Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Medical journals and industry ties: Zero tolerance on education articles with financial links to industry

The BMJ was one of the first medical journals to seek
declarations of competing interests from authors. Our focus is
on financial competing interests as we believe these to be the
most identifiable. We do, however, understand that competing
interests come in many forms and we also routinely ask authors
to declare relevant non-financial competing interests. The
governing principle has been that transparency is a panacea.1
We placed faith in this principle, but mounting experience and
evidence tell us that we were only half right.2 Transparency
remains essential, but it isn’t sufficient to eliminate bias or
perception of bias.
We believe this risk of bias is particularly important for clinical
educational articles that are designed to guide patient care, when
authors’ biases may be less visible to general medical readers.
For some years we have sought to minimise as well as declare
competing interests for these articles. Recently we introduced
more active management of competing interests, requiring
authors to complete a more detailed declaration and excluding
authors with close ties. Now we have decided to go a step
further, as heralded three years ago.

Read more of this article in BMJ:

doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7197 (Published 28 November 2014)

Conflict of interest in online point-of-care clinical support websites: Article in Journal of Medical Ethics

Point-of-care evidence-based medicine websites allow physicians to answer clinical queries using recent evidence at the bedside. Despite significant research into the function, usability and effectiveness of these programmes, little attention has been paid to their ethical issues. As many of these sites summarise the literature and provide recommendations, we sought to assess the role of conflicts of interest in two widely used websites: UpToDate and Dynamed
Read more

Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients

Bad Science’ hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science, becoming a 400,000 copy bestseller. Now Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess.
Doctors and patients need good scientific evidence to make informed decisions. But instead, companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. All of this is perfectly legal. In fact, even government regulators withhold vitally important data from the people who need it most. 

Also see All Trials: 'Results from half all medical trials are hidden' 

Bad Science

Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, and more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Older Americans unversed in the Internet 'know less about health'

The Internet is a familiar tool of everyday life and an important source of information, including on health. Except, that is, for those who find themselves stranded on the wrong side of the "digital divide." Now, researchers warn that older Americans who are not online could be sidelined as the Internet's role in providing health information grows
Read more

Monday, December 1, 2014

Younger children to lose out in new dental care plan

Public health dentists have been told to prioritise the care of older children’s teeth, in a move which is likely to see thousands of younger schoolchildren miss out on regular dental check-ups.
For the first time, waiting lists are being created for regular dental screening as priority is given to the needs of 11- to 14-year-olds, under a new plan within the Health Service Executive.

Inquiry ordered into slapping, force-feeding allegations at Mayo centre

Nine staff placed ‘off-duty’ at Áras Attracta facility for adults with intellectual disabilities. 

Inquiry ordered into slapping, force-feeding allegations at Mayo centre

Nine staff placed ‘off-duty’ at Áras Attracta facility for adults with intellectual disabilities. Allegations of serious mistreatment of residents at a Co Mayo centre for adults with intellectual disabilities have prompted the Health Service Executive to order an independently led investigation.

The HSE, which runs the unit, has also notified the Garda about the allegations, which have resulted in nine staff at Áras Attracta residential facility being placed “off-duty”. The investigation will examine serious allegations of slapping and force-feeding of patients, HSE national director for social care Pat Healy told The Irish Times.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lenus,the Irish health repository

Lenus is Ireland’s foremost repository for health services research and grey literature. It was launched in 2009 and is managed by the Regional Library & Information Service in Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin.
Lenus makes available the research output of the many organisations providing healthcare in the Republic of Ireland, along with their administrative, clinical and regulatory publications which together provide the background and context for Irish healthcare.

Diabetes and Yogurt

Yogurt lovers may have reason to rejoice. A new study shows regular consumption of this dairy aisle favorite reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health followed more than 40,000 men and 150,000 women for one to two decades. Participants filled out food-frequency questionnaires at the start and then every two years, to help evaluate the association between dairy consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in adults
Read more on Medline Plus Health Topics

So finally my patient died!

Once in a very long while you get somebody under your hands who ought to have been let go months before.

We had somebody like that the other month: multiple surgeries for a brain tumor that was not going to go away (grade IV glioblastoma), multiple rounds of chemo and radiation, and in the middle of all of that, a surgery for an abscess that led to wound-vac sponges all down one side of the poor sot's body.
Read more on Head Nurse Blog

New Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics

The new Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics has been developed by NMBI and is effective from 10 December 2014.   It replaces the Code of Professional Conduct for Each Nurse and Midwife (2000) and follows an extensive consultation process.
The purpose of the Code is to guide nurses and midwives in their day-to-day practice and help them to understand their professional responsibilities in caring for patients in a safe, ethical and effective way.

