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  • Question 1 - A 51-year-old man is admitted with an ischaemic left leg which is unviable...


    • A 51-year-old man is admitted with an ischaemic left leg which is unviable and requires amputation. He becomes increasingly unwell while awaiting surgery, including experiencing episodes of difficulty breathing. An arterial blood gas (ABG) was taken.
      pH 7.23, pO2 12.4, PCO2 ?, HCO3− ?, lactate 10.3 mmol/l.
      What are the most likely PCO2 and HCO3−?

      Your Answer: PCO2 3.8 + HCO3− 22.3

      Correct Answer: PCO2 2.5 + HCO3− 17.5


      Interpreting ABG Results: Understanding Metabolic Acidosis

      Metabolic acidosis is a common condition that can be identified through arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis. When interpreting ABG results, two key factors should be considered: the anion gap and the degree of respiratory compensation.

      An abnormal anion gap (>12 mmol/l) suggests an exogenous source of acid, such as lactate, which can be caused by conditions like ischemia or drug overdose. The anion gap can be calculated using the formula (Na+ + K+) − (HCO3− + Cl−).

      Respiratory compensation occurs quickly in response to metabolic acidosis, with the body attempting to get rid of CO2 through hyperventilation. However, complete compensation is rare and usually only partial.

      When analyzing ABG results, it is important to note the levels of PCO2 and HCO3−. In cases of metabolic acidosis, HCO3− will be below normal limits, while PCO2 may be low due to respiratory compensation. A combination of PCO2 2.5 + HCO3− 17.5, for example, indicates profound metabolic acidosis with an exogenous source of acid (lactate) and respiratory compensation.

      It is also important to note that a normal HCO3− level does not fit with metabolic acidosis. In cases where HCO3− is above normal limits, it suggests metabolic alkalosis instead.

      Understanding ABG results is crucial for diagnosing and treating metabolic acidosis, as well as other respiratory and metabolic conditions.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Question 2 - A 28-year-old man is involved in a bicycle accident and is thrown from...


    • A 28-year-old man is involved in a bicycle accident and is thrown from his bike. He suffers an injury to his left shoulder that results in bruising. The left side of his neck and left shoulder are tender and painful. Upon examination of his left upper limb, there is a loss of external rotation and abduction at the shoulder, as well as a loss of flexion of the elbow and supination of the forearm. Cutaneous sensation testing reveals numbness on the lateral aspect of the arm, forearm, and hand. What is the most likely neurological structure that has been damaged?

      Your Answer: Upper trunk of the brachial plexus


      Understanding Upper Trunk Brachial Plexus Injuries and Differential Diagnosis

      Upper trunk brachial plexus injuries, such as Erb’s palsy, result from damage to the C5 and C6 nerve roots. This can cause a range of symptoms, including loss of motor function in muscles such as the deltoid, biceps brachii, and supinator, as well as sensory loss in areas such as the lateral aspect of the upper arm and forearm.

      It’s important to differentiate upper trunk brachial plexus injuries from other nerve injuries, such as those affecting the musculocutaneous nerve, axillary nerve, C7 nerve root, and T1 nerve root. Each of these injuries will produce a distinct pattern of symptoms, such as weakness in elbow flexion and supination for musculocutaneous nerve injuries, or loss of sensation over the middle finger for C7 nerve root injuries.

      By understanding the specific functions of each nerve root and the muscles and areas they innervate, healthcare professionals can accurately diagnose and treat upper trunk brachial plexus injuries and other nerve injuries.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Trauma
  • Question 3 - A mental state examination is conducted on a 32-year-old individual. When asked about...


    • A mental state examination is conducted on a 32-year-old individual. When asked about their breakfast, they start by describing their morning routine, then talk about their favourite recipes, followed by a story about a cooking competition they participated in, and finally mention having cereal for breakfast. Their speech is at a regular pace and flow.

      What type of thought process is demonstrated in this scenario?

      Your Answer: Derailment of thoughts

      Correct Answer: Circumstantiality


      Circumstantiality refers to the tendency to provide excessive and unnecessary detail when answering a question, ultimately reaching the intended goal but taking a circuitous route. This is different from tangentiality, where the patient wanders away from the topic without returning, derailment of thoughts, where there are illogical jumps between topics, and flight of ideas, where the patient quickly moves from one related topic to another.

      Thought disorders can manifest in various ways, including circumstantiality, tangentiality, neologisms, clang associations, word salad, Knight’s move thinking, flight of ideas, perseveration, and echolalia. Circumstantiality involves providing excessive and unnecessary detail when answering a question, but eventually returning to the original point. Tangentiality, on the other hand, refers to wandering from a topic without returning to it. Neologisms are newly formed words, often created by combining two existing words. Clang associations occur when ideas are related only by their similar sounds or rhymes. Word salad is a type of speech that is completely incoherent, with real words strung together into nonsensical sentences. Knight’s move thinking is a severe form of loosening of associations, characterized by unexpected and illogical leaps from one idea to another. Flight of ideas is a thought disorder that involves jumping from one topic to another, but with discernible links between them. Perseveration is the repetition of ideas or words despite attempts to change the topic. Finally, echolalia is the repetition of someone else’s speech, including the question that was asked.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Psychiatry
  • Question 4 - A concerned mother brings her 8-month-old baby boy who has been experiencing recurrent...


    • A concerned mother brings her 8-month-old baby boy who has been experiencing recurrent eye problems. The baby has been having persistent sticky discharge and the mother has tried various drops and cleaning methods without success. Upon examination, the baby's pupils are equal and reactive, the conjunctiva shows no signs of inflammation, the sclera is white, and the eyelids appear healthy. The baby has a normal gaze, a normal red reflex, and tracks objects in their visual field appropriately.
      Based on the probable diagnosis, what is the best advice to offer the mother?

      Your Answer: The condition requires ongoing chloramphenicol eye drops

      Correct Answer: The condition usually self-resolves by 1 year


      Understanding Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction in Infants

      Nasolacrimal duct obstruction is a common condition that affects around 10% of infants at one month of age. It is characterized by a persistent watery eye caused by an imperforate membrane, usually located at the lower end of the lacrimal duct. Fortunately, symptoms usually resolve on their own by the age of one year in 95% of cases.

      To manage this condition, parents can be taught to massage the lacrimal duct to help clear any blockages. However, if symptoms persist beyond one year, it is recommended to seek the advice of an ophthalmologist. In such cases, probing may be considered, which is a procedure done under a light general anaesthetic. By understanding the causes and management of nasolacrimal duct obstruction, parents can take the necessary steps to ensure their child’s eye health and comfort.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Ophthalmology
  • Question 5 - A 35-year-old pregnant woman comes to the clinic with a complaint of a...


    • A 35-year-old pregnant woman comes to the clinic with a complaint of a burning sensation in her legs. She reports that her legs are very sore and uncomfortable. Upon examination, there is a hard, tender, bulging of veins in both her thighs and the calf region, with hyperpigmentation and eczema of both the legs and an ulcer over the medial malleolus. What would prevent radiofrequency ablation from being performed as an initial treatment for this patient?

