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To study the impact of out-of-hours delivery on outcome for neonates with antenatally diagnosed transposition of the great arteries.
Tertiary paediatric cardiology centre (Yorkshire, United Kingdom), with co-located tertiary neonatal unit.
Neonates with antenatally diagnosed simple transposition of the great arteries delivered out-of-hours (Monday to Friday 17:00–08:00 and weekends) versus in-hours between 2015 and 2020.
The primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes included neurological morbidity, length of stay, and time to balloon atrial septostomy.
Of 51 neonates, 38 (75%) were delivered out-of-hours. All neonates born in the tertiary centre survived to discharge. Time to balloon atrial septostomy was slightly longer for out-of-hours deliveries compared to in-hours (median 130 versus 93 mins, p = 0.33). Neurological morbidity occurred for nine (24%) patients in the out-of-hours group and one (8%) in-hours (OR 3.72, 95% CI: 0.42–32.71, p = 0.24). Length of stay was also similar (18.5 versus 17.3 days, p = 0.59). Antenatal diagnosis of a restrictive atrial septum was associated with a lower initial pH (7.03 versus 7.13; CI: 0.03–0.17, p = 0.01), longer length of stay (22.6 versus 17.3 days; CI: 0.37–10.17, p = 0.04), and increased neurological morbidity (44% versus 14%; OR 4.80, CI 1.00–23.15, p = 0.05). A further three neonates were delivered in surrounding hospitals, with a mortality of 67% (versus 0 in tertiary centre; OR 172, CI 5-5371, p = 0.003).
Neonates with antenatally diagnosed transposition of the great arteries have similar outcomes when delivered out-of-hours versus in-hours. Antenatal diagnosis of restrictive atrial septum is a significant predictor of worse outcomes. In our region, delivery outside the tertiary cardiac centre had a significantly higher risk of mortality.
To examine the costs and cost-effectiveness of mirtazapine compared to placebo over 12-week follow-up.
Economic evaluation in a double-blind randomized controlled trial of mirtazapine vs. placebo.
Community settings and care homes in 26 UK centers.
People with probable or possible Alzheimer’s disease and agitation.
Primary outcome included incremental cost of participants’ health and social care per 6-point difference in CMAI score at 12 weeks. Secondary cost-utility analyses examined participants’ and unpaid carers’ gain in quality-adjusted life years (derived from EQ-5D-5L, DEMQOL-Proxy-U, and DEMQOL-U) from the health and social care and societal perspectives.
One hundred and two participants were allocated to each group; 81 mirtazapine and 90 placebo participants completed a 12-week assessment (87 and 95, respectively, completed a 6-week assessment). Mirtazapine and placebo groups did not differ on mean CMAI scores or health and social care costs over the study period, before or after adjustment for center and living arrangement (independent living/care home). On the primary outcome, neither mirtazapine nor placebo could be considered a cost-effective strategy with a high level of confidence. Groups did not differ in terms of participant self- or proxy-rated or carer self-rated quality of life scores, health and social care or societal costs, before or after adjustment.
On cost-effectiveness grounds, the use of mirtazapine cannot be recommended for agitated behaviors in people living with dementia. Effective and cost-effective medications for agitation in dementia remain to be identified in cases where non-pharmacological strategies for managing agitation have been unsuccessful.
Mortality between stages 1 and 2 single-ventricle palliation is significant. Home-monitoring programmes are suggested to reduce mortality. Outcomes and risk factors for adverse outcomes for European programmes have not been published.
To evaluate the performance of a home-monitoring programme at a medium-sized United Kingdom centre with regards survival and compare performance with other home-monitoring programmes in the literature.
All fetal and postnatal diagnosis of a single ventricle were investigated with in-depth analysis of those undergoing stage 1 palliation and entered the home-monitoring programme between 2016 and 2020. The primary outcome was survival. Secondary outcomes included multiple parameters as potential predictors of death or adverse outcome.
Of 217 fetal single-ventricle diagnoses during the period 2016–2020, 50.2% progressed to live birth, 35.4% to stage 1 and 29.5% to stage 2. Seventy-four patients (including 10 with postnatal diagnosis) entered the home-monitoring programme with six deaths making home-monitoring programme mortality 8.1%. Risk factors for death were the hybrid procedure as the only primary procedure (OR 33.0, p < 0.01), impaired cardiac function (OR 10.3, p < 0.025), Asian ethnicity (OR 9.3, p < 0.025), lower mean birth-weight (2.69 kg versus 3.31 kg, p < 0.01), and lower mean weight centiles during interstage follow-up (mean centiles of 3.1 versus 10.8, p < 0.01)
Survival in the home-monitoring programme is comparable with other home-monitoring programmes in the literature. Hybrid procedure, cardiac dysfunction, sub-optimal weight gain, and Asian ethnicity were significant risk factors for death. Home-monitoring programmes should continue to raise awareness of these factors and seek solutions to mitigate adverse events. Future work to generalise home-monitoring programme and single-ventricle fetus to stage 2 outcomes in the United Kingdom will require multi-centre collaboration.
Depression is a common and costly comorbidity in dementia. There are very few data on the cost-effectiveness of antidepressants for depression in dementia and their effects on carer outcomes.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine compared with placebo for depression in dementia.
A pragmatic, multicentre, randomised placebo-controlled trial with a parallel cost-effectiveness analysis (trial registration: ISRCTN88882979 and EudraCT 2006-000105-38). The primary cost-effectiveness analysis compared differences in treatment costs for patients receiving sertraline, mirtazapine or placebo with differences in effectiveness measured by the primary outcome, total Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) score, over two time periods: 0–13 weeks and 0–39 weeks. The secondary evaluation was a cost-utility analysis using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) computed from the Euro-Qual (EQ-5D) and societal weights over those same periods.
