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Stroke is a common and serious disorder. With optimal care, 90-day recurrent stroke risk can be reduced from 10% to about 1%. Stroke prevention clinics (SPCs) can improve patient outcomes and resource allocation but lack standardization in patient management. The extent of variation in patient management among SPCs is unknown. Our aims were to assess baseline practice variation between Canadian SPCs and the impact of COVID-19 on SPC patient care.
We conducted an electronic survey of 80 SPCs across Canada from May to November 2021. SPC leads were contacted by email with up to five reminders.
Of 80 SPCs contacted, 76 were eligible from which 38 (50.0%) responded. The majority (65.8%) of SPCs are open 5 or more days a week. Tests are more likely to be completed before the SPC visit if referrals were from clinic’s own emergency department compared to other referring sources. COVID-19 had a negative impact on routine patient care including longer wait times (increased for 36.4% clinics) and higher number of patients without completed bloodwork prior to arriving for appointments (increased for 27.3% clinics). During COVID-19 pandemic, 87.9% of SPCs provided virtual care while 72.7% plan to continue with virtual care post-COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the time-sensitive nature of transient ischemic attack patient management, some SPCs in Canada are not able to see patients quickly. SPCs should endeavor to implement strategies so that they can see high-risk patients within the highest risk timeline and implement strategies to complete some tests while waiting for SPC appointment.
The number of people over the age of 65 attending Emergency Departments (ED) in the United Kingdom (UK) is increasing. Those who attend with a mental health related problem may be referred to liaison psychiatry for assessment. Improving responsiveness and integration of liaison psychiatry in general hospital settings is a national priority. To do this psychiatry teams must be adequately resourced and organised. However, it is unknown how trends in the number of referrals of older people to liaison psychiatry teams by EDs are changing, making this difficult.
We performed a national multi-centre retrospective service evaluation, analysing existing psychiatry referral data from EDs of people over 65. Sites were selected from a convenience sample of older peoples liaison psychiatry departments. Departments from all regions of the UK were invited to participate via the RCPsych liaison and older peoples faculty email distribution lists. From departments who returned data, we combined the date and described trends in the number and rate of referrals over a 7 year period.
Referral data from up to 28 EDs across England and Scotland over a 7 year period were analysed (n = 18828 referrals). There is a general trend towards increasing numbers of older people referred to liaison psychiatry year on year. Rates rose year on year from 1.4 referrals per 1000 ED attenders (>65 years) in 2011 to 4.5 in 2019 . There is inter and intra site variability in referral numbers per 1000 ED attendances between different departments, ranging from 0.1 - 24.3.
To plan an effective healthcare system we need to understand the population it serves, and have appropriate structures and processes within it. The overarching message of this study is clear; older peoples mental health emergencies presenting in ED are common and appear to be increasingly so. Without appropriate investment either in EDs or community mental health services, this is unlikely to improve.
The data also suggest very variable inter-departmental referral rates. It is not possible to establish why rates from one department to another are so different, or whether outcomes for the population they serve are better or worse. The data does however highlight the importance of asking further questions about why the departments are different, and what impact that has on the patients they serve.
Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) may be beneficial for malnourished HIV-infected patients starting antiretroviral therapy (ART). We assessed the effect of adding vitamins and minerals to LNS on body composition and handgrip strength during ART initiation. ART-eligible HIV-infected patients with BMI <18·5 kg/m2 were randomised to LNS or LNS with added high-dose vitamins and minerals (LNS-VM) from referral for ART to 6 weeks post-ART and followed up until 12 weeks. Body composition by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), deuterium (2H) diluted water (D2O) and air displacement plethysmography (ADP), and handgrip strength were determined at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks post-ART, and effects of LNS-VM v. LNS at 6 and 12 weeks investigated. BIA data were available for 1461, D2O data for 479, ADP data for 498 and handgrip strength data for 1752 patients. Fat mass tended to be lower, and fat-free mass correspondingly higher, by BIA than by ADP or D2O. At 6 weeks post-ART, LNS-VM led to a higher regain of BIA-assessed fat mass (0·4 (95 % CI 0·05, 0·8) kg), but not fat-free mass, and a borderline significant increase in handgrip strength (0·72 (95 % CI −0·03, 1·5) kg). These effects were not sustained at 12 weeks. Similar effects as for BIA were seen using ADP or D2O but no differences reached statistical significance. In conclusion, LNS-VM led to a higher regain of fat mass at 6 weeks and to a borderline significant beneficial effect on handgrip strength. Further research is needed to determine appropriate timing and supplement composition to optimise nutritional interventions in malnourished HIV patients.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus may have a sentinel emergency department (ED) visit for a precipitating condition prior to presenting for a hyperglycemic emergency, such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS). This study’s objective was to describe the epidemiology and outcomes of patients with a sentinel ED visit prior to their hyperglycemic emergency visit.
