Background: Nosocomial infection is among the leading problem in many major hospitals resulting in soaring cost expenditure in managing its affect.Hand washing practice is a crucial preventive way to contain such mischief but many ignored its importance. This is perhaps due to lack of appropriate role modeling from senior practitioners.
Subjects and methods: Our study examined the prevalence of hand washing practice among medical students from year 3 to 5 and compared it to their knowledge and level of awareness on its importance in clinical practice. 142 students were randomly observed during their clinical work in the wards on this practice and questionnaires were later distributed to 268 students from all semesters on their knowledge on the technique and awareness on its importance.
Results: Out of 142, almost 80% washed their hands but only 41.6% performed effective hand washing. In contrary, 80 to 90% showed good level of knowledge and awareness as well as perception about its importance in clinical practice.
Conclusions: The contradictory findings between the actual practice of hand washing and knowledge as well as awareness suggest that enforcement on the practice is necessary. This requires motivation and cooperation from all health alliances and higher authority in the health system. Remedial measures are much needed in order to contain high incidence of nosocomial infection in our local practice.
Background: Hypertension is estimated to cause4.5% of the global disease burden. The prevalence of hypertension in Malaysia is 32.2%.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of hypertension and its associated risk factors in two rural communities in Penang, Malaysia.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted among all consenting residents aged 18 years and above from two villages in Penang. Besides the baseline demographic information, blood pressure was measured using a manual sphygmomanometer according to the American Heart Association Guidelines.
Results: 50 out of 168 people were hypertensive, giving a prevalence rate of 29.8%. 50.0% of those found with hypertension were undiagnosed and 48.0% of those who were diagnosed with hypertension had uncontrolled blood pressure. Logistic regression analysis showed that age, history of alcohol consumption and BMI were found to be independently associated with hypertension.
Conclusions: Age, education level, alcohol consumption and BMI are important risk factors associated with the prevalence of hypertension among the villagers. These risk factors are comparable to those reported in National Health and Morbidity Survery 2006 in Malaysia.
Objective: To evaluate the factors that contributes to the decision for termination of pregnancy in prenatally diagnosed fetal anomaly cases.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of all cases of prenatally diagnosed fetal anomaly who delivered between 1 January 2007 and 30 June 2009 in two tertiary hospitals in Malaysia.
Results: A total of seventy-two (72) prenatally diagnosed pregnancies with fetal anomalies were identified. Mean maternal age was 29.8 ± 5.5 years and mean parity 1.47 ± 1.8. 70.8% of patients were ethnic Malay, 15.3% Chinese and 12.5% ethnic Indian. 22 (30.6%) fetuses were lethally abnormal. The overall pregnancy termination rate was 29.2%. 50% of pregnancies with lethally abnormal fetuses were terminated compared to 20% of pregnancies with non-lethal abnormality (p
Background: Problem based learning (PBL) is a student-centered curriculum delivery tool believed to promote active student participation. Though the PBL is student-centered, the facilitator plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of this system by providing balance in group interaction and discussion of learning issues. In International Medical University (IMU) one of the strategies to ensure the quality of the facilitators was the pre and post PBL meetings. This study aimed to gauge its usefulness in ensuring the quality of PBL facilitation.
Method: The questionnaire to study the perceptions of PBL facilitators on the pre and post PBL meetings included close ended questions on pre and post PBL meeting’s attendance and their scored opinion in improving PBL facilitation skills, open ended questions inviting suggestions to improve these meetings and PBL facilitation in IMU as a whole and self-evaluation as an effective PBL facilitator using a six point Likert scale to a list of statements.
Results: 84.2% of facilitators agreed the meetings were beneficial. Self-evaluation of their facilitator effectiveness showed on average ratings of seven out of ten indicating strong confidence in facilitating skills. Suggestions ensuring facilitator quality included content expert briefing in pre PBL meetings and student appraisals of facilitators given weightage in staff appraisal.
Conclusion: Pre and post PBL meetings enhanced facilitator comfort with the triggers, adding to their confidence and provided a venue to obtain feedback on the triggers.
