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.
Background: The present study describes the morphology of sparganum (larva) of the Malaysian Spirometra spp. collected from naturally infected frogs (Rana cancrivora) from rice fields in Tanjung Karang, Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: Spargana of Spirometra spp. collected from naturally infected frogs (Rana cancrivora) were used for the morphological studies. Stretched on a metal ruler, measurements of the worm were recorded. Specimens were stained in Alum-carmine.
Results: The length of the body ranged from 11-50 mm and the width ranged from 0.5-1.5 mm. Specimens stained with Alum-carmine showed ridges (formation of segments) on the surface of the body, and no sexual organs in the body.
Conclusion: The Malaysian Spirometra spp. are similar in measurement and morphology to Spirometra erinacei but further studies are required for confirmation.
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.
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.
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.
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
Background: Misinterpretation of abbreviations by healthcare workers has been reported to compromise patient safety. Medical students are future doctors. We explored how early medical students acquired the practice of using abbreviations, and their ability to interpret commonly used abbreviations in medical practice.
Method: Eighty junior and 74 senior medical students were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire designed to capture demographic data; frequency and reasons for using abbreviations; from where abbreviations were learned; frequency of encountering abbreviations in medical practice; prevalence of mishaps due to misinterpretation; and the ability of students to correctly interpret commonly used abbreviations. Comparisons were made between senior and junior medical students.
Results: Abbreviation use was highly prevalent among junior and senior medical students. They acquired the habit mainly from the clinical notes of doctors in the hospital. They used abbreviations mainly to save time, space and avoid writing in full sentences. The students experienced difficulties, frustrations and often resorted to guesswork when interpreting abbreviations; with junior students experiencing these more than senior students. The latter were better at interpreting standard and non-standard abbreviations. Nevertheless, the students felt the use of abbreviations was necessary and acceptable. Only a few students reported encountering mishaps in patient management as a result of misinterpretation of abbreviations.
Conclusion: Medical students acquired the habit of using abbreviations early in their training. Senior students knew more and correctly interpreted more standard and non-standard abbreviations compared to junior students. Medical students should be taught to use standard abbreviations only.
Background: Increased maternal anxiety level has been reported to have detrimental effects on the physical outcome of pregnancies such as not achieving vaginal births. This study thus aims to determine the level and factors affecting mental preparedness among mothers with normal pregnancies and its correlation with birth outcomes.
Methods: Three hundred healthy mothers above 37 weeks of gestation in the early stage of labour were assessed for their level of mental preparation before birth process and outcomes after births which include general feeling (euphoria), ability to withstand labour pain and bonding with the new born. The successfulness of vaginal birth and other data on factors affecting mental preparation were also collected.
Results: The level of mental preparedness was found good in 78% of the mothers, mainly determined by their socioeconomic status, family support and personal ability to adjust to changes. Age (p= 0.048), parity (0.00) and income (0.01) were found to influence mental preparedness significantly. Race, occupation, education level and marital status are however not significantly related. Poor mental preparedness is associated with greater pain during labour. A correlation analysis also found a positive relationship between the level of mental preparation and mental outcomes following birth in these mothers but it did not significantly influence the mode of delivery.
Conclusion: Mental preparation before birth seems to have an effect on mental outcomes of mothers following birth process. It is vital that mothers of the younger age group with no previous obstetric experience be given more attention in preparing them mentally before they face the painful birth process.
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.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one of the most common infectious diseases and the world’s leading cause of mortality and morbidity, especially in patients aged 65 years and above.1,2 It is the 6th cause of mortality and the most important cause of hospitalisation in Malaysia. According to the British Thoracic Society, the gold standard in diagnosing CAP is based on radiological findings and it is defined into 2 different settings – community and hospital.3
Background: Sensitisation to house dust mite (HDM) has been regarded as a major risk factor for development of asthma. This study was carried out to investigate the profiles of HDM sensitisation among Malaysian children with asthma.
Material and Methods: The association between HDM sensitisation and control and severity of asthma was investigated. The salivary HDM specific IgE levels were quantified in different grades of control and severity of asthma in 125 unselected asthmatic children aged 5-12 years old attending the asthma follow-up clinic in Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar Seremban. An additional 29 non-asthmatic patients were selected as control. The skin prick test to assess sensitisation to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) and Dermatophagoides farinae (DF) was performed on all the participants. A questionnaire regarding the control and severity of asthmatic symptoms of the subject was administered. Saliva was collected by voluntary spitting and ELISA was used to quantify the IgE specific to HDM antigen.
Results: There was a significant association between sensitisation to DP and DF and the control of asthma. The association between DP sensitisation and severity of asthma just failed to reach a significant level although there is a clear trend for this. Significant association was found between DF sensitisation and severity. The HDM specific IgE in the saliva was significantly higher in asthmatic patients compared to non-asthmatic patients. There was no significant difference between the specific IgE levels in patients with different severity status of asthma.
