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Managing Hepatitis C in General Practice

November 02, 2016

There is now encouragement by the Government and many gastroenterologists to have GPs diagnose and treat patients with Hepatitis C. It is important that GPs be aware of the new oral treatment options for this condition and that face-to-face referral of the patient to a specialist who is experienced in …

Asymptomatic Mycoplasma genitalium: Should This Be Investigated?

September 07, 2016

Patients are frequently concerned about the risk of having contracted a sexually transmitted disease. Should GPs be routinely investigating asymptomatic patients for Mycoplasma genitalium?
Non-specific urethritis (NSU) is infection of the urethra (and typically, also the cervix in women) that is not caused by gonococcus or chlamydia. NSU usually refers to …

How GPs Can Avoid Developing a Latex Allergy

August 24, 2016

Latex is natural rubber and is obtained from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis tree. Synthetic rubber is made from petrochemicals and contains no latex. The production of latex is complex, involving the addition of many chemicals and often a corn starch powder to prevent the layers of latex sticking …

Should the CA 125 Test Be Used in General Practice?

July 27, 2016

“CA 125” is a glycoprotein that is associated with certain conditions, including inflammation and cancer. It is called “125” as this was the number of attempts before success in identifying an antibody on the surface of ovarian cancer cells. However, the antibody produced against CA 125 was subsequently found to …

Safe Prescription of Erectile Dysfunction

July 14, 2016

Requests by older men to obtain medications for erectile dysfunction present a good opportunity for a review of their general health. GPs are aware ofo the need to consider underlying medical conditions when assessing men who have erectile dysfunction. This is particularly important, as if sildenafil and tadalafil are taken …

Why is There a Risk of Pregnancy If the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill is Missed?

July 06, 2016

It helps the patient to understand the risk of pregnancy if the GP explains why she is at risk if pills are missed and what to do if this occurs. The pregnancy risk changes depending on where in the pack cycle the pill or pills are missed. It is actually …

The Psychology of Reducing Blood Pressure in General Practice

June 29, 2016

GPs do not always realise the effect they have on a patient’s blood pressure. The minutes before and during the taking blood pressure measurements are more important than most of us think. The patient will often want to know what their blood pressure is when they are stressed or unwell.  In …

What are the Indications for Topical Antibiotics?

June 22, 2016

The prevalence of MRSA is linked to the availability of over the counter topical antibiotics, especially neomycin and bacitracin.1 This begs the question about what the true medical indications are for topical antibiotic use in General Practice.
Oral antibiotics, but not topical antibiotics are indicated for wound infections, cellulitis or other …

Do Topical Antiseptics Work?

June 01, 2016

Antiseptics are commonly used topically with the aim of reducing bacterial load on both intact and broken skin. Antiseptics differ from antibiotics in that they have usually have multiple methods of killing bacteria, fungi or viruses, whereas the mechanism of action of antibiotics tends to be on a particular intracellular …

7 Tips to Help Manage Reflux Oesophagitis

May 25, 2016

Reflux oesophagitis is not just a chemical reaction due to stomach acid irritating the lower oesophageal sphincter. There is very much a mechanical process that facilitates this to happen. The following are some practical methods, mainly mechanical, that should be (but often are not) discussed with all patients who have …

Assessing Children with Behavioural and Learning Difficulties

May 11, 2016

In 2013, DSM 5 has changed the classification of several well-known conditions. Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified are now under the heading of Autism spectrum disorder. This was because of lack of standardisation of application of diagnostic criteria. Individuals with …

Problems with Measuring Body Mass Index

April 14, 2016

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of weight adjusted for height (kg/m2) and is used in people over twenty years of age. It is not a measure of fat in the body, but does provide some idea of excess or inadequate weight. However, there are many reasons why this …