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Reconstructive surgery for treating pressure ulcers

We aimed to review the evidence as to whether reconstructive surgery is an effective treatment for healing pressure ulcers. We were unable to find any randomised controlled trials investigating this question.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Topiramate versus carbamazepine as single drug treatment for epilepsy

Epilepsy is a common disorder of the nervous system in which abnormal electrical discharges from the brain cause recurrent seizures (physical convulsions or thought disturbances or a combination of these symptoms). We studied two types of epileptic seizures in this review: generalised‐onset seizures in which electrical discharges begin in one part of the brain and move throughout the brain, and partial‐onset seizures (also known as focal‐onset seizures) in which the seizure is generated in and affects the same part of the brain. Partial‐onset seizures may become generalised (secondary generalisation) and move from one part of the brain to throughout the brain. Up to 70% of individuals with active epilepsy have the potential to go into long‐term remission shortly after starting drug therapy and around 70% of these individuals can achieve seizure freedom using a single antiepileptic drug.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Fibrin glue versus sutures for conjunctival autografting in primary pterygium surgery

The aim of this Cochrane Review was to find out if it is better to use fibrin glue or sutures (stitches) when operating on a pterygium (unwanted growth of tissue on the front of the eye). The operation involves replacing the pterygium with a piece of tissue from another part of the eye (autograft). Cochrane researchers collected and analysed all relevant studies to answer this question and found 14 studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Can physical exercise improve blood flow through the veins?

Veins are a type of blood vessel that carry blood from the body back to the heart (termed venous blood return). The process is aided by contractions of a series of muscle pumps within the legs. Problems with the veins or muscle pumps in the legs in some people can impair this process, resulting in a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI may cause pain, oedema (the retention of fluid leading to swelling) and leg ulcers, and can impair a person's quality of life. Research suggests that treatments, such as physical exercise, that aim to increase the movement of the ankle joint and strengthen the muscle pump in the calf of the leg may be useful to prevent worsening of the disease and its consequences. We have looked at the evidence supporting physical exercise as a treatment for CVI.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Palliative care for people with advanced dementia

In this research, we wanted to see if palliative care helps people with advanced dementia or helps their family or carers. We also wanted to describe how researchers tried to measure the effect of palliative care.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Fever in children: What are febrile seizures?

Febrile seizures may occur in children if their temperature rises quickly and by a lot, or if they have a very high temperature. During a febrile seizure, sometimes also called a febrile convulsion, muscles in their body contract. These seizures are particularly common in toddlers: About 2 to 5 out of every 100 children will have had at least one febrile seizure before the age of five.Although febrile seizures can be alarming, they are usually harmless. Children usually recover fully within about an hour of the seizure. But it is still a good idea to see a doctor and have the child examined afterwards.When children have a febrile seizure, they become unconscious and the muscles in their body contract. Their arms and legs may twitch or their body may become unnaturally stiff and rigid. Their eyes often roll back, or they may have dilated pupils or a fixed gaze. Sometimes their lips or face turn blue. Their arms and legs might relax quite suddenly again.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 17, 2016

Tonsillitis: Overview

Symptoms of acute tonsillitis include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever and fatigue. More frequent tonsil infections can be a real problem, and may also lead to complications in rare cases.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: December 1, 2016

Sofosbuvir / velpatasvir (Epclusa) for chronic hepatitis C (genotype 2) with or without compensated cirrhosis

In 2016, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) wanted to find out whether the fixed-dose combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir has any advantages or disadvantages compared with standard treatments for chronic hepatitis C.The manufacturer provided one study looking into the advantages or disadvantages of this new fixed-dose combination in people with genotype 2, with or without compensated cirrhosis, compared with the standard treatment sofosbuvir and ribavirin.The study involved about 260 people who received treatment for 12 weeks. One half of them were given the fixed-dose combination sofosbuvir / velpatasvir, while the other half had the standard treatment sofosbuvir / ribavirin.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 3, 2016

Sofosbuvir / velpatasvir (Epclusa) for chronic hepatitis C: Overview

The fixed combination of sofosbuvir / velpatasvir (trade name: Epclusa) has been approved in Germany since July 2016 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in adults.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 3, 2016

Trifluridine / tipiracil (Lonsurf) for metastatic colorectal cancer: Overview

The fixed combination of trifluridine / tipiracil (trade name: Lonsurf) has been approved in Germany since April 2016 for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 30, 2016

