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A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
A survey of hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs was performed to validate core element achievement data from the National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Patient Safety Component Annual Survey. In total, 89% of hospitals met all 7 core elements, compared to only 68% according to the NHSN survey.
Previous research by Goldstone et al. (2010) generated a highly accurate predictive model of state-level political instability. Notably, this model identifies political institutions – and partial democracy with factionalism, specifically – as the most compelling factors explaining when and where instability events are likely to occur. This article reassesses the model’s explanatory power and makes three related points: (1) the model’s predictive power varies substantially over time; (2) its predictive power peaked in the period used for out-of-sample validation (1995–2004) in the original study and (3) the model performs relatively poorly in the more recent period. The authors find that this decline is not simply due to the Arab Uprisings, instability events that occurred in autocracies. Similar issues are found with attempts to predict nonviolent uprisings (Chenoweth and Ulfelder 2017) and armed conflict onset and continuation (Hegre et al. 2013). These results inform two conclusions: (1) the drivers of instability are not constant over time and (2) care must be exercised in interpreting prediction exercises as evidence in favor or dispositive of theoretical mechanisms.
Introduction: The ECG diagnosis of acute coronary occlusion (ACO) in the setting of ventricular paced rhythm (VPR) is purported to be impossible. However, VPR has a similar ECG morphology to LBBB. The validated Smith-modified Sgarbossa criteria (MSC) have high sensitivity (Sens) and specificity (Spec) for ACO in LBBB. MSC consist of 1 of the following in 1 lead: concordant ST Elevation (STE) 1 mm, concordant ST depression 1 mm in V1-V3, or ST/S ratio <−0.25 (in leads with 1 mm STE). We hypothesized that the MSC will have higher Sens for diagnosis of ACO in VPR when compared to the original Sgarbossa criteria. We report preliminary findings of the Paced Electrocardiogram Requiring Fast Emergency Coronary Therapy (PERFECT) study Methods: The PERFECT study is a retrospective, multicenter, international investigation of ED patients from 1/2008 - 12/2016 with VPR on the ECG and symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (e.g. chest pain or shortness of breath). Data from four sites are presented. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was defined by the Third Universal Definition of AMI. A blinded cardiologist adjudicated ACO, defined as thrombolysis in myocardial infarction score 0 or 1 on coronary angiography; a pre-defined subgroup of ACO patients with peak cardiac troponin (cTn) >100 times the 99% upper reference limit (URL) of the cTn assay was also analyzed. Another blinded physician measured all ECGs. Statistics were by Mann Whitney U, Chi-square, and McNemars test. Results: The ACO and No-AMI groups consisted of 15 and 79 encounters, respectively. For the ACO and No-AMI groups, median age was 78 [IQR 72-82] vs. 70 [61-75] and 13 (86%) vs. 48 (61%) patients were male. The median peak cTn ratio (cTn/URL) was 260 [33-663] and 0.5 [0-1.3] for ACO vs. no-AMI. The Sens and Spec for the MSC and the original Sgarbossa criteria were 67% (95%CI 39-87) vs. 46% (22-72; p=0.25) and 99% (92-100) vs. 99% (92-100; p=0.5). In pre-defined subgroup analysis of ACO patients with peak cTn >100 times the URL (n=10), the Sens was 90% (54-100) for the MSC vs. 60% (27- 86) for original Sgarbossa criteria (p=0.25). Conclusion: ACO in VPR is an uncommon condition. The MSC showed good Sens for diagnosis of ACO in the presence of VPR, especially among patients with high peak cTn, and Spec was excellent. These methods and results are consistent with studies that have used the MSC to diagnose ACO in LBBB.
Introduction: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) are questionnaires that can be used to elicit care outcome information from patients. We sought to develop and validate the first PROM for adult patients without a primary mental health or addictions presentation receiving emergency department (ED) care and who were not hospitalized. Methods: PROM development used a multi-phase process based on national and international guidance (FDA, NQF, ISPOR). Phase 1: ED outcome conceptual framework qualitative interviews with ED patients post-discharge informed four core domains (previously published). Phase 2: Item generation scoping review of the literature and existing instruments identified candidate questions relevant for each domain for inclusion in tool. Phase 3: Cognitive debriefing existing and newly written questions were tested with ED patients post-discharge for comprehension and wording preference. Phase 4: Field and validity testing revised tool pilot tested on a national online survey panel and then again at 2 weeks (test-retest). Phase 5: Final item reduction using a Delphi process involving ED clinicians, researchers, patients and system administrators. Phase 6: Validation - psychometric testing of PROM-ED 1.0. Results: Four core outcome domains were defined in Phase 1: (1) understanding; (2) symptom relief; (3) reassurance and (4) having a plan. The domains informed a review of existing relevant questionnaires and instruments and the writing of additional questions creating an initial long-form questionnaire. Eight patients participated in cognitive debriefing of the long-form questionnaire. Expert clinicians, researchers and patient partners provided input on item refinement and reduction. Four hundred forty-four patients completed a second version of the long-form questionnaire (add in retest numbers) which informed the final item reduction process by a modified Delphi method involving 21 diverse contributors. The questionnaire was validated and underwent final revisions to create the 21 questions that constitute PROM-ED 1.0. Conclusion: Using accepted PROM instrument development methodology, we developed the first outcome questionnaire for use with adult ED patients who are not hospitalized. This questionnaire can be used to systematically gather patient-reported outcome information that could support and inform improvement work in ED care.
