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To quantify the frequency and outcomes of receiving an antibiotic prescription upon discharge from the hospital to long-term care facilities (LTCFs).
Retrospective cohort study.
A 576-bed, academic hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Adult inpatients (≥18 years of age) discharged to an LTCF between January 1, 2012, and June 30, 2016.
Our primary outcome was receiving a systemic antibiotic prescription upon discharge to an LTCF. We also quantified the association between receiving an antibiotic prescription and 30-day hospital readmission, 30-day emergency department (ED) visit, and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) on a readmission or ED visit at the index facility within 60 days of discharge.
Among 6,701 discharges to an LTCF, 22.9% were prescribed antibiotics upon discharge. The most prevalent antibiotic classes prescribed were cephalosporins (20.4%), fluoroquinolones (19.1%), and penicillins (16.7%). The medical records of ~82% of patients included a diagnosis code for a bacterial infection on the index admission. Among patients prescribed an antibiotic upon discharge, the incidence of 30-day hospital readmission to the index facility was 15.9%, the incidence of 30-day ED visit at the index facility was 11.0%, and the incidence of CDI on a readmission or ED visit within 60 days of discharge was 1.6%. Receiving an antibiotic prescription upon discharge was significantly associated with 30-day ED visits (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–1.5) and with CDI within 60 days (aOR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.02–2.8) but not with 30-day readmissions (aOR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.9–1.2).
Antibiotics were frequently prescribed upon discharge to LTCFs, which may be associated with increased risk of poor outcomes post discharge.
Despite aspirations to be a world-class national curriculum, the Australian Curriculum (AC) has been criticised as ‘manifestly deficient’ (Australian Government Department of Education and Training, 2014 p. 5) as an inclusive curriculum, failing to meet the needs of all students with disabilities (SWD) and their teachers. There is a need for research into the daily attempts of educators to navigate the tension between a ‘top-down’ system-wide curriculum and a ‘bottom-up’ regard for individual student needs, with a view to informing both policy and practice. This article is the first of two research papers in which we report the findings from a national online Research in Special Education (RISE) Australian Curriculum Survey of special educators in special schools, classes, and units regarding their experience using the AC to plan for and teach SWD. Survey results indicated (a) inconsistent use of the AC as the primary basis for developing learning objectives and designing learning experiences, (b) infrequent use of the achievement standards to support assessment and reporting, and (c) considerable supplementation of the AC from other resources when educating SWD. Overall, participants expressed a lack of confidence in translating the AC framework into a meaningful curriculum for SWD. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.
Vaccination remains a mainstay of companion animal population health. However, how vaccine use at a population level complies with existing guidelines is unknown. Here we use electronic health records to describe vaccination in dogs, cats and rabbits attending a large sentinel network of UK veterinary practices. In total, 77.9% (95% CI: 77.6–78.1) of animals had recorded vaccinations. The percentage of animals with recorded vaccinations was higher in dogs, neutered animals, in insured dogs and cats and in purebred dogs. Vaccination rates varied in different regions of Great Britain in all species. Dogs and cats belonging to owners living in less deprived areas of England and Scotland were more likely to be recorded as vaccinated. In the vaccinated population, cats received more core vaccines per year of life (0.86) than dogs (0.75), with feline leukaemia vaccines almost as frequent as core vaccines. In dogs, leptospira vaccines were more frequent than core vaccines. This descriptive study suggests a substantial proportion of animals are not benefiting from vaccine protection. For the first time, we identify potential factors associated with variations in recorded vaccination frequency, providing a critical baseline against which to monitor future changes in companion animal vaccination and evidence to inform future targeted health interventions.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.
To determine the typical microbial bioburden (overall bacterial and multidrug-resistant organisms [MDROs]) on high-touch healthcare environmental surfaces after routine or terminal cleaning.
Prospective 2.5-year microbiological survey of large surface areas (>1,000 cm2).
MDRO contact-precaution rooms from 9 acute-care hospitals and 2 long-term care facilities in 4 states.
Samples from 166 rooms (113 routine cleaned and 53 terminal cleaned rooms).
Using a standard sponge-wipe sampling protocol, 2 composite samples were collected from each room; a third sample was collected from each Clostridium difficile room. Composite 1 included the TV remote, telephone, call button, and bed rails. Composite 2 included the room door handle, IV pole, and overbed table. Composite 3 included toileting surfaces. Total bacteria and MDROs (ie, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci [VRE], Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and C. difficile) were quantified, confirmed, and tested for drug resistance.
The mean microbial bioburden and range from routine cleaned room composites were higher (2,700 colony-forming units [CFU]/100 cm2; ≤1–130,000 CFU/100 cm2) than from terminal cleaned room composites (353 CFU/100 cm2; ≤1–4,300 CFU/100 cm2). MDROs were recovered from 34% of routine cleaned room composites (range ≤1–13,000 CFU/100 cm2) and 17% of terminal cleaned room composites (≤1–524 CFU/100 cm2). MDROs were recovered from 40% of rooms; VRE was the most common (19%).
