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Concept: Irish language


There has been extensive outsourcing of hospital cleaning services in the NHS in England, in part because of the potential to reduce costs. Yet some argue that this leads to lower hygiene standards and more infections, such as MRSA and, perhaps because of this, the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish health services have rejected outsourcing. This study evaluates whether contracting out cleaning services in English acute hospital Trusts (legal authorities that run one or more hospitals) is associated with risks of hospital-borne MRSA infection and lower economic costs. By linking data on MRSA incidence per 100,000 hospital bed-days with surveys of cleanliness among patient and staff in 126 English acute hospital Trusts during 2010-2014, we find that outsourcing cleaning services was associated with greater incidence of MRSA, fewer cleaning staff per hospital bed, worse patient perceptions of cleanliness and staff perceptions of availability of handwashing facilities. However, outsourcing was also associated with lower economic costs (without accounting for additional costs associated with treatment of hospital acquired infections).

Concepts: Staphylococcus aureus, Hospital, England, Scotland, Hygiene, Cleanliness, Irish language, Irish people


Skeletal maturation is divisible to three main components; the time of appearance of an ossification center, its change in morphology and time of fusion to a primary ossification center. With regard to the knee, the intermediate period between appearance and fusion of the ossification centers extends over a period of greater than 10 years. This study aims to investigate radiographically the age at which morphological changes of the epiphyses at the knee occur in a modern Irish population. Radiographs of 221 subjects (137 males; 84 females) aged 9-19 years were examined. Seven nonmetric indicators of maturity were assessed using criteria modified from the Roche, Wainer, and Thissen method and Pyle and Hoerr’s atlas of the knee. Reference charts are presented which display the timeline for each of the grades of development of the seven indicators. Mean age was found to increase significantly with successive grades of development of each of the seven indicators. A significant difference was noted between males and females at the same grade of development for six of the seven indicators. The narrowest age range reported for a single grade of development was 2.2 years for Grade 2 of development of the tibial tuberosity for males. The information on changing morphology of the epiphyses at the knee in the present study may provide an adjunct to methods used for evaluation of skeletal maturity before surgery for orthopedic disorders or to evaluate skeletal age in clinical scenarios where either delayed or precocious skeletal maturation is suspected. Clin. Anat. 26:755-767, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Time, Bone, Human, Grade, The Age, Change, Endochondral ossification, Irish language


Admission to an acute hospital can be distressing and disorientating for a person with dementia, and is associated with decline in cognitive and functional ability. The objective of this audit was to assess the quality of dementia care in acute hospitals in the Republic of Ireland.

Concepts: Neurology, Republic of Ireland, Thought, Republic, Polish language, Irish Free State, Irish Republic, Irish language


Worldwide, the Irish diaspora experience elevated mortality and morbidity across generations, not accounted for through socioeconomic position. The main objective of the present study was to assess if childhood disadvantage accounts for poorer mental and physical health in adulthood, in second-generation Irish people.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Ireland, Diaspora, Irish language, Irish people, Irish diaspora, Saint Patrick's Battalion


Ptaquiloside, along with other natural phytotoxins, is receiving increased attention from scientists and land use managers. There is an urgent need to increase empirical evidence to understand the scale of phytotoxin mobilisation and potential to enter into the environment. In this study the risk of ptaquiloside to drinking water was assessed by quantifying ptaquiloside in the receiving waters at three drinking water abstraction sites across Ireland and in bracken fronds surrounding the abstraction sites. We also investigated the impact of different management regimes (spraying, cutting and rolling) on ptaquiloside concentrations at plot-scale in six locations in Northern Ireland, UK. Ptaquiloside concentrations were determined using recent advances in the use of LC-MS for the detection and quantification of ptaquiloside. The results indicate that ptaquiloside is present in bracken stands surrounding drinking water abstractions in Ireland, and ptaquiloside concentrations were also observed in the receiving waters. Furthermore, spraying was found to be the most effective bracken management regime observed in terms of reducing ptaquiloside load. Increased awareness is vital on the implications of managing land with extensive bracken stands.

