A. Neville, Z. Liss, A. Lahad, B. Porter and P. Shvartzman
Background: Low back pain is a common problem managed by primary care physicians and orthopedic specialists.
Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of new LBP episodes in patients who chose to visit either an orthopedist or a general practitioner.
Methods: All patients visiting the orthopedist or physician during the study period were screened for a new complaint of LBP. After the initial visit the patients were interviewed by phone by means of a structured questionnaire, with a follow-up interview one month later. The study was performed at Clalit Health Services primary care and consultation clinics. A random sample of 125 GPs and 17 orthopedists were chosen. Consecutively recruited were 166 patients who visited the GP and 75 the orthopedist. The main outcome measures evaluated were perceived complaint severity and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning, problem resolution, and health services utilization.
Results: Patients who decided to first visit the orthopedist indicated a higher disturbance to everyday functioning (75% vs. 70%, P < 0.01), were invited for further follow-up visits (6% vs. 51%, P < 0.05) and had more computed tomography and bone scans (20 vs. 3%, P < 0.001 and 9 vs. 2%, P < 0.05, respectively). Health status after one month showed that patients who chose the GP were more likely to have their problem solved (36 vs. 17%, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Symptom resolution for a new LBP complaint was significantly higher in patients who decided on the GP, even when controlling for severity of illness and degree of disturbance to everyday functioning.
A. Elis, A. Shacham-Abulafia and M. Lishner
Background: Tight glucose control has been shown to improve the outcome of patients with severe acute illnesses who are hospitalized in intensive care units and on intravenous insulin-based regimens.
Objectives: To clarify the attitudes of internists towards tight control of glucose levels in acutely ill patients hospitalized in general medical wards.
Methods: A questionnaire on intensive glucose control in acutely ill patients hospitalized in medical wards was mailed to each of the 100 heads of internal medicine departments in Israel.
Results: Fifty physicians responded. Of these, 80% considered tight glucose control to be a major treatment target, but only two-thirds had defined it as a goal in their ward. Furthermore, only about half had a defined protocol for such an intervention. Most physicians considered patients with acute coronary syndrome, stroke and infectious diseases as candidates for a tight glucose control protocol. The most frequently used modalities were multiple blood glucose measurements and repeated injections of short-acting subcutaneous insulin. The main reasons given for not having a defined protocol were lack of guidelines, no evidence of a clear benefit during hospitalization on a medical ward, and a shortage of adequately trained staff.
Conclusions: Inconsistencies in physicians’ attitudes and in treatment protocols regarding tight control of glucose levels in acutely ill patients hospitalized on a medical ward need to be addressed. Evaluation of the feasibility, effectiveness and side effects of a defined protocol is needed before any regimen can be approved by the heads of the internal medicine departments.
I.D. Wexler, A. Abu-Libdeh, Y. Kastiel, A. Nimrodi, E. Kerem and A. Tenenbaum
Background: Down syndrome is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities. Children and adults with DS have significant medical problems and require life-long medical follow-up.
Objectives: To determine the adequacy of medical surveillance of individuals with DS as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Methods: The study was conducted at a multidisciplinary center specializing in the care of DS during the period 2004–2006. At their first visit to the Center, caregivers of individuals with DS were questioned about the medical status of their child including previous evaluations. Medical records brought in by the parents were reviewed.
Results: The caregivers of 150 individuals with DS (age ranging from newborn to 48 years old, median age 5 years) were interviewed and medical records were reviewed. The prevalence of specific medical problems differed between our population and the reported prevalence from other surveys. For example, 39.3% of our population had documented auditory deficits while the reported prevalence is 75%. For gastrointestinal and thyroid disease, the prevalence was higher in the studied population than that reported in the literature. In terms of compliance with the AAP recommendations, most children (94%) underwent echocardiography, but only 42.7% and 63.3% had been tested for auditory or visual acuity respectively. Only 36.3% over the age of 3 years had cervical spine films.
Discussion: Many individuals with DS are not receiving appropriate medical follow-up and the implications of inadequate surveillance can be serious
S. Malnick, M. Somin, N. Beilinson, A. Basevitch, G. Bregman and O. Zimhony
We report four cases of Strongyloides hyperinfection among Ethiopian immigrants, of which three were fatal. Many immigrants from countries in which Strongyloides is endemic settle in developed countries. A high index of suspicion will lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Testing for Strongyloides infestation in this susceptible population by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay serology, stool testing or duodenal aspiration may prevent the fatal complications of hyperinfection
N. Geffen, G. Norman, N.S. Kheradiya and E.I. Assia
Background: It is common practice to use topical antiseptic formulations prior to specific therapy in superficial infections and injuries, but not in corneal bacterial ulcers. There is accumulating evidence proving chlorhexidine gluconate 0.02%, an antiseptic agent, as an effective treatment for infectious keratitis.
Objectives: To investigate the safety and efficacy of chlorhexidine gluconate 0.02% as an adjunct therapy for corneal bacterial ulcers.
