There is a complex relationship between potential authors, especially those with limited experience in submitting manuscripts, medical journals, editors and the reviewers who participate in the peer review system. There is growing pressure on young graduates undertaking PhD and Master programs to publish papers, as the regulations for the completion of these degrees from many universities require papers to be published before the awarding of these degrees. The pressure to publish is nonetheless high, as colleagues proceed through their career pathway, with publications often dictating successful advancement or promotion. This paper highlights this complex relationship and discusses the responsibilities of all stakeholders, both ethically and professionally. [More]
Evidence-based practice is the first step in underpinning and shaping how the profession delivers patient care. The Oxford Dictionary defines evidence as: ‘the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid’. The majority of evidence, though not all, is provided by research studies published in professional journals. Best evidence should be of high quality and is thus founded on the status of publishing journals and the process by which journals, editors and the editorial team separate out the “good” from both the “mediocre” and the “bad”.
This is undertaken by the process of Peer reviewing or refereeing; it is the practice of critically examining an author’s submitted research manuscript by experts in the same field before a paper is accepted for publishing in a journal. When well done, it confers a stamp of approval to the substance, authenticity, and value of articles and therefore is a crucial element, integral to scholarly research and the validation of published evidence. [More]
Planning for a disaster must anticipate how demands imposed by a disaster equate with the capacity of the available facilities. Resources must be organized before an event occurs so that they are best prepared in every way to treat as many victims as possible. The actual number of victims is less relevant than the extent receiving facility can be adjusted to meet the appropriate requirements of victims. Multiple casualty incidents (MCIs) are defined as a large number of casualties generated over a short period that are appropriately managed with existing or extended resources. Mass casualty events (MCEs), in contrast, are major medical disasters that erode organized community support mechanisms and result in casualty numbers which overwhelm resources .
Due to the increased frequency and impact of disasters, including natural disasters, pandemics and terrorism, the concept of disaster resilience is accepted as being of increasing importance.
The notion of resilience can be defined as the capacity to adapt to unexpected challenges and the flexibility to revert to normality. Additionally, the issues learned from the experience should be incorporated into protocols which would allow for better preparedness for future challenges [2,3]. [More]
Mankind has been and still is constantly threatened by infectious diseases. Antimicrobials, used to treat infections, are considered one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century because they saved millions of lives from diseases that had a high mortality rate. Mankind has been and is still constantly threatened by infectious diseases. Antimicrobials, used to treat infections, are considered one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century because they saved millions of lives from diseases that had a high mortality rate. Current infectious pathology is worryingly extending due mainly to “globalization”, which confirms the current concept of “Infections Without Borders”. In this context, both the consumption of antimicrobial substances and, inherently, the resistance of the main pathogens involved have increased. Unfortunately, antimicrobials have become victims of their success because their abusive use in humans and animals has led to the emergence of resistance among clinically important pathogens. Each dose of antibiotic creates selective evolutionary pressures, resulting in pandemic spread of highly resistant bacterial clones. Resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to human health. A return to the pre-antibiotic era would not only make possible the development of epidemics caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, a major threat to the population, but would also jeopardize some of the most valuable therapies in modern medicine, such as transplantation and immunosuppressive chemotherapy programmes –dependent on supportive antimicrobial treatments. [More]
It is imperative that authors of medical papers give fitting credit to the sources that they quote in their manuscripts. Frequently this is not the case, and a wrong, inappropriate or unsuitable citation often blights the quality of a paper. Many concerns can proceed from questions relating to improper citations. These matters may be directed at a personal level or may have a bearing on the general research community. They can range from doubt being levied at the individual’s academic ability, to his/her academic honesty, or even the suggestion of potential plagiarism. Meticulous referencing of sources will eliminate all of these concerns.
The stamp of a good research worker is attention to detail at all levels of his/her research. Attention to detail cultivates good habits and the detail required in referencing and preparing a bibliography focuses attention on the whole research procedure. It aids scientific thought and analysis and makes for better research reporting. [More]
The current definition of sepsis is based on comparatively contemporary knowledge. However, the disease process is not fully understood and treatment still profoundly challenging. Definitions and guidelines have changed over the recent years, and clinicians are always interested to know what the new and current thoughts on the subject are.
Many papers have been published in the medical press, reporting on definitions, scores, models, cytokines, therapies, new trends, statistics, campaigns, including a sepsis anniversary day-which is not celebrating but fighting against sepsis. Together they signify the enormous interest in the subject.
The American College of Chest Physicians and the Society of Critical Care Medicine met in 1992 and gave the first definition of sepsis and associated organ failure . Eleven years later, American intensivists met European intensivists to evaluate if there was a need for a new definition of sepsis . [More]
For research scientists around the world, a primary goal is to publish results from their projects in high impact international journals. Such an achievement can be highly rewarding because it is a formal way to release discoveries to the world and to be recognised for the discoveries, it allows findings to be shared and used by colleagues, and it can bring in personal benefits in awards and promotions. However, achieving the goal is not a simple task, and it can sometimes be frustrating. Therefore, this editorial was written to provide some highlights on how to improve chances for high impact publications and recognitions. [More]
Syphilis is a consequence of a symbiotic relationship between Treponema pallidum and humankind.
The spirochete is nowadays well characterized in shape and in length, and its entire genome is sequenced. Despite all these, confirmation of infection is based on serologic tests. The diagnosis of nervous system disease heavily depends on examination of the cerebrospinal fluid [1-4].
Neurologic involvement is generally dichotomized into early/secondary (acute meningitis, cranial nerves involvement) or late/tertiary (all the rest of the manifestations) .
In the current issue of Journal of Critical Care Medicine, Bologa et al. present the utility of having meningovascular syphilis in mind as a possible diagnosis, in an apparent average case of an 84-year-old patient diagnosed with stroke . [More]
Medical simulation-based teaching includes a variety of educational techniques used to complement actual patient experiences with true-to-life yet artificial tasks.
This field is rapidly growing and is widely used in critical care graduate medical education programs, having teaching, learning and assessment roles.
Its use is on the increase due to many factors including patient discontent with being “practiced on”, current considerations regarding patient safety, and the significance of early attainment of complex medical proficiencies. Simulation-based assessment (SBA) is advancing to the point where it can revolutionize the way clinical competence is assessed in residency training programs. [More]
The effectiveness of neuraxial blockade remains a very debatable issue. Many orthopaedic surgical procedures can be performed using either a single spinal shot, an epidural catheter neuraxial blockade, or general anesthesia.
Memtsoudis (2013) reviewed nearly 400.000 patients undergoing primary hip or knee arthroplasties compared neuraxial versus general anesthesia, and reported that the 30-day mortality, the length of stay, the hospital cost and the in-hospital complications were all was significantly lower than with other forms of anesthesia . Similarly Helwan (2015) in a study comparing general with regional anesthesia for total hip arthroplasty reported a reduction in deep surgical site infection rates, the length of hospital stay, postoperative cardiovascular rates, and pulmonary complications . However, a recent systematic review of more than 10.000 patients enrolled in randomized control trials and prospective comparative studies, found no statistically significant differences between spinal or epidural blockade and general anaesthesia with respect to mortality, surgical duration, surgical site of infections, nerve palsies, postoperative nausea and vomiting or thromboembolic diseases, when thrombo-prophylaxis was used. The authors concluded that there is limited evidence to support the view that neuraxial anesthesia is superior to general anesthesia with regards to postoperative outcomes . [More]