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To assess potential transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs) using surrogate markers and bacterial cultures.
A 1,260-bed tertiary-care academic medical center.
The study included 25 patients (17 of whom were on contact precautions for AROs) and 77 healthcare personnel (HCP).
Fluorescent powder (FP) and MS2 bacteriophage were applied in patient rooms. HCP visits to each room were observed for 2–4 hours; hand hygiene (HH) compliance was recorded. Surfaces inside and outside the room and HCP skin and clothing were assessed for fluorescence, and swabs were collected for MS2 detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and selective bacterial cultures.
Transfer of FP was observed for 20 rooms (80%) and 26 HCP (34%). Transfer of MS2 was detected for 10 rooms (40%) and 15 HCP (19%). Bacterial cultures were positive for 1 room and 8 HCP (10%). Interactions with patients on contact precautions resulted in fewer FP detections than interactions with patients not on precautions (P < .001); MS2 detections did not differ by patient isolation status. Fluorescent powder detections did not differ by HCP type, but MS2 was recovered more frequently from physicians than from nurses (P = .03). Overall, HH compliance was better among HCP caring for patients on contact precautions than among HCP caring for patients not on precautions (P = .003), among nurses than among other nonphysician HCP at room entry (P = .002), and among nurses than among physicians at room exit (P = .03). Moreover, HCP who performed HH prior to assessment had fewer fluorescence detections (P = .008).
Contact precautions were associated with greater HCP HH compliance and reduced detection of FP and MS2.
We evaluated the impact of an electronic health record based 72-hour antimicrobial time-out (ATO) on antimicrobial utilization. We observed that 6 hours after the ATO, 21% of empiric antimicrobials were discontinued or de-escalated. There was a significant reduction in the duration of antimicrobial therapy but no impact on overall antimicrobial usage metrics.
Background: Chest tube insertion is a time and safety critical procedure with a significant complication rate (up to 30%). Industry routinely uses Lean and ergonomic methodology to improve systems. This process improvement study used best evidence review, small group consensus, process mapping and prototyping in order to design a lean and ergonomically mindful equipment solution. Aim Statement: By simplifying and reorganising chest tube equipment, we aim to provide users with adequate equipment, reduce equipment waste, and wasted effort locating equipment. Measures & Design: The study was conducted between March 2018 and November 2018. An initial list of process steps from the best available evidence was produced. This list was then augmented by multispecialty team consensus (3 Emergency Physicians, 1 Thoracic Surgeon, 1 medical student, 2 EM nurses). Necessary equipment was identified. Next, two prototyping phases were conducted using a task trainer and a realistic interprofessional team (1 EM Physician, 1 ER Nurse, 1 Medical student) to refine the equipment list and packaging. A final equipment storage system was produced and evaluated by an interprofessional team during cadaver training using a survey and Likert scales. Evaluation/Results: There were 47 equipment items in the pre-intervention ED chest tube tray. After prototyping 21 items were removed while nine critical items were added. The nine items missing from the original design were found in four different locations in the department. Six physicians and seven RNs participated in cadaver testing and completed an evaluation survey of the new layout. Participants preferred the new storage design (Likert median 5, IQR of 1) over the current storage design (median of 1, IQR of 1). Discussion/Impact: The results suggest that the lean equipment storage is preferred by ED staff compared to the current set-up, may reduce time finding missing equipment, and will reduce waste. Future simulation work will quantitatively understand compliance with safety critical steps, user stress, wasted user time and cost.
