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עמוד בית
Sun, 14.07.24

August 2010

A. Farfel, D. Hardoff, A. Afek and A. Ziv

Background: Simulation-based medical education has become a powerful tool in improving the quality of care provided by health professionals.

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a simulated patient-based educational program for military recruitment center physicians on the quality of medical encounters with adolescent candidates for military service.

Methods: Twelve physicians participated in an educational intervention that included a one day SP[1]-based workshop, where simulations of eight typical candidates for military service were conducted. Assessment of the physicians' performance before and after the intervention was based on questionnaires filled by 697 and 508 military candidates respectively, upon completion of their medical examination by these physicians. The questionnaire explored health topics raised by the examining physician as well as the atmosphere during the encounter. The candidates were also asked whether they had omitted important medical information during the medical encounter.

Results: Pre- and post-intervention comparison revealed significant changes in the percentages of candidates who reported that they were asked questions related to psychosocial topics: school problems – 59.7% and 68.9% (P = 0.01), protected sex – 29.6% and 36.4% (P = 0.01), mood changes – 46.9% and 52.2% (P = 0.05) respectively. Physicians were perceived as being interested in the candidates by 68.2% of the candidates before the intervention and 77.5% after (P < 0.01). The percentage of candidates who reported omitting medical information decreased from 6.6% before the intervention to 2.4% after (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: A simulated patient-based educational program for military physicians improved the quality of physician-candidate encounters. Such programs may serve as an effective instrument for training physicians to communicate with adolescents.

[1] SP = simulated patient

A. Leiba, N. Dreiman, G. Weiss, B. Adini and Y. Bar-Dayan

Background: The growing numbers of H1N1 "swine influenza" cases should prompt national health systems to achieve dual preparedness: preparedness of clinicians to recognize and treat cases of human H1N1 flu, and national preparedness for an influenza pandemic. This is similar to recent contingency planning for an avian flu pandemic.

Objectives: To evaluate hospital personnel's knowledge on avian flu (zoonotic, sporadic, pandemic), comparing among nurses, residents and faculty, and between those who attended lectures or other educational modalities targeted at avian flu and those who did not.

Methods: A 14 item multiple choice questionnaire was designed to test crucial points regarding preparedness for human avian flu. The directors of 26 general hospitals were instructed by the Ministry of Health to improve knowledge of and preparedness for different avian flu scenarios, and to expect an official inspection. As part of this inspection, we distributed the questionnaires to nurses, residents and senior physicians.

Results: Altogether, 589 questionnaires were collected from the 26 hospitals. Examinees who participated in training modules (course, lecture or any training provided by the hospital) did somewhat better (scoring 78 points out of 100) than those who did not attend the training (70 points) (P < 0.05). Differences in nurses’ knowledge were even more striking: 66 points for the non-attendants compared to 79 for nurses who attended the lecture (P < 0.05).  Residents had significantly lower scores compared to nurses or senior physicians: 70 compared to 77 and 78 respectively (P < 0.05).

Original Articles
A.E. Buchs and M.J. Rapoport

Background: It is currently recommended that capillary glucose levels of non-critically ill hospitalized diabetic patients be maintained at between 140 and 180 mg/dl. Implementation of these recommendations and evaluation of their effectiveness require that data regarding the glucose control of these hospitalized patients be accessible.

Objective: To analyze glucose control and monitoring of all the diabetic patients hospitalized in the general medicine wards of our medical center.

Methods: Capillary glucose measurements of all diabetic patients hospitalized in our departments of medicine between June and December 2008 were recorded by a central computerized institutional glucometer. Median glucose values and frequency of daily glucose checks per patient were analyzed in the internal medicine wards.

Results: We evaluated 14,366 capillary measurements from 2475 patients; 43% were taken before breakfast and 25% before dinner. A median of one daily determination per patient was obtained. This number increased 1.4-fold in patients with hyperglycemia > 200 mg/dl and 2.5-fold in patients with hypoglycemia. Seventy-five percent of the recorded glucose values were within the recommended target range, with a median daily level of 161 mg/dl and median fasting glucose of 142 mg/dl. A significant variance was found between wards.

