Issue : November 2003
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Legionellosis or legionnaires’ disease has attracted media attention again with a new outbreak in Hereford (see p7). Legionellosis is an acute bacterial pneumonia most frequently caused by the Gram-negative bacillus, Legionella pneumophila, although other species of legionella have been attributed as causal agents of the disease (Burton and Engelkirk, 1996).
Analgesia following any thoracic surgery is important to reduce the risk of pulmonary and cardiovascular complications. Research shows that patients with higher pain scores have significantly higher levels of atelectasis (failure of the lungs to expand properly), cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia (Tsang and Brush, 1999; Watt-Watson and Stevens, 1998; Gravlee and Rauck, 1993), so optimal analgesia is essential.
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WHAT IS IT?
The UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in western Europe. Every area of the UK is affected, although rates are higher among the most vulnerable groups. Of those teenagers who are sexually active, half use no contraception the first time they have sexual intercourse. Teenagers who do not use contraception have a 90 per cent chance of conceiving and those who do not use condoms are exposed to a range of sexually transmitted infections.
In the late 1980s, enteral feeding became common practice in hospitals for patients who were unable to feed themselves. It was therefore inevitable that those requiring long-term artificial feeding - that is, for more than 30 days - would continue this practice at home.
About three million people in the UK (roughly five per cent of the population) are underweight (Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, 1994), a state that can have a detrimental effect on health and quality of life. Although malnutrition can affect anyone, the most vulnerable groups include patients with chronic diseases, older people, those recently discharged from hospital and those who are poor or socially isolated. The condition affects about one in three residents of care homes, ...
Nutritional support is one of the most fundamental aspects of nursing practice. Evidence suggests that many patients are malnourished when admitted to hospital and this is a particular problem for patients with cancer (Whitman, 2000).
The pancreas is an elongated gland situated just behind the stomach.
Dementia is a clinical syndrome evidenced through a set of symptoms that classically include a decline in memory and thinking - present for six months or more - of a degree sufficient to impair functioning in daily living (World Health Organization, 1993). From the onset the individual experiences difficulty with communication or in the completion of everyday activities such as managing finances, shopping or food preparation. As the disease progresses, basic functions such as mobility, ...