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To identify risk factors of patients placed in airborne infection isolation (AII) for possible pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) to better predict TB diagnosis and allow more judicious use of AII.
Case-control, retrospective study at a single tertiary-care academic medical center. The study included all adult patients admitted from October 1, 2014, through October 31, 2017, who were placed in AII for possible pulmonary TB. Cases were defined as those ultimately diagnosed with pulmonary TB. Controls were defined as those not diagnosed with pulmonary TB. Those with TB diagnosed prior to admission were excluded. In total, 662 admissions (558 patients) were included.
Overall, 15 cases of pulmonary TB were identified (2.7%); of these, 2 were people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; PLWH). Statistical analysis was limited by low case number. Those diagnosed with pulmonary TB were more likely to have been born outside the United States (53% vs 13%; P < .001) and to have had prior positive TB testing, regardless of prior treatment (50% vs 19%; P = .015). A multivariate analysis using non–US birth and prior positive TB testing predicted an 18.2% probability of pulmonary TB diagnosis when present, compared with 1.0% if both factors were not present.
The low number of pulmonary TB cases indicated AII overuse, especially in PLWH, and more judicious use of AII is warranted. High-risk groups, including those born outside the United States and those with prior positive TB testing, should be considered for AII in the appropriate clinical setting.
Mental disorders cause high burden in adolescents, but adolescents often underutilise potentially beneficial treatments. Perceived need for and barriers to care may influence whether adolescents utilise services and which treatments they receive. Adolescents and parents are stakeholders in adolescent mental health care, but their perceptions regarding need for and barriers to care might differ. Understanding patterns of adolescent-parent agreement might help identify gaps in adolescent mental health care.
A nationally representative sample of Australian adolescents aged 13–17 and their parents (N = 2310), recruited between 2013–2014, were asked about perceived need for four types of adolescent mental health care (counselling, medication, information and skill training) and barriers to care. Perceived need was categorised as fully met, partially met, unmet, or no need. Cohen's kappa was used to assess adolescent-parent agreement. Multinomial logistic regressions were used to model variables associated with patterns of agreement.
Almost half (46.5% (s.e. = 1.21)) of either adolescents or parents reported a perceived need for any type of care. For both groups, perceived need was greatest for counselling and lowest for medication. Identified needs were fully met for a third of adolescents. Adolescent-parent agreement on perceived need was fair (kappa = 0.25 (s.e. = 0.01)), but poor regarding the extent to which needs were met (kappa = −0.10 (s.e. = 0.02)). The lack of parental knowledge about adolescents' feelings was positively associated with adolescent-parent agreement that needs were partially met or unmet and disagreement about perceived need, compared to agreement that needs were fully met (relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.91 (95% CI = 1.19–3.04) to RRR = 4.69 (95% CI = 2.38–9.28)). Having a probable disorder was positively associated with adolescent-parent agreement that needs were partially met or unmet (RRR = 2.86 (95% CI = 1.46–5.61)), and negatively with adolescent-parent disagreement on perceived need (RRR = 0.50 (95% CI = 0.30–0.82)). Adolescents reported most frequently attitudinal barriers to care (e.g. self-reliance: 55.1% (s.e. = 2.39)); parents most frequently reported that their child refused help (38.7% (s.e. = 2.69)). Adolescent-parent agreement was poor for attitudinal (kappa = −0.03 (s.e. = 0.06)) and slight for structural barriers (kappa = 0.02 (s.e. = 0.09)).
There are gaps in the extent to which adolescent mental health care is meeting the needs of adolescents and their parents. It seems important to align adolescents' and parents' needs at the beginning and throughout treatment and to improve communication between adolescents and their parents. Both might provide opportunities to increase the likelihood that needs will be fully met. Campaigns directed towards adolescents and parents need to address different barriers to care. For adolescents, attitudinal barriers such as stigma and mental health literacy require attention.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
To establish the prevalence of hypocalcaemia following laryngectomy and demonstrate that total thyroidectomy is a risk factor.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted that included all patients who underwent total laryngectomy from 1st January 2006 to 1st August 2017. Exclusion criteria were: pre-operative calcium derangement, previous thyroid or parathyroid surgery, concurrent glossectomy, pharyngectomy, or oesophagectomy.
