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Background: In the Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, patients considered at risk for carrying highly resistant microorganisms (HRMO) are placed in isolation on admission, until tested negative for HRMO (ie, targeted screening). Patients without risk factors are not routinely screened (ie, nontargeted screening). However, nontargeted screening could identify patients colonized with HRMO missed by targeted screening. To determine the additional value of nontargeted screening, we compared the outcomes of the nontargeted screening approach with all available clinical cultures. Objective: We aim to identify patients colonized with HRMO, but missed by targeted screening, and to determine whether non-targeted screening has additional value. Methods: For the MOVE study, nontargeted admission and discharge cultures (nose and perianal) were obtained from randomly selected patients admitted to specific wards, regardless of HRMO risk factors. This study was part of a research initiative to identify the relation of a contaminated environment with the risk of becoming infected or colonized on a patient level. All bacteriological clinical samples positive for at least 1 HRMO from January 1, 2018, until August 31, 2019, were compared with the nontargeted screening samples. Samples were screened for methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as well as highly resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterococcus faecium, and Enterobacteriales. Broth enrichment was used for all cultures. Results: During the study period, 50,653 patients were admitted. 706 patients (1%) had a clinical sample positive for at least 1 HRMO during their hospital stay. 936 (1.8%) patients were included in the nontargeted screening for the MOVE study, and 40 patients were found to have at least 1 culture positive for HRMO (4.3%). Among these 40 patients, 28 were positive at admission and 12 were positive at discharge. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Enterobacteriales were most prevalent (n = 36, 90.0%) both at admission and discharge (n = 26 and n = 10, respectively). At admission, 1 patient was identified with MRSA and 1 patient was positive for vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE). At discharge, 1 patient was identified with VRE and 1 had Verona Integron-encoded Metallo-β-lactamase (VIM)–positive P. aeruginosa. Conclusions: Our results show that the current targeted screening does not identify all HRMO carriers. Furthermore, patients who acquire an HRMO during admission are missed. The nontargeted screening identified 40 unknown carriers (4.3%). The limitations of the study are the restricted number of sample sites and the fact that we were unable to culture all patients. Therefore, it is likely that our study shows an underestimation of the true number of patients with HRMO.
Background: Studies have shown that patients colonized with highly resistant microorganisms (HRMO) contaminate the hospital environment, and that transmission from contaminated environments to patients occurs. In May 2018, the Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, moved from a hospital with mostly multiple-occupancy rooms to a new hospital with 100% single-patient rooms with private bathrooms. This move provided the unique opportunity to determine environmental contamination before the new hospital was open for admissions and thereafter and to compare the environmental contamination to the number of patients colonized with HRMO. Method: Environmental sampling took place twice in the old building and 12 times in the new building, from 2 weeks before to 15 months after relocating patients. At each moment, ~306 samples were taken from 13 locations (eg, nightstands, sinks) in 40 patient rooms. Samples were screened for Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible [MSSA] and methicillin resistant [MRSA]) and highly resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterococcus faecium, and Enterobacteriales. During the study period, January 1, 2018, until August 31, 2019, all clinical samples positive for HRMO were included. Results: Environmental sampling revealed that 29 of 724 (4.0%) locations were positive for HRMO in the old building, whereas 4 of 3,358 (0.1%) samples in the new building were positive for HRMO (P < .001). In the old building, 14 of 29 locations were positive for extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)–producing bacteria and 15 were positive for carbapenemase-producing bacteria. In the new building, 3 of 4 positive samples were positive for vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE), 1 was positive for ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae. For both HRMO, no carriers were detected. In the old building, 145 of 12,256 adult patients (1.2%) had clinical samples positive for HRMO, compared to 561 of 38,397 (1.5%) in the new building, a small but significant increase (P = .02). Conclusions: The transition from mainly 2- and 4-person rooms to 100% single-patient rooms resulted in a significant decrease in environmental contamination, even though the number of patients colonized with HRMO slightly increased. No molecular typing to determine transfer from environment to patients and vice versa has yet been performed. Future sampling is needed to determine whether the low environmental contamination is a long-term effect of the transition to single rooms.
Whilst it is important that we treat patients with depression in primary care if possible there are many patients with depression who will need the more expert support provided in secondary care.
Aims and methods
An Anonymised Database held by the Bedford East Community Mental Health Team was studied to assess what factors were related to the use of Augmentation Strategies to treat resistant depression.