Introduction: Improving public access and training for epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) can reduce time to initial treatment in anaphylaxis. Effective use of EAIs by the public requires bystanders to respond in a timely and proficient manner. We wished to examine optimal methods for assessing effective training and skill retention for public use of EAIs, including the use of microskills lists. Methods: In this prospective, stratified randomized study, 154 participants at 15 sites receiving installation of public EAIs were randomized to one of three experimental education interventions: A) didactic poster (POS) teaching; B) poster with video teaching (VID), and C) Poster, video, and simulation training (SIM). Participants were tested by participation in a standardized simulated anaphylaxis scenario at 0-months, immediately following training, and again at follow-up at 3 months. Participants’ responses were videoed and assessed by two blinded raters using microksills checklists. The microskills lists were derived from the best available evidence and interprofessional process mapping using a skills trainer. The interobserver reliability was assessed for each item in a 14 step microskill checklist composed of 3-point and 5-point Likert scale questions around EpiPen use, expressed as Kappa Values. Results: Overall there was poor agreement between the two raters. Being composed or panicked had the highest level of agreement K = 0.7, but a result that did not reach statistical significance (substantial agreement, p = 0.06) calling for EMS support has the second highest level of agreement, K = 0.6 (moderate agreement, p = 0.01), the remainder of the items had very low to moderate agreement with a Kappa value range of -103 to 0.48. Conclusion: Although microskills chesklists have been shown to identify areas where learners and interprofessional teams require deliberate practice, these results support previously published evidence that the use of microskills checklists to assess skills has poor reproducibility. Performance will be further assessed in this study using global rating scales, which have shown higher levels of agreement in other studies.
Introduction: Chest tube insertion, a critical procedure with a published complication rate (30%), is a required competency for emergency physicians. Microskills training has been shown to identify steps that require deliberate practice. Objectives were: 1. Develop a chest tube insertion microskills checklist to facilitate IPE, 2. Compare the microskills checklist with published best available evidence, 3. Develop an educational video based on the process map, 4. Evaluate the video in an interprofessional team prior to cadaver training as a proof of concept. Methods: The study was conducted between March 2018 and November 2018. An initial list of process steps from the best available evidence was produced. This list was then augmented by multispecialty team consensus (3 Emergency Physicians, 1 Thoracic Surgeon, 1 medical student, 2 EM nurses). Two prototyping phases were conducted using a task trainer and a realistic interprofessional team (1 EM Physician, 1 ER Nurse, 1 Medical student). A final microskills list was produced and compared to the procedural steps described in consensus publications. An educational video was produced and evaluated by an interprofessional team prior to cadaver training using a survey and Likert scales as a proof of concept. Participants were 7 EM RNs and 6 ATLS trained physicians. Participants were asked to fill out a nine-question survey, using a 5-point Likert Scale (1-strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree). Results: The final process map contained 54 interdisciplinary steps, compared to ATLS that describes 14 main steps and peer reviewed articles that describe 9 main steps. The microskills checklist described, in more detail, the steps that relate to team interaction and the operational environment. Physicians rated the training video were able to apply what they learned in the video with an average of 4.67 (median of 5, mode of 5, and an IQR of 0.75). Conclusion: The development of the process maps and microkills checklists provides interprofessional teams with more information about chest tube insertion than instructions described in commonly available courses and procedural steps derived by consensus.
Palaeontological deductions from the fossil remnants of extinct dinosaurs tell us much about their classification into species as well as about their physiological and behavioural characteristics. Geological evidence indicates that dinosaurs became extinct at the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene eras, about 66 million years ago, at a time when there was worldwide environmental change resulting from the impact of a large celestial object with the Earth and/or from vast volcanic eruptions. However, apart from the presumption that climate change and interference with food supply contributed to their extinction, no biological mechanism has been suggested to explain why such a diverse range of terrestrial vertebrates ceased to exist. One of perhaps several contributing mechanisms comes by extrapolating from the physiology of the avian descendants of dinosaurs. This raises the possibility that cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) deficiency of developing embryos in dinosaur eggs could have caused their death before hatching, thus extinguishing the entire family of dinosaurs through failure to reproduce.
Stan Wood had a gift for finding exceptional Early Carboniferous fossils. Among them are
32 type specimens. His discoveries significantly changed our understanding of the history
of life on Earth. Many of the fossils he collected are on display in museums across the UK
and the localities he discovered continue to yield important new material. Here we briefly
review some of Stan Wood's key achievements and describe the legacy he left.
Pregnancy and childbirth are a period of high risk for women with bipolar disorder and involve difficult decisions particularly about continuing or stopping medications.
To explore what clinical predictors may help to individualise the risk of perinatal recurrence in women with bipolar disorder.
Information was gathered retrospectively by semi-structured interview, questionnaires and case-note review from 887 women with bipolar disorder who have had children. Clinical predictors were selected using backwards stepwise logistic regression, conditional permutation random forests and reinforcement learning trees.
