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Introduction: Blood transfusions continue to be a critical intervention in patients presenting to emergency departments (ED). Improved understanding of the adverse events associated with transfusions has led to new research to inform and delineate transfusion guidelines. The Nova Scotia Guideline for Blood Component Utilization in Adults and Pediatrics was implemented in June 2017 to reflect current best practice in transfusion medicine. The guideline includes a lowering of the hemoglobin threshold from 80 g/L to 70 g/L for transfusion initiation, to be used in conjunction with the patient's hemodynamic assessment before and after transfusions. Our study aims to augment understanding of transfusion guideline adherence and ED physician transfusing practices at the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department in Nova Scotia. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on one third of all ED visits involving red-cell transfusions for one year prior to and one year following the guideline implementation. A total of 350 charts were reviewed. The primary data abstracted for the initial transfusion, and subsequent transfusion if applicable, from each reviewed chart included clinical and laboratory data reflective of the transfusion guideline. Based on these data, the transfusion event was classified one of three ways: indicated based on hemoglobin level, indicated based on patient's symptomatic presentation, or unable to determine if transfusion indicated based on charting. Results: The year before guideline implementation, the total number of transfusions initiated at a hemoglobin of between 71-80 was 31 of 146 total transfusions. This number dropped by 23.6% to 22 of 136 in the year following guideline implementation. The number of single-unit transfusions increased by 28.0% from 47 of 146 in the year prior to 56 of 136 in the year after guideline implementation. The initial indication for transfusion being unable to be determined based on charting provided increased by 120%. The indication for subsequent transfusions being unable to be determined based on charting increased by 1500% (P < 0.05). Conclusion: These data suggest that implementing transfusion guidelines effectively reduced the number of transfusions given in the ED setting and increased the number of single-unit transfusions administered. However, the data also suggest the need for better education around transfusion indications and proper documentation clearly outlining the rationale behind the decision to transfuse.
Dysfunctional impulsivity reflects ‘recklessness without deliberation and evaluation of consequences’ and has negative consequences whereas functional impulsivity reflects ‘rapid responding to situational demands in order to maximise one's circumstances’ and often has positive consequences (1).
To examine the functional brain basis of dysfunctional impulsivity in healthy people and in people with schizophrenia.
Thirteen healthy controls and 21 schizophrenia patients (10/21 with serious repetitive violence) underwent fMRI during a Go/ NoGo task. Dysfunctional impulsivity was indexed using the Impulsiveness subscale and functional impulsivity using the Venturesomeness subscale of the Impulsiveness-Venturesomeness-Empathy questionnaire (2).
Violent patients had elevated Impulsiveness scores relative to non-violent patients and controls. Impulsiveness did not correlate significantly with task performance in healthy controls or patients. Impulsiveness, but not Venturesomeness, scores correlated during the NoGO condition with lower activity in the anterior cingulate (AC) in controls, and lower inferior temporal and hippocampal activity in patients.
These findings accord with previously reported associations between reduced hippocampal volume and dysfunctional impulsivity in schizophrenia (3) and, combined with our earlier observations of reduced AC activation during a working memory task in violent antisocial individuals (4), suggest that the influence of dysfunctional impulsivity in antisocial and criminal behaviour is mediated via deficient (inhibitory) functions of the AC and hippocampus.
There is increasing evidence for a neurobiological basis of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), includinggenetic liability, aberrant serotonergic function, neuropsychological deficits and structural and functional brain abnormalities. However, few functional brain imaging studies have been conducted using tasks of clinically relevant functions such as impulse control and reinforcement processing. Here we report on a study investigating the neural basis of behavioural inhibition and reward sensitivity in ASPD using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
17 medication-free male individuals with DSM IV ASPD and 14 healthy controls were included. All subjects were screened for Axis I pathology and substance misuse. Scanner tasks included two block design tasks: one Go/No-Go task and one reward task. Scanning was carried out on a 1.5T Phillips system. Whole brain coverage was achieved using 40 axial slices with 3.5mm spacing a TR of 5 seconds. Data were analysed using SPM5 using random effects models.
Results of the Go/No-Go task confirmed brain activation previously described in the processing of impulse inhibition, namely in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate, and these were enhanced in the PD group. The reward task was associated with BOLD response changes in the reward network in both groups. However, these BOLD responses were reduced in the ASPD group, particularly in prefrontal areas.
Our results further support the notion of prefrontal dysfunction in ASPD. However, contrary to previous studies suggesting “hypofrontality” in this disorder, we found task specific increased and decreased BOLD responses.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The initial classic Fontan utilising a direct right atrial appendage to pulmonary artery anastomosis led to numerous complications. Adults with such complications may benefit from conversion to a total cavo-pulmonary connection, the current standard palliation for children with univentricular hearts.
A single institution, retrospective chart review was conducted for all Fontan conversion procedures performed from July, 1999 through January, 2017. Variables analysed included age, sex, reason for Fontan conversion, age at Fontan conversion, and early mortality or heart transplant within 1 year after Fontan conversion.
