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Firefighting service is known to involve high rates of exposure to potentially traumatic situations, and research on mental health in firefighting populations is of critical importance in understanding the impact of occupational exposure. To date, the literature concerning prevalence of trauma-related mental disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has not distinguished between symptomology associated routine duty-related exposure and exposure to large-scale disaster. The present systematic review synthesizes a heterogeneous cross-national literature on large-scale disaster exposure in firefighters and provides support for the hypothesis that the prevalence of PTSD, major depressive disorder, and anxiety disorders are elevated in firefighters compared with rates observed in the general population. In addition, we conducted narrative synthesis concerning several commonly assessed predictive factors for disorder and found that sociodemographic factors appear to bear a weak relationship to mental disorder, while incident-related factors, such as severity and duration of disaster exposure, bear a stronger and more consistent relationship to the development of PTSD and depression in cross-national samples. Future work should expand on these preliminary findings to better understand the impact of disaster exposure in firefighting personnel.
Swift medically led scientifically informed responses to the Covid-19 epidemic nationally have been demonstrably superior to other, non-scientific approaches. In forensic psychiatry and across all psychiatric services, urgent and clinically led responses have underlined redundancies and confusions in the governance of mental health services and a vacuum in policy makers. For the future, a greater emphasis on services for patients with schizophrenia and other severe, enduring mental disorders must aim at reducing standardised mortality ratios, managing risk of violence and improving hard outcomes such as symptomatic remission, functional recovery and forensic recovery of autonomy. This will require more use of information technology at service level and at national level where Scandinavian-style population based data linkage research must now become legally sanctioned and necessary. A national research and development centre for medical excellence in forensic psychiatry is urgently required and is complimentary to and different from quality management.
Opioid related mortality rate has increased 200% over the past decade. Studies show variable emergency department (ED) opioid prescription practices and a correlation with increased long-term use. ED physicians may be contributing to this problem. Our objective was to analyze ED opioid prescription practices for patients with acute fractures.
We conducted a review of ED patients seen at two campuses of a tertiary care hospital. We evaluated a consecutive sample of patients with acute fractures (January 2016–April 2016) seen by ED physicians. Patients admitted or discharged by consultant services were excluded. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients discharged with an opioid prescription. Data were collected using screening lists, electronic records, and interobserver agreement. We calculated simple descriptive statistics and a multivariable analysis.
We enrolled 816 patients, including 441 females (54.0%). Most common fracture was wrist/hand (35.2%). 260 patients (31.8%) were discharged with an opioid; hydromorphone (N = 115, range 1–120 mg) was most common. 35 patients (4.3%) had pain related ED visits <1 month after discharge. Fractures of the lumbar spine (OR 10.78 [95% CI: 3.15–36.90]) and rib(s)/sternum/thoracic spine (OR 5.46 [95% CI: 2.88–10.35)] had a significantly higher likelihood of opioid prescriptions.
The majority of patients presenting to the ED with acute fractures were not discharged with an opioid. Hydromorphone was the most common opioid prescribed, with large variations in total dosage. Overall, there were few return to ED visits. We recommend standardization of ED opioid prescribing, with attention to limiting total dosage.
One major challenge in the study of late-Quaternary extinctions (LQEs) is providing better estimates of past megafauna abundance. To show how megaherbivore population size varied before and after the last extinctions in interior Alaska, we use both a database of radiocarbon-dated bone remains (spanning 25–0 ka) and spores of the obligate dung fungus, Sporormiella, recovered from radiocarbon-dated lake-sediment cores (spanning 17–0 ka). Bone fossils show that the last stage of LQEs in the region occurred at about 13 ka ago, but the number of megaherbivore bones remains high into the Holocene. Sporormiella abundance also remains high into the Holocene and does not decrease with major vegetation changes recorded by arboreal pollen percentages. At two sites, the interpretation of Sporormiella was enhanced by additional dung fungal spore types (e.g., Sordaria). In contrast to many sites where the last stage of LQEs is marked by a sharp decline in Sporormiella abundance, in interior Alaska our results indicate the continuance of megaherbivore abundance, albeit with a major taxonomic turnover (including Mammuthus and Equus extinction) from predominantly grazing to browsing dietary guilds. This new and robust evidence implies that regional LQEs were not systematically associated with crashes of overall megaherbivore abundance.
