Items in AFP with MESH term: Risk Assessment

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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.


Overuse of Computed Tomography and Associated Risks - Editorials


Perioperative Cardiac Risk Reduction - Article

ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular complications are the most common cause of perioperative morbidity and mortality. Noninvasive stress testing is rarely helpful in assessing risk, and for most patients there is no evidence that coronary revascularization provides more protection against perioperative cardiovascular events than optimal medical management. Patients likely to benefit from perioperative beta blockade include those with stable coronary artery disease and multiple cardiac risk factors. Perioperative beta blockers should be initiated weeks before surgery and titrated to heart rate and blood pressure targets. The balance of benefits and harms of perioperative beta-blocker therapy is much less favorable in patients with limited cardiac risk factors and when initiated in the acute preoperative period. Perioperative statin therapy is recommended for all patients undergoing vascular surgery. When prescribed for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, aspirin should be continued in the perioperative period.


Evaluation of Syncope - Article

ABSTRACT: Syncope is a transient and abrupt loss of consciousness with complete return to preexisting neurologic function. It is classified as neurally mediated (i.e., carotid sinus hypersensitivity, situational, or vasovagal), cardiac, orthostatic, or neurogenic. Older adults are more likely to have orthostatic, carotid sinus hypersensitivity, or cardiac syn- cope, whereas younger adults are more likely to have vasovagal syncope. Common nonsyncopal syndromes with similar presentations include seizures, metabolic and psychogenic disorders, and acute intoxication. Patients presenting with syncope (other than neurally mediated and orthostatic syncope) are at increased risk of death from any cause. Useful clinical rules to assess the short-term risk of death and the need for immediate hospitalization include the San Francisco Syncope Rule and the Risk Stratification of Syncope in the Emergency Department rule. Guidelines suggest an algorithmic approach to the evaluation of syncope that begins with the history and physical examination. All patients presenting with syncope require electrocardiography, orthostatic vital signs, and QT interval monitoring. Patients with cardiovascular disease, abnormal electrocardiography, or family history of sudden death, and those presenting with unexplained syncope should be hospitalized for further diagnostic evaluation. Patients with neurally mediated or orthostatic syncope usually require no additional testing. In cases of unexplained syncope, further testing such as echocardiography, grade exercise testing, electrocardiographic monitoring, and electrophysiologic studies may be required. Although a subset of patients will have unexplained syncope despite undergoing a comprehensive evaluation, those with multiple episodes compared with an isolated event are more likely to have a serious underlying disorder.


Ocular Prophylaxis for Gonococcal Ophthalmia Neonatorum: Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force


Is Your Practice at Risk for Fraud? - Feature


Medicare Annual Wellness Visits: Don't Forget the Health Risk Assessment - Feature


Risk Stratification of Children with Bronchiolitis - Point-of-Care Guides


Transient Ischemic Attack: Part II. Risk Factor Modification and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Interventions following a transient ischemic attack are aimed at preventing a future episode or stroke. Hypertension, current smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia are all well-known risk factors, and controlling these factors can have dramatic effects on transient ischemic attack and stroke risk. For patients presenting within 48 hours of resolution of transient ischemic attack symptoms, advantages of hospital admission include rapid diagnostic evaluation and early intervention to reduce the risk of stroke. For long-term prevention of future stroke, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recommends antiplatelet agents, statins, and carotid artery intervention for advanced stenosis. Aspirin, extended-release dipyridamole/aspirin, and clopidogrel are acceptable first-line antiplatelet agents. Statins have also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke following transient ischemic attack, with maximal benefit occurring with at least a 50 percent reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level or a target of less than 70 mg per dL (1.81 mmol per L). For those with transient ischemic attack and carotid artery stenosis, carotid endarterectomy is recommended if stenosis is 70 to 99 percent, and perioperative morbidity and mortality are estimated to be less than 6 percent.


Transient Ischemic Attack: Part I. Diagnosis and Evaluation - Article

ABSTRACT: Transient ischemic attack is defined as transient neurologic symptoms without evidence of acute infarction. It is a common and important risk factor for future stroke, but is greatly underreported. Common symptoms are sudden and transient, and include unilateral paresis, speech disturbance, and monocular blindness. Correct and early diagnosis of transient ischemic attack versus mimicking conditions is important because early interventions can significantly reduce risk of future stroke. Nonspecific symptoms and gradual onset are more likely with mimics than with true transient ischemic attacks. Transient ischemic attacks are more likely with sudden onset, focal neurologic deficit, or speech disturbance. Urgent evaluation is necessary in patients with symptoms of transient ischemic attack and includes neuroimaging, cervicocephalic vasculature imaging, cardiac evaluation, blood pressure assessment, and routine laboratory testing. The ABCD2 (age, blood pressure, clinical presentation, diabetes mellitus, duration of symptoms) score should be determined during the initial evaluation and can help assess the immediate risk of repeat ischemia and stroke. Patients with higher ABCD2 scores should be treated as inpatients, whereas those with lower scores are at lower risk of future stroke and can be treated as outpatients.


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