Irritant contact dermatitis due to 1-bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin in a hydrotherapy pool. Risk assessments: the need for continuous evidence-based assessments. (1/97)

A physiotherapist working in hydrotherapy presented to occupational health with irritant contact dermatitis. Subsequent investigation revealed that the likely causative agent was 1-bromo 3-chloro 5,5 dimethylhydantoin which was used to disinfect the hydrotherapy pool. A COSHH risk assessment had been performed which failed to take full account of current knowledge and this agent had been introduced into the workplace. The development of adverse health effects among staff and other pool users lead to a review of this risk assessment and eventually a return to less hazardous chlorine-based disinfection. Had an evidence-based approach been combined with an appropriate COSHH assessment prior to and following changes in the workplace then unnecessary risk to employees would not have occurred.  (+info)

Physical treatment of fever. (2/97)

Fever is a common symptom of childhood illness, and much time and effort is spent in the pursuit of reducing high temperature. Although antipyretic drugs are the main form of treatment, this report considers the part that physical treatments might play in reducing the temperature of febrile children. Such treatments include tepid sponging, removing clothing, and cooling the environment. Of these treatments, tepid sponging has been studied most extensively, as an addition to paracetamol, but seems to offer little advantage over paracetamol alone. It is likely that other methods might be equally ineffective because they all rely on similar methods of heat loss.  (+info)

Pneumoperitoneum following Jacuzzi usage. (3/97)

A 56-year-old woman presented with abdominal pain after using a Jacuzzi hours earlier. Abdominal radiographs revealed intra-peritoneal free gas and, as she presented symptomatically, a laparotomy was performed. This revealed fluid and gas but no visceral perforation or intra-abdominal pathology to account for this. Peritoneal lavage was performed and the patient made an unremarkable recovery. Various causes of pneumoperitoneum have been described in the literature and both conservative and operative treatment recommended. We are unaware of any other reports of Jacuzzi-induced pneumoperitoneum and describe it as an entity to be considered in abdominal pain secondary to the use of similar types of device.  (+info)

Outbreak of severe Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections caused by a contaminated drain in a whirlpool bathtub. (4/97)

During a 14-month period, 7 patients with hematological malignancies acquired serious infections caused by a single strain of multiply resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A case-control study, culture surveys, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis implicated a whirlpool bathtub on the unit as the reservoir. All case patients and 32% of control patients used this bathtub (P=.003). The epidemic strain was found only in cultures of samples taken from the bathtub. The drain of the whirlpool bathtub, which was contaminated with the epidemic strain, closed approximately 2.54 cm below the drain's strainer. Water from the faucet, which was not contaminated, became contaminated with P. aeruginosa from the drain when the tub was filled. The design of the drain allowed the epidemic strain to be transmitted to immunocompromised patients who used the whirlpool bathtub. Such tubs are used in many hospitals, and they may be an unrecognized source of nosocomial infections. This potential source of infection could be eliminated by using whirlpool bathtubs with drains that seal at the top.  (+info)

Outbreak of Legionnaires' disease associated with a display whirlpool spa. (5/97)

