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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.04.24

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July 2000
Shlomo Shimonovitz MD, Anda Botosneano MD and Drorith Hochner-Celnikier MD

Background: Uterine rupture is a catastrophic obstetric complication, most often associated with a preexisting cesarean section scar. Although a vaginal birth after a cesarean is considered safe in modern obstetrics, it is not known whether repeated VBACs increase the risk of rupture, or whether the first VBAC proves the strength and durability of the scar, predicting further successful and less risky vaginal deliveries.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of repeated vaginal deliveries on the risk of uterine rupture in women who have previously delivered by cesarean section.

Methods: In this retrospective study, 26 VBAC deliveries complicated by uterine rupture were matched for age, parity, and gravidity with 66 controls who achieved VBAC without rupture. The histories, demography, pregnancy, labor and delivery records, as well as neonatal outcome were compared.

Results: We found that the risk of rupture decreases dramatically in subsequent VBACs. Of the 40 cases of uterine rupture recorded during the 18 year study period, 26 occurred during VBAC deliveries. Of these, 21 were complicated first VBACs. We also found that the use of prostaglandin-estradiol, instrumental deliveries, and oxytocin had been used significantly more often during deliveries complicated with rupture than in VBAC controls.

Conclusions: Once a woman has achieved VBAC the risk of rupture falls dramatically. The use of oxytocin, PGE2 and instrumental deliveries are additional risk factors for rupture, therefore caution should be exerted regarding their application in the presence of a uterine scar, particularly in the first vaginal birth after cesarean.

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VBAC= vaginal birth after cesarean section

PGE2= prostaglandin-estradiol

May 2000
Zvi Shimoni, MD, Mark Niven, MA, MB, Bchir MRCP, Margarita Mosenkis, MD and Joel Greif, MD
April 2000
Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Joseph Barr, MD, Matitiahu Berkovitch, MD, Hagit Matras, MA, Eran Kocer, MD, Revital Greenberg and Gideon Eshel, MD, published in IMAJ. IMAJ 2000; 2; April; 278-281

Background: For centuries talismans and amulets have been used in many cultures for their legendary healing powers.

Methods: We asked the parents of every child (Jews and Arabs) admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over a 2 month period to complete a questionnaire, which included demographic data on the patient and the family, the use of talismans or other folk medicine practices, and the perception of the effects of these practices on the patient’s well-being. A different questionnaire was completed by the ICU staff members on their attitude toward the use of amulets.

Results: Thirty percent of the families used amulets and talismans in the ICU, irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the family or the severity of the patient’s illness. Amulets and talismans were used significantly more by religious Jews, by families with a higher parental educational level, and where the hospitalized child was very young. The estimated frequency of amulet use by the children’s families, as perceived by the staff, was significantly higher than actual use reported by the parents. In Jewish families the actual use of amulets was found to be 30% compared to the 60% rate estimated by the medical staff; while in Moslem families the actual use was zero compared to the staff’s estimation of about 36%. Of the 19 staff members, 14 reported that the use of amulets seemed to reduce the parents' anxiety, while 2 claimed that amulet use sometimes interfered with the staff’s ability to carry out medical treatment.  

Conclusions: The use of talismans in a technologically advanced western society is more frequent than may have been thought. Medical and paramedical personnel dealing with very ill patients should be aware of the emotional and psychological implications of such beliefs and practices on patients and their families.

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ICU = intensive care unit

March 2000
Tamy Shohat MD, Manfred S. Green MD PhD, Orly Nakar MD, Ami Ballin MD, Poriya Duvdevani PhD, Avital Cohen MD and Mordechai Shohat MD

Background: In trials comparing different formulations of measles vaccine, excess non-specific mortality occurred in female children who received high titer vaccine. These findings suggest a gender-specific effect of measles vaccine.

Objectives: To determine whether gender differences exist in the rates of adverse reactions and morbidity in the month following immunization with measles-containing vaccine, and to evaluate whether there is a gender-specific association between the humoral immune response to measles vaccination and post-vaccination morbidity.

Methods: Parents completed questionnaires on the health status of 755 infants aged 15-20 months, during the month preceding and the month following the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Blood samples were tested for measles antibody titers in a subsample of 237 infants.

Results: After controlling background morbidity in the infants, the relative risk of fever and rash following vaccination was 2.35 in females and 1.36 in males. The geometric mean antibody titers against measles were similar in both sexes and there was no significant association between antibody titer and post-vaccination morbidity in either sex.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate higher rates of adverse effects in females following vaccination with MMR vaccine, irrespective of the humoral response. This study emphasizes the need to consider possible gender differences when evaluating new vaccines.