Bacillus thuringiensis is an anaerobic, spore forming bacterium that produces various toxic proteins both during its vegetative stage and sporulative stage. During its sporulative stage, it produces parasporal proteins that have long been used in the agriculture fields as insecticides. Although anticancer effect of Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal proteins can be dated back to the 1970s, research in this area went through a giant leap in the late 1990s, with much of the work being done in Japan. It has been found that some strains of non-insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis produce parasporal proteins that exhibit anticancer activity. Due to their selectivity against human cancer cells but not normal cells, some of these proteins have been extensively studied for their anticancer effect and the mechanism of action by which these proteins kill cancer cells have also been widely explored in Japan and Malaysia with sporadic reports from other parts of the world. The abundance of these bacilli in nature and their selectivity have made them potential candidates for cancer treatment. However, literature on the in vivo effect of these proteins is scarce. Since different Bacillus thuringiensis strains produce different cytotoxic proteins with wide variations in their anticancer effect and mechanism of action, further investigations are necessary and their effect in vivo must be well established before they can be used in human subjects.
Academic performance is still primarily judged on publications. Not surprisingly, pressure to publish for the purpose of academic standing or promotion can be huge. People have been put off from an academic career simply because of this necessity. This is unfortunate because publishing our research findings or knowledge is our core business and why we become academicians. The notion that teaching is the academician’s chief duty is only half correct. We should and can enjoy publishing if we accept this as an inseparable part of our job. (Copied from article).
Introduction: Bekam, an Islamic variant of cupping, is an ancient form of traditional medicine still practised today in Malaysia. There are published findings indicating that cupping benefits patients with low back pain, other musculoskeletal pain and even pain from cancer, herpes zoster and trigeminal neuralgia when pain is measured on an analogue scale. We proposed to investigate whether in addition to pain improvement on an analogue scale we could show if pain relief might be demonstrated in terms of reduction of analgesic use.
Methods: We carried out a retrospective cross sectional study on subjects who had been for outpatient clinic treatment with chronic pain of at least one month and who completed at least two bekam therapy sessions. In addition to documenting a pain score before and after therapy we documented their analgesic consumption.
Results: A total of 77 respondents, with overlapping symptoms of headache, backache and joint pains were included. The mean pain score before bekam therapy was 6.74±1.78, and was 2.66±1.64 after two sessions of therapy. Twenty eight respondents completed six sessions of bekam therapy and had a mean pain score of 2.25±1.32 after. Thirty-four patients consumed analgesic medication before starting bekam therapy and only twelve did so after. The consumption of analgesics was significantly lower after bekam therapy.
Conclusions: Bekam therapy appears to help patients experience less pain and reduce the amount of analgesic medication they consume. Nevertheless only a randomised prospective study will eliminate the biases a retrospective study is encumbered with and we believe would be worth doing.
Anaphylaxis in the operating room although infrequent can be potentially fatal. The diagnosis of perioperative anaphylaxis is complex due to a multitude of factors. Firstly, patients under anesthesia cannot verbalize their complaints, the anesthetic agents themselves can alter vital parameters (e.g. heart rate and blood pressure) and cutaneous signs in a completely draped patient may be missed. Secondly, the differential diagnosis of intraoperative anaphylaxis is wide. Conditions such as asthma exacerbation, arrhythmia, hemorrhage, angioedema, mastocytosis, acute myocardial infarction, drug overdose, pericardial tamponade, pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolus, sepsis, tension pneumothorax, vasovagal reaction, venous air embolism, laryngospasm, blood transfusion reaction and malignant hyperthermia need to be considered. Thirdly, the diagnostic workup is challenging due to the multiple medications administered and other exposures encountered such as latex and chlorhexidene. However, through a timely allergy consultation and a systematic approach, identification of the culprit agent and safe alternatives can be established to prevent future occurrences as illustrated in the case below.
The sale of tobacco-based cigarettes has declined in western countries, and ‘Big Tobacco’ is trying to make up the deficit in profits from the developing world. The recent introduction of e-cigarette, in which they have invested both their hopes and their finances, has been a boon to them as it serves to confuse smokers and non-smokers about the real issues relating to the toxicity, dangers, and the promotion of nicotine addiction especially among youths who have not previously smoked cigarettes. E-cigarettes cause inflammation and damage to epithelial cells in human airways and increased risk of infection. E-cigarette vapour contains more carcinogens like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde compared to a regular cigarette. Longterm vaping is associated with an incremental lifetime cancer risk. E-cigarettes are neither safe nor effective in helping smokers quit; there is enough evidence to caution children, adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age about e-cigarette’s potential for long term consequences to foetal and adolescent brain development that sub-serve emotional and cognitive functions. The nicotine effects that cause modification of late CNS development constitute a hazard of adolescent nicotine use. The American Heart Association (AHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and twothirds of the major nations in the world discourage the promotion of e-cigarettes as an alternative to proven nicotine-addiction treatments. Doctors, health care workers, and medical students should be armed with the facts about e-cigarettes, its dangers, and the legal status concerning its use, in order to be able to offer proper counselling to patients and adolescents, in particular, with special reference to the Malaysian context.
