A 34-year-old Indian student who immigrated to Australia five years ago presented with a four-week history of neck pain. Physical examination revealed two firm fixed cervical lymph nodes in the anterior triangle and midline region which were tender on palpation and erythematous on inspection. Cording phenomenon was found on ZN staining of FNA sample and mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb ) PCR confirmed the diagnosis with incomplete resistance to isoniazid. Patient was treated with other three first line antituberculosis medications for nine months with an excellent outcome. Prednisolone was also used as adjunctive therapy and tapered during the course of treatment.
Scrofuloderma; Tuberculosis; Cording phenomenon
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is common agent causing community acquired pneumonia in children. However, the course of illness is usually benign and is rarely associated with pulmonary complications. We report a five-year-old child with massive pleural effusion and empyema secondary to Mycoplasma pneumonia infection. This potential yet rare source of infection should be considered in young patients where resolution of symptoms from pneumonia is delayed.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae; Pleural Effusion; Empyema
Cutaneous or umbilical endometriosis is a rare entity that is often overlooked because of chronic abdominal pain. We present a case of umbilical hernia that presented to the general surgeons due to chronic abdominal pain and nodule in the umbilicus, which was clinically diagnosed as umbilical papilloma.
A 48-year old multiparous Caucasian woman presented with painful nodule in the umbilicus for two and half years. The nodule was excised and the histopathological diagnosis was umbilicus endometriosis.
Umbilical endometriosis is a very rare disease but should be considered as a differential diagnosis in women presenting with umbilical swelling.
Endometriosis; Umbilical endometriosis; Papilloma
We report a case of laryngeal tuberculosis in a 47-year-old Korean man. Laryngeal tuberculosis is rare and currently accounts for less than 1% of all cases of tuberculosis. Clinical features of laryngeal tuberculosis include hoarseness, odynophagia and dyspnoea. Macroscopically, laryngeal tuberculosis may mimic laryngeal carcinoma, chronic laryngitis or laryngeal candidiasis. The diagnosis is often delayed due to a low index of clinical suspicion and hence may pose a significant public health risk. Laryngeal tuberculosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients who present with any form of laryngeal lesion.
Larynx; Tuberculosis; Diagnosis
During a routine dissection in the Department of Anatomy of the Rural Medical College, Loni, we found a rare variation in branching pattern of the common carotid artery (CCA) and external carotid artery (ECA) bilaterally. The knowledge of possible anatomical variations of CCA and ECA are especially important in the surgeries of head, neck and face; and also for the radiologist to understand and interpret carotid system imaging when undertaking cerebral angiography. This case and the clinical significance of this variation are reported in this paper.
Common carotid artery; external carotid artery; superior thyroid artery,; linguo-facial trunk; ascending pharyngeal artery; occipital artery
Although medicines shortages are a persistent and challenging problem for all health systems, the reasons for such shortages vary considerably between settings. Understanding the range of problems encountered, and the specific reasons for each medicines shortage event, may help to identify the most appropriate systems-wide responses.
South Africa’s health system is, at this point, still clearly divided between a better-resourced private sector and an overwhelmed public sector. Medicines selection and procurement processes in the two sectors are markedly different. However, in both sectors there is a dearth of publicly accessible information about the incidence and consequences of medicines shortages.
This brief report describes the medicines selection and procurement processes currently applied in South Africa’s public health sector, and then describes the nature of the medicines shortages that have been experienced in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial health services between July 2012 and June 2013. The degree to which these shortages might have been managed differently, had the recommendations developed by the International Pharmaceutical Federation Summit on Medicines Shortages been implemented, is then explored.
Medicines shortages; South Africa; public sector selection and procurement; systems-wide responses
Supernumerary kidney is the rarest of all renal anomalies; fewer than 80 cases have been reported in the literature over the years. Supernumerary kidneys are most commonly located on the left side of the abdomen. Different pathologic conditions are reported to affect supernumerary kidneys and they may be associated with malformations of the upper urinary tract and genital tract. Because of their infrequent occurrence and reporting, they frequently cause diagnostic challenges. Here we report a case in a 14-year-old male patient of unilateral supernumerary kidney on the right side of the abdomen with multiple calculi, mal-rotation and a gross hydronephrotic left kidney.
Hydronephrosis; renal anomalies; Supernumerary kidney
Non-attendance at health appointments reduces health service efficiency, is costly to services, and can risk patient health. Reminder systems are widely used to overcome forgetfulness, the most common reason for non-attendance; however, other factors, such as patient demographics and service accessibility, may also affect attendance rates.