Ninety patients were included. Sixteen patients had early hypocalcaemia (18 per cent), seven had protracted hypocalcaemia (8 per cent) and six had permanent hypocalcaemia (10 per cent). Exact logistic regression values for hypocalcaemia following total thyroidectomy compared to other patients were: early hypocalcaemia, odds ratio = 15.5 (95 per cent confidence interval = 2.2–181.9; model p = 0.002); protracted hypocalcaemia, odds ratio = 13.3 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.5–117.1; model p = 0.01); and permanent hypocalcaemia, odds ratio = 22.7 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.9–376.5; model p = 0.005).
This is the largest study to investigate the prevalence of hypocalcaemia following laryngectomy and the first to include follow up of longer than three months. Total thyroidectomy significantly increased the risk of hypocalcaemia at all time frames and independent of other variables.
A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
Ventilator bundles encompass practices that reduce the risk of ventilator complications, including ventilator-associated pneumonia. The impact of ventilator bundles on the risk of developing ventilator-associated events (VAEs) is unknown. We sought to determine whether decreased compliance to the ventilator bundle increases the risk for VAE development.
Nested case-control study.
This study was conducted at 6 adult intensive care units at an academic tertiary-care center in Tennessee.
In total, 273 patients with VAEs were randomly matched in a 1:4 ratio to controls by mechanical ventilation duration and ICU type.
Controls were selected from the primary study population at risk for a VAE after being mechanically ventilated for the same number of days as a specified case. Using conditional logistic regression analysis, overall cumulative compliance, and compliance with individual components of the bundle in the 3 and 7 days prior to VAE development (or the control match day) were examined.
Overall bundle compliance at 3 days (odds ratio [OR], 1.15; P=.34) and 7 days prior to VAE diagnosis (OR, 0.96; P=.83) were not associated with VAE development. This finding did not change when limiting the outcome to infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVACs) and after adjusting for age and gender. In the examination of compliance with specific bundle components increased compliance with chlorhexidine oral care was associated with increased risk of VAE development in all analyses.
Ventilator bundle compliance was not associated with a reduced risk for VAEs. Higher compliance with chlorhexidine oral care was associated with a greater risk for VAE development.
Introduction: Emergency Department Overcrowding (EDOC) is a multifactorial issue that leads to Access Block for patients needing emergency care. Identified as a national problem, patients presenting to a Canadian Emergency Department (ED) at a time of overcrowding have higher rates of admission to hospital and increased seven-day mortality. Using the well accepted input-throughput-output model to study EDOC, current research has focused on throughput as a measure of patient flow, reported as ED length of stay (LOS). In fact, ED LOS and ED beds occupied by inpatients are two “extremely important indicators of EDOC identified by a 2005 survey of Canadian ED directors. One proposed solution to improve ED throughput is to utilize a physician at triage (PAT) to rapidly assess newly arriving patients. In 2017, a pilot PAT program was trialed at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), a tertiary care hospital, as part of a PDSA cycle. The aim was to mitigate EDOC by improving ED throughput by the end of 2018, to meet the national targets for ED LOS suggested in the 2013 CAEP position statement. Methods: During the fiscal periods 1-6 (April 1 to September 7, 2017) a PAT shift occurred daily from 1000-2200, over four long weekends. ED LOS, time to inpatient bed, time to physician initial assessment (PIA), number of British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) offload delays, and number of patients who left without being seen (LWBS) were extracted from an administrative database. Results were retrospectively analyzed and compared to data from 1000-2200 of non-PAT trial days during the trial periods. Results: Median ED LOS decreased from 3.8 to 3.4 hours for high-acuity patients (CTAS 1-3), from 2.1 to 1.8 hours for low-acuity patients (CTAS 4-5), and from 9.3 to 8.0 hours for all admitted patients. During PAT trial weekends, there was a decrease in the average time to PIA by 65% (from 73 to 26 minutes for CTAS 2-5), average number of daily BCAS offload delays by 39% (from 2.3 to 1.4 delays per day), and number of patients who LWBS from 2.4% to 1.7%. Conclusion: The implementation of PAT was associated with improvements in all five measures of ED throughput, providing a potential solution for EDOC at KGH. ED LOS was reduced compared to non-PAT control days, successfully meeting the suggested national targets. PAT could improve efficiency, resulting in the ability to see more patients in the ED, and increase the quality and safety of ED practice. Next, we hope to prospectively evaluate PAT, continuing to analyze these process measures, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and formally assess ED staff and patient perceptions of the program.
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is thought to rarely metastasise to bone. This study hypothesised that in p16-positive disease there is a significant incidence of bony metastasis.
This was an ambispective cohort review. All patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed and treated at one centre were included.
