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We describe the delivery of real-time feedback on hand hygiene compliance between healthcare personnel over a 3-year time period via a crowdsourcing web-based application. Feedback delivery as a metric can be used to examine and improve a culture of safety within a healthcare setting.
Describe common pathogens and antimicrobial resistance patterns for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) that occurred during 2015–2017 and were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
Data from central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated events (VAEs), and surgical site infections (SSIs) were reported from acute-care hospitals, long-term acute-care hospitals, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. This analysis included device-associated HAIs reported from adult location types, and SSIs among patients ≥18 years old. Percentages of pathogens with nonsusceptibility (%NS) to selected antimicrobials were calculated for each HAI type, location type, surgical category, and surgical wound closure technique.
Overall, 5,626 facilities performed adult HAI surveillance during this period, most of which were general acute-care hospitals with <200 beds. Escherichia coli (18%), Staphylococcus aureus (12%), and Klebsiella spp (9%) were the 3 most frequently reported pathogens. Pathogens varied by HAI and location type, with oncology units having a distinct pathogen distribution compared to other settings. The %NS for most pathogens was significantly higher among device-associated HAIs than SSIs. In addition, pathogens from long-term acute-care hospitals had a significantly higher %NS than those from general hospital wards.
This report provides an updated national summary of pathogen distributions and antimicrobial resistance among select HAIs and pathogens, stratified by several factors. These data underscore the importance of tracking antimicrobial resistance, particularly in vulnerable populations such as long-term acute-care hospitals and intensive care units.
To describe common pathogens and antimicrobial resistance patterns for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) among pediatric patients that occurred in 2015–2017 and were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
Antimicrobial resistance data were analyzed for pathogens implicated in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAPs), and surgical site infections (SSIs). This analysis was restricted to device-associated HAIs reported from pediatric patient care locations and SSIs among patients <18 years old. Percentages of pathogens with nonsusceptibility (%NS) to selected antimicrobials were calculated by HAI type, location type, and surgical category.
Overall, 2,545 facilities performed surveillance of pediatric HAIs in the NHSN during this period. Staphylococcus aureus (15%), Escherichia coli (12%), and coagulase-negative staphylococci (12%) were the 3 most commonly reported pathogens associated with pediatric HAIs. Pathogens and the %NS varied by HAI type, location type, and/or surgical category. Among CLABSIs, the %NS was generally lowest in neonatal intensive care units and highest in pediatric oncology units. Staphylococcus spp were particularly common among orthopedic, neurosurgical, and cardiac SSIs; however, E. coli was more common in abdominal SSIs. Overall, antimicrobial nonsusceptibility was less prevalent in pediatric HAIs than in adult HAIs.
This report provides an updated national summary of pathogen distributions and antimicrobial resistance patterns among pediatric HAIs. These data highlight the need for continued antimicrobial resistance tracking among pediatric patients and should encourage the pediatric healthcare community to use such data when establishing policies for infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.
Little is known about prescribers’ attitudes regarding clinical nurses and antimicrobial stewardship. We conducted focus groups of prescribers and inquired about attitudes regarding nurses and stewardship. During 6 focus groups, prescribers were receptive to nursing involvement in stewardship activities, but noted structural barriers and knowledge gaps that should be addressed.
We evaluated the utility of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) surveillance by varying 2 parameters: admission versus weekly surveillance and perirectal swabbing versus stool sampling.
Prospective, patient-level surveillance program of incident VRE colonization.
Liver transplant surgical intensive care unit (SICU) of a tertiary-care referral medical center with a high prevalence of VRE.
All patients admitted to the SICU from June to August 2015.
We conducted a point-prevalence estimate followed by admission and weekly surveillance by perirectal swabbing and/or stool sampling. Incident colonization was defined as a negative screen followed by positive surveillance. VRE was detected by culture on Remel Spectra VRE chromogenic agar. Microbiologically-confirmed VRE bloodstream infections (BSIs) were tracked for 2 months. Statistical analyses were calculated using the McNemar test, the Fisher exact test, the t test, and the χ2 test.
In total, 91 patients underwent VRE surveillance testing. The point prevalence of VRE colonization was 60.9%; VRE prevalence on admission was 30.1%. Weekly surveillance identified an additional 7 of 28 patients (25.0%) with incident colonization. VRE BSIs were more common in VRE-colonized patients than in noncolonized patients (8 of 43 vs 2 of 48; P=.028). In a direct comparison, perirectal swabs were more sensitive than stool samples in detecting VRE (64 of 67 vs 56 of 67; P=.023). Compliance with perirectal swabbing was 89% (201 of 226) compared to 56% (127 of 226) for stool collection (P≤0.001).
We recommend weekly VRE surveillance over admission-only screening in high-burden units such as liver transplant SICUs. Perirectal swabs had greater collection compliance and sensitivity than stool samples, making them the preferred methodology. Further work may have implications for antimicrobial stewardship and infection control.
