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1.  Oral cancer awareness amongst hospital nursing staff: a pilot study 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:4.
Oral cancer is as prevalent as cervical and testicular cancer in the United Kingdom. Nursing staff provide the oral health care for the patient population in hospital. Admission to hospital provides a 'window of opportunity' for oral cancer 'screening' via an oral health check during nursing clerking. This study aimed to investigate whether nursing staff are aware of risk factors for oral cancer, its clinical signs, and could therefore provide a 'screening' service for oral cancer.
Through the use of a questionnaire we assessed 121 nursing staff on oral health check behaviour and attitudes; their knowledge of risk factors for oral cancer; their understanding of common clinical signs of oral cancer; and their undergraduate and postgraduate training in oral health and oral cancer.
Over 80% thought oral health checks were important although only 49% performed this task regularly; approximately 70% identified smoking as a risk factor but less than 30% identified alcohol. Awareness of the clinical signs of oral cancer was low with 21% identifying white patches, 15% identifying ulceration and only 2% identifying red patches despite their malignant potential. Nurses within 3 years of qualification were significantly better at recognising risk factors for oral cancer than their colleagues, identifying a need for continuing postgraduate education on oral health and oral cancer. Sixty-one percent of nursing staff received oral healthcare as an undergraduate with 34 percent receiving postgraduate training.
An oral health check upon admission to hospital provides an opportunity for nurses to 'screen' for oral diseases including oral cancer and allows nurses a greater role in total patient care. Nurses' awareness of oral cancer risk factors and clinical signs was, however, poor. This study highlights a need for improved education of nurses on oral cancer to make the oral health check on admission viable for oral cancer screening.
PMCID: PMC2640385  PMID: 19175923
2.  Carotid artery injury from an airgun pellet: a case report and review of the literature 
Historically airguns were powerful weapons. Modern models, though less lethal, are still capable of inflicting serious or life threatening injuries. Current United Kingdom legislation fails to take into the account the capacity for airguns to maim and kill. We believe that airguns should be governed by the same law that applies to firearms. We present a case of a potentially fatal airgun injury to the neck. The airgun pellet caused a defect in the anterior wall of the external carotid artery, which required rapid access and surgical repair. We discuss the mechanism of airgun injury and review the literature in terms of investigation and management.
PMCID: PMC2633272  PMID: 19149904
3.  Lingual infarction in Wegener's Granulomatosis: A case report and review of the literature 
Head & Face Medicine  2008;4:19.
Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a multi-system disease, characterised by the triad of necrotising granulomata affecting the upper and lower respiratory tracts, disseminated vasculitis and glomerulonephritis. Oral lesions are associated with up to 50% of cases, although are rare as a presenting feature. The most common oral lesions associated with WG are ulceration and strawberry gingivitis. We review the literature regarding oral manifestations of WG and present a case of lingual infarction, an extremely rare oral lesion associated with WG, in a severe, rapidly progressive and ultimately fatal form of the disease.
PMCID: PMC2531096  PMID: 18718013
4.  Penetrating facial injury from angle grinder use: management and prevention 
Injuries resulting from the use of angle grinders are numerous. The most common sites injured are the head and face. The high speed disc of angle grinders does not respect anatomical boundaries or structures and thus the injuries produced can be disfiguring, permanently disabling or even fatal. However, aesthetically pleasing results can be achieved with thorough debridement, resection of wound edges and careful layered functional closure after reduction and fixation of facial bone injuries. A series of penetrating facial wounds associated with angle grinder use are presented and the management and prevention of these injuries discussed.
PMCID: PMC2263029  PMID: 18215305
5.  Oral cancer awareness of undergraduate medical and dental students 
The incidence of oral cancer is increasing in the United Kingdom. Early detection of oral cancers makes them more amenable to treatment and allows the greatest chance of cure. Delay in presentation and/or referral has a significant effect on the associated morbidity and mortality. Lack of general medical practitioner and general dental practitioner oral cancer knowledge has been shown to contribute to delays in referral and treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the oral cancer awareness of future general medical and general dental practitioners by assessing undergraduate medical and dental students' knowledge of prevention and early detection of oral cancer.
Questionnaires were delivered to undergraduate medical and dental students at the University of Dundee, assessing oral examination habits, delivery of advice on oral cancer risk factors, knowledge of oral cancer risk factors and clinical appearance, preferred point of referral and requests for further information.
Undergraduate medical students were less likely to examine patients' oral mucosa routinely and less likely to advise patients about risk factors for oral cancer. Medical students identified fewer oral cancer risk factors. In particular alcohol use was identified poorly. Medical students also identified fewer oral changes associated with oral cancer. Erythroplakia and erythroleukoplakia were identified poorly. Medical students felt less well informed regarding oral cancer. 86% and 92% of undergraduate medical and dental students respectively requested further information about oral cancer.
This study highlights the need for improved education of undergraduate medical and dental students regarding oral cancer.
PMCID: PMC2213642  PMID: 18005417

Results 1-5 (5)