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Water exposures in healthcare settings and during healthcare delivery can place patients at risk for infection with water-related organisms and can potentially lead to outbreaks. We aimed to describe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consultations involving water-related organisms leading to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Retrospective observational study.
We reviewed internal CDC records from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017, using water-related terms and organisms, excluding Legionella, to identify consultations that involved potential or confirmed transmission of water-related organisms in healthcare. We determined plausible exposure pathways and routes of transmission when possible.
Of 620 consultations during the study period, we identified 134 consultations (21.6%), with 1,380 patients, that involved the investigation of potential water-related HAIs or infection control lapses with the potential for water-related HAIs. Nontuberculous mycobacteria were involved in the greatest number of investigations (n = 40, 29.9%). Most frequently, investigations involved medical products (n = 48, 35.8%), and most of these products were medical devices (n = 40, 83.3%). We identified a variety of plausible water-exposure pathways, including medication preparation near water splash zones and water contamination at the manufacturing sites of medications and medical devices.
Water-related investigations represent a substantial proportion of CDC HAI consultations and likely represent only a fraction of all water-related HAI investigations and outbreaks occurring in US healthcare facilities. Water-related HAI investigations should consider all potential pathways of water exposure. Finally, healthcare facilities should develop and implement water management programs to limit the growth and spread of water-related organisms.
Total laryngectomy is considered the primary treatment modality for advanced laryngeal carcinoma. This study assessed the quality of life in patients after total laryngectomy, and ascertained whether quality of life is affected by socioeconomic status.
Forty-seven patients (20 state- and 27 private-sector) who underwent total laryngectomy between 1998 and 2014 responded to the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Voice-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire and the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire.
Significant differences were found in socioeconomic status between state- and private-sector patients (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in overall quality of life between groups (p = 0.210). State-sector patients scored significantly higher Voice-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire scores (p = 0.043). Perception of illness did not differ significantly between groups.
Overall quality of life after total laryngectomy appears to be similar in patients from different socioeconomic backgrounds. However, patients from lower socioeconomic circumstances have better voice-related quality of life. The results illustrate the importance of including socioeconomic status when reporting voice outcomes in total laryngectomy patients.
The present humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is putting strains on its healthcare system. This study aimed to assess services and training in otolaryngology, audiology and speech therapy in Ukraine and its geographical neighbours.
Survey study of 327 otolaryngologists from 19 countries.
Fifty-six otolaryngologists (17 per cent) from 15 countries responded. Numbers of otolaryngologists varied from 3.6 to 12.3 per 100 000 population (Ukraine = 7.8). Numbers of audiologists varied from 0, in Ukraine, to 2.8 per 100 000, in Slovakia, and numbers of speech therapists varied from 0, in Bulgaria, to 4.0 per 100 000, in Slovenia (Ukraine = 0.1). Ukraine lacks newborn and school hearing screening, good availability of otological drills and microscopes, and a cochlear implant programme.
There is wide variation in otolaryngology services in Central and Eastern Europe. All countries surveyed had more otolaryngologists per capita than the UK, but availability of audiology and speech and language therapy is poor. Further research on otolaryngology health outcomes in the region will guide service improvement.
Cognitive remediation (CR) training has emerged as a promising approach to improving cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and related psychosis. The limited availability of psychological services for psychosis is a major barrier to accessing this intervention however. This study investigated the effectiveness of a low support, remotely accessible, computerised working memory (WM) training programme in patients with psychosis.
Ninety patients were enrolled into a single blind randomised controlled trial of CR. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in terms of neuropsychological performance, social and occupational function, and functional MRI 2 weeks post-intervention, with neuropsychological and social function again assessed 3–6 months post-treatment.
Patients who completed the intervention showed significant gains in both neuropsychological function (measured using both untrained WM and episodic task performance, and a measure of performance IQ), and social function at both 2-week follow-up and 3–6-month follow-up timepoints. Furthermore, patients who completed MRI scanning showed improved resting state functional connectivity relative to patients in the placebo condition.
CR training has already been shown to improve cognitive and social function in patient with psychosis. This study demonstrates that, at least for some chronic but stable outpatients, a low support treatment was associated with gains that were comparable with those reported for CR delivered entirely on a 1:1 basis. We conclude that CR has potential to be delivered even in services in which psychological supports for patients with psychosis are limited.
The optimal management of glottic carcinoma involving the anterior commissure is controversial.
