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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in dogs can be transmitted to humans and close contact between dogs and people might foster dissemination of resistance determinants. The aim of our study was to describe the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pattern of the major causative agents of canine otitis – one of the most common diseases in dogs – isolated in France. Data collected between 2012 and 2016 by the French national surveillance network for AMR, referred to as RESAPATH, were analysed. Resistance trends were investigated using non-linear analysis (generalised additive models). A total of 7021 antibiograms were analysed. The four major causative agents of canine otitis in France were coagulase-positive staphylococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis and streptococci. Since 2013, resistance to fluoroquinolones has been on the decrease in both P. aeruginosa and Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates. For P. aeruginosa, 19.4% of isolates were resistant to both enrofloxacin and gentamicin. The levels of multidrug resistance (acquired resistance to at least one antibiotic in three or more antibiotic classes) ranged between 11.9% for P. mirabilis and 16.0% for S. pseudintermedius. These results are essential to guide prudent use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. They will also help in designing efficient control strategies and in measuring their effectiveness.
Collaborative quality improvement and learning networks have amended healthcare quality and value across specialities. Motivated by these successes, the Pediatric Acute Care Cardiology Collaborative (PAC3) was founded in late 2014 with an emphasis on improving outcomes of paediatric cardiology patients within cardiac acute care units; acute care encompasses all hospital-based inpatient non-intensive care. PAC3 aims to deliver higher quality and greater value care by facilitating the sharing of ideas and building alignment among its member institutions. These aims are intentionally aligned with the work of other national clinical collaborations, registries, and parent advocacy organisations. The mission and early work of PAC3 is exemplified by the formal partnership with the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4), as well as the creation of a clinical registry, which links with the PC4 registry to track practices and outcomes across the entire inpatient encounter from admission to discharge. Capturing the full inpatient experience allows detection of outcome differences related to variation in care delivered outside the cardiac ICU and development of benchmarks for cardiac acute care. We aspire to improve patient outcomes such as morbidity, hospital length of stay, and re-admission rates, while working to advance patient and family satisfaction. We will use quality improvement methodologies consistent with the Model for Improvement to achieve these aims. Membership currently includes 36 centres across North America, out of which 26 are also members of PC4. In this report, we describe the development of PAC3, including the philosophical, organisational, and infrastructural elements that will enable a paediatric acute care cardiology learning network.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of partial or total replacement of finisher diet soybean oil with black soldier fly (Hermethia illucens L.; HI) larva fat on the growth performance, carcass traits, blood parameters, intestinal morphology and histological features of broiler chickens. At 21 days of age, a total of 120 male broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly allocated to three experimental groups (five replicates and eight birds/pen). To a basal control diet (C; 68.7 g/kg as fed of soybean oil), either 50% or 100% of the soybean oil was replaced with HI larva fat (HI50 and HI100 group, respectively). Growth performance was evaluated throughout the trial. At day 48, 15 birds (three birds/pen) per group were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir. Carcass yield and proportions of carcass elements were recorded. Blood samples were taken from each slaughtered chicken for haematochemical index determination. Morphometric analyses were performed on the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Samples of liver, spleen, thymus, bursa of fabricius, kidney and heart were submitted to histological investigations. Growth performance, carcass traits, haematochemical parameters and gut morphometric indexes were not influenced by the dietary inclusion of HI larva fat. Histopathological alterations developed in the spleen, thymus, bursa of fabricius and liver and were identified in all of the experimental groups, but HI larva fat inclusion did not significantly affect (P>0.05) the severity of the histopathological findings. The present study suggests that 50% or 100% replacement of soybean oil with HI larva fat in broiler chickens diets has no adverse effects on growth performance or blood parameters and had no beneficial effect on gut health.
Across the globe, the implementation of quality improvement science and collaborative learning has positively affected the care and outcomes for children born with CHD. These efforts have advanced the collective expertise and performance of inter-professional healthcare teams. In this review, we highlight selected quality improvement initiatives and strategies impacting the field of cardiovascular care and describe implications for future practice and research. The continued leveraging of technology, commitment to data transparency, focus on team-based practice, and recognition of cultural norms and preferences ensure the success of sustainable models of global collaboration.
