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Introduction: For rhythm control of acute atrial flutter (AAFL) 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 AAFL, 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 intention-to-treat basis. Statistical significance was assessed using chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regression. Results: We randomized 76 patients, and none was lost to follow-up. The Drug-Shock (N = 33) and Shock Only (N = 43) groups were similar for all characteristics including mean age (66.3 vs 63.4 yrs), duration of AAFL (30.1 vs 24.5 hrs), previous AAFL (72.7% vs 69.8%), median CHADS2 score (1 vs 1), and mean initial heart rate (128.9 vs 126.0 bpm). The Drug-Shock and Shock only groups were similar for the primary outcome of conversion (100% vs 93%; absolute difference 7.0%, 95% CI -0.6;14.6; P = 0.25). The multivariable analyses confirmed the similarity of the two strategies (P = 0.19). In the Drug-Shock group 21.2% of patients converted with the infusion. There were no statistically significant differences for time to conversion (84.2 vs 97.6 minutes), total ED length of stay (9.4 vs 7.5 hours), disposition home (100% vs 95.3%), and stroke within 14 days (0 vs 0). Premature discontinuation of infusion (usually for transient hypotension) was more common in the Drug-Shock group (9.1% vs 0.0%) but there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: Both the Drug-Shock and Shock Only strategies were highly effective and safe in allowing AAFL patients to go home in sinus rhythm. IV procainamide alone was effective in only one fifth of patients, much less than for acute AF.
Introduction: An increasing number of Canadian paramedic services are creating Community Paramedic programs targeting treatment of long-term care (LTC) patients on-site. We explored the characteristics, clinical course and disposition of LTC patients cared for by paramedics during an emergency call, and the possible impact of Community Paramedic programs. Methods: We completed a health records review of paramedic call reports and emergency department (ED) records between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017. We utilized paramedic dispatch data to identify emergency calls originating from LTC centers resulting in transport to one of the two EDs of the Ottawa Hospital. We excluded patients with absent vital signs, a Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) score of 1, and whose transfer to hospital were deferrable or scheduled. We stratified remaining cases by month and selected cases using a random number generator to meet our apriori sample size. We collected data using a piloted standardized form. We used descriptive statistics and categorized patients into groups based on the ED care received and if the treatment received fit into current paramedic medical directives. Results: Characteristics of the 381 included patients were mean age 82.5 years, 58.5% female, 59.7% hypertension, 52.6% dementia and 52.1% cardiovascular disease. On arrival at hospital, 57.7% of patients waited in offload delay for a median time of 45 minutes (IQR 33.5-78.0). We could identify 4 groups: 1) Patients requiring no treatment or diagnostics in the ED (7.9%); 2) Patients receiving ED treatment within current paramedic medical directives and no diagnostics (3.2%); 3) Patients requiring diagnostics or ED care outside current paramedic directives (54.9%); and 4) patients requiring admission (34.1%). Most patients were discharged from the ED (65.6%), and 1.1% died. The main ED diagnoses were infection (18.6%) and musculoskeletal injury (17.9%). Of the patients that required ED care but were discharged, 64.1% required x-rays, 42.1% CT, and 3.4% ultrasound. ED care included intravenous fluids (35.7%), medication (67.5%), antibiotics (29.4%), non-opioid analgesics (29.4%) and opioids (20.7%). Overall, 11.1% of patients didn't need management beyond current paramedic capabilities. Conclusion: Many LTC patients could receive care by paramedics on-site within current medical directives and avoid a transfer to the ED. This group could potentially grow using Community Paramedics with an expanded scope of practice.
