ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Acute gastroenteritis is a common and costly clinical problem in children. It is a largely self-limited disease with many etiologies. The evaluation of the child with acute gastroenteritis requires a careful history and a complete physical examination to uncover other illnesses with similar presentations. Minimal laboratory testing is generally required. Treatment is primarily supportive and is directed at preventing or treating dehydration. When possible, an age-appropriate diet and fluids should be continued. Oral rehydration therapy using a commercial pediatric oral rehydration solution is the preferred approach to mild or moderate dehydration. The traditional approach using "clear liquids" is inadequate. Severe dehydration requires the prompt restoration of intravascular volume through the intravenous administration of fluids followed by oral rehydration therapy. When rehydration is achieved, an age-appropriate diet should be promptly resumed. Antiemetic and antidiarrheal medications are generally not indicated and may contribute to complications. The use of antibiotics remains controversial.
Heat-Related Illness - Article
ABSTRACT: Heat-related illness is a set of preventable conditions ranging from mild forms (e.g., heat exhaustion, heat cramps) to potentially fatal heat stroke. Hot and humid conditions challenge cardiovascular compensatory mechanisms. Once core temperature reaches 104°F (40°C), cellular damage occurs, initiating a cascade of events that may lead to organ failure and death. Early recognition of symptoms and accurate measurement of core temperature are crucial to rapid diagnosis. Milder forms of heat-related illness are manifested by symptoms such as headache, weakness, dizziness, and an inability to continue activity. These are managed by supportive measures including hydration and moving the patient to a cool place. Hyperthermia and central nervous system symptoms should prompt an evaluation for heat stroke. Initial treatments should focus on lowering core temperature through cold water immersion. Applying ice packs to the head, neck, axilla, and groin is an alternative. Additional measures include transporting the patient to a cool environment, removing excess clothing, and intravenous hydration. Delayed access to cooling is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in persons with heat stroke. Identification of at-risk groups can help physicians and community health agencies provide preventive measures.
ABSTRACT: Sepsis is a complication of severe infection characterized by a systemic inflammatory response. Mortality rates from sepsis range between 25% to 30% for severe sepsis and 40% to 70% for septic shock. The clinical presentation of sepsis is highly variable depending on the etiology. The most common sites of infection are the respiratory, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as the skin and soft tissue. Fever is often the first manifestation of sepsis, with pneumonia being the most common presentation leading to sepsis. Early goal-directed therapy completed within the first six hours of sepsis recognition significantly decreases in-hospital mortality. Initial management includes respiratory stabilization followed by aggressive fluid resuscitation. Vasopressor therapy is indicated when fluid resuscitation fails to restore adequate mean arterial pressure and organ perfusion. Early antibiotic therapy can improve clinical outcomes, and should be given within one hour of suspected sepsis. Blood product therapy may be required in some cases to correct coagulopathy and anemia, and to improve the central venous oxygen saturation. Insulin therapy may be required to maintain serum glucose levels less than 180 mg per dL. Initiation of low-dose corticosteroids may further improve survival in patients with septic shock that does not respond to vasopressor therapy. Timely initiation of evidence-based protocols should improve sepsis outcomes.
Acute Diarrhea in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Acute diarrhea in adults is a common problem encountered by family physicians. The most common etiology is viral gastroenteritis, a self-limited disease. Increases in travel, comorbidities, and foodborne illness lead to more bacteria-related cases of acute diarrhea. A history and physical examination evaluating for risk factors and signs of inflammatory diarrhea and/or severe dehydration can direct any needed testing and treatment. Most patients do not require laboratory workup, and routine stool cultures are not recommended. Treatment focuses on preventing and treating dehydration. Diagnostic investigation should be reserved for patients with severe dehydration or illness, persistent fever, bloody stool, or immunosuppression, and for cases of suspected nosocomial infection or outbreak. Oral rehydration therapy with early refeeding is the preferred treatment for dehydration. Antimotility agents should be avoided in patients with bloody diarrhea, but loperamide/simethicone may improve symptoms in patients with watery diarrhea. Probiotic use may shorten the duration of illness. When used appropriately, antibiotics are effective in the treatment of shigellosis, campylobacteriosis, Clostridium difficile, traveler’s diarrhea, and protozoal infections. Prevention of acute diarrhea is promoted through adequate hand washing, safe food preparation, access to clean water, and vaccinations.