Concepts: Scientific method, Water, Management, Fern, Northern Ireland, Irish language, Irish people, Irish nationality law


The rate of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is predicted to double by 2030 resulting in an even greater burden to an already struggling Irish health care system. There is a paucity of information regarding hospital utilisation among the PD population in an Irish context.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Healthcare, Health insurance, Medical terms, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Irish language


BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the Irish diaspora experience health inequalities persisting across generations. The present study sought to establish the prevalence of psychological morbidity in the children of migrant parents from Ireland, and reasons for differences. METHODS: Data from two British birth cohorts were used for analysis. Each surveyed 17 000 babies born in one week in 1958 and 1970 and followed up through childhood. Validated scales assessed psychological health. RESULTS: Relative to the rest of the cohort, second-generation Irish children grew up in material hardship and showed greater psychological problems at ages 7, 11 (1958 cohort) and 16 (both cohorts). Adjusting for material adversity and maternal psychological distress markedly reduced differences. Relative to non-Irish parents, Irish-born parents were more likely to report chronic health problems (odds ratio [OR]: 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-1.54), and Irish-born mothers were more likely to be psychologically distressed (OR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.13-1.84, when child was 10). Effect sizes diminished once material adversity was taken into account. CONCLUSIONS: Second-generation Irish children experienced high levels of psychological morbidity, but this was accounted for through adverse material circumstances in childhood and psychological distress in parents. Public health initiatives focusing on settlement experiences may reduce health inequalities in migrant children.

Concepts: Psychology, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Ireland, Diaspora, Irish language, Irish people, Irish diaspora


This paper details results of a study examining administrative case data from 2010-2015 from abortion funds serving the USA and the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Driven by the available data, the researchers compared organisational characteristics, patient characteristics, procedural costs, patient resources and the ratio between patient resources and procedural costs. Independent t-tests were conducted to assess whether differences in characteristics, costs or resources were significant. The number of patients serviced by abortion funds across the two datasets increased yearly from 2010-2015. While patients in the USA had more resources, on average, to contribute to their abortion procedure, Irish, Northern Irish and Manx patients had the resources to pay for a greater percentage of their costs, on average, which was mainly attributable to the differences in gestational age of those helped by the different abortion funds. Patients across all nations were similar in terms of their marital status, average age and number of existing children. Patients across these countries face expensive procedures and a lack of resources that are bridged in part by abortion fund assistance.

Concepts: United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Republic, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Irish language, Isle of Man


BVA CPD and events officer Helen Dingle asks members to save the date for this year’s Members' Day.

Concepts: Republic of Ireland, Irish language


Kobuviruses have been detected in a wide range of mammals including cats, dogs, pigs, cattle, goats, sheep and bats. Kobuviruses have been detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic animals; however, the clinical significance of infection in animals is still unclear. To date, there is no information regarding kobuvirus prevalence in livestock in Ireland. This study reports the first detection of kobuviruses in pigs, bovines and ovines using quantitative PCR. In this study, mesenteric lymph node was collected from cattle (n = 57), pigs (n = 53) and sheep (n = 50) from farms in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, from animals which had been submitted by private veterinary practitioners from 2009 to 2011 for routine post mortem and clinico-pathological examination. Kobuviruses were detected in 14 cows (24.5%), 5 pigs (9.4%) and 1 sheep (2%). Phylogenetic analysis of Irish kobuviruses from cattle and pigs revealed that the isolates clustered according to their host species. Interestingly, the sheep kobuvirus clustered with bovine kobuviruses detected in this study and other published kobuvirus strains. The data presented in this study contributes to the understanding of the epidemiology of these viruses in animals and to the genetic diversity that these viruses possess.

Concepts: Milk, Republic of Ireland, Mammal, Cattle, Republic, Livestock, Bovinae, Irish language