A total of 41 Fontan conversion patients were identified. Average age at Fontan conversion was 24.5 ± 9.2 years. Dominant left ventricular physiology was present in 37/41 (90.2%) patients. Right-sided heart failure occurred in 39/41 (95.1%) patients and right atrial dilation was present in 33/41 (80.5%) patients. The most common causes for Fontan conversion included atrial arrhythmia in 37/41 (90.2%), NYHA class II HF or greater in 31/41 (75.6%), ventricular dysfunction in 23/41 (56.1%), and cirrhosis or fibrosis in 7/41 (17.1%) patients. Median post-surgical follow-up was 6.2 ± 4.9 years. Survival rates at 30 days, 1 year, and greater than 1-year post-Fontan conversion were 95.1, 92.7, and 87.8%, respectively. Two patients underwent heart transplant: the first within 1 year of Fontan conversion for heart failure and the second at 5.3 years for liver failure.
Fontan conversion should be considered early when atrial arrhythmias become common rather than waiting for severe heart failure to ensue, and Fontan conversion can be accomplished with an acceptable risk profile.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The mainstay of management of epistaxis refractory to first aid and cautery is intranasal packing. This review aimed to identify evidence surrounding nasal pack use.
A systematic review of the literature was performed using standardised methodology.
Twenty-seven eligible articles were identified relating to non-dissolvable packs and nine to dissolvable packs. Nasal packing appears to be more effective when applied by trained professionals. For non-dissolvable packs, the re-bleed rates for Rapid Rhino and Merocel were similar, but were higher with bismuth iodoform paraffin paste packing. Rapid Rhino packs were the most tolerated non-dissolvable packs. Evidence indicates that 96 per cent of re-bleeding occurs within the first 4 hours after nasal pack removal. Limited evidence suggests that dissolvable packs are effective and well tolerated by patients. There was a lack of evidence relating to: the duration of pack use, the economic effects of pack choice and the appropriate care setting for non-dissolvable packs.
Rapid Rhino packs are the best tolerated, with efficacy equivalent to nasal tampons. FloSeal is easy to use, causes less discomfort and may be superior to Merocel in anterior epistaxis cases. There is no strong evidence to support prophylactic antibiotic use.
An internationally approved and globally used classification scheme for the diagnosis of CHD has long been sought. The International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code (IPCCC), which was produced and has been maintained by the International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease (the International Nomenclature Society), is used widely, but has spawned many “short list” versions that differ in content depending on the user. Thus, efforts to have a uniform identification of patients with CHD using a single up-to-date and coordinated nomenclature system continue to be thwarted, even if a common nomenclature has been used as a basis for composing various “short lists”. In an attempt to solve this problem, the International Nomenclature Society has linked its efforts with those of the World Health Organization to obtain a globally accepted nomenclature tree for CHD within the 11th iteration of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The International Nomenclature Society has submitted a hierarchical nomenclature tree for CHD to the World Health Organization that is expected to serve increasingly as the “short list” for all communities interested in coding for congenital cardiology. This article reviews the history of the International Classification of Diseases and of the IPCCC, and outlines the process used in developing the ICD-11 congenital cardiac disease diagnostic list and the definitions for each term on the list. An overview of the content of the congenital heart anomaly section of the Foundation Component of ICD-11, published herein in its entirety, is also included. Future plans for the International Nomenclature Society include linking again with the World Health Organization to tackle procedural nomenclature as it relates to cardiac malformations. By doing so, the Society will continue its role in standardising nomenclature for CHD across the globe, thereby promoting research and better outcomes for fetuses, children, and adults with congenital heart anomalies.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
Johns Hopkins has been a leader in paediatric cardiology for over 85 years. In the 1940s, Dr Helen Taussig began training fellows in paediatric cardiology at Johns Hopkins at a time when the diagnosis and treatment of CHD were in the earliest stage. Under her leadership, the fellowship developed a strong foundation that has continued to evolve to meet the current needs of learners and educators. In the current era, the Johns Hopkins programme implements the current theories of adult education and actively engages our fellows in learning as well as teaching. The programme uses techniques such as flipped classroom, structured case-based small-group learning, observed and structured clinical examination, simulations, and innovative educational technology. These strategies combined with our faculty and rich history give our fellows a unique educational experience.
Essential fatty acids (EFA) are PUFA that are metabolised to long-chain PUFA and are important for brain development and cognitive function. The objective of this study was to determine the association between whole-blood EFA and cognitive function in Tanzanian children. A total of 325 2–6-year-old children attempted the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) tasks to assess executive function. Blood samples were collected for fatty acid (FA) analysis by GC. Associations between executive function and FA levels were assessed by regression. Among the 130 4–6-year-old children who attempted the DCCS tasks, whole-blood levels of linoleic acid were positively associated with executive function, whereas whole-blood levels of α-linolenic acid and nervonic acid were inversely associated with executive function. A full model including all twenty-five FA explained 38 % of the variation