibodies to the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor present on the follicular cells of the thyroid gland.
The Rhesus (Rh) blood group system is expressed by a pair of 12-transmembrane-domain-containing proteins, the RhCcEe and RhD proteins. RhCcEe and RhD associate as a Rh core complex that comprises one RhD/CcEe protein and most likely two Rh-associated glycoproteins (RhAG) as a trimer. All these Rh proteins are homologous and share this homology with two human non-erythroid proteins, RhBG and RhCG. All Rh protein superfamily members share homology and function in a similar manner to the Mep/Amt ammonium transporters, which are highly conserved in bacteria, plants and invertebrates. Significant advances have been made in our understanding of the structure and function of Rh proteins, as well as in the clinical management of Rh haemolytic disease. This review summarises our current knowledge concerning the molecular biology of Rh proteins and their role in transfusion and pregnancy incompatibility.
Objective: To assess the impact of a computerised system to support decision-making concerning the management of warfarin used in maintenance of anti-coagulation. Design: Retrospective case series study comparing manual and computerised records of prescribing. Setting: A tertiary paediatric cardiology department in a teaching hospital. Participants: The 26 children receiving warfarin to maintain anticoagulation at the time of introduction of a computerised system to support decision-making. Interventions: A rules-based computerised system to support decisions, based on existing departmental guidelines, for management of anticoagulation using warfarin was introduced to aid prescribing physicians. Main outcomes: We assessed the stability of the International Normalised Ratio, along with the number of checks made of the ratio, and the adjustments of dosage. Dosages, and recheck interval prescriptions, were compared to the guidelines established by our department. Results: We compared 274 prescriptions made manually, and 608 made using the computerised system to support decision-making, covering periods of 4, and 11, months respectively. The mean proportion of time spent by the patients within their target range for the International ratio was maintained during the period studied, at 76 percent versus 79 percent (p = 0.79). The median number of checks of the ratio made for each patient over a period of 28 days was unchanged, at 1.9 versus 2.1 (p = 0.58). There was a significant change in prescribing practices, which more closely followed the departmental guidelines. Conclusion: The introduction of a computerised system to support decision-making maintained the stability of the International ratio using warfarin, without increasing the number of checks or adjustments of dosages, in a point-of-care service for anticoagulation in children.