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In March 2018, the US Department of Defense (DOD) added the smallpox vaccination, using ACAM2000, to its routine immunizations, increasing the number of persons receiving the vaccine. The following month, Fort Hood reported a cluster of 5 myopericarditis cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the DOD launched an investigation.
The investigation consisted of a review of medical records, establishment of case definitions, causality assessment, patient interviews, and active surveillance. A 2-sided exact rate ratio test was used to compare myopericarditis incidence rates.
This investigation identified 4 cases of probable myopericarditis and 1 case of suspected myopericarditis. No alternative etiology was identified as a cause. No additional cases were identified. There was no statistically significant difference in incidence rates between the observed cluster (5.23 per 1000 vaccinated individuals, 95% CI: 1.7–12.2) and the ACAM2000 clinical trial outcomes for symptomatic persons, which was 2.29 per 1000 vaccinated individuals (95% CI: 0.3–8.3).
Vaccination with ACAM2000 is the presumptive cause of this cluster. Caution should be exercised before considering vaccination campaigns for smallpox given the clinical morbidity and costs incurred by a case of myopericarditis. Risk of myopericarditis should be carefully weighed with risk of exposure to smallpox.
Children with asthma face serious mental health risk, but the pathways remain unclear. This study aimed to examine bullying victimisation and perpetration in children with asthma and a comparison sample without a chronic health condition, and the role of bullying in moderating psychosocial adjustment outcomes for those with asthma. A sample of children with (n = 24) and without asthma (n = 39), and their parents, were recruited from hospital clinics. Parents rated children’s psychosocial adjustment; children provided self-report of bullying victimisation and perpetration; from which co-occurring bully/victim status was derived. No differences in mean perpetration or victimisation were found, but children with asthma were more likely to be bully/victims (involved both as target and perpetrator), compared to those without asthma. Children with asthma who were victims of bullying had greater peer problems and overall adjustment problems; bully/victims did not show this pattern. Children with asthma may be more likely to be bully/victims, and those who are victims of bullying may be at elevated risk for psychosocial adjustment problems and require particular support in this area from school counsellors and psychologists.
Community pharmacies were underutilized as vaccination locations during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Since that time, community pharmacies are a common location for seasonal influenza vaccinations with approximately one-third of adults now getting vaccinated at a pharmacy. Leveraging community pharmacies to vaccinate during a pandemic such as pandemic influenza or the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will result in a more timely and comprehensive public health response. The purpose of this article is to summarize the results of a strategic planning meeting held in 2017 that focused on operationalizing pandemic influenza vaccinations at a regional supermarket chain pharmacy. Participating in the planning session from the supermarket chain were organizational experts in pharmacy clinical programs, managed care, operations leadership, supply chain, information technology, loss prevention, marketing, and compliance. Additionally, experts from the county and state departments of health and university faculty collaborated in the planning session. Topics addressed included (1) establishing a memorandum of understanding with the state, (2) developing an internal emergency response plan, (3) scaling the pandemic response, (4) considerations for pharmacy locations, (5) staffing for pandemic response, (6) pandemic vaccine-specific training, (7) pharmacy workflow, (8) billing considerations, (9) documentation, (10) supplies and equipment, (11) vaccine supply chain, (12) communications, and (13) security and crowd control. Information from this planning session may be valuable to community pharmacies across the nation that seek to participate in COVID-19 pandemic vaccinations.
Toddler milk (i.e. a nutrient-fortified milk-based drink marketed for children 12–36 months old) is increasingly being marketed in the USA despite not being recommended for young children. There is evidence of targeted toddler milk marketing to Latinos in the USA. This study aimed to explore toddler milk perceptions and behaviours among Latino and non-Latino parents.
An online survey assessed toddler milk perceptions, behaviours and interpretations of nutrition-related claims. Multivariable logistic and linear regression explored socio-demographic correlates of parent reported past purchases and perceived healthfulness.
National convenience sample of 1078 US parents of children aged 2–12 years (48 % Latino).