This was a 1-year health records review of patients≥18 years old presenting to one of four tertiary care EDs with a discharge diagnosis of hyperglycemia, DKA, or HHS. Trained research personnel collected data on patient characteristics, management, disposition, and determined whether patients came to the ED within the 14 days prior to their hyperglycemia visit. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.
Of 833 visits for hyperglycemia, 142 (17.0%; 95% CI: 14.5% to 19.6%) had a sentinel ED presentation within the preceding 14 days. Mean (SD) age was 50.5 (19.0) years and 54.4% were male; 104 (73.2%) were discharged from this initial visit, and 98/104 (94.2%) were discharged either without their glucose checked or with an elevated blood glucose (>11.0 mmol/L). Of the sentinel visits, 93 (65.5%) were for hyperglycemia and 22 (15.5%) for infection. Upon returning to the ED, 61/142 (43.0%) were admitted for severe hyperglycemia, DKA, or HHS.
In this unique ED-based study, diabetic patients with a sentinel ED visit often returned and required subsequent admission for hyperglycemia. Clinicians should be vigilant in checking blood glucose and provide clear discharge instructions for follow-up and glucose management to prevent further hyperglycemic emergencies from occurring.
Although procedural sedation for cardioversion is a common event in emergency departments (EDs), there is limited evidence surrounding medication choices. We sought to evaluate geographic and temporal variation in sedative choice at multiple Canadian sites, and to estimate the risk of adverse events due to sedative choice.
This is a secondary analysis of one health records review, the Recent Onset Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter-0 (RAFF-0 [n=420, 2008]) and one prospective cohort study, the Recent Onset Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter-1 (RAFF-1 [n=565, 2010 – 2012]) at eight and six Canadian EDs, respectively. Sedative choices within and among EDs were quantified, and the risk of adverse events was examined with adjusted and unadjusted comparisons of sedative regimes.
In RAFF-0 and RAFF-1, the combination of propofol and fentanyl was most popular (63.8% and 52.7%) followed by propofol alone (27.9% and 37.3%). There were substantially more adverse events in the RAFF-0 data set (13.5%) versus RAFF-1 (3.3%). In both data sets, the combination of propofol/fentanyl was not associated with increased adverse event risk compared to propofol alone.
There is marked variability in procedural sedation medication choice for a direct current cardioversion in Canadian EDs, with increased use of propofol alone as a sedation agent over time. The risk of adverse events from procedural sedation during cardioversion is low but not insignificant. We did not identify an increased risk of adverse events with the addition of fentanyl as an adjunctive analgesic to propofol.
Nurses and respiratory therapists are seldom allowed to use automated external defibrillators (AED) during in-hospital cardiac arrest. This can result in significant time delays before defibrillation occurs and lower survival for cardiac arrest victims. We sought to identify barriers and facilitators to AED use by nurses and respiratory therapists.
We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with a purposeful sample of nurses and respiratory therapists. We developed the interview guide based on the constructs of the theory of planned behaviour, which elicits salient attitudes, social influences, and control beliefs potentially influencing the intent to use an AED. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed until achieving data saturation. Two independent reviewers performed inductive analyses to identify emerging categories and themes, and ranked them by frequency of the number of participants stating the topic.
Demographics for the 24 interviewees include mean age 40.5, 79.2% female, 87.5% performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), 29.2% defibrillated a patient. Identified attitudes pertained to the timeliness of defibrillation, patient survival, simplicity of AED use, accuracy of rhythm recognition, and harm to self or others. Social influences consisted of physician and hospital administration support of AED use. Control beliefs included training on AED use, policy allowing AED use, familiarity with AED, and task burden during resuscitation.
Most nurses and respiratory therapists intended to use an AED if permitted to do so by a medical directive. Successful implementation would require educational initiatives focusing on safety and efficacy of AEDs, support from physicians and hospital administrators, and additional training on AED use.