Previous perinatal history of affective psychosis or depression was the most significant predictor of a perinatal recurrence (odds ratio (OR) = 8.5, 95% CI 5.04–14.82 and OR = 3.6, 95% CI 2.55–5.07 respectively) but even parous women with bipolar disorder without a previous perinatal mood episode were at risk following a subsequent pregnancy, with 7% developing postpartum psychosis.
Previous perinatal history of affective psychosis or depression is the most important predictor of perinatal recurrence in women with bipolar disorder and can be used to individualise risk assessments.
Objective: Perceived upright depends on three main factors: vision, graviception, and the internal representation of the long axis of the body. We assessed the relative contributions of these factors in individuals with sub-acute and chronic stroke and controls using a novel tool; the Oriented Character Recognition Test (OCHART). We also considered whether individuals who displayed active pushing or had a history of pushing behaviours had different weightings than those with no signs of pushing. Method: Three participants experienced a stroke <3 months before the experiment: one with active pushing. In total, 14 participants experienced a stroke >6 months prior: eight with a history of pushing. In total, 12 participants served as healthy aged-matched controls. Visual and graviceptive cues were dissociated by orienting the visual background left, right, or upright relative to the body, or by orienting the body left, right, or upright relative to gravity. A three-vector model was used to quantify the weightings of vision, graviception, and the body to the perceptual upright. Results: The control group showed weightings of 13% vision, 25% graviception, and 62% body. Some individuals with stroke showed a similar pattern; others, particularly those with recent stroke, showed different patterns, for example, being unaffected by one of the three factors. The participant with active pushing behaviour displayed an ipsilesional perceptual bias (>30°) and was not affected by visual cues to upright. Conclusion: The results of OCHART may be used to quantify the weightings of multisensory inputs in individuals post-stroke and may help characterize perceptual sources of pushing behaviours.
Introduction: Improving public access and training for epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) can reduce time to initial treatment in anaphylaxis. Effective use of EAIs by the public requires bystanders to respond in a timely and proficient manner. We wished to examine optimal methods for effective training and skill retention for public use of EAIs. Methods: In this prospective, stratified randomized study, 154 participants at 15 sites receiving installation of public EAIs were randomized to one of three experimental education interventions: A) didactic poster (POS) teaching; B) poster with video teaching (VID), and C) Poster, video, and simulation training (SIM). Participants were tested by participation in a standardized simulated anaphylaxis scenario at 0-months, immediately following training, and again at follow-up at 3 months. Participants responses were videoed and assessed by blinded raters. Patient recorded experience measures (PREMs) assessed participant-patient interaction for every scenario. Data that was non-normally distributed was analyzed using non-parametric testing (Kruskall-Wallis-Rank Sum-Test). Results: Initial analysis showed differences between group baseline characteristics for age and first aid training; with a multivariable analysis providing the effect size of these differences. PREM data and video assessment data were not normally distributed. Analysis of PREM data revealed significantly higher scores in the SIM group at 0-months (median=6.5, IQR=5; p=0.05) and 3-months (median=5, IQR=3; p<0.01), compared to those groups that did not receive SIM. Video assessment performance scores show trends in higher skills and knowledge retention for SIM participants at 3-months; full data analysis will be performed at a later date. Final video assessment analysis will involve a weighted scoring system, using a consensus process, and an inter-rater agreement analysis. Conclusion: Simulation training improves interaction, essential skills, and retention of knowledge in simulated anaphylaxis response with public EAIs compared to non-simulation-based training.
The study compares experiences of workplace stressors for emergency medicine trainees and specialists in settings where the specialty is relatively well resourced and established (Canada), and where it is newer and less well resourced (South Africa, (SA)).
We conducted an online cross-sectional survey of emergency medicine trainees and physicians in both countries for six domains (demands, role, support, change, control, and relationships) using the validated Management Standards Indicator Tool (MSIT, Health, and Safety Executive, United Kingdom).
