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Nosocomial outbreaks leading to healthcare worker (HCW) infection and death have been increasingly reported during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
We implemented a strategy to reduce nosocomial acquisition.
We summarized our experience in implementing a multipronged infection control strategy in the first 300 days (December 31, 2019, to October 25, 2020) of the COVID-19 pandemic under the governance of Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Of 5,296 COVID-19 patients, 4,808 (90.8%) were diagnosed in the first pandemic wave (142 cases), second wave (896 cases), and third wave (3,770 cases) in Hong Kong. With the exception of 1 patient who died before admission, all COVID-19 patients were admitted to the public healthcare system for a total of 78,834 COVID-19 patient days. The median length of stay was 13 days (range, 1–128). Of 81,955 HCWs, 38 HCWs (0.05%; 2 doctors and 11 nurses and 25 nonprofessional staff) acquired COVID-19. With the exception of 5 of 38 HCWs (13.2%) infected by HCW-to-HCW transmission in the nonclinical settings, no HCW had documented transmission from COVID-19 patients in the hospitals. The incidence of COVID-19 among HCWs was significantly lower than that of our general population (0.46 per 1,000 HCWs vs 0.71 per 1,000 population; P = .008). The incidence of COVID-19 among professional staff was significantly lower than that of nonprofessional staff (0.30 vs 0.66 per 1,000 full-time equivalent; P = .022).
A hospital-based approach spared our healthcare service from being overloaded. With our multipronged infection control strategy, no nosocomial COVID-19 in was identified among HCWs in the first 300 days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong.
Extensive environmental contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported in hospitals during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We report our experience with the practice of directly observed environmental disinfection (DOED) in a community isolation facility (CIF) and a community treatment facility (CTF) in Hong Kong.
The CIF, with 250 single-room bungalows in a holiday camp, opened on July 24, 2020, to receive step-down patients from hospitals. The CTF, with 500 beds in open cubicles inside a convention hall, was activated on August 1, 2020, to admit newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients from the community. Healthcare workers (HCWs) and cleaning staff received infection control training to reinforce donning and doffing of personal protective equipment and to understand the practice of DOED, in which the cleaning staff observed patient and staff activities and then performed environmental disinfection immediately thereafter. Supervisors also observed cleaning staff to ensure the quality of work. In the CTF, air and environmental samples were collected on days 7, 14, 21, and 28 for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-PCR. Patient compliance with mask wearing was also recorded.
Of 291 HCWs and 54 cleaning staff who managed 243 patients in the CIF and 674 patients in the CTF from July 24 to August 29, 2020, no one acquired COVID-19. All 24 air samples and 520 environmental samples collected in the patient area of the CTF were negative for SARS-CoV-2. Patient compliance with mask wearing was 100%.
With appropriate infection control measures, zero environmental contamination and nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs and cleaning staff was achieved.
Childbirth may pose many challenges to the psychological well-being of marriage-based immigrant mothers in interracial marriages, who must negotiate bi-dimensional acculturation – adaptation to the host culture and maintenance of her own heritage culture. We examined the temporal relationships between bi-dimensional acculturation and depressive symptoms from pregnancy to 1 year postpartum among marriage-based immigrant mothers in Taiwan using the cross-lagged structural equation modeling.
This study recruited 310 immigrant mothers, who were examined in the second and third trimesters, and again at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year postpartum from March 2013 to December 2015. Depressive symptoms and bi-dimensional acculturation were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Bidimensional Acculturation Scale for Marriage-Based Immigrant Women, respectively.
The study found that adaptation to the host culture followed a downward linear trajectory, while maintenance of the mother's own heritage culture followed an upward linear trajectory from pregnancy to 1 year postpartum. All but one cross-lagged path between bi-dimensional acculturation and depressive symptoms was statistically insignificant, though almost all cross-sectional associations were significant. Adaptation to host culture was negatively associated with depressive symptoms at all time points. The association between maintenance of heritage culture and depressive symptoms reversed from positive to negative after 6 months postpartum.
Adaptation to the host culture and maintenance of the mother's heritage culture differed in their associations with maternal depressive symptoms. Health professionals should assist immigrant mothers in adapting to the host culture while supporting their heritage culture in the childbearing period.
Identifying effective treatments is a critical issue for Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). The pathological amyloid deposits of AD result in disruption of the balance between long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of neuronal cells and synaptic plasticity. Brain stimulation in dementia research, especially with relatively safe tDCS, has been taken seriously recently. In theory, tDCS affects long-term synaptic plasticity through LTP and LTD, thereby improving cognitive ability. Recently, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of tDCS in AD and concluded a positive therapeutic effect. Currently, there are no studies of tDCS for AD in Taiwan. In this study, we investigate the effects of tDCS in AD.