Chylothorax after paediatric cardiac surgery incurs significant morbidity; however, a detailed understanding that does not rely on single-centre or administrative data is lacking. We described the present clinical epidemiology of postoperative chylothorax and evaluated variation in rates among centres with a multicentre cohort of patients treated in cardiac ICU.
This was a retrospective cohort study using prospectively collected clinical data from the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium registry. All postoperative paediatric cardiac surgical patients admitted from October, 2013 to September, 2015 were included. Risk factors for chylothorax and association with outcomes were evaluated using multivariable logistic or linear regression models, as appropriate, accounting for within-centre clustering using generalised estimating equations.
A total of 4864 surgical hospitalisations from 15 centres were included. Chylothorax occurred in 3.8% (n=185) of hospitalisations. Case-mix-adjusted chylothorax rates varied from 1.5 to 7.6% and were not associated with centre volume. Independent risk factors for chylothorax included age <1 year, non-Caucasian race, single-ventricle physiology, extracardiac anomalies, longer cardiopulmonary bypass time, and thrombosis associated with an upper-extremity central venous line (all p<0.05). Chylothorax was associated with significantly longer duration of postoperative mechanical ventilation, cardiac ICU and hospital length of stay, and higher in-hospital mortality (all p<0.001).
Chylothorax after cardiac surgery in children is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. A five-fold variation in chylothorax rates was observed across centres. Future investigations should identify centres most adept at preventing and managing chylothorax and disseminate best practices.
Personal disaster and emergency support networks of rural older adults are described before and after participation in a disaster preparedness intervention, PrepWise.
At baseline, a total of 194 disaster support network members were identified by 27 older adults in a rural Midwest community. After the intervention, these participants identified 232 support network members. Multilevel logistic regression models were constructed to identify characteristics of the network members and social interactions associated with support providers at baseline as well as newly added support sources after the PrepWise intervention.
Member and interaction characteristics associated with being identified as emergency support sources at baseline were as follows: family, lived in close proximity, weekly or more frequent contact, and being someone whom participants shared concerns with, trusted, and exchanged emotional support with. After receiving PrepWise, participants on average identified 3 new sources of emergency support within their networks. Support sources added at follow-up tended to be nonfamily members and those participants trusted.
Enhancements in personal emergency support networks occurred after the intervention. Understanding characteristics of the network members and social interactions may assist in identifying additional emergency support sources. Larger studies investigating the impacts of enhanced support networks on disaster-related behaviors and outcomes will be beneficial. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:110–119)
Although peri-conceptional folic acid (FA) supplementation can prevent a proportion of neural tube defects (NTD), there is increasing evidence that many NTD are FA non-responsive. The vitamin-like molecule inositol may offer a novel approach to preventing FA-non-responsive NTD. Inositol prevented NTD in a genetic mouse model, and was well tolerated by women in a small study of NTD recurrence. In the present study, we report the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects by Inositol (PONTI) pilot study designed to gain further experience of inositol usage in human pregnancy as a preliminary trial to a future large-scale controlled trial to evaluate efficacy of inositol in NTD prevention. Study subjects were UK women with a previous NTD pregnancy who planned to become pregnant again. Of 117 women who made contact, ninety-nine proved eligible and forty-seven agreed to be randomised (double-blind) to peri-conceptional supplementation with inositol plus FA or placebo plus FA. In total, thirty-three randomised pregnancies produced one NTD recurrence in the placebo plus FA group (n 19) and no recurrences in the inositol plus FA group (n 14). Of fifty-two women who declined randomisation, the peri-conceptional supplementation regimen and outcomes of twenty-two further pregnancies were documented. Two NTD recurred, both in women who took only FA in their next pregnancy. No adverse pregnancy events were associated with inositol supplementation. The findings of the PONTI pilot study encourage a large-scale controlled trial of inositol for NTD prevention, but indicate the need for a careful study design in view of the unwillingness of many high-risk women to be randomised.
The optimal perioperative feeding strategies for neonates with CHD are unknown. In the present study, we describe the current feeding practices across a multi-institutional cohort.