      Your Answer: Hyperpigmentation of lower limbs

      Correct Answer: Pregnancy


      Interventional Treatment for Varicose Veins and Associated Complications

      According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, interventional treatment for varicose veins during pregnancy is not recommended. However, compression hosiery can be used to alleviate leg swelling symptoms.

      Eczema of the lower limbs in varicose veins may indicate chronic venous insufficiency. In such cases, immediate radiofrequency ablation is necessary.

      Hard, painful veins are a sign of superficial venous thrombosis, a complication of varicose veins. Immediate intervention is required if there is evidence of this condition.

      Hyperpigmentation of the lower limbs in varicose veins also suggests chronic venous insufficiency. In such cases, radiofrequency ablation is indicated.

      An ulcer over the medial malleolus, particularly a chronic, non-healing ulcer in varicose veins, is a strong indication of chronic venous insufficiency. If eczema, non-healing leg ulcers, or hyperpigmentation are present, immediate radiofrequency ablation is necessary.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Vascular
  • Question 6 - A 65-year-old woman with a T4N0M0 primary triple-negative breast carcinoma is attending a...


    • A 65-year-old woman with a T4N0M0 primary triple-negative breast carcinoma is attending a pre-operative breast oncology clinic. The oncologist recommends neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) as a beneficial course of treatment. What should the patient be informed of when considering whether to undergo NACT?

      Your Answer: NACT can downsize the primary tumour, meaning that breast conserving surgery can be performed instead of a mastectomy


      One of the main reasons for considering neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer treatment is to shrink the size of the tumor before surgery. This can potentially allow for breast conserving surgery instead of a mastectomy, which has several benefits. Firstly, it is a less invasive surgical procedure, reducing the risks associated with surgery. Additionally, it can lead to better cosmetic outcomes for the patient.

      It is important to note that both NACT and surgery have their own set of side effects, which cannot be compared with each other. However, there is an exciting new area of breast cancer research that focuses on immunomodulation. Some trials have shown that anti-tumor immunity can be induced following cryoablation/radiotherapy and administration of immunomodulating drugs. Unfortunately, NACT does not have this effect.

      One common side effect of NACT is nausea. The effect of NACT on overall survival rates has been mixed, but its main indication remains downsizing of the primary tumor.

      Nice guideline NG101 (2018).

      Breast cancer management varies depending on the stage of the cancer, type of tumor, and patient’s medical history. Treatment options may include surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is typically the first option for most patients, except for elderly patients with metastatic disease who may benefit more from hormonal therapy. Prior to surgery, an axillary ultrasound is recommended for patients without palpable axillary lymphadenopathy, while those with clinically palpable lymphadenopathy require axillary node clearance. The type of surgery offered depends on various factors, such as tumor size, location, and type. Breast reconstruction is also an option for patients who have undergone a mastectomy.

      Radiotherapy is recommended after a wide-local excision to reduce the risk of recurrence, while mastectomy patients may receive radiotherapy for T3-T4 tumors or those with four or more positive axillary nodes. Hormonal therapy is offered if tumors are positive for hormone receptors, with tamoxifen being used in pre- and perimenopausal women and aromatase inhibitors like anastrozole in postmenopausal women. Tamoxifen may increase the risk of endometrial cancer, venous thromboembolism, and menopausal symptoms. Biological therapy, such as trastuzumab, is used for HER2-positive tumors but cannot be used in patients with a history of heart disorders. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery, depending on the stage of the tumor and the presence of axillary node disease. FEC-D is commonly used in the latter case.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Surgery
  • Question 7 - A 50-year-old man with a caecal carcinoma undergoes a laparotomy with right hemicolectomy....


    • A 50-year-old man with a caecal carcinoma undergoes a laparotomy with right hemicolectomy. Four weeks later, he presents to the Surgical Outpatient Clinic with a persistent sinus in his midline laparotomy scar.
      Which of the following conditions is most likely to be associated with poor wound healing?

      Your Answer: Adjuvant radiotherapy


      Factors Affecting Wound Healing: Adjuvant Radiotherapy, High Tension Sutures, Skin Closure Material, Medications, and Nutrient Deficiencies

      Wound healing can be influenced by various factors, including adjuvant radiotherapy, high tension sutures, skin closure material, medications, and nutrient deficiencies. Adjuvant radiotherapy is often used postoperatively to reduce the risk of recurrence, but it can also delay wound healing and cause complications such as fibrosis and stricture formation. High tension sutures can support wound healing, but if placed with too much tension, they can lead to tissue strangulation and necrosis. Skin closure material should be removed at the appropriate time to prevent wound dehiscence. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have not been shown to have a significant effect on wound healing, but steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs can impair it. Finally, nutrient deficiencies, particularly of vitamins A, C, and E and zinc, can also impact wound healing.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Surgery
  • Question 8 - A 30-year-old man presented to the Emergency Department, complaining of severe headache, neck...


    • A 30-year-old man presented to the Emergency Department, complaining of severe headache, neck stiffness and photophobia. There is no history of trauma and there has been no recent foreign travel. On examination, he has fever and a non-blanching rash on his chest. Meningococcal septicaemia is suspected and treatment is commenced. A lumbar puncture was performed.
      Select the result most consistent with a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.

      Your Answer: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure raised, protein elevated, glucose low and the predominant cells are polymorphs


      Interpreting CSF Results: Understanding Meningitis

      Meningitis is a serious condition that can be caused by bacterial, viral, or tuberculous infections. The diagnosis of meningitis is often made by analyzing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained through a lumbar puncture. The results of the CSF analysis can provide important clues about the underlying cause of the infection.

      CSF pressure raised, protein elevated, glucose low and the predominant cells are polymorphs: This result is indicative of bacterial meningitis, specifically meningococcal septicaemia. Immediate antibiotic treatment is necessary to prevent serious complications.

      CSF pressure raised, protein elevated, glucose raised and the predominant cells are lymphocytes: This result can be consistent with either viral or tuberculous meningitis. Further testing, such as PCR, may be necessary to determine the specific cause.

      CSF pressure low, protein normal, glucose raised and the predominant cells are polymorphs: This result is less indicative of infection, as the normal protein level and raised glucose level make bacterial meningitis unlikely. However, further investigation may be necessary to determine the underlying cause.

      CSF pressure normal, protein low, glucose normal and the predominant cells are polymorphs: This result suggests that infection is unlikely, as the low CSF pressure and protein level are not consistent with meningitis.

      CSF pressure normal, protein elevated, glucose raised and the predominant cells are lymphocytes: This result is consistent with viral meningitis, and further testing may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

      Understanding the results of a CSF analysis is crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of meningitis. Prompt and appropriate treatment can prevent serious complications and improve outcomes for patients.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Neurology
  • Question 9 - John is a 70-year-old man who is retired. Lately, he has been experiencing...