Psychosocial stress during childhood and adolescence is associated with alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and with heightened inflammation, both of which are implicated in poor health; however, factors that may protect against these effects relatively early in life are not well understood. Thus, we examined whether psychosocial resources protect against stress-related alterations in the HPA axis and heightened inflammation in a sample of 91 late adolescents. Participants completed measures of various stressors (major life events, daily interpersonal stress, early adversity), and psychosocial resources (mastery, optimism, self-esteem, and positive reappraisal). They also completed the Trier Social Stress Test and provided saliva and blood samples for the assessment of cortisol and interleukin-6 reactivity. Each of the stressors was associated with lower cortisol reactivity. Additionally, associations with major life events and daily stress were moderated by psychological resources, such that more life events and daily stress were associated with decreased HPA reactivity among adolescents with lower levels of psychological resources, but not among those with higher levels of psychological resources. This pattern of findings was observed only for cortisol reactivity and not for interleukin-6 reactivity. Findings suggest that psychological resources may counteract the effects of certain adversity-related decreases in cortisol reactivity.
To make pragmatic recommendations on best practices for the engagement of patients in emergency medicine (EM) research.
We created a panel of expert Canadian EM researchers, physicians, and a patient partner to develop our recommendations. We used mixed methods consisting of 1) a literature review; 2) a survey of Canadian EM researchers; 3) qualitative interviews with key informants; and 4) feedback during the 2017 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium.
We synthesized our literature review into categories including identification and engagement, patients’ roles, perceived benefits, harms, and barriers to patient engagement; 40/75 (53% response rate) invited researchers completed our survey. Among respondents, 58% had engaged patients in research, and 83% intended to engage patients in future research. However, 95% stated that they need further guidance to engage patients. Our qualitative interviews revealed barriers to patient engagement, including the need for training and patient partner recruitment.
Our panel recommends 1) an overarching positive recommendation to support patient engagement in EM research; 2) seven policy-level recommendations for CAEP to support the creation of a national patient council, to develop, adopt and adapt training material, guidelines, and tools for patient engagement, and to support increased patient engagement in EM research; and 3) nine pragmatic recommendations about engaging patients in the preparatory, execution, and translational phases of EM research.
Patient engagement can improve EM research by helping researchers select meaningful outcomes, increase social acceptability of studies, and design knowledge translation strategies that target patients’ needs.
We explore theoretically the aerodynamics of a recently fabricated jellyfish-like flying machine (Ristroph & Childress, J. R. Soc. Interface, vol. 11 (92), 2014, 20130992). This experimental device achieves flight and hovering by opening and closing opposing sets of wings. It displays orientational or postural flight stability without additional control surfaces or feedback control. Our model ‘machine’ consists of two mirror-symmetric massless flapping wings connected to a volumeless body with mass and moment of inertia. A vortex sheet shedding and wake model is used for the flow simulation. Use of the fast multipole method allows us to simulate for long times and resolve complex wakes. We use our model to explore the design parameters that maintain body hovering and ascent, and investigate the performance of steady ascent states. We find that ascent speed and efficiency increase as the wings are brought closer, due to a mirror-image ‘ground-effect’ between the wings. Steady ascent is approached exponentially in time, which suggests a linear relationship between the aerodynamic force and ascent speed. We investigate the orientational stability of hovering and ascent states by examining the flyer’s free response to perturbation from a transitory external torque. Our results show that bottom-heavy flyers (centre of mass below the geometric centre) are capable of recovering from large tilts, whereas the orientation of the top-heavy flyers diverges. These results are consistent with the experimental observations in Ristroph & Childress (J. R. Soc. Interface, vol. 11 (92), 2014, 20130992), and shed light upon future designs of flapping-wing micro aerial vehicles that use jet-based mechanisms.
In a prevalence study of 209 healthcare workers, 18 (8.6%) and 13 (6.2%) carried methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in their nares or on their hands, respectively. However, 100 (62%) of 162 workers completing an associated survey believed themselves to be colonized, revealing a knowledge deficit about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus epidemiology.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;37(1):110–112
To characterize the current state of Canadian emergency medicine (EM) resident research and develop recommendations to promote excellence in this area.
We performed a systematic review of MEDLINE, Embase, and ERIC using search terms relevant to EM resident research. We conducted an online survey of EM residency program directors from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). An expert panel reviewed these data, presented recommendations at the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 2014 Academic Symposium, and refined them based on feedback received.
