Morning surge in blood pressure is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in the middleaged and the elderly. Whether such a surge occurs in young subjects is not known. Eighty normotensive subjects (age: 21.8 ± 1.3 yr) measured their own blood pressure (BP) using an automatic device (Omron HEM-7080,) on going to bed and on waking up, for 2 consecutive days. In contrast to large morning BP surges reported for older age groups, there was much smaller but significant (P
Delay in childbearing, family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity in childbearing years increases a possibility of glucose intolerance or overt
diabetes in pregnancy which may remain unrecognised unless an oral glucose tolerance test is done.The International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Group (IADPSG, 2010) recommended the detection and diagnosis of hyperglycaemic disorders in pregnancy at two stages of pregnancy, the first stage looking for ‘overt diabetes’ in early pregnancy based on risk factors like age, past history of gestational diabetes and obesity and the second stage where ‘gestational diabetes’ at 24-28 weeks with 75 g oral glucose tolerance test. Although the one step approach with 75 g of glucose offers operational convenience
in diagnosing gestational diabetes, there are concerns raised by the National Institute of Health in the recent consensus statement, supporting the two step approach(50-g, 1-hour loading test screening 100-g, 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test) as the recommended approach for detecting gestational diabetes. Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) with well-designed meal plan and appropriate exercise achieves normoglycemia without inducing ketonemia and weight loss in most pregnant women with glucose intolerance. Rapidly acting insulin analogues, such as insulin lispro and aspart are safe in pregnancy and improve postprandial glycemic control in women with pre-gestational diabetes. The long acting analogues (Insulin detemir and glargine) though proven to be safe in pregnancy, do not confer added advantage if normoglycemia is achieved with intermediate insulin (NPH). Current evidence indicates the safe use of glyburide and metformin in the management of Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes as other options. However, it is prudent to communicate to the women that there is no data available on the long-term health of the offspring and the safety of these oral hypoglycemic drugs are limited to the prenatal period.
There is no substantial difference in conducting research that is both ethical and responsive to the health needs in developing and developed nations. Differences are in financial constraints, technological expertise in identification and addressing needs, and in the perception of equal partnership of all stakeholders. There will be differences in emphasis of research but this is slowly blurred due to globalisation. Public health emergencies in developing countries need timely and effective global collaborative research to implement control strategies. Research needs should be based on predictive models with learning from past emergencies, technological advances, strategic critical appraisal of local and global health information, and dialogue with all stakeholders. Adequate funding will be challenging and resources from national, international and aid
foundations will be needed. Issues associated with such funding include deployment of international rapid response teams, collaborating researchers, transfer of technology, and intellectual property ownership. While all types of research ranging from basic, applied, clinical
studies, meta-analysis, and translational research are relevant, the relative importance and specific allocation of resources to these may differ. Is the choice related to responsiveness or based on researchers’ perception of their contributions to evidence-based practice and research? Ethical issues relating to vulnerable groups, risk distribution, quality issues, research integrity and oversight are just as important. Internationally funded
research including clinical trials must be sensitive to such issues to avoid allegations of exploitation. Thus the potential of utilisation and buy-in of research findings and recommendations must be considered.
With recent medical advances and the availability of newer sophisticated technologies, critically ill patients tend to survive longer. Thus, decisions to forgo life-sustaining medical treatment generate challenging issues that all doctors must face. The aim of this pilot study was to assess attitudes towards end-of-life care in ICU which included futile therapy (withholding and withdrawing therapy) among final year medical students who had received the same degree of clinical exposure and training in medical school. The results revealed varying attitudes and views towards end-of-life care in ICU suggesting other factors such as religion, ethnicity and culture may influence decision making.