This multicenter bioburden summary provides a first step to determining microbial bioburden on healthcare surfaces, which may help provide a basis for developing standards to evaluate cleaning and disinfection as well as a framework for studies using an evidentiary hierarchy for environmental infection control.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension. Current established protocols (RUSH, ACES, etc) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. We wished to use reported disease incidence to develop an informed approach to PoCUS in hypotension using a “4 F’s” approach: Fluid; Form; Function; Filling. Methods: We summarized the incidence of PoCUS findings from an international multicentre RCT, and using a modified Delphi approach incorporating this data we obtained the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. The modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate PoCUS for hypotensive emergency department patients. Results: Rates of abnormal PoCUS findings from 151 patients with undifferentiated hypotension included left ventricular dynamic changes (43%), IVC abnormalities (27%), pericardial effusion (16%), and pleural fluid (8%). Abdominal pathology was rare (fluid 5%, AAA 2%). After two rounds of the survey, using majority consensus, agreement was reached on a SHoC-hypotension protocol comprising: A. Core: 1. Cardiac views (Sub-xiphoid and parasternal windows for pericardial fluid, cardiac form and ventricular function); 2. Lung views for pleural fluid and B-lines for filling status; and 3. IVC views for filling status; B. Supplementary: Additional cardiac views; and C. Additional views (when indicated) including peritoneal fluid, aorta, pelvic for IUP, and proximal leg veins for DVT. Conclusion: An international consensus process based on prospectively collected disease incidence has led to a proposed SHoC-hypotension PoCUS protocol comprising a stepwise clinical-indication based approach of Core, Supplementary and Additional PoCUS views.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) provides invaluable information during resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest by determining presence/absence of cardiac activity and identifying reversible causes such as pericardial tamponade. There is no agreed guideline on how to safely and effectively incorporate PoCUS into the advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithm. We consider that a consensus-based priority checklist using a “4 F’s” approach (Fluid; Form; Function; Filling), would provide a better algorithm during ACLS. Methods: The ultrasound subcommittee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) drafted a checklist incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm. This was further developed using the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. A modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate ultrasound into cardiac arrest algorithms for emergency department patients. Results: Consensus was reached following 3 rounds. The agreed protocol focuses on the timing of PoCUS as well as the specific clinical questions. Core cardiac windows performed during the rhythm check pause in chest compressions are the sub-xiphoid and parasternal cardiac views. Either view should be used to detect pericardial fluid, as well as examining ventricular form (e.g. right heart strain) and function, (e.g. asystole versus organized cardiac activity). Supplementary views include lung views (for absent lung sliding in pneumothorax and for pleural fluid), and IVC views for filling. Additional ultrasound applications are for endotracheal tube confirmation, proximal leg veins for DVT, or for sources of blood loss (AAA, peritoneal/pelvic fluid). Conclusion: The authors hope that this process will lead to a consensus-based SHoC-cardiac arrest guideline on incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm.
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium definitive phage type (DT) 8 is uncommon in humans in the UK. In July 2010, the Health Protection Agency reported an excess isolation rate of pan-susceptible S. Typhimurium DT8 in England and Northern Ireland. By the end of October, this amounted to 81 laboratory-confirmed human cases for all regions of England and Northern Ireland in 2010, an increase of 26% and 41% on 2009 and 2008, respectively. Descriptive epidemiological investigation found a strong association with infection and consumption of duck eggs. Duck eggs contaminated with S. Typhimurium DT8 were collected from a patient's home and also at farms in the duck-egg supply chain. Although duck eggs form a small part of total UK eggs sales, there has been significant growth in sales in recent years. This is the first known outbreak of salmonellosis linked to duck eggs in the UK since 1949 and highlighted the impact of a changing food source and market on the re-emergence of salmonellosis linked to duck eggs. Control measures by the duck-egg industry should be improved along with a continued need to remind the public and commercial caterers of the potential high risks of contracting salmonellosis from duck eggs.
Mycobacterium marinum, formerly known as ‘Mycobacterium balnei’, is a free-living organism which causes disease in fish and occasionally in man. When such infections occur in man they are usually associated with some aquatic activity, e.g. swimming, fishing, boating and keeping tropical fish. For this reason, the organism has been called a ‘leisure-time pathogen’ by Feldman, Long & David (1974) and the disease a ‘hobby hazard’ by Heineman, Spitzer & Pianphongsant (1972).
We investigated a cluster of cases of bloodstream infection (BSI) due to the mold Phialemonium at a hemodialysis center in Illinois and conducted a cohort study to identify risk factors.
Environmental assessment and cohort study.
A hemodialysis center in a tertiary care hospital.
A case patient was defined as a person who underwent dialysis at the center and had a blood sample that tested positive for Phialemonium curvatum on culture. We reviewed microbiology and medical records and tested water, surface, and dialysate samples by culture. Molds isolated from environmental and clinical specimens were identified by their morphological features and confirmed by sequencing DNA.
We identified 2 case patients with BSI due to P. curvatum. Both became febrile and hypotensive while undergoing dialysis on the same machine at the same treatment station, although on different days. Dialysis machines were equipped with waste handling option ports that are used to discard dialyzer priming fluid. We isolated P. curvatum from the product water (ie, water used for dialysis purposes) at 2 of 19 treatment stations, one of which was the implicated station.
