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Introduction: We previously derived (N = 559) and validated (N = 1,100) the 10-item Ottawa Heart Failure Risk Scale (OHFRS), to assist with disposition decisions for patients with acute heart failure (AHF) in the emergency department (ED). In the current study we sought to use a larger dataset to develop a more concise and more accurate risk scale. Methods: We analyzed data from the prior two studies and from a new cohort. For all 3 groups we conducted prospective cohort studies that enrolled patients who required treatment for AHF at 8 tertiary care hospital EDs. Patients were followed for 30 days. The primary outcome was short-term serious outcome (SSO), defined as death within 30 days, intubation or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) after admission, myocardial infarction, or relapse resulting in hospital admission within 14 days. The fully pre-specified logistic regression model with 13 predictors (where age, pCO2, and SaO2 were modeled using spline functions) was fitted to 10 multiple imputation datasets. Harrell's fast stepdown procedure reduced the number of variables. We calculated the potential impact on sensitivity (95% CI) for SSO and hospital admissions, and estimated a sample size of 2,000 patients. Results: The 1,986 patients had mean age 77.3 years, male 54.1%, EMS arrival 41.2%, IV NTG 3.3%, ED NIV 5.4%, admission on initial visit 49.5%. Overall there were 236 (11.9%) SSOs including 61 deaths (3.1%), meaning that current admission practice sensitivity for SSO was only 59.7%. The final HEARTRISK6 scale is comprised of 6 variables (points) (C-statistic 0.68): Valvular heart disease (2) Antiarrhythmic medication (2) ED non-invasive ventilation (3) Creatinine 80–150 (1); ≥150 (3) Troponin ≥3x URL (2) Walk test failed (1). The probability of SSO ranged from 4.8% for a total score of 0 to 62.4% for a score of 10, showing good calibration. Choosing a HEARTRISK6 total point admission threshold of ≥3 would yield sensitivity of 70.8% (95%CI 64.5-76.5) for SSO with a slight decrease in admissions to 47.9%. Choosing a threshold of ≥2 would yield a sensitivity of 84.3% (95%CI 79.0-88.7) but require 66.6% admissions. Conclusion: Using a large prospectively collected dataset, we created a more concise and more sensitive risk scale to assist with admission decisions for patients with AHF in the ED. Implementation of the HEARTRISK6 scale should lead to safer and more efficient disposition decisions, with more high-risk patients being admitted and more low-risk patients being discharged.
Introduction: For rhythm control of acute atrial fibrillation (AAF) in the emergency department (ED), choices include initial drug therapy or initial electrical cardioversion (ECV). We compared the strategies of pharmacological cardioversion followed by ECV if necessary (Drug-Shock), and ECV alone (Shock Only). Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial (1:1 allocation) comparing two rhythm control strategies at 11 academic EDs. We included stable adult patients with AAF, where onset of symptoms was <48 hours. Patients underwent central web-based randomization stratified by site. The Drug-Shock group received an infusion of procainamide (15mg/kg over 30 minutes) followed 30 minutes later, if necessary, by ECV at 200 joules x 3 shocks. The Shock Only group received an infusion of saline followed, if necessary, by ECV x 3 shocks. The primary outcome was conversion to sinus rhythm for ≥30 minutes at any time following onset of infusion. Patients were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was evaluated on an apriori-specified modified intention-to-treat (MITT) basis excluding patients who never received the study infusion (e.g. spontaneous conversion). Data were analyzed using chi-squared tests and logistic regression. Our target sample size was 374 evaluable patients. Results: Of 395 randomized patients, 18 were excluded from the MITT analysis; none were lost to follow-up. The Drug-Shock (N = 198) and Shock Only (N = 180) groups (total = 378) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (60.0 vs 59.5 yrs), duration of AAF (10.1 vs 10.8 hrs), previous AF (67.2% vs 68.3%), median CHADS2 score (0 vs 0), and mean initial heart rate (119.9 vs 118.0 bpm). More patients converted to normal sinus rhythm in the Drug-Shock group (97.0% vs 92.2%; absolute difference 4.8%, 95% CI 0.2-9.9; P = 0.04). The multivariable analyses confirmed the Drug-Shock strategy superiority (P = 0.04). There were no statistically significant differences for time to conversion (91.4 vs 85.4 minutes), total ED length of stay (7.1 vs 7.7 hours), disposition home (97.0% vs 96.1%), and stroke within 14 days (0 vs 0). Premature discontinuation of infusion was more common in the Drug-Shock group (8.1% vs 0.6%) but there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: Both the Drug-Shock and Shock Only strategies were highly effective and safe in allowing AAF patients to go home in sinus rhythm. A strategy of initial cardioversion with procainamide was superior to a strategy of immediate ECV.
Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) affect patients in hospitals and in the community, but the relative importance of transmission in each setting is unknown. We developed a mathematical model of C. difficile transmission in a hospital and surrounding community that included infants, adults and transmission from animal reservoirs. We assessed the role of these transmission routes in maintaining disease and evaluated the recommended classification system for hospital- and community-acquired CDIs. The reproduction number in the hospital was <1 (range: 0.16–0.46) for all scenarios. Outside the hospital, the reproduction number was >1 for nearly all scenarios without transmission from animal reservoirs (range: 1.0–1.34). However, the reproduction number for the human population was <1 if a minority (>3.5–26.0%) of human exposures originated from animal reservoirs. Symptomatic adults accounted for <10% transmission in the community. Under conservative assumptions, infants accounted for 17% of community transmission. An estimated 33–40% of community-acquired cases were reported but 28–39% of these reported cases were misclassified as hospital-acquired by recommended definitions. Transmission could be plausibly sustained by asymptomatically colonised adults and infants in the community or exposure to animal reservoirs, but not hospital transmission alone. Under-reporting of community-onset cases and systematic misclassification underplays the role of community transmission.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
Nurses and respiratory therapists are seldom allowed to use automated external defibrillators (AED) during in-hospital cardiac arrest. This can result in significant time delays before defibrillation occurs and lower survival for cardiac arrest victims. We sought to identify barriers and facilitators to AED use by nurses and respiratory therapists.
We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with a purposeful sample of nurses and respiratory therapists. We developed the interview guide based on the constructs of the theory of planned behaviour, which elicits salient attitudes, social influences, and control beliefs potentially influencing the intent to use an AED. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed until achieving data saturation. Two independent reviewers performed inductive analyses to identify emerging categories and themes, and ranked them by frequency of the number of participants stating the topic.
Demographics for the 24 interviewees include mean age 40.5, 79.2% female, 87.5% performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), 29.2% defibrillated a patient. Identified attitudes pertained to the timeliness of defibrillation, patient survival, simplicity of AED use, accuracy of rhythm recognition, and harm to self or others. Social influences consisted of physician and hospital administration support of AED use. Control beliefs included training on AED use, policy allowing AED use, familiarity with AED, and task burden during resuscitation.
Most nurses and respiratory therapists intended to use an AED if permitted to do so by a medical directive. Successful implementation would require educational initiatives focusing on safety and efficacy of AEDs, support from physicians and hospital administrators, and additional training on AED use.
There is some suggestion that infection with pandemic influenza may increase long-term mortality risks. Therefore we aimed to determine if exposure to a severe outbreak of pandemic influenza on a troopship in 1918 impacted on lifespan in the survivors. The troopship with the outbreak cohort had 1107 personnel and the comparison cohort was from two contemporaneous troopships (1108 randomly selected personnel). Data were collected from online individual military files. The main finding was that there was no statistically significant difference in the lifespan of the outbreak cohort and the comparison cohort (means of 71·5 and 71·0 years, respectively). Indeed, the outbreak cohort was actually more likely to survive into the period from 1950 onwards (P = 0·036) and to participate in the Second World War (P = 0·043). There were no significant differences between the cohorts in terms of occupational class, but the comparison cohort had a higher proportion of rural occupations (33·3% vs. 27·0%, P < 0·001) and was very slightly older in mid-1918 (27·8 vs. 27·2 years, P = 0·028). In conclusion, this study found no support for the hypothesis that exposure to the 1918 influenza pandemic adversely impacted on the lifespan in the survivors, at least in this male and military-age population.
High precision photographic photometry indicates that two stars lying on the giant branch in the C-M diagram of M15 are small amplitude (~0.2 mag) variables. The two stars are Kustner 64 and 152. This investigation is based on plates taken with three telescopes: the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory 1.8-metre reflector, the David Dunlap 1.9-metre reflector and the Yunnan 1-metre reflector in China. The existing data is not sufficient for period determination.
We present the first massive frequency analysis of the 1200 first overtone RR Lyrae stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud observed in the first 4.3 yr of the MACHO project. Besides the many new double-mode variables, we also discovered stars with closely spaced frequencies. These variables are most probably nonradial pulsators.
Most research on interventions to counter stigma and discrimination has
focused on short-term outcomes and has been conducted in high-income
To synthesise what is known globally about effective interventions to
reduce mental illness-based stigma and discrimination, in relation first
to effectiveness in the medium and long term (minimum 4 weeks), and
second to interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
We searched six databases from 1980 to 2013 and conducted a
multi-language Google search for quantitative studies addressing the
research questions. Effect sizes were calculated from eligible studies
where possible, and narrative syntheses conducted. Subgroup analysis
compared interventions with and without social contact.
