257 e-Letters

published between 2006 and 2009

  • Sensitivity or specificity?
    Shenaida R. Oemar

    With great interest we read the recent article by Bevan and colleagues reporting how predictive ALT is for liver injury in children with blunt abdominal trauma. In the result section the authors describe the following: "The presence or absence of liver injury can be predicted with a sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 80%". In their conclusion they reported: "a threshold of >104 IU/L gave a 96% specificity for t...

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  • Assessment and risk stratification of patients with acute chest pain
    Katherine McGinn

    We read with interest Manini et al’s 1 recent paper suggesting ischaemia-modified albumin assays could assist in decreasing the rate of inappropriate discharges from the ED, and that further studies into diagnostic tools for use in chest pain are warranted.

    We conducted an audit at Ealing Hospital that also supports the need for developing new diagnostic algorithms for chest pain. Medical histories of 14...

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  • Pellegrini-Stieda
    Andrew Plumb

    This case appears to be describing the Pellegrini-Stieda syndrome/lesion. This is, in fact, a well-known and fairly common finding, generally felt to reflect a post-traumatic ectopic ossification, either acute or chronic. MR is a useful test, as the signal void from the calcification can be seen in relation to the MCL. It may also uncover bone bruising from an associated avulsion fracture (the so-called Stieda fracture)....

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  • Importance of log roll and careful spine evaluation
    Tanvir ABBASS

    Dear Editor, I understand that it is very important to log roll and carefully evaluate the whole spine of the patient. By reading this article, I understand the importance of complete spinal evaluation but there are situations in which spinal injuries are missed as a result of incomplete evaluation or not adhering to systematic approach. I want to share one of the clinical cases in the management of which I was involved. A pa...

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  • Primum, non nocere.
    Giles N Cattermole

    Dear Editor,

    I was disturbed to read the article by Body and Foex [1] advocating the embrace of Utilitarian values in medicine. I hope it was merely a misuse of words. All penguins are birds, but not all birds are penguins. Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism, but not all ethical thinking that considers the consequences of one’s actions is Utilitarian. The authors of the article correctly make a clear c...

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  • Propofol is not safe for sedation for hip relocation
    Keith J Anderson

    University Department of Anaesthetics Level 2, University Block Glasgow Royal Infirmary 10 Alexandra Parade Glasgow G31 2ER

    19 February 2009

    Dear Sir,

    We read with interest the clinically based study, on the use of propofol to sedate patients for relocation of hip prostheses in the emergency department.[1] The authors rightly point out that there are problems with the safety and efficacy of us...

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  • ToPDoG is in progress
    Colin M Parker

    Dear Sirs

    I commend the work of Geelhoed and MacDonald in their sentinel dose- finding studies regarding the minimum effective dose of dexamethasone for croup, it does seem to suggest a 'ceiling' effect. This work has been recently followed by a descriptive paper (accepted for publication, not yet published) outlining the experience over 27 years at their institution, clearly demonstrating the real-world effect...

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  • Basic Life Support should be kept basic.
    Andrew M. Mason

    Although the definition of Basic Life Support (BLS) does vary between sources, it is probably best regarded as, "a level of medical care that can be used to treat patients with life-threatening illness or injury without the use of any advanced or invasive medical procedures or intravenous access". It should be possible for any rescuer in any situation to render BLS simply by using hands and lungs, although simple improvi...

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  • A response from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch
    Tracey E Barron
    In response to this article it is important to highlight that this system is not used by any ambulance services or EMS systems in the UK or the world - it is over 8 years old and has been replaced multiple times. Also, a later version of the system has demonstrated a sensitivity of 83% for Emergency Medical Dispatchers using MPDS stroke protocol (http://www.prioritydispatch.co.uk/uk/San_Diego_Accuracy_of_Stroke.pdf). A response...
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  • Thomas H McKinnell


    Whilst we feel that Lindford et al(1)’s work has many admirable points, we also feel it important to point out minor areas about the study which detract from its overall impact.

    Whilst details of the subgroups in the sample size of 50 assessors is given, unfortunately there is no similar breakdown in the information about their answer regarding size of burn requiring resuscitation in adults and chi...

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