Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SAMJ: South African Medical Journal]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0256-957420100008&lang=en vol. 100 num. 8 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Delusions</b>: <b>what truth to believe?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Approval of chronic medication</b>: <b>discovery health hits new lows</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>IVH</b>: <b>the rise (and fall) of the surfactant dose?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>'No deals' for unlucky few strikers</b>: <b>HPCSA</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Want</b><b> private sector help? Make state health care managers accountable'</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Mostly warnings for welfare staff who stole/squandered R70 million</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Multiple organ failure</b>: <b>death of consumer protection?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Haitian reflections</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Requiem for Babinski</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Lionel Shelsley (LS) Smith (10 july 1922 - 29 november 2009)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>The four pillars of rheumatic heart disease control</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>A paradoxical reduction in upper genital tract infection despite the massive HIV epidemic</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Pleuro-pulmonary disease in central South Africa</b>: <b>a thoracicsurgical deficiency</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Haiti</b>: <b>the South African perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM STATEMENT: The South African response to the Haitian earthquake consisted of two independent non-government organisations (NGOs) working separately with minimal contact. Both teams experienced problems during the deployment, mainly owing to not following the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) guidelines. CRITICAL AREAS IDENTIFIED: To improve future South African disaster responses, three functional deployment categories were identified: urban search and rescue, triage and initial stabilisation, and definitive care. To best achieve this, four critical components need to be taken into account: rapid deployment, intelligence from the site, government facilitation, and working under the auspices of recognised organisations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. CONCLUSION: The proposed way forward for South African medical teams responding to disasters is to be unified under a leading academic body, to have an up-to-date volunteer database, and for volunteers to be current with the international search and rescue course currently being developed by the Medical Working Group of INSARAG. An additional consideration is that South African rescue and relief personnel have a primary responsibility to the citizens of South Africa, then the Southern African Development Community region, then the rest of the African continent and finally further afield. The commitment of government, private and military health services as well as NGOs is paramount for a unified response. <![CDATA[<b>Canada's health care system</b>: <b>a relevant approach for South Africa?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: While countries such as the USA, South Africa and China debate health reforms to improve access to care while rationalising costs, Canada's health care system has emerged as a notable option. In the USA, meaningful discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the Canadian system has been thwarted by ideological mudslinging on the part of large insurance companies seeking to preserve their ultra-profitable turf and backed by conservative political forces stirring up old fears of 'socialised medicine'. These distractions have relegated the possibility of a 'public option' to the legislative dustbin, leaving tens of millions of people to face uninsurance, under-insurance, bankruptcy and unnecessary death and suffering, even after passage of the Obama health plan. While South Africa appears to experience similar legislative paralysis, there remains room for reasoned health reform debate to address issues of equity, access, and financing. OBJECTIVE:. Our aim is to contribute to the debate from a Canadian perspective, setting out the basic principles of Medicare (Canada's health care system), reviewing its advantages and challenges, clarifying misunderstandings, and exploring its relevance to South Africa. We periodically refer to the USA because of the similarities to the South African situation, including its health care system, which mirrors South Africa's current position if left unchanged. CONCLUSION:. While Medicare is neither flawless nor a model worthy of wholesale imitation, we contend that open discussion of Canada's experience is a useful component in South Africa's current policy and political efforts. <![CDATA[<b>Canada's health care system</b>: <b>a relevant approach for South Africa?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: While countries such as the USA, South Africa and China debate health reforms to improve access to care while rationalising costs, Canada's health care system has emerged as a notable option. In the USA, meaningful discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the Canadian system has been thwarted by ideological mudslinging on the part of large insurance companies seeking to preserve their ultra-profitable turf and backed by conservative political forces stirring up old fears of 'socialised medicine'. These distractions have relegated the possibility of a 'public option' to the legislative dustbin, leaving tens of millions of people to face uninsurance, under-insurance, bankruptcy and unnecessary death and suffering, even after passage of the Obama health plan. While South Africa appears to experience similar legislative paralysis, there remains room for reasoned health reform debate to address issues of equity, access, and financing. OBJECTIVE:. Our aim is to contribute to the debate from a Canadian perspective, setting out the basic principles of Medicare (Canada's health care system), reviewing its advantages and challenges, clarifying misunderstandings, and exploring its relevance to South Africa. We periodically refer to the USA because of the similarities to the South African situation, including its health care system, which mirrors South Africa's current position if left unchanged. CONCLUSION:. While Medicare is neither flawless nor a model worthy of wholesale imitation, we contend that open discussion of Canada's experience is a useful component in South Africa's current policy and political efforts. <![CDATA[<b>Does South Africa need a national clinical trials support unit?