    • John is a 70-year-old man who is retired. Lately, he has been experiencing stiffness in his fingers while playing guitar. He also notices that his fingers ache more than usual during and after playing. John used to work as a computer programmer and does not smoke or drink alcohol. His body mass index is 30 kg/m². What radiological findings are most indicative of John's condition?

      Your Answer: Osteophytes at the distal interphalangeal joints (DIPs) and base of the thumb


      Hand osteoarthritis is characterized by the involvement of the carpometacarpal and distal interphalangeal joints, with the presence of osteophytes at the base of the thumb and distal interphalangeal joints being a typical finding. Lytic bone lesions are unlikely to be the cause of this presentation, as they are more commonly associated with metastasis or osteomyelitis. While rheumatoid arthritis can also involve the proximal interphalangeal joints and cause joint effusions, this woman’s age, history, and symptoms suggest that osteoarthritis is more likely. The pencil in cup appearance seen in psoriatic arthritis is not present in this case, as the patient does not report any skin lesions. Although most cases of osteoarthritis are asymptomatic, the patient’s symptoms suggest that some radiological changes have occurred.

      Understanding Osteoarthritis of the Hand

      Osteoarthritis of the hand, also known as nodal arthritis, is a condition that occurs when the cartilage at synovial joints is lost, leading to the degeneration of underlying bone. It is more common in women, usually presenting after the age of 55, and may have a genetic component. Risk factors include previous joint trauma, obesity, hypermobility, and certain occupations. Interestingly, osteoporosis may actually reduce the risk of developing hand OA.

      Symptoms of hand OA include episodic joint pain, stiffness that worsens after periods of inactivity, and the development of painless bony swellings known as Heberden’s and Bouchard’s nodes. These nodes are the result of osteophyte formation and are typically found at the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints, respectively. In severe cases, there may be reduced grip strength and deformity of the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb, resulting in fixed adduction.

      Diagnosis is typically made through X-ray, which may show signs of osteophyte formation and joint space narrowing before symptoms develop. While hand OA may not significantly impact a patient’s daily function, it is important to manage symptoms through pain relief and joint protection strategies. Additionally, the presence of hand OA may increase the risk of future hip and knee OA, particularly for hip OA.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Musculoskeletal
  • Question 10 - A 28 year old patient is brought in by ambulance to the emergency...


    • A 28 year old patient is brought in by ambulance to the emergency department. He is a known intravenous drug user and is currently presenting with mild respiratory depression, reduced level of consciousness, and pinpoint pupils. What would be the most appropriate medication for initial management?

      Your Answer: Naloxone


      Medication Antidotes: Understanding the Role of Naloxone, Flumazenil, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, Adrenaline, and Atropine

      Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Pinpoint pupils, reduced level of consciousness, and respiratory depression are common symptoms of opioid toxicity. Naloxone should be administered in incremental doses to avoid full reversal, which can cause withdrawal symptoms and agitation.

      Flumazenil is a specific antidote for benzodiazepine sedation. However, it would not be effective in cases of pupillary constriction.

      N-acetyl-L-cysteine is the antidote for paracetamol overdose, which can cause liver damage and acute liver failure.

      Adrenaline is used in cardiac arrest and anaphylaxis, but it has no role in the treatment of opiate toxicity.

      Atropine is a muscarinic antagonist used to treat symptomatic bradycardia. However, it can cause agitation in the hours following administration.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Acute Medicine And Intensive Care
  • Question 11 - A 75-year-old man of Brazilian descent is referred for an outpatient DEXA scan...


    • A 75-year-old man of Brazilian descent is referred for an outpatient DEXA scan by his general practitioner. He has obesity and chronic kidney disease (for which he takes ramipril). He has never smoked and rarely drinks alcohol. What risk factor predisposes him to this condition? His DEXA scan now shows a T-score of -3 and he is started on alendronic acid.

      Your Answer: Chronic kidney disease


      Chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by a T score < -2.5 on DEXA scan. CKD affects the metabolic pathways involved in vitamin D synthesis and serum phosphate levels, leading to increased parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion and osteoclast activation, which contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Ethnicity, including being Brazilian, does not affect the risk of developing osteoporosis. However, being Asian or Caucasian is associated with a higher risk, although the reasons for this are not fully understood. Smoking is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis, and non-smokers are relatively protected against it. Smoking affects bone metabolism by limiting oxygen supply to the bones, slowing down osteoblast production, and reducing calcium absorption. Contrary to popular belief, obesity is not a risk factor for osteoporosis. In fact, a low body mass index is associated with a higher risk. This is because extra weight stresses the bone, which stimulates the formation of new bone tissue. Additionally, adipose tissue is a source of estrogen synthesis, which helps prevent bone density loss. Understanding the Causes of Osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, making them weak and brittle. It is more common in women and older adults, with the prevalence increasing significantly in women over the age of 80. However, there are many other risk factors and secondary causes of osteoporosis that should be considered. Some of the most important risk factors include a history of glucocorticoid use, rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol excess, parental hip fracture, low body mass index, and smoking. Other risk factors include a sedentary lifestyle, premature menopause, certain ethnicities, and endocrine disorders such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes mellitus. There are also medications that may worsen osteoporosis, such as SSRIs, antiepileptics, and proton pump inhibitors. If a patient is diagnosed with osteoporosis or has a fragility fracture, further investigations may be necessary to identify the cause and assess the risk of subsequent fractures. Recommended investigations include blood tests, bone densitometry, and other procedures as indicated. It is important to identify the cause of osteoporosis and contributory factors in order to select the most appropriate form of treatment. As a minimum, all patients should have a full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, bone profile, CRP, and thyroid function tests.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Musculoskeletal
  • Question 12 - A 22-year-old female patient presents to you after missing a dose of her...


    • A 22-year-old female patient presents to you after missing a dose of her combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP). She is currently on day 10 of her packet and missed the pill approximately 26 hours ago. The patient confirms that she has taken all other pills on time and has not experienced any recent vomiting or diarrhoea. She also reports having had unprotected sexual intercourse 10 hours ago. The patient contacts you seeking advice on whether she requires emergency contraception. What would be the most suitable course of action for this patient?

      Your Answer: Prescribe emergency contraception

      Correct Answer: No emergency contraception required


      If a patient on the combined oral contraceptive pill missed two or more pills and has had unprotected sexual intercourse during the pill-free period or week 1 of the pill packet, emergency contraception should be considered. However, in this case, the patient has only missed one pill on day 9 and does not require emergency contraception or a pregnancy test. If the patient had missed two pills during days 1-7 of the pill packet and had unprotected sex, emergency contraception would be necessary. The choice of emergency contraception depends on various factors, including the timing of the unprotected intercourse event, other medications the patient may be taking, and her preferences. Offering to insert a copper coil to prevent pregnancy would be inappropriate in this case. However, if the patient was having trouble remembering to take her pill correctly and wished to consider a long-acting contraceptive, options such as intrauterine devices, subnormal contraceptive implants, and the contraceptive injection could be discussed. It is important to note that the contraceptive injection cannot be used as a form of emergency contraception.