A total of 180 consecutive patients were identified over 5 years. Fifteen patients were excluded because of lack of p16 status, none of whom had bony metastasis. The final analysis included 165 patients: 48 (29.09 per cent) in the p16-negative group and 117 (70.91 per cent) in the p16-positive group. Ten patients (8.55 per cent) in the p16-positive group developed bony metastasis, compared with zero in the p16-negative group; this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.036).
Expression of p16 was associated with an increased incidence in bony metastasis in this cohort. This is the first study to explore this specific question.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Currently it is estimated that about 1 billion people globally have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which liver fat exceeds 5 % of liver weight in the absence of significant alcohol intake. Due to the central role of the liver in metabolism, the prevalence of NAFLD is increasing in parallel with the prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance and other risk factors of metabolic diseases. However, the contribution of liver fat to the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and CVD, relative to other ectopic fat depots and to other risk markers, is unclear. Various studies have suggested that the accumulation of liver fat can be reduced or prevented via dietary changes. However, the amount of liver fat reduction that would be physiologically relevant, and the timeframes and dose–effect relationships for achieving this through different diet-based approaches, are unclear. Also, it is still uncertain whether the changes in liver fat per se or the associated metabolic changes are relevant. Furthermore, the methods available to measure liver fat, or even individual fatty acids, differ in sensitivity and reliability. The present report summarises key messages of presentations from different experts and related discussions from a workshop intended to capture current views and research gaps relating to the points above.
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.
We investigated the physiology of two closely related albatross species relative to their breeding strategy: black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) breed annually, while grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma) breed biennially. From observations of breeding fate and blood samples collected at the end of breeding in one season and feather corticosterone levels (fCort) sampled at the beginning of the next breeding season, we found that in both species some post-breeding physiological parameters differed according to breeding outcome (successful, failed, deferred). Correlations between post-breeding physiology and fCort, and links to future breeding decisions, were examined. In black-browed albatrosses, post-breeding physiology and fCort were not significantly correlated, but fCort independently predicted breeding decision the next year, which we interpret as a possible migratory carry-over effect. In grey-headed albatrosses, post-breeding triglyceride levels were negatively correlated with fCort, but only in females, which we interpret as a potential cost of reproduction. However, this potential cost did not carry-over to future breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses. None of the variables predicted future breeding decisions. We suggest that biennial breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses may have evolved as a strategy to buffer against the apparent susceptibility of females to negative physiological costs of reproduction. Future studies are needed to confirm this.
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.
This report uses 6-year outcomes of the Oregon Divorce Study to examine the processes by which parenting practices affect deviant peer association during two developmental stages: early to middle childhood and late childhood to early adolescence. The participants were 238 newly divorced mothers and their 5- to 8-year-old sons who were randomly assigned to Parent Management Training—Oregon Model (PMTO®) or to a no-treatment control group. Parenting practices, child delinquent behavior, and deviant peer association were repeatedly assessed from baseline to 6 years after baseline using multiple methods and informants. PMTO had a beneficial effect on parenting practices relative to the control group. Two stage models linking changes in parenting generated by PMTO to children's growth in deviant peer association were supported. During the early to middle childhood stage, the relationship of improved parenting practices on deviant peer association was moderated by family socioeconomic status (SES); effective parenting was particularly important in mitigating deviant peer association for lower SES families whose children experience higher densities of deviant peers in schools and neighborhoods. During late childhood and early adolescence, the relationship of improved parenting to youths' growth in deviant peer association was mediated by reductions in the growth of delinquency during childhood; higher levels of early delinquency are likely to promote deviant peer association through processes of selective affiliation and reciprocal deviancy training. The results are discussed in terms of multilevel developmental progressions of diminished parenting, child involvement in deviancy producing processes in peer groups, and increased variety and severity of antisocial behavior, all exacerbated by ecological risks associated with low family SES.