Of the total 282 patients 109 (38.7%) were on augmentation therapy. In the F32 and F33 group just over a third of the patients (35.8% and 37.1%) were on augmentation therapy and in the F41.2 group over a half of patients (56.7%) were on augmentation therapy.
There does seem to be a relationship between the number of risk factors a patient has and the likelihood that they are on augmentation. Particularly strong factors are another psychiatric diagnosis and ‘other suicide risk factors’.
Generally the patients coming to secondary care with more of the specified risk factors are more likely to need augmentation.
In recent years there has been a move towards treating depressed patients in the community.One factor that may reduce the likelihood of discharge from secondary care is suicidality. The aim of this audit was to identify factors associated with continued suicidality among Community patients.
Subjects and methods
We searched an anonymised database of patients and identified all those with previously documented suicidal thoughts or attempts. We also noted the presence of factors such as alcohol problems, drug problems, augmentation therapy and ‘other risk’ factors (e.g. financial problems or homelessness). We assessed the latest clinic letter, to see if patients were still reporting suicidality. We compared the aforementioned factors between the group of patients in which suicidality was still present (group N) and the group of patients in which suicidality was no longer a feature (group Y).
Of the 56 patients with suicidal thoughts or attempts there were 44 in group N (79%) and 12 in group Y (21%). Alcohol problems, drug problems and ‘other’ risk factors were more common among group Y than group N. Conversely, the percentage of patients on augmentation therapy was greater in group N than group Y.
The audit provides an insight into the factors that might influence outcomes among depressed patients.
Although the results are suggestive, it is difficult to make firm conclusions about patient outcomes on the present data. The audit provides a useful starting point, especially in considering the treatment of patients within the CMHT.
According to Mukherjee et al (2013), UK psychiatry recruitment is 'in crisis”. Psychiatry training programmes are consistently under filled – fill-rate of just 66% to the Core Training Year 1 programme in 2014.
To investigate how attitudes towards psychiatry correlate with the likelihood of choosing a career in psychiatry.
Final year medical students completed an abridged version of the ATP-30 questionnaire, comprising 10 statements which were then rated on a scale of 1 ('strongly disagree”) to 5 ('strongly agree”). Students also rated from 1 to 5 their likelihood of choosing psychiatry. The mean ratings for each question were compared between students who might choose psychiatry (Group A: likelihood ratings 3-5) and students unlikely to choose psychiatry (Group B: likelihood ratings 1-2).
Of the 98 students who returned questionnaires just 3 gave likelihood ratings of 4 ('definitely decided to”) or 5 ('seriously considering”), while 72 gave ratings of 1 ('no way”) or 2 ('unlikely”). Group A were significantly more positive about the statements 'the problems of psychiatric patients are particularly interesting and challenging” (p= 0.02) and 'psychiatrists treat the whole patient, not just the disease” (p=0.02). Group A were also significantly more against the statements 'psychiatrists are often merely failed physicians” (p=0.03); 'psychiatry is unrewarding because treatment is lengthy and inconclusive” (p=0.001); and 'psychiatry is too inexact” (p=0.04).
While complex cases and a holistic approach may attract students towards psychiatry, deterring factors include the perceived low status of the specialty along with a feeling that treatments are poorly specific and lack scientific basis.
Psychiatry in the UK has longstanding recruitment problems (1). Evidence suggests the positive effects of clinical attachments on attitudes towards psychiatry are often transient (2). We therefore created the Psychiatry Early Experience Programme (PEEP) where year 1 medical students are paired with psychiatry trainees and shadow them at work. Students will ideally remain in PEEP throughout medical school, providing consistent exposure to psychiatry and a broad experience of its subspecialties.
1. To present PEEP
2. To assess:
a. Students’ baseline attitudes to psychiatry
b. PEEPs’ impact on students’ attitudes to psychiatry
A prospective survey based cohort study of King’s College London medical students.
PEEP started in 2013. In this cohort all students that signed up were accepted.
Students’ attitudes towards psychiatry were assessed on recruitment using the ATP-30 questionnaire (3), and will be re-assessed annually.
127 students were recruited. Attitudes were positive overall. 73% listed psychiatry in their top three specialities. 95.3% agreed or strongly agreed that ‘psychiatric illness deserves at least as much attention as physical illness.’ 84.3% disagreed or strongly disagreed that ‘at times it is hard to think of psychiatrists as equal to other doctors.’
