Introduction: Pneumonia is the most common diagnosis made in hospitalised children. The Malaysian Clinical Practice Guidelines on pneumonia and respiratory tract infections provides a comprehensive guidance in the local context. We evaluated the documented assessment and management of children diagnosed with pneumonia admitted to the children’s ward, Hospital Batu Pahat against this guideline.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of hospital case notes for children admitted from January to May 2004.
Results: Ninety six case notes were analysed. Most patients (84%) had at least four positive clinical features leading to the diagnosis of pneumonia. 92% met the guideline criteria for admission. Sp02 was performed for 58% on admission, and 58% with reading below 95% received supplemental oxygen. Throughout hospital stay, each patient had an average of four investigations (range: 1 – 12). Among 23 patients who had further investigations, justifications were only recorded in seven patients (30.4%), and changes in management resulted in 23%. The most common antibiotic prescribed was intravenous Penicillin (97 %). In 17 patients who met the guideline classification for severe pneumonia, none received the recommended antibiotic combination. The median time to fever resolution was 22 hours (range 2 – 268), and median hospital stay was 3 days (range 1 – 12).
Conclusions: Although the quality of clinical assessment and antibiotic choices were acceptable, there was a failure to critically evaluate patients according to disease severity and initiate corresponding investigations and managements. Future efforts need to be directed at promoting further guideline adherence and the exercise of critical judgment in patient evaluation.
In the last decade or so, Medical education all over the world has been inundated with innovations in education, which include innovations in curricular design, delivery as well as assessments. There is a need to reflect on the effectives of these innovations
on the learner. Hence the theme chosen for the 2009 International Medical Education Conference (IMEC 2009) was “Reflections on Innovations”. The Organising Committee felt that it was timely for medical educators everywhere to reflect and evaluate the effect of the many innovations adopted by their schools. (Copied from article)
Item analysis is the process of collecting, summarizing and using information from students’ responses to assess the quality of test items. Difficulty index (P) and Discrimination index (D) are two parameters which help evaluate the standard of MCQ questions used in an examination, with abnormal values indicating poor quality. In this study, 120 test items of 12 Type A MCQ tests of Foundation 1 multi-disciplinary summative assessment from M2 / 2003 to M2 / 2006 cohorts of International Medical University were selected and their P-scores in percent and D-scores were estimated using Microsoft Office Excel. The relationship between the item difficulty index and discrimination index for each test item was determined by Pearson correlation analysis using SPSS 11.5. Mean difficulty index scores of the individual summative tests were in the range of 64% to 89%. One-third of total test items crossed the difficulty index of 80% indicating that those items were easy for the students. Sixty seven percent of the test items showed acceptable (> 0.2) discrimination index. Forty five out of 120 test items showed excellent discrimination index. Discrimination index correlated poorly with difficulty index (r = -0.325). In conclusion, a consistent level of test difficulty and discrimination indices was maintained from 2003 to 2006 in all the twelve summative type A MCQ tests.
Abstract: Ampicillin-sulbactam combination is the most frequently prescribed antibiotic in diabetic foot ulcers. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria isolated to this antibiotic. In 33 patients with diabetic foot ulcer (September 2008-March 2009), 67% were culture positive in which Citrobacter spp accounted for 36% of these isolates. The rest isolated included Pseudomonas aeruginosa (22%), Proteus spp (18%), Acinetobacter spp (9%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (5%), Escherichia coli (5%) and Staphylococcus aureus (5%). These isolates were more likely to be ampicillin-resistant (n=18) than were ampicillin-sensitive isolates (n=4). Ampicillin resistance has raised our concern about current practice of prescribing ampicillin/ sulbactam as monotherapy for majority of our patients with such ulcers.
Pneumonia continues to a disease of potentially high morbidity and mortality, sparing no children or healthy adults. Over the years, clinical practice guidelines and institution-initiated management protocols have been introduced with the intention of improving outcomes by ensuring appropriate assessment and management of pneumonia. Correct assessment of pneumonia type and severity will lead to appropriate course of action. This is especially true when deciding whether the patient can be treated at home and the type of empiric antibiotic(s) that should be prescribed. The latter has a strong evidence-base when examined in the light of clinical practice guidelines. Non-guideline adherent empiric antibiotic regimes used in hospitalized community acquired pneumonia (CAP) are adversely associated with time to clinical stability, time to switch therapy, length of hospital stay, hospital survival and hospital re-admission rates. Our own local study on hospitalized patients with Klebsiella pneumoniae pneumonia, a highranking community-acquired organism in Malaysia, also testified to the association of adverse hospital outcomes with inappropriate choice of empiric antibiotic(s). (Copied from article).