BACKGROUND: Recognized outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease (LD) are rare; when they occur, they provide opportunities to understand the epidemiology of the illness and improve prevention strategies. We investigated a population-based outbreak. METHODS: After the confirmation of LD in October 1996 in five people in neighbouring towns in southwest Virginia, active surveillance for additional cases was undertaken. A case-control study was conducted to identify exposures associated with illness, followed by a cohort study among employees of the facility at which the source of the outbreak was located in order to assess unrecognized exposure and illness. Samples of likely sources of LD in the facility were cultured for LEGIONELLA: RESULTS: In all, 23 laboratory-confirmed cases of LD were eventually identified. Of the 15 cases in the case-control study, 14 (93%) reported visiting a home-improvement store, compared with 12 (27%) of 45 controls (matched odds ratio [MOR] = 23.3; 95% CI : 3-182). Among home-improvement centre patrons, 10 (77%) of 13 cases questioned recalled either visiting or walking by a display whirlpool spa, compared with 3 (25%) of 12 controls (MOR = 5.5; 95% CI : 0.7-256.0). Two cases' sputum isolates were an exact match, by monoclonal antibody subtyping and arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction, to a whirlpool spa filter isolate from the store. Employees reporting more exposure to the display spas were more likely to report symptoms of LD or to have an elevated titre. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation shows that LD can be transmitted from a whirlpool spa used for display only, and highlights the need for minimizing the risk of transmission of LD from all water-filled spas. Key messages This paper describes an investigation of a population-based outbreak of Legionnaires' disease (LD). A case-control study first identified a home-improvement store as the likely source of the outbreak. An environmental investigation later confirmed that finding, as two cases' sputum isolates were an exact match, by monoclonal antibody subtyping and arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction, to a whirlpool spa filter isolate from the store. The spa was intended and used for display only.  (+info)

External cooling in the management of fever. (6/97)

Although physical methods of cooling are the treatment of choice for hyperthermia, their value in the treatment of fever remains uncertain. Methods involving convection and evaporation are more effective than those involving conduction for the treatment of hyperthermia. These same methods, combined with antipyretic medication, are preferable to immersion as treatment for fever in young children but are generally not practical in adults. Febrile children treated with tepid-water sponging plus antipyretic drugs are more uncomfortable that those treated with antipyretic drugs alone, although they exhibit slightly more rapid reductions in temperature. When febrile, seriously ill patients are externally cooled and are sedated or paralyzed with drugs that suppress shivering, they may have a more rapid reduction of fever and reduced energy expenditure than if treated with antipyretic drugs alone. A risk/benefit assessment of the consequences of such treatment is not yet possible.  (+info)

A patient with severe palindromic rheumatism and frequent episodes of pain. (7/97)

A 44-year-old man began to experience episodes of joint pain with erythema in his knees, elbows, shoulders, and hands in April 1996. He was diagnosed as having palindromic rheumatism. Due to the increasing frequency and severity of these episodes, he was admitted to our hospital in May 1999. Heat therapy to the affected area produced a rapid improvement in symptoms. In addition, the continued use of physical therapy during symptom-free periods tended to reduce the frequency and severity of pain attacks. We present this case and discuss treatment options in patients with palindromic rheumatism.  (+info)

Hemorrhoids and varicose veins: a review of treatment options. (8/97)

Hemorrhoids and varicose veins are common conditions seen by general practitioners. Both conditions have several treatment modalities for the physician to choose from. Varicose veins are treated with mechanical compression stockings. There are several over-the-counter topical agents available for hemorrhoids. Conservative therapies for both conditions include diet, lifestyle changes, and hydrotherapy which require a high degree of patient compliance to be effective. When conservative hemorrhoid therapy is ineffective, many physicians may choose other non-surgical modalities: injection sclerotherapy, cryotherapy, manual dilation of the anus, infrared photocoagulation, bipolar diathermy, direct current electrocoagulation, or rubber band ligation. Injection sclerotherapy is the non-surgical treatment for primary varicose veins. Non-surgical modalities require physicians to be specially trained, own specialized equipment, and assume associated risks. If a non-surgical approach fails, the patient is often referred to a surgeon. The costly and uncomfortable nature of treatment options often lead a patient to postpone evaluation until aggressive intervention is necessary. Oral dietary supplementation is an attractive addition to the traditional treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The loss of vascular integrity is associated with the pathogenesis of both hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Several botanical extracts have been shown to improve microcirculation, capillary flow, and vascular tone, and to strengthen the connective tissue of the perivascular amorphous substrate. Oral supplementation with Aesculus hippocastanum, Ruscus aculeatus, Centella asiatica, Hamamelis virginiana, and bioflavonoids may prevent time-consuming, painful, and expensive complications of varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  (+info)