Clinical value and cost of a respiratory sleep-related breathing disorders screening service for snorers referred to a District General Hospital ENT department.
Sleep-related breathing disorders and snoring often co-exist in the community. We hypothesized that a significant proportion of patients referred from primary care to ENT surgeons for management of snoring might have significant sleep-related breathing disorders requiring medical management. The Respiratory Medicine Department at Whipps Cross Hospital, London, U.K. screened all such referrals using sleep questionnaires, overnight oximetry and diagnostic sleep studies where necessary as recommended by the Royal College of Physicians of London. Over 38 months, 115 patients were screened, of whom 43 (38%) had clinically significant sleep-disordered breathing. One-third were established on nasal continuous positive airway pressure ventilation and the remainder were mainly offered conservative treatment. The cost of the screening service is estimated at 14,000 Pounds for the initial year. The savings to the ENT service and the possible long-term benefits to the patients identified as having sleep-disordered breathing balance this. We conclude that screening all referred snorers for sleep-disordered breathing using a simple protocol identifies a significant number requiring medical management at a relatively low cost to the service provider. (+info)
Noise level of drilling instruments during mastoidectomy.
Exposure to intense noise has been identified as a potential risk in the development of hearing impairment. Social concern about excessive noise is increasing and this also extends to the operating room. A noise level study was performed in the operating room during mastoidectomy with a sound level meter and it was analyzed by a sound-analyzing program. The drilling instruments used included the Stryker, Midas, M.P.S. and Med-Next. The operator was exposed to sound levels from 69 to 83 dBA. The loudest drilling instrument was the Midas and it produced an average sound level of 83 dBA to the operator. The mean exposure time was 41 minutes during mastoidectomy. This is below the occupational noise-level regulations in Korea. However, considering that individual susceptibility to noise varies and that the otologic surgeon is repeatedly exposed to prolonged drilling noise, ear protection is recommended for the operators of high-speed drilling instruments. (+info)
Protruding the tongue improves posterior rhinomanometry in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.
In posterior rhinomanometry (PRM), oropharyngeal pressure is measured using a tube placed between the tongue and the hard palate. For valid results the patient must position the tongue and soft palate so that both the oropharynx and nasopharynx remain open. A high rate of failure of conventional PRM has been reported in normal individuals. In patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), upper airway abnormalities may further increase the failure rate. This study proposes a modification of the technique in which protrusion of the tongue enhances pressure transmission between the nasopharynx and the mouth. In eight normal subjects, resistance was similar when measured by both methods. Of 24 OSAS patients, conventional PRM was unsuccessful in 11. In the remaining 13 patients, a significant correlation between the two methods was found, but resistance was lower by "tongue-out" than by conventional PRM, consistent with a decrease, during tongue protrusion, in retropalatal resistance, which is a component of the "nasal" resistance measured by PRM. In 26 OSAS patients, unilateral nasal resistance values measured by "tongue-out" PRM were similar to those measured by anterior rhinomanometry. When the "tongue-out" method was used routinely in 541 snorers, failure rates were 1.1% in the 272 non-OSAS patients and 3.7% in the 269 OSAS patients. These results indicate that posterior rhinomanometry with tongue protrusion is a highly effective tool for measuring nasal resistance in snorers. (+info)
Otorhinolaryngology, a product of the early 20th century, developed from the joining together of the separate departments of otology, whose practitioners were surgeons, and laryngology which was managed by physicians who also treated diseases of the nose and chest. The 20th century opened with brave attempts to perform skilful surgery under conditions of primitive anaesthesia and no antibiotics. The stimulus of two world wars led to significant advances in technology and greater opportunities to explore new and resurrect old surgical procedures. The discovery of antibiotics saw an end to acute mastoiditis and the complications of otitis media and sinusitis, as well as a decline in the number of tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy operations. Over the last 30 years the specialty has undergone dramatic development and has taken advantage of new advances in endoscopy, microsurgery, the use of lasers, cytotoxic drugs, flap reconstruction and microchip technology. During the same period, although still calling themselves otorinolaryngologists, individual surgeons have subspecialised in otology, otoneurosurgery and skull-base surgery, head and neck surgery, phonosurgery, rhinology and facioplastic surgery, and paediatric otothinolaryngology. Each of these subspecialties has its own societies and specialist journals. (+info)
Otolaryngologists' perceptions of the indications for tympanostomy tube insertion in children.