Inclusion criteria for this study were as follows: all neonates undergoing cardiac surgery admitted to the cardiac ICU for ⩾24 hours preoperatively between October, 2013 and July, 2014 in the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium registry.
The cohort included 251 patients from eight centres. The most common diagnoses included the following: hypoplastic left heart syndrome (17%), coarctation/aortic arch hypoplasia (18%), and transposition of the great arteries (22%); 14% of the patients were <37weeks of gestational age. The median total hospital length of stay was 21 days (interquartile range (IQR) 14–35) and overall mortality was 8%. Preoperative feeding occurred in 133 (53%) patients. The overall preoperative feeding rates across centres ranged from 29 to 79%. Postoperative feeds started on median day 2 (IQR 1–4); for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome postoperative feeds started on median day 4. Postoperative feeds were initiated in 89 (35%) patients before extubation (range across centres: 21–61%). The median cardiac ICU discharge feeding volume was 108 cc/kg/day, varying across centres. The mean discharge weight was 280 g above birth weight, ranging from +100 to 430 g across centres. A total of 110 (44%) patients had discharge feeding tubes, ranging from 6 to 80% across centres, and 40/110 patients had gastrostomy/enterostomy tubes placed. In addition, eight (3.2%) patients developed necrotising enterocolitis – three preoperatively and five postoperatively.
In this cohort, neonatal feeding practices and outcomes appear to vary across diagnostic groups and institutions. Only half of the patients received preoperative enteral nutrition; almost half had discharge feeding tubes. Multi-institutional collaboration is necessary to determine feeding strategies associated with best clinical outcomes.
Clinical databases in congenital and paediatric cardiac care provide a foundation for quality improvement, research, policy evaluations and public reporting. Structured audits verifying data integrity allow database users to be confident in these endeavours. We report on the initial audit of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4) clinical registry.
Materials and methods
Participants reviewed the entire registry to determine key fields for audit, and defined major and minor discrepancies for the audited variables. In-person audits at the eight initial participating centres were conducted during a 12-month period. The data coordinating centre randomly selected intensive care encounters for review at each site. The audit consisted of source data verification and blinded chart abstraction, comparing findings by the auditors with those entered in the database. We also assessed completeness and timeliness of case submission. Quantitative evaluation of completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of case submission is reported.
We audited 434 encounters and 29,476 data fields. The aggregate overall accuracy was 99.1%, and the major discrepancy rate was 0.62%. Across hospitals, the overall accuracy ranged from 96.3 to 99.5%, and the major discrepancy rate ranged from 0.3 to 0.9%; seven of the eight hospitals submitted >90% of cases within 1 month of hospital discharge. There was no evidence for selective case omission.
Based on a rigorous audit process, data submitted to the PC4 clinical registry appear complete, accurate, and timely. The collaborative will maintain ongoing efforts to verify the integrity of the data to promote science that advances quality improvement efforts.
The objective of this study was to assess the performance of several algorithms for outbreak detection based on weekly proportions of whole carcass condemnations. Data from one French slaughterhouse over the 2005–2009 period were used (177 098 slaughtered cattle, 0.97% of whole carcass condemnations). The method involved three steps: (i) preparation of an outbreak-free historical baseline over 5 years, (ii) simulation of over 100 years of baseline time series with injection of artificial outbreak signals with several shapes, durations and magnitudes, and (iii) assessment of the performance (sensitivity, specificity, outbreak detection precocity) of several algorithms to detect these artificial outbreak signals. The algorithms tested included the Shewart p chart, confidence interval of the negative binomial model, the exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA); and cumulative sum (CUSUM). The highest sensitivity was obtained using a negative binomial algorithm and the highest specificity with CUSUM or EWMA. EWMA sensitivity was too low to select this algorithm for efficient outbreak detection. CUSUM's performance was complementary to the negative binomial algorithm. The use of both algorithms on real data for a prospective investigation of the whole carcass condemnation rate as a syndromic surveillance indicator could be relevant. Shewart could also be a good option considering its high sensitivity and simplicity of implementation.
