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Rivaroxaban – an alternative to warfarin for the prevention of thromboembolism in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation?

Posted: September 13, 2011 at 9:44 PM   /   Blog

The estimated prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is 0.4%-1% in the general population and increases to 10% in those above 80 years of age (Go, 2001). AF accounts for 15% of strokes in persons of all ages and 30% in persons over the age of 80 years. All patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation are evaluated […]

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Vitamin D Deficiency: Evaluation, Treatment and Prevention

Posted: September 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM   /   Blog

Vitamin D deficiency is an exciting new topic of research as it has been linked to not only bone health, but also to cancer, hypertension, diabetes and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.  Northern latitude regions, such as Ireland, are considered high risk for Vitamin D deficient patients. Much to the joy of researchers in […]

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Corticosteroid use during pregnancy and risk of orofacial defects

Posted: September 6, 2011 at 9:22 PM   /   Blog

Medication and pregnancy has always been a risky combination with ambiguous effects on both mother and foetus. Since the discovery of the teratogenic properties of thalidomide, drug trials have become much more stringent in order to validate the efficacy of a medication while limiting its harmful effects. Recently, a cohort study was carried out in […]

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A Differentiation Diagnosis — Specialization and the Medical Student

Posted: September 2, 2011 at 6:41 AM   /   Blog

As medical students and future medical practitioners, we spend a lot of time differentiating between possible conditions, treatment options, etc. This approach is used not only in our practice but also in our career decisions. Medical students choose their future specialties sometimes with very little exposure or knowledge. There seems to be an increasing sense […]

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Effects of obesity on bone metabolism

Posted: August 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM   /   Blog

A common recommendation for the prevention and minimization of osteoporosis is an increase in weight bearing activity. In recent research, obesity has been cited as a possible protective factor to osteoporosis due to the increase in bone loading from excess weight. However, the relationship between osteoporosis and obesity is not limited to biomechanics. This article […]

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Healthcare Budget Reform: The physicians’ role in controlling medical care costs and reducing waste

Posted: August 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM   /   Blog

With the current global economic climate, governments around the world are making spending cuts where possible. Healthcare costs are the greatest in most countries and there is no doubt that budget reform is imminent. As physicians we will be faced with the challenge of balancing patient healthcare and limited medical resources. This article, published in the […]

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Ambulatory blood pressure measurement can result in targeted treatment of hypertension as compared to clinic or home blood pressure measurement

Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:35 PM   /   Blog

Hypertension is the commonest chronic disorder seen in primary care. Its diagnosis is based on several blood pressure measurements in the clinic that are separated in time. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is usually used when there is uncertainty in the diagnosis of hypertension. In this systematic review, eligible studies were examined for diagnosis of hypertension in […]

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The ‘July Effect’: A Gap in Patient Care

Posted: August 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM   /   Blog

The ‘July effect’ has just ended in the United States and it is currently ‘August Killing season’ in the United Kingdom. These months not only signify the start of residency/internships for recent graduates, but the academic year-end for numerous medical trainees. It is a time when new physician trainees enter the workforce, others are promoted […]

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New research findings may help parents in early detection of autism

Posted: August 18, 2011 at 12:48 AM   /   Blog

The sibling study conducted in this paper examined 664 infants between 18 and 36 months who had an older biological sibling with diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Published earlier this month, the study found that nearly 19% of the infants developed ASD, with a three fold increase in risk for males. While previous studies had […]

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STAN: Are fetal ECGs the better way of monitoring?

Posted: August 15, 2011 at 5:21 AM   /   Blog

Cardiotocography (CTG) was introduced in the 1960s to monitor fetal cardiac activity in utero. Its use in the intrapartum period is an attempt to predict fetal acidosis, allowing clinicians to intervene before fetal asphyxia occurs. However, it tends to have poor sensitivity and specificity. When fetal blood sampling (FBS) is used in conjunction with CTG, […]

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