About half of parents (51 %) had previously purchased toddler milk and few (11 %) perceived toddler milk as unhealthy. Latino parents were more likely to have purchased toddler milk than non-Latino parents (P < 0·001), but there were no differences in perceived product healthfulness (P = 0·47). Compared to parents born in the USA, parents living in the USA 10 years or less were more likely to have purchased toddler milk (P < 0·001) and perceive toddler milk as healthier (P = 0·002). Open-ended interpretations of claims were primarily positive, suggesting ‘health halo’ effects.
Common misperceptions about toddler milk healthfulness suggest stronger labelling regulations are needed. Greater reported purchases by Latino parents and recent immigrants warrant further investigation.
Selective cascade reporting of antibiotic susceptibilities did not have a significant impact on de-escalation from piperacillin-tazobactam (PT), duration of PT use, length of stay, or rates of acute kidney injury and Clostridioides difficile infection in patients with positive monomicrobial blood cultures with either Escherichia coli or Klebsiella spp.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the primary source for health technology assessment (HTA) however these are limited by strict patient inclusion criteria, leading to concerns about whether treatment benefit estimates are accurate for all patients (generalizability). Real-World Data (RWD) have been proposed as a solution however as these are observational data there is additional potential for bias when estimating treatment effectiveness. To maximize the utility of RWD it is useful to consider the whole process of evidence generation and robustly address issues of feasibility and validity.
A series of complementary studies investigated whether population-based routinely collected health data from Scotland are suitable for estimating the effectiveness of chemotherapy for early breast cancer. Firstly, a prognostic score was validated in this population. Secondly, a comparison of RWD and randomized trial effectiveness estimates was made to investigate feasibility and validity of several methods – Propensity Score Matching (PSM), Instrumental variables (IV) and Regression Discontinuity. Finally, effectiveness estimates in trial underrepresented groups were produced.
PSM and IV were feasible and produced results in relatively close agreement with randomized data. Effectiveness estimates in trial underrepresented groups (women over 70 years and women with high comorbidity) were consistent with an approximate one-third reduction in the risk of death from breast cancer. This is equivalent to approximately a 3–4 percentage point difference in all cause mortality over 10 years in these groups.
RWD are a feasible for generating estimates of effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer. The process of using RWD for this purpose should include careful assessment of data quality and comparison of alternative strategies for causal identification in the context of available randomized data.
Marine litter and waste has become one of the major environmental issues of the early twenty-first century. Around 6.4 million tonnes of litter are deposited into the oceans each year (UNEP, 2005), a figure that continues to grow as a result of a variety of social and economic factors, including consumerism and the purchase of single-use products, coastal urbanization, shipping, poor waste management and the use of plastics. Indeed, as Bergmann et al. (2015, p. x) noted, ‘The ubiquity of litter in the open ocean is prominently illustrated by numerous images of floating debris from the ocean garbage patches and by the fact that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March 2014 produced quite a few misidentifications caused by litter floating at the water surface.’ Eriksen et al. (2014) estimated that there was a minimum of 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons afloat in the sea, but this figure does not include debris on beaches or on the sea floor. Galgani et al. (2015, p. 29) suggest that plastics ‘typically constitute the most important part of marine litter sometimes accounting for up to 100 % of floating litter’, while 90 per cent of litter caught in benthic trawls is also plastic (Galgani et al., 2015). However, it is important to note that even though the amount of plastic that is produced is increasing, and is expected to continue to do so in the future (Taylor, 2017), the ‘predominance of plastics in litter is not the result of relatively more plastics being littered compared to paper, paperboard or wood products reaching the oceans, but because of the exceptional durability or persistence of plastics in the environment’ (Andrady, 2015, p. 58).
A number of genomic conditions caused by copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with a high risk of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders (ND-CNVs). Although these patients also tend to have cognitive impairments, few studies have investigated the range of emotion and behaviour problems in young people with ND-CNVs using measures that are suitable for those with learning difficulties.
