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Open access

Ivica Prlić, Marija Mihić, Gordana Marović and Tomislav Meštrović

Total Occupational Exposure During Characterisation, Conditioning, and Securing of Radioactive Sealed Sources: A New Dosimetric Concept Using Active Electronic Dosimeters

Radiation dosimetry in protection against ionising radiation involves research of all possible pathways through which natural or man-made radioactive materials can contaminate a habitat and actually harm its biota. It also takes into account natural and artificial (man-made) electromagnetic ionizing radiation (γ and x radiation). This article presents a dosimetric study assessing exposure to man-made ionising radiation of local environment and total occupational exposure of two professional workers involved in characterisation, conditioning, and securing of unused radioactive sealed sources. The purpose of the study was to validate a new active electronic dosimeter (AED) of type ALARA OD and to develop a new monitoring method by tracing the external occupational exposure over real time. This method is used to continuously measure and record external radiation doses and, which is a novelty, establish dose rates receiving pattern as a function of real time. Occupational whole body dosimetric results obtained with AED were compared with results obtained with passive dosimetry (film badge and thermoluminiscence). Air, dust, and silicon sand samples were analysed by gamma-spectrometry to estimate internal exposure of the two workers to 222Rn due to inhalation or ingestion of dust and sand in indoor air. In order to establish total occupational exposure, control radon measurement was performed in the immediate environment and the external Hazard index (Hex) was calculated.

Open access

Julije Meštrović, Tomislav Filipović, Branka Polić, Luka Stričević, Ante Omazić, Radenka Kuzmanić-Šamija and Joško Markić

Life-threatening Valproate Overdose Successfully Treated with Haemodialysis

Valproate (VPA) poisoning is an increasing clinical problem. The most common finding in VPA overdose is the depression of the central nervous system, which may progress to coma and death. This type of poisoning is difficult to treat, as no antidote exists. This report describes a case with a 16-year-old girl who poisoned herself with valproate. Initial treatment included naloxone, but she did not respond. She became comatose, with serum VPA concentration of 1320 μg mL-1. Three sessions of haemodialysis were performed, effectively eliminating VPA and decreasing the serum concentration. The patient regained consciousness and fully recovered.

To our knowledge, this is the highest serum VPA concentration reported by now in children aged 16 or less. Haemodialysis has proved to be the treatment of choice for life-threatening acute VPA overdose in children.

Open access

Marijana Neuberg, Danica Železnik, Tomislav Meštrović, Rosana Ribić and Goran Kozina


As this issue has not yet been addressed in Croatia, our aim was to explore the presence of the burnout syndrome in nurses and see how it is related to their perception of elder mistreatment in nursing homes and extended care units. The burnout syndrome was assessed in 171 nursing professionals with a standardised Maslach Burnout Inventory for Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) for three dimensions: emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalisation (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA). High EE was reported by 43.9 %, high DP by 22.2 %, and low PA by 39.8 % of the respondents. Their perception of elder abuse and neglect was investigated with two self-completion questionnaires. The answers suggest that elder mistreatment in Croatian nursing homes and extended care units is more common than expected: 55 % witnessed shouting at a resident in anger, 43 % insulting and swearing at a resident, 42 % force-feeding the resident, 39 % ignoring a resident when they called, and 38 % neglecting to turn or move a resident to prevent pressure sores. We also established associations between a number of questionnaire items on perceived abuse and neglect and the burnout syndrome dimensions and determined the items that predicted the type and level of burnout in our respondents. One way to avoid the pitfalls that lead to abuse and neglect is education in schools and at work. We believe our research could contribute to this end.

Open access

Rosana Ribić, Tomislav Meštrović, Marijana Neuberg and Goran Kozina


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are among the most common infectious diseases in humans. Due to their frequent occurrence in the community and nosocomial settings, as well as the development of resistance to the commonly prescribed antimicrobial agents, an enormous financial burden is placed on healthcare systems around the world. Therefore, novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of UTIs are needed. Although UPEC may harbour a plethora of virulence factors, type I fimbriae and P pili are two of the most studied adhesive organelles, since the attachment to host cells in the urinary tract is a crucial step towards infection. Design of receptor analogues that competitively bind to UPEC surface adhesins placed at the top of pili organelles led to the development of anti-adhesive drugs that are increasingly recognized as important and promising alternatives to antibiotic treatment of UTIs.