Introduction: Spatial ability has been defined as a skill in representing, transforming, generating and recalling symbolic, non-linguistic information. Two distinct human spatial abilities have been identified: visualization and orientation. A sex difference in spatial abilities favouring male has been documented. A pattern of negative effects with increasing age on spatial abilities has also been demonstrated. Spatial abilities have been correlated to anatomy knowledge assessment using practical examination, three-dimensional synthesis from two-dimensional views, drawing of views, and cross-sections in a systematic review. Spatial abilities have also been correlated to technical skills performance in beginners and intermediate learners in a systematic review. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the interrelationship between spatial abilities, anatomy knowledge and technical skills. Methods: Search criteria included ‘spatial abilities’, ‘anatomy knowledge’ and ‘technical skills’. Keywords related to these criteria were identified. A literature search was done up to November 9, 2018 in Scopus and in several medical and educational databases on Ovid and EBSCOhost platforms. A bank of citations was obtained and was reviewed independently by two investigators. Citations related to abstracts, literature reviews, theses and books were excluded. Articles related to retained citations were obtained and a final list of articles was established. Methods relating spatial abilities testing, anatomy knowledge assessment and technical skills performance were identified. Results: A series of 385 titles and abstracts was obtained. After duplicates were removed and selection criteria applied, 11 articles were retained, fully reviewed, and subsequently excluded with reasons. Conclusion: No eligible articles were found in a systematic review of the interrelationship between spatial abilities, anatomy knowledge and technical skills. The outcome of future studies could help to further understand the cognitive process involved in learning a technical skill in Emergency Medicine.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) crowding, long waits for care, and paramedic offload delay are of increasing concern. Older adults living in long-term care (LTC) are more likely to utilize the ED and are vulnerable to adverse events. We sought to identify existing programs that seek to avoid ED visits from LTC facilities where allied health professionals are the primary providers of the intervention and, to evaluate their efficacy and safety. Methods: We completed this systematic review based on a protocol we published apriori and following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. We systematically searched Medline, CINAHL and EMBASE with terms relating to long-term care, emergency services, hospitalization and allied health personnel. Two investigators independently selected studies and extracted data using a piloted standardized form and evaluated the risk of bias of included studies. We report a narrative synthesis grouped by intervention categories. Results: We reviewed 11,176 abstracts and included 22 studies. Most studies were observational and few assessed patient safety. We found five categories of interventions including: 1) use of advanced practice nursing; 2) a program called Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT); 3) end-of-life care; 4) condition specific interventions; and 5) use of extended care paramedics. Of the 13 studies that reported ED visits, all (100%) reported a decrease, and of the 16/17 that reported hospitalization, 94.1% reported a decrease. Patient adverse events such as functional status and relapse were seldom reported (6/22) as were measures of emergency system function such as crowding/inability of paramedics to transfer care to the ED (1/22). Only 4/22 studies evaluated patient mortality and 3/4 found a non-statistically significant worsening. When measured, studies reported decreased hospital length of stay, more time spent with patients by allied health professionals and cost savings. Conclusion: We found five types of programs/interventions which all demonstrated a decrease in ED visits or hospitalization. Many identified programs focused on improved primary care for patients. Interventions addressing acute care issues such as those provided by community paramedics, patient preferences, and quality of life indicators all deserve more study.
Introduction: An important challenge physicians face when treating acute heart failure (AHF) patients in the emergency department (ED) is deciding whether to admit or discharge, with or without early follow-up. The overall goal of our project was to improve care for AHF patients seen in the ED while avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. The specific goal was to introduce hospital rapid referral clinics to ensure AHF patients were seen within 7 days of ED discharge. Methods: This prospective before-after study was conducted at two campuses of a large tertiary care hospital, including the EDs and specialty outpatient clinics. We enrolled AHF patients ≥50 years who presented to the ED with shortness of breath (<7 days). The 12-month before (control) period was separated from the 12-month after (intervention) period by a 3-month implementation period. Implementation included creation of rapid access AHF clinics staffed by cardiology and internal medicine, and development of referral procedures. There was extensive in-servicing of all ED staff. The primary outcome measure was hospital admission at the index visit or within 30 days. Secondary outcomes included mortality and actual access to rapid follow-up. We used segmented autoregression analysis of the monthly proportions to determine whether there was a change in admissions coinciding with the introduction of the intervention and estimated a sample size of 700 patients. Results: The patients in the before period (N = 355) and the after period (N = 374) were similar for age (77.8 vs. 78.1 years), arrival by ambulance (48.7% vs 51.1%), comorbidities, current medications, and need for non-invasive ventilation (10.4% vs. 6.7%). Comparing the before to the after periods, we observed a decrease in hospital admissions on index visit (from 57.7% to 42.0%; P <0.01), as well as all admissions within 30 days (from 65.1% to 53.5% (P < 0.01). The autoregression analysis, however, demonstrated a pre-existing trend to fewer admissions and could not attribute this to the intervention (P = 0.91). Attendance at a specialty clinic, amongst those discharged increased from 17.8% to 42.1% (P < 0.01) and the median days to clinic decreased from 13 to 6 days (P < 0.01). 30-day mortality did not change (4.5% vs. 4.0%; P = 0.76). Conclusion: Implementation of rapid-access dedicated AHF clinics led to considerably increased access to specialist care, much reduced follow-up times, and possible reduction in hospital admissions. Widespread use of this approach can improve AHF care in Canada.