Plans for mental health services at risk without adequate staffing

Mental Health Reform has warned that measures announced today (27/11/2014) in the HSE National Service Plan 2015 to improve mental health services will not be achievable without adequate numbers of staff. The Service Plan for 2015 commits to investing €35 million in community-based mental health services, 24/7 crisis responses, suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
Dr Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform, commented: “The HSE’s ability to provide people in mental and emotional distress with the support they need depends on having skilled staff in place. Mental health is a people business. Services cannot deliver the 24/7 crisis intervention support and community-based follow-up without an adequate number of skilled staff. Mental health services lost 1,000 posts in the early years of the recession, mostly nurses, and since December 2012 a further 133 nursing posts have been lost.”
Read More

AIIHPC: All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care

AIIHPC strategically supports the delivery of outstanding, innovative research by building capacity, quality
and sustainability and translating research output into practical impact on policy and services.
We are dedicated to identifying and developing collaborations with other funding organisations and stakeholders to enhance the availability of funding for research in palliative care, and to create, where appropriate, opportunities for knowledge exchange and translation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ireland facing ‘silent epidemic’ of superbugs, doctors told

Antibiotic use in Irish nursing homes is twice as high as any other country in Europe.

Ireland and other European countries are experiencing a “silent epidemic” of superbugs caused by rising resistance to antibiotics, a conference on primary care has been told.
The problem far exceeds the threat posed by Ebola, with over 25,000 deaths a year inEurope due to multi-drug resistant organisms, according to Dr Nuala O’Connor of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP).

What I Wish You Understood About My Depression

There are many persistent misconceptions about depression. For instance, people assume depression is synonymous with sadness. (It’s not.)
They also assume that individuals with depression can simply snap out of it. (They can’t. Mild depression may abate with exercise, meditation and other self-help strategies. But most people’s clinical depression usually requires treatment.)
Such misconceptions can lead us to misinterpret what people need. It can lead us to make insensitive comments — “are you sure you want to get better?” — and to be dismissive of a disease that is actually devastating and really hard.
Read More

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Anger and Anorexia

It took an eating disorder to finally teach me how to get angry.
Many people with eating disorders are like me in that they feel reluctant — even downright refuse — to express anger. This is by and large a learned behavior.
I grew up in a home where anger was like the steam in a pressure cooker: we kept the lid on until it burst and sprayed boiling liquid everywhere. Consequently, the message I internalized was twofold: Anger is loud, unpredictable, and dangerous; and negative emotions should be concealed.

But if you’ve ever tried bottling your emotions, then you know it doesn’t work for long.

Read More

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nursing Library Book of the Week

AIT Health Science Library Book of the Week     4 copies available

AUTHOR Drumm, Brendan, author.
TITLE The challenge of change : putting patients before providers / Brendan Drumm.
CALL NO. 362.109415 DRU

The Challenge of Change is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of a major transition period in Ireland’s health system. Brendan Drumm records his experiences as chief executive of the Health Service Executive (2005-2010) and recounts his vision for Ireland’s health service. While acknowledging the problems with and criticisms of the HSE, Drumm’s vision has been and still is one of reform. The Challenge of Change discusses how the foundations for an integrated healthcare system were laid in Drumm’s five years in the HSE; highlights the obstacles to an integrated healthcare system and healthcare reform in Ireland, including the political and public service system, and the challenge of bringing doctors, nurses and other clinicians along with change; discusses all the major issues that Drumm dealt with in his role and that the HSE is still dealing with, including the National Children’s Hospital, developing primary care teams, the new consultants’ contract and major adverse events; and gives an insider’s view on the challenges to reform in a public sector context, which feeds into the wider problem of consensus in Ireland’s governance structures – in anything from the banks to the political system.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Ultimate Antioxidant: Fight Premature Aging for Free

Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth.
Research indicates that electrons from the Earth have antioxidant effects that can protect your body from inflammation and its many well-documented health consequences. For most of our evolutionary history, humans have had continuous contact with the Earth.

Noel Edmonds exercises in dark every week 'for health'

Noel Edmonds puts his healthy looks down to a daily burst of electromagnetic energy, drinking health shakes and slowly exercising in the dark.
The 65-year-old Deal Or No Deal presenter, whose looks have hardly changed since he fronted Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Noel's House Party and Top Of The Pops in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, feels that he is ageing well.