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: Atrial fibrillation and flutter (AFF) are the most common arrhythmias presenting to the emergency department. A coordinated ED AFF electronic order-set and management pathway was developed in collaboration with cardiologists at our institution. The primary objective of this study was to compare the ED length of stay pre and post pathway implementation. Secondary objectives included comparison of the following outcomes pre and post-pathway (PRE & POST): AFF Clinic referral rates, ED return rates, and mortality. Methods: This was a retrospective case series of patients presenting to our quarternary care ED with AFF pre and post AFF pathway implementation. Cases were identified using an administrative database covering 120 000 annual ED visits. Trained research assistants and the primary investigator extracted data from the electronic medical record. 20% of all charts were double collected to ensure accuracy (k=0.85). Descriptive variables were described using counts, means, medians and confidence intervals. Chi-square statistics of dependent samples were calculated for the primary outcome. Results: We examined 307 cases of AFF presenting to our ED (n=130 PRE; n=177 POST). Demographic variables were similar PRE and POST: mean age (66.0 [95%CI 63.8-68.3] PRE; 65.0 [63.0-67.0] POST), % male (59.2% PRE; 59.3% POST), presenting rhythm (66.2% A.fib [58.0-74.3] A. flutter 29.2% [21.4-37.0] PRE; 61.0% A.fib [53.8-68.1] A. flutter 17.5% [11.9-23.1] POST), and CHADS2VASC score (2.1 [1.8-2.4] PRE; 1.9 [1.7-2.1] POST). The mean ED LOS decreased by 72.5 minutes (95% CI -22.9 to -122.1; P < 0.001). AFF clinic referral rates increased from 16.9% PRE to 25.4% POST (not significant). ED return rates within 30 days for AFF, CHF, major bleeding and CVA were unchanged. 30 day mortality rates were not statistically different (1.5% PRE vs. 2.8% POST). Conclusion: A coordinated ED AFF pathway was associated with a significant reduction in ED LOS without significant changes in ED return rates or mortality.
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.
Introduction: Atrial fibrillation and flutter (AFF) are the most common arrhythmias presenting to the emergency department. Without anticoagulation, AFF increases stroke risk; individuals with paroxysmal AFF have a similar prognosis. A coordinated ED AFF electronic order-set and management pathway was developed at our institution. The primary objective of this study was to measure rates of appropriate anticoagulation (AAC) on discharge from the ED for patients presenting with AFF not previously on antithrombotic or anticoagulant medications. Secondary objectives included comparison of the following outcomes pre and post-pathway (PRE & POST): AFF Clinic referral rates, ED return rates, and mortality. Methods: This was a retrospective case series of patients presenting to our quarternary care ED with AFF pre and post AFF pathway implementation. Cases were identified using an administrative database covering 120 000 annual ED visits. Trained research assistants and the primary investigator extracted data from the electronic medical record. 20% of all charts were double collected to ensure accuracy (k=0.85). Descriptive variables were described using counts, means, medians and confidence intervals. Chi-square statistics of dependent samples were calculated for the primary outcome. Results: We examined 307 cases of AFF presenting to our ED (n=130 PRE; n=177 POST). Demographic variables were similar PRE and POST: mean age (66.0 [95%CI 63.8-68.3] PRE; 65.0 [63.0-67.0] POST), % male (59.2% PRE; 59.3% POST), presenting rhythm (66.2% A.fib [58.0-74.3] A. flutter 29.2% [21.4-37.0] PRE; 61.0% A.fib [53.8-68.1] A. flutter 17.5% [11.9-23.1] POST), and CHADS2VASC score (2.1 [1.8-2.4] PRE; 1.9 [1.7-2.1] POST). The rate of AAC rose from 39.1% PRE to 77.8% POST (P < 0.01). AFF clinic referral rates increased from 16.9% PRE to 25.4% POST (not significant). ED return rates within 30 days for AFF, CHF, major bleeding and CVA were unchanged. 30 day mortality rates were not statistically different (1.5% PRE vs. 2.8% POST). Conclusion: The implementation of a coordinated ED AFF pathway was associated with significant improvements in the proportion of patients discharged with appropriate anticoagulation who had not previously been on antithrombotic or anticoagulant medications. ED return rates and mortality did not change significantly.
Altered microbial communities are thought to play an important role in eosinophilic oesophagitis, an allergic inflammatory condition of the oesophagus. Identification of the majority of organisms present in human-associated microbial communities is feasible with the advent of high throughput sequencing technology. However, these data consist of non-negative, highly skewed sequence counts with a large proportion of zeros. In addition, hierarchical study designs are often performed with repeated measurements or multiple samples collected from the same subject, thus requiring approaches to account for within-subject variation, yet only a small number of microbiota studies have applied hierarchical regression models. In this paper, we describe and illustrate the use of a hierarchical regression-based approach to evaluate multiple factors for a small number of organisms individually. More specifically, the zero-inflated negative binomial mixed model with random effects in both the count and zero-inflated parts is applied to evaluate associations with disease state while adjusting for potential confounders for two organisms of interest from a study of human microbiota sequence data in oesophagitis.