The normal adult MV area is 4–6 cm2. Unlike other heart valves, the MV consists of two asymmetric leaflets. The aortic (anterior) leaflet makes up 65% of the valve area but its base forms only 35% of the circumference. The mural (posterior) leaflet usually consists of three main scallops, although there may be up to five. The leaflets are joined at the anterolateral and posteromedial ends of the commissure. The aortic MV leaflet shares the same fibrous attachment as the non-coronary cusp of the AV.
Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) may be beneficial for malnourished HIV-infected patients starting antiretroviral therapy (ART). We assessed the effect of adding vitamins and minerals to LNS on body composition and handgrip strength during ART initiation. ART-eligible HIV-infected patients with BMI <18·5 kg/m2 were randomised to LNS or LNS with added high-dose vitamins and minerals (LNS-VM) from referral for ART to 6 weeks post-ART and followed up until 12 weeks. Body composition by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), deuterium (2H) diluted water (D2O) and air displacement plethysmography (ADP), and handgrip strength were determined at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks post-ART, and effects of LNS-VM v. LNS at 6 and 12 weeks investigated. BIA data were available for 1461, D2O data for 479, ADP data for 498 and handgrip strength data for 1752 patients. Fat mass tended to be lower, and fat-free mass correspondingly higher, by BIA than by ADP or D2O. At 6 weeks post-ART, LNS-VM led to a higher regain of BIA-assessed fat mass (0·4 (95 % CI 0·05, 0·8) kg), but not fat-free mass, and a borderline significant increase in handgrip strength (0·72 (95 % CI −0·03, 1·5) kg). These effects were not sustained at 12 weeks. Similar effects as for BIA were seen using ADP or D2O but no differences reached statistical significance. In conclusion, LNS-VM led to a higher regain of fat mass at 6 weeks and to a borderline significant beneficial effect on handgrip strength. Further research is needed to determine appropriate timing and supplement composition to optimise nutritional interventions in malnourished HIV patients.