MHI launches new NFQ Level 6 Certificate Programme - Mental Health in the Communit

Mental Health in the Community
Commencing October 22nd 2014 in Tralee Co. Kerry 
Recognising a growing interest in mental health, Mental Health Ireland and Adult Continuing Education, UCC have joined forces to offer a new and innovative part time evening course, the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community. The course will look at how communities can support and enhance mental and emotional wellbeing through good practice in mental health promotion and suicide prevention. It examines contemporary issues in mental healthcare in both policy and practice, exploring what can work for people who experience mental health difficulties in supporting their recovery.   

Mental Health Matters
As mental health problems are increasing, it is now more important than ever for people to be introduced to the concept of positive mental health

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Benefit of ‘little things’ to mental health highlighted

A new mental health initiative highlights the “little things” people can do in their daily life to maintain their mental equilibrium.
The #littlethings campaign from the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention was created in partnership with more than 20 organisations active in the mental health area. It includes television and radio advertising as well as a strong online presence

Emergency department doctors concerned over Ebola readiness

Emergency department doctors have expressed concern over the Government’s preparedness for any Ebola cases given the chronic overcrowding in many hospitals
Read More

Monday, October 20, 2014

AIT Library offers trial to registered library users for additional databases by Medicines Complete

AIT Library currently offer access via login to the databases; British National Formulary – (Guidance on the actions and uses of drugs prescribed in the UK.) ; Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference ( Information and background on conventional and complementary drugs and associated compounds, international proprietary names, and disease treatments); and Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy – (The definitive reference on all aspects of the science and practice of pharmacy) all though the  Medicines Complete database which is available on the library databases web page at

There is now a trial to additional titles by Medicines Complete including AHFS Drug Information, BNF for Children, Clarkes Analysis of Drugs and Poisons, Stockley's Drug Interactions & Stockley's Interaction Alerts. All these resources are now available on the trials database page at  or just click on the Medicines Complete link on the databases page Trial ends November 16th 2014.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nurses who fear Ebola have few options: complaining, sick days or walking out

Healthcare workers worried about Ebola can do little. They’re asking for better equipment and training, but beyond that, workplace laws offer them few protections 
Read more

More than 2,100 waiting for place in nursing home

There are 2,114 mostly elderly people who are waiting for a nursing home place - more than double the number predicted last year.
  • GO TO
They have been cleared for funding support under the Fair Deal scheme but the slow down in release of funding is causing delays.

Dental Council says refusal to remove braces is unethical

The refusal of any orthodontist to remove braces from a child on the basis that they had not been paid is unethical, a spokesman for the Dental Council of Ireland has said. The regulatory body for dentists commented following a report in The Irish Times yesterday on the case of a girl in the care of the Child and Family Agency who had not had her braces removed because the orthodontist treating her had not been paid.
Read More

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mental Health Reform disappointed in funding shortfall for mental health

The national coalition Mental Health Reform has expressed disappointment that the Government has missed the opportunity in Budget 2015 to make up for the €15 million shortfall in this year’s allocation for mental health.
Shari McDaid, Director of Mental Health Reform, commented: “When the 2014 budget was announced, Minister Lynch made a commitment that the €15m shortfall would be made up in 2015. We are disappointed that her objective has not been fulfilled by Government. While the €35 million allocated for 2015 can make a difference, mental health services continue to be under pressure to meet the demand from people in severe mental distress. People who use mental health services and their families want to see good quality crisis intervention support available in their local area so that they don’t end up in A&E. They also want holistic support from a multidisciplinary team. We want to see how the HSE will deliver these services in 2015.”
Read More

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

‘Animals feel pain’: why a farmer’s son turned vegan

At the age of nine Declan Bowens became vegetarian, and later vegan. ‘Just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should,’ he says of meat-eating – not a popular position in rural Ireland

Controversy over home births continues to centre on dispute between midwife and HSE

After more than three decades of a professional life delivering children in their mothers’ homes, midwife Philomena Canning can no longer practise and is at the centre of a highly charged controversy.
Read More

Ten things we have learned during Ebola epidemic

Virus is deadly but mortality rate in current outbreak (50%) is not as high as previous outbreaks

My Health Experience: ‘The pain was like a hand moving around inside my stomach, clenching my organs’

June 11th, 2012, is a date I will probably never forget. Not because I was waking up in a campervan in some part of Poland, hungover after losing to Croatia in the first round of the Euros with the rest of Ireland around me holding “Angela Merkel thinks we’re working” flags. No, it lives in my memory because that was the day the pain started.