Using a double-blind, randomized and sham- controlled trial design, Sixteen AD aged 55-90 years (8 active, mean age 73.88 and 8 sham, mean age 74.75) were included in the study. AD diagnostics is according to DSM-5 criteria. The CDR ratings of AD participants ranged from 0.5 to 2. All subjects completed ten consecutive daily sessions in which they received either an active or a sham tDCS over the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (anodal) and a cathodal electrode on the right supraorbital area. In each session, we applied a current intensity of 2 mA and an electrode size of 35 cm2 for 30 min in the active group. All subjects received a series of neuropsychological tests, which included CDR, MMSE, CASI and WCST, before and after these treatment sessions on the first day and 4 weeks later. Chi- square test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to assess the differences in participant demographic characteristics and to compare the differences among groups.
The active group showed significant improvement in total correct item, Conceptual level Responses (reflecting insight into the correct sorting principles), Categories Completed (reflecting overall success), and Trials to complete first categories (reflecting initial conceptual ability) of WCST 4 weeks later after the final stimulation. There were no statistically significant differences between before and after the 10-session course for the sham group.
tDCS stimulation improves cognitive operation and Conceptual Ability of AD.
Universal masking for healthcare workers and patients in hospitals was adopted to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with compliance rates of 100% and 75.9%, respectively. Zero rates of nosocomial influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus infection were achieved from February to April 2020, which was significantly lower than the corresponding months in 2017–2019.
The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)–laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports.
Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients’ clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed.
All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients’ mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001).
SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.
This study examined the operation of resources as a mechanism underlying the relationship between career adaptability and career satisfaction. Based on career construction theory and conservation of resources theory, we examined the interactive effects of career adaptability, career satisfaction, person–job fit, and job uncertainty. The results of two-wave data collection from 234 full-time workers revealed that employees with stronger career adaptability were more likely to report career satisfaction. The full mediating effect was found of person–job fit. Specifically, we found that career adaptability enhances person–job fit, which results in greater career satisfaction. Additional analysis revealed that job uncertainty interferes with the mediation model. We identified a new antecedent of career satisfaction (i.e., person–job fit) and revealed the functional mechanism underlying the effect of this antecedent. This study provides novel insights valuable to the field of career management.
The condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.
To report an outbreak of measles with epidemiological link between Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and a hospital.
Epidemiological investigations, patients’ measles serology, and phylogenetic analysis of the hemagglutinin (H) and nucleoprotein (N) genes of measles virus isolates were conducted.
In total, 29 HKIA staff of diverse ranks and working locations were infected with measles within 1 month. Significantly fewer affected staff had history of travel than non–HKIA-related measles patients [10 of 29 (34.5%) vs 28 of 35 (80%); P < .01]. Of 9 airport staff who could recall detailed exposure history, 6 (66.7%) had visited self-service food premises at HKIA during the incubation period, where food trays, as observed during the epidemiological field investigation, were not washed after use. Furthermore, 1 airport baggage handler who was admitted to hospital A before rash onset infected 2 healthcare workers (HCWs) known to have 2 doses of MMR vaccination with positive measles IgG and lower viral loads in respiratory specimens. Infections in these 2 HCWs warranted contact tracing of another 168 persons (97 patients and 71 HCWs). Phylogenetic comparison of H and N gene sequences confirmed the clonality of outbreak strains.
Despite good herd immunity with overall seroprevalence of >95% against measles, major outbreaks of measles occurred among HKIA staff having daily contact with many international pssengers. Lessons from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and measles outbreaks suggested that an airport can be a strategic epidemic center. Pre-exanthem transmission of measles from airport staff to HCWs with secondary vaccine failure poses a grave challenge to hospital infection control.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.
Precise control is a key factor in enabling Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) to complete various underwater activities. The development of UUV control rules is mostly based on UUV dynamic models. However, such dynamic models contain unknown hydrodynamic parameters that need to be identified. This paper presents a new method, Laser Line Scanning for Hydrodynamic Parameter Identification (LSHPI), which integrates laser line scanning, decoupled dynamics, and evolutionary optimisation to identify the hydrodynamic parameters of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). In this research, laser images, seen from an on board camera's perspective and created using Open Graphics Library (OpenGL), were used to validate LSHPI's feasibility. The accuracy of the AUV positions and Euler angles obtained by the laser image-based methods were investigated for each decoupled One-Dimensional (1D) motion and the influence of other motion disturbances on the accuracy of the obtained AUV positions or Euler angles was also evaluated. In addition, the accuracy of the surge-related hydrodynamic parameters obtained by LSHPI was investigated under different motion disturbances. Based on the hydrodynamic parameter identification results under different motion disturbances, LSHPI's feasibility was successfully validated.