Introduction: In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) most commonly occurs in non-monitored areas, where we observed a 10min delay before defibrillation (Phase I). Nurses (RNs) and respiratory therapists (RTs) cannot legally use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) during IHCA without a medical directive. We sought to evaluate IHCA outcomes following usual implementation (Phase II) vs. a Theory-Based educational program (Phase III) allowing RNs and RTs to use AEDs during IHCA. Methods: We completed a pragmatic before-after study of consecutive IHCA. We used ICD-10 codes to identify potentially eligible cases and included IHCA cases for which resuscitation was attempted. We obtained consensus on all data definitions before initiation of standardized-piloted data extraction by trained investigators. Phase I (Jan.2012-Aug.2013) consisted of baseline data. We implemented the AED medical directive in Phase II (Sept.2013-Aug.2016) using usual implementation strategies. In Phase III (Sept.2016-Dec.2017) we added an educational video informed by key constructs from a Theory of Planned Behavior survey. We report univariate comparisons of Utstein IHCA outcomes using 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: There were 753 IHCA for which resuscitation was attempted with the following similar characteristics (Phase I n = 195; II n = 372; III n = 186): median age 68, 60.0% male, 79.3% witnessed, 29.7% non-monitored medical ward, 23.9% cardiac cause, 47.9% initial rhythm of pulseless electrical activity and 27.2% ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia (VF/VT). Comparing Phases I, II and III: an AED was used 0 times (0.0%), 21 times (5.6%), 15 times (8.1%); time to 1st rhythm analysis was 6min, 3min, 1min; and time to 1st shock was 10min, 10min and 7min. Comparing Phases I and III: time to 1st shock decreased by 3min (95%CI -7; 1), sustained ROSC increased from 29.7% to 33.3% (AD3.6%; 95%CI -10.8; 17.8), and survival to discharge increased from 24.6% to 25.8% (AD1.2%; 95%CI -7.5; 9.9). In the VF/VT subgroup, time to first shock decreased from 9 to 3 min (AD-6min; 95%CI -12; 0) and survival increased from 23.1% to 38.7% (AD15.6%; 95%CI -4.3; 35.4). Conclusion: The implementation of a medical directive allowing for AED use by RNs and RRTs successfully improved key outcomes for IHCA victims, particularly following the Theory-Based education video. The expansion of this project to other hospitals and health care professionals could significantly impact survival for VF/VT patients.
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.
Introduction: Guidelines recommend serial conventional cardiac troponin (cTn) measurements 6-9 hours apart for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) diagnosis. We sought to develop a pathway based on absolute/relative changes between two serial conventional cardiac troponin I (cTnI) values 3-hours apart for 15-day MACE identification. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study conducted in the two large ED's at the Ottawa Hospital. Adults with NSTEMI symptoms were enrolled over 32 months. Patients with STEMI, hospitalized for unstable angina, or with only one cTnI were excluded. We collected baseline characteristics, Siemens Vista cTnI at 0 and 3-hours after ED presentation, disposition, and ED length of stay (LOS). Adjudicated primary outcome was 15-day MACE (AMI, revascularization, or death due to cardiac ischemia/unknown cause). We analysed cTnI values by 99th percentile cut-off multiples (45, 100 and 250ng/L). Results: 1,683 patients (mean age 64.7 years; 55.3% female; median ED LOS 7 hours; 88 patients with 15-day MACE) were included. 1,346 (80.0%) patients with both cTnI ≤45ng/L; and 58 (3.4%) of the 213 patients with one value≥100ng/L but both <250ng/L or ≤20% change did not suffer MACE. Among 124 patients (7.4%) with one value >45ng/L but both <100ng/L based on 3 or 6-hour cTnI, one patient with Δ<10ng/L and 6 of 19 patients with Δ≥20ng/L were diagnosed with NSTEMI (patients with Δ10-19ng/L between first and second cTnI had third one at 6-hours). Based on the results, we developed the Ottawa Troponin Pathway (OTP) with a 98.9% sensitivity (95%CI 96.7-100%) and 94.6% specificity (95%CI 93.4-95.7%). Conclusion: The OTP, using two conventional cTnI measurements performed 3-hours apart, should lead to better identification of NSTEMI particularly those with values >99th percentile cut-off, standardize management and reduce the ED LOS.
The study aimed at assessing stunting, wasting and breast-feeding as correlates of body composition in Cambodian children. As part of a nutrition trial (ISRCTN19918531), fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were measured using 2H dilution at 6 and 15 months of age. Of 419 infants enrolled, 98 % were breastfed, 15 % stunted and 4 % wasted at 6 months. At 15 months, 78 % were breastfed, 24 % stunted and 11 % wasted. Those not breastfed had lower FMI at 6 months but not at 15 months. Stunted children had lower FM at 6 months and lower FFM at 6 and 15 months compared with children with length-for-age z ≥0. Stunting was not associated with height-adjusted indexes fat mass index (FMI) or fat-free mass index (FFMI). Wasted children had lower FM, FFM, FMI and FFMI at 6 and 15 months compared with children with weight-for-length z (WLZ) ≥0. Generally, FFM and FFMI deficits increased with age, whereas FM and FMI deficits decreased, reflecting interactions between age and WLZ. For example, the FFM deficits were –0·99 (95 % CI –1·26, –0·72) kg at 6 months and –1·44 (95 % CI –1·69; –1·19) kg at 15 months (interaction, P<0·05), while the FMI deficits were –2·12 (95 % CI –2·53, –1·72) kg/m2 at 6 months and –1·32 (95 % CI –1·77, –0·87) kg/m2 at 15 months (interaction, P<0·05). This indicates that undernourished children preserve body fat at the detriment of fat-free tissue, which may have long-term consequences for health and working capacity.
