• Randomised controlled trial of effects of early discharge after surgery for breast cancer.

      Bundred, Nigel J; Maguire, Peter; Reynolds, Jill; Grimshaw, Jill; Morris, Julie; Thomson, Lesley; Barr, Lester; Baildam, Andrew D; Department of Surgery, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester M20 4BX. bundredn@fs1.with.man.ac.uk (1998-11-07)
      OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of early discharge from hospital after surgery for breast cancer on physical and psychological illness. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial comparing discharge two days after surgery (before removal of drain) with standard management (discharge after removal of drain). SETTING: Regional breast unit. SUBJECTS: 100 women with early breast cancer undergoing mastectomy and axillary node clearance (20) or breast conservation surgery (80). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Physical illness (infection, seroma formation, shoulder movement) and psychological illness (checklist of concerns, Rotterdam symptom questionnaire, hospital anxiety and depression scale) preoperatively and at one month and three months postoperatively. RESULTS: Women discharged early had greater shoulder movement (odds ratio 0.28 (95% confidence interval 0.08 to 0.95); P = 0.042) and less wound pain (odds ratio 0.28 (0.10 to 0.79); P = 0.016) three months after surgery compared with women given standard management. One month after surgery scores were significantly lower on the Rotterdam symptom questionnaire in patients who were discharged early (ratio of geometric mean scores 0.73 (0.55 to 0.98) P = 0.035), but rates of psychological illness generally did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Increased rates of physical or psychological illness did not result from early discharge after surgery for breast cancer. This policy can be recommended for patients with support at home.
    • Sources of error in bioimpedance spectroscopy.

      Bolton, M P; Ward, L C; Khan, A; Campbell, I; Nightingale, P; Dewit, O; Elia, M; Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. bolton@fs1.with.man.ac.uk (1998-05)
      Two different makes of bioimpedance spectrometer (UniQuest-SEAC SFB-3 and Xitron 4000B) were used for a series of measurements on volunteers and patients in intensive care. Although each machine was accurate over the frequency range 5 to 500 kHz when bench tested on model resistor-capacitor circuits, significant differences in their recorded impedance parameters appeared when used in vivo, especially on intensive care patients. A series of laboratory tests was performed on each machine simulating the situation in vivo to identify possible reasons for these differences. Whilst stray capacitance in the environment was identified as the major contributor to variability in high-frequency performance, interaction between electrode impedance and lead positioning was also a factor. The observed phase shift with frequency or time delay (Td) used in the Xitron modeling software appears to be the result of a time constant caused by stray capacitance and so is unlikely to have any biological meaning. Significant differences in the in vivo numerical values produced by bioimpedance spectrometers may be attributed to instrument design, data processing and, in particular, the clinical environment.