74 SA and 430 Canadian respondents were included in our analysis. SA trainees (n=38) reported higher stressors (lower MSIT scores) than SA specialists (n=36) for demands (2.2 (95%CI 2.1-2.3) vs. 2.7 (2.5-2.8)), control (2.6 (2.4-2.7) vs. 3.5 (3.3-3.7)) and change (2.4 (2.2-2.6) vs. 3.0 (2.7-3.3)). In Canada, specialists (n=395) had higher demands (2.6 (2.6-2.7) vs. 3.0 (2.8-3.1)) and manager support stressors (3.3 (3.3-3.4) vs. 3.9 (3.6-4.1)) than trainees (n=35). Canadian trainees reported higher role stressors (4.0 (95%CI 3.8-4.1) vs. 4.2 (4.2-4.3)) than Canadian specialists. SA trainees had higher stressors on all domains than Canadian trainees. There was one domain (control) where Canadian specialists scored significantly lower than SA specialists, whereas SA specialists had significantly lower scores on peer support, relationships and role.
Work related stressor domains were different for all four groups. Perceived stressors were higher in all measured domains among SA trainees compared with Canadian trainees. The differences between the SA and Canadian specialists may reflect the developing nature of the specialty in SA, although the Canadian specialists reported less control over their work than SA counterparts.
To characterize trends in outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the United States
Retrospective ecological and temporal trend study evaluating outpatient antibiotic prescriptions from 2013 to 2015
National administrative claims data from a pharmacy benefits manager PARTICIPANTS. Prescription pharmacy beneficiaries from Express Scripts Holding Company
Annual and seasonal percent change in antibiotic prescriptions
Approximately 98 million outpatient antibiotic prescriptions were filled by 39 million insurance beneficiaries during the 3-year study period. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were azithromycin, amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, and cephalexin. No significant changes in individual or overall annual antibiotic prescribing rates were found during the study period. Significant seasonal variation was observed, with antibiotics being 42% more likely to be prescribed during February than September (peak-to-trough ratio [PTTR], 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39–1.61). Similar seasonal trends were found for azithromycin (PTTR, 2.46; 95% CI, 2.44–3.47), amoxicillin (PTTR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.42–1.89), and amoxicillin/clavulanate (PTTR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.68–2.29).
This study demonstrates that annual national outpatient antibiotic prescribing practices remained unchanged during our study period. Furthermore, seasonal peaks in antibiotics generally used to treat viral upper respiratory tract infections remained unchanged during cold and influenza season. These results suggest that inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics remains widespread, despite the concurrent release of several guideline-based best practices intended to reduce inappropriate antibiotic consumption; however, further research linking national outpatient antibiotic prescriptions to associated medical conditions is needed to confirm these findings.
A total of eight foxhound packs in England and Wales were screened for Echinococcus species using a genus-specific coproantigen ELISA and for Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus equinus by coproPCR. Main screening (n = 364 hounds) occurred during 2010–2011 wherein a quarter (25.6%) of the foxhound fecal samples tested were Echinococcus coproantigen-positive (93/364). In total, five of eight (62.5%) hunts screened had coproantigen-positive hounds; coproantigen prevalence for individual foxhound packs ranged from 0 to 61.2% and was shown to be >30% in three hunts (in counties of Powys, Wales and Northumberland, England). Foxhound fecal samples from six of the eight tested hunts (four Welsh and two English hunts) were positive by coproPCR for E. granulosus s.l (including one sequence confirmation of E. granulosus sensu stricto) and E. equinus DNA. Analysis of hunt questionnaire data suggested that there was an association between poor foxhound husbandry, especially feeding practices and Echinococcus coproantigen prevalence. Clearer guidelines regarding the risk of canine echinococcosis are required for safe management of foxhound hunts in England and Wales.
Tonsillectomy is a common procedure with significant post-operative pain. This study was designed to compare post-operative pain, returns to a normal diet and normal activity, and duration of regular analgesic use in Coblation and bipolar tonsillectomy patients.
A total of 137 patients, aged 2–50 years, presenting to a single institution for tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were recruited. Pain level, diet, analgesic use, return to normal activity and haemorrhage data were collected.
Coblation tonsillectomy was associated with significantly less pain than bipolar tonsillectomy on post-operative days 1 (p = 0.005), 2 (p = 0.006) and 3 (p = 0.010). Mean pain scores were also significantly lower in the Coblation group (p = 0.039). Coblation patients had a significantly faster return to normal activity than bipolar tonsillectomy patients (p < 0.001).