Salmonella spp. continue to be a leading cause of foodborne morbidity worldwide. To assess the risk of foodborne disease, current national regulatory schemes focus on prevalence estimates of Salmonella and other pathogens. The role of pathogen quantification as a risk management measure and its impact on public health is not well understood. To address this information gap, a quantitative risk assessment model was developed to evaluate the impact of pathogen enumeration strategies on public health after consumption of contaminated ground turkey in the USA. Public health impact was evaluated by using several dose–response models for high- and low-virulent strains to account for potential under- or overestimation of human health impacts. The model predicted 2705–21 099 illnesses that would result in 93–727 reported cases of salmonellosis. Sensitivity analysis predicted cooking an unthawed product at home as the riskiest consumption scenario and microbial concentration the most influential input on the incidence of human illnesses. Model results indicated that removing ground turkey lots exceeding contamination levels of 1 MPN/g and 1 MPN in 25 g would decrease the median number of illnesses by 86–94% and 99%, respectively. For a single production lot, contamination levels higher than 1 MPN/g would be needed to result in a reported case to public health officials. At contamination levels of 10 MPN/g, there would be a 13% chance of detecting an outbreak, and at 100 MPN/g, the likelihood of detecting an outbreak increases to 41%. Based on these model prediction results, risk management strategies should incorporate pathogen enumeration. This would have a direct impact on illness incidence linking public health outcomes with measurable food safety objectives.
To assess differences in cognition functions and gross brain structure in children seven years after an episode of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), compared with other Malawian children.
Prospective longitudinal cohort assessing school grade achieved and results of five computer-based (CANTAB) tests, covering three cognitive domains. A subset underwent brain MRI scans which were reviewed using a standardized checklist of gross abnormalities and compared with a reference population of Malawian children.
Children discharged from SAM treatment in 2006 and 2007 (n 320; median age 9·3 years) were compared with controls: siblings closest in age to the SAM survivors and age/sex-matched community children.
SAM survivors were significantly more likely to be in a lower grade at school than controls (adjusted OR = 0·4; 95 % CI 0·3, 0·6; P < 0·0001) and had consistently poorer scores in all CANTAB cognitive tests. Adjusting for HIV and socio-economic status diminished statistically significant differences. There were no significant differences in odds of brain abnormalities and sinusitis between SAM survivors (n 49) and reference children (OR = 1·11; 95 % CI 0·61, 2·03; P = 0·73).
Despite apparent preservation in gross brain structure, persistent impaired school achievement is likely to be detrimental to individual attainment and economic well-being. Understanding the multifactorial causes of lower school achievement is therefore needed to design interventions for SAM survivors to thrive in adulthood. The cognitive and potential economic implications of SAM need further emphasis to better advocate for SAM prevention and early treatment.
Predictive analytics in health is a complex, transdisciplinary field requiring collaboration across diverse scientific and stakeholder groups. Pilot implementation of participatory research to foster team science in predictive analytics through a partnered-symposium and funding competition. In total, 85 stakeholders were engaged across diverse translational domains, with a significant increase in perceived importance of early inclusion of patients and communities in research. Participatory research approaches may be an effective model for engaging broad stakeholders in predictive analytics.