Introduction: To review the sputum bacteriology and its in-vitro antibiotic susceptibility in patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in a state tertiary-referral Hospital (Penang hospital, Malaysia) in order to determine the most appropriate empiric antibiotics.
Methods: From September 2006 to May 2007, 68 immunocompetent adult patients [mean age: 52 years (range 16-89); 69% male] admitted to respiratory wards for CAP with positive sputum isolates within 48 hours of admission were retrospectively identified and reviewed.
Results: 62 isolates were Gram(-) bacilli (91%) & 6 were Gram(+) cocci (9%). The two commonest pathogens isolated were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=20) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (n=19) together constituted 57% of all positive isolates. Among the Pseudomonas isolates, 84.2% were fully sensitive to cefoperazone and cefoperazon/sulbactam; 95% to ceftazidime, cefepime, piperacillin/tazobactam, ciprofloxacin and amikacin, and 100% to gentamycin, netilmycin, imipenem and meropenem. Among the Klebsiella isolates, 5.3% were fully sensitive to ampicillin; 84.2% to amoxicillin, ampicllin/sulbactam, cefuroxime and ceftriazone; 89.5% to piperacillin/ tazobactam; 93.3% to cefoperazon/sulbactam and 100% sensitive to ceftazidime, cefepime, ciprofloxacin, all aminoglycosides and carbopenems.
Conclusion: In view of the high prevalence of respiratory Pseudomonas aeruginosa, ampicillin/ sulbactam, currently the most prescribed antibiotic to treat CAP in our respiratory wards, may not be the most appropriate empiric choice. Higher generation cephalosporins with or without beta-lactamase inhibitors, ciprofloxacin or carbapenem may be the more appropriate choices. The lack of information on patients’ premorbidities such as recent hospitalization and prior antibiotic exposure, limits the interpretation of our findings and may have biased our results towards higher rates of Gram negative organisms.
To determine the degree of resolution in pleural effusions treated with anti-tuberculosis treatment alone without thoracentesis, 62 eligible adult cases [mean age (SD), 46 (17) yrs; 77% male] of tuberculosis pleural effusions treated in two urban-based university teaching hospitals were retrospectively reviewed for changes in effusion size at 2, 6 and 12 months after initiation of treatment. The proportions of patients in whom resolution were complete, partial and unchanged were 64.5%, 27.4% and 8.1%. Effusions with size smaller than three tenth of hemithorax were at three-fold increased likelihood of complete resolution, compared with those with larger effusions [Odds ratio (95% CI): 3.295 (1.033 to 10.514); p=0.04]. Consideration for thoracentesis is therefore still important in certain patients.
Avoiding the adverse neonatal effects of perinatal asphyxia has been one of the common indications for cesarean deliveries in current obstetric practice. Expeditious delivery is dependent on decision to perform cesarean delivery and time lines achieved. A decision-delivery interval of 30 minutes, a concept initiated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has open to debate as controversy reins about neonatal outcome when this time interval is considered in isolation. Time lines alone are probably not the only criteria to be employed, and may contribute to errors in interpretation by professional regulatory bodies and the society at large. Procedures prior to decision making like trial of labour, fetal scalp sampling and readily available resources for instituting emergent cesarean delivery invariably need to be considered. Though decision to delivery time is an integral component of critical conduct intervals in the acutely compromised fetus, a more pragmatic approach needs to be taken considering potential and known logistical and obstetric factors in line with good obstetric practice.
Introduction: Kelantan, an east coast state of Peninsular Malaysia is rich in culture and supports a population that is dependent on agriculture. The crops cultivated are mainly paddy and rubber but in recent years tobacco is beginning to gain importance over paddy. We centered our study around Bachok District which is about 25 kilometers east of Kota Bharu, the state capital.
Methods: Based on case reports we focused our study on cercarial dermatitis and also recorded the socioeconomic status of the people in the four study villages.
Result: The ducks and cows were the common livestock kept by the farmers and these were found to be significantly associated (P=0.05) with the occurrence of dermatitis. Cercariae shedding by snails were found in waters used for irrigation.