A total of 322 young people with 13 ND-CNVs across eight loci (mean age: 9.79 years, range: 6.02–17.91, 66.5% male) took part in the study. Primary carers completed the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC).
Of the total, 69% of individuals with an ND-CNV screened positive for clinically significant difficulties. Young people from families with higher incomes (OR = 0.71, CI = 0.55–0.91, p = .008) were less likely to screen positive. The rate of difficulties differed depending on ND-CNV genotype (χ2 = 39.99, p < 0.001), with the lowest rate in young people with 22q11.2 deletion (45.7%) and the highest in those with 1q21.1 deletion (93.8%). Specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses were found for different ND-CNV genotypes. However, ND-CNV genotype explained no more than 9–16% of the variance, depending on DBC subdomain.
Emotion and behaviour problems are common in young people with ND-CNVs. The ND-CNV specific patterns we find can provide a basis for more tailored support. More research is needed to better understand the variation in emotion and behaviour problems not accounted for by genotype.
Coronavirus disease 2019, a highly transmissible respiratory infection, has created a public health crisis of global magnitude. The mainstay of diagnostic testing for coronavirus disease 2019 is molecular polymerase chain reaction testing of a respiratory specimen, obtained with a viral swab. As the incidence of new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 increases exponentially, the use of viral swabs to collect nasopharyngeal specimens is anticipated to increase drastically.
This paper draws attention to a complication of viral swab testing in the nasopharynx and describes the premature engagement of a viral swab breakpoint, resulting in impaction in the nasal cavity.
This case highlights a possible design flaw of the viral swab when used to collect nasopharyngeal specimens, which then requires an aerosol-generating procedure in a high-risk patient to be performed. The paper outlines a safe technique of nasal foreign body removal in a suspected coronavirus disease 2019 patient and suggests alternative testing materials.
Although lignin has been negatively correlated with neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) digestibility (NDFD) in ruminants and used to predict potential extent of NDF digestion of forages, selection of an analysis, Klason lignin (KL) or acid-detergent lignin (ADL), to describe that the nutritionally relevant lignin has not been resolved. Dismissed as an artifact is the difference between KL and ADL (ΔL). A question is whether ΔL influences NDFD. We evaluated the relationships of ΔL, KL and ADL with NDFD in order to determine the nutritionally homogeneous or heterogeneous nature of KL. Data sets from two laboratories (DS1 and DS2) were used that included ADL, KL and in vitro NDFD at 48 h (NDFD48). DS1 contained seven C3 grasses, seventeen C4 maize forages and nineteen alfalfas, and DS2 had fifteen C3 grasses, eight C4 forages and six alfalfas. Mean ΔL was greater than ADL in C3 and C4 samples and less in alfalfas. Within forage type and laboratory, ΔL was not correlated with NDFD48 (r −0·34–0·49; all P > 0·17). ADL was more consistently correlated with NDFD48 (r −0·47–−0·95; P < 0·01–0·21) than with KL (r 0·03–−0·91; P < 0·01–0·94). ΔL as a proportion of KL was correlated with NDFD48 in C3 and C4 samples (r 0·44–0·76; P < 0·01–0·08). The differing behaviours of ΔL and ADL relative to NDFD48 indicate that KL is a nutritionally heterogeneous fraction, the behaviour of which may vary by forage type and ratios of ADL and ΔL present.