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: No national South African institution provides a coherent suite of support, available skills and training for clinicians wishing to conduct randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the public sector. We report on a study to assess the need for establishing a national South African Clinical Trials Support Unit. OBJECTIVES: To determine the need for additional training and support for conduct of RCTs within South African institutions; identify challenges facing institutions conducting RCTs; and provide recommendations for enhancing trial conduct within South African public institutions. DESIGN: Key informant interviews of senior decision-makers at institutions with a stake in the South African public sector clinical trials research environment. RESULTS: Trial conduct in South Africa faces many challenges, including lack of dedicated funding, the burden on clinical load, and lengthy approval processes. Strengths include the high burden of disease and the prevalence of treatment-na├»ve patients. Participants expressed a significant need for a national initiative to support and enhance the conduct of public sector RCTs. Research methods training and statistical support were viewed as key. There was a broad range of views regarding the structure and focus of such an initiative, but there was agreement that the national government should provide specific funding for this purpose. CONCLUSIONS: Stakeholders generally support the establishment of a national clinical trials support initiative. Consideration must be given to the sustainability of such an initiative, in terms of funding, staffing, expected research outputs and permanence of location. <![CDATA[<b>Can fireworks-related injuries to children during festivities be prevented?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To determine the epidemiological features and outcome of fireworks-related injuries among children 0 - 13 years old. DESIGN: A retrospective study from the trauma registry of a children's hospital from 2001 - 2009. RESULTS: Fifty-five children were treated for injuries from fireworks. The mean age was 8.8 years, 78% were boys, and the largest age group was 5 - 9 years old. Firecrackers accounted for 95% of the injuries; the most commonly injured body sites were hands (44%), eyes (42%) and face (31%); 47% of the patients had more than one injury. The most common injury type was burns (67%); 25 children were admitted, mostly to the burns and ophthalmology units. The mean length of hospital stay was 3.5 days. Surgical intervention was required in 38% of the patients. Most of the fireworks accidents occurred in or around the patients' homes. There were more fireworks-related injuries around Guy Fawkes Day (85%) than New Year's Eve (9%). CONCLUSION: Consumer fireworks cause serious but preventable injuries to children, either as users or bystanders. Children and their families should be encouraged to enjoy pyrotechnical displays conducted by professionals at designated areas. All fireworks for individual private use should either be supervised by an adult or banned. Current legislation should be more strictly enforced, especially the sale to under-age children. <![CDATA[<b>The microbiology of acute complicated bacterial sinusitis at the University of the Witwatersrand</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en DESIGN: A retrospective chart review study at two referral hospitals identified 226 consecutive surgical patients with acute complicated sinusitis. SUBJECTS: One hundred and fifty-nine male and 67 female patients, with a mean age of 16.5 (standard deviation 0.7) years, underwent external fronto-ethmoidectomy with maxillary sinus washout and 13 had a concurrent craniotomy. RESULTS: A total of 233 micro-organisms were isolated from 163 patients (72.1%), and 63 (27.9%) were culture negative. Positive isolates included Streptococcus milleri (18.5%), Staphylococcus aureus (12.4%), β-haemolytic streptococci (10.8%), coagulase-negative staphylococci (8.6%), Haemophilus influenzae (8.6%) and the anaerobes, Peptostreptococcus (6.4%) and Prevotella (4.7%) species. The prevalences of S. pneumoniae (2.6%), methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (1.3%) and Moraxella catarrhalis (0.4%) were low. Polymicrobial disease was present in 56 patients (34.4%). There was a significant difference between the two hospitals in the prevalences of some bacteria (p<0.05). Antibiotic resistance was highest towards the penicillins (64.3%) and cephalosporins (12.5%). Effective empiric treatment was achieved with metronidazole and a choice of amoxicillin-clavulanate or ampicillin plus cloxacillin or penicillin plus chloramphenicol. CONCLUSION: The polymicrobial nature and severity of complicated sinusitis warrants a de-escalation approach to antimicrobial therapy. The combination of β-lactamase- resistant penicillins and metronidazole is a reasonable choice for initial empiric antibacterial therapy. Selection of drugs for empirical antibiotic therapy in patients with acute complicated sinusitis should be supported by knowledge of the local prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacteria isolated from patients. <![CDATA[<b><i>Balantidium coli</i></b><b>-induced pulmonary haemorrhage with iron deficiency</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-95742010000800020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Balantidium coli, a ciliated protozoan parasite that infects primates and pigs, and is the largest protozoan to infect humans, is a well-known cause of diarrhoea and dysentery in humans. Extra-intestinal disease is uncommon, however. OBJECTIVE: We describe a case of lung involvement, with severe pulmonary haemorrhage resulting in iron deficiency anaemia and respiratory failure, of a 20-year-old, immune-competent man. RESULTS: Diagnosis was made by bronchial biopsy and lavage, which showed numerous trophozoites compatible with B. coli with a background of acute inflammatory cells. The origin of infection was not clear, but inhalation of pig manure was postulated as there was no history of intestinal disease. The patient was treated with oxytetracyline and metronidazole, kept in an ICU, improved within 48 hours, and was discharged within 4 days. CONCLUSION: B. coli infection should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis of pulmonary haemorrhage.