The impact of losing a limb in military service extends well beyond initial recovery and rehabilitation, with long-term consequences and challenges requiring health-care commitments across the lifecourse. This paper presents a systematic review of the current state of knowledge regarding the long-term impact of ageing and limb-loss in military veterans. Key databases were systematically searched including: ASSIA, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Medline, Web of Science, PsycArticles/PsychInfo, ProQuest Psychology and ProQuest Sociology Journals, and SPORTSDiscus. Empirical studies which focused on the long-term impact of limb-loss and/or health-care requirements in veterans were included. The search process revealed 30 papers relevant for inclusion. These papers focused broadly on four themes: (a) long-term health outcomes, prosthetics use and quality of life; (b) long-term psycho-social adaptation and coping with limb-loss; (c) disability and identity; and (d) estimating the long-term costs of care and prosthetic provision. Findings present a compelling case for ensuring the long-term care needs and costs of rehabilitation for older limbless veterans are met. A dearth of information on the lived experience of limb-loss and the needs of veterans’ families calls for further research to address these important issues.
A significant reason for death and long-term disability due to head injuries and pathologic conditions is an elevation in the intracranial pressure (ICP) due to vascular compromise and secondary sequelae causing edema. ICP measurements before and after injury in a completely closed-head environment have a significant research value, particularly in the acute postinjury period. With current technology, a tethered fiberoptic probe penetrates the brain and therefore can only remain implanted for relatively short time periods. Use of the probe also can cause complications such as infection and hemorrhage and prohibit immediate (at the time of injury) and long-term measurements of ICP. A small, fully embedded, wireless ICP device may simplify clinical management and research protocols by offering a means for semi-invasive and long-term ICP measurement following brain injury. In this chapter, a new digital wireless ICP (DICP) device is described. The dynamic ICP measurement performances of both the analog ICP (AICP) devices (described in Chapter 2) and the DICP devices are evaluated in a specific traumatic brain injury (TBI) (swine) model of closed-head rotational injury.
In Chapter 2, a prototype of an AICP device operating in the industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) band at 2.4 GHz was described that successfully simplified the surgical procedure by reducing the infection rate, the risk of hemorrhage, and the degree of tissue injury.
The AICP device was implanted in a canine model only for a static test, and hypo- and hyperventilation were used to affect variations in ICP. Dynamic ICP variations as a result of TBI in a completely closed-head environment are of paramount importance for understanding the development of a prolonged postconcussion syndrome and facilitating institution of the correct treatment at different stages, particularly in the acute postinjury period. Currently, in experimental (animal) models of TBI, a tethered fiberoptic probe (if inserted before the injury) has to be removed before an injury is induced in order to avoid significant focal damage at the point of probe insertion. Moreover, reinsertion of the probe is possible only after the animal's vital signs have stabilized. However, the act of breaching the cranium after the injury affects the fidelity of the ICP measurements. In addition, proposed noninvasive ICP (NICP) solutions, such as the pulsatility index method based on the use of trancranial Doppler, argued by Figaji et al. , have been shown to be insufficient for accurate ICP estimation.
Alcohol consumption around the time of conception is highly prevalent in Western countries. Exposure to ethanol levels during gestation has been associated with altered development of the mesolimbic reward pathway in rats and increased propensity to addiction, however the effect of exposure only around the time of conception is unknown. The current study investigated the effects of periconceptional alcohol exposure (PC:EtOH) on alcohol and palatable food preferences and gene expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens of the adult offspring. Rats were exposed to a liquid diet containing ethanol (EtOH) (12.5% vol/vol) or a control diet from 4 days before mating until 4 days after mating. PC:EtOH had no effect on alcohol preference in either sex. At 15 months of age, however, male PC:EtOH offspring consumed more high-fat food when compared with male control offspring, but this preference was not observed in females. Expression of the dopamine receptor type 1 (Drd1a) was lower in the VTA of male PC:EtOH offspring compared with their control counterparts. There was no effect of PC:EtOH on mRNA expression of the µ-opioid receptor, tyrosine hydroxylase (Th), dopamine receptor type 2 (Drd2) or dopamine active transporter (Slc6a3). These data support the hypothesis that periconceptional alcohol exposure can alter expression of key components of the mesolimbic reward pathway and heighten the preference of offspring for palatable foods and may therefore increase their propensity towards diet-induced obesity. These results highlight the importance of alcohol avoidance when planning a pregnancy.
