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Introduction: Sepsis protocols call for the acquisition of blood cultures in septic emergency department (ED) patients.However, the criteria for blood cultures are vague, they are costly, only positive 8-12% of the time, with up to half of these being false positives. The objective of this study was to establish if positive blood cultures could be excluded in low-risk sepsis patients with levels of CRP below 20 ml/L. Methods: This was a multicenter prospective cohort study of 765 ED patients at St Paul’s and Mount St Joseph’s hospitals in Vancouver with sepsis (2 or more SIRS criteria and infection) and none of: immuncompromised, injection drug use, indwelling vascular device or septic shock (SBP<90 mmhg). Consecutive patients with sepsis had CRP and blood cultures obtained at the same time.OUTCOMES. True positive blood cultures, false positive blood cultures, positive blood cultures that changed patient management. True and false positive blood cultures were based on Infectious Disease Society of America Guidelines, and change in management was defined as change in type or length of antibiotic therapy and was blindly adjudicated by a medical microbiologist. Results: 765 ED patients with sepsis met inclusion criteria. Mean age was 48.3 years and 57% were male. Blood cultures were positive in 99/765 (12.9%) subjects, of which 19 were false positive (19.2%). CRP was >20 mg/L in 595/765 (77.8%) of patients. Of 170 subjects with a CRP<20 mg/L, 3 had a positive blood culture (1.8%; 95% CI 0.1%- 5%). Management was not changed in any patient with a positive blood culture and CRP level<20 mg/L. Of 19 subjects with a false positive blood culture, CRP was <20 mg/L for 6 (31.6%). Conclusion: In this cohort of low-risk sepsis patients, based on a CRP of <20 mg/L, acquisition of blood cultures could be safely avoided in 22.2% of patients, at significant savings to the health care system.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Almost nothing is known about the potential negative effects of Internet-based psychological treatments for depression. This study aims at investigating deterioration and its moderators within randomized trials on Internet-based guided self-help for adult depression, using an individual patient data meta-analyses (IPDMA) approach.
Studies were identified through systematic searches (PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Cochrane Library). Deterioration in participants was defined as a significant symptom increase according to the reliable change index (i.e. 7.68 points in the CES-D; 7.63 points in the BDI). Two-step IPDMA procedures, with a random-effects model were used to pool data.
A total of 18 studies (21 comparisons, 2079 participants) contributed data to the analysis. The risk for a reliable deterioration from baseline to post-treatment was significantly lower in the intervention v. control conditions (3.36 v. 7.60; relative risk 0.47, 95% confidence interval 0.29–0.75). Education moderated effects on deterioration, with patients with low education displaying a higher risk for deterioration than patients with higher education. Deterioration rates for patients with low education did not differ statistically significantly between intervention and control groups. The benefit–risk ratio for patients with low education indicated that 9.38 patients achieve a treatment response for each patient experiencing a symptom deterioration.
Internet-based guided self-help is associated with a mean reduced risk for a symptom deterioration compared to controls. Treatment and symptom progress of patients with low education should be closely monitored, as some patients might face an increased risk for symptom deterioration. Future studies should examine predictors of deterioration in patients with low education.
The popularity of cognitive remediation (CR) interventions for individuals with psychosis is in part based on the well-established link between cognition and functioning and the assumption that by targeting cognition, function can improve. While numerous trials have reported CR's efficacy, it is still not considered an evidence-based treatment. Importantly, little is known about the mechanisms through which it may affect functioning.
In this study, we evaluated CR's proximal and distal effects, and examined potential mechanisms. A total of 75 individuals with psychotic disorders were randomized to a combination of strategy-based and drill-and-practice CR or wait-list control, with assessments of training task performance, neurocognition, functional capacity, symptoms and functioning conducted at baseline, end of the 2-month intervention, and 2-month follow-up.
Compared with treatment as usual, CR was associated with large post-training improvements on training tasks targeting attention, visuospatial memory, and verbal learning and memory, with persisting group differences at the 2-month follow-up. These generalized to mostly large improvements on neuropsychological measures targeting visuospatial memory, verbal learning and memory, delayed verbal memory and verbal working memory. While there were no CR-associated improvements on measures of functional capacity, symptoms, or a self-report measure of independent living skills, there was an effect on an interviewer-rated measure of functioning (Quality of Life Scale), which appeared primarily driven by the Intrapsychic Foundations subscale. Finally, for those randomized to CR, there were significant, medium-sized correlations between training task improvement, neuropsychological improvement and functioning measures.
This suggests a complex, multifactorial relationship between CR, and cognitive and functional change.
Δ14C values of leaves of deciduous trees provide a means to map the regional-scale fossil fuel ratio in the atmosphere. We collected a batch of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba Linnaeus, a deciduous tree) leaf samples from across Korea in the month of July in both 2010 and 2011 to obtain the regional distribution of Δ14C. The Δ14C values of the samples were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM). The average of the Δ14C values from clean air sites in Korea in 2011 measured slightly lower than the average of Δ14C values in 2010. Distribution maps of Δ14C of 2011 and 2010 in Korea were made based on a series of Δ14C values of ginkgo leaf samples from Korea using the Geostatistical and Spatial analyst tools in ESRI's ArcMap software. The distribution maps of Δ14C showed that Δ14C values in the western part of Korea are lower than those in the eastern part of Korea. This is because the western part of Korea is densely populated and contains many industrial complexes, and also because westerly winds from China, containing CO2 from fossil fuel use, blow into Korea. We compared the distribution maps of 2010 and 2011 and tried to find traces of the Fukushima power plant accident in Japan.
Antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) is prevalent but often contrary to published guidelines.
To evaluate risk factors for treatment of ASB.
Retrospective observational study.
A tertiary academic hospital, county hospital, and community hospital.
Hospitalized adults with bacteriuria.
Patients without documented symptoms of urinary tract infection per Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) criteria were classified as ASB. We examined ASB treatment risk factors as well as broad-spectrum antibiotic usage and quantified diagnostic concordance between IDSA and National Healthcare Safety Network criteria.
Among 300 patients with bacteriuria, ASB was present in 71% by IDSA criteria. By National Healthcare Safety Network criteria, 71% of patients had ASB; within-patient diagnostic concordance with IDSA was moderate (kappa, 0.52). After excluding those given antibiotics for nonurinary indications, antibiotics were given to 38% (62/164) with ASB. Factors significantly associated with ASB treatment were elevated urine white cell count (65 vs 24 white blood cells per high-powered field, P<.01), hospital identity (hospital C vs A, odds ratio, 0.34 [95% CI, 0.14–0.80], P =.01), presence of leukocyte esterase (5.48 [2.35–12.79], P<.01), presence of nitrites (2.45 [1.11–5.41], P=.03), and Escherichia coli on culture (2.4 [1.2–4.7], P=.01). Of patients treated for ASB, broad-spectrum antibiotics were used in 84%.
ASB treatment was prevalent across settings and contributed to broad-spectrum antibiotic use. Associating abnormal urinalysis results with the need for antibiotic treatment regardless of symptoms may drive unnecessary antibiotic use.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):319–326
A cylindrical-shaped micropillar array embedded microfluidic device was proposed to enhance the dispersion of cell clusters and the efficiency of single cell encapsulation in hydrogel. Different sizes of micropillar arrays act as a sieve to break Escherichia coli (E. coli) aggregates into single cells in polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) solution. We applied the external force for the continuous breakup of cell clusters, resulting in the production of more than 70% of single cells into individual hydrogel particles. This proposed strategy and device will be a useful platform to utilize genetically modified microorganisms in practical applications.
Cu thin films with a thickness around 850 Å were prepared on Ti45N55/Ti/Si(100) substrates at room temperature by partially ionized beam deposition (PIBD) with an ion energy of 3 keV at pressure of 8×10−7-1 x 10−6 Torr. The Cu/Ti45N55/Ti/Si samples were annealed at 8×10−6-1 × 10−5 Torr with annealing temperature of 500 to 700 °C for 30 min.. Thermal stability of the PIB-Cu films was investigated with Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The as deposited Cu films had a (111) texture and there was no change of phase in annealed Cu films regardless of annealing temperature. Grain size of the annealed Cu films increased with annealing temperature. SEM studies show no hillock and no voiding on the Cu film surface up to annealing temperature of 700 °C. For PIB-Cu/Ti45N55/Ti/Si samples, all the layers were intact and there was no indication of interdiffusion by conventional depth profiling techniques (RBS, AES) up to 700 °C in vacuum for 30 minutes.
We study the photocurrent from photoexcited charged carriers excited with lasers of energy both above and below the energy gap in CdS nanostructures. We observe non-linear photocurrents in CdS nanosheet devices in the metal-semiconductor-metal configuration with Schottky contacts for sub-band gap excitations. Analysis of two-photon absorption dominated photocurrents reveals a nonlinear coefficient of β = 2 cm/GW for these nanosheet devices, which is comparable to those of bulk CdS. We demonstrate the use of the photocurrent polarization measurements to determine the orientation of atoms in the nanosheet.
The incidence and severity of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) have increased in Western countries. However, there are limited data regarding the epidemiology of CDI in Eastern countries. This nationwide study was conducted in 17 hospitals to determine temporal trends in CDI incidence (from 2004 to 2008) in South Korea. The total incidence of CDI in Korea was 1·7 cases/1000 adult admissions in 2004, and 2·7/1000 cases in 2008 (P = 0·028). When analysing the clinical features of 1367 CDI patients diagnosed in 2008, oral metronidazole was effective as a first-line treatment for CDI (61·9%). Relapse rate was 8·9% and complicated CDI was only observed in 3·6%. The incidence of CDI increased significantly in Korea from 2004 to 2008. Although the clinical features were milder than in Western countries, the increasing burden of CDI needs ongoing surveillance systems.
The whole body concentration ratio (CR) of 137Cs, 85Sr and 65Zn for Chinese minnow (P. oxycephalus) and earthworm (E. andrei) were experimentally measured in a laboratory. The mean CR (Bq/kg fresh per Bq/l) of Chinese minnow was 3.5 for 137Cs, 11.0 for 85Sr, and 9.8 for 65Zn, respectively. The mean CR (Bq/kg fresh per Bq/kg) of earthworm was 4.4 × 10−4 for 137Cs, 1.7 × 10−3 for 85Sr, and 1.4 × 10−3 for 65Zn, respectively.
The passive film stability of several Fe-based amorphous metal formulations have been found to be comparable to that of high-performance Ni-based alloys, and superior to that of stainless steels, based on electrochemical measurements of the passive film breakdown potential and general corrosion rates. Chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W) provide corrosion resistance; boron (B) enables glass formation; and rare earths such as yttrium (Y) lower critical cooling rate (CCR). The high boron content of this particular amorphous metal also makes it an effective neutron absorber, and suitable for criticality control applications, as discussed in companion publications. Corrosion data for SAM2X5 (Fe49.7Cr17.7Mn1.9Mo7.4W1.6B15.2C3.8Si2.4) is discussed here.