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Coronavirus disease 2019 has had a dramatic effect on society and healthcare. Preparations were based on predictive models of need, and with uncertainty regarding risk to patients and healthcare workers. Actions taken had both immediate and ongoing ethical impacts. The most obvious of these was the shift in duty of care from individual patients to public health centred ethics and decision making.
In ENT, many procedures are aerosol-generating and so our capacity to provide care will remain significantly reduced. This reduction in capacity may result in difficult choices for patients when optimal care may be replaced by acceptable care. ENT surgeons may also be faced with unaccustomed paternalism when capacity prevents them from acting within the patients’ wishes.
Despite these challenges, the novel uses of technology highlight the desire to preserve and enhance the autonomy of our patients.
Postnatal depression is a serious disorder affecting 10–20% of postpartum women. It has a negative impact on the whole family system and on the child's development.
It is important to identify possible risk factors for PND, due to its frequency and severity. It has been hypothesized that the hormonal fluctuatios of the immediate postpartum period could be a risk factor for the appearance of PND.
This study aimed at inquiring the possible correlation of hormonal parameters in the 1st week postpartum with the appearance of PND.
95 postpartum women were recruited, in the process of validating the Greek EPDS. Of them, 40 consented to give blood on the second postpartum day, so that the plasma levels of TSH, T4, T3, FSH, LH, Progesterone, Estradiol, Prolactin and Cortisol were measured. 81/95 women consented to be reassessed at 8 weeks postpartum, and 10/81 were diagnosed with depression, major or minor. Plasma levels of the hormones were correlated with the diagnosis of PND and with the EPDS.
Women who suffered from PND did not differ from the non-PND subjects in the levels of all measured hormones. There was a statistically significant negative correlation of the levels of prolactin with the EPDS on the second postpartum day (p < 0.001, correlation coefficient -0.56).
Our study failed to show a definite correlation of the hormonal levels in the immediate postpartum period with PND. In other studies the role of hormones in the appearance of PND remains as well questionable.
An ongoing challenge in understanding and treating personality disorders (PDs) is a significant heterogeneity in disorder expression, stemming from variability in underlying dynamic processes. These processes are commonly discussed in clinical settings, but are rarely empirically studied due to their personalized, temporal nature. The goal of the current study was to combine intensive longitudinal data collection with person-specific temporal network models to produce individualized symptom-level structures of personality pathology. These structures were then linked to traditional PD diagnoses and stress (to index daily functioning).
Using about 100 daily assessments of internalizing and externalizing domains underlying PDs (i.e. negative affect, detachment, impulsivity, hostility), a temporal network mapping approach (i.e. group iterative multiple model estimation) was used to create person-specific networks of the temporal relations among domains for 91 individuals (62.6% female) with a PD. Network characteristics were then associated with traditional PD symptomatology (controlling for mean domain levels) and with daily variation in clinically-relevant phenomena (i.e. stress).
Features of the person-specific networks predicted paranoid, borderline, narcissistic, and obsessive-PD symptom counts above average levels of the domains, in ways that align with clinical conceptualizations. They also predicted between-person variation in stress across days.
Relations among behavioral domains thought to underlie heterogeneity in PDs were indeed associated with traditional diagnostic constructs and with daily functioning (i.e. stress) in person-specific networks. Findings highlight the importance of leveraging data and models that capture person-specific, dynamic processes, and suggest that person-specific networks may have implications for precision medicine.
Laboratory-identified bloodstream infections (LAB-ID BSIs) in recently discharged patients are likely to be classified as healthcare-associated community-onset (HCA-CO) infections, even though they may represent hospital-onset (HO) infections. A review of LAB-ID BSIs among patients discharged within 14 days revealed that 109 of 756 cases (14.4%) were HO infections. The BSI risk being misclassified as HCA CO may underestimate the hospital infection risk.
We report on an initial long-term study of dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC) from Sabino Creek, located in Sabino Canyon, Pima County, Arizona. The purpose of this study was to monitor changes in dissolved radiocarbon (14C) with time and to understand the processes contributing to these variations. Our results span the period 2009–2016 and show a mixing trend between dissolved inorganic and organic carbon modern end-members with an older component. This study provides preliminary information for more detailed research on recycling of organic components in this stream system.