Methods: Twenty-six patients with corneal bacterial ulcers were treated with standard empirical antibiotic treatment. The study group was treated with chlorhexidine gluconate 0.02% while controls received placebo for one week. The patients were followed for at least 1 month.
Results: No allergic or toxic reactions were noted. Although a higher baseline severity of ulcers existed in the study group, no differences were found in final vision, scarring extent, or recovery duration.
Conclusions: Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.02% may improve the clinical course of corneal ulcers.
D.B. Zippel, R. Shapira , I. Kuchuk, D. Goitein, E. Winkler, M.Z. Papa and J. Schachter
Background: Patients with thick melanomas > 4 mm deep are at great risk for regional and distant metastatic disease. Historically, the appropriate management of thick melanomas has remained unclear and there is no consensus in the literature. Many have taken the nihilistic view that surgical intervention to excise regional nodal basins is not justified in light of the poor overall prognosis and risk of occult distant disease.
Objectives: To review the outcome of patients with thick node negative melanoma treated at a multidisciplinary academic center
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a database of melanoma patients to identify patients with thick melanomas, > 4 mm, who were either clinically or sentinel node biopsy negative, staged T4N0, stage IIb or IIc. The charts of these patients were reviewed and updated, with a median follow-up of 4 years.
Results: We identified 23 patients who fit these criteria. Of these, 18 (78%) remain alive with a median follow-up of 4 years. Five patients died of metastatic disease. Of the 18 surviving patients, 14 remained with no evidence of disease after initial resection of their primary lesions. The majority of the recurrences were non-nodal.
Conclusions: The overall survival of patients in our study remains above 75%, at median follow-up of 4 years, even with thick initial index tumor depths. Most of the failures were due to hematogenous spread with lymphatic sparing. Tumor biology that may inhibit lymphatic spread could be a target of future investigation
A. Amital, D. Shitrit, B.D. Fox, Y. Raviv, L.Fuks, I. Terner and M.R. Kramer
Background: Blunt chest trauma can cause severe acute pulmonary dysfunction due to hemo/pneumothorax, rib fractures and lung contusion.
Objectives: To study the long-term effects on lung function tests after patients' recovery from severe chest trauma.
Methods: We investigated the outcome and lung function tests in 13 patients with severe blunt chest trauma and lung contusion.
Results: The study group comprised 9 men and 4 women with an average age of 44.6 ± 13 years (median 45 years). Ten had been injured in motor vehicle accidents and 3 had fallen from a height. In addition to lung contusion most of them had fractures of more than three ribs and hemo/pneumothorax. Ten patients were treated with chest drains. Mean intensive care unit stay was 11 days (median 3) and mechanical ventilation 19 (0–60) days. Ten patients had other concomitant injuries. Mean forced expiratory volume in the first second was 81.2 ± 15.3%, mean forced vital capacity was 85 ± 13%, residual volume was 143 ± 33.4%, total lung capacity was 101 ± 14% and carbon monoxide diffusion capacity 87 ± 24. Post-exercise oxygen saturation was normal in all patients (97 ± 1.5%), and mean oxygen consumption max/kg was 18 ± 4.3 ml/kg/min (60.2 ± 15%). FEV1 was significantly lower among smokers (71.1 ± 12.2 vs. 89.2 ± 13.6%, P = 0.017). There was a non-significant tendency towards lower FEV1 among patients who underwent mechanical ventilation.
Conclusions: Late after severe trauma involving lung contusion, substantial recovery is demonstrated with improved pulmonary function tests. These results encourage maximal intensive care in these patients. Further larger studies are required to investigate different factors affecting prognosis.
N. Fisch, S. Ashkenazi and M. Davidovits
Background: Although febrile urinary tract infections are very common in young children, the need for antimicrobial prophylaxis and evaluation following a first event is controversial.
Objectives: To assess the approach of leading pediatric specialists throughout Israel.
Methods: A questionnaire regarding the approach to antibiotic prophylaxis and diagnostic evaluation following a first event of febrile UTI, according to age and underlying renal abnormality, was sent to all 58 directors of departments of pediatrics, units of pediatric infectious diseases and pediatric nephrology in Israel.
Results: Fifty-six directors (96%) responded. Most prescribed prophylactic antibiotics after UTI. Heads of infectious disease departments prescribed less prophylaxis following UTI at the age of 18 months than heads of pediatrics or heads of pediatric nephrology units (34% vs. 72–75%, P = 0.018), but more often in cases of severe vesico-ureteral reflux without UTI. Cephalosporins were used prophylactically more often by directors of pediatrics compared to heads of pediatric nephrology units (71% vs. 38%, P = 0.048); the latter used non-beta-lactam prophylaxis (61% vs. 23%, P = 0.013) more often. Most pediatricians used renal sonography for evaluation; renal scan was used more commonly by pediatric nephrologists.
Conclusions: The administration of prophylactic antibiotics after UTI is still common practice among pediatric opinion leaders, although the specific approach differs by subspecialty. According to up-to-date evidence-based data, educational efforts are needed to formulate and implement judicious guidelines.