Despite many advances in recent years for patients with critical paediatric and congenital cardiac disease, significant variation in outcomes remains across hospitals. Collaborative quality improvement has enhanced the quality and value of health care across specialties, partly by determining the reasons for variation and targeting strategies to reduce it. Developing an infrastructure for collaborative quality improvement in paediatric cardiac critical care holds promise for developing benchmarks of quality, to reduce preventable mortality and morbidity, optimise the long-term health of patients with critical congenital cardiovascular disease, and reduce unnecessary resource utilisation in the cardiac intensive care unit environment. The Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4) has been modelled after successful collaborative quality improvement initiatives, and is positioned to provide the data platform necessary to realise these objectives. We describe the development of PC4 including the philosophical, organisational, and infrastructural components that will facilitate collaborative quality improvement in paediatric cardiac critical care.
The purpose of this study was to develop a standardized tool for the assessment of surveillance systems on zoonoses and animal diseases. We reviewed three existing methods and combined them to develop a semi-quantitative assessment tool associating their strengths and providing a standardized way to display multilevel results. We developed a set of 78 assessment criteria divided into ten sections, representing the functional parts of a surveillance system. Each criterion was given a score according to the prescription of a scoring guide. Three graphical assessment outputs were generated using a specific combination of the scores. Output 1 is a general overview through a series of pie charts synthesizing the scores of each section. Output 2 is a histogram representing the quality of eight critical control points. Output 3 is a radar chart representing the level reached by ten system attributes. This tool was applied on five surveillance networks.
Over the last 20 years, the French public services’ actions in the field of polluted areas have continuously evolved from the inventory of potentially polluted areas to the statement of a general framework on the management. Initially designed for chemical pollutants, main guidelines have been implemented for radioactive substances. The general framework is presented hereafter and illustrated with a real example.
To better understand the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization or infection in different patient populations, to perform quantitative analysis of MRSA in nasal cultures, and to characterize strains using molecular fingerprinting.
Prospective, multicenter study.
Eleven different inpatient and outpatient healthcare facilities.
MRSA-positive inpatients identified in an active surveillance program; inpatients and outpatients receiving hemodialysis; inpatients and outpatients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; patients requiring cardiac surgery; and elderly patients requiring long-term care.
Nasal swab samples were obtained from January 23, 2006, through July 27, 2007; MRSA strains were quantified and characterized by molecular fingerprinting.
A total of 444 nares swab specimens yielded MRSA (geometric mean quantity, 794 CFU per swab; range, 3-15,000,000 CFU per swab). MRSA prevalence was 20% for elderly residents of long-term care facilities (25 of 125 residents), 16% for HIV-infected outpatients (78 of 494 outpatients), 15% for outpatients receiving hemodialysis (31 of 208 outpatients), 14% for inpatients receiving hemodialysis (86 of 623 inpatients), 3% for HIV-infected inpatients (5 of 161 inpatients), and 3% for inpatients requiring cardiac surgery (6 of 199 inpatients). The highest geometric mean quantity of MRSA was for inpatients requiring cardiac surgery (11,500 CFU per swab). An association was found between HIV infection and colonization with the USA300 or USA500 strain of MRSA (P ≤ .001). The Brazilian clone was found for the first time in the United States. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns for 11 isolates were not compatible with known USA types or clones.
Nasal swab specimens positive for MRSA had a geometric mean quantity of 794 CFU per swab, with great diversity in the quantity of MRSA at this anatomic site. Outpatient populations at high risk for MRSA carriage were elderly residents of long-term care facilities, HIV-infected outpatients, and outpatients receiving hemodialysis.
In this paper, we present CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) growth and passivation of tungsten (W) and titanium nitride (TiN) nanocrystals (NCs) on silicon dioxide and silicon nitride for use as charge trapping layer in floating gate memory devices. NCs are deposited in an 8 inches industrial CVD Centura tool. W and TiN are chosen for being compatible with MOSFET memory fabrication process. For protecting NCs from oxidation, a silicon shell is selectively deposited on them. Moreover, for a better passivation, TiN NCs are encapsulated in silicon nitride (Si3N4) in order to get rid of oxidation issues. After high temperature annealing (1050°C under N2 during 1 minute) XPS measurements point out that NCs are still metallic, which makes them good candidates for being used as charge trapping layer in floating gate memories.