Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SAMJ: South African Medical Journal]]> vol. 99 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>In favour of shorter medical training</b>]]> <link></link> <description/> </item> <item> <title><![CDATA[<b>HIV prevalence among medical students in Johannesburg, South Africa</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Blood alternative products</b>: <b>correction regarding Jehovah's Witnesses</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Health services battle as kzn's budget implodes</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Treat all hiv-positive people</b>: <b>and bury the pandemic in 14 years</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Foreign funding boost for nursing expertise</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Quit smoking remedies hot favourites for EDL</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Recommendations pertaining to the use of viral vaccines</b>: <b>influenza 2009</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>BCG vaccination in South African HIV-exposed infants</b>: <b>risks and benefits</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>David Levy (1927 - 2008)</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Gerald Lapinsky (1928 - 2008)</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Hayman (Hymie) Solomon Berkowitz</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Bread, baby shoes or blusher?</b><b> </b><b>Myths about social grants and 'lazy' young mothers</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of gastric mucosal interleukin-1 polymorphisms in Kenyan patients with advanced gastric cancer</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Risks for preterm delivery and low birth weight are independently increased by severity of maternal anaemia</b>]]> OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effect of the severity of maternal anaemia on various perinatal outcomes. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: Labour Ward, Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. METHODS: The haemoglobin of eligible pregnant women admitted for delivery between 15 November 2002 and 15 February 2003 was measured. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, iron supplementation, malaria prophylaxis, blood transfusion during current pregnancy, and current and previous pregnancy outcomes were collected and analysed. Anaemia was classified according to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards: normal - Hb >11.0 g/dl; mild - Hb 9.0 - 10.9 g/dl; moderate - Hb 7.0 - 8.9 g/dl; and severe - Hb <7.0 g/dl. Logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the severity of anaemia. The following outcome measures were used: preterm delivery (<37 weeks), Apgar score, stillbirth, early neonatal death, low birth weight (LBW) (<2 500 g) and very low birth weight (VLBW) (<1 500 g). RESULTS: A total of 1 174 anaemic and 547 non-anaemic women were enrolled. Their median age was 24 years (range 14 - 46 years) and median parity was 2 (range 0 - 17). The prevalence of anaemia and severe anaemia was 68% and 5.8%, respectively. The risk of preterm delivery increased significantly with the severity of anaemia, with odds ratios of 1.4, 1.4 and 4.1 respectively for mild, moderate and severe anaemia. The corresponding risks for LBW and VLBW were 1.2 and 1.7, 3.8 and 1.5, and 1.9 and 4.2 respectively. CONCLUSION: The risks of preterm delivery and LBW increased in proportion to the severity of maternal anaemia. <![CDATA[<b>Colorectal cancer in South Africa</b>: <b>a heritable cause suspected in many young black patients</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) has a low incidence among the black African population. Largely unrecognised in the scientific literature is the fact that a disproportionately large number of young black patients (<50 years old) present with CRC. OBJECTIVES: To analyse those tumours, which we propose may link them to morphological features associated with known genetic pathways. METHODS: A retrospective review of South African patients histologically diagnosed as having CRC by the Division of Anatomical Pathology, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and the University of the Witwatersrand (1 732 patients from 1990 to 2003). The histology was fully reviewed in 609 patients (1997 - 2002), and all specimens from patients <50 years of age were subjected to immunohistochemistry tests for mismatch repair proteins, as well as APC and p53 proteins. RESULTS: Most young patients (<50 years) were black (41% v. 10% white; p<0.001). Blacks had predominantly proximal tumours and significantly more poorly differentiated and/or mucinous tumours (p=0.006), and loss of mismatch repair protein expression was more evident than in whites. CONCLUSIONS: It seems likely that CRC in young blacks develops through the accumulation of mutations, most probably via mismatch repair deficiency or promoter methylation, which in turn is linked to poor differentiation and a mucinous architecture. <![CDATA[<b>Oesophageal ulceration in HIV-infected patients</b>]]> OBJECTIVE: To determine the aetiology of oesophageal ulceration in HIV-infected patients. DESIGN: A retrospective clinical, endoscopic and histopathological analysis of patients with confirmed HIV infection and an oesophageal ulcer diagnosed on endoscopy. SETTING: A tertiary referral, gastrointestinal clinic in Cape Town. RESULTS: Fifty-one patients with HIV infection and oesophageal ulceration were seen from January 2001 to December 2007. Median CD4 count was 26 cells/┬Ál. Mean age was 35.5 years. Sixty per cent of patients were female. Forty-nine per cent of oesophageal ulcers were idiopathic while 23% were caused by cytomegalovirus infection. The remainder were due to miscellaneous causes. CONCLUSION: A surprisingly small number of patients with HIVassociated oesophageal ulceration were seen during the study period. This may reflect local referral practices or the fact that patients with severe immunosuppression succumb before developing oesophageal ulcers. As in other series, idiopathic oesophageal ulcers and cytomegalovirus ulcers made up the majority of cases. Correct biopsy technique and appropriate histological and microbiological investigations are associated with improved diagnostic yield in these patients. <![CDATA[<b>Surgeons and HIV</b>: <b>South African attitudes</b>]]> OBJECTIVES: The HIV status of surgeons, in the context of the informed consent obtained from their patients, is a contentious matter. We surveyed the views of practising surgeons in South Africa regarding aspects of HIV and its impact on surgeons. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of surgeons who were members of the Association of Surgeons of South Africa, regarding their attitudes to the preceding issues. RESULTS: The salient findings included the view that a patientcentred approach requiring HIV status disclosure to patients would be discriminatory to surgeons and provide no clear benefit to patients, and that HIV-positive surgeons should determine their own scope of practice. CONCLUSION: Patient-centred approaches and restrictive policies, related to this issue, do not accord with clinician sentiment. In the absence of comparable local or international data, this study provides clinicians' views with implications for the development of locally relevant policies and guidelines. <![CDATA[<b>Complications of tube thoracostomy for chest trauma</b>]]> OBJECTIVES: To determine the insertional and positional complications encountered by the placement of intercostal chest drains (ICDs) for trauma and whether further training is warranted in operators inserting intercostal chest drains outside level 1 trauma unit settings. METHODS: Over a period of 3 months, all patients with or without an ICD in situ in the front room trauma bay of Tygerberg Hospital were included in the study. Patients admitted directly via the trauma resuscitation unit were excluded. No long-term infective complications were included. A self-reporting system recorded complications, and additional data were obtained by searching the department's records and monthly statistics. RESULTS: A total of 3 989 patients with trauma injuries were seen in the front room trauma bay during the study period; 273 (6.8%) patients with an ICD in situ or requiring an ICD were assessed in the trauma unit and admitted to the chest drain ward; 24 patients were identified with 26 complications relating to the insertion and positioning of the ICD; 22 (92%) of these had been referred with an ICD in situ. An overall complication rate of 9.5% was seen. Insertional complications numbered 7 (27%), with 19 (73%) positional complications. The most common errors were insertion at the incorrect anatomical site, and extrathoracic and too shallow placement (side portal of the drain lying outside the chest cavity). CONCLUSION: Operators at the referral hospitals have received insufficient training in the technique for insertion of ICDs for chest trauma and would benefit from more structured instruction and closer supervision of ICD insertion.