Conclusion: Salivary IgE levels may not be an appropriate indicator of the patients’ asthmatic condition in this study. However, it can be concluded that there is significant association between the sensitisation of HDM and the control and severity of asthma.
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: At the International Medical University (IMU), a half day cardiac life support teaching session was provided to fourth year medical students which included training on the use of the defibrillator machine, how to handle cardiac or respiratory arrest and drugs used for resuscitation. A new CLS (cardiac life support) training session was introduced and increased to a oneday course where students were given practical training first, which included 5 stations (airway equipment, mega codes, drugs for resuscitation, defibrillator use and cardiac rhythm identification) , MCQ (multiple choice questions) test and a mega code (practical)assessment. Objective: To evaluate the students’ knowledge on cardiac resuscitation after a change in the delivery of the cardiac life support training (CLS).
Methodology: Group I, consisted of 82 students taught using the traditional teaching and Group II consisted of 77 students taught using hands on simulation. The students in both groups had an online manual to read prior to the session, were given an identical written exam six months after the CLS training. Group II, however, had an online pre-test.
Results: There was a statistical difference in the final mean marks between the two groups with group II scoring higher (67.3) than group 1 (62.1). No significant marks difference was noted between male and female students for both the cohorts.
Conclusion: There is a significant difference in medical students’ knowledge when cardiac life support is taught using simulation. IMU has adopted the new teaching method with simulated training for the cardiac life support courses with plans to implement higher fidelity and technology to the existing simulated teaching in other areas of medicine.
Nebulization with B-agonist and administration of systemic corticosteroids are standard treatments for severe asthma exacerbations, but corticosteroids take several hours to become effective. IV magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) acts faster and has both antiinflammatory and bronchodilating properties. It appears to have played a pivotal role in the successful management of a child with severe asthma exacerbation and atelectasis unresponsive to conventional therapy. A literature review reveals that the results of IV MgSO4 are much greater in children than in adults, and can avoid the need to hospitalize 25% of children presenting with severe asthma. Magnesium sulphate appears safe to use.
In ancient times, before Hippocrates, disease and illness were attributed as a sign of divine dismay, and the Gods needed to be appeased to achieve a cure. Hippocrates and his followers showed courage in breaking away from this paradigm. They moved away from the divine and supernatural, to focus on the biology of the body. In the process they put the patient at the centre of their focus. They collected detailed case histories, dismissed religious and supernatural explanations and developed remedies in the form of diets, exercise and mixed minerals and herbs based on their understanding of ill health.
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.
Keriorrhoea is the involuntarily passing of orange oil per rectum. One of us (PMB) had the misfortune to experience this symptom, together with considerable gastrointestinal disturbances for a prolonged period of time after consumption of a deep sea fish, orange roughy, which is rich in liquid wax esters (LWEs). This paper presents a summary of available evidence concerned with the physiology and pathology of ingestion of LWEs, which can enter the human diet in substantial amounts from consumption of several species of deep-sea fish. LWEs are poorly digested and absorbed by the human body. They generally cause keriorrhoea when ingested deliberately or accidentally. Jojoba oil, which is a plant LWE, together with certain nutritional products (e.g. olestra) and medical (e.g. Orlistat) which are not LWEs may mimic the effects of LWEs, and cause similar gastrointestinal disturbances. This paper discusses the potential effects of LWEs as components of gastrointestinal micelles, and predicts that the orange oil which is leaked from a bout of keriorrhoea may contain considerable volumes of triacylglycerols (TAGs).
A recently published meta-analysis showed that each additional serving of rice increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) by an alarming 11%. We investigated whether this phenomenon is seen in the Malaysian population by studying the effect of rice intake and added sugar consumption on fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and fasting triacylglycerol (TAG).
Interprofessional learning (IPL) promotes collaboration among healthcare professionals in providing quality healthcare. For the IPL to have a positive influence on inter-professional collaboration, opportunities must be made available for the healthcare students to learn together. Attitudinal factors have been identified as the major factor hindering the implementation of IPL. In Malaysia, little is known about attitudes of healthcare students towards IPL. Students from different health disciplines often have poor conception of each other’s roles as a member of the healthcare team. IPL increases this knowledge and gives students an understanding of the interpersonal skills needed for liaison and communication. Students from different disciplines who learn together develop interpersonal and teamwork skills, and gain knowledge of how other professionals work. IPL has been shown to create teams that work together better and improve patient experience. In general, IPL aims to improve patient safety, enhance patient satisfaction, and increase levels of innovation in patient care, and increase staff motivation, well-being and retention. There has been increasing emphasis on the important role that interprofessional education (IPE) must play in educating and developing present and future healthcare professionals. This review aims to examine how learning outcomes are articulated in the field of IPE and includes the benefits, importance, ethical concepts and application of IPL in nursing.