The objective was to determine the longitudinal associations between callous-unemotional (CU) and oppositional defiant (OD) behaviors from the first to fourth grades for Spanish children. Four possible outcomes were evaluated: (a) CU behaviors in the first grade predict increases in OD behaviors in the fourth grade, controlling for OD behaviors in the first grade; (b) OD behaviors in the first grade predict increases in CU behaviors in the fourth grade, controlling for CU behaviors in the first grade; (c) both unique effects are significant; and (d) neither unique effect is significant. A longitudinal panel model with two latent variables (CU and OD behaviors), three sources (mothers, fathers, teachers), and two occasions (spring of the first and fourth grades) was used to evaluate the four possibilities among 758 (54% boys) first grade and 469 (53% boys) fourth grade Spanish children. For mother-, father-, and teacher-reports, OD behaviors in the first grade predicted increases in CU behaviors in the fourth grade, after controlling for CU behaviors in the first grade, whereas CU behaviors in the first grade did not predict increases in OD behaviors in the fourth grade, after controlling for OD behaviors in the first grade. OD behaviors thus conferred independent vulnerability to increases in CU behaviors 3 years later among young children.
Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
Oesophageal disorders and osteonecrosis of the jaw are recognised complications of the commonly prescribed medication bisphosphonate. Despite these diagnoses being seen comparatively frequently within the ENT clinic, osteonecrosis of the external ear is a less well reported complication.
The current literature is reviewed and our experience with six cases of bisphosphonate-related ear canal osteonecrosis is presented.
Six cases were identified as suffering from ear canal osteonecrosis as a result of bisphosphonate treatment. One of our cases suffered bilateral ear canal osteonecrosis after only 20 months of oral alendronic acid treatment. Management ranged from bisphosphonate cessation and topical treatment, to surgical debridement in the operating theatre.
Bisphosphonate-related ear canal osteonecrosis is undoubtedly under-diagnosed. For such a commonly prescribed medication, the risks and side effects of bisphosphonate should be better known and long-term treatment should be avoided if possible.
Out-of-home foods (takeaway, take-out and fast foods) have become increasingly popular in recent decades and are thought to be a key driver in increasing levels of overweight and obesity due to their unfavourable nutritional content. Individual food choices and eating behaviours are influenced by many interrelated factors which affect the results of nutrition-related public health interventions. While the majority of research based on out-of-home foods comes from Australia, the UK and USA, the same issues (poor dietary habits and increased prevalence of non-communicable disease) are of equal concern for urban centres in developing economies undergoing ‘nutrition transition’ at a global scale. The present narrative review documents key facets, which may influence out-of-home food consumption, drawn from biological, societal, environmental, demographic and psychological spheres. Literature searches were performed and references from relevant papers were used to find supplementary studies. Findings suggest that the strongest determinants of out-of-home food availability are density of food outlets and deprivation within the built environment; however, the association between socio-economic status and out-of-home food consumption has been challenged. In addition, the biological and psychological drives combined with a culture where overweight and obesity are becoming the norm makes it ‘fashionable’ to consume out-of-home food. Other factors, including age group, ethnicity and gender demonstrate contrasting effects and a lack of consensus. It is concluded that further consideration of the determinants of out-of-home food consumption within specific populations is crucial to inform the development of targeted interventions to reduce the impact of out-of-home foods on public health.
Measurements made by an underwater glider deployed near the Ross Ice Shelf were used to identify the presence of Ice Shelf Water (ISW), which is defined as seawater with its potential temperature lower than its surface freezing point temperature. Properties logged by the glider included in situ temperature, electrical conductivity, pressure, GPS location at surfacings and time. For most of the first 30 recorded dives of its deployment, evidence suggests the glider was prevented from surfacing due to being under the ice shelf. For dives under the ice shelf, farthest from the ice shelf front, ISW layers of varying thicknesses and depth locations were observed; between 2 m thick (centred at 231 m depth) to >93 m thick (centred at >360 m). For dives under the ice shelf, close to the ice shelf front, either no ISW was observed or ISW layers were centred at shallower depths (116–127 m). Thicker ISW layers (e.g. up to 250 m thickness centred at 421 m) were observed for some glider dives in open water in front of the Ross Ice Shelf. No in situ supercooling (water colder than the pressure-dependent freezing point temperature) was observed.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
Background: Sarcoidosis is a multiorgan autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of non-caseating granulomas. The diagnosis can be difficult, particularly with central nervous system (CNS) involvement, and pathology outside of the CNS has to be carefully evaluated. Early and correct diagnosis is crucial for appropriate management particularly in children where sarcoidosis and neurosarcoidosis are rare. Methods: We describe a 16 year old previously healthy boy who presented with progressive pyramidal neurological signs and symptoms localizable primarily to the brain stem. Results: Initial imaging revealed striking brainstem, as well as cerebral, cerebellar and spinal cord perivascular enhancement. Lung involvement was subclinical with a miliary pattern on chest imaging and needle biopsy revealed an interstitial lymphocytic infiltration. Extensive serum and CSF rheumatological, autoimmune and infectious investigations were noncontributory. Serum ACE levels were at first within normal limits. Steroid treatment stabilized symptoms and perhaps coincidentally, separate rituximab treatments were followed within days by vertigo (with a new pontine lesion) or a respiratory decompensation. A wedge lung biopsy revealed granulomatosis. Current treatment consists of mycophenolate, methotrexate with a prednisone wean. Conclusions: This case report reinforces the varied manifestations and mimics of sarcoidosis (including CLIPPERS) and highlights the need for a high index of suspicion despite apparently negative investigations.