The present study analysed data derived from the 2004–2008 Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, to understand the relationship among eating-out behaviour, related non-nutritional factors and osteopenia in the Taiwanese population.
Data of 1140 adults who had been evaluated with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in June 2007 were included. The data were analysed through descriptive and inferential statistics to determine the association of osteopenia with the frequency of eating out, demographic variables (i.e. age, sex, level of education, marital status and place of birth), BMI, waist circumference and food consumption.
Gender, age, education level, personal income and waist circumference were all factors found to be significantly associated with eating-out frequency and the incidence of osteopenia. Eating-out frequency was negatively associated with the incidence of osteopenia. Individuals with BMI>27 kg/m2 had a lower frequency of eating out and a lower incidence of osteopenia. Individuals with a lower monthly income had a significantly greater chance of developing osteopenia. Men living without spouses had significantly higher chances of osteopenia. Ca intake was negatively associated with breakfast eating-out frequency.
Eating-out frequency was not associated with an increasing incidence of osteopenia, but affected the Ca intake in the Taiwanese population. Having a balanced selection of food is crucial to reduce the incidence of osteopenia. Improving nutritional knowledge for those under higher risk of osteopenia is necessary to prevent osteopenia and Ca deficiency.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 8-week green tea extract (GTE) supplementation on promoting postexercise muscle glycogen resynthesis and systemic energy substrate utilisation in young college students. A total of eight healthy male participants (age: 22·0 (se 1·0) years, BMI: 24·2 (se 0·7) kg/m2, VO2max: 43·2 (se 2·4) ml/kg per min) participated in this study. GTE (500 mg/d for 8 weeks) was compared with placebo in participants in a double-blind/placebo-controlled and crossover study design with an 8-week washout period. Thereafter, all participants performed a 60-min cycling exercise (75 % VO2max) and consumed a carbohydrate-enriched meal immediately after exercise. Vastus lateralis muscle samples were collected immediately (0 h) and 3 h after exercise, and blood and gaseous samples were collected during the 3-h postexercise recovery period. An 8-week oral GTE supplementation had no effects on further promoting muscle glycogen resynthesis in exercised human skeletal muscle, but the exercise-induced muscle GLUT type 4 (GLUT4) protein content was greater in the GTE supplementation trial (P<0·05). We observed that, during the postexercise recovery period, GTE supplementation elicited an increase in energy reliance on fat oxidation compared with the placebo trial (P<0·05), although there were no differences in blood glucose and insulin responses between the two trials. In summary, 8-week oral GTE supplementation increases postexercise systemic fat oxidation and exercise-induced muscle GLUT4 protein content in response to an acute bout of endurance exercise. However, GTE supplementation has no further benefit on promoting muscle glycogen resynthesis during the postexercise period.
To study the association between gastrointestinal colonization of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
We analyzed 31,526 patients with prospective collection of fecal specimens for CPE screening: upon admission (targeted screening) and during hospitalization (opportunistic screening, safety net screening, and extensive contact tracing), in our healthcare network with 3,200 beds from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2015. Specimens were collected at least once weekly during hospitalization for CPE carriers and subjected to broth enrichment culture and multiplex polymerase chain reaction.
Of 66,672 fecal specimens collected, 345 specimens (0.5%) from 100 patients (0.3%) had CPE. The number and prevalence (per 100,000 patient-days) of CPE increased from 2 (0.3) in 2012 to 63 (8.0) in 2015 (P<.001). Male sex (odds ratio, 1.91 [95% CI, 1.15–3.18], P=.013), presence of wound or drain (3.12 [1.70–5.71], P<.001), and use of cephalosporins (3.06 [1.42–6.59], P=.004), carbapenems (2.21 [1.10–4.48], P=.027), and PPIs (2.84 [1.72–4.71], P<.001) in the preceding 6 months were significant risk factors by multivariable analysis. Of 79 patients with serial fecal specimens, spontaneous clearance of CPE was noted in 57 (72.2%), with a median (range) of 30 (3–411) days. Comparing patients without use of antibiotics and PPIs, consumption of both antibiotics and PPIs after CPE identification was associated with later clearance of CPE (hazard ratio, 0.35 [95% CI, 0.17–0.73], P=.005).
Concomitant use of antibiotics and PPIs prolonged duration of gastrointestinal colonization by CPE.