An Irish welcome: how Australia recruits doctors and nurses

A cartoon in the West Australian newspaper depicting Irish nurses and a leprechaun doing a jig at the bedside of two hospital patients caused a bit of a stir last August, when the Facebook group Irish People Living in Australia, which has more than 30,000 members, made a complaint to the Australian Press Council for the “ill-mannered and offensive” stereotyping of Irish nurses
Read More

Ebola infection in Dallas nurse underscores critical need for proper training

A nurse in Dallas who was treating the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States has become infected with the virus herself even though she was wearing protective gear. “At some point, there was a breach in protocol,” Tom Frieden, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said at a press conference this morning
Read More

Friday, October 10, 2014

100 Best Blogs for Nursing Students

No doubt about it, getting through nursing school can be a challenge, especially if you're trying to balance work, school and family life all at once. However, nursing students can find support in their fellow students, graduates of nursing programs and a myriad of professional and medical blogs. Check out this list we've put together of sites that are meant to inspire, motivate and educate nursing students in school and beyond.
Read more

A one third drop in occupational injuries to nurses following mandated staffing ratios in California

A 2004 California law mandating specific nurse-to-patient staffing standards in acute care hospitals significantly lowered job-related injuries and illnesses for both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, according to UC Davis research published online in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. The study is believed to be the first to evaluate the effect of the law on occupational health
Reads More

Today is World Mental Health day, so it’s a good time for a plan to protect yourself

Mental Health Ireland’s campaign, “Plan to Protect your mental health and wellbeing” celebrates World Mental Health Day by outlining five steps everybody can take to protect their mental health and wellbeing. These are: Connect  /Be active / Take notice / Keep learning / Give
Read More

Friday, September 26, 2014

Celebrate Nurses Week 2014

Plans are underway at NMBI for our second Nurses Week which will take place from October 6-10 2014.   In a survey we conducted last year on the public’s knowledge of nursing, we asked them how important certain attributes were to the nursing profession.

Patient ‘Emily’ shows why national children’s hospital is badly needed

Make it happen. That would sum up most people’s view of the long-running national children’s hospital saga, which has already cost the taxpayer almost €40 million without a single brick being laid.
The reason we so badly need a state-of-the-art children’s hospital was aptly illustrated at yesterday’s launch of the design team by the case of Emily, a six-year-old (admittedly fictional) patient with a brain tumour.

What exactly is willpower and how do you sustain it?

This week the healthy town project has been focusing on breaking bad habits, but how do you break a bad habit? Give up smoking? Cut down on drinking? Or start taking regular exercise?
If you decide to embark on any of these life-altering paths, you will need willpower. But what exactly is willpower? Can you develop it? And more importantly can you sustain it?
Psychologist Frank Ryan who has written a book on the subject certainly believes so.

Education of Advance Health Care Directives Required by Nurses

The knowledge gaps related to advance health care directives (AHCDs) can be overcome with an educational program for nurses. This will help to ensure patients' wishes for care at the end of life are known and respected, reports a paper in the October/December Journal of Christian Nursing, official journal of the Nurses Christian Fellowship. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health

Read More

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NPIRS - HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster Bulletin 2013

This bulletin is a synopsis of data from the National Psychiatric In-patient Reporting System (NPIRS) for 2013, which is reported in the Activities of Irish Psychiatric Units and Hospitals 2013 (Daly and Walsh in press).

NPIRS - HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster Bulletin 2013

NPIRS - HSE Dublin North-East Bulletin 2013

NPIRS - HSE South Bulletin 2013

NPIRS - HSE West Bulletin 2013

Midwifery Consultation Process

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) is currently reviewing the ‘Practice Standards for Midwives’.
The project is currently underway and the next phase will be the consultation process scheduled to take place around the country throughout the month of September 2014 at the following venues:
Wednesday 10th September: University College Cork 
Thursday 11th September: University of Limerick 
Tuesday 16th September: National University of Ireland, Galway 
Thursday 18th September: Dundalk Institute of Technology 
Tuesday 23rd September: Trinity College Dublin 
Thursday 25th September: University College Dublin

#RNchat on Patient Education

Patient education is something we often talk about in nursing, and regularly do during the normal care of our day. The challenge is that time is often short, and patients do not always retain the information the first time. 
Read more

Varadkar signals change to graduate nurse scheme

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said he is open to making changes to the graduate nurse scheme to stem rising emigration in the profession.
Mr Varadkar said money wasn’t the only issue and he hoped to come up with creative ways to make the scheme more attractive to young nurses.