Chronic rhinosinusitis has many risk factors; however, the effect of anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy has not been investigated in depth. Our experience points to a detrimental clinical effect in overall prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis, despite its benefit in certain subtypes.
A telephone survey was performed to parallel the findings of the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network chronic rhinosinusitis screening survey. This was itself based on the widely recognised European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyps criteria.
A total of 120 patients responded to the survey. The prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis in the anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy population was 20 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval = 12.84–27.16). When compared using a chi-square test, for a two-by-two contingency table, this finding was significant against the prevalence recorded in the normal population.
This is the first observational study indicating increased prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis in patients treated with anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy. These clinical findings require investigation in greater depth to clarify the nature of pathologies currently diagnosed and treated as chronic rhinosinusitis.
To investigate biomarkers of nutrition associated with chronic disease absence for an Aboriginal cohort.
Screening for nutritional biomarkers was completed at baseline (1995). Evidence of chronic disease (diabetes, CVD, chronic kidney disease or hypertension) was sought from primary health-care clinics, hospitals and death records over 10 years of follow-up. Principal components analysis was used to group baseline nutritional biomarkers and logistic regression modelling used to investigate associations between the principal components and chronic disease absence.
Three Central Australian Aboriginal communities.
Aboriginal people (n 444, 286 of whom were without chronic disease at baseline) aged 15–82 years.
Principal components analysis grouped twelve nutritional biomarkers into four components: ‘lipids’; ‘adiposity’; ‘dietary quality’; and ‘habitus with inverse quality diet’. For the 286 individuals free of chronic disease at baseline, lower adiposity, lower lipids and better dietary quality components were each associated with the absence at follow-up of most chronic diseases examined, with the exception of chronic kidney disease. Low ‘adiposity’ component was associated with absence of diabetes, hypertension and CVD at follow-up. Low ‘lipid’ component was associated with absence of hypertension and CVD, and high ‘dietary quality’ component was associated with absence of CVD at follow-up.
Lowering or maintenance of the factors related to ‘adiposity’ and ‘lipids’ to healthy thresholds and increasing access to a healthy diet appear useful targets for chronic disease prevention for Aboriginal people in Central Australia.
Offenders with an intellectual disability pose a major challenge to Intellectual Disability Service providers in the Republic of Ireland. This is especially so as no national Forensic Intellectual Disability Service currently exists.
The Forensic Intellectual Disability Working Group of the Irish College of Psychiatrists was established in order to take steps to address this issue by establishing the level of need for a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service in Ireland and developing a college position paper.
No previous study has been carried out to measure offending behaviour amongst persons with an intellectual disability attending mental health services in Ireland.
A postal survey was undertaken targeting the lead clinicians of all Intellectual Disability Psychiatry, General Adult Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry Services in the Republic of Ireland. This survey requested anonymous data regarding service users with an intellectual disability and offending behaviour in this population.
Data relating to 431 service users was returned. Those reported to engage in offending behaviour were predominantly young males. Assault was the most common offence type. A significant number of serious offences such as unlawful killing, sexual assault and arson were reported.
There is an urgent need for the development of a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service in the Republic of Ireland. The current efforts of the National Forensic Mental Health Service to establish such a service by the creation of a post of Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist (special interest in intellectual disability) are to be welcomed.
We present the observed “continuum” levels of polarization as a function of time for four well-observed Type II-Plateau supernovae (SNe II-P; Fig. 1), the class of SNe decisively determined to arise from red supergiant stars (Smartt 2009). All four objects show temporally increasing degrees of polarization through the end of the photospheric phase, with some exhibiting early-time polarization that challenge existing models (e.g., Dessart and Hillier 2011) to reproduce. A fundamental ejecta asymmetry is present in this photometrically diverse sample of type II SNe, and it probably takes different forms (e.g., 56Ni blobs/fingers, large scale deformation). We acknowledge support from NSF grants AST-1009571 and AST-1210311.