Baseline attitudes to psychiatry were positive. By March 2015 we aim to collect and analyse data on students’ attitudes after one year in PEEP. Through on-ongoing analysis of this and future cohorts, we aim to assess the impact of PEEP on improving attitudes to psychiatry and whether this will ultimately improve recruitment.
Strategies for the treatment of refractory depression include “switching” and “augmentation”. in recent years, there has been particular interest in the use of augmentation.
The purpose of this audit was to define patient factors among people receiving augmentation therapy with either mirtazepine or atypical antipsychotics.
Subjects and methods:
We searched an anonymised database of patients and identified those receiving augmentation with mirtazepine (group A), atypical antipsychotics (group B) or both (group C). for each of the three groups we recorded the following factors: (1) age, (2) sex, (3) suicidal ideation, (4) alcohol problems, (5) drug problems, (6) domestic problems (e.g. debts, child abuse & domestic violence) (7) psychotic symptoms and (8) co-existing physical diagnoses.
Group B spanned a wider range of ages than either of the other two groups. Group A contained the highest proportion of patients with suicidal ideation than either. Alcohol problems were most common in group A, drug problems most common in group B and domestic problems most common in group C. Perhaps unsurprisingly psychotic symptoms were present in a relatively high percentage of patients in group B. there was little difference in physical co-morbidities between the three groups.
The audit reveals some interesting differences in patient factors between the three groups. Knowledge about such differences is useful in practical terms because it allows doctors in the BCMHT to target therapy for different patients towards their specific needs.
Potential augmentation regimes include the addition of atypical antipsychotics or other antidepressants (e.g. mirtazepine). there is growing evidence in the literature to support the efficacy of both the aforementioned augmentation strategies.
The purpose of this audit was to compare patient outcomes between groups receiving different augmentation strategies.
Subjects and methods:
We searched an anonymised database of patients and identified those receiving augmentation with mirtazepine (group A), atypical antipsychotics (group B) or both (group C). for each patient we noted
(1) The discharge status and
(2) The presence of suicidal ideation.
We then looked at clinical notes to find out whether or not patients were still reporting suicidality.
The proportion of patients who had been discharged was highest in group A. the percentage of patients still reporting suicidal thoughts was higher in group B than in groups A or C.
Augmentation with mirtazepine resulted in better outcomes in terms of both discharge rates and in terms of reduction in suicidality than augmentation with atypical antipsychotics. One explanation for this is that mirtazepine augmentation is a more effective method of treatment in patients with refractory depression. However, it is also possible that differences in patient factors (e.g. age and drug problems) between the different treatment groups could contribute to variability in outcomes. A previous audit (Holt et al, 2011) has already confirmed that such differences do exist among the patients being analysed in this audit.
At Guy's King's and St Thomas’ School of Medicine, a unique initiative is the Psychiatry Early Experience Programme (PEEP), which allows students to shadow psychiatry trainees at work several times a year. The students’ attitudes towards psychiatry and the scheme are regularly assessed and initial results are already available.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Out of hours, there is only one on-site junior doctor. First year psychiatry trainees (CT1s) and GP trainees may have no prior experience in psychiatry. On-call shifts are therefore potentially daunting for new trainees.
Expand the resources available for trainees when on-call.
We issued questionnaires to CT1s asking if they would have appreciated more information about on-call scenarios and in what format.
Based on the questionnaire results we implemented some changes. These were:
– a printed “pocket-guide” summarising common on-call scenarios;
– a training video on common on-call scenarios.
The handout was given to new trainees in February 2016 and in August 2016. The video was shown to new trainees in August 2016. Trainees provided feedback on the resources.
Of 24 CT1s, 15 (63%) were “neutral” or “disagreed” that they had felt prepared for on-calls.
CT1s wanted additional resources, especially a paper handout or phone download.
Feedback on the “pocket-guide” from trainees in February 2016 (n = 8) was positive (62.5% reported increased confidence in on-call situations). Feedback is also being collected from trainees who received the guide in August 2016.
Trainees in August 2016 (n = 36) liked the video – no trainees “disagreed” with statements asking if the video had been useful.
The video improved the confidence of trainees about on-call situations by an average of 2.8 points.
We have expanded available resources relating to on-calls and improved confidence. Further improvements would include making resources more easily available in downloadable formats.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Nosocomial outbreaks due to multidrug-resistant microorganisms in rehabilitation centers have rarely been reported. We report an outbreak of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-K. pneumoniae) on a single ward in a rehabilitation center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
A 40-bed ward of a rehabilitation center in the Netherlands.