A retrospective analysis was conducted of 76 patients with glottic squamous cell carcinoma treated by transoral carbon dioxide laser resection by a single surgeon.
Sixty-three patients (with tumour stage Tis–T3) were eligible for inclusion. Thirty patients had involvement of the anterior commissure; these patients were significantly more likely to have either uncertain or positive margins (63.3 vs 30.3 per cent, p = 0.012), and were also more likely to receive adjuvant radiotherapy (40 vs 3.2 per cent, p = 0.0005). The overall laryngeal preservation rate was 96.8 per cent; there was no statistically significant difference between those with and without anterior commissure involvement (96.7 and 96.9 per cent respectively).
Transoral laser resection with the use of adjuvant radiotherapy in a minority of patients with adverse pathological findings can be recommended for the primary treatment of anterior commissure glottic cancer from an oncological perspective; excellent local control and laryngeal preservation rates can be achieved.
Do non-graded, one-time, short presentations by a panel of professors on foreign policy issues affect voting behavior among students? Did the panel itself contribute to students’ understanding of the importance of foreign policy in evaluating candidates? Did presentations lead to changes in students’ candidate preferences? And, finally, did the event lead to sustained changes in students’ preferences? We find that even though issues of foreign policy tend not to be front and center in American elections, when young voters are presented with information about candidate’s foreign policy positions, as we did in this study, it does seem to have an impact on which candidate they plan on voting for.
Cognitive measures that are sensitive to biological markers of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology are needed to (a) facilitate preclinical staging, (b) identify individuals who are at the highest risk for developing clinical symptoms, and (c) serve as endpoints for evaluating the efficacy of interventions. The present study assesses the utility of two cognitive composite scores of attentional control and episodic memory as markers for preclinical AD pathology in a group of cognitively normal older adults (N=238), as part of the Adult Children Study. All participants were given a baseline cognitive assessment and follow-up assessments every 3 years over an 8-year period, as well as a lumbar puncture within 2 years of the initial assessment to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and amyloid tracer Pittsburgh compound-B scan for amyloid imaging. Results indicated that attentional control was correlated with levels of Aβ42 at the initial assessment whereas episodic memory was not. Longitudinally, individuals with high CSF tau exhibited a decline in both attention and episodic memory over the course of the study. These results indicate that measures of attentional control and episodic memory can be used to evaluate cognitive decline in preclinical AD and provide support that CSF tau may be a key mechanism driving longitudinal cognitive change. (JINS, 2015, 21, 573–583)
The interaction between an 8:1 aspect ratio rectangular jet and a flat plate, placed parallel to the jet, is addressed in this study. At high subsonic conditions and for certain relative locations of the plate, a resonance takes place with accompanying audible tones. Even when the tone is not audible the sound pressure level spectra are often marked by conspicuous peaks. The frequencies of these peaks, as functions of the plate’s length, its location relative to the jet as well as jet Mach number, are studied in an effort to understand the flow mechanism. It is demonstrated that the tones are not due to a simple feedback between the nozzle exit and the plate’s trailing edge; the leading edge also comes into play in determining the frequency. With parametric variation, it is found that there is an order in the most energetic spectral peaks; their frequencies cluster in distinct bands. The lowest frequency band is explained by an acoustic feedback involving diffraction at the plate’s leading edge. Under the resonant condition, a periodic flapping motion of the jet column is seen when viewed in a direction parallel to the plate. Phase-averaged Mach number data on a cross-stream plane near the plate’s trailing edge illustrate that the jet cross-section goes through large contortions within the period of the tone. Farther downstream a clear ‘axis switching’ takes place for the time-averaged cross-section of the jet that does not occur otherwise for a non-resonant condition.
Vestibular schwannomas in younger patients have been observed to be larger in size and grow more quickly.
This study aimed to evaluate the expression of three important cell cycle proteins, cyclin D1, cyclin D3 and Ki-67, in vestibular schwannoma patients separated into two age groups: ≤40 years or >40 years.
Immunohistochemical detection of cyclin D1, cyclin D3 and Ki-67 was undertaken in 180 surgically resected vestibular schwannomas.
The proliferation index of vestibular schwannomas was statistically higher in the ≤40 years age group compared to that in the >40 years age group (mean of 4.52 vs 3.27, respectively; p = 0.01). Overexpression of cyclin D1 and cyclin D3 was found in 68 per cent and 44 per cent of tumours, respectively.