Innovation Concept: EM Sim Cases is an innovative, open-access website that was created in 2015 to publish medical simulation resources including standardized, peer-reviewed simulation cases. Herein we describe our interim analysis. Methods: We performed a massive online needs assessment using a methodology previously described by Chan et. al. to determine how we can shape EM Sim Cases to meet the needs of learners and educators who use it. We engaged with simulation experts from the Emergency Medicine Simulation Education Research Collaborative to design a Google Forms survey using best practices in survey design. We distributed the survey to our target community of practice via Twitter, email, and a blog post published on emsimcases.com. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: We received 81 responses from simulation educators representing 8 medical specialties and 13 countries. Most survey respondents identified themselves as staff physicians (n = 44) and specialized in emergency medicine (n = 39). They had 0-21+ years of experience. 37% of respondents (n = 30) stated that material from EM Sim Cases makes up 25% or more of their simulation curriculum. Several respondents noted that using this content made them feel more confident and more current. Respondents praised EM Sim Cases for a well-organized case format, the proper level of detail, consistency between case designs, and the wide variety of cases. Suggested improvements included an opportunity to directly comment on cases and more cases in pediatric, rural, and advanced airway management situations. Suggestions were made to improve the navigability of the website. Respondents wanted to see additional blog content on debriefing strategies and self-made task/skill trainers. Conclusion: EM Sim Cases is a novel, free open-access simulation resource. Using a massive online needs assessment we were able to determine future directions including case topics, website reorganization, and educational material. We were also able to capture how impactful a resource like this can be to clinical and educational practice outside of the simulation setting.
Introduction: In 2018, Canadian postgraduate specialist Emergency Medicine (EM) programs began implementing a competency-based medical education (CBME) assessment system. To support improvement of this assessment program, we sought to evaluate its short-term educational outcomes nationally and within individual programs. Methods: Program-level data from the 2018 resident cohort were amalgamated and analyzed. The number of Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) assessments (overall and for each EPA) and the timing of resident promotion through program stages was compared between programs and to the guidelines provided by the national EM specialty committee. Total EPA observations from each program were correlated with the number of EM and pediatric EM rotations. Results: Data from 15 of 17 (88.2%) EM programs containing 9,842 EPA observations from 68 of the 77 (88.3%) Canadian EM specialist residents in the 2018 cohort were analyzed. The average number of EPAs observed per resident in each program varied from 92.5 to 229.6 and correlated strongly with the number of blocks spent on EM and pediatric EM (r = 0.83, p < 0.001). Relative to the guidelines outlined by the specialty committee, residents were promoted later than expected and with fewer EPA observations than suggested. Conclusion: We present a new approach to the amalgamation of national and program-level assessment data. There was demonstrable variation in both EPA-based assessment numbers and promotion timelines between programs and with national guidelines. This evaluation data will inform the revision of local programs and national guidelines and serve as a starting point for further reaching outcome evaluation. This process could be replicated by other national assessment programs.
Innovation Concept: A major barrier to the development of a national simulation case repository and multi-site simulation research is the lack of a standardized national case template. This issue was recently identified as a priority research topic for Canadian simulation based education (SBE) research in emergency medicine (EM). We partnered with the EM Simulation Education Researchers Collaborative (EM-SERC) to develop a national simulation template. Methods: The EM Sim Cases template was chosen as a starting point for the consensus process. We generated feedback on the template using a three-phase modified nominal group technique. Members of the EM-SERC mailing list were consulted, which included 20 EM simulation educators from every Canadian medical school except Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Memorial University. When comments conflicted, the sentiment with more comments in favour was incorporated. Curriculum, Tool or Material: In phase one we sought free-text feedback on the EM Sim Cases template via email. We received 65 comments from 11 respondents. An inductive thematic analysis identified four major themes (formatting, objectives, debriefing, and assessment tools). In phase two we sought free-text feedback on the revised template via email. A second thematic analysis on 40 comments from 12 respondents identified three broad themes (formatting, objectives, and debriefing). In phase three we sought feedback on the penultimate template via focus groups with simulation educators and technologists at multiple Canadian universities. This phase generated 98 specific comments which were grouped according to the section of the template being discussed and used to develop the final template (posted on emsimcases.com). Conclusion: We describe a national consensus-building process which resulted in a simulation case template endorsed by simulation educators from across Canada. This template has the potential to: 1. Reduce the replication of effort across sites by facilitating the sharing of simulation cases. 2. Enable national collaboration on the development of both simulation cases and curricula. 3. Facilitate multi centre simulation-based research by removing confounders related to the local adoption of an unfamiliar case template. This could improve the rigour and validity of these studies by reducing inter-site variability. 4. Increase the validity of any simulation scenarios developed for use in national high-stakes assessment.