There were 339 participants randomised and 326 with costs data (111 placebo, 107 sertraline, 108 mirtazapine). For the primary outcome, decrease in depression, mirtazapine and sertraline were not cost-effective compared with placebo. However, examining secondary outcomes, the time spent by unpaid carers caring for participants in the mirtazapine group was almost half that for patients receiving placebo (6.74 v. 12.27 hours per week) or sertraline (6.74 v. 12.32 hours per week). Informal care costs over 39 weeks were £1510 and £1522 less for the mirtazapine group compared with placebo and sertraline respectively.
In terms of reducing depression, mirtazapine and sertraline were not cost-effective for treating depression in dementia. However, mirtazapine does appear likely to have been cost-effective if costing includes the impact on unpaid carers and with quality of life included in the outcome. Unpaid (family) carer costs were lower with mirtazapine than sertraline or placebo. This may have been mediated via the putative ability of mirtazapine to ameliorate sleep disturbances and anxiety. Given the priority and the potential value of supporting family carers of people with dementia, further research is warranted to investigate the potential of mirtazapine to help with behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia and in supporting carers.
Clinical audit methodology was used to compare the treatment of alcohol misusers at risk of Wernicke's encephalopathy in an acute medical setting, and to assess the impact of providing information about best practice to prescribing doctors. All patients prescribed thiamine during an admission to an acute hospital trust over a 6-month period were identified, and data about their treatment episode were collected retrospectively. Hospital pharmacists then provided all prescribers with a flowchart summarising current prescribing guidelines, and prescribing patterns were re-audited 6 months later.
Over two audit periods, half of the patients prescribed thiamine whose case notes we examined had symptoms suggestive of Wernicke's encephalopathy, and another 30% were at high risk. Prescribing adhered to hospital guidelines only in 14% of cases, with the pharmacy-led intervention associated with a small but significant increase in the number of patients receiving adequate treatment for Wernicke's encephalopathy.
Wernicke's encephalopathy is relatively common in alcohol-dependent individuals admitted to hospital, and it is easily and cheaply managed. However, even when potential cases are identified, prescribing guidelines are followed in a minority of cases, even with prompting by a hospital pharmacist. This may be related to the limited research base concerning the optimum dosing schedule of thiamine, or fears about possible anaphylaxis when using parenteral preparations.
An audit of in-patient prescription and administration records on acute psychogeriatric wards in a teaching hospital measured the extent of conformity to NHS trust drug policy and improvements following specific interventions. The audit also measured doctors' knowledge of the trust drug policy. Prescription cards of all patients present on the wards were re-audited after 12 months.
The audit identified important shortcomings in prescription writing, recording and policy awareness. A targeted series of interventions resulted in significant improvements in some of these areas.
Continuous evaluation and feedback via audit can reduce omissions in prescription writing and recording.
We describe the clinical presentation, course, and treatment response of a 14-year-old boy with catatonic stupor. This patient, with a preexisting diagnosis of autism, displayed mutism, akinesia, and an extreme level of rigidity, waxy flexibility, posturing, including the psychological pillow, facial grimacing, and other involuntary movements of his upper extremities. In addition he had symptoms suggestive of a depressive disorder as well as some non-specific psychotic symptoms. Intravenous injection of sodium amytal failed to resolve any motor symptoms, although he showed a good response to the zolpidem test. A course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) caused dramatic and sustained relief of catatonic stupor without a change in the symptoms of autism. The presentation of catatonia in autism and the use of ECT in children are discussed, and the available literature reviewed. This is the first description of the use of ECT in the treatment of catatonia coinciding with autism and we confirm its efficacy.
This study aimed to describe the prevalence of dental pathology in patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy and to prospectively determine the incidence of dental complications arising during treatment. Of 30 subjects, 93% complained of a dry mouth and 83% were taking drugs with anticholinergic properties. A third wore dentures and the dentate population had a mean of 15 decayed, missing or filled teeth. Oral hygiene and periodontal condition was poor with one-third requiring scaling and 30% complex periodontal treatment. Temporomandibular pain followed 44% of treatments, and minor buccal lesions occurred in 22%. Greater emphasis must be placed on dental care, and guidelines are suggested to improve practice.
The ability of elderly patients to identify a nurse wearing a uniform as opposed to mufti was investigated together with the effect of administrator attire on the Abbreviated Mental Test score (AMT). Thirty-six out of 71 patients identified a nurse wearing mufti increasing to 59/71 when wearing uniform (P < 0.005). Patients rated by a uniformed nurse had significantly higher mean AMT scores (6.1) than when rated by a nurse in mufti (5.6) (P < 0.01), and this also had a significant effect on the sensitivity in predicting an organic diagnosis.
This article briefly describes the experience of two final year senior registrars visiting services in other regions. The potential training benefits of such external placements for higher trainees are outlined and practical suggestions are made on how to make them more widely available.
In 1992, 46 consultants in old age psychiatry were asked to list their five most frequently used antidepressants, with reasons for their choices, and to comment on an information set for evaluating an antidepressant for use in older people. Lofepramine tied with dothiepin as the most popular antidepressant. The relatively new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRis) were also widely used. Cardiovascular safety, lack of anticholinergic side effects and safety in overdose were important factors in choice. Some antidepressants were preferred for particular symptoms or circumstances. A modified information set for evaluating an antidepressant for use in older people is presented.
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