A review of patients with epilepsy showed that 5.9% had seizures exclusively in sleep (ES) and 4.7% had seizures predominantly but not exclusively in sleep (PS). These groups were compared with a group (W) with seizures mainly in wakefulness. The following significant differences were obtained: 1) generalized convulsions predominated in the ES while partial seizures were more common among PS and W patients, 2) seizures occurred less frequently in the ES group, and 3) more W patients had EEGs with generalized epileptiform activity and positive family histories for epilepsy.
We suggest the lower frequency of seizures in the ES group and the declining prevalence of sleep epilepsy are due to: 1) the high proportion of generalized as opposed to partial seizures in sleep and 2) more effective control of generalized seizures compared to partial seizures by modern anti-epileptic drug management.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and isotope dilution technique have been used as reference methods to validate the estimates of body composition by simple field techniques; however, very few studies have compared these two methods. We compared the estimates of body composition by DXA and isotope dilution (18O) technique in apparently healthy Indian men and women (aged 19–70 years, n 152, 48 % men) with a wide range of BMI (14–40 kg/m2). Isotopic enrichment was assessed by isotope ratio mass spectroscopy. The agreement between the estimates of body composition measured by the two techniques was assessed by the Bland–Altman method. The mean age and BMI were 37 (sd 15) years and 23·3 (sd 5·1) kg/m2, respectively, for men and 37 (sd 14) years and 24·1 (sd 5·8) kg/m2, respectively, for women. The estimates of fat-free mass were higher by about 7 (95 % CI 6, 9) %, those of fat mass were lower by about 21 (95 % CI − 18, − 23) %, and those of body fat percentage (BF%) were lower by about 7·4 (95 % CI − 8·2, − 6·6) % as obtained by DXA compared with the isotope dilution technique. The Bland–Altman analysis showed wide limits of agreement that indicated poor agreement between the methods. The bias in the estimates of BF% was higher at the lower values of BF%. Thus, the two commonly used reference methods showed substantial differences in the estimates of body composition with wide limits of agreement. As the estimates of body composition are method-dependent, the two methods cannot be used interchangeably.
The nineteenth century saw frequent appeals to the idea of a redeemer personality, a heroic leader – musings which culminated in the cults devoted to Hitler and Stalin. This article shows that the self-assertion of leaders can stimulate the self-abasement of the followers on whom they depend (and vice versa), and discusses in what circumstances such an interplay becomes dominant in a society, and with what advantages and disadvantages for it.
Determining the appropriate disposition of emergency department (ED) syncope patients is challenging. Previously developed decision tools have poor diagnostic test characteristics and methodological flaws in their derivation that preclude their use. We sought to develop a scale to risk-stratify adult ED syncope patients at risk for serious adverse events (SAEs) within 30 days.
We conducted a medical record review to include syncope patients age ≥ 16 years and excluded patients with ongoing altered mental status, alcohol or illicit drug use, seizure, head injury leading to loss of consciousness, or severe trauma requiring admission. We collected 105 predictor variables (demographics, event characteristics, comorbidities, medications, vital signs, clinical examination findings, emergency medical services and ED electrocardiogram/ monitor characteristics, investigations, and disposition variables) and information on the occurrence of predefined SAEs. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
Among 505 enrolled patient visits, 49 (9.7%) suffered an SAE. Predictors of SAE and their resulting point scores were as follows: age ≥ 75 years (1), shortness of breath (2), lowest ED systolic blood pressure < 80 mm Hg (2), Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria present (2), and blood urea nitrogen > 15 mmol/L (3). The final score calculated by addition of the individual scores for each variable (range 0–10) was found to accurately stratify patients into low risk (score < 1, 0% SAE risk), moderate risk (score 1, 3.7% SAE risk), or high risk (score > 1, ≥ 10% SAE risk).
We derived a risk scale that accurately predicts SAEs within 30 days in ED syncope patients. If validated, this will be a potentially useful clinical decision tool for emergency physicians, may allow judicious use of health care resources, and may improve patient care and safety.