      Missed Pills in Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

      When taking a combined oral contraceptive (COC) pill containing 30-35 micrograms of ethinylestradiol, it is important to know what to do if a pill is missed. The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has updated their recommendations in recent years. If one pill is missed at any time in the cycle, the woman should take the last pill even if it means taking two pills in one day and then continue taking pills daily, one each day. No additional contraceptive protection is needed in this case.

      However, if two or more pills are missed, the woman should take the last pill even if it means taking two pills in one day, leave any earlier missed pills, and then continue taking pills daily, one each day. In this case, the woman should use condoms or abstain from sex until she has taken pills for 7 days in a row. If pills are missed in week 1 (Days 1-7), emergency contraception should be considered if she had unprotected sex in the pill-free interval or in week 1. If pills are missed in week 2 (Days 8-14), after seven consecutive days of taking the COC there is no need for emergency contraception.

      If pills are missed in week 3 (Days 15-21), the woman should finish the pills in her current pack and start a new pack the next day, thus omitting the pill-free interval. Theoretically, women would be protected if they took the COC in a pattern of 7 days on, 7 days off. It is important to follow these guidelines to ensure the effectiveness of the COC in preventing pregnancy.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Gynaecology
  • Question 13 - A 57-year-old man is admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with a...


    • A 57-year-old man is admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with a severe exacerbation of COPD. Despite full intervention, being intubated and ventilated, he fails to respond to treatment and continues to steadily deteriorate. It is believed that the patient is now brain dead.
      The patient is unconscious, fails to respond to outside stimulation and it is believed that his heart rate and breathing are only being maintained by the ventilator. The patient has agreed in the past to be an organ donor, and brainstem death verification is sought. The consultant with six years’ experience is present to certify brainstem death; however, a further person is needed for the process.
      Which of the following people is most appropriate to certify brainstem death along with the consultant?

      Your Answer: The coroner

      Correct Answer: An ST4 doctor with five years full GMC registration


      Certification of Brainstem Death: Who Can Verify and Who Cannot

      Brain death is the irreversible loss of brain function, including the brainstem. To diagnose brainstem death, all three criteria of apnoea, coma, and absence of brainstem reflexes must be present. The verification of brainstem death is typically done in the ICU, where patients are mechanically ventilated.

      According to the guidelines set by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, two doctors must verify brainstem death. Both doctors must have at least five years of full medical registration and be trained and competent in performing the assessment. At least one of the two doctors must be a consultant. They must both agree that all three criteria are met and that there is no reversible cause that can be treated.

      It is important to note that any doctor who has received training in death certification can certify a death following cardiorespiratory arrest. However, only doctors who meet the above criteria can verify brainstem death.

      The coroner is not involved in death verification unless the circumstances of the death are suspicious or meet strict referral criteria.

      Nursing staff should not verify death unless they have received specific training. In certifying brainstem death, two qualified doctors, one of whom must be a consultant, and both of whom must have been fully registered with the GMC for at least five years, must perform the tests.

      Relatives and next of kin should not be involved in the verification of death. They can be informed of the death as soon as it is confirmed by medical practitioners.

      Who Can Verify Brainstem Death? A Guide to Certification.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Ethics And Legal
  • Question 14 - A 27-year-old female patient arrives at the emergency department after consuming 25 500...


    • A 27-year-old female patient arrives at the emergency department after consuming 25 500 mg paracetamol tablets 24 hours ago. She is fully conscious with a GCS score of 15, and her heart rate is 90 bpm while her blood pressure is 135/90 mmHg. The patient experiences tenderness in the right upper quadrant, but there are no indications of jaundice or scleral icterus. She has no prior medical history and expresses regret over her actions. The medical team has ordered blood tests, including liver function tests, and is awaiting the results. What is the most appropriate course of action for her treatment?

      Your Answer: Start acetylcysteine if LFTs show ALT >3 times the upper limit of normal

      Correct Answer: Start acetylcysteine now


      If a patient presents with symptoms of paracetamol overdose more than 24 hours after the incident, acetylcysteine should be administered if the patient exhibits jaundice, hepatic tenderness, or an elevated ALT level.

      Paracetamol overdose management guidelines were reviewed by the Commission on Human Medicines in 2012. The new guidelines removed the ‘high-risk’ treatment line on the normogram, meaning that all patients are treated the same regardless of their risk factors for hepatotoxicity. However, for situations outside of the normal parameters, it is recommended to consult the National Poisons Information Service/TOXBASE. Patients who present within an hour of overdose may benefit from activated charcoal to reduce drug absorption. Acetylcysteine should be given if the plasma paracetamol concentration is on or above a single treatment line joining points of 100 mg/L at 4 hours and 15 mg/L at 15 hours, regardless of risk factors of hepatotoxicity. Acetylcysteine is now infused over 1 hour to reduce adverse effects. Anaphylactoid reactions to IV acetylcysteine are generally treated by stopping the infusion, then restarting at a slower rate. The King’s College Hospital criteria for liver transplantation in paracetamol liver failure include arterial pH < 7.3, prothrombin time > 100 seconds, creatinine > 300 µmol/l, and grade III or IV encephalopathy.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Pharmacology
  • Question 15 - A 25-year-old man without prior history of skin issues comes in with severe...


    • A 25-year-old man without prior history of skin issues comes in with severe itching that worsens at night. The rash is made up of small, red, extremely itchy bumps on the limbs and torso. His girlfriend is also experiencing itching. Upon closer examination of his skin, what finding would most likely confirm the diagnosis?

      Your Answer: Burrows


      Understanding Scabies: Symptoms and Characteristics

      Scabies is a skin condition caused by the infestation of the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, variety hominis. The female mite burrows into the skin, creating characteristic lesions known as burrows. However, the absence of burrows does not rule out a diagnosis of scabies. Other symptoms include erythema, or redness and scaling of the skin, and excoriations, or skin abrasions caused by scratching. In severe cases, crusting patches may develop, particularly in crusted scabies, a highly contagious variant of the condition. Prurigo nodules, or small bumps on the skin, may also occur in scabies, especially in young children. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have scabies, as prompt treatment can prevent the spread of the condition.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Dermatology
  • Question 16 - A 67-year-old man presents to the emergency department with a 3-hour history of...


    • A 67-year-old man presents to the emergency department with a 3-hour history of right-sided loin to groin pain. He has never experienced pain like this before and regular analgesia has not relieved his symptoms. His past medical history includes hypertension for which he takes amlodipine and indapamide.