Conclusion: The results indicate that cercarial dermatitis is occupation specific, and its debilitating effect was having an influence on the socioeconomic status and general wellbeing of the population in these villages. The dermatitis occurred only during the field preparation and transplanting stages of paddy and was found to be significantly associated (P=
Background: Clinical clerkship in a busy hospital environment forms an important part of undergraduate medical training. Regular objective assessment of this activity with feedback would be expected to improve outcome.
Methods: We implemented fortnightly clinical assessments using modified OSLER (Objective Structured Long Examination Record), and over a 6-week clinical rotation. Modifications included provision of individualized feedback. The assessment process was evaluated by both students and teachers via a questionnaire measuring their perceived educational impact, feasibility and acceptability.
Results: Students agreed that the patient spectrum was appropriate and fair, resulting in improved history taking and presentation skills (96.6%), clinical examination skills (89%) and clinical reasoning skills (90.7%). It was graded to have helped learning “tremendously” and “moderately” by 64.7% and 32.8% of students respectively. Perceived improvement was attributable mainly to the repetitive nature of the assessments since only 63% of students were provided with feedback. 96.6% of students and 94.1% of assessors perceived the format created a stressful but positive learning environment. 52.9% of assessors agreed that the exercise consumed significant time and resources but 88.2% rated it as manageable and supported its continuation.
Conclusion: Frequent and regular in-course clinical assessments with emphasis on individual feedback is feasible, acceptable and has significant positive educational impact.
Background: Database on hospital records like discharge data, birth and death certificates are widely used for epidemiological and research studies. However there are a very few validation studies on these data. The aim of this study was to validate and assess the accuracy of the ICD 10 database on congenital anomalies in the state of Penang. This study was carried out for three years, from 2002 to 2004.
Methods: The list of cases coded under the general coding “Q” was extracted and approximately 30% of cases were randomly selected from the list. Medical records for the selected cases were checked and discrepancies for the diagnoses between the medical records and the ICD 10 data base were recorded for three years. Verification was done for basic demographic variables and the coding of the diseases. Discrepancies, sensitivity and specificity were calculated.
Results: The ICD 10 database for congenital anomalies are classified into two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Discrepancies on demographic information were found among the age of patients (babies with congenital anomalies). In Type 1, there was a discrepancy of about 0.02 % to 0.05% probability that a congenital anomaly case can be recorded as non congenital anomaly in the ICD 10. In Type 2 there was a discrepancy that a non-congenital anomaly was classified as congenital anomaly and this ranged from 26.7% to 50.0%. The sensitivity ranged from 96.85% to 97.98%, thus it can be concluded the ICD 10 database is highly sensitive while the specificity ranged from 50.00% to 78.57 %. In other words the ICD 10 is not accurate when classifying the non- congenital anomaly cases. A fair percentage of non-congenital anomaly cases were classified as CA in the ICD 10 database.
Conclusion: Even though hospital databases are used as a baseline data for a number of research and epidemiological studies it cannot be used at face value. Validation of these data is necessary before any conclusions can be drawn or intervention measures are undertaken.
Acute appendicitis is an infrequent yet the commonest surgical emergency in pregnancy occurring in about 1:1500 pregnancies. The classical abdominal pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen is the only reliable clinical sign. Delay in diagnosis is attributed to presence of symptoms commonly seen in pregnancy like nausea and vomiting and difficulty in localizing abdominal pain due to displacement of the appendix with advancing gestation. Perforated appendix and generalized peritonitis impacts adversely on pregnancy contributing to increases in miscarriage, pre-term delivery, fetal loss and even maternal mortality. Imaging studies like abdominal ultrasonogram, helical computerized tomography and magnetic imaging have been utilized to complement clinical suspicion and decrease ‘negative appendectomies’ but robust data on their routine use is awaited. Although the laparoscopic approach is a useful diagnostic and therapeutic tool in early pregnancy, its use as the primary approach for appendicectomy in pregnancy requires further evaluation as increases in the incidence of fetal loss of 5.6% has been reported compared to 3.1% in open access surgery
Talc’s softness, whiteness, lamellarity, inertness and affinity for organic chemicals make it valuable for industrial and domestic applications. The largest consumers are the paper and ceramic industry; only 5% is used as cosmetics. It is also used for preserving animal feed, and a carrier for drugs, insecticides, pesticides and chemicals. Talc was introduced as baby powder in 1894 and advertised aggressively worldwide. Widespread and indiscriminate use soon raised concerns about its implications for health. The IARC found that talc containing asbestiform fibres is carcinogenic to humans, but inadequate evidence to implicate talc not-containing asbestiform fibres. Pulmonary manifestations of talc inhalation include talcosis, talcosilicosis, and talcoasbestosis. Drug-users administering talc-adulterated oral medications intravenously develop pulmonary granulomas, fibrosis and irreversible pulmonary hypertension. Worldwide reports reveal talc inhalation is fatal to infants; it coats and dries mucus membranes, causes hemorrhage, edema, desquamation of bronchial epithelium, and clogs and compromises mucociliary clearance; larger quantities completely obstruct airways. Progressive diffuse pulmonary fibrosis is a recognized sequel to massive aspiration of baby powder. IARC has classified perineal use of talcum powder as a possible ovarian carcinogen, while a recent study has found that perineal talcum powder increases the risk of endometrial cancer among postmenopausal women. There is a need to raise public awareness of the serious risks associated with the use of talcum powder and for legislation to protect the health of the uninformed who represent the poorer segment of the community, and infants and young children. The dangers associated with cosmetic use of talc outweigh any possible benefits.
