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.
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
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).
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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).
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: 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.
The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is currently increasing. HIV induced immuno-suppression modifies the clinical presentation of TB. Our aim is to determine the differences in clinical presentation of HIV-TB co-infection based on their CD4 counts. This retrospective study looked at cases of adult active TB and HIV-1 co-infection treated in Penang Hospital from January 2004 to December 2005. Of the 820 patients treated for active TB, HIV-1 seropositivity rate was 12.6% (103 patients). Majority of HIV-1 co-infected patients presented with prolonged insidious and non-specific symptoms like weight loss, fever and night sweats. The clinical presentation of TB depended on the stage of HIV-1 infection and associated degree of immunodeficiency. Compared to the less immuno-compromised HIV-1 and TB co-infected population (CD4 > 200/mm3 ), patients with CD4 counts ≤ 200 are more likely to have atypical chest radiographs (P = 0.009). During active TB, the Mantoux test was positive in 12 (14.5%) HIV-1 infected patients with a CD4 counts ≤ 200/mm3 and in 16 (80%) of those with CD4 counts > 200/mm3 (P = 0.0001). In our series, the AFB smear / AFB culture and type of TB did not show obvious correlation with CD4 counts. Therefore to diagnose TB in severely immuno-compromised HIV patients, we need to have a high index of suspicion.
Background: Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) imaging is shown to influence a decision change in managing non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The introduction of such a facility in Malaysia is relatively recent, and its impact from its utility is currently being assessed.
Aim: In a tertiary referral centre possessing the only PET-CT facility in northern Peninsular Malaysia, we evaluated the potential roles of PET-CT in referred patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma.
Methodology: Sixty eligible adult cases with NSCLC, between September 2005 and December 2007, were retrospectively reviewed. Relevant data was collected using standard questionnaire for indications, staging of disease, and outcomes in terms of recurrence and response to prescribed cancer-specific therapy.
Results: The indications for PET-CT were: staging of a newly diagnosed non-small cell lung carcinoma (25.0%); post-operative restaging (21.7%); exclusion of recurrence or metastasis (18.3%); establishing diagnosis of carcinoma (13.3%); assessment of response to treatment (11.7%), and for surveillance (10.0%). The use of PET-CT was shown to induce a change in the staging, compared with non-PET conventional means in 69.2% of patients with newly diagnosed lung carcinoma (upstaged in 55.5%; downstaged in 44.5%) and in 65.0% of patients who underwent cancer-specific treatments (upstaged in 38.5%; downstaged in 61.5%). PET-CT detected recurrence in 62.5% who underwent the imaging to exclude a recurrence or metastasis.
Conclusion: PET-CT has affected the staging of a large proportion of our local Malaysian patients. Like elsewhere, the availability of such a facility is likely to have important influence in overall management of NSCLC in Malaysia.
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=