Altered neurocognitive function in schizophrenia could reflect both genetic and illness-specific effects.
To use functional magnetic resonance imaging to discriminate between the influences of the genetic risk for schizophrenia and environmental factors on the neural substrate of verbal fluency, a candidate schizophrenia endophenotype using a case control twin design.
We studied 23 monozygotic twin pairs: 13 pairs discordant for schizophrenia and 10 pairs of healthy volunteer twins. Groups were matched for age, gender, handedness, level of education, parental socio-economic status, and ethnicity. Behavioural performance and regional brain activation during a phonological verbal fluency task were assessed.
Relative to healthy control twins, both patients and their non-psychotic co-twins produced fewer correct responses and showed less activation in the medial temporal region and inferior frontal gyrus. Twins with schizophrenia showed greater activation than both their non-psychotic co-twins and controls in right lateral temporal cortex, reflecting reduced deactivation during word generation while their non-psychotic co-twins showed greater activation in the left temporal cortex.
Both genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia and schizophrenia were associated with impaired verbal fluency performance, reduced engagement of the medial temporal region and dorsal inferior frontal gyrus. Schizophrenia was specifically associated with an additional reduction in deactivation in the right temporal cortex.
Postpartum onset of anxiety disorders, particularly of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are rarely reported in the literature although frequently observed in the clinical setting. The obsessions and compulsions focus on the newborn and create immense distress. Research on the stress response in postpartum psychiatric populations is limited and the neural and neuroendocrine correlates of postpartum OCD is unclear. Few studies investigated the brain circuitry involved in OCD, very few included women and none in the postpartum period, and none of which focus on the stress reactivity underlying network.
The purpose of this study is to examine neural activation in women with postpartum OCD as compared to healthy postpartum women in response to a stress task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Subjects are females diagnosed with postpartum OCD and matched healthy controls. During the stress phase, fMRI is recorded to observe brain activity while subjects complete the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST), a psychological stressor. Saliva samples are obtained before and after the stressor to assess the hormonal stress response along with subjective stress rating.
To date, 9 postpartum OCD women and 10 controls completed the study. Preliminary analyses show that the majority of the subjects demonstrated an increase in subjective stress rating with postpartum OCD women experiencing the MIST more stressful compared to controls. As previously reported we observed deactivation throughout the limbic system in all subjects but only the postpartum OCD women also recruited the orbitofrontal cortex.
These preliminary observations are consistent with the literature and point toward a distinct stress brain activation pattern in postpartum OCD women. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide further insight into the nature of neurophysiological and neuroendocrinological involvement in postpartum OCD.
Craving in negative emotional situations (negative craving) is commonly associated with relapse and heavy alcohol use. Elevated dynorphin levels were associated with negative emotions, while variations in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes encoding OPRK1 receptor and dynorphins were associated with alcohol dependence.
To investigate potential overlap in the genetic factors underlying, negative craving and alcohol dependence.
Examine the association of the negative craving and genetic variation in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes.
13 PDYN and 10 OPRK1 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), including those previously reported to be associated with alcohol dependence were genotyped in 196 alcohol dependent subjects. The raw scores of the negative subscale of Inventory of Drug Taking Situations (IDTS) were utilized as a quantitative measure of negative craving. Logistic regression models were used to test for associations after controlling for age and gender.
Gene-level haplotype testing demonstrated significant association of negative craving with variation in PDYN (p < 0.05) but not OPRK1 gene. The rs2281285 - rs199794 haplotype showed significant association (p = 0.0236) with negative craving, while rs2235749 - rs10485703 haplotype showed marginally significant association (p = 0.055). This replicates previous findings of association between these haplotypes and alcohol dependence. Negative craving was also associated with PDYN rs2281285 variant (p = 0.012) with estimated effect size of 6.95 (SE = 2.75). This new association finding was not significant after correction for multiple testing (p = 0.18).
Our findings support association of PDYN sequence variation with negative craving in alcohol dependent subjects. Future studies should investigate functional mechanisms of this association.