There was an increased Ki-67 proliferation index in the younger age group that appears to correlate with clinical behaviour. Vestibular schwannomas in both age groups show increased expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin D3.
Botulism has rarely been reported in Africa. In October 2008, botulism was reported in three Ugandan boarding-school students. All were hospitalized and one died. A cohort study was performed to assess food exposures among students, and clinical specimens and available food samples were tested for botulinum toxin. Three case-patients were identified; a homemade, oil-based condiment was eaten by all three. In the cohort study, no foods were significantly associated with illness. Botulinum toxin type A was confirmed in clinical samples. This is the first confirmed outbreak of foodborne botulism in Uganda. A homemade, oil-based condiment was the probable source. Consumption of homemade oil-based condiments is widespread in Ugandan schools, putting children at risk. Clinicians and public health authorities in Uganda should consider botulism when clusters of acute flaccid paralysis are seen. Additionally, schools should be warned of the hazard of homemade oil-based condiments, and take steps to prevent their use.
To quantify historical trends in rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in US intensive care units (ICUs) caused by major pathogen groups, including Candida spp., Enterococcus spp., specified gram-negative rods, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Active surveillance in a cohort of participating ICUs through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system during 1990–2004, and the National Healthcare Safety Network during 2006–2010.
Patients who were admitted to participating ICUs.
The CLABSI incidence density rate for S. aureus decreased annually starting in 2002 and remained lower than for other pathogen groups. Since 2006, the annual decrease for S. aureus CLABSIs in nonpediatric ICU types was −18.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], −20.8% to −15.8%), whereas the incidence density rate for S. aureus among pediatric ICUs did not change. The annual decrease for all ICUs combined since 2006 was −17.8% (95% CI, −19.4% to −16.1%) for Enterococcus spp., −16.4% (95% CI, −18.2% to −14.7%) for gram-negative rods, and −13.5% (95% CI, −15.4% to −11.5%) for Candida spp.
Patterns of ICU CLABSI incidence density rates among major pathogen groups have changed considerably during recent decades. CLABSI incidence declined steeply since 2006, except for CLABSI due to S. aureus in pediatric ICUs. There is a need to better understand CLABSIs that still do occur, on the basis of microbiological and patient characteristics. New prevention approaches may be needed in addition to central line insertion and maintenance practices.
The present study relates the survival rate of bagworm eggs to extreme winter temperature and weight of egg clutches. The eggs were collected in the spring of 2009 at 104 locations in the mid-western United States of America across a latitudinal range from 36.5–41.5 °N. Egg survival after a 1-week incubation period was overdispersed, suggesting that survival of individual eggs within a clutch is highly correlated. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the survival of eggs, assessed after 1 or 12 weeks of incubation, significantly increases with the weight of egg clutches and increasing minimum winter temperature (expressed as the maximum temperature during the coldest day of winter). Lethal temperature for 50% of egg clusters was −14 °C for clusters weighing 0.1 g and −18.1 °C for 0.4 g clusters. The regression model developed here provides a tool to forecast the persistence of bagworm populations in recently colonised locations in Michigan, United States of America and southern Ontario, Canada.
To report two cases of laryngeal plasmablastic lymphoma, a rare and relatively recently described form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It has not previously been described in the larynx, nor associated with upper airway obstruction.
We describe the clinicopathological features of two such cases in human immunodeficiency virus positive patients, and we discuss their unusual presentations and diagnostic features.
When evaluating a laryngeal tumour, plasmablastic lymphoma and other non-Hodgkin's lymphomata should be considered as differential diagnoses, particularly in the setting of a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus infection. Biopsy with detailed histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluation is recommended to ensure correct diagnosis and optimal management.
There exists a tremendous opportunity for otolaryngologists from developed countries to make a substantial contribution beyond their daily clinical practice, through involvement in teaching and training in the developing world. This article sets out the challenges presented by ENT practice within the developing world, and discusses ways in which these challenges can be addressed.
Ototoxic drugs are widely used in the developing world, without audiological monitoring. Epidemiological data on ototoxic deafness are lacking for developing countries. The public health aspect of ototoxicity is often overlooked, to the detriment of the individual patient. This paper reviews ototoxic hearing loss, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and also assesses the impact of treatments for tuberculosis, cancer and human immunodeficiency virus (the latter including highly active antiretroviral therapy) on ototoxic hearing loss. The paper also discusses obstacles to audiological monitoring for ototoxicity in the developing world, and the potential of audiology screening using applications for mobile devices.