There is limited primary research on the reasons for patient non-attendance in the Australian healthcare setting, although the success of preventative health initiatives requires ongoing monitoring of patients. This study aims to improve our understanding of the Australian experience by examining staff perspectives.
This qualitative study explored staff perspectives of the reasons for non-attendance in a large, regional general practice super clinic, which has a low socioeconomic catchment, and serves a large Aboriginal population.
The practical barriers to attendance of travel, cost, and waiting times had largely been overcome with transport provision, free medical care and responsive appointment times, but paradoxically, these were seen to devalue allocated appointments and reinforce the expectations of “on-demand” health care. For Aboriginal patients specifically, a distrust of authority, combined with poor health literacy was perceived to impact negatively on the uptake of diagnostic tests, filling of prescriptions, health monitoring, and adherence to medication.
The results suggest a complex interplay between poor health literacy and low patient self-worth; a funding system that encourages “five-minute medicine and prevents doctors getting to the root cause of patient problems or having the ability to provide health education.
Non-attendance; super clinic; Aboriginal; adherence; reminders
During the routine dissection of upper limbs of a Caucasian male cadaver, variations were observed in the brachial plexus. In the right extremity, the lateral cord was piercing the coracobrachialis muscle. The musculocutaneous nerve and lateral root of the median nerve were observed to be branching inferior to the lower attachment of coracobrachialis muscle. The left extremity exhibited the passage of the median nerve through the flat tendon of the coracobrachialis muscle near its distal insertion into the medial surface of the body of humerus. A variation in the course and branching of the nerve might lead to variant or dual innervation of a muscle and, if inappropriately compressed, could result in a distal neuropathy. Identification of these variants of brachial plexus plays an especially important role in both clinical diagnosis and surgical practice.
Brachial plexus; Lateral cord; Coracobrachialis; Median nerve
Haemotoxic snakebite, presenting with coagulopathy and bleeding manifestations, is quite common. Thrombotic manifestations are infrequently observed. We describe the unusual case of a young male who developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the left lower limb following snakebite, despite an ongoing coagulopathy. Investigations revealed leucocytosis, prolonged 20-minute whole blood clotting time (20’WBCT), prolonged prothrombin time (PT), and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Doppler study revealed thrombosis of common femoral vein, superficial femoral, and profunda femoris veins. The patient underwent two fasciotomies and received anticoagulation after which patency of the veins was restored. Doppler sonographic imaging in patients with haemotoxic snakebite who present with increasing local swelling may assist with early anticoagulation therapy that has a potential to be limb-saving.
Snake bite; DIC; DVT; Doppler ultrasound
Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains one of the most significant causes of death from an infectious agent. Rapid and accurate diagnosis of pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is still a great challenge. The GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay is a novel integrated diagnostic system for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and rapid detection of Rifampin (RIF) resistance in clinical specimens. In 2012, the Arkansas Tuberculosis Control Program introduced GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay to replace the labour-intensive Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Direct (MTD) assay.
To rapidly diagnose TB within two hours and to simultaneously detect RIF resistance.
Describe the procedure used to introduce GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay in the Arkansas Tuberculosis Control Program.
Characterise the current gap in rapid M. tuberculosis diagnosis in Arkansas.
Assess factors that predict acid fast bacilli (AFB) smearnegative but culture-positive cases in Arkansas.
Illustrate, with two case reports, the role of GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay in reduction of time to confirmation of M. tuberculosis diagnosis in the first year of implementation.
Between June 2012 and June 2013, all AFB sputum smearpositive cases and any others, on request by the physician, had GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay performed as well as traditional M. tuberculosis culture and susceptibilities using Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) 960 and Löwenstein-Jensen (LJ) slants. Surveillance data for January 2009–June 2013 was analysed to characterise sputum smear-negative but culture-positive cases.
Seventy-one TB cases were reported from June 2012– June 2013. GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay identified all culture-positive cases as well as three cases that were negative on culture. Also, this rapid assay identified all six smear-negative but M. tuberculosis culture-positive cases; two of these cases are described as case reports.
GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay has made rapid TB diagnosis possible, with tremendous potential in determining isolation of TB suspects on one hand, and quickly ruling out TB whenever suspected.
Tuberculosis; GeneXpert MTB/RIF assay; AFB
Mobile text messaging is a potentially powerful tool for behaviour change because it is widely available, inexpensive, and instant.
