Items in FPM with MESH term: Family Practice
ABSTRACT: The incidence of malignant melanoma has increased in recent years more than that of any other cancer in the United States. About one in 70 people will develop melanoma during their lifetime. Family physicians should be aware that a patient with a changing mole, an atypical mole or multiple nevi is at considerable risk for developing melanoma. Any mole that is suggestive of melanoma requires an excisional biopsy, primarily because prognosis and treatment are based on tumor thickness. Staging is based on tumor thickness (Breslow's measurement) and histologic level of invasion (Clark level). The current recommendations for excisional removal of confirmed melanomas include 1-cm margins for lesions measuring 1.0 mm or less in thickness and 2-cm margins for lesions from 1.0 mm to 4.0 mm in thickness or Clark's level IV of any thickness. No evidence currently shows that wider margins improve survival in patients with lesions more than 4.0 mm thick. Clinically positive nodes are typically managed by completely removing lymph nodes in the area. Elective lymph node dissection is recommended only for patients who are younger than 60 years with lesions between 1.5 mm and 4.0 mm in thickness. In the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial, interferon alfa-2b was shown to improve disease-free and overall survival, but in many other trials it has not been shown to be effective at prolonging overall survival. Vaccine therapy is currently being used to stimulate the immune system of melanoma patients with metastatic disease.
Management of Asthma in Children - Article
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of asthma in children has increased 160 percent since 1980, and the disease currently affects nearly 5 million children in the United States. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program provides guidelines for improved asthma care. The goals of this program are to limit the frequency, severity and costliness of asthma exacerbations through extensive education of physicians, children and caregivers. The four components of asthma management include regular assessment and monitoring, control of factors that contribute to or aggravate symptoms, pharmacologic therapy and education of children and their caregivers. The guidelines recommend a stepwise approach to pharmacologic treatment, starting with aggressive therapy to achieve control and followed by a "step down" to the minimal therapy that will maintain control. Quick relief of symptoms can be achieved preferentially by the use of short-acting beta2 agonists. Medications for long-term control should be considered for use in children with persistent symptoms. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most potent long-term anti-inflammatory medications. Other options include long-acting beta2 agonists, cromolyn sodium and nedocromil, antileukotriene agents and theophylline. All have advantages and disadvantages in individual situations.
ABSTRACT: Conduct disorder is a common childhood psychiatric problem that has an increased incidence in adolescence. The primary diagnostic features of conduct disorder include aggression, theft, vandalism, violations of rules and/or lying. For a diagnosis, these behaviors must occur for at least a six-month period. Conduct disorder has a multifactorial etiology that includes biologic, psychosocial and familial factors. The differential diagnosis of conduct disorder includes oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorder and intermittent explosive disorder. Family physicians may provide brief, behaviorally focused parent counseling, pharmacotherapy and referral for more intensive family and individual psychotherapy.
Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites - Article
ABSTRACT: Almost one half of all dog bites involve an animal owned by the victim's family or neighbors. A large percentage of dog bite victims are children. Although some breeds of dogs have been identified as being more aggressive than other breeds, any dog may attack when threatened. All dog bites carry a risk of infection, but immediate copious irrigation can significantly decrease that risk. Assessment for the risk of tetanus and rabies virus infection, and subsequent selection of prophylactic antibiotics, are essential in the management of dog bites. The dog bite injury should be documented with photographs and diagrams when appropriate. Family physicians should educate parents and children on ways to prevent dog bites.
Bicycle-Related Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: Bicycle riding is a popular form of recreation among persons of all ages, and related injuries cause significant morbidity and mortality. Most injuries occur in males and are associated with riding at high speed; most serious injuries and fatalities result from collisions with motor vehicles. Although superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma are the most common injuries, head injuries are responsible for most fatalities and long-term disabilities. Overuse injuries may contribute to a variety of musculoskeletal complaints, compression neuropathies, perineal and genital complaints. Physicians treating such patients should consider medical factors, as well as suggest adjusting various components of the bicycle, such as the seat height and handlebars. Encouraging bicycle riders to wear helmets is key to preventing injuries; protective clothing and equipment, and general safety advice also may offer some protection.