      His observations are as follows:

      Temperature 35.8ºC

      Heart rate 105 bpm

      Blood pressure 100/60 mmHg

      Respiratory rate 22 breaths/min

      Saturations 96% on air

      On examination, he is clammy to touch. His chest is clear and heart sounds are normal. There is generalised abdominal tenderness and central guarding. Bowel sounds are present.

      What is the most appropriate next step in the management of this patient?

      Your Answer: Urinalysis

      Correct Answer: Urgent vascular review


      Immediate vascular review for emergency surgical repair is necessary for patients suspected of having a ruptured AAA. This is particularly important for men aged above 50 years who may present with symptoms similar to renal colic, such as loin to groin pain. In this case, the patient is displaying signs of shock, including tachycardia and hypotension, which further support the diagnosis of a ruptured AAA. Blood cultures are not necessary at this stage as the patient’s symptoms are more likely due to haemorrhagic shock than sepsis. Similarly, urinalysis is not useful in managing a ruptured AAA. Although a CT KUB is commonly used to detect ureteric calculi and renal pathology in patients with loin to groin pain, the presence of shock in an older man with a history of hypertension suggests a ruptured AAA as the more likely diagnosis.

      Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Symptoms and Management

      A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can present in two ways: as a sudden collapse or as persistent severe central abdominal pain with developing shock. The mortality rate for a ruptured AAA is almost 80%, making it a medical emergency. Symptoms of a ruptured AAA include severe, central abdominal pain that radiates to the back and a pulsatile, expansile mass in the abdomen. Patients may also experience shock, which is characterized by hypotension and tachycardia, or they may have collapsed.

      Immediate vascular review is necessary for patients with a suspected ruptured AAA, with emergency surgical repair being the primary management option. In haemodynamically unstable patients, the diagnosis is clinical, and they are not stable enough for a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. These patients should be taken straight to theatre. For frail patients with multiple comorbidities, a ruptured AAA may represent a terminal event, and consideration should be given to a palliative approach.

      Patients who are haemodynamically stable may undergo a CT angiogram to confirm the diagnosis and assess the suitability of endovascular repair. In summary, a ruptured AAA is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention and management to improve the patient’s chances of survival.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Surgery
  • Question 17 - A 35-year-old man of African origin visits his doctor with a complaint of...


    • A 35-year-old man of African origin visits his doctor with a complaint of experiencing extremely cold and white fingers at random times of the day, especially in winter and outdoors. During the examination, the doctor observes small white deposits on his arms, a large number of spider naevi on his cheeks, and thickened skin on the top of his hands, making it difficult for him to straighten out his fingers. Currently, the color and temperature of his fingers are normal. Based on the probable diagnosis, which of the following symptoms is most likely to be present?

      Your Answer: Glomerulonephritis

      Correct Answer: Dysphagia


      The patient exhibits all the symptoms of CREST syndrome except for dysphagia caused by oesophageal dysmotility. These symptoms include calcinosis (white deposits), Raynaud’s phenomenon (cold, white fingertips triggered by cold weather), sclerodactyly (thickened skin on top of hands and inability to straighten fingers), and telangiectasia (excessive number of spider naevi). Gottron’s papules and dilated capillary loops are characteristic of dermatomyositis, while limited scleroderma does not typically involve internal organs, making glomerulonephritis unlikely. Although Sjogren’s syndrome can overlap with other connective tissue diseases, the patient’s lack of dysphagia makes this diagnosis less likely than CREST syndrome.

      Understanding Systemic Sclerosis

      Systemic sclerosis is a condition that affects the skin and other connective tissues, but its cause is unknown. It is more common in females, with three patterns of the disease. Limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis is characterised by Raynaud’s as the first sign, affecting the face and distal limbs, and associated with anti-centromere antibodies. CREST syndrome is a subtype of limited systemic sclerosis that includes Calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, oEsophageal dysmotility, Sclerodactyly, and Telangiectasia. Diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis affects the trunk and proximal limbs, associated with scl-70 antibodies, and has a poor prognosis. Respiratory involvement is the most common cause of death, with interstitial lung disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension being the primary complications. Renal disease and hypertension are also possible complications, and patients with renal disease should be started on an ACE inhibitor. Scleroderma without internal organ involvement is characterised by tightening and fibrosis of the skin, manifesting as plaques or linear. Antibodies such as ANA, RF, anti-scl-70, and anti-centromere are associated with different types of systemic sclerosis.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Musculoskeletal
  • Question 18 - A 28-year-old woman is admitted with an overdose. She is currently taking antidepressants...


    • A 28-year-old woman is admitted with an overdose. She is currently taking antidepressants prescribed by her general practitioner and painkillers for a chronic back complaint. Other past medical history of note includes hypertension. On examination, she has a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 7. Her pulse is 105 bpm and regular, and her blood pressure is 85/60 mmHg. Her pupils are sluggish and dilated.
      Investigation Result Normal value
      Haemoglobin 131 g/l 115–155 g/l
      White cell count (WCC) 8.4 × 109/l 4–11 × 109/l
      Platelets 201 × 109/l 150–400 × 109/l
      Sodium (Na+) 141 mmol/l 135–145 mmol/l
      Potassium (K+) 4.9 mmol/l 3.5–5.0 mmol/l
      Creatinine 182 μmol/l 50–120 µmol/l
      pH 7.15 7.35–7.45
      pO2 8.1 kPa 10.5–13.5 kPa
      pCO2 5.9 kPa 4.6–6.0 kPa
      Bicarbonate 14 mmol/l 24–30 mmol/l
      Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

      Your Answer: Tricyclic antidepressant overdose


      Drug Overdose: Symptoms and Treatment Options

      Tricyclic antidepressant overdose can cause mydriasis, tachycardia, and reduced conscious level, along with a history of overdose. It can also lead to significant acidosis, convulsions, hypothermia, and skin blisters. Cardiac monitoring is necessary as it can cause QT interval prolongation and arrhythmias. Airway protection, fluid resuscitation, and iv alkalization are required to restore pH and reduce the risk of arrhythmias.

      Opiate overdose causes constricted pupils and respiratory depression. Naloxone can be used to reverse the effects of opiate toxicity.

      Diazepam overdose presents with drowsiness, confusion, hypotension, and impaired motor function. It does not cause significant acidosis. Flumazenil can be used as an antidote in extreme cases of respiratory depression.

      SSRIs are safer in overdose than tricyclic antidepressants, but high overdoses can cause serotonin syndrome. Symptoms include cognitive, autonomic, and somatic features such as agitation, confusion, hyperthermia, tachycardia, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, and tremor.

      NRI overdose is associated with vomiting, confusion, and tachycardia. It is unlikely that this patient would have been prescribed an NRI for depression.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Pharmacology
  • Question 19 - A 70-year-old obese woman is admitted with episodic retrosternal chest pain not relieved...