Bishop John A.T. Robinson's Honest to God was exceptionally successful. In the decade following its publication more than a million copies were sold in seventeen different languages. Robinson was aware that numerous awkward questions were being asked about traditional Christian beliefs, which it was no longer possible to ignore. His purpose was not so much to question traditional ideas of God as to suggest alternatives for those who found them unsatisfactory (8). He wanted to convince such persons that an inability to believe what is stated in the Bible or the prayer book does not disqualify them from calling themselves Christians and presenting themselves at church. He speaks of traditional Christian beliefs, as stated in the New Testament, as a ‘language’ (24) and thinks that Christianity should be conveyed to people in a variety of languages. By employing, as he does, the language of such Christian scholars as Bonhoeffer, Tillich and Bultmann, an atheist may find himself able to call himself a Christian. But the old familiar language of the Bible remains more pleasing to most of God's children, particularly to his ‘older children’ (43), so we must not give it up, although he allows that it is becoming increasingly unpopular, so that without ‘the kind of revolution’ he is advocating, ‘Christian faith and practice … will come to be abandoned’ (123).
When I purchased Verdict on Jesus: A New Statement of Evidence, published by SPCK in 2010, I hoped it would confront me with the very latest attempt to vindicate Christian doctrines. In fact the book turns out to be fundamentally a reissue of a very conservative apologetic work of that title, first published sixty years earlier by an Anglican – Leslie Badham, who later became Vicar of Windsor and chaplain to the Queen. Admittedly, he updated the book in 1971, and in 1983 his son, the Revd. Professor Paul Badham, further revised it after the author's death, and later reissued it as a fourth edition, with further revision, in 1995. The present edition is thus the fifth, and includes a new introduction by Paul Badham and three new chapters (one of which he has written himself) presented with his conviction that the book is ‘a religious classic’ and ‘its central argument of permanent validity’.
Background: A randomized controlled trial has shown that supervised, facility-based exercise training is effective in improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. However, these programs are associated with additional costs. This analysis assessed the cost-effectiveness of such programs.
Methods: Analysis used data from the Diabetes Aerobic and Resistance Exercise (DARE) clinical trial which compared three different exercise programs (resistance, aerobic or a combination of both) of 6 months duration with a control group (no exercise program). Clinical outcomes at 6 months were entered for individual patients into the UKPDS economic model for type 2 diabetes adapted for the Canadian context. From this, expected life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and costs were estimated for all patients within the trial.
Results: The combined exercise program was the most expensive ($40,050) followed by the aerobic program ($39,250), the resistance program ($38,300) and no program ($31,075). QALYs were highest for combined (8.94), followed by aerobic (8.77), resistance (8.73) and no program (8.70). The incremental cost per QALY gained for the combined exercise program was $4,792 compared with aerobic alone, $8,570 compared with resistance alone, and $37,872 compared with no program. The combined exercise program remained cost-effective for all scenarios considered within sensitivity analysis.
Conclusions: A program providing training in both resistance and aerobic exercise was the most cost-effective of the alternatives compared. Based on previous funding decisions, exercise training for individuals with diabetes can be considered an efficient use of resources.
Previous studies have indicated that the sub-optimal performance of the San Francisco Syncope Rule (SFSR) is likely due to the misclassification of the “abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG)” variable. We sought to identify specific emergency department (ED) ECG and cardiac monitor abnormalities that better predict cardiac outcomes within 30 days in adult ED syncope patients.
This health records review included patients 16 years or older with syncope and excluded patients with ongoing altered mental status, alcohol or illicit drug use, seizure, head injury leading to loss of consciousness, or severe trauma requiring admission. We collected patient characteristics, 22 ECG variables, cardiac monitoring abnormalities, SFSR “abnormal ECG” criteria, and outcome (death, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, or cardiac procedures) data. Recursive partitioning was used to develop the “Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria.”
Among 505 included patient visits, 27 (5.3%) had serious cardiac outcomes. We found that patients were at risk for cardiac outcomes within 30 days if any of the following were present: second-degree Mobitz type 2 or third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block, bundle branch block with first-degree AV block, right bundle branch with left anterior or posterior fascicular block, new ischemic changes, nonsinus rhythm, left axis deviation, or ED cardiac monitor abnormalities. The sensitivity and specificity of the Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria were 96% (95% CI 80–100) and 76% (95% CI 75–76), respectively.
We successfully identified specific ED ECG and cardiac monitor abnormalities, which we termed the Ottawa Electrocardiographic Criteria, that predict serious cardiac outcomes in adult ED syncope patients. Further studies are required to identify which adult ED syncope patients require cardiac monitoring in the ED and the optimal duration of monitoring and to confirm the accuracy of these criteria.
It is believed that when patients present to the emergency department (ED) with recent-onset atrial fibrillation or flutter (RAFF), controlling the ventricular rate before cardioversion improves the success rate. We evaluated the influence of rate control medication and other variables on the success of cardioversion.
