To understanding the experience made by a caregiver for an elderly subject requiring care in order to better appreciate the function of the general practitioner in this field

Lionel Roux, Delphine Nury, Ségolène de Rouffignac Published in the journal : May 2021 Category : Médecine Générale

Informal caregivers of dependent elderly persons are currently increasing in number in Belgium. Because of the physical or mental burden induced by their role, they are vulnerable. Nine informal caregivers with varied profiles were questioned using semi-structured individual interviews, which were aimed to better understand their experiences and clarify the place that the general practitioner could assume in this environment. Analysis of the testimonies clearly reveals a physical and psychological interdependence between both the caregiver and elderly person, which may at the origin of numerous disagreements within the dyad, along with the lack of a centralized referral system of professional helpers. The general practitioner, who is in the first-line of care, could play a key role in the early identification of the caregiver’s suffering, provided he relies on a proactive approach. The general practitioner could also centralize the available help, while always informing both the caregiver and elderly person.

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Maintaining the cold chain in general medicine

Aurore Girard Published in the journal : October 2020 Category : Médecine Générale

Keeping vaccines requires maintaining the cold chain, which commonly exhibits weaknesses, even in more developed countries. However, the exposure of most vaccines to high temperatures results in some degree of degradation. Moreover, the freezing itself can cause an immediate vaccine degradation. In this context, the conservation of vaccines in the refrigerator at a constant temperature between 2 and 8 °C is a required framework for the general practitioner, which is designed to preserve the vaccines’ properties. The main characteristics of suitable refrigerators must combine the maintenance of temperature (between 2 and 8 °C), an equal temperature distribution, the availability of an evaporator that prevents freezing, a very rapid temperature recovery device, as well as forced air circulation. Domestic refrigerators may suffice for storing small volumes of vaccines. They must display the minimum characteristics required for good storage conditions and undergo the adaptations necessary to their proper use. Additionally, regular temperature monitoring and reporting must be performed using an outdoor thermometer with a probe. These easily manageable elements enable vaccines to be stored in good conditions, with the eventual outcome of optimizing vaccine coverage of the population.

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COVID-19 in primary care medicine

Cassian Minguet Published in the journal : May 2020 Category : Médecine Générale

The COVID-19 pandemic has had and still has a remarkable impact on general medicine in Belgium. From the day the first Belgian case was diagnosed on February 4, 2020 until the beginning of de-containment- three full months have passed during which general medicine needed to re- structure itself more effectively to be able to speak up with one voice, adapted itself by switching to telemedicine during the population’s confinement period, and constantly developed updated management procedures. In the first month, general practitioners (GPs) did not expect a pandemic of this magnitude to occur. In the second month, things accelerated and GPs’ offices closed their doors, with GPs applying themselves the procedures they helped convey to their patients over the phone. By the third month, while suspicious cases sharply dropped, procedures needed to be strengthened. The situation is more difficult in nursing homes. Within 3 months, relations with patients, colleagues, paramedics, and institutions were, there, entirely altered. In other countries as well, there has been a profound change that is likely to profoundly impact medical practices in the long term. On the eve of a new phase consisting of progressive de-containment, general medicine is now properly prepared to assume its role of an essential player in the fight against coronavirus in the wider community.

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Health validated information seeking: The CEBAM (Belgian Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) Digital Library of Health (CDLH)

Thérèse Leroy (1), Michel De Jonghe (1) Published in the journal : November 2019 Category : Médecine Générale

Physicians encounter a wide range of patients and clinical conditions upon their clinical practice. This generates numerous clinical questions for which it may prove difficult to find quickly a reliable answer. A search in the well-known online engine "Dr. Google" is, therefore, often tempting and can at times provide interesting answers. However, are these answers reliable, validated, and of quality? It is not always easy to sort out, and then evaluate the quality of such information. The Belgian Evidence-based Medicine Center (CEBAM) provides access to all Belgian healthcare professionals by means of a virtual library whose slogan is "medical information for clinical practice, with one click". It offers you access to point-of-care tools, such as Dynamedplus, Belgian clinical practice guides, and a host of other resources, as outlined in this article.

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