BACKGROUND: Bilateral myringotomy with insertion of tympanostomy tubes is the most common operation that children in Canada undergo. Area variations in surgical rates for this procedure have raised questions about indications used to decide about surgery. The objective of this study was to describe the factors that influence otolaryngologists to recommend tympanostomy tube insertion in children with otitis media and their level of agreement about indications for surgery. METHODS: A survey was sent to all 227 otolaryngologists in Ontario in the fall of 1996. The influence of 17 clinical and social factors on recommendations to insert tympanostomy tubes were assessed. Case vignettes were used to determine the effect of multiple factors in decisions about the need for surgical management. RESULTS: Surveys were returned by 138 (68.3%) of the 202 eligible otolaryngologists. There was agreement (more than 90% of respondents) about 6 indications for surgery: persistent effusion, a lack of improvement after 3 months of antibiotic therapy, a history of persistent effusion for 3 or more months per episode of otitis media, more than 7 episodes of otitis media in 6 months, a bilateral conductive hearing loss of 20 dB or more and a persistently abnormal tympanic membrane. Some respondents were more likely to recommend tube insertion if there were parental concerns about hearing problems or the frequency or severity of episodes of otitis media. Otolaryngologists agreed about the role of tympanostomy tubes in 1 of 4 case vignettes but disagreed about whether adenoidectomy should also be performed in that instance. Most viewed tympanostomy tube insertion as beneficial, with few adverse effects. INTERPRETATION: There is a lack of consensus among practising otolaryngologists in Ontario as to which children with recurrent otitis media or persistent effusion should undergo bilateral myringotomy with tympanostomy tube insertion. These findings suggest the need to revisit clinical guidelines for this procedure. (+info)
Referral of children with otitis media. Do family physicians and pediatricians agree?
OBJECTIVE: To determine factors influencing family physicians' and pediatricians' decisions to refer children with recurrent acute otitis media (RAOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME) to otolaryngologists for an opinion about tympanostomy tube insertion. DESIGN: Mailed survey. SETTING: Physicians' practices in Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 1459 family physicians and all 775 pediatricians in the province. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Physicians' reports of the influence of 17 factors on decisions to refer (more likely, no influence, less likely to refer) and number of episodes of otitis media, months with effusion, level of hearing loss, or months of continuous antibiotics without improvement prompting referral. RESULTS: Physicians agreed (> 80% concordance) on six out of 17 factors as indications for referring children with RAOM or OME. Opinions about the importance of other factors varied widely. Family physicians would refer children with otitis media after fewer episodes of illness, fewer months of effusion, lower levels of hearing loss, and fewer months of prophylactic antibiotic therapy than pediatricians (all P < .001). Pediatricians would prescribe continuous antibiotics longer (11.8 weeks) than family physicians (8.9 weeks, P < .0001), which correlated with lower referral thresholds for family physicians. CONCLUSION: Family physicians' and pediatricians' self-reported referral practices for surgical opinions on children with otitis media varied considerably. These observations raise questions about the consistency of care for children with otitis media and whether revised clinical guidelines would be helpful. (+info)
Otolaryngology consultations by real-time telemedicine.
We aimed to assess the value of real-time telemedicine using low cost videoconferencing equipment for otorhinolaryngology consultations. A general practitioner, using low cost videoconferencing equipment, presented patients to an otorhinolaryngologist. After history taking and clinical examination, investigations were requested if required and a diagnosis and management plan formulated. The patients were then seen, by the same otorhinolaryngologist, for a conventional face-to-face consultation. Differences in the history, clinical examination and investigation requests were reported. The accuracy of diagnosis and correlation of management plans between the two consultations were analysed. Forty-three patients were admitted to the study but one, a young child, refused examination either by tele-link or the conventional approach and had to be excluded. There were thus 42 patients with 55 diagnoses included in the trial, 26 (62%) females and 16 (38%) males. Age range was 5 months to 70 years. There was no difficulty with any of the patients in obtaining an accurate history and ordering investigations, if required, via the telelink. Clinical examination during the tele-link consultation was inadequate for eight out of the first 20 patients, resulting in a wrong diagnosis in three patients and a missed diagnosis in five patients. All of the next 22 patients had a correct diagnosis and management plan. Comparison of data from the two types of consultation showed that a correct diagnosis and management plan was made in 34 patients. Low cost real-time telemedicine is a useful technique, providing reliable otorhinolaryngology consultations in a general practice setting. However initial difficulties due to inexperience in using the equipment need to be overcome. (+info)
Epistaxis and conjunctival contamination--are our ENT trainees at risk?
The aims of this study were to assess the risk of conjunctival contamination with blood during the treatment of epistaxis and to identify if certain patients and treatments may pose a higher risk. Protective eye-wear worn by ENT trainees during the ward management of epistaxis was examined for contamination with blood splashes. This occurred in 18% of cases. The incidence of contamination was higher when two treatment modalities were required and when treating elderly female patients. (+info)