Publications by authors named "James Farrugia"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The first wave of COVID-19 in Malta; a national cross-sectional study.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(10):e0239389. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta.

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed major challenges to all aspects of healthcare. Malta's population density, large proportion of elderly and high prevalence of diabetes and obesity put the country at risk of uncontrolled viral transmission and high mortality. Despite this, Malta achieved low mortality rates compared to figures overseas. The aim of this paper is to identify key factors that contributed to these favorable outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective, observational, nationwide study which evaluates outcomes of patients during the first wave of the pandemic in Malta, from the 7th of March to the 24th of April 2020. Data was collected on demographics and mode of transmission. Hospitalization rates to Malta's main general hospital, Mater Dei Hospital, length of in-hospital stay, intensive care unit admissions and 30-day mortality were also analyzed.

Results: There were 447 confirmed cases in total; 19.5% imported, 74.2% related to community transmission and 6.3% nosocomially transmitted. Ninety-three patients (20.8%) were hospitalized, of which 4 were children. Patients with moderate-severe disease received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, in line with evidence available at the time. A total of 4 deaths were recorded, resulting in an all-cause mortality of 0.89%. Importantly, all admitted patients with moderate-severe disease survived to 30-day follow up.

Conclusion: Effective public health interventions, widespread testing, remote surveillance of patients in the community and a low threshold for admission are likely to have contributed to these favorable outcomes. Hospital infection control measures were key in preventing significant nosocomial spread. These concepts can potentially be applied to stem future outbreaks of viral diseases. Patients with moderate-severe disease had excellent outcomes with no deaths reported at 30-day follow up.
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October 2020

Contrast induced spinal myoclonus after percutaneous coronary intervention.

J Cardiol Cases 2017 Sep 21;16(3):97-100. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta.

We present a case of a 77-year-old man diagnosed with contrast-induced spinal myoclonus following primary percutaneous coronary intervention. After being admitted with a diagnosis of anteroseptal myocardial infarction, he underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention to the left anterior descending artery and was prescribed aspirin, clopidogrel, and intravenous heparin. The following day he developed non-intentional irregular jerky movements confined to the truncal area. In view of rhythmic jerking confined to muscles innervated by a restricted segment of the spinal cord, resistance to supra-spinal influences and voluntary action, and no preceding electroencephalography activity in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex, a diagnosis of spinal myoclonus was made. Spinal myoclonus is a rare entity in which myoclonic movements occur in muscles originating from few (segmental), or many adjacent spinal motor roots (propriospinal). Structural lesions are found in the majority of cases but the actual pathophysiology is still unknown. Contrast-induced spinal myoclonus is an even rarer phenomenon with few published reports. We describe postulated mechanisms and the management of this phenomenon. < Myoclonus is a jerky movement due to abrupt involuntary contractions involving agonist and antagonist muscles. Spinal myoclonus is a rare disorder where myoclonic movements occur in muscles originating from spinal motor roots. The cause is usually a structural lesion, but in rare cases it can be induced by contrast. A video of this rare phenomenon is available with this article and the proposed pathophysiological mechanisms and treatment are discussed.>.
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September 2017