Early nutrition and growth have been found to be important early exposures for later development. Studies of crude growth in terms of weight and length/height, however, cannot elucidate how body composition (BC) might mediate associations between nutrition and later development. In this study, we aimed to examine the relation between fat mass (FM) or fat-free mass (FFM) tissues at birth and their accretion during early infancy, and later developmental progression. In a birth cohort from Ethiopia, 455 children who have BC measurement at birth and 416 who have standardised rate of BC growth during infancy were followed up for outcome variable, and were included in the statistical analysis. The study sample was restricted to mothers living in Jimma town who gave birth to a term baby with a birth weight ≥1500 g and no evident congenital anomalies. The relationship between the exposure and outcome variables was examined using linear-mixed regression model. The finding revealed that FFM at birth was positively associated with global developmental progression from 1 to 5 years (β=1·75; 95 % CI 0·11, 3·39) and from 4 to 5 years (β=1·34; 95 % CI 0·23, 2·44) in the adjusted model. Furthermore, the rate of postnatal FFM tissue accretion was positively associated with development at 1 year of age (β=0·50; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·99). Neither fetal nor postnatal FM showed a significant association. In conclusion, fetal, rather than postnatal, FFM tissue accretion was associated with developmental progression. Intervention studies are needed to assess whether nutrition interventions increasing FFM also increase cognitive development.
Introduction: The Ottawa SAH Rule was developed to identify patients at high-risk for subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) who require investigations and the 6-Hour CT Rule found that computed tomography (CT) was 100% sensitive for SAH 6 hours of headache onset. Together, they form the Ottawa SAH Strategy. Our objectives were to assess: 1) Safety of the Ottawa SAH Strategy and its 2) Impact on: a) CTs, b) LPs, c) ED length of stay, and d) CT angiography (CTA). Methods: We conducted a multicentre prospective before/after study at 6 tertiary-care EDs January 2010 to December 2016 (implementation July 2013). Consecutive alert, neurologically intact adults with a headache peaking within one hour were included. SAH was defined by subarachnoid blood on head CT (radiologists final report); xanthochromia in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); >1x106/L red blood cells in the final tube of CSF with an aneurysm on CTA. Results: We enrolled 3,669 patients, 1,743 before and 1,926 after implementation, including 185 with SAH. The investigation rate before implementation was 89.0% (range 82.9 to 95.6%) versus 88.4% (range 85.2 to 92.3%) after implementation. The proportion who had CT remained stable (88.0% versus 87.4%; p=0.60), while the proportion who had LP decreased from 38.9% to 25.9% (p<0.001), and the proportion investigated with CTA increased from 18.8% to 21.6% (p=0.036). The additional testing rate (i.e. LP or CTA) diminishedfrom 50.1% to 40.8% (p<0.001). The proportion admitted declined from 9.8% to 7.3% (p=0.008), while the mean length of ED stay was stable (6.2 +/− 4.0 to 6.4 +/− 4.1 hours; p=0.45). For the 1,201 patients with CT 6 hours, there was an absolute decrease in additional testing (i.e. LP or CTA) of 15.0% (46.6% versus 31.6%; p<0.001). The sensitivity of the Ottawa SAH Rule was 100% (95%CI: 98-100%), and the 6-Hour CT Rule was 95.3% (95%CI: 88.9-98.3) for SAH. Five patients with early CT had SAH with CT reported as normal: 2 unruptured aneuryms on CTA and presumed traumatic LP (determined by treating neurosurgeon); 1 missed by the radiologist on the initial interpretation; 1 dural vein fistula (i.e. non-aneuyrsmal); and 1 profoundly anemic (Hgb 63g/L). Conclusion: The Ottawa SAH Strategy is highly sensitive and can be used routinely when SAH is being considered in alert and neurologically intact headache patients. Its implementation was associated with a decrease in LPs and admissions to hospital.
The ‘Digital Index of North American Archaeology’ (DINAA) project demonstrates how the aggregation and publication of government-held archaeological data can help to document human activity over millennia and at a continental scale. These data can provide a valuable link between specific categories of information available from publications, museum collections and online databases. Integration improves the discovery and retrieval of records of archaeological research currently held by multiple institutions within different information systems. It also aids in the preservation of those data and makes efforts to archive these research results more resilient to political turmoil. While DINAA focuses on North America, its methods have global applicability.