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Background: The purpose of this study was to find out the relationship between appropriateness of antibiotic prescription and clinical outcomes in patients with community-acquired acute pyelonephritis (CA-APN). Methods: A multicenter prospective cohort study was performed in 8 Korean hospitals from September 2017 to August 2018. All hospitalized patients aged ≥19 years diagnosed with CA-APN at admission were recruited. Pregnant women and patients with insufficient data were excluded. In addition, patients with prolonged hospitalization due to medical problems that were not associated with APN treatment were excluded. The appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics was divided into “optimal,” “suboptimal,” and “inappropriate,” and optimal and suboptimal were regarded as appropriate antibiotic use. The standard for the classification of empirical antibiotics was defined reflecting the Korean national guideline for the antibiotic use in urinary tract infection 2018. The standards for the classification of definitive antibiotics were defined according to the result of in vitro susceptibility tests of causative organisms. Clinical outcomes including clinical failure (mortality or recurrence) rate, hospitalization days, and medical costs were compared between patients who were prescribed antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed them inappropriately. Results: In total, 397 and 318 patients were eligible for the analysis of the appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively. Of these, 10 (2.5%) and 18 (5.7%) were inappropriately prescribed empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively, and 28 (8.8%) were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed empirical antibiotics appropriately showed a lower mortality rate (0 vs 10%; P = .025), shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 12.5 days; P = .014), and lower medical costs (US$2,333 vs US$4,531; P = .007) compared to those who were prescribed empirical antibiotics “inappropriately.” In comparison, we detected no significant differences in clinical outcomes between patients who were prescribed definitive antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed both empirical and definitive antibiotics appropriately showed a lower clinical failure rate (0.3 vs 7.1%; P = .021) and shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 10.5 days; P = .041) compared to those who were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Conclusions: Appropriate use of antibiotics leads patients with CA-APN to better clinical outcomes including fewer hospitalization days and lower medical costs.
The explosive outbreak of COVID-19 led to a shortage of medical resources, including isolation rooms in hospitals, healthcare workers (HCWs) and personal protective equipment. Here, we constructed a new model, non-contact community treatment centres to monitor and quarantine asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who recorded their own vital signs using a smartphone application. This new model in Korea is useful to overcome shortages of medical resources and to minimise the risk of infection transmission to HCWs.
We calculated the human resources required for an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in Korean hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective study.
Eight Korean hospitals ranging in size from 295 to 1,337 beds.
The time required for performing ASP activities for all hospitalized patients under antibiotic therapy was estimated and converted into hours per week. The actual time spent on patient reviews of each ASP activity was measured with a small number of cases, then the total time was estimated by applying the determined times to a larger number of cases. Full-time equivalents (FTEs) were measured according to labor laws in Korea (52 hours per week).
In total, 225 cases were reviewed to measure time spent on patient reviews. The median time spent per patient review for ASP activities ranged from 10 to 16 minutes. The total time spent on the review for all hospitalized patients was estimated using the observed number of ASP activities for 1,534 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy on surveillance days. The most commonly observed ASP activity was ‘review of surgical prophylactic antibiotics’ (32.7%), followed by ‘appropriate antibiotics recommendations for patients with suspected infection without a proven site of infection but without causative pathogens’ (28.6%). The personnel requirement was calculated as 1.20 FTEs (interquartile range [IQR], 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds and 2.28 FTEs (IQR, 1.93–2.62) per 100 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy, respectively.
The estimated time required for human resources performing extensive ASP activities on all hospitalized patients undergoing antibiotic therapy in Korean hospitals was ~1.20 FTEs (IQR, 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds.
There is limited evidence on the interaction by alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH1B) (rs1229984) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) (rs671) regarding the associations of alcohol and a methyl diet (low folate and high alcohol intake) with cancer risk, partly because of rare polymorphisms in Western populations.
In a case–control study, we estimated the ORs and 95 % CIs to evaluate the associations of ADH1B and ALDH2 genotypes with colorectal cancer (CRC) and the joint association between methyl diets and ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphisms with CRC risk using logistic regression models.
A hospital-based case–control study.
In total, 1001 CRC cases and 899 cancer-free controls admitted to two university hospitals.