    • A 70-year-old obese woman is admitted with episodic retrosternal chest pain not relieved by rest, for the past 3 weeks. The pain is described as squeezing in nature, and is not affected by meals or breathing. The episodic pain is of fixed pattern and is of same intensity. She has a background of diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension. Her family history is remarkable for a paternal myocardial infarction at the age of 63. She is currently haemodynamically stable.
      What is the most likely diagnosis in this patient?

      Your Answer: Acute coronary syndrome


      Differentiating Acute Coronary Syndrome from Other Cardiac Conditions

      The patient in question presents with retrosternal chest pain that is squeezing in nature and unrelated to meals or breathing. This highly suggests a cardiac origin for the pain. However, the episodic nature of the pain and its duration of onset over three weeks point towards unstable angina, a type of acute coronary syndrome.

      It is important to differentiate this condition from other cardiac conditions such as aortic dissection, which presents with sudden-onset tearing chest pain that radiates to the back. Stable angina pectoris, on the other hand, manifests with episodic cardiac chest pain that has a fixed pattern of precipitation, duration, and termination, lasting at least one month.

      Myocarditis is associated with a constant stabbing chest pain and recent flu-like symptoms or upper respiratory infection. Aortic stenosis may also cause unstable angina, but the most common cause of this condition is critical coronary artery occlusion.

      In summary, careful consideration of the pattern, duration, and characteristics of chest pain can help differentiate acute coronary syndrome from other cardiac conditions.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Cardiology
  • Question 20 - A 72-year-old woman presents to the emergency department with a painful swollen ankle....


    • A 72-year-old woman presents to the emergency department with a painful swollen ankle. She is currently on oral antibiotics for a respiratory infection. She has a past medical history of rheumatoid arthritis.

      Heart rate 90 beats per minute
      Blood pressure 150/80 mmHg
      Respiratory rate 20/minute
      Oxygen saturations 95% on room air
      Temperature 37.2C

      On examination, the left ankle is erythematosus, tender and swollen with a restricted range of motion.

      Plain radiography of the left ankle reveals erosion of the joint space.

      What is the most likely diagnosis?

      Your Answer: Septic arthritis

      Correct Answer: Pseudogout


      Gout is not the correct diagnosis in this case. While it is a possible cause of monoarthritis, the radiological findings and the affected joint suggest pseudogout as a more likely cause. Psoriatic arthritis is also an unlikely diagnosis, as this type of inflammatory arthritis typically presents in multiple joints and may be associated with a family history or psoriatic rash. Similarly, while rheumatoid arthritis can present as monoarthritis, it is more commonly seen as small joint polyarthritis with erosions and osteopenia visible on x-ray. It is important not to miss the correct diagnosis in cases of monoarthritis.

      Pseudogout, also known as acute calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition disease, is a type of microcrystal synovitis that occurs when calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals are deposited in the synovium. This condition is more common in older individuals, but those under 60 years of age may develop it if they have underlying risk factors such as haemochromatosis, hyperparathyroidism, low magnesium or phosphate levels, acromegaly, or Wilson’s disease. The knee, wrist, and shoulders are the most commonly affected joints, and joint aspiration may reveal weakly-positively birefringent rhomboid-shaped crystals. X-rays may show chondrocalcinosis, which appears as linear calcifications of the meniscus and articular cartilage in the knee. Treatment involves joint fluid aspiration to rule out septic arthritis, as well as the use of NSAIDs or steroids, as with gout.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Musculoskeletal
  • Question 21 - What is true regarding the production of pooled plasma derivatives? ...


    • What is true regarding the production of pooled plasma derivatives?

      Your Answer: These are usually manufactured from 10 donors at a time

      Correct Answer: The end product is a freeze dried product


      Preparation of Plasma Derivatives

      The preparation of plasma derivatives, such as factor VIII, involves pooling several thousand plasma donations, typically 20,000 or 5,000 kg of plasma at a time. To avoid the risk of vCJD, pooled plasma has been sourced from outside the UK since 1999. The process includes several chemical steps, including ethanol extraction, chromatography, and viral inactivation, resulting in a freeze-dried product. These products have a long shelf life of several months to years.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Haematology
  • Question 22 - A 67-year-old man presents with sepsis due to a non-healing diabetic ulcer. He...


    • A 67-year-old man presents with sepsis due to a non-healing diabetic ulcer. He underwent a below-knee amputation in theatre and is now on his second day of recovery. Despite receiving regular paracetamol (1g four times daily) and morphine 10 mg as needed (maximum 4-hourly), he is requesting morphine every 4 hours and still experiencing pain. The patient has a medical history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, asthma, and hypertension. What is the most appropriate treatment option for this individual?

      Your Answer: Add regular ibuprofen

      Correct Answer: Start patient controlled analgesia


      Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) is the most appropriate option for managing post-operative pain, as it allows the patient to self-administer opioid analgesia as needed for breakthrough pain. This method is commonly used in cases involving amputation. Other options, such as adding regular co-codamol or ibuprofen, are not suitable due to the patient’s maximum dose of paracetamol and asthma, respectively. Continuing the current analgesia is also not recommended as the patient is still experiencing pain. Switching from as-required morphine to regular doses would not make a significant difference in pain relief.

      Pain management can be achieved through various methods, including the use of analgesic drugs and local anesthetics. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a stepwise approach to pain management, starting with peripherally acting drugs such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If pain control is not achieved, weak opioid drugs such as codeine or dextropropoxyphene can be introduced, followed by strong opioids such as morphine as a final option. Local anesthetics can also be used to provide pain relief, either through infiltration of a wound or blockade of plexuses or peripheral nerves.

      For acute pain management, the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) recommends a similar approach, starting with strong analgesics in combination with local anesthetic blocks and peripherally acting drugs. The use of strong opioids may no longer be required once the oral route can be used to deliver analgesia, and peripherally acting agents and weak opioids can be used instead. The final step is when pain can be controlled by peripherally acting agents alone.

      Local anesthetics can be administered through infiltration of a wound with a long-acting agent such as Bupivacaine, providing several hours of pain relief. Blockade of plexuses or peripheral nerves can also provide selective analgesia, either for surgery or postoperative pain relief. Spinal and epidural anesthesia are other options, with spinal anesthesia providing excellent analgesia for lower body surgery and epidural anesthesia providing continuous infusion of analgesic agents. Transversus Abdominis Plane block (TAP) is a technique that uses ultrasound to identify the correct muscle plane and injects local anesthetic to block spinal nerves, providing a wide field of blockade without the need for indwelling devices.

      Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) allows patients to administer their own intravenous analgesia and titrate the dose to their own end-point of pain relief using a microprocessor-controlled pump. Opioids such as morphine and pethidine are commonly used, but caution is advised due to potential side effects and toxicity. Non-opioid analgesics such as paracetamol and NSAIDs can also be used, with NSAIDs being more useful for superficial pain and having relative contraindications for certain medical conditions.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Pharmacology
  • Question 23 - A clinical trial was conducted to compare operative treatment with bracing therapy for...