Developing and adult worms of the human lymphatic filarial parasites (Wuchereria bancrofti,
Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori) are located mainly in the lymphatic system and occasionally in aberrant sites like subcutaneous and conjunctival cysts. Lymphatic
pathology ranging from dilatation of lymphatic channels and lymphangiectasia are detected on ultrasonography in apparently healthy, amicrofilaraemic, but filarial antigen positive individuals in endemic areas. Microfilariae are distributed in various organs and may be associated with immune mediated pathology at these sites; tropical pulmonary eosinophilia is characterized by intense immune mediated destruction of microfilariae in the lung parenchyma. In the spleen and other sites, nodular granulomatous lesions can occur where microfilariae are trapped and destroyed. The finding of Wolbachia endosymbionts in all stages of lymphatic filarial parasites has provided new insight on the adverse reactions
associated with anti-filarial chemotherapy. Inflammatory molecules mainly lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-like molecules released from endosymbionts on death of the
parasites are largely responsible for the adverse reactions encountered during anti-filarial chemotherapy. Prenatal tolerance or sensitization to parasite derived molecules can immune-modulate and contribute to both pathology and susceptibility/resistance to infection. Pathological responses thus depend not only on exposure to filarial antigens/infection, but also on host-parasiteendosymbiont factors and to intervention with antifilarial treatment. Treatment induced or host mediated death of parasites are associated with various grades of inflammatory response, in which eosinophils and LPS from endosymbionts play prominent roles, leading to death of the parasite, granulomatous formation, organization and fibrosis. The non-human primate (Presbytis spp.) model of
Brugia malayi developed for the tertiary screening of anti-filarial compounds has provided unique opportunities for the longitudinal study of the pathology associated with lymphatic filariasis. The pathology in this non-human primate model closely follows that seen in
human lymphatic filarial infections and correlates with clinical evidence of lymphatic pathology as detected with ultrasonography. These studies also show that successful treatment as detected by loss of motility and calcification of worms on ultrasonography is associated with reversal of early dilatations of lymphatic channels.
The discovery of antibiotics had been one of the most significant events in the history of medicine. Antibiotics had saved countless number of lives and had contributed significantly to the health of mankind.The emergence of resistance is however a major threat to the continued usefulness of antibiotics. There are now strains of bacteria which are resistant to virtually all available antibiotics and these strains are increasingly being encountered in clinical practice. The development of new agents had not kept pace with resistance and it is unlikely that there will be major breakthroughs in the near future. The world needs to conserve and prolong the useful lives of the existing agents. This can only be achieved through good antibiotic stewardship programmes. As antibiotic resistance is a global threat
all major stakeholders have to work together to meet this challenge.
The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of Sarcocystis infection in wild and peri-urban rodents in some states in Peninsular Malaysia. The thigh muscle from these rodents were formalin preserved, sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and examined under light microscopy. Of the 146 muscle tissue examined only 73 were positive for Sarcocystis infection.
Morphological identification showed the presence of some new morphological types to be present. Different species of Sarcocystis were seen in the sections but more extensive studies are needed to identify them to species level.