Most countries around the world have experienced a shortage in organs needed for transplantation. Organ donation performance is widely attributed to two important factors: the legislation and the role of the family. Thus, this literature review aims to examine the willingness of people for organ donation while highlighting the importance of having a presumed consent system.
Poor adherence to anti-hypertensive agents may be a major contributor for suboptimal blood pressure control among patients with hypertension. This study was conducted to assess the adherence to antihypertensive agents using Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) among primary care patients, and to determine whether the blood pressure control is associated with the level of adherence.
In recent years, the internet has become an increasingly popular tool for people to obtain information due to the overwhelming availability of material. As internet access becomes more readily available, the newer generation of patients, medical students and doctors are starting to prefer the internet as a source of reference to acquire medical knowledge. The main objectives of this study were to determine the accuracy of using Google search in establishing a clinical diagnosis based on information provided from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and to determine the concordance rate of Google diagnosis with the actual diagnosis from NEJM.
Background: In Malaysia the percentage of diploma registered nurses outnumber the percentage of degree registered nurses. Internationally, most registered nurses earn associate degrees or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Malaysia is in the pipeline of ensuring that its registered nurses are professionally qualified with nursing degree by year 2020. Registered nurses with diploma qualification are feeling the pressure to upgrade their qualification to degree. There are concerns as to why these nurses are not pursuing their post registration nursing degree. Objective: To determine factors that are deterring the registered nurses of a private hospital in Penang from pursuing the post registered nursing degree. Methods: This descriptive study utilised a convenient sample of 150 registered nurses from Lam Wah Ee Hospital in Penang. The instrument of this study was developed based on literature search and the conceptual framework of Force Fields Analysis developed by Kurt Lewin in 1952. Results: The deterring factors for registered nurses not pursuing post registration nursing degree from this hospital were determined through negative mean score, which was valued at less than 2.5. The top 3 deterring factors identified were: high educational cost, with a score of 1.92; financial commitment, with a score of 2.22 and time constraints and high workload, with a score of 2.27. Conclusions: High educational cost, financial commitment, time constraint and high workload were the main factors deterring the registered nurses from this hospital from pursuing their post registration nursing degree. Thus it is timely for the organisational management to consider workable measures to assist and motivate their nurses to upgrade themselves with nursing degree in line with Malaysia’s vision to meet the increasing challenges and complex needs in the care of clients in health services.
Leiomyosarcoma is a rare cancer and the presence of this type of cancer in the breast is even rarer. Due to its rarity, the management options for leiomyosarcoma of the breast are not well documented. Literature review was done to establish the best treatment options for this type of breast cancer.
Introduction: Standard precautions in health care is the essence of medical practice encompassing the safety of patients and health care workers including medical students. Barriers to the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) exist across the world but identification of areas of weaknesses and appropriate remedies will reduce them. This study assesses knowledge and use of PPE among fourth year students after a period of educational interventions.
Objective: To evaluate appropriate use, awareness and knowledge about PPE among fourth year students after interventions.
Method: A cross- sectional study where forty year 4 students (Group B) were randomly observed and later asked to answer a questionnaire. Students had undergone interventions to improve PPE use, which included lectures and video sessions during each posting. Results were compared with a previous group (Group A). Chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test was used to analyse the data.
Results: There was statistically significant improvement in the use of PPE like wearing and removing mask during invasive procedures (p < 0.001) and hand-washing before and after a non- invasive task (p < 0.001) . Comparison of Groups A and B on the results of the questionnaire for ‘Questions in which more than 10% students answered incorrectly’, showed that there was improvement in Group B in all the questions, some being statistically significant with p value=0.01.
Conclusion: An overall improvement in the use of the PPE and knowledge was noted. Sometimes, students’ attitude and personality may be a challenge and these students may defy changes, but this can be overcome if the strategies are embedded in the curriculum and taught from as early as the first semester.