We found that alcohol intake increased the risk of CRC; OR (95 % CI) was 2·02 (1·41, 2·87) for ≥60 g/d drinkers compared with non-drinkers (Ptrend < 0·001). The associations for two polymorphisms with CRC were not statistically significant. However, we found a potential interaction of ALDH2 with methyl diets and CRC. We observed a 9·08-fold (95 % CI 1·93, 42·60) higher risk of CRC for low-methyl diets compared with high-methyl diets among individuals with an A allele of ALDH2, but the association was not apparent among those with ALDH2 GG (Pinteraction = 0·02).
Our data support the evidence that gene–methyl diet interactions may be involved in CRC risk in East Asian populations, showing that a low-methyl diet increased the risk of CRC among individuals with an A allele of ALDH2.
To trace past changes in flooding frequency, we investigated fluvial sediments in the middle reach of the Nakdong River, South Korea. Sediments with larger grain size, lower total organic carbon percentage, and depleted δ13C values in the recovered sediment cores were interpreted as periods of more frequent flooding. Patterns of decreased long-term flooding frequency and vegetation changes during the early to late Holocene were similar to the decreasing regional summer monsoon intensity. Multicentennial frequent flooding periods in the study area (2900–3400 cal yr BP, 3600–3900 cal yr BP, 4600–5300 cal yr BP, and 5800–6400 cal yr BP) corresponded to stronger El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity periods. Based on previous studies showing that high-frequency tropical typhoon-driven coastal inundation along the western coast of Japan during the middle to late Holocene was coupled with stronger ENSO activity, it is likely that the observed centennial-to-millennial-scale flood frequency change in South Korea was influenced mainly by changes in the genesis and tracks of tropical typhoons at centennial-to-millennial time scales. This suggests that the centennial-to-millennial-scale hydrologic changes in East Asia were linked to the remote atmospheric-oceanic circulation changes represented by an ENSO-like pattern.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Devastating disasters around the world directly contribute to significant increases in human mortality and economic costs. The objective of this study was to examine the current state of the Korea Disaster Relief Team that participated in an international training module.
The whole training period was videotaped in order to observe and evaluate the respondents. The survey was carried out after completion of the 3-day training, and the scores were reported by use of a 5-point Likert scale.
A total of 43 respondents were interviewed for the survey, and the results showed that the overall preparedness score for international disasters was 3.4±1.6 (mean±SD). The awareness of the Incident Command System for international disasters was shown to be low (3.5±1.1). Higher scores were given to personnel who took on leadership roles in the team and who answered “I knew my duty” (4.4±0.6) in the survey, as well as to the training participants who answered “I clearly knew my duty” (4.5±0.5).
The preparedness level of the Korea Disaster Relief Team was shown to be insufficient, whereas understanding of the roles of leaders and training participants in the rescue team was found to be high. It is assumed that the preparedness level for disaster relief must be improved through continued training. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;1–5)
After Super Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 tropical cyclone, insufficient resources were available for medical management. Many patients in the Philippines were wounded as a result of the disaster. We examined the prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of disaster-related wounds and wound infection in the post-disaster period.
We performed a retrospective review of consecutive patients admitted to a Korean Disaster Relief Team clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, Tacloban City, Republic of Philippines, between December 9 and 13, 2013. Traumatic injury patients were included; patients not exhibiting a wound were excluded.
Of the 160 patients enrolled in the study, 71 (44.4%) had infected wounds. There were no significant differences in the age, sex, past medical history, wound site, wound depth, injury mechanism, or inducer of injury between the uninfected and infected groups. In the univariate analysis, a foreign-body-contaminated wound, a chronic wound, elapsed time from injury to medical contact, an inadequately cared for wound, and need for subsequent wound management were associated with wound infection (P<0.05). The multivariate analysis revealed that foreign body contamination and having an inadequately cared for wound were associated with wound infection (odds ratio [OR]: 10.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.59-28.56; OR: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.07-11.51, respectively).
In the post-disaster situation, many wound infections required definitive care. Wound infection was associated with inadequately cared for wounds and foreign-body-contaminated wounds. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:28–33)
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
This study examined changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality of care (QoC) as perceived by terminally ill cancer patients and a stratified set of HRQoL or QoC factors that are most likely to influence survival at the end of life (EoL).
We administered questionnaires to 619 consecutive patients immediately after they were diagnosed with terminal cancer by physicians at 11 university hospitals and at the National Cancer Center in Korea. Subjects were followed up over 161.2 person-years until their deaths. We measured HRQoL using the core 30-item European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, and QoC using the Quality Care Questionnaire–End of Life (QCQ–EoL). We evaluated changes in HRQoL and QoC issues during the first three months after enrollment, performing sensitivity analysis by using data generated via four methods (complete case analysis, available case analysis, the last observation carried forward, and multiple imputation).