This article describes implementation considerations for Ebola-related monitoring and movement restriction policies in the United States during the 2013–2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted between January and May 2017 with 30 individuals with direct knowledge of state-level Ebola policy development and implementation processes. Individuals represented 17 jurisdictions with variation in adherence to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, census region, predominant state political affiliation, and public health governance structures, as well as the CDC.
Interviewees reported substantial resource commitments required to implement Ebola monitoring and movement restriction policies. Movement restriction policies, including for quarantine, varied from voluntary to mandatory programs, and, occasionally, quarantine enforcement procedures lacked clarity.
Efforts to improve future monitoring and movement restriction policies may include addressing surge capacity to implement these programs, protocols for providing support to affected individuals, coordination with law enforcement, and guidance on varying approaches to movement restrictions.
Acute heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are sometimes difficult to differentiate in the emergency department (ED). We sought to determine the clinical impact of point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) in ED patients with suspected acute heart failure or COPD.
We conducted a prospectively collected cohort study with health records review with frequency matching at The Ottawa Hospital between March and September 2017. We included patients aged 50 and older with shortness of breath or cough from suspected acute heart failure or COPD. Our primary outcome was ED length of stay. Secondary outcomes were time to disposition decision, time to appropriate treatment, and the incidence of adverse events. We analyzed time-to-event outcomes using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression analysis with POCUS analyzed as a time-dependent variable, and the incidence of adverse events using logistic regression analyses.
There were 81 patients evaluated with lung POCUS and 243 matched patients who were not. Lung POCUS was not significantly associated with ED length of stay and time to disposition decision; however, patients evaluated with lung POCUS received disease-specific treatment faster compared with the non-POCUS group (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.50 [95% confidence interval, 1.05–2.15], a median time difference of 31 minutes). We found no significant differences in the incidence of adverse events.
In this study, use of lung POCUS resulted in no difference in ED length of stay and time to disposition decision, but was associated with faster administration of disease-specific treatments for elderly patients with suspected acute heart failure or COPD.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) were recruited to provide serum samples, which were tested for antibodies against Ebola or Lassa virus to evaluate for asymptomatic seroconversion.
From 2014 to 2016, 4 patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1 patient with Lassa fever (LF) were treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. Strict infection control and clinical biosafety practices were implemented to prevent nosocomial transmission of EVD or LF to HCP.
All personnel who entered the SCDU who were required to measure their temperatures and complete a symptom questionnaire twice daily were eligible.
No employee developed symptomatic EVD or LF. EVD and LF antibody studies were performed on sera samples from 42 HCP. The 6 participants who had received investigational vaccination with a chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola glycoprotein vaccine had high antibody titers to Ebola glycoprotein, but none had a response to Ebola nucleoprotein or VP40, or a response to LF antigens.
Patients infected with filoviruses and arenaviruses can be managed successfully without causing occupation-related symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. Meticulous attention to infection control and clinical biosafety practices by highly motivated, trained staff is critical to the safe care of patients with an infection from a special pathogen.
In this contribution, we use heavy ion irradiation and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy to demonstrate that defects can be used to tailor the optical properties of two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). Sonicated MoS2 flakes were deposited onto Si/SiO2 substrate and subjected to 3 MeV Au2+ ion irradiation at room temperature to fluences ranging from 1 × 1012 to 1 × 1016 cm−2. We demonstrate that irradiation-induced defects can control optical excitations in the inner core shell of MoS2 by binding A1s- and B1s-excitons, and correlate the exciton peaks to the specific defects introduced with irradiation. The systematic increase of ion fluence produced different defect densities in MoS2, which were estimated using B/A exciton ratios and progressively increased with ion fluence. We show that up to the fluences of 1 × 1014 cm−2, the MoS2 lattice remains crystalline and defect densities can be controlled, whereas at higher fluences (≥1 × 1015 cm−2), the large number of introduced defects distorts the excitonic structure of the material. In addition to controlling excitons, defects were used to split bound and free trions, and we demonstrate that at higher fluences (1 × 1015 cm−2), both free and bound trions can be observed in the same PL spectrum. Most importantly, the lifetimes of these states exceed trion and exciton lifetimes in pristine MoS2, and PL spectra of irradiated MoS2 remains unchanged weeks after irradiation experiments. Thus, this work demonstrated the feasibility of engineering novel optical behaviors in low-dimensional materials using heavy ion irradiation. The insights gained from this study will aid in understanding the many-body interactions in low-dimensional materials and may ultimately be used to develop novel materials for optoelectronic applications.