Climate change is a product of human actions. The extreme events such as flash floods, droughts, heat waves, earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis seen in the world today are the result of indiscriminate human intrusion into the environment. Vulnerable countries and populations are the most affected by these climatic events. This places a burden on the resources of these countries. The Kyoto Protocol is a milestone in environmental management and the impetus created by it must be maintained by carrying out the much needed research into appropriate mitigating measures that will alleviate the climate
change impact globally. A paradigm shift is needed in addressing the associated risks on human health to assess socioeconomic determinants and the related impacts on disease burden. Some wealthy nations emphasize economic benefits and downplay sustainability goals, health and equality. However the rising cost of energy is beginning to influence their outlook towards this issue. The implications on economics, human health and wellbeing are implicit. In order to strike a balance between disadvantaged and privileged nations, many
international agencies are spearheading various research agenda to improve adaptation programmes on effects of changing climatic conditions on health. Malaysia too has such programmes initiated under its 5-year development plans.
Metabonomics can be used to quantitatively measure dynamic biochemical responses of living organisms to physiological or pathological stimuli. A range of analytical tools such as high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS) combined with multivariate statistical analysis can be employed to create comprehensive metabolic signatures of biological samples including urine, plasma, faecal water and tissue extracts. These metabolic signatures can reflect the physiological or pathological condition of the organism and indicate imbalances in the homeostatic regulation of tissues and extracellular fluids. This technology has been employed in a diverse range of application areas including investigation of disease mechanisms, diagnosis/prognosis of pathologies, nutritional interventions and drug toxicity. Metabolic profiling is becoming increasingly important in identifying biomarkers of disease progression and drug intervention, and can provide additional information to support or aid the interpretation of genomic and proteomic data. With the new generation of postgenomic technologies, the paradigm in many biological fields has shifted to either top down systems biology approaches, aiming to achieve a general understanding of the global and integrated response of an organism or to bottom up modelling of specific pathways and networks using a priori knowledge based on mining large bodies of literature. Whilst metabolic profiling lends itself to either approach, using it in an exploratory and hypothesis generating capacity clearly allows new mechanisms to be uncovered.
Background: The importance of tooth sectioning is realized in disasters such as earthquake, airplane crash investigation, terror, micro leakage studies, age estimation etc. The objective of this study was to develop a simple method to make thin sections (approximately 100 mm) from freshly extracted teeth.
Methods: One hundred and twenty human premolars recently extracted for orthodontic purpose were used for this study. The teeth were stored in 0.5% chorlaramine for 2 weeks and were not allowed to dry at any stage of the experiment. The teeth were thoroughly washed in distilled water teeth and then were sectioned buccolingually from crown to the root portion.
Results: A detailed embedding-cutting-mounting procedure is described. The prepared thin ground sections were then examined under a Polarised light microscope for the enamel and the dentine, as well as the caries lesions can clearly be distinguished.
Conclusion: This is an effective and efficient method for preparation of ground sections in which the hard tissue details are preserved.
Background: Many proteins released by cells to the blood and other fluids are glycoproteins. One set of glycoproteins carry the ABO blood group determinants and glycoproteins have been shown to be vital in determining the structure and organization of plasma membranes. There is evidence suggesting their important role in cell-to-cell contact, adhesion, hormone interaction and vital transformation. Differences in proteins and glycoproteins in the different human blood groups may influence the invasion process of Plasmodium falciparum. The objectives of the study were to determine whether there are any changes in proteins and glycoproteins of red blood cells upon infection by P. falciparum and whether these protein and glycoprotein changes differ in the various ABO blood groups.
Methods: A Malaysian strain of P. falciparum was cultured in vitro in red blood cells from A, B, O and AB blood groups. Protein and glycoprotein profiles of uninfected and P. falciparum- infected red blood cells from the different human ABO blood groups were analyzed by SDS-PAGE. For protein bands, the gels were stained with Coomassie blue while glycoproteins were visualized following staining of gels using GelCode ® Glycoprotein Staining Kit.
Results: Cell membranes of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes from different ABO blood groups have different glycoprotein profiles compared to uninfected cells. All the infected samples showed a prominent protein band of molecular weight 99 kDa which was not present in any of the uninfected samples while a 48 kDa band was seen in four out of the seven infected samples. The erythrocyte cell membranes of A and AB blood groups showed different glycoprotein profiles upon infection with P. falciparum when compared to those from blood groups B and O.
Conclusion: The two glycoproteins of molecular weights 99 kDa and 48 kDa should be further studied to determine their roles in the pathogenesis of malaria and as potential targets for drug and vaccine development.