This secondary analysis of a medical records review comprised 1,068 patients with RAFF who presented to eight Canadian EDs over 12 months. Univariate analysis was performed to find associations between predictors of conversion to sinus rhythm including use of rate control, rhythm control, and other variables. Predictive variables were incorporated into the multivariate model to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) associated with successful cardioversion.
A total of 634 patients underwent attempted cardioversion: 428 electrical, 354 chemical, and 148 both. Adjusted ORs for factors associated with successful electrical cardioversion were use of rate control medication, 0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21-0.74); rhythm control medication, 0.28 (95% CI 0.15-0.53); and CHADS2 score > 0, 0.43 (95% CI 0.15-0.83). ORs for factors associated with successful chemical cardioversion were use of rate control medication, 1.29 (95% CI 0.82-2.03); female sex, 2.37 (95% CI 1.50-3.72); and use of procainamide, 2.32 (95% CI 1.43-3.74).
We demonstrated reduced successful electrical cardioversion of RAFF when patients were pretreated with either rate or rhythm control medication. Although rate control medication was not associated with increased success of chemical cardioversion, use of procainamide was. Slowing the ventricular rate prior to cardioversion should be avoided.
Most previous attempts to determine the psychological cost of military deployment have been limited by reliance on convenience samples, lack of pre-deployment data or confidentiality and cross-sectional designs.
This study addressed these limitations using a population-based, prospective cohort of US military personnel deployed in support of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The sample consisted of US military service members in all branches including active duty, reserve and national guard who deployed once (n = 3393) or multiple times (n = 4394). Self-reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress were obtained prior to deployment and at two follow-ups spaced 3 years apart. Data were examined for longitudinal trajectories using latent growth mixture modelling.
Each analysis revealed remarkably similar post-traumatic stress trajectories across time. The most common pattern was low–stable post-traumatic stress or resilience (83.1% single deployers, 84.9% multiple deployers), moderate–improving (8.0%, 8.5%), then worsening–chronic posttraumatic stress (6.7%, 4.5%), high–stable (2.2% single deployers only) and high–improving (2.2% multiple deployers only). Covariates associated with each trajectory were identified.
The final models exhibited similar types of trajectories for single and multiple deployers; most notably, the stable trajectory of low post-traumatic stress pre- to post-deployment, or resilience, was exceptionally high. Several factors predicting trajectories were identified, which we hope will assist in future research aimed at decreasing the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder among deployers.
In his immensely popular L’Irréligion de L'Avenir (The Non-Religion of the Future) J.M. Guyau showed that the soul has been invoked to account (among other things) for the difference between the living and the dead and for dreams. The breath, he said, was the most tangible thing, other than the blood, with which life could be definitely associated. It could even be heard leaving the body at the last gasp. It seems to be immaterial and invisible, so that it is not surprising that in many languages words for soul or spirit are derived from words meaning the breath or the wind. As for dreams, Guyau pointed out that the dreamer experiences adventures, yet is assured by his companions that he did not leave the room or the tent at all during the night, and that this could be explained by supposing that there is a soul that can leave the body, roam the country, and then return to its normal corporeal abode. In dreams one not only goes on adventures, but also meets friends and talks with them, yet thereafter they know nothing of the meeting. Some semblance of them had therefore been separated from their bodies without their knowledge. Sometimes these simulacra belong to the dead and must therefore represent some portion of those persons that survived death.
C.S. Lewis, the scholar of English mediaeval and Renaissance literature who died in 1963 and is still widely respected as a Christian apologist, complained that academic biblical scholars simply assume that miracles cannot have occurred in the fashion reported in the New Testament. In a lecture quoted by A.I.C. Heron1, he said: ‘The canon “If miraculous, unhistorical” is one they bring to their study of the texts, not one they have learned from it.’ In fact, as John Kent retorted, they did not rule out in advance the idea of supernatural events, but were able, without it, to give adequate and plausible accounts of how the biblical documents reached their present form, by means of a method ‘based on questions of probability in terms of evidence’, not ‘on an a priori rejection of miracle’.2 Conclusions concerning historical events of any kind are similarly based. ‘No historians’, says the historian R.J. Evans, ‘really believe in the absolute truth of what they are writing, simply in its probable truth, which they have done their utmost to establish by following the usual rules of evidence’.3 To this question of ‘absolute’ truth I shall return.