Human pregnancies contain large amounts of water in several compartments, including the fetal body, the placenta and membranes, and the amniotic fluid (AF). This water circulates within the conceptus and also between fetus and mother. Normal acquisition and circulation of water is critical to fetal health and development, and abnormal amounts of water, evidenced as insufficient (oligohydramnios) or excessive (polyhydramnios) amounts of AF, are associated with impaired fetal outcome, even in the absence of structural fetal abnormalities. This chapter will review the current understanding of water flow to the fetus and into and out of the amniotic cavity, and the evidence suggesting that the fetus may regulate AF volume.
We sampled individual growth rings from three ancient remnant bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) trees from a massive buried deposit at the mouth of the Altamaha River on the Georgia Coast to determine the best technique for radiocarbon (14C) dating pretreatment. The results of our comparison of traditional ABA pretreatment and holocellulose and α-cellulose fractions show no significant differences among the pretreatments (<1 sigma) thereby suggesting that ABA pretreatment will prove sufficient for the development of a high-resolution 14C tree-ring chronology based on these ancient bald cypresses which will indicate whether the U.S. Southeast is subject to a regional radiocarbon offset.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
The understanding of the genetic basis of grain dormancy in wheat has rapidly improved in the last few years, and a number of genes have been identified related to that trait. We recently identified the wheat genes TaPM19-A1 and -A2 and we have now taken the first step towards understanding the role of this class of genes in seeds. By investigating the Arabidopsis homologous PM19-Like 1 (PM19L1) we have found that it has a seed-specific expression pattern and, while its expression is higher in dormant than in non-dormant seeds, knock-out mutations produced seeds with increased dormancy. Not only primary dormancy, but also secondary dormancy in response to high temperature was increased by the loss-of-function. We have also examined the function of PM19L1 by localizing the PM19 protein primarily to the cotyledon cells in seeds, possibly in membranes. By investigating the co-expression network of this gene we have found that it is connected to a small group of abscisic acid (ABA)-induced seed maturation and storage-related genes. The function of PM19L1 represents a good opportunity to explore the interactions of key factors that can influence seed dormancy such as ABA, temperature and membrane properties.
We aimed to identify factors (child diet, physical activity; maternal BMI) associated with body composition of Ghanaian pre-school children.
Longitudinal analysis of the International Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements (iLiNS)-DYAD-Ghana randomized trial, which enrolled 1320 pregnant women at ≤20 weeks’ gestation and followed them and their infants until 6 and 18 months postpartum, respectively. At follow-up, child age 4–6 years, we collected data on body composition (by 2H dilution), physical activity and diet, extracted dietary patterns using factor analysis, and examined the association of children’s percentage body fat with maternal and child factors by regression analysis.
Eastern Region, Ghana.
Children 4–6 years of age.
The analysis included 889 children with percentage body fat and dietary data at follow-up. We identified two major dietary patterns, a snacking and a cooked foods pattern. Percentage body fat was positively associated (standardized β (se)) with maternal BMI at follow-up (0·10 (0·03); P = 0·003) and negatively associated with physical activity (−0·15 (0·05); P = 0·003, unadjusted for child gender), but not associated with the snacking (0·06 (0·03); P = 0·103) or cooked foods (−0·05 (0·07); P = 0·474) pattern. Boys were more active than girls (1470 v. 1314 mean vector magnitude counts/min; P < 0·0001) and had lower percentage body fat (13·8 v. 16·9 %; P < 0·0001).
In this population, maternal overweight and child physical activity, especially among girls, may be key factors for addressing child overweight/obesity. We did not demonstrate a relationship between the dietary patterns and body fatness, which may be related to limitations of the dietary data available.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.