    • A clinical trial was conducted to compare operative treatment with bracing therapy for scoliosis. Thirty patients who met the criteria for surgery were assigned to group A, while 60 patients who refused surgery or had contraindications were treated with bracing alone in group B. The patients in group A were older and had a poorer performance status compared to group B. Three patients in each group were lost to follow-up for unknown reasons. What is the most probable bias in this study?

      Your Answer: Performance bias

      Correct Answer: Selection bias


      Types of Bias in Medical Studies

      Medical studies can be affected by various types of bias that can impact the accuracy of the results. One type of bias is selection bias, which occurs when the allocation of patients into different treatment groups is not randomised. This can lead to a systematic difference in the outcomes between the groups, as low-risk patients may be more likely to receive a certain treatment. Another type of bias is response bias, which can occur in questionnaire studies when there is a systematic difference between those who participate and those who do not.

      Performance bias is another type of bias that can occur when there is a systematic difference in the treatments received by the two groups other than the study treatments. Attrition bias can also occur when a significant proportion of subjects are lost to follow up, with proportions or reasons different between the treatment groups. However, in the described study, the proportion of attrition is low, so this type of bias is not very likely. Confounding factors may also bias the results, but this can be reduced during the data analysis stage using multivariate or stratified analyses. Overall, it is important to consider and address these types of bias in medical studies to ensure accurate and reliable results.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Clinical Sciences
  • Question 24 - A 65-year-old patient in the emergency department waiting room suddenly collapses due to...


    • A 65-year-old patient in the emergency department waiting room suddenly collapses due to feeling unwell. Upon transfer to the resuscitation area, the patient's heart rate is recorded at 38 bpm and blood pressure at 86/60mmHg. What is the initial step in managing this patient?

      Your Answer: Atropine 500 micrograms IV


      Patients who exhibit signs of shock and bradycardia should be administered 500 micrograms of atropine, which can be repeated up to a maximum of 3mg. In the case of this patient, who has experienced syncope and is unstable, atropine is necessary. Amiodarone is used for tachycardias, while bisoprolol is used for rate control in longstanding tachycardias. DC cardioversion is used for tachycardia, and if atropine is ineffective, transcutaneous pacing may be considered. IV saline would not be beneficial in this case, as the patient’s hypotension is caused by bradycardia rather than hypovolemia.

      Management of Bradycardia in Peri-Arrest Rhythms

      The 2021 Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines highlight that the management of bradycardia in peri-arrest rhythms depends on two factors. Firstly, identifying adverse signs that indicate haemodynamic compromise, such as shock, syncope, myocardial ischaemia, or heart failure. Secondly, identifying the potential risk of asystole, which can occur in patients with complete heart block with broad complex QRS, recent asystole, Mobitz type II AV block, or ventricular pause > 3 seconds.

      If adverse signs are present, Atropine (500mcg IV) is the first line treatment. If there is an unsatisfactory response, interventions such as atropine (up to a maximum of 3mg), transcutaneous pacing, or isoprenaline/adrenaline infusion titrated to response may be used. Specialist help should be sought for consideration of transvenous pacing if there is no response to the above measures.

      Even if there is a satisfactory response to atropine, specialist help is indicated to consider the need for transvenous pacing in patients with risk factors for asystole. By following these guidelines, healthcare professionals can effectively manage bradycardia in peri-arrest rhythms and improve patient outcomes.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Medicine
  • Question 25 - A 35-year-old woman who is 32 weeks pregnant with twins comes to you...


    • A 35-year-old woman who is 32 weeks pregnant with twins comes to you complaining of intense pruritus that has been affecting her sleep for the past 4 days. She has multiple excoriations but no visible skin rash. The pregnancy has been uneventful, and foetal movements are normal.
      Her blood tests show:
      - Bilirubin 38 µmol/L (3 - 17)
      - ALP 205 u/L (30 - 100)
      - ALT 180 u/L (3 - 40)
      An abdominal ultrasound shows no abnormalities.
      What is the most likely diagnosis, and what management plan would you recommend?

      Your Answer: Advise she will likely need a caesarian section

      Correct Answer: Plan to induce labour at 37 weeks


      This patient has intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, which is characterized by abnormal liver function tests and severe itching in the third trimester. This condition increases the risk of stillbirth and maternal complications, particularly after 37 weeks of gestation. Therefore, induction of labor is typically recommended at this point, especially for patients with elevated transaminases and bile acids. While increased fetal monitoring is advised, hospitalization is not necessary unless there are signs of immediate concern for the fetus. A vaginal birth is usually appropriate, and a cesarean section is rarely required unless there are indications of non-reassuring fetal status. Although antihistamines can provide symptomatic relief, they are not sufficient on their own due to the risks associated with this condition. Other options for symptom relief include ursodeoxycholic acid, cholestyramine, and topical emollients. There is no indication for immediate delivery, as fetal movements and ultrasound results are normal.

      Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy: Symptoms and Management

      Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, also known as obstetric cholestasis, is a condition that affects approximately 1% of pregnancies in the UK. It is characterized by intense itching, particularly on the palms, soles, and abdomen, and may also result in clinically detectable jaundice in around 20% of patients. Raised bilirubin levels are seen in over 90% of cases.

      The management of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy typically involves induction of labor at 37-38 weeks, although this practice may not be evidence-based. Ursodeoxycholic acid is also widely used, although the evidence base for its effectiveness is not clear. Additionally, vitamin K supplementation may be recommended.

      It is important to note that the recurrence rate of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy in subsequent pregnancies is high, ranging from 45-90%. Therefore, close monitoring and management are necessary for women who have experienced this condition in the past.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Obstetrics
  • Question 26 - You are working in a district general hospital and are asked to perform...


    • You are working in a district general hospital and are asked to perform a routine check on a 6-month-old infant. You're part of the paediatric team and haven't had any access to the previous medical records.
      On examination, the infant appears healthy with appropriate weight for age and has a strong cry. There are no signs of respiratory distress and no abnormal heart sounds on auscultation. However, you notice a cleft palate. What is the most likely association with this finding?

      Your Answer: Maternal anti-epileptic use in pregnancy


      The use of anti-epileptic medication by expectant mothers can lead to the development of orofacial clefts in their babies. Orofacial clefts are a common birth defect that can be caused by various factors, including smoking, benzodiazepine use, anti-epileptic medication, and rubella infection during pregnancy. Treatment for orofacial clefts requires a team of specialists, including plastic and orthodontic surgeons, paediatricians, and speech therapists. It is important to note that congenital heart disease does not increase the risk of orofacial clefts.

      Understanding Cleft Lip and Palate

      Cleft lip and palate are common congenital deformities that affect approximately 1 in every 1,000 babies. These conditions can occur as isolated developmental malformations or as a component of over 200 birth defects. The most common variants of cleft lip and palate are isolated cleft lip, isolated cleft palate, and combined cleft lip and palate.