Friday, August 29, 2014

100,000 Avoidable death

The results of a 1980s clinical trial on heart drug Lorcainide were never published. Doctors didn’t know that more people died in the trial who were given Lorcainide than who were taking the placebo. It has been estimated that over 100,000 people died avoidably because they were prescribed drugs in the same class.

View you tube video

A Doctor prescribed the antidepressant Reboxetine for a patient but says he was “misled.” Results from trials which showed it was worse than other drugs were withheld, while the smaller number of trials which showed it worked better were published.

View the Video

The UK Government has spent £424 million stockpiling Tamiflu, an anti-flu treatment, but we still don’t know if this treatment works any better than placebo. Regulators weren’t given information from all the clinical trials done on Tamiflu. The manufacturers of Tamiflu didn’t break any laws by withholding the information

View the video

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Negotiations on hospital consultants’ deal break down

Talks between the Government and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) on a new pay and career structure deal for new hospital consultants have broken down.
Proposals drawn up as part of the talks would have seen pay for newly-appointed consultants working exclusively in the public hospital system increase from a scale of €116,000 - €121,000 at present to between €127,000 and €175,000 over time.

Schools of Nursing in Ireland

Schools of Nursing in the IOT sector Ireland:
Athlone Institute of Technology,
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Waterford Instute of Technology
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Tralee Institute of Technology

Other Nursing programs are also run in the following third level Institutions in Irleand.
Dublin City University
National University of Ireland Galway
University College Cork
University of Limerick
Trinity College Dublin

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Value of Library and Information Services in Nursing and Patient Care

Libraries are a primary resource for evidence-based practice. This study, using a critical incident survey administered to 6,788 nurses at 118 hospitals, sought to explore the influence of nurses’ use of library resources on both nursing and patient outcomes...The authors discuss the study limitations and conclude that the availability and use of library and information resources and services had a positive impact on nursing and patient outcomes, and that nurse managers play an important role both by encouraging nurses to use evidence-based library resources and services and by supporting the availability of these resources in healthcare settings.
Read the full article 

The Final Stretch

Well, it’s finally happened. I'm on the final stretch. In just under five months time, I should be qualified. Put another way, I have one semester, one assignment, and one placement before ditching the lacklustre white for those symbolic ‘blues
View post from Florence Nursingtales (Student Nurse Blog in UK)

Should patients in A&E who are drunk or have taken drugs be charged for treatment?

The #NScomment chat from Thursday August 14

view posts

A new vaccine that will make a big difference to the people of Africa – and practice nurses in the UK

Ebola is in the headlines and scare stories abound. The virus is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluid of an infected person.  But what transforms it into such a devastating problem are social and economic conditions – and the panic that surrounds it. And though my work-related fundraising efforts at the moment are entirely focussed on supporting colleagues through the current ebola crisis, it would be easy to forget that this is not West Africa’s biggest killer; that dubious honour goes to malaria.
Read more

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Health Experience: ‘Get checked up: health can change in the blink of an eye’

Gerry Quinlan has always been fairly fit and during his 52 years has completed 10 marathons. But two years ago the Dubliner, who is married to Louise and has three grown-up children, was shocked to discover he had major heart problems. This was followed by a stroke and a diagnosis of severe osteoporosis
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WeNurses blog

Do you have something to say, something to share, some value to add to the tweeting community of nurses?
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I’ts okay not to feel okay. And it’s okay to talk about it

We all have our dark times. Times when we feel as if even our shadow has abandoned us. But these moments define who we are as human beings and it is at moments that we must decide whether we will let life make or break us.
Read more

Breastfeeding mothers less likely to suffer depression, study finds

Breastfeeding is beneficial not only to babies but also to their mothers’ wellbeing, according to a new UK study. It found that mothers who had planned, and went on, to breastfeed were half as likely to become depressed following birth as those who had planned not to, and did not, breastfeed
Read more

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mental Health Reform Ireland

Established in 2006, Mental Health Reform is the national coalition promoting improved mental health services and social inclusion of people with mental health conditions.  We work towards achieving a system of good health and social care that is available to everyone no matter where they live or what their income is.

Read more

Athlone IT Nursing & Health Science Building