Conclusions: The frequency of capillary glucose measurements in diabetic patients hospitalized in general medicine wards was low; most capillary glucose values, however, were within the recommended target range. The optimal monitoring of glucose in these patients remains to be determined.

H. Danenberg, A. Finkelstein, R. Kornowski, A. Segev, D. Dvir, D. Gilon, G. Keren, A. Sagie, M. Feinberg, E. Schwammenthal, S. Banai, C. Lotan and V. Guetta

Background: The prevalence of aortic stenosis increases with advancing age. Once symptoms occur the prognosis in patients with severe aortic stenosis is poor. The current and recommended treatment of choice for these patients is surgical aortic valve replacement. However, many patients, mainly the very elderly and those with major comorbidities, are considered to be at high surgical risk and are therefore denied treatment. Recently, a transcatheter alternative to surgical AVR[1] has emerged.

Objectives: To describe the first year experience and 30 day outcome of transcatheter aortic self-expandable CoreValve implantation in Israel.

Methods: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve system has been performed in Israel since September 2008. In the following year 55 patients underwent CoreValve TAVI[2] in four Israeli centers.

Results: Patients' mean age was 81.7 ± 7.1 years; there were 35 females and 20 males. The mean valve area by echocardiogram was 0.63 ± 0.16 cm2. The calculated mean logistic Euroscore was 19.3 ± 8%. Following TAVI, mean transvalvular gradient decreased from baseline levels of 51 ± 13 to 9 ± 3 mmHg. The rate of procedural success was 98%. One patient died on the first day post-procedure (1.8%) and all-cause 30 day mortality was 5.5% (3 of 55 patients). One patient had a significant post-procedural aortic regurgitation of > grade 2. Symptomatic improvement was evident in most patients, with reduction in functional capacity grade from 3.2 ± 0.6 at baseline to 1.4 ± 0.7. The most common post-procedural complication was complete heart block, which necessitated permanent pacemaker implantation in 37% of patients.

Conclusions: The Israeli first year experience of transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve self-expandable system demonstrates an effective and safe procedure for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis in patients at high surgical risk.

[1] AVR = aortic valve replacement

[2] TAVI = transcatheter aortic valve implantation

A. Weissler, L. Perl, Y. Neuman, Y.A. Mekori and A. Mor

The features of infective endocarditis include both cardiac and non-cardiac manifestations. Neurologic complications are seen in up to 40% of patients with infective endocarditis and are the presenting symptom in a substantial percentage. We describe in detail the clinical scenarios of three patients admitted to our hospital, compare their characteristics and review the recent literature describing neurologic manifestations of infective endocarditis. Our patients demonstrate that infective endocarditis can develop without comorbidity or a valvular defect. Moreover, our patients were young and lacked the most common symptom of endocarditis: fever. The most common neurologic manifestations were focal neurologic deficits and confusion. We conclude that infective endocarditis should always be considered in patients presenting with new-onset neurologic complaints, especially in those without comorbidities or other risk factors. A prompt diagnosis should be reached and antibiotic treatment initiated as soon as possible.

F. Shibli, B. Chazan, O. Nitzan, E. Flatau, H. Edelstein, O. Blondheim, R. Raz and R. Colodner

Background: Community-acquired pneumonia is a common infection and is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Most patients with CAP[1] are treated empirically.

Objectives: To identify common pathogens causing CAP in hospitalized patients in northern Israel and to evaluate the correlation between etiology and disease severity.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study of patients with CAP hospitalized at HaEmek Medical Center, Afula. We collected demographic, clinical and laboratory data (blood and sputum cultures, serology, pneumococcal urinary antigen test, and respiratory multiplex-polymerase chain reaction from nasopharyngeal swab), and radiologic evaluation was performed.