To evaluate whether mobile Text Messaging Service is a feasible mode of raising knowledge regarding maternal and child health (MCH) and to explore issues related to mobile text messages as a mode of health education.
A community-based intervention study was conducted from January to June 2013 in six randomly selected villages of Vellore district, Tamil Nadu. A multi-stage sampling technique was followed: 120 individuals from 120 households (30 clusters in six villages) were contacted. Data was collected using a pretested questionnaire by house-to-house visits in three phases: 1) baseline assessment of aptitude towards text messages; 2) intervention: sending MCH-related text messages; and 3) end-line assessment to evaluate the increase in knowledge level. Qualitative data regarding mobile text messages as a mode of health education was explored. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 17.0 and qualitative data by Anthropac software.
Of the individuals surveyed, 69.17 per cent and 52.5 per cent were “able to read” and “type and send” text messages, respectively. Seventy per cent of individuals were willing to receive health information via text messages, and 98.33 per cent believed text messages could effectively spread health messages. A significant increase in knowledge was observed following text messages. Male gender and subjects’ ability to read text messages were significantly associated. Factors related to mobile phone use include minimum economic burden, easy availability, portability, and ease of use. Factors related to mobile text messages as a mode of health message delivery include direct receipt of information, mass reach, the absence of regional language font in many handsets, and illiterate individuals being unable to read messages.
In rural areas, mobile text messages have the potential to deliver health messages regarding MCH.
Health education; maternal and child health; text messages
Malignant melanoma of soft parts (MMSP), first described by Franz M. Enzinger, is a rare tumour of unknown cell origin. We describe a case of a 45-year-old male who presented with a one-year history of abdominal pain, weakness, and anaemia. Computerised tomography enteroclysis showed a mass in the jejunum that was suggestive of a gastrointestinal stromal tumour. An ulceroinfiltrative lesion measuring 6.5 x 4 x 2cm was identified. Microscopy revealed typical features of MMSP with numerous osteoclasts-like giant cells. The diverse histomorphology and immunohistochemical characteristics of this case involving a rare tumour at a rare site is presented.
Malignant melanoma of soft parts; jejunum; osteoclastic giant cells
Enteric fever caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) is an important public health problem in developing countries like India.1 The emergence of resistance to fluoroquinolones has reduced the therapeutic options available. Currently, the uniform laboratory interpretation of ciprofloxacin and azithromycin susceptibility remains unclear.
To study the antibiogram of S. Typhi isolates with special emphasis on in-vitro activity of ciprofloxacin and azithromycin.
We evaluated the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of 16 S. Typhi isolates from January 2012 to June 2013. We also determined by Epsilometer-test (E-test) method, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ciprofloxacin and azithromycin against these isolates and compared them with their corresponding disc diffusion sizes.
Fifteen (93.75 per cent) isolates were sensitive to chloramphenicol, 14 (87.5 per cent) were sensitive to cotrimoxazole. All isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid. MICs for ciprofloxacin ranged from 6μg/ml to 15μg/ml and corresponding zone diameters ranged from 15mm to 26mm. MIC and zone diameters for ciprofloxacin had significant negative correlation. MICs for azithromycin ranged from 3μg/ml to 24μg/ml, corresponding zone diameters ranged from 13mm to 19mm. However, MIC and zone diameters for azithromycin had no significant negative correlation.
The widespread emergence of resistance to fluoroquinolones and reappearance of sensitivity to firstline drugs has reinforced the need for antibiotic recycling. There is a need to have uniform laboratory testing guidelines for testing susceptibility to ciprofloxacin and azithromycin for S. Typhi isolates.
Antibiogram; ciprofloxacin; azithromycin; minimum inhibitory concentrations; S. Typhi
In Nepal, reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) occurs on a voluntary basis by doctors, pharmacists, nurses, health assistants, and other healthcare professionals. The country’s pharmacovigilance program is still in its infancy; it has limited coverage and underreporting is common. This major limitation could be reduced with consumer involvement. This report examines the necessity and benefits of consumer involvement in Nepal’s existing pharmacovigilance program, reflecting on existing examples of consumer pharmacovigilance in different countries to highlight the necessity for such a framework in Nepal.
Consumers; Nepal; pharmacovigilance
Deficiency of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a well-known cause of megaloblastic anaemia. It is a reversible cause of bone marrow failure and demyelinating nervous system disorder, hence early detection and prompt treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency is essential. After diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency, tracking down its root cause is important in individualising the treatment approach. Helicobacter pylorirelated (H. pylori) B12 deficiency presenting as pancytopenia in pediatric age groups has been reported. However, vitamin B12 deficiency presenting as retinopathy in paediatric age groups has been rarely reported in the medical literature. We herein present the case of an adolescent male with pancytopenia and retinopathy, secondary to vitamin B12 deficiency-associated H. pylori infection.
