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Flexible laryngoscopy is a commonly performed procedure in otolaryngology. Although this procedure is not considered painful, many patients describe it as uncomfortable. This study investigated the role of visual distraction as a form of pain relief during flexible laryngoscopy.
The study included patients undergoing flexible laryngoscopy at the University Hospital Southampton. Patients were self-allocated to one of four groups: with or without co-phenylcaine anaesthetic spray; and with and without visual distraction. Visual distraction involved the patient watching the procedure concurrently with the clinician, via a video monitor. Pre- and post-procedural discomfort was assessed using a visual analogue scale.
The use of topical anaesthetic spray was not associated with significantly reduced discomfort scores (p > 0.05). Discomfort scores were significantly reduced in the visual distraction groups (p = 0.04), irrespective of the use of topical anaesthetic spray.
This small study showed that visual distraction should be considered as a simple and cost-effective alternative to local anaesthetic for flexible laryngoscopy.
Up to 70 per cent of the population search online for medical or health-related information. This study aimed to assess the quality of online health resources available to educate patients on a variety of otolaryngological conditions.
Two clinicians independently analysed the quality and content of educational websites (patient.co.uk and wikipedia.org) for common and uncommon diagnoses, with cancerresearchuk.org also used to assess two head and neck cancers.
Cancerresearchuk.org, followed by patient.co.uk, scored most highly in their ability to inform readers on a selection of otolaryngological conditions. Although wikipedia.org was less likely to include all relevant information and was more difficult to read, it still provided mostly accurate information.
Where possible, patients should be advised to access professionally maintained health information websites (patient.co.uk and cancerresearchuk.org). However, wikipedia.org can provide adequate information, although it lacks depth and can be difficult to understand.
This study aimed to ascertain otolaryngologists’ current knowledge of new (e.g. apixaban, rivaroxaban) and old (e.g. warfarin) anticoagulant medications, and to provide an educational overview of new anticoagulants for use by surgeons.
A questionnaire survey was distributed across the Wessex region, UK, to ascertain the levels of knowledge of and confidence in managing patients taking various anticoagulants. In total, 50 questionnaires were completed (41 by trainees and 9 by consultants). A literature review of new anticoagulant medications was then conducted.
In general, there was poor clinical and pharmacokinetic knowledge of newly licensed anticoagulant medications. Respondents were more confident in the use of older vs newer forms of anticoagulants. This was true across all grades of doctors, but particularly at the senior level. All respondents stated that they would like to see an educational resource on anticoagulants.
Knowledge of newly licensed anticoagulation medications is poor. This study has produced an educational resource for the management of anticoagulant agents. A thorough knowledge of these drugs is essential for the acute management of bleeding patients and in peri-operative surgical planning.
YouTube is an internet-based repository of user-generated content. This study aimed to determine whether YouTube represented a valid and reliable patient information resource for the lay person on the topic of rhinosinusitis.
The study included the first 100 YouTube videos found using the search term ‘sinusitis’. Videos were graded on their ability to inform the lay person on the subject of rhinosinusitis.
Forty-five per cent of the videos were deemed to provide some useful information. Fifty-five per cent of the videos contained little or no useful facts, 27 per cent of which contained potentially misleading or even dangerous information. Videos uploaded by medical professionals or those from health information websites contained more useful information than those uploaded by independent users.
YouTube appears to be an unreliable resource for accurate and up to date medical information relating to rhinosinusitis. However, it may provide some useful information if mechanisms existed to direct lay people to verifiable and credible sources.
There is currently little published guidance on the management of anticoagulant and antiplatelet medication in patients admitted with epistaxis. The routine practice of withholding such medication in an attempt to control the epistaxis is common in the UK. However, this practice is not evidence-based, is often unnecessary, and can be associated with significant morbidity. This study introduces a treatment algorithm for oral anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapy in epistaxis patients, validated through a completed audit cycle.
One hundred patients admitted with epistaxis to the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust were studied via a two-audit cycle covering the implementation of a new treatment algorithm formulated jointly by the otolaryngology and haematology departments.
On admission, 58 per cent of patients were taking some form of anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication. The number of patients having such medication withheld decreased significantly between the two audits, for all drugs studied (i.e. aspirin, clopidogrel and warfarin). There was no significant increase in re-bleeding or re-admission rates between the audits.
Implementation of this treatment algorithm would help standardise management for epistaxis patients taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, and should reduce morbidity associated with unnecessary routine discontinuation of such medication.
An eleven item clinician-administered Mania Rating Scale (MRS) is introduced, and its reliability, validity and sensitivity are examined. There was a high correlation between the scores of two independent clinicians on both the total score (0.93) and the individual item scores (0.66 to 0.92). The MRS score correlated highly with an independent global rating, and with scores of two other mania rating scales administered concurrently. The score also correlated with the number of days of subsequent stay in hospital. It was able to differentiate statistically patients before and after two weeks of treatment and to distinguish levels of severity based on the global rating.
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