Emotional and cognitive functioning decreased significantly over time, while dyspnea, constipation, and pain increased significantly. Dignity-conserving care, care by healthcare professionals, family relationships, and QCQ–EoL total score decreased significantly. Global QoL, appetite loss, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG–PS) scores were significantly associated with survival.
Significance of results:
Future standardization of palliative care should be focused on assessment of these deteriorated types of quality. Accurate estimates of the length of life remaining for terminally ill cancer patients by such EoL-enhancing factors as global QoL, appetite loss, and ECOG–PS are needed to help patients experience a dignified and comfortable death.
We present the results of near-infrared (NIR) imaging and spectroscopic observations of the Galactic supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A). Applying the method of Principal Component Analysis to our broadband NIR spectra, we identify a total of 61 NIR emission knots of Cas A and classify them into three groups of distinct spectral characteristics: Helium-rich, Sulfur-rich, and Iron-rich groups. The first and second groups are of the circumstellar and supernova ejecta origin, respectively. The third group, which has enhanced iron emission, is of particular interests since it shows intermediate characteristics between the former two groups. We suggest that the Iron-rich group is knots of swept-up circumstellar medium around the contact discontinuity in Cas A and/or supernova ejecta from deep layers of its progenitor star which have recently encountered a reverse shock in the remnant.
We report the preliminary results for the detection of H2 and [Fe II] line features around the Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) from the UWISH2 and UWIFE surveys that cover the first galactic quadrant of 7°<l<65° and |b|<1.3°. By this time, we have found a total of 17 H2-emitting and 14 [Fe II]-emitting SNRs in the coverage, and more than a half of them are detected in both H2 and [Fe II] emissions, which implies that the environment of these SNRs might be complex and composed of multi-phase medium. In this paper, we present our identification strategy and some preliminary results including H2 and [Fe II] luminosity distributions.
Conus medullaris syndrome (CMS) is a clinical neurologic syndrome caused by a conus medullaris lesion. CMS is a heterogeneous entity with various etiologies such as trauma or a space-occupying lesion. Multiple cases of CMS following spinal anesthesia have been reported, but CMS after radioisotope (RI) cisternography has not yet been reported.
We present four patients who developed CMS after RI cisternography.
All experienced neurological deficits such as paraparesis, sensory loss, and urinary incontinence three to four days after RI cisternography. Two showed abnormalities on lumbar magnetic resonance imaging, and three had complete symptom resolution within ten weeks.
The pathomechanism of the CMS is unclear, but we hypothesize that RI neurotoxicity might be responsible. It is possible that the use of low-dose 99mTc-DTPA or an alternative diagnostic tool such as magnetic resonance cisternography could help to prevent this complication.
The present study was carried out to evaluate the microstructures and mechanical properties of severely deformed Ni-30Cr alloy. Cross-roll rolling (CRR) as severe plastic deformation (SPD) process was introduced and Ni-30Cr alloy sheets were cold rolled to a 90% thickness reduction and subsequently annealed at 700 °C for 30 min so as to obtain the recrystallized microstructure. For the analysis of grain boundary character distributions (GBCDs), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique was introduced. CRR on Ni-30Cr alloy was effective to enhance the grain refinement through heat treatment; consequently, average grain size was significantly reduced from 33 μm in initial material to 0.6 μm in CRR processed material. This grain refinement directly affected the mechanical properties improvement, in which yield and tensile strengths were significantly increased than those of initial material. In this study, we systematically discussed the grain refinement, accompanying with increase in mechanical properties, in terms of the effective strain imposed by CRR, comparing with conventional rolling (CR).
Learning to read and to write influences not only verbal skills but also global cognitive performance. Our study aimed to compare the visuoconstructional abilities of elderly illiterates with those of elderly literates. A total of 125 healthy subjects over 65 years old were recruited. Korean version of Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) constructional praxis examination were used. We divided subjects into three groups (educated literate n = 53, uneducated literate n = 36 and uneducated illiterate n = 36). Interlocking pentagons drawing, a part of the K-MMSE, was scored using the 6-point hierarchical scale. The uneducated-illiterate group obtained significantly lower scores than did the other two groups. Scores on the ADAS-cog constructional praxis test were highest in the educated-literate group and those in the uneducated-illiterate group obtained the lowest scores. We demonstrated that illiteracy influences not only language performance but also visuoconstructional functioning. (JINS, 2011, 17, 934–939)