In pregnancy, the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHP) may be delayed due to physiological changes that occur during this period. The maternal related complications of PHP during pregnancy has been reported to be as high as 67%, whilst fetal complications up to 80% of cases.1 The therapeutic gold standard and definitive treatment for PHP in pregnancy is minimally invasive parathyroidectomy in the second trimester. We report a case of a 22-year old primidgravida who underwent parathyroidectomy in the third trimester of her pregnancy for PHP with persistent hypercalcemia. She was also found to have Vitamin D deficiency which probably led to secondary hyperparathyroidism and made her hypercalcemia more apparent during pregnancy
The Orang Aslis are indigenous minority peoples of Peninsular Malaysia, numbering 147,412 in 2003.Currently, the Orang Asli are divided into four language groupings namely the Northern Aslian, the Central Aslian, and the Southern Aslian groups, all of whom speak Austroasiatic languages; a fourth group in the South of Peninsular Malaysia speak a Malay dialect belonging to the Austronesian group of languages.This research was carried out on only one of the Northern Aslian group, the Jehai, who are also named Negritos based on their physical features. The Jehai live in the Belum and the Temenggor Forest that straddles Upper Perak and West Kelantan and until recently, were nomadic and lived by hunting-gathering.The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately two billion people worldwide are infected with the soil-transmitted nematode helminths,Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and the hookworms Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale, with 400 million of these infected being children of school age.Global numbers of A. lumbricoides infection have been estimated at about 1.5 billion cases. (Crompton, 2001). T. trichiura infection affects approximately 1,049 million people worldwide and an estimated 1.2 billion people are infected by hookworms. In Malaysia, the most common soil-transmitted helminth infections are A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura and hookworms.
However, as there have been no extensive surveys on these infections, it is difficult to estimate with certainty the current overall incidence of infection with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) among the Malaysian population.
This paper presents the solution to a calculation of the pH of a very dilute solution of a weak acid, taking into account the effect of the hydroxonium ions generated from the ionization of the acid on the ionization of water, also a very weak acid. To be solved successfully, this calculation involves the concepts of conservation of charge, pH, equilibria and the application of the general solution to a cubic equation. Such an exercise requires the application of skills in algebra, and can provide a core of understanding that can prepare advanced students for many different sorts of calculations that represent real-life problems in the chemical sciences. A programme is presented in C++ which enables the work of students to be individualized so that each student in a class can work through a slightly different pH calculation, in such a way that a class supervisor can quickly check each student’s result for accuracy.This exercise is presented as a potential means of enabling students to undertake and master similar types of calculations involving the application of complex algebra to problems related to equilibria and solution dynamics.
The case report describes the presentation of a 19-year old female with tuberous sclerosis who presented with progressive dyspnoea over 2 days.
Chest radiograph revealed bilateral pneumothorax. Computed tomography showed features of pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis and bilateral renal angiomyolipomas. The coexistence of both conditions may cause devastating morbidity and mortality.
Background: The public health issue of consuming groundwater is a major concern because people often extract groundwater directly from the aquifers either through wells or boreholes without treating it with any form of filtration system or chlorine disinfection. Based on the Malaysian National Drinking Water guidelines the current study was designed to provide a better understanding on the variable factors that are influencing the quality of well-water in an urbanised village in Malaysia. Well water quality assessment of heavy metals, chemicals, microbial and physical parameters were carried out for Sungai Buloh Village in the Klang Valley to ensure it was safe for human consumption.
Materials and Methods: Water samples were collected from wells at four sites (Sites A,B,C,D), a river and a tap inside a house in Sungai Buloh village. Soil was sampled from the riverbed and area surrounding the wells. Samples were collected every two months over a one year duration from all sites. The water samples were processed and examined for viruses, coliforms and protozoa as well as for heavy metal contaminants.
Results: The turbidity and colour ranged in the average of 0.57-0.13 Nephelometric Turbidity (NTU) and 4.16-5.00 Total Conjunctive Use (TCU) respectively for all sites except Site C. At Site C the turbidity level was 2.56 ± 1.38 NTU. The well-water was polluted with coliforms (1.2 to 2.4 x 103 CFU/100 ml) in all sites, E. coli (0.12 - 4 x 102 CFU/100 ml CFU/ 100 ml) and Cryptosporidium oocysts (0.4 cysts/100 ml). All the heavy metals and chemical parameters were within the Malaysian Guidelines’ limits except manganese. The average pH ranged from 5.44 - 6.62 and the temperature was 28 ºC.
Conclusion: In summary, the well water at Sungai Buloh is considered unsafe for consumption due to pollution. Therefore the major thrust will be to provide better quality of drinking water to the residents of the village.