Results: A total of 126 patients and 24 controls were enrolled. At least one pathogen was identified in 84 cases (66.7%), more than one in 43 patients (34.1%), and no pathogens in 42 (33.3%). Typical bacteria were found in 23 (18.3%), atypical bacteria in 66 (52.4%), and viruses in 42 (33.3%). The number (%) of patients with pathogens isolated was: Chlamydophila pneumoniae 26 (20.6%), Streptococcus pneumoniae 23 (18.3%), Mycoplasma pneumoniae 23 (18.3%), influenza virus A-B 20 (15.9%), Coxiella burnetti 8 (6.3%), and parainfluenza and adenovirus 13 (10.3%) each. A correlation was found only between a high PORT score on admission and S. pneumoniae, although atypical pathogens did not show class predominance.

Conclusions: S. pneumoniae, M. pneumoniae and C. pneumoniae were the most common pathogens isolated, while co-infection was very frequent. PORT score did not predict any of the pathogens involved. The choice of empiric antimicrobial treatment for CAP should be made according to local epidemiologic data.

[1] CAP = community-acquired pneumonia

C. Vigder, Y. Ben Israel, S.R. Meisel, E. Kaykov, S. Gottlieb and A. Shotan

Background: Guidelines are frequently under-implemented in older patients with heart failure. Octogenerians are often excluded from clinical trials.

Objectives: To characterize the clinical profile of the oldest-old (age ≥ 80 years) heart failure patients hospitalized in a subacute geriatric hospital and to evaluate their management and 1 year outcome.

Methods: Patient characteristics and in-hospital course were retrospectively collected. Diagnosis of heart failure was based mainly on clinical evaluation in addition to chest X-ray results and echocardiographic findings when available.

Results: The study population comprised 96 consecutive unselected heart failure patients hospitalized from January to June 2003. The patients were predominantly women (67%), aged 85 ± 5 years, fully dependent or frail with a high rate of comorbidities. Adherence to guidelines and recommended heart failure medications was poor. Their 1 year mortality was 57%. According to logistic regression analysis, predictors of 1 year mortality were lower body mass index (odds ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.78–0.96) and high urea levels (OR[1] 1.04, 95% CI[2] 1.02–1.06).

Conclusions: Our study confirms that the management of oldest-old heart failure patients hospitalized in a subacute geriatric hospital was suboptimal and their mortality was exceptionally high.

[1] OR = odds ratio

[2] CI = confidence interval

J. Malyszko, H. Bachorzewska-Gajewska, J. Malyszko, N. Levin-Iaina, A. Iaina and S. Dobrzycki

Background: Kidney disease and cardiovascular disease seem to be lethally synergistic and both are approaching the epidemic level. A reduced glomerular filtration rate is associated with increased mortality risk in patients with heart failure. Many patients with congestive heart failure are anemic. Anemia is very often associated with chronic kidney disease.

Objectives: To assess – in relation to New York Heart Association class – the prevalence of anemia and chronic kidney disease in patients with normal serum creatinine in a cohort of 526 consecutive patients with coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions.

Methods: GFR[1] was estimated using the simplified MDRD formula, the Cockcroft-Gault formula, the Jeliffe and the novel CKD-EPI formula.

Results: According to the WHO definition the prevalence of anemia in our study was 21%. We observed a progressive decline in GFR and hemoglobin concentration together with a rise in NYHA[2] class. Significant correlations were observed between eGFR[3] and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, age, NYHA class, complications of PCI[4], including bleeding, and major adverse cardiac events.

Conclusions: The prevalence of anemia and chronic kidney disease is high in patients undergoing PCI despite normal serum creatinine, particularly in higher NYHA class. Lower eGFR and hemoglobin are associated with more complications, including bleeding after PCI and higher prevalence of major adverse cardiac events. In patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, GFR should be estimated since renal dysfunction and subsequent anemia are important risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

[1] GFR = glomerular filtration rate

[2] NYHA = New York Heart Association

[3] eGFR = estimated GFR

[4] PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

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