Voices @ Research: Application of Non-Technical Skills (Human Factor) Principles in the Operating Theatre
Ms Loh Huey Peng, Assistant Director of Nursing, Operating Theatre, at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) is currently pursuing a part-time Doctoral of Philosophy studies at the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (ALCNS), and is investigating the application of Non-Technical Skills (NTS) training principles for clinicians in the operating theatre (OT) for her PhD. Her research focus is on situation awareness, a key component of NTS. Read her motivations behind this novel research area to improve patient safety in the OT, and the importance of human factors in healthcare.
Protein Once Thought Harmless Discovered to be Main Driver of Kidney & Heart Failure
Researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School, led by principal investigator Professor Stuart Cook, Director, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School, have made a breakthrough discovery of protein interleukin 11, or IL11, as the main protein activating and speeding up the processes of kidney and heart failure. The research started five years ago with researchers experimenting on donated heart tissue samples of 84 patients from the NHCS in 2016. The team found that the interleukin 11 protein responded more than any other gene in the human body, showing up to 8.5 times more than normal when going through fibrosis. The revelation was unprecedented, breaking down all previous misconceptions of the protein being harmless and dormant in the process of fibrosis.
First Asia-wide Glaucoma Treatment Trial Launched by SNEC
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) has announced the launch of a multi-country clinical trial studying surgical treatments for glaucoma, and is the first Asia-wide trial looking into how the eye disease is treated in the region. In Singapore, about 3 per cent of people over the age of 50 have glaucoma, with its prevalence increasing with age. Glaucoma occurs when the eye fails to drain fluid as well as it should, similar to a clogged drain. As a result, fluid builds up in the eye and begins to damage the optic nerve. In view of this, the trial will compare two surgical treatments for advanced cases of glaucoma with the aim of studying their long-term outcomes and complication rates in an Asian population. The Singapore-led trial funded by NMRC aims to recruit 300 patients across more than 10 Asian countries.
Changi General Hospital & Abbott Partnership Embark on Two Year Study on Elderly Nutrition
Under-nutrition affects up to thirty-five percent of elderly Singaporeans living at home, can have a “ripple effect” on the healthcare system, said Adjunct Assistant Professor Samuel Chew, Senior Consultant, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Changi General Hospital (CGH). A two-year study, conducted by the new Nutritional Health for the Elderly Reference Centre, a partnership between CGH and Abbott, aims to create a database on nutritional standards among the elderly and plug gaps in knowledge on an Asian population. The study will involve 1,200 residents aged 65 and above, half recruited by SingHealth’s polyclinics in Marine Parade, Tampines and Bedok, while the rest will be patients discharged from CGH.
SingHealth Duke-NUS Diabetes Centre Launches Study on Effectiveness of Diabetes Prevention Programme
SingHealth Duke-NUS Diabetes Centre, in collaboration with the Health Promotion Board and Singapore Clinical Research Institute, has commenced a new study to understand the effectiveness of the Pre-DICTED (Pre-Diabetes Interventions & Continued Tracking to Ease out Diabetes) programme in preventing progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes. “The data that we gather from the study will be critical in helping us understand the impact of such interventions on our local population. We will also be able to evaluate if this should be the new standard of care to prevent diabetes in Singapore,” Dr Bee Yong Mong, Head, SingHealth Duke-NUS Diabetes Centre.
A/Prof Gopal Iyer, Senior Consultant Surgical Oncologist and Dr Daniel Tan, Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have made a breakthrough discovery on how a silent mutation, which has been commonly disregarded in prevailing cancer studies, actually plays a key role in cancer, specifically a type of head and neck and lung cancer called squamous cell cancer. The findings are expected to help enhance treatment in these cancers using existing drugs that were not earlier recommended in the treatment regime. The developments of trials in collaboration with pharmaceuticals to extend these findings and the study to other cancer types are being explored.