Post-shift changes in pulmonary function in a cement factory in eastern Saudi Arabia.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 1992 in the oldest of three Portland cement producing factories in Eastern Saudi Arabia. The respirable dust level was in excess of the recommended ACGIH level in all sections. Spirometry was done for 149 cement workers and 348 controls, using a Vitalograph spirometer. FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC% and FEF25-75% were calculated and corrected to BTPS. A significantly higher post-shift reduction FEV1, FEV1/FVC% and FEF25-75% was observed in the exposed subjects. Multiple regression analysis showed a significant relationship between post-shift changes and exposure to cement dust but failed to support any relationship with smoking. These findings may indicate an increase in the bronchial muscle tone leading to some degree of bronchoconstriction as a result of an irritant effect induced by the acute exposure to cement dust. (+info)
How physician executives and clinicians perceive ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals and the attributes that might lead to the existence of these ethical issues. DESIGN: Self-completion questionnaire administered from February to July 1997. SETTING: Different health regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 457 physicians (317 clinicians and 140 physician executives) from several hospitals in various regions across the kingdom. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding the existence of various ethical issues in their hospitals. The vast majority of physician executives did not perceive that seven of the eight issues addressed by the study were ethical concerns in their hospitals. However, the majority of the clinicians perceived that six of the same eight issues were ethical considerations in their hospitals. Statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians were observed in only three out of eight attributes that might possibly lead to the existence of ethical issues. The most significant attribute that was perceived to result in ethical issues was that of hospitals having a multinational staff. CONCLUSION: The study calls for the formulation of a code of ethics that will address specifically the physicians who work in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a more immediate initiative, it is recommended that seminars and workshops be conducted to provide physicians with an opportunity to discuss the ethical dilemmas they face in their medical practice. (+info)
Outcome of pregnancies in epileptic women: a study in Saudi Arabia.
We studied the outcome of 79 pregnancies in 44 Saudi women who had epilepsy. Their mean age was 28+/-6.5 years and the number of pregnancies studied varied from one to six. Nineteen subjects had generalized seizures, 16 had partial seizures and nine were unclassified. The commonest drug prescribed was carbamazepine and the majority of the women (61%) were on monotherapy. The seizures were controlled in 53 pregnancies (67%). Spontaneous vertex deliveries were the commonest. The indications for intervention by lower segment Caesarean section, forceps or ventouse were foetal distress, pre-eclamptic toxaemia (PET), eclampsia, breech presentation and prolonged labour. The most frequent adverse outcome in the babies was low birth weight (<2.5 kg) in nine pregnancies. The frequency of congenital malformation was 2.5%. Low birth weight was associated with prematurity, PET, congenital malformation and polytherapy. Avoidance of polytherapy appears to be the most feasible intervention in reducing the frequency of low birth-weight children by epileptic mothers. (+info)
Eimeria pipistrellus n. sp. from Pipistrellus kuhlii (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Saudi Arabia.
Fecal samples from 12 Pipistrellus kuhlii captured at Shagrah, Saudi Arabia, were examined for coccidia and three (25%) found to harbor a undescribed eimerian, herein described as Eimeria pipistrellus n. sp. Sporulated oocysts were subspherical, 24.8 x 23.2 (22-27 x 20-25) microns, with a bilayered and smooth wall. The micropyle was absent, but a large oocyst residuum and a single polar granule were present. Sporocysts were ovoid, 11.6 x 8.3 (10.5-13 x 7.5-9) microns, with a prominent Stieda body, but without a substiedal body; sporozoites lay head to tail in sporocysts and contained one large posterior refractile body. Eimeria pipistrellus n. sp. is the 3rd species of the genus Eimeria found from bats of the genus Pipistrellus. (+info)
High-level variability in the ORF-K1 membrane protein gene at the left end of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus genome defines four major virus subtypes and multiple variants or clades in different human populations.