In October 2016, 2 patients were found to be colonized by genetically indistinguishable ESBL-K. pneumoniae isolates. Therefore, an outbreak management team was installed, by whom a contact tracing plan was made. In addition to general outbreak measures, specific measures were formulated to allow continuation of the rehabilitation process. Also, environmental cultures were taken. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis and amplification fragment-length polymorphism were used to determine strain relatedness. Selected isolates were subjected to whole-genome multilocus sequence typing.
The outbreak lasted 8 weeks. In total, 14 patients were colonized with an ESBL-K. pneumoniae, of whom 11 patients had an isolate belonging to sequence type 307. Overall, 163 environmental cultures were taken. Several sites of a household washing machine were repeatedly found to be contaminated with the outbreak strain. This machine was used to wash lifting slings and patient clothing contaminated with feces. The outbreak was contained after taking the machine temporarily out of service and implementing a reinforced and adapted protocol on the use of this machine.
We conclude that in this outbreak, the route of transmission of the outbreak strain via the household washing machine played a major role.
Introduction: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a common, sometimes difficult to diagnose spectrum of diseases. Given the diagnostic challenge, it is sensible for emergency physicians to have an approach to prognosticate patients with possible ACS. The objective of this review was to investigate the ability of the HEART score to predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in patients presenting to the ED with possible ACS. Methods: Eleven databases and other sources identified 468 potentially relevant studies. Sixty-seven studies underwent full text review with 25 studies meeting eligibility criteria. Main outcome measures were pooled prevalence, risk ratio (RR), and absolute risk reduction (ARR) for MACE within six weeks of ED evaluation, comparing HEART score 0–3 versus 4–10. Model discrimination (sensitivity, specificity, concordance statistic) and calibration (observed to expected events ratio) were also evaluated. Results: Data from 25 studies including 41,397 patients were combined in the meta-analysis. In total, 4815 patients (11.6%) developed MACE. Among 18,866 patients with HEART score 0–3, 396 (2.1%) developed MACE (RR 0.08; ARR 0.20). Outcome measures were consistent across planned subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Among studies with secondary outcome data for patients with HEART score 0–3, 5 of 6461 (0.1%) died and 75 of 7556 (1.0%) had a myocardial infarction. Conclusion: The HEART score provides a reliable quantitative risk assessment of MACE in ED patients with possible ACS. Emergency clinicians should consider using the HEART score to facilitate risk communication and shared decision making with patients and other care providers.
Effective treatment of maternal antenatal depression may ameliorate adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in offspring. We performed two follow-up rounds of children at age 2 and age 5 whose mothers had received either specialized cognitive-behavioural therapy or routine care for depression while pregnant. Of the original cohort of 54 women, renewed consent was given by 28 women for 2-year follow-up and by 24 women for 5-year follow-up. Child assessments at the 2-year follow-up included the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-III) and the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). The 5-year follow-up included the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence (WPPSI-III) and again the CBCL. Treatment during pregnancy showed significant benefits for children’s development at age 2, but not at age 5. At 2 years, intervention effects were found with lower scores on the PSI Total score, Parent Domain and Child domain (d=1.44, 1.47, 0.96 respectively). A non-significant trend favoured the intervention group on most subscales of the CBCL and the BSID-III (most notably motor development: d =0.52). In contrast, at 5-year follow-up, no intervention effects were found. Also, irrespective of treatment allocation, higher depression or anxiety during pregnancy was associated with higher CBCL and lower WPPSI-III scores at 5 years. This is one of the first controlled studies to evaluate the long-term effect of antenatal depression treatment on infant neurodevelopmental outcomes, showing some benefit. Nevertheless, caution should be taken interpreting the results because of a small sample size, and larger studies are warranted.
Relationships between stable isotopes (δD–δ18O), ice facies and glacier structures have hitherto gone untested in the mid-latitude maritime glaciers of the Southern Hemisphere. Here, we present δD–δ18O values as part of a broader study of the structural glaciology of Fox Glacier, New Zealand. We analyzed 94 samples of δD–δ18O from a range of ice facies to investigate whether isotopes have potential for structural glaciological studies of a rapidly deforming glacier. The δD–δ18O measurements were aided by structural mapping and imagery from terminus time-lapse cameras. The current retreat phase was preceded by an advance of 1 km between 1984 and 2009, with the isotopic sampling and analysis undertaken at the end of that advance (2010/11). Stable isotopes from debris-bearing shear planes near the terminus, interpreted as thrust faults, are isotopically enriched compared with the surrounding ice. When plotted on co-isotopic diagrams (δD–δ18O), ice sampled from the shear planes appears to show a subtle, but distinctive isotopic signal compared with the surrounding clean ice on the lower glacier. Hence, stable isotopes (δD–δ18O) have potential within the structural glaciology field, but larger sample numbers than reported here may be required to establish isotopic contrasts between a broad range of ice facies and glacier structures.