Pancytopenia; retinopathy; Helicobacter pylori; vitamin B12 deficiency
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a significant contributor to both morbidity and mortality in Australia. Generally speaking, sufferers of ACS who live in rural areas and are treated at rural hospitals have poorer outcomes than those living in metropolitan areas.
To characterise the differences in the management and outcomes of rural and metropolitan populations in the context of ACS, as well as identify factors responsible for these differences and suggest how they may be addressed.
A review of the current literature surrounding ACS in Australia was undertaken. Through the MEDLINE/PubMed database a thorough search using the terms “acute coronary syndrome” and “Australia” identified 460 papers for review, excluding abstracts and adding “rural”, “metropolitan”, “reperfusion”, and “outcomes” to this search narrowed the results to 149 papers for review. Data was also extracted from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and other Australian government publications. The review draws on insights from both local and international resources and seeks to provide an understanding of the contemporary landscape of ACS in both rural and metropolitan Australia.
The review is broken down into three key sections:
An outline of the 2011 National Heart Foundation of Australia/Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (NHF/CSANZ) guidelines and adjuvant tools used in the assessment and treatment of ACS, and to what extent these guidelines have been implemented clinically.
An exploration of the current landscape of ACS in Australia and identification of the disparities facing rural populations compared to those in metropolitan areas.
Discussion of the factors that are resulting in poorer outcomes for ACS sufferers and suggestions of novel approaches towards addressing these factors.
Disparities exist between the management and outcomes of rural and metropolitan populations experiencing ACS. While the causes of these discrepancies are multifactorial; the onus is on the healthcare system to effectively reduce associated morbidity and mortality. Improvements in the management of ACS may be achieved through a continued reduction in call-to-needles time via the use of remote and mobile thrombolysis services as well as improvements in in-hospital risk assessment in order to flag and investigate those at risk of ACS.
ACS; rural; metropolitan; Australia; outcomes
Schizencephaly is one of the most severe forms of neuronal migration defects and is an extremely rare cause of seizure disorder.
We report a case of bilateral schizencephaly (Type II) presenting as seizure disorder since birth.
This case is rare because of the relatively benign features compared to other reported cases.
Compared to other cases, this patient has normal cognitive and motor functioning. Given the scant literature on schizencephaly in India’s paediatric population, this case highlights the possibility of a very rare entity associated with seizures. MRI can detect this condition.
Bilateral schizencephaly type II; seizure disorder
Scrub typhus appears throughout the Asia-Pacific rim. This disease is known for its diverse clinical manifestations and complications. There is no literature on the association of scrub typhus with adrenal insufficiency. Relative bradycardia has been reported in scrub typhus during the febrile phase but not during convalescence. We report the case of a 45- year-old woman with scrub typhus whose blood pressure was persistently low due to acute adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal failure responded to supplementation with steroids. She also developed sinus bradycardia during the afebrile period following treatment.
Adrenal failure; scrub typhus; relative bradycardia; ACTH stimulation test
Despite best efforts by healthcare providers to sterilise their hands through hand washing prior to touching medical equipment and patients, bacteria are still present and can be spread through physical contact. We aimed to reduce the spread of touch-induced and airborne bacteria and virus spreading by using a touch-free glove-dispensing system that minimally exposes gloves in the box to air.
The team met multiple times to undertake early prototyping and present ideas for the design. We experimented with folding gloves in varying patterns, similar to facial tissuedispensing boxes, and tried several methods of opening/closing the glove box to determine the most effective way to access gloves with the least amount of physical contact. We considered the user experience and obtained user feedback after each design iteration.
Ultimately, we decided on a vertically oriented box with optional holes for dispensing a glove on the side of the box or on the bottom by means of the pull-down drawer mechanism. This system will dispense a single glove at a time to the user with the option of using a pull-down drawer trigger to decrease the likelihood of physical contact with unused gloves. Both methods dispense a single glove.
By reducing physical contact between the healthcare practitioner and the gloves, we are potentially reducing the spread of bacteria. This glove box design ensures that gloves are not exposed to the air in the clinic or hospital setting, thereby further reducing spread of airborne germs. This could assist in decreasing the risk of nosocomial infections in healthcare settings.
Disposable gloves; contamination; pathogens; clinic