Fingertip Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: The family physician often provides the first and only medical intervention for fingertip injuries. Proper diagnosis and management of fingertip injuries are vital to maintaining proper function of the hand and preventing permanent disability. A subungual hematoma is a painful condition that involves bleeding beneath the nail, usually after trauma. Treatment requires subungual decompression, which is achieved by creating small holes in the nail. A nail bed laceration is treated by removing the nail and suturing the injured nail bed. Closed fractures of the distal phalanx may require reduction but usually are minimally displaced and stable, and can be splinted. Open or intra-articular fractures of the distal phalanx may warrant referral. Patients with mallet finger cannot extend the distal interphalangeal joint because of a disruption of the extensor mechanism. Radiographs help to differentiate between tendinous and bony mallet types. Most mallet finger injuries heal with six to eight weeks of splinting, but some require referral. Flexor digitorum profundus avulsion always requires referral. Dislocations of the distal interphalangeal joint are rare and usually occur dorsally.
Fishhook Removal - Article
ABSTRACT: Fishing is a common recreational sport. While serious injuries are uncommon, penetrating tissue trauma involving fishhooks frequently occurs. Most of these injuries are minor and can be treated in the office without difficulty. All fishhook injuries require careful evaluation of surrounding tissue before attempting removal. Ocular involvement should prompt immediate referral to an ophthalmologist. The four most common techniques of fishhook removal and injury management are described in this article. The choice of the method for fishhook removal depends on the type of fishhook embedded, the location of the injury and the depth of tissue penetration. Occasionally, more than one removal technique may be required for removal of the fishhook. The retrograde technique is the simplest but least successful removal method, while the traditional advance and cut method is most effective for removing fishhooks that are embedded close to the skin surface. The advance and cut technique is almost always successful, even for removal of large fishhooks. The string-yank method can be used in the field and can often be performed without anesthesia. Wound care following successful removal involves extraction of foreign bodies from the wound and the application of a simple dressing. Prophylactic antibiotics are generally not indicated. Tetanus status should be assessed and toxoid administered if needed.
ABSTRACT: Obesity is a complex, multifactorial condition in which excess body fat may put a person at health risk. National data indicate that the prevalence of obesity in the United States is increasing in children and adults. Reversing these trends requires changes in individual behavior and the elimination of societal barriers to healthy lifestyle choices. Basic treatment of overweight and obese patients requires a comprehensive approach involving diet and nutrition, regular physical activity, and behavioral change, with an emphasis on long-term weight management rather than short-term extreme weight reduction. Physicians and other health professionals have an important role in promoting preventive measures and encouraging positive lifestyle behaviors, as well as identifying and treating obesity-related comorbidities. Health professionals also have a role in counseling patients about safe and effective weight loss and weight maintenance programs. Recent evidence-based guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, as well as recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology, American Obesity Association, U.S. Clinical Preventive Services Task Force, Institute of Medicine, and World Health Organization can be consulted for information and guidance on the identification and management of overweight and obese patients.
ABSTRACT: Physicians assess the decision-making capacity of their patients at every clinical encounter. Patients with an abrupt change in mental status, who refuse recommended treatment, who consent too hastily to treatment or who have a known risk factor for impaired decision-making should be evaluated more carefully. In addition to performing a mental status examination (along with a physical examination and laboratory evaluation, if needed), four specific abilities should be assessed: the ability to understand information about treatment; the ability to appreciate how that information applies to their situation; the ability to reason with that information; and the ability to make a choice and express it. By using a directed clinical interview or a formal capacity assessment tool, primary care physicians are able to perform these evaluations in most cases.
ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis is one of the most prevalent and disabling chronic conditions affecting older adults and a significant public health problem among adults of working age. As the bulk of the U.S. population ages, the prevalence of osteoarthritis is expected to rise. Although the incidence of osteoarthritis increases with age, the condition is not a normal part of the aging process. More severe symptoms tend to occur in the radiographically more advanced stage of the disease; however, considerable discrepancy may exist between symptoms and the radiographic stage. Roentgenograms of involved joints may be useful in confirming the diagnosis of osteoarthritis, assessing the severity of the disease, reassuring the patient and excluding other pathologic conditions. The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is based primarily on the history and physical examination, but radiographic findings, including asymmetric joint space narrowing, subchondral sclerosis, osteophyte formation, subluxation and distribution patterns of osteoarthritic changes, can be helpful when the diagnosis is in question.