The purpose of this prospective longitudinal study was to investigate the maternal cardiac haemodynamic and structural changes that occur
in pregnancies with uncomplicated hyperemesis gravidarum in a selected Malaysian population. Nine women underwent serial echocardiography beginning at 12 weeks of gestation and throughout pregnancy at monthly intervals. Their echocardiograms were repeated at 6 and 12 weeks following delivery to reflect the pre-pregnancy haemodynamic state. Cardiac output was measured by continuous wave Doppler at the aortic valve. Interventricular septum thickness was determined by M- mode echocardiography and ventricular diastolic function by assessing flow at the mitral valve with Doppler recording. Cardiac output showed an increase of 32.9% at 36 weeks and maintained till 40 weeks of gestation. Heart rate increased from 79 ± 6 to 96 ± 8 beats/min at 36 weeks. Stroke volume increased by 16.4 % at 40 weeks of gestation when compared to the baseline
value. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure did not appreciably change but showed a lower reading during the mid-trimester period. Early inflow velocity of left ventricle did not show a rise while peak atrial velocity showed an increasing trend; thus the ratio of early inflow to peak atrial transport showed a declining trend from early pregnancy to term. End diastolic dimension of left ventricle and interventricular septum thickness showed an increased value at term. Uncomplicated hyperemesis gravidarum did not alter the haemodynamic changes throughout pregnancy and concur with established data for normal pregnancy.
Medical education of today continues to evolve to meet the challenges of the stakeholders. Medical professionals today are expected to
play multiple roles besides being experts. Thus, the curriculum has to be developed in a manner that facilitates learners to achieve the intended goal of becoming a medical professional with multiple competencies. The understanding of learning theories will be helpful in designing and delivering the curriculum to meet the demands of producing a medical professional who would meet the CanMEDS model.
This commentary explores and reflects on the learning theories of behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism as they have evolved over time and the application of these learning theories in medical education, particularly in the context of medical education in Malaysia. The authors are convinced that these three theories are not mutually exclusive but should be operationalized contextually and throughout the
different stages of learning in the MBBS curriculum. Understanding these theories and their application will enhance the learning experience of students.
Background: The tissue specimens used for extraction of DNA in this study were from rodents trapped in four states in Peninsular Malaysia, namely Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor and Johor. Methods: Histological sections of these rodent muscle tissues stained with hematoxylin and eos in showed infection with Sarcocystis spp. Based on these results, the current study was carried out to determine the phylogenetic relationship among the identified Sarcocystis spp. in these rodents.The formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) rodent muscle blocks were subjected to DNA extraction and followed with semi nested PCR targeting 5’ and 3’ regions of 18S rRNA of Sarcocystis spp. Results: Phylogenetic analysis showed two distinct groups of Sarcocystis spp. among the rodents in Peninsular Malaysia. Most of the identified Sarcocystis spp. were genetically closely related to Sarcocystis rodentifelis and Sarcocystis muris and were also observed to be genetically closely related to Sarcocystis sp. ex Columba livia and Sarcocystis sp. cyst type I ex Anser albifrons. Conclusion: Further classification to confirm these Sarcocystis spp. was not possible as only partial sequences of 18S rRNA was available and this was insufficient for
This cross sectional study was done to identify the areas of lack of knowledge, practice and awareness of students about the effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE). A total of 40 students were selected when they were posted to the accident and emergency unit (A&E) in Seremban Hospital; all of them answered a questionnaire and were observed unaware on the effective use of PPE in the A&E.
This study examined the trend of major congenital anomalies (CA) in the state of Penang using the ICD 10 database from 1999 to 2004. The data was collected from various health centres and hospitals. The aim was to study the magnitude of the problem for congenital anomalies in the state of Penang in terms of trends and also to calculate the incidence rate by districts. If a trend was noticed, this in turn will determine whether to carry out further in-depth studies in the future and to find out the linkages to the environment if any.
Background: The International Medical University (IMU) has an outcome-based curriculum defined by eight major curriculum outcome domains.The attributes, qualities and competencies expected of a health care professional form the basis for these outcome domains. Community service is an effective curriculum delivery tool widely practised by medical universities around the world. We present the results of a survey among IMU students to explore the effectiveness of community service as a curriculum delivery tool in enabling activities defined within the major curriculum outcome domains of IMU. Methods: A self-administered 6-point Likert scale questionnaire was used to survey student participants of 20 community service events held in a rural village between 2007 – 2012. The survey tool included questions on demographic data as well as the perception of the students on whether participation in the events enabled them to experience activities defined under the eight major curriculum outcome domains of IMU.The one sample Student t-test was used to test for statistical significance while regression analysis was done to look for significant predictors. Results: A total of 255 students were surveyed, of which 229 (90.5%) were medical students while the rest were nursing students. Most of the students were in the 3rd (48.2%) and 4th (43.8%) year of their studies and have completed the surgery, internal medicine and family medicine posting. Six out of the 8 curriculum outcomes domains were achieved through participation in the community service programme. Conclusion: Community service is an effective curriculum delivery tool for the outcome-based curriculum of IMU where activities defined in six out of eight outcome domains were achieved.