The radiation environment of space poses a challenge for electronic systems, in particular flash memory, which contains multiple radiation-sensitive parts. Resistive memory (RRAM) devices have the potential to replace flash memory, functioning as an inherently radiation resistant memory device. Several studies indicate significant radiation resistance in RRAM devices to a broad range of radiation types and doses. In this study, we focus on the effect of displacement damage on tantalum oxide-based RRAM devices, as this form of damage is likely a worst-case scenario. An Ar+ (170 keV) ion beam was used to minimize any contribution from ionization damage, maximizing the effect of displacement damage. Fluence levels were chosen to generate enough oxygen vacancies such that devices in the high resistance state (HRS) would likely switch to the low resistance state (LRS). More than half of devices tested at the highest fluence level (1.43E13 ions/cm2) switched from HRS to LRS. The devices were then switched for 50 set/reset cycles, after which the radiation-induced resistance shift disappeared. These results suggest that device switching may mitigate radiation damage by accelerating oxygen vacancy-interstitial recombination.
The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research – MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.
Impetigo is common in remote Indigenous children of northern Australia, with the primary driver in this context being Streptococcus pyogenes [or group A Streptococcus (GAS)]. To reduce the high burden of impetigo, the transmission dynamics of GAS must be more clearly elucidated. We performed whole genome sequencing on 31 GAS isolates collected in a single community from children in 11 households with ⩾2 GAS-infected children. We aimed to determine whether transmission was occurring principally within households or across the community. The 31 isolates were represented by nine multilocus sequence types and isolates within each sequence type differed from one another by only 0–3 single nucleotide polymorphisms. There was evidence of extensive transmission both within households and across the community. Our findings suggest that strategies to reduce the burden of impetigo in this setting will need to extend beyond individual households, and incorporate multi-faceted, community-wide approaches.
This study identified factors that influenced physical activity (PA) participation among older adults from rural settings in Nova Scotia Canada and explored how the rural context may influence PA participation and promotion. Data were collected via individual semistructured interviews with 20 older adults (Mage = 77.5 years) from rural areas of Cape Breton and subjected to thematic analysis procedures (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Four themes representing factors that influence the prioritization of PA were identified: (1) historical context of activity, work, and productivity; (2) already busy with day-to-day activities; (3) being/staying on the go; and (4) cautionary approach. These findings suggest that PA promotion should be contextually salient, and highlight the need for a shared understanding between rural older adults and PA promoters regarding what constitutes being “physically active”. Effective promotion of PA among rural older adults may require a shift away from contemporary methods of PA promotion.
Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) is a novel form of non-volatile memory that is expected to play a major role in future computing and memory solutions. It has been shown that the resistance of RRAM devices can be precisely tuned by modulating switching voltages, by limiting peak current, and by adjusting the switching pulse duration. This enables the realization of novel applications such as memristive neuromorphic computing and neural network computing. The RRAM devices described in this work utilize an inert tungsten bottom electrode, hafnium oxide based active switching layer, a titanium oxygen exchange layer, and an inert titanium nitride top electrode. Linear sweep and controlled pulse (down to 10 ns) based electrical characterization of RRAM devices was performed in a 1 transistor 1 RRAM (1T1R) configuration to determine endurance, reliability, retention and threshold voltage parameters. We demonstrated endurance values above 108 cycles with an average on/off ratio of 15 and pulse voltages for set/reset operation of ±1.5V. The on-chip 1T1R structures show an excellent controllability with respect to the low and high resistive state by manipulating the peak current from 75 up to 350µA we were able to achieve 10 discrete resistive states. Our results demonstrate that the set operation (which shifts the RRAM device from the high to the low resistance state) is only dependent on the voltage of the switching pulse and the peak current limit. The reset operation, however, occurs in an analog fashion and appears to be dependent on the total energy of the applied switching pulse. Pulse energy was modulated by varying the peak voltage which resulted in a larger relative change of the RRAM device resistance.