Dislocation/grain-boundary (GB) interactions have been studied in situ in polycrystalline ice using synchrotron X-ray topography in the temperature range 0° to –15°C GBs were observed to act both as sources of lattice dislocations and as strong obstacles to dislocation motion. Dislocations were observed to form pile-ups at GBs upon loading. Generally the basal slip system with the highest Schmid factor was found to be the most active, and dislocations were emitted from GB facets as semi-hexagonal loops in order to relieve the stress build-up from GB sliding. When the relative orientation of two adjacent grains and the orientation of the GB between them with respect to the loading direction discouraged GB sliding, thus suppressing dislocation nucleation at the GB, dislocations originating in one grain piled up at the GB and led to slip transmission through the GB The latter geometrical arrangement is rarely encountered, suggesting that slip transmission through grain boundaries in ice is a rare event. When basal slip was suppressed, i.e. when the loading direction lay in the basal plane, slip occurred by the glide of a fast edge segment on non-basal planes.
Alnico alloys have long been used as strong permanent magnets because of their ferromagnetism and high coercivity. Understanding their structural details allows for better prediction of the resulting magnetic properties. However, quantitative three-dimensional characterization of the phase separation in these alloys is still challenged by the spatial quantification of nanoscale phases. Herein, we apply a dual tomography approach, where correlative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDS) tomography and atom probe tomography (APT) are used to investigate the initial phase separation process of an alnico 8 alloy upon non-magnetic annealing. STEM-EDS tomography provides information on the morphology and volume fractions of Fe–Co-rich and Νi–Al-rich phases after spinodal decomposition in addition to quantitative information of the composition of a nanoscale volume. Subsequent analysis of a portion of the same specimen by APT offers quantitative chemical information of each phase at the sub-nanometer scale. Furthermore, APT reveals small, 2–4 nm Fe-rich α1 phases that are nucleated in the Ni-rich α2 matrix. From this information, we show that phase separation of the alnico 8 alloy consists of both spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth processes. The complementary benefits and challenges associated with correlative STEM-EDS and APT are discussed.
Conventional bedside tests of visuospatial function such as the clock drawing (CDT) and intersecting pentagons tests (IPT) are subject to considerable inconsistency in their delivery and interpretation. We compared performance on a novel test – the letter and shape drawing (LSD) test – with these conventional tests in hospitalised elderly patients.
The LSD, IPT, CDT and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) were performed in 40 acute elderly medical inpatients at University Hospital Limerick The correlation between these tests was examined as well as the accuracy of the visuospatial tests to identify significant cognitive impairment on the MoCA.
The patients (mean age 81.0±7.71; 21 female) had a median MoCA score of 15.5 (range=1–29). There was a strong, positive correlation between the LSD and both the CDT (r=0.56) and IPT (r=0.71). The correlation between the LSD and MoCA (r=0.91) was greater than for the CDT and IPT (both 0.67). The LSD correlated highly with all MoCA domains (ranging from 0.54 to 0.86) and especially for the domains of orientation (r=0.86), attention (0.81) and visuospatial function (r=0.73). Two or more errors on the LSD identified 90% (26/29) of those patients with MoCA scores of ⩽20, which was substantially higher than for the CDT (59%) and IPT (55%).
The LSD is a novel test of visuospatial function that is brief, readily administered and easily interpreted. Performance correlates strongly with other tests of visuospatial ability, with favourable ability to identify patients with significant impairment of general cognition.
Within acute psychiatric inpatient services, patients exhibiting severely disturbed behaviour can be transferred to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and/or secluded in order to manage the risks posed to the patient and others. However, whether specific patient groups are more likely to be subjected to these coercive measures is unclear. Using robust methodological and statistical techniques, we aimed to determine the demographic, clinical and behavioural predictors of both PICU and seclusion.