Of 654 potentially relevant citations, 35 articles were included. These were categorized into four themes: 1) expectations and requirements, 2) training and assessment, 3) infrastructure and support, and 4) dissemination. We received 31 responses from all 31 RCPSC-EM and CFPC-EM programs. The majority of EM programs reported requiring a resident scholarly project; however, we found wide-ranging expectations for the type of resident research performed and how results were disseminated, as well as the degree of completion expected. Although 93% of RCPSC-EM programs reported providing formal training on how to conduct research, only 53% of CFPC-EM programs reported doing so. Almost all programs (94%) reported having infrastructure in place to support resident research, but the nature of support was highly variable. Finally, there was marked variability regarding the number of resident-published abstracts and manuscripts.
Based on the literature, our national survey, and discussions with stakeholders, we offer 14 recommendations encompassing goals, expectations, training, assessment, infrastructure, and dissemination in order to improve Canadian EM resident research.
We sought to 1) identify best practices for training and mentoring clinician researchers, 2) characterize facilitators and barriers for Canadian emergency medicine researchers, and 3) develop pragmatic recommendations to improve and standardize emergency medicine postgraduate research training programs to build research capacity.
We performed a systematic review of MEDLINE and Embase using search terms relevant to emergency medicine research fellowship/graduate training. We conducted an email survey of all Canadian emergency physician researchers. The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) research fellowship program was analysed, and other similar international programs were sought. An expert panel reviewed these data and presented recommendations at the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) 2014 Academic Symposium. We refined our recommendations based on feedback received.
Of 1,246 potentially relevant citations, we included 10 articles. We identified five key themes: 1) creating training opportunities; 2) ensuring adequate protected time; 3) salary support; 4) infrastructure; and 5) mentorship. Our survey achieved a 72% (67/93) response rate. From these responses, 42 (63%) consider themselves clinical researchers (i.e., spend a significant proportion of their career conducting research). The single largest constraint to conducting research was funding. Factors felt to be positive contributors to a clinical research career included salary support, research training (including an advanced graduate degree), mentorship, and infrastructure. The SAEM research fellowship was the only emergency medicine research fellowship program identified. This 2-year program requires approval of both the teaching centre and each applying fellow. This program requires training in 15 core competencies, manuscript preparation, and submission of a large grant to a national peer-review funding organization.
We recommend that the CAEP Academic Section create a process to endorse research fellowship/graduate training programs. These programs should include two phases: Phase I: Research fellowship/graduate training would include an advanced research university degree and 15 core learning areas. Phase II: research consolidation involves a further 1-3 years with an emphasis on mentorship and scholarship production. It is anticipated that clinician scientists completing Phase I and Phase II training at a CAEP Academic Section-endorsed site(s) will be independent researchers with a higher likelihood of securing external peer-reviewed funding and be able to have a meaningful external impact in emergency medicine research.
Pneumocystis jirovecii (pronounced “yee-row-vet-zee”), formerly known as Pneumocystis carinii, is an opportunistic pathogen that causes pneumonia in the immunocompromised individual. The initials “PCP” stood for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia but were kept for ease of use after the organism was renamed. Disease occurs when both cellular and humoral immunity are impaired. Serologic studies have shown that Pneumocystis has a worldwide distribution but the prevalence of antibodies to specific antigens varies among different geographic regions. PCP first came to attention when it caused interstitial pneumonia in severely malnourished and premature infants in Central and Eastern Europe during World War II. Prior to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in the 1980s, fewer than 100 cases were reported annually in the United States. PCP is one of several life-threatening opportunistic infections in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection worldwide and is still the most common AIDS-defining illness in patients with advanced HIV infection. The decline in the number of PCP cases in the United States occurred after the introduction of anti-pneumocystis prophylaxis in 1989 and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1992. In patients without HIV infection, the incidence of PCP has increased in those being treated with immunosuppressive and chemotherapeutic agents and in hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT) and solid organ transplant recipients.
The taxonomic classification of the Pneumocystis genus and the organism’s name has changed throughout the years. In the 1980s, biochemical analysis identified the organism as a unicellular fungus. Pneumocystis jirovecii is found in three distinct morphologic stages: the trophozoite, in which it often exists in clusters, the sporozoite (precystic form), and the cyst, which contains several intracystic bodies (spores). The cyst is the diagnostic form of P. jirovecii and stains with Giemsa, Papanicolau, and Grocott methenamine silver nitrate (GMS) and immunocytochemical techniques using monoclonal antibodies. Giemsa- and Papanicolau-stained smears show indirect evidence of P. jirovecii infection by the demonstration of foamy exudates in the form of alveolar casts.
Determining which patients with ureterolithiasis are likely to require urologic intervention is a common challenge in the emergency department (ED). The objective was to determine if normal renal sonogram could identify low-risk renal colic patients, who were defined as not requiring urologic intervention within 90 days of their initial ED visit and can be managed conservatively.