Pain and anxiety management is of paramount importance in dentistry especially for child patients. The term “Medicated Oxygen” or “Magic Air” refers to a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen gases that is commonly used for partial sedation in pediatric dental populations. The gas is colorless and virtually odorless with a faint, sweet smell. Nitrous oxide sedation is administered by inhalation, absorbed by diffusion through the lungs, and eliminated via respiration. In children, sedation may accelerate the delivery of dental treatment that requires patient serenity and may allow the patient to tolerate unpleasant procedures by reducing anxiety, discomfort, or pain.
Consent is defined as the “voluntary agreement to or acquiescence in what another person proposes or desires”. In the context of medical practice it is now universally accepted that every human being of adult years and of sound mind has the right to determine what shall be done with his or her own body. Informed consent is now a central part of medical ethics and medical law. There has been a change in the public’s expectations of their role in medical decision making. The paternalistic approach by doctors is no longer acceptable. Today the patient has the right to receive and the doctor the obligation to give sufficient and appropriate information so that the patient can make an informed decision to accept or refuse a treatment option. This has led to higher standards of practice in the process of informed consent taking. Consent taking is both a legal and moral requirement. Failure to comply with standards of practice can result in criminal prosecution, civil litigation or disciplinary action by the relevant professional authority. Consent taking is a process and not merely a one-off affixation of the patient’s signature on consent form. It involves a continuous discussion to reflect the evolving nature of treatment from before the treatment is given to the post-operative or discharge period. The regulatory authorities in many countries have established standards for consent taking which would include the capacity of the patient, the person who should seek consent, the information to be provided and the necessary documentation.
A review of current information related to the likely incidences of thyroid diseases in the aged population of Malaysia, raising issues such as the need for further epidemiological studies of iodine intake in relation to thyroid diseases within different geographical regions and population subtypes, the need for general country-wide iodization of salt, and the screening of elderly Malaysians for so-called “occult” thyroid diseases.
Preclinical drug testing is an important area in new drug development where animals are used. An ideal animal model for this is one which is simple, reliable and can be extrapolated to humans. Topical drugs for inflammation are conventionally tested on the skin of animals after induction of inflammation. A gingival model would be simple as inflammation can be induced naturally by the action of plaque. Rats are a popular animal model for testing drugs as well as to study various diseases of the periodontium. Periodontal disease including gingival inflammation develops in
rats in relation to indigenous plaque or experimentally induced bacterial products. A number of features of rats ranging from anatomy, histology and response to bacterial insult can be seen mirrored to a great extent in humans. There is a lot similarity in the development and resolution of inflammation as well as the gingival wound healing of rats and humans. This paper tries to explore the feasibility of using the rat gingival model for preclinical testing of drugs acting on or influencing inflammation and concludes by identifying potential areas of research using this model. The addition of such a simple and inexpensive model for preclinical testing of drugs will be welcomed by the drug developers.
Shock is a clinical challenge to neonatal intensivists and pediatricians alike. It occurs in critically ill babies for many reasons, but the main cause is sepsis that kills more than a million newborn
globally every year. This article is designed to help young doctors and trainees have a better understanding of shock in the neonatal period and its management. The paper reviews the basic pathophysiology, risk factors, clinical investigation, management, supportive care, and complications in the common types of shock seen in neonates. Treatment is governed largely by the underlying cause, with the ultimate goal of achieving adequate tissue perfusion with delivery of oxygen and substrates to the cells, and removal of toxic metabolic waste products. Intervention needs to be anticipatory and urgent to prevent progression to uncompensated and irreversible shock respectively. Early recognition and urgent effective management are crucial to successful outcomes.
This paper attempts to utilise clinical scenarios where ethical issues are embedded and requires appropriate application of the steps of the framework mentioned. A step by step sequential approach is adopted to illustrate how the ‘ethical decision model ‘can be used to resolve ethical problems to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. The UNESCO ethical method of reasoning is used as the framework for decision making. Physician-educators should be competent to use ethical decision models as well as best available scientific evidence to be able to arrive at the best decision for patient care as well as teach health professional trainees how reasonable treatment decisions can be made within the perimeter of medical law and social justice.
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.