Things I’ve Learnt This Week 2.0

Another week has gone by, and I’ve learnt a whole bundle of new bits and pieces. Again, due to bed pressures etc there’s a bit less gynae than I’d like, but learning is learning. Last weeks learning is here.


Something that might come up in a patient’s medical plan and is typically handed over as its abbreviation, but this stands for Computed Tomography of Thorax, Abdomen and Pelvis. This type of clinical imaging allows for detailed pictures to be taken of the inside of the body.

Radiation enteritis/ colitis

Damage to the intestines caused by radiation therapy, normally occurs following the treatment of prostate or cervical cancer. This can be a short-lived disorder, disappearing several weeks following the end of treatment or can become a chronic problem.

Neutropenic sepsis

Neutropenia is where there are abnormally low levels of neutrophils and is most commonly caused by chemotherapy treatment. If a patient then gets an overwhelming infection on top of this, you get neutropenic sepsis.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (or lupus) is autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks health tissues. Unlike other autoimmune diseases which result in one particular tissue or set of cells being targeted, like pancreatic beta cells in T1DM or the synovial membrane in rheumatoid arthritis, in SLE the immune system creates antibodies against a whole range of tissues, joints and organs.

Past medical history

So past medical history is an important little part of a patient handover, and for some patients this can be incredibly extensive. If it’s not possible to include everything, make sure you highlight the really important bits – diabetes, COPD, AF, AKI’s etc.

Paracolic gutter stripping

Paracolic gutters are spaces between the colon and abdominal wall, and these can be removed (or stripped).


Transthoracic echocardiogram. I’ve written about these before, but had a brain fart last week and confused TTE and TOE.


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