Infection with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) is common in certain parts of Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, but is rare elsewhere, except in AIDS patients. Nevertheless, HHV8 DNA is found consistently in nearly all classical, endemic, transplant and AIDS-associated KS lesions as well as in some rare AIDS-associated lymphomas. The concept that HHV8 genomes fall into several distinct subgroups has been confirmed and refined by PCR DNA sequence analysis of the ORF-K1 gene encoding a highly variable glycoprotein related to the immunoglobulin receptor family that maps at the extreme left-hand end of the HHV-8 genome. Among more than 60 different tumor samples from the United States, central Africa, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and New Zealand, amino acid substitutions were found at a total of 62% of the 289 amino acid positions. These variations defined four major subtypes and 13 distinct variants or clades similar to those found for the HIV ENV protein. The B and D subtype ORF-K1 proteins differ from the A and C subtypes by 30 and 24%, respectively, whereas A and C differ from each other by 15%. In all cases tested, multiple samples from the same patient were identical. Examples of the B subtype were found almost exclusively in KS patients from Africa or of African heritage, whereas the rare D subtypes were found only in KS patients of Pacific Island heritage. In contrast, C subtypes were found predominantly in classic KS and in iatrogenic and AIDS KS in the Middle East and Asia, whereas U.S. AIDS KS samples were primarily A1, A4, and C3 variants. We conclude that this unusually high diversity, in which 85% of the nucleotide changes lead to amino acid changes, reflects some unknown powerful biological selection process that has been acting preferentially on this early lytic cycle membrane signalling protein. Two distinct levels of ORF-K1 variability are recognizable. Subtype-specific variability indicative of long-term evolutionary divergence is both spread throughout the protein as well as concentrated within two 40-amino-acid extracellular domain variable regions (VR1 and VR2), whereas intratypic variability localizes predominantly within a single 25-amino-acid hypervariable Cys bridge loop and apparently represents much more recent changes that have occurred even within specific clades. In contrast, numerous extracellular domain glycosylation sites and Cys bridge residues as well as the ITAM motif in the cytoplasmic domain are fully conserved. Overall, we suggest that rather than being a newly acquired human pathogen, HHV8 is an ancient human virus that is preferentially transmitted in a familial fashion and is difficult to transmit horizontally in the absence of immunosuppression. The division into the four major HHV8 subgroups is probably the result of isolation and founder effects associated with the history of migration of modern human populations out of Africa over the past 35,000 to 60,000 years. (+info)
Antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli isolated from poultry workers, patients and chicken in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli isolates from faecal samples from 117 poultry industry workers, 100 patients and119 healthy chicken were compared. Resistance of E. coli chicken isolates to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, spectinomycin, tetracycline and trimethoprim + sulphamethoxazole (TMP + SMX) (range 57% - 99.1%) were significantly higher than those isolated from patients (range 21.9% - 71.4%) and workers (range 35% - 71.8%). However, for drugs not used in poultry, such as amoxicillin + cluvalanate (AMX + CLV), ceftazidime and nitrofurantoin, resistance rates of chicken isolates (range 0% - 2.6%) were significantly lower than those of patient isolates (range 8.7% - 30%). Resistance to spectinomycin reached 96% in E. coli chicken isolates and 71% in organisms isolated from humans. Use of this drug in Saudi Arabia is mostly limited to veterinary purposes. Multidrug resistance is alarmingly high in all groups but was highest in chicken isolates (77.4%). Serotyping of E. coli isolates showed that 27% of the organisms isolated from patients were overlapping with 10.9% of the chicken isolates, indicating the possibility of chicken being a source of the resistance pool for humans. We therefore call for the banning of antibiotics in the poultry industry as growth promoters and recommend that their use be restricted to treating infections. (+info)
Perceptions on the influence of cost issues on quality improvement initiatives: a survey of Saudi health care managers.
OBJECTIVE: To determine (i) the cost issues which Saudi health care managers perceive to influence overall quality improvement initiatives, and (ii) the relationship between health care managers' satisfaction with such initiatives and their perceptions regarding the influence of different cost issues on the overall quality improvement initiatives. DESIGN: Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire in August and September 1996 in the Western Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The participants were 236 health care managers of private hospitals. Data was analysed using the chi2 test. RESULTS: Less than one-half of the health care managers surveyed were satisfied with their hospitals' overall quality improvement initiatives. The issue that was rated to have the most influence on such initiatives was the 'cost of malpractice lawsuits' followed by the budget for the quality assurance programme'. The issue that was perceived to have the least influence on overall quality improvement initiatives was 'data on cost allocation'. Of the 17 cost issues included in the study, eight had statistically significant influence on the health care managers' satisfaction with their hospitals' overall quality improvement initiatives. The most statistically significant was the 'measurement of the costs of quality-related actions'. (+info)
A survey of 1,000 cases referred for cytogenetic study to King Khalid University Hospital, Saudi Arabia.
We reviewed cytogenetic studies that have been done in 1,000 consecutive non-oncology samples that were referred to the Cytogenetics Unit at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The cases were grouped according to the referral diagnosis and the requested cytogenetic service. The frequency of the different types of numerical and structural abnormalities was determined and the relative frequency of cases with abnormal karyotype was calculated in each group. This study should assist physicians in Saudi Arabia and surrounding countries by increasing the awareness of the frequency of cytogenetic abnormality in different diagnostic groups. It also gives figures for comparison with other countries and research centers. (+info)