Eighty studies (n = 422 653) were included in the
review. For studies with medium or long-term follow-up (72, of which 21
had calculable effect sizes) median standardised mean differences were
0.54 for knowledge and −0.26 for stigmatising attitudes. Those containing
social contact (direct or indirect) were not more effective than those
without. The 11 LMIC studies were all from middle-income countries.
Effect sizes were rarely calculable for behavioural outcomes or in LMIC
There is modest evidence for the effectiveness of anti-stigma
interventions beyond 4 weeks follow-up in terms of increasing knowledge
and reducing stigmatising attitudes. Evidence does not support the view
that social contact is the more effective type of intervention for
improving attitudes in the medium to long term. Methodologically strong
research is needed on which to base decisions on investment in
This paper presents our experience of managing children with a tracheostomy in a multidisciplinary team clinic consisting of an ENT consultant, paediatric respiratory consultant, a nurse specialist, and speech and language therapist.
A retrospective case note review was conducted of all children seen in the multidisciplinary team tracheostomy clinic (at a tertiary paediatric hospital) between February 2009 and September 2014.
Ninety-seven patients were examined. The most common indications for tracheostomy were: lower airway and respiratory problems (66 per cent), upper airway obstruction (64 per cent), and neurodevelopmental problems (60.8 per cent).
Children with a tracheostomy are a diverse group of patients. The most common indications for paediatric tracheostomy have changed from infective causes to airway obstruction and anomalies, long-term ventilation requirement, and underlying neuromuscular or respiratory problems. Our unified approach empowers the carers and patient, as a home management plan, long-term plan and goals are generated at the end of each appointment.
Congenital airway obstruction is rare but potentially fatal. We developed a complex airways interventional delivery team to manage such cases. Antenatal imaging detects airway compromise at an early stage and facilitates the planning of delivery procedures (‘ex utero intrapartum treatment’ and ‘operation on placental support’) which maintain feto-placental circulation whilst an airway is secured.
A retrospective review was performed of cases in which ENT input was required at birth for airway obstruction.
Four neonates were delivered before implementation of the service: two were intubated and another two underwent tracheostomy but died in the peri-natal period. Seven neonates were delivered after implementation of the service: six were intubated and one underwent immediate tracheostomy. Five subsequently underwent tracheostomy (three have since been decannulated). One child with multiple congenital anomalies died due to respiratory failure. Airway obstruction was caused by lymphatic malformation, teratoma, costo-craniomandibular syndrome and choristoma.
In the absence of other anomalies, interventional airway delivery led to reduced mortality and improved outcomes.
The present study aimed to investigate the possible changes in anthropometric and biochemical parameters in low-income women living in the outskirts of Maceió (northeast Brazil), and to explore the possible role of dietary intake and physical activity in these changes. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in a cohort of mothers of malnourished children who attended the Center for Nutritional Recovery and Education, an outreach programme of the Federal University of Alagoas. Socio-economic, anthropometric, biochemical and dietary intake data were assessed at baseline and after a follow-up period of 4 years. Energy expenditure (using doubly labelled water) and physical activity (using triaxial accelerometers) were assessed only in a subgroup of women after 4 years. A total of eighty-five women were assessed. Participants showed an altered biochemical profile, increased systolic blood pressure, decreased thyroid hormone levels, and body-weight gain. However, dietary intakes of the participants did not include large quantities of highly processed and high-glycaemic index foods. The energy intake of the participants did not differ from their total energy expenditure (7990·3 (7173·7–8806·8) v. 8798·1 (8169·0–9432·4) kJ, respectively; P= 0·084). Multivariate analyses showed a significant effect of time spent watching television (β = 0·639 (0·003 to 1·275); P= 0·048) and dietary diversity score (β = − 1·039 ( − 2·010 to − 0·067); P= 0·036) on weight gain. The present study indicates that poor women, who are mothers of malnourished children and have a reasonably balanced dietary intake, exhibit weight gain and are at risk of developing chronic diseases.
There were multiple waves of influenza-like illness in 1918, the last of which resulted in a highly lethal pandemic killing 50 million people. It is difficult to study the initial waves of influenza-like illness in early 1918 because few deaths resulted and few morbidity records exist. Using extant military mortality records, we constructed mortality maps based on location of burial in France and Belgium in the British Army, and on home town in Vermont and New York in the USA Army. Differences between early and more lethal later waves in late 1918 were consistent with historical descriptions in France. The maps of Vermont and New York support the hypothesis that previous exposure may have conferred a degree of protection against subsequent infections; soldiers from rural areas, which were likely to have experienced less mixing than soldiers from urban areas, were at higher risk of mortality. Differences between combat and disease mortality in 1918 were consistent with limited influenza virus circulation during the early 1918 wave. We suggest that it is likely that more than one influenza virus was circulating in 1918, which might help explain the higher mortality rates in those unlikely to have been infected in early 1918.