The source of P. curvatum was likely the water distribution system. To our knowledge, this is the first report of patients acquiring a mold BSI from contaminated product water. The route of exposure in these cases of BSI due to P. curvatum may be related to the malfunction and improper maintenance of the waste handling option ports. Waste handling option ports have been previously implicated as the source of bacterial BSI due to the backflow of waste fluid into a patient's blood line. No additional cases of infection were noted after remediation of the water distribution system and after discontinuing use of waste handling option ports at the facility.
Upper Ordovician radiolarians are described from limestone within the Malongulli Formation in the Cliefden Caves area using revised systematics. Eight genera and 12 species are described, including the following four new species: Protoceratoikiscum crossingi, Haplotaeniatum ovatum, Haplotaeniatum prolatum, and Borisella dunhilli, and two new combinations, Borisella subulata and Haplotaeniatum spongium. All samples are dominated by Kalimnasphaera maculosa, B. subulata, and Palaeoephippium octaramosum with lesser abundances of Haplotaeniaum spp. and Inanigutta complanata, and rare occurrences of Protoceratoikicsum spp. The rare species Etymalbaillella yennienii is reported for the first time outside of China. The Malongulli Formation is upper Eastonian through lower Bolindian (Katian global stage) based on graptolite and conodont biostratigraphy. From a stratigraphic standpoint, the limestone intervals sampled appear to represent two or possibly three stratigraphically separate intervals within the Malongulli Formation. Conodonts recovered from Coppermine Creek, Angullong/Belubula, and Gleesons Creek localities occur in the lower and middle parts of the formation and fall within one conodont zone, the O. velicuspis Zone. The stratigraphic position of the limestone at the Sugarloaf Creek locality is higher, possibly as high as lower Bolindian, based on proximity to the top of the formation where Bolindian graptolites have been recovered. Despite the different stratigraphic positions of the limestones, the radiolarians contained within are essentially the same fauna, barring some differences in relative abundance in Haplotaeniatum and Palaeoephippium. The Malongulli fauna is discussed with respect to other Upper Ordovician faunas, most notably those from siliceous facies in the eastern Lachlan Orogen and from the Hanson Creek Formation of Nevada, U.S. The radiolarian species occur across different depositional environments and from a range of geographically widespread localities, which bodes well for them being recognized as biostratigraphically important faunal markers with correlation potential within the Katian.
Global and regional targets to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss bring with them the need to measure the state of nature and how it is changing. A number of different biodiversity indicators have been developed in response and here we consider bird population indicators in Europe. Birds are often used as surrogates for other elements of biodiversity because they are so well known and well studied, and not for their unique intrinsic value as environmental indicators. Yet, in certain situations and at particular scales, trends in bird populations correlate with those of other taxa making them a valuable biodiversity indicator with appropriate caveats. In this paper, we look at two case studies, in the UK and Europe as a whole, where headline bird indicators, that is, summary statistics based on bird population trends, have been developed and used to inform and assist policy makers. Wild bird indicators have been adopted by many European countries and by the European Union as indicators of biodiversity and of sustainable development. In the discussion, we review the strengths and weaknesses of using bird populations in this way, and look forward to how this work might be developed and expanded.
To investigate the cause(s) of an increased incidence of clinical cultures growing Mycobacterium abscessus at a hospital in Florida.
University-affiliated, tertiary-care hospital.
A site visit was done during the first week of September 2006. We reviewed the medical records of patients from whom M. abscessus was recovered during the period from January 1, 2003, through June 30, 2006. We collected environmental samples from various sites and evaluated specimen processing procedures in the microbiology laboratory. Isolates of M. abscessus recovered from the environment and from 12 randomly selected patients who sought medical care in 2006 were compared by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Follow-up case surveillance was continued through March 31, 2007.
Specimens from 143 patients obtained from various anatomical sites grew M. abscessus on culture in 2005-2006, compared with specimens from 21 patients in 2003-2004. The 12 isolates from patients that were selected for molecular typing had indistinguishable PFGE patterns. Observations revealed no major breaches in the processing of mycobacterial specimens in the laboratory. Isolates grew only after prolonged incubation (mean ± SD, 45 ± 15 days) in test tubes containing diagonally oriented Middlebrook and Cohn 7H10 agar or Lowenstein-Jensen medium. Environmental samples obtained from the inside of the specimen incubator grew M. abscessus on culture. A test tube containing diagonally oriented, uninoculated Middlebrook and Cohn 7H10 agar that was incubated in the same incubator as clinical specimens grew M. abscessus with a PFGE pattern that matched the pattern of the patient isolates. Cases of M. abscessus infection decreased to baseline after the hospital changed suppliers of mycobacterial media and cleaned the incubator.
Although the source was never confirmed, our investigation suggests that this was a pseudo-outbreak of M. abscessus infection that resulted from contamination of mycobacterial cultures during incubation. Our findings emphasize the need for guidance on the disinfection of specimen incubators.