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MMR= measles-mumps-rubella

Eli Somekh MD, Ron Dagan MD and Aaron Hanukoglu MD

Background: DHEAS, the most abundant steroid secreted by the adrenal cortex, is suggested to have an important role in the development of immune reaction by activating T cell function and increasing antibody response, and has been tried as a vaccine adjuvant in elderly people.

Objectives: We examined the correlation between endogenous DHEAS and antibody response in the neonatal period by comparing the serum DHEAS levels with the amount of antibody response against hepatitis B vaccination in neonates.

Methods: Vaccine was administered to 12 healthy infants within 24 hours of birth (day 0), and blood specimens were obtained on days 0 and 30 for determination of anti-hepatitis B surface antibody concentration and DHEAS levels.

Results: DHEAS levels varied widely (range 0.38-3.70 μg/ml, mean±SD 2.14±0.98). While we could identify two groups of patients - those with high DHEAS levels (2.90±0.56) and those with lower levels (1.30±0.56) - there was no correlation between DHEAS levels and the antibody response to hepatitis B vaccine (γ=-0.05).

Conclusions: In neonates, antibody response to hepatitis B vaccine does not correlate with DHEAS serum levels. These results do not support the usage of DHEAS as a vaccine adjuvant in neonates.

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DHEAS= dehydepiandrosterone sulphate

Anabel Aharon-Maor, MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD
Michael Heim, MB CHB, Elinor Goshen, MD, Aharon Chechick, MD, Ilan Cohen, MD and Morris Azaria, MD
January 2000
Zvi Fireman MD, Leonid Trost MD, Yael Kopelman MD, Arie Segal MD and Amos Sternberg MD

Background: Previous studies have published controversial results regarding a connection between Helicobacter pylori infection and colorectal cancer. One possible mechanism is increased gastrin secretion in subjects infected with H. pylori, insofar as gastrin is known to be a trophic factor for the colonic mucosa.

Objectives: To investigate a possible role of gastrin secretion in H. pylori infection associated with colorectal cancer, and determine whether H. pylori infection is a factor in this disease.

Methods: The serum gastrin levels and the presence of H. pylori IgG antibodies were measured in 51 colorectal cancer patients and 51 control subjects. The cancer patients were also tested for carcinoembryonic antigen and CA 19-9.

Results: H. pylori IgG antibodies were found in the serum of 41 (80.4%) of the cancer patients compared to 32 (62.7%) of the control subjects (P=0.05). A significant correlation was found between CA 19-9 (γ=0.3432, n=49, P=0.01) and seropositive H. pylori IgG antibodies in the serum of the cancer patients (odds ratio 2.43, and 95% confidence limit 0.99-5.95), but none between CEA and H. pylori IgG antibodies nor between the serum gastrin level and the presence of colorectal cancer.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate a significant association between seropositive H. pylori IgG antibodies and elevated CA 19-9 in colorectal cancer patients, but no correlation between the serum gastrin level and the presence of this cancer. H. pylori seropositivity is more prevalent in patients with colorectal cancer.
 

December 1999
Aya Peleg PhD, Roni Peleg MD, Avi Porath MD and Yael Horowitz BSc

Background: Hallway medicine is an integral part of physicians' medical culture, but little is known about it.

Objective: To characterize the practice of hallway medicine among hospital physicians, both as providers and consumers.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 112 randomly chosen hospital physicians at the Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Israel between November 1997 and May 1998. A self-administered 39-item questionnaire was used that included sociodemographic data, the extent to which hallway medicine is practiced, and satisfaction from and attitudes to it.

Results: Of the 112 selected physicians, 111 responded (99.1%). Of these, 91 (82%) had been asked by their colleagues to provide hallway medicine. Most of them (91%) agreed because of "willingness to help," because "it's unpleasant to refuse," or "it's the acceptable thing to do." Most of the requests (72%) were unscheduled and time consuming (41% up to 10 minutes and 21% more than 20 minutes). Records were kept in only 36% of the cases and follow-up in 62%. Physicians who provided hallway medicine were also consumers of it (P<0.001), based on personal acquaintance, time saved and easy accessibility. In general, the attitude to hallway medicine was negative (54%) or ambiguous (37%). Most requests for hallway medicine were made to Israeli-trained physicians, surgeons or gynecologists, and senior physicians.

Conclusions: Hallway medicine is practiced frequently among hospital physicians. A formal organization of health care service within medical centers might provide physicians with better medical care and reduce potential ethical, medical, legal, psychosocial and economic problems.

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