      The pathophysiology of cleft lip and palate involves polygenic inheritance and an increased risk for babies whose mothers use antiepileptic medication. Cleft lip occurs when the fronto-nasal and maxillary processes fail to fuse, while cleft palate results from the failure of the palatine processes and nasal septum to fuse.

      Children with cleft lip and palate may experience problems with feeding and speech. Orthodontic devices can be helpful for feeding, while speech therapy can help 75% of children develop normal speech. Babies with cleft palate are at an increased risk of developing otitis media.

      Management of cleft lip and palate involves repairing the cleft lip earlier than the cleft palate. The timing of repair varies, with some practices repairing the cleft lip in the first week of life and others waiting up to three months. Cleft palates are typically repaired between 6-12 months of age.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Paediatrics
  • Question 27 - A 30-year-old woman 25 weeks into her first pregnancy comes in with vaginal...


    • A 30-year-old woman 25 weeks into her first pregnancy comes in with vaginal bleeding. What distinguishing characteristic would suggest a diagnosis of placenta praevia instead of placenta abruption?

      Your Answer: Normal lie and presentation

      Correct Answer: No pain


      Differentiating Placental Abruption from Placenta Praevia in Antepartum Haemorrhage

      Antepartum haemorrhage refers to bleeding from the genital tract after 24 weeks of pregnancy but before delivery of the fetus. It is important to determine the cause of the bleeding to provide appropriate management. Two common causes of antepartum haemorrhage are placental abruption and placenta praevia.

      Placental abruption is characterized by shock that is not proportional to the visible loss, constant pain, a tender and tense uterus, a normal lie and presentation, and an absent or distressed fetal heart. Coagulation problems may also be present, and healthcare providers should be cautious of pre-eclampsia, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and anuria.

      On the other hand, placenta praevia is characterized by shock that is proportional to the visible loss, no pain, a uterus that is not tender, an abnormal lie and presentation, and a usually normal fetal heart. Coagulation problems are rare, and small bleeds may occur before a large one. It is important to note that vaginal examination should not be performed in primary care for suspected antepartum haemorrhage, as women with placenta praevia may experience bleeding.

      In summary, distinguishing between placental abruption and placenta praevia is crucial in managing antepartum haemorrhage. Healthcare providers should carefully assess the patient’s symptoms and perform appropriate diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the bleeding.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Obstetrics
  • Question 28 - A 32-year-old man has been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis after presenting with a...


    • A 32-year-old man has been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis after presenting with a six-month history of back pain. Upon examination, there is limited lateral flexion of the spine but no other complications are evident. What is the most probable first-line treatment that he will be offered?

      Your Answer: Exercise regime + paracetamol

      Correct Answer: Exercise regime + NSAIDs


      Investigating and Managing Ankylosing Spondylitis

      Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of spondyloarthropathy that is associated with HLA-B27. It is more commonly seen in males aged 20-30 years old. Inflammatory markers such as ESR and CRP are usually elevated, but normal levels do not necessarily rule out ankylosing spondylitis. HLA-B27 is not a reliable diagnostic tool as it can also be positive in normal individuals. The most effective way to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis is through a plain x-ray of the sacroiliac joints. However, if the x-ray is negative but suspicion for AS remains high, an MRI can be obtained to confirm the diagnosis.

      Management of ankylosing spondylitis involves regular exercise, such as swimming, and the use of NSAIDs as the first-line treatment. Physiotherapy can also be helpful. Disease-modifying drugs used for rheumatoid arthritis, such as sulphasalazine, are only useful if there is peripheral joint involvement. Anti-TNF therapy, such as etanercept and adalimumab, should be given to patients with persistently high disease activity despite conventional treatments, according to the 2010 EULAR guidelines. Ongoing research is being conducted to determine whether anti-TNF therapies should be used earlier in the course of the disease. Spirometry may show a restrictive defect due to a combination of pulmonary fibrosis, kyphosis, and ankylosis of the costovertebral joints.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Musculoskeletal
  • Question 29 - A 28-year-old pregnant woman with type 1 diabetes inquires about the frequency of...


    • A 28-year-old pregnant woman with type 1 diabetes inquires about the frequency of blood glucose level testing during her pregnancy.

      Your Answer: Daily fasting, pre-meal, 1-hour post-meal and bedtime tests.


      It is important for pregnant individuals with type 1 diabetes to closely monitor their blood glucose levels by testing multiple times throughout the day. This is recommended by NICE NG3.

      Gestational diabetes is a common medical disorder affecting around 4% of pregnancies. Risk factors include a high BMI, previous gestational diabetes, and family history of diabetes. Screening is done through an oral glucose tolerance test, and diagnostic thresholds have recently been updated. Management includes self-monitoring of blood glucose, diet and exercise advice, and medication if necessary. For pre-existing diabetes, weight loss and insulin are recommended, and tight glycemic control is important. Targets for self-monitoring include fasting glucose of 5.3 mmol/l and 1-2 hour post-meal glucose levels.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Obstetrics
  • Question 30 - The midwife has requested that you conduct a newborn examination on a 2-day-old...


    • The midwife has requested that you conduct a newborn examination on a 2-day-old baby boy. He was delivered vaginally at 39 weeks gestation, weighing 3300 grams, and was in good condition. The antenatal scans were normal, and it was a low-risk pregnancy without family history of congenital disorders. During your examination, you observe a ventral urethral meatus while examining the external genitalia. What condition is commonly associated with this finding?

      Your Answer: Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome

      Correct Answer: Cryptorchidism


      What conditions are commonly associated with hypospadias in patients?

      Hypospadias is often an isolated abnormality in children, but it is important to consider the possibility of other malformations. Cryptorchidism (undescended testes) and inguinal hernias are conditions commonly associated with hypospadias. It is crucial to examine the groin and scrotum in children with hypospadias and ensure they have passed urine in the first 24 hours of life. Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, renal agenesis, and Turner’s syndrome are not typically associated with hypospadias.

      Understanding Hypospadias: A Congenital Abnormality of the Penis

      Hypospadias is a condition that affects approximately 3 out of 1,000 male infants. It is a congenital abnormality of the penis that is usually identified during the newborn baby check. However, if missed, parents may notice an abnormal urine stream. This condition is characterized by a ventral urethral meatus, a hooded prepuce, and chordee in more severe forms. The urethral meatus may open more proximally in the more severe variants, but 75% of the openings are distally located. There appears to be a significant genetic element, with further male children having a risk of around 5-15%.

      Hypospadias most commonly occurs as an isolated disorder, but it can also be associated with other conditions such as cryptorchidism (present in 10%) and inguinal hernia. Once hypospadias has been identified, infants should be referred to specialist services. Corrective surgery is typically performed when the child is around 12 months of age. It is essential that the child is not circumcised prior to the surgery as the foreskin may be used in the corrective procedure. In boys with very distal disease, no treatment may be needed. Understanding hypospadias is important for parents and healthcare providers to ensure proper management and treatment of this condition.

    • This question is part of the following fields:

      • Paediatrics


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