Coblation tonsillectomy is a less painful technique compared to bipolar tonsillectomy in the immediate post-operative period and in the overall post-operative period. This allows a faster return to normal activity and decreased analgesic requirements.
Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) are responding to ocean–climate variability throughout the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) where some breeding colonies have declined by 80%. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers were used to understand historical population genetic structure and gene flow given relatively recent and continuing reductions in sea ice habitats and changes in numbers of breeding adults at colonies throughout the WAP. Genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, genetic signatures of fluctuations in population demography and gene flow were assessed in four regional Adélie penguin colonies. The analyses indicated little genetic structure overall based on bi-parentally inherited microsatellite markers (FST =-0.006–0.004). No significant variance was observed in overall haplotype frequency (mtDNA ΦST =0.017; P=0.112). Some comparisons with Charcot Island were significant, suggestive of female-biased philopatry. Estimates of gene flow based on a two-population coalescent model were asymmetrical from the species’ regional core to its northern range. Breeding Adélie penguins of the WAP are a panmictic population and hold adequate genetic diversity and dispersal capacity to be resilient to environmental change.
To evaluate healthcare worker (HCW) risk of self-contamination when donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) using fluorescence and MS2 bacteriophage.
Prospective pilot study.
A total of 36 HCWs were included in this study: 18 donned/doffed contact precaution (CP) PPE and 18 donned/doffed Ebola virus disease (EVD) PPE.
HCWs donned PPE according to standard protocols. Fluorescent liquid and MS2 bacteriophage were applied to HCWs. HCWs then doffed their PPE. After doffing, HCWs were scanned for fluorescence and swabbed for MS2. MS2 detection was performed using reverse transcriptase PCR. The donning and doffing processes were videotaped, and protocol deviations were recorded.
Overall, 27% of EVD PPE HCWs and 50% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while donning, and 100% of EVD PPE HCWs and 67% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while doffing (P=.02). The median number of doffing protocol deviations among EVD PPE HCWs was 4, versus 1 among CP PPE HCWs. Also, 15 EVD PPE protocol deviations were committed by doffing assistants and/or trained observers. Fluorescence was detected on 8 EVD PPE HCWs (44%) and 5 CP PPE HCWs (28%), most commonly on hands. MS2 was recovered from 2 EVD PPE HCWs (11%) and 3 CP PPE HCWs (17%).
Protocol deviations were common during both EVD and CP PPE doffing, and some deviations during EVD PPE doffing were committed by the HCW doffing assistant and/or the trained observer. Self-contamination was common. PPE donning/doffing are complex and deserve additional study.
Introduction: Domestic violence (DV) rates in smaller cities have been reported to be some of the highest in Canada. It is highly likely that emergency department staff will come across victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in their daily practice. However, elsewhere we have found a lack of knowledge of current tools as well as lack of training in ED staff. Furthermore, these findings may also be reflected by low rates of IPV documentation, especially in high-risk cases. The purpose of the current study is to determine if ED staff would be willing to implement a brief IPV screening tool, the Partner Violence Screen (PVS) in their daily practice. It consists of the 3 questions: Have you ever been hit, kicked, punched or otherwise hurt by someone within the past year, and if so, by whom? Do you feel safe in your current relationship? Is there a partner from a previous relationship that is making you feel unsafe now? Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to ED staff (LPNs, NPs, Physicians, Residents, RNs) via staff email lists three times between July and October 2016, with a response rate of 45.9% (n=55). The survey included a 5-question Likert scale. The primary outcome was whether ED staff are willing to implement a new case-finding tool in their daily practice. The secondary outcome was to assess whether staff would find this tool beneficial in case-finding for IPV. Results: 43.6% of staff responded that they are likely to use the tool routinely, 29.1% were unsure, and 2.7% very likely. 7.27% and 3.64% stated their predicted use as unlikely and very unlikely, respectively. In addition, 43.6% of staff thought that the PVS would be beneficial in case finding for IPV, 40% were unsure, 12.7% thought very likely, 1.82% unlikely, and 1.82% very unlikely. Conclusion: These findings suggest that emergency department staff may be receptive to and find the introduction of the PVS beneficial in identifying cases of IPV. Future directions will include the introduction of this tool through a knowledge translation education piece in order improve the identification process for and awareness of a high-risk condition in a vulnerable population group.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.