Data were extracted from an anonymised database comprising the electronic medical records of patients within a large South London mental health trust. Two cohorts were derived, (1) a PICU cohort comprising all patients transferred from general adult acute wards to a non-forensic PICU ward between April 2008 and April 2013 (N = 986) and a randomly selected group of patients admitted to general adult wards within this period who were not transferred to PICU (N = 994), and (2) a seclusion cohort comprising all seclusion episodes occurring in non-forensic PICU wards within the study period (N = 990) and a randomly selected group of patients treated in these wards who were not secluded (N = 1032). Demographic and clinical factors (age, sex, ethnicity, diagnosis, admission status and time since admission) and behavioural precursors (potentially relevant behaviours occurring in the 3 days preceding PICU transfer/seclusion or random sample date) were extracted from electronic medical records. Mixed effects, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed with all variables included as predictors.
PICU cases were significantly more likely to be younger in age, have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and to be held on a formal section compared with patients who were not transferred to PICU; female sex and longer time since admission were associated with lower odds of transfer. With regard to behavioural precursors, the strongest predictors of PICU transfer were incidents of physical aggression towards others or objects and absconding or attempts to abscond. Secluded patients were also more likely to be younger and legally detained relative to non-secluded patients; however, female sex increased the odds of seclusion. Likelihood of seclusion also decreased with time since admission. Seclusion was significantly associated with a range of behavioural precursors with the strongest associations observed for incidents involving restraint or shouting.
Whilst recent behaviour is an important determinant, patient age, sex, admission status and time since admission also contribute to risk of PICU transfer and seclusion. Alternative, less coercive strategies must meet the needs of patients with these characteristics.
Studies indicate that risk of mortality is higher for patients admitted
to acute hospitals at the weekend. However, less is known about clinical
outcomes among patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals.
To investigate whether weekend admission to a psychiatric hospital is
associated with worse clinical outcomes.
Data were obtained from 45 264 consecutive psychiatric hospital
admissions. The association of weekend admission with in-patient
mortality, duration of hospital admission and risk of readmission was
investigated using multivariable regression analyses. Secondary analyses
were performed to investigate the distribution of admissions, discharges,
in-patient mortality, episodes of seclusion and violent incidents on
different days of the week.
There were 7303 weekend admissions (16.1%). Patients who were aged
between 26 and 35 years, female or from a minority ethnic group were more
likely to be admitted at the weekend. Patients admitted at the weekend
were more likely to present via acute hospital services, other
psychiatric hospitals and the criminal justice system than to be admitted
directly from their own home. Weekend admission was associated with a
shorter duration of admission (B coefficient –21.1 days,
95% CI –24.6 to –17.6, P<0.001) and an increased risk
of readmission in the 12 months following index admission (incidence rate
ratio 1.13, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.18, P<0.001), but
in-patient mortality (odds ratio (OR) = 0.79, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.23,
P = 0.30) was not greater than for weekday admission.
Fewer episodes of seclusion occurred at the weekend but there was no
significant variation in deaths during hospital admission or violent
incidents on different days of the week.
Being admitted at the weekend was not associated with an increased risk
of in-patient mortality. However, patients admitted at the weekend had
shorter admissions and were more likely to be readmitted, suggesting that
they may represent a different clinical population to those admitted
during the week. This is an important consideration if mental healthcare
services are to be implemented across a 7-day week.
Adults with tetralogy of Fallot experience atrial tachyarrhythmias; however, there are a few data on the outcomes of radiofrequency ablation. We examined the characteristics, outcome, and predictors of recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias after radiofrequency ablation in tetralogy of Fallot patients.
Retrospective data were collected from 2004 to 2013. In total, 56 ablations were performed on 37 patients. We identified two matched controls per case: patients with tetralogy of Fallot but no radiofrequency ablation and not known to have atrial tachyarrhythmias. Acute success was 98%. Left atrial arrhythmias increased in frequency over time. The mean follow-up was 41 months; 78% were arrhythmia-free. Number of cardiac surgeries, age, and presence of atrial fibrillation were predictors of recurrence. Lone cavo-tricuspid isthmus-dependent flutter reduced the likelihood of atrial fibrillation. Right and left atria in patients with tetralogy of Fallot were larger in ablated cases than controls. NYHA class was worse in cases and improved after ablation; baseline status predicted death. Of matched non-ablated controls, a number of them had atrial fibrillation. These patients were excluded from the case–control study but analysed separately. Most of them had died during follow-up, whereas of the matched ablated cases all were alive and the majority in sinus rhythm.
Patients with tetralogy of Fallot and atrial tachyarrhythmias have more dilated atria than those without atrial tachyarrhythmias. Radiofrequency ablation improves functional status. Left atrial ablation is more commonly required with repeat procedures. There is a high prevalence of atrial tachyarrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, in patients with tetralogy of Fallot; early radiofrequency ablation may have a protective effect against this.