ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Initiating Hormonal Contraception - Article
ABSTRACT: Most women can safely begin taking hormonal birth control products immediately after an office visit, at any point in the menstrual cycle. Because hormonal contraceptives do not accelerate cervical neoplasia or interfere with cervical cytology, women who have not had a recent Papanicolaou smear can begin using hormonal contraceptives before the test is performed. After childbirth, most women can begin using progestin-only contraceptives immediately. Estrogen-containing methods can safely be initiated six weeks to six months postpartum for women who are breastfeeding their infants and three weeks postpartum for women who are not breastfeeding. Women can begin any appropriate contraceptive method immediately following an early abortion. Delaying contraception may decrease adherence. Physicians can help patients improve their use of birth control by providing anticipatory guidance about the most common side effects, giving comprehensive information about available choices, and honoring women's preferences. An evidence-based, flexible, patient-centered approach to initiating contraception may help to lower the high rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States.
LASIK: A Primer for Family Physicians - Article
ABSTRACT: Surgical correction of vision is becoming increasingly popular. Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most popular method of corneal refractive surgery. LASIK is usually limited to adults who have stable refraction. Contraindications include the use of certain medications, conditions that impair healing, abnormal corneal anatomy, and inadequate tearing. Patients who cannot tolerate persistent eye dryness or who engage in activities with a risk of eye trauma should avoid LASIK. Possible complications include diffuse lamellar keratitis, epithelial ingrowth, and fap complications. Almost all patients achieve uncorrected visual acuity of at least 20/40, but higher degrees of preoperative myopia may require a second operation. Long-term data on safety and stability are just becoming available. LASIK appears to be safe and effective, with only a small tendency for increased myopia in the first few years after surgery.
Specialized Nutrition Support - Article
ABSTRACT: Specialized nutrition support should be offered to patients who are malnourished or at risk of becoming malnour- ished when it would benefit patient outcomes or quality of life. Improving the nutritional value of ingested food and tailoring intake to the patient’s preferences, abilities, and schedule should be the first measures in addressing nutritional needs. When these interventions alone are insufficient to meet nutritional requirements, oral nutritional supplements should be considered. Nutritional status should be evaluated in patients before specialized nutrition sup- port is considered. Enteral nutrition is used when patients have a functional gastrointestinal tract but are unable to safely swallow. Although a variety of enteral formulas are available, evidence for choosing a specific formula is often lacking. Parenteral nutrition should be used only when enteral nutrition is not feasible. There are no known benefits of parenteral nutrition over the enteral route, and the risk of serious complications is much greater with parenteral nutrition. Even when the parenteral route is necessary, some enteral nutrition is beneficial when possible. Specialized nutrition support can provide an effective bridge until patients are able to return to normal food and, in rare cases, may be continued as long-term home enteral or parenteral nutrition. Specialized nutrition support is not obligatory and can be harmful in cases of futile care and at the end of life.
ABSTRACT: Successful treatment of patients with ischemic stroke depends on the ability to treat within three hours of onset, because tissue plasminogen activator has not yet been proved effective beyond this time frame. The two major causes of delay in treatment are failure, on the part of the patient or family, to recognize stroke symptoms and failure to access the medical system most efficiently--by calling 911. Hospital stroke teams can shorten the time between patient arrival at the emergency department and treatment. Guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of potential stroke patients are presented, along with goal times for arrival-to-treatment intervals.
External Cephalic Version - Article
ABSTRACT: External cephalic version is a procedure that externally rotates the fetus from a breech presentation to a vertex presentation. External version has made a resurgence in the past 15 years because of a strong safety record and a success rate of about 65 percent. Before the resurgence of the use of external version, the only choices for breech delivery were cesarean section or a trial of labor. It is preferable to wait until term (37 weeks of gestation) before external version is attempted because of an increased success rate and avoidance of preterm delivery if complications arise. After the fetal head is gently disengaged, the fetus is manipulated by a forward roll or back flip. If unsuccessful, the version can be reattempted at a later time. The procedure should only be performed in a facility equipped for emergency cesarean section. The use of external cephalic version can produce considerable cost savings in the management of the breech fetus at term. It is a skill easily acquired by family physicians and should be a routine part of obstetric practice.
Epidural Analgesia During Labor - Article
ABSTRACT: Epidural analgesia is a commonly employed technique of providing pain relief during labor. The number of parturients given intrapartum epidural analgesia is reported to be over 50 percent at many institutions in the United States. The procedure has few contraindications, the primary ones being patient refusal, maternal hemorrhage and coagulopathy. Induction of epidural analgesia in early labor remains controversial. However, many physicians induce analgesia as soon as the diagnosis of active labor has been established and the patient has requested pain relief. The most common complications occurring with epidural analgesia are maternal hypotension and postdural puncture headache. Retrospective studies have demonstrated an association between epidural analgesia and increases in duration of labor, instrumental vaginal delivery and cesarean section for labor. However, several recent prospective studies have concluded that epidural analgesia does not adversely affect the progress of labor or increase the rate of cesarean section. These remain controversial issues among practicing physicians.
ABSTRACT: The intrauterine device, a common form of birth control in the early 1970s, is now avoided by American physicians and women because of concern about complications. This concern is largely the result of the problems reported with use of an intrauterine device that is no longer manufactured. More recent intrauterine devices have an improved design, and reevaluation has shown them to be a safe, efficacious and cost-effective form of birth control. Careful patient selection and preinsertion counseling are crucial to success with the device. Recent studies conclude that the intrauterine device poses no increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease or infertility when used by appropriately selected patients.
ABSTRACT: Inguinal and femoral hernias are the most common conditions for which primary care physicians refer patients for surgical management. Hernias usually present as swelling accompanied by pain or a dragging sensation in the groin. Most hernias can be diagnosed based on the history and clinical examination, but ultrasonography may be useful in differentiating a hernia from other causes of groin swelling. Surgical repair is usually advised because of the danger of incarceration and strangulation, particularly with femoral hernias. Three major types of open repair are currently used, and laparoscopic techniques are also employed. The choice of technique depends on several factors, including the type of hernia, anesthetic considerations, cost, period of postoperative disability and the surgeon's expertise. Following initial herniorrhaphy, complication and recurrence rates are generally low. Laparoscopic techniques make it possible for patients to return to normal activities more quickly, but they are more costly than open procedures. In addition, they require general anesthesia, and the long-term hernia recurrence rate with these procedures is unknown.