This was a prospective cohort study involving adult patients presenting to the EDs of a tertiary care centre with suspected renal colic over a 20-month period. Renal ultrasonography (US) was performed in the diagnostic imaging department by trained ultrasonographers, and the results were categorized into four mutually exclusive groups: normal, suggestive of ureterolithiasis, visualized ureteric stone, or findings unrelated to urolithiasis. Electronic medical records were reviewed to determine if patients received urologic intervention within 90 days of their ED visit.
Of 610 patients enrolled, 341 (55.9%) had US for suspected renal colic. Of those, 105 (30.8%) were classified as normal; none of these patients underwent urologic intervention within 90 days of their ED visit. Ninety (26.4%) US results were classified as suggestive, and nine (10%) patients received urologic intervention. A total of 139 (40.8%) US results were classified as visualized ureteric stone, and 34 (24.5%) patients had urologic intervention. Seven (2.1%) US results were classified as findings unrelated to urolithiasis, and none of these patients required urologic intervention. The rate of urologic intervention was significantly lower in those with normal US results (p<0.001) than in those with abnormal findings.
A normal renal sonogram predicts a low likelihood for urologic intervention within 90 days for adult ED patients with suspected renal colic.
We describe two cases of infant botulism due to Clostridium butyricum producing botulinum type E neurotoxin (BoNT/E) and a previously unreported environmental source. The infants presented at age 11 days with poor feeding and lethargy, hypotonia, dilated pupils and absent reflexes. Faecal samples were positive for C. butyricum BoNT/E. The infants recovered after treatment including botulism immune globulin intravenous (BIG-IV). C. butyricum BoNT/E was isolated from water from tanks housing pet ‘yellow-bellied’ terrapins (Trachemys scripta scripta): in case A the terrapins were in the infant's home; in case B a relative fed the terrapin prior to holding and feeding the infant when both visited another relative. C. butyricum isolates from the infants and the respective terrapin tank waters were indistinguishable by molecular typing. Review of a case of C. butyricum BoNT/E botulism in the UK found that there was a pet terrapin where the infant was living. It is concluded that the C. butyricum-producing BoNT type E in these cases of infant botulism most likely originated from pet terrapins. These findings reinforce public health advice that reptiles, including terrapins, are not suitable pets for children aged <5 years, and highlight the importance of hand washing after handling these pets.
Canine obesity is a prevalent disease, but many owners are unaware of it, partly due to misperception of their dog's body shape. Body condition scoring (BCS) is a simple method of assessing body composition, but whether it can reduce owner misperception is unclear. Our aim was to determine the effect of a BCS system on owners' ability to estimate the body condition of their dog. Information from 110 dog owners attending three UK veterinary practices was gathered, by interview, between March and April 2013. First, owners were asked to determine their dog's body condition without guidance, and then reassess it using a five-point BCS chart. Most owners (85/110, 77 %) believed the chart to have improved their ability to estimate the condition of their dog correctly. However, only a weak agreement existed between owner estimates and those of the primary investigator, both with (kappa (κ) = 0·28; P < 0·001) and without (κ = 0·32; P < 0·001) the BCS chart. Furthermore, most owners incorrectly estimated their dog's body condition, both with (71/110; 64 %) and without (72/110; 65 %) the chart (P = 1·00), with underestimation being most common (with = 63/71, 89 %; without = 66/72, 92 %; P = 0·57). Owners of overweight dogs more commonly misperceived their dog's body condition, both with (BCS 1–3: 5/35, 14 %; BCS 4–5: 64/75, 85 %; P < 0·001) and without (BCS 1–3: 10/35, 28 %; BCS 4–5: 61/75, 81 %; P < 0·001) the BCS chart. Thus, use of a five-point BCS chart does not improve accuracy of owners' perception of their dog's body shape, despite the accompanying perception that it does.
Feline obesity is a prevalent medical disease and the main therapeutic strategy is dietary energy restriction. However, at present there are no data regarding long-term outcome in this species. The purpose of the present study was to investigate if, as in other species, some cats regain weight following successful weight loss, and to identify any influencing factors in a cohort of client-owned cats with naturally occurring obesity. Twenty-six cats were included, all of which had successfully completed a weight management programme. After weight loss, cats were periodically monitored. The median duration of follow-up was 954 d (72–2162 d). Ten cats (39 %) maintained their completion weight (±5 %), four (15 %) lost >5 % additional weight and 12 (46 %) gained >5 % weight. Seven of the rebounding cats (58 %) regained over 50 % of their original weight lost. Older cats were less likely to regain weight than younger cats (P = 0·024); with an approximately linear negative association between the cat's age and the amount of weight regained (Kendall's τ = −0·340, P = 0·016). Furthermore, cats whose energy intake during weight loss was greater were also more likely to regain weight (P = 0·023). When the characteristics of weight regain in cats were compared with those from a similar cohort of dogs, cats that rebounded were more likely to regain >50 % of the weight they had lost. These results suggest that weight regain, after successful weight loss, is common in obese cats, and that young cats (<7 years of age) are most at risk.