Items in AFP with MESH term: Ambulatory Care
ABSTRACT: Urine drug screening can enhance workplace safety, monitor medication compliance, and detect drug abuse. Ordering and interpreting these tests requires an understanding of testing modalities, detection times for specific drugs, and common explanations for false-positive and false-negative results. Employment screening, federal regulations, unusual patient behavior, and risk patterns may prompt urine drug screening. Compliance testing may be necessary for patients taking controlled substances. Standard immunoassay testing is fast, inexpensive, and the preferred initial test for urine drug screening. This method reliably detects morphine, codeine, and heroin; however, it often does not detect other opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl, buprenorphine, and tramadol. Unexpected positive test results should be confirmed with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or high-performance liquid chromatography. A positive test result reflects use of the drug within the previous one to three days, although marijuana can be detected in the system for a longer period of time. Careful attention to urine collection methods can identify some attempts by patients to produce false-negative test results.
Management of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
ABSTRACT: Anemia is a prevalent condition with a variety of underlying causes. Once the etiology has been established, many forms of anemia can be easily managed by the family physician. Iron deficiency, the most common form of anemia, may be treated orally or, rarely, parenterally. Vitamin B12 deficiency has traditionally been treated with intramuscular injections, although oral and intranasal preparations are also available. The treatment of folate deficiency is straightforward, relying on oral supplements. Folic acid supplementation is also recommended for women of child-bearing age to reduce their risk of neural tube defects. Current research focuses on folate's role in reducing the risk of premature cardiovascular disease.
ABSTRACT: Outpatient detoxification of patients with alcohol or other drug addiction is being increasingly undertaken. This type of management is appropriate for patients in stage I or stage II of withdrawal who have no significant comorbid conditions and have a support person willing to monitor their progress. Adequate dosages of appropriate substitute medications are important for successful detoxification. In addition, comorbid psychiatric, personality and medical disorders must be managed, and social and environmental concerns need to be addressed. By providing supportive, nonjudgmental, yet assertive care, the family physician can facilitate the best possible chance for a patient's successful recovery.
ABSTRACT: The management of early pregnancy loss used to be based largely in the hospital setting, but it has shifted to the outpatient setting, allowing women to remain under the care of their family physician throughout the miscarriage process. Up to 15 percent of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, and as many as 80 percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, with chromosomal abnormalities as the leading cause. In general, no interventions have been proven to prevent miscarriage; occasionally women can modify their risk factors or receive treatment for relevant medical conditions. Unless products of conception are seen, the diagnosis of miscarriage is made with ultrasonography and, when ultrasonography is not available or is nondiagnostic, with measurement of beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin levels. Management options for early pregnancy loss include expectant management, medical management with misoprostol, and uterine aspiration. Expectant management is highly effective for the treatment of incomplete abortion, whereas misoprostol and uterine aspiration are more effective for the management of anembryonic gestation and embryonic demise. Misoprostol in a dose of 800 mcg administered vaginally is effective and well-tolerated. Compared with dilation and curettage in the operating room, uterine aspiration is the preferred procedure for early pregnancy loss; aspiration is equally safe, quicker to perform, more cost-effective, and amenable to use in the primary care setting. All management options are equally safe; thus, patient preference should guide treatment choice.
Outpatient Approach to Palpitations - Article
ABSTRACT: Palpitations are a common problem seen in family medicine; most are of cardiac origin, although an underlying psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety, is also common. Even if a psychiatric comorbidity does exist, it should not be assumed that palpitations are of a noncardiac etiology. Discerning cardiac from noncardiac causes is important given the potential risk of sudden death in those with an underlying cardiac etiology. History and physical examination followed by targeted diagnostic testing are necessary to distinguish a cardiac cause from other causes of palpitations. Standard 12-lead electrocardiography is an essential initial diagnostic test. Cardiac imaging is recommended if history, physical examination, or electrocardiography suggests structural heart disease. An intermittent event (loop) monitor is preferred for documenting cardiac arrhythmias, particularly when they occur infrequently. Ventricular and atrial premature contractions are common cardiac causes of palpitations; prognostic significance is dictated by the extent of underlying structural heart disease. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia resulting in hospitalization; such patients are at increased risk of stroke. Patients with supraventricular tachycardia, long QT syndrome, ventricular tachycardia, or palpitations associated with syncope should be referred to a cardiologist.
Outpatient Burns: Prevention and Care - Article
ABSTRACT: Most burn injuries can be managed on an outpatient basis by primary care physicians. Prevention efforts can significantly lower the incidence of burns, especially in children. Burns should be managed in the same manner as any other trauma, including a primary and secondary survey. Superficial burns can be treated with topical application of lotions, honey, aloe vera, or antibiotic ointment. Partial-thickness burns should be treated with a topical antimicrobial agent or an absorptive occlusive dressing to help reduce pain, promote healing, and prevent wound desiccation. Topical silver sulfadiazine is the standard treatment; however, newer occlusive dressings can provide faster healing and are often more cost-effective. Physicians must reevaluate patients frequently after a burn injury and be aware of the indications for referral to a burn specialist.
Five Signs You May Have Joined the Wrong Practice - The Last Word