Sofosbuvir / velpatasvir (Epclusa) for chronic hepatitis C (genotype 3) with or without compensated cirrhosis

In 2016, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) wanted to find out whether the fixed-dose combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir has any advantages or disadvantages compared with standard treatments for chronic hepatitis C.The manufacturer provided one study looking into the advantages or disadvantages of this new fixed-dose combination in people with genotype 3, with or without compensated cirrhosis, compared with the standard treatment sofosbuvir and ribavirin.The study involved about 550 people who received treatment for 12 weeks.  One half of them were given the fixed-dose combination sofosbuvir / velpatasvir, while the other half had the standard treatment sofosbuvir / ribavirin.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 3, 2016

Tonsillitis: Tonsil surgery in children

Most children only have tonsillitis every now and then. Although it is unpleasant, it usually gets better after a few days. But if tonsillitis keeps coming back over several years, the option of surgically removing the tonsils is often considered.Acute bacterial infections of the tonsils cause symptoms such as a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever and tiredness. Breathing problems and snoring can disrupt sleep. But sore throats might also be caused by a viral throat infection. Even doctors often find it difficult to distinguish between these two types of infections. Tonsillitis that keeps coming back within short spaces of time can be very distressful.Children and teenagers are much more susceptible to tonsillitis than adults are. Some children get tonsillitis four to eight times a year, with each episode lasting one to two weeks. They keep having to miss school as a result – and their parents often have to stay at home to take care of them.Location of the tonsilsSometimes tonsils become permanently inflamed, causing things like breathing problems. Painkillers and antibiotics might not be effective enough, or people might not want to use too much medication. Complications such as the collection of pus beside a tonsil (known as quinsy or a peritonsillar abscess) are a further reason why surgery might be considered.When considering surgery, it is worth weighing the pros and cons: On the one hand there is the hope that having tonsils out will reduce the number of infections, or even stop them altogether. On the other hand the surgery is associated with risks, and you cannot be sure that it will actually help.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: December 1, 2016

Tonsillitis: Do antibiotics make sore throats go away quicker?

Antibiotics can shorten the length of throat infections by between half a day and one day on average. But they can have side effects, and using antibiotics too much increases the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to them.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: December 1, 2016

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for advanced lung cancer: Overview

The drug pembrolizumab (trade name: Keytruda) has been approved in Germany since July 2016 for the treatment of locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 30, 2016

Stem cell transplantation for treating cancer

Stem cell transplantation is used in treating the various forms of blood cancer, for instance leukemia. It is a very strong, high-dose form of chemotherapy that destroys the stem cells in our bone marrow. The body is then immediately provided with healthy stem cells via the blood, which settle in the bone marrow and produce fresh blood cells.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 12, 2013

How do lungs work?

Our lungs are among our largest vital organs. The oxygen you breathe in goes into your lungs and passes into your blood from there. It is then transported to all the cells in your body through your bloodstream.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 3, 2016

Can oral Astragalus (Huang qi) prevent frequent acute respiratory tract infections in children?

We assessed evidence for the benefits and harms of oral Astragalus used alone to prevent frequent episodes of acute respiratory infections (ARTIs) in children aged up to 14 years, compared to a dummy treatment. ARTIs include colds, sore throats, laryngitis, influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Oral antivirals for preventing recurrent herpes simplex keratitis in people with corneal grafts

Cochrane researchers aimed to find out if treatment with an antiviral medication at the time of the corneal graft, for example acyclovir, lowers the chance of herpes simplex virus (HSV) returning and causing inflammation (keratitis). They were also interested in whether this lowered the chance of the graft failing. They collected and analysed all relevant studies to answer this question and found three studies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Comparing Talk Therapy and Other Depression Treatments With Antidepressant Medicines: A Review of the Research for Adults

What is depression? What have researchers found about how antidepressants compare with talk therapy (also called counseling) and other depression treatments (exercise programs, acupuncture, and dietary supplements)? What should I ask my health care professional about treating my depression?

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: September 13, 2016

Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Summary of the Research for Adults

This summary will answer these questions: What is low back pain? How is low back pain treated? » Medicines » Nonmedicine treatments such as heat, exercise, and massage What have researchers found about treatments for low back pain? What are possible side effects of medicines to treat low back pain? What should I discuss with my health care professional about treating my low back pain?

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: November 15, 2016

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