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Quantitative analysis of the elemental distributions within AlGaN has been investigated using electron energy loss spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscopy. The nanowires were grown on c-sapphire by radio frequency plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Crystallographic and compositional analyses of the nickel seeds used to promote the nanowire type growth yielded values of lattice spacings within the seeds remaining at the growth tip which were attributed to either (002) NiO, (111) Ni3Ga or (111) Ni-Ga solid solution. The seeds structures exhibited a metallic core encompassed by an oxide shell. The relative gallium and nickel concentrations were quantified by EELS analyses and were found to be consistent with the equilibrium phase α' of Ni3Ga or Ni-Ga solid solution. No nitrogen was observed within the seeds, which is predicted thermodynamically due to the instability of Ni-N compounds at the NW growth temperature used in this study. No aluminium was detected at the tip of nanowires. These measurements are compared with previous studies made concerning pure GaN nanowires. The Al distribution along the nanowire length was measured and is discussed in respect of a possible Al incorporation mechanism.
Consultation is a common and important aspect of emergency department (ED) care. We prospectively examined the consultation rates, the admission rates of consulted patients, the emergency physician (EP) disposition prediction of consulted patients and the difficult consultations rates in 2 tertiary care hospitals.
Attending EPs recorded consultations during 5 randomly selected shifts over an 8-week period using standardized forms. Subsequent computer outcome data were extracted for each patient encounter, as well as demographic data from the ED during days in which there was a study shift.
During 105 clinical shifts, 1930 patients were managed by 21 EPs (median 17 patients per shift; interquartile range 14–23). Overall, at least 1 consultation was requested in 38% of patients. More than one-half of the patients (54.3%) who received a consultation were admitted to the hospital. Consultation proportions were similar between males and females (51% v. 49%, p = 0.03). Consultations occurred more frequently for patients who were older, had higher acuity presentations, arrived during daytime hours or arrived by ambulance. The proportion of agreement between the EP's and consultant's opinion on the need for admission was 89% (κ = 0.77, 95% confidence interval 0.72–0.83). Overall, 92% of patents received 1 consultation. Six percent of the consultations were perceived as “difficult” by the EPs (defined as the EP's subjective impression of difficulties with consultation times, accessibility and availability of consultants, and the interaction with consultants or disposition issues).
Consultation is a common process in the ED. It often results in admission and is predictable based on simple patient factors. Because of perceived difficulty with consultations, strategies to improve the EP consultation process in the ED seem warranted.
Despite the frequency of acute asthma in the emergency department (ED) and the availability of guidelines, significant practice variation exists. Asthma care maps (ACMs) may standardize treatment. This study examined the use of an ACM to determine its effects on patient management in a regional hospital.
Patients aged 2 to 65 years who presented to the ED with a primary diagnosis of acute asthma were enrolled in a prospective study that took place 5 months before (pre) and 5 months after (post) ACM implementation. Research assistants using a standardized questionnaire abstracted data through direct patient interviews and then followed up at 2 weeks with a standardized telephone interview.
Overall, 71 pre patients and 70 post patients were enrolled. Characteristics in both groups were similar. The care map was used in 100% of the cases during the post period. The mean length of stay in the ED for the pre, compared with the post period, was similar (2 h 14 min v. 2 h 25 min; p = 0.60), as were admission rates (11% v. 9%; p = 0.59). Systemic corticosteroid use was similar (62% v. 57%; p = 0.56); however, the total number of β-agonists (2 v. 4 treatments; p = 0.002) and anticholinergics (1 v. 2 treatments; p < 0.001) administered in the ED was higher during the post period. Prescriptions for oral (73% v. 60%; p = 0.15) and inhaled (78% v. 78%; p = 0.98) corticosteroids at discharge remained the same. Relapse rates at follow-up were unchanged (29% v. 34%; p = 0.52).
This study provides evidence that implementation of an ACM increased acute bronchodilator use; however, prescribing preventive medications did not increase. Further research is required to evaluate other strategies to improve asthma care by emergency physicians.
Doppler ultrasound (DUS) is used as a screening tool to assess internal carotid artery (ICA) disease. Recent reports suggest that the DUS may be inaccurate in over 28% of patients. We sought to evaluate the accuracy of DUS, when performed in a dedicated stroke prevention clinic (SPC).
We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who had a DUS performed in our SPC, followed by conventional cerebral angiography. Three groups of patients were defined. Group 1 had DUS measured ICA stenosis of >50%; Group II had a DUS measured ICA stenosis of <50%; Group III had complete ICA occlusion on DUS.
Sixty-seven patients (69 arteries) were included in the study. There were 45 patients in Group I and based on the findings of cerebral angiography, carotid endarterectomy was considered inappropriate in only one patient. - a misclassification rate of 2.2% (95%CI: 0 – 6.5%). Group II consisted of 19 patients and on cerebral angiography, none of these patients had a stenosis of >50% - a misclassification rate of 0%. Group III consisted of five patients in whom DUS showed complete ICA occlusion. The angiogram confirmed the occlusion in all five patients – a misclassification rate of 0%. Overall, misclassification rate was 1.45% (95% CI: 0 - 4.3%).
Doppler ultrasound when performed in a stroke prevention clinic (SPC), has a high accuracy in measuring ICA stenosis of >50%. Doppler ultrasound is reliable in detecting complete ICA occlusion and finally DUS is a reliable screening tool to rule out clinically significant ICA stenosis.
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