Intensive care management of stroke patients. (1/1847)

Two hundred eighty patients were admitted to an intensive care stroke unit over a one-year period. Subsequent investigation indicated that only 199 of these patients actually had cerebral ischemic or hemorrhagic lesions, 10 had other cerebrovascular lesions, and the remaining 71 patients had unrelated diseases, predominantly seizures. Detailed analysis of 103 stroke patients revealed an overall incidence of 59% hypertension, and 72% had hypertensive, ischemic or valvular heart disease. Fifty percent of the patients had various cardiac arrhythmias, some of which were responsible for the acute cerebrovascular lesion. Fourteen patients died during the acute phase, 11 from apparently irreversible cerebral selling, mainly due to cerebral hemorrhage. Secondary complications such as pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, pressure sores and urinary infection were almost nonexistent, but beneficial effects on the primary cerebral lesions were more difficult to demonstrate.  (+info)

Recognizing problem sleepiness in your patients. National Center on Sleep Disorders Research Working Group. (2/1847)

Normal sleep is required for optimal functioning. Normal wakefulness should be effortless and free of unintended sleep episodes. Problem sleepiness is common and occurs when the quantity of sleep is inadequate because of primary sleep disorders, other medical conditions or lifestyle factors. Medications and substances that disturb sleep, such as caffeine and nicotine, or those that have sedating side effects, may also cause problem sleepiness. This condition can lead to impairment in attention, performance problems at work and school, and potentially dangerous situations when the patient is driving or undertaking other safety-sensitive tasks. However, problem sleepiness is generally correctable when it is recognized. Asking a patient and his or her bed partner about the likelihood of drowsiness or of falling asleep during specific activities, as well as questions that uncover factors contributing to the sleepiness, helps the physician to recognize the disorder. Accurate diagnosis of specific sleep disorders may require evaluation by a specialist. The primary care physician is in an ideal position to identify signs and symptoms of problem sleepiness and initiate appropriate care of the patient, including educating the patient about the dangers of functioning while impaired by sleepiness.  (+info)

Health needs of preschool children. (3/1847)

An epidemiological study of disease in a geographically identified population of 250 children is reported. 22% had not seen their general practitioner (GP) at all in the past year, while 20% had seen him four times or more. The vast majority of these visits were because of an infective illness; and developmental and behavioural problems were rarely presented to GPs. 53% of children had not been to hospital since birth, but 11% had been at least four times. Respiratory infections and middle ear disease were the commonest illness reported, and nearly 3% had an infected or discharging ear at the time of examination. 15% of 3 year olds had speech and language problems. 18% of children over 2 years were thought by the examiners to have a behavioural problem, half being assessed as mild, the remainder as moderate or severe.  (+info)

Quality of life four years after acute myocardial infarction: short form 36 scores compared with a normal population. (4/1847)

OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of myocardial infarction on quality of life in four year survivors compared to data from "community norms", and to determine factors associated with a poor quality of life. DESIGN: Cohort study based on the Nottingham heart attack register. SETTING: Two district general hospitals serving a defined urban/rural population. SUBJECTS: All patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction during 1992 and alive at a median of four years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Short form 36 (SF 36) domain and overall scores. RESULTS: Of 900 patients with an acute myocardial infarction in 1992, there were 476 patients alive and capable of responding to a questionnaire in 1997. The response rate was 424 (89. 1%). Compared to age and sex adjusted normative data, patients aged under 65 years exhibited impairment in all eight domains, the largest differences being in physical functioning (mean difference 20 points), role physical (mean difference 23 points), and general health (mean difference 19 points). In patients over 65 years mean domain scores were similar to community norms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that impaired quality of life was closely associated with inability to return to work through ill health, a need for coronary revascularisation, the use of anxiolytics, hypnotics or inhalers, the need for two or more angina drugs, a frequency of chest pain one or more times per week, and a Rose dyspnoea score of >/= 2. CONCLUSIONS: The SF 36 provides valuable additional information for the practising clinician. Compared to community norms the greatest impact on quality of life is seen in patients of working age. Impaired quality of life was reported by patients unfit for work, those with angina and dyspnoea, patients with coexistent lung disease, and those with anxiety and sleep disturbances. Improving quality of life after myocardial infarction remains a challenge for physicians.  (+info)

A 50-Hz electromagnetic field impairs sleep. (5/1847)

In view of reports of health problems induced by low frequency (50-60 Hz) electromagnetic fields (EMF), we carried out a study in 18 healthy subjects, comparing sleep with and without exposure to a 50 Hz/1 mu Tesla electrical field. We found that the EMF condition was associated with reduced: total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency, stages 3 + 4 slow wave sleep (SWS), and slow wave activity (SWA). Circulating melatonin, growth hormone, prolactin, testosterone or cortisol were not affected. The results suggest that commonly occurring low frequency electromagnetic fields may interfere with sleep.  (+info)

Influence of clinical and demographic variables on quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease. (6/1847)

OBJECTIVES: To identify the clinical and demographic factors that are associated with a poor quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease. METHODS: 233 of a total of 245 patients identified in a community based study in a Norwegian county participated in the study. Quality of life was measured by the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). The results were compared with those in 100 healthy elderly people. Clinical and demographic variables were determined during a semistructured interview and by clinical examination by a neurologist. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine which variables were associated with higher distress scores. RESULTS: Patients with Parkinson's disease had higher distress scores than the healthy elderly people for all the NHP dimensions. The variables that most strongly predicted a high total NHP score were depressive symptoms, self reported insomnia, and a low degree of independence, measured by the Schwab and England scale. Severity of parkinsonism contributed, but to a lesser extent. Nearly half the patients with Parkinson's disease reported lack of energy, compared with a fifth of the control group. Severity of depressive symptoms and a higher score on the UPDRS motor subscale only partly accounted for this finding. Only 30% of the variation in NHP energy score was explained by the predictive variables identified in this study. CONCLUSIONS: Parkinson's disease has a substantial impact on health related quality of life. Depressive symptoms and sleep disorders correlated strongly with high distress scores. Patients with Parkinson's disease should be examined for both conditions, which require treatment. Low energy was commonly reported and may be a separate entity of Parkinson's disease.  (+info)

Clinical services for sleep disorders. (7/1847)

Children's sleep disorders are common and often harmful to development and well being. The clinical services available to affected children and their families need to be improved. At present, professional interest and expertise in sleep disorders medicine is severely limited by the paucity of appropriate teaching and training. The work of a mainly tertiary sleep disorders clinic was reviewed, which showed that accurate diagnosis of a wide range of sleep disorders is possible, and that treatment needs can be specified. Although families appreciated such assessment, the outcome was unsatisfactory in many cases, often because treatment recommendations were not implemented by referrers. Reasons for this appear to include poor communication between referrers and families, and unavailability of treatment resources. A three tier system of service provision is proposed to improve this situation, which rests essentially on better professional training in the sleep disorders field.  (+info)

Sleep problems in the elderly. (8/1847)

Refreshing sleep requires both sufficient total sleep time as well as sleep that is in synchrony with the individual's circadian rhythm. Problems with sleep organization in elderly patients typically include difficulty falling asleep, less time spent in the deeper stages of sleep, early-morning awakening and less total sleep time. Poor sleep habits such as irregular sleep-wake times and daytime napping may contribute to insomnia. Caffeine, alcohol and some medications can also interfere with sleep. Primary sleep disorders are more common in the elderly than in younger persons. Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder can disrupt sleep and may respond to low doses of antiparkinsonian agents as well as other drugs. Sleep apnea can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness. Evaluation of sleep problems in the elderly includes careful screening for poor sleep habits and other factors that may be contributing to the sleep problem. Formal sleep studies may be needed when a primary sleep disorder is suspected or marked daytime dysfunction is noted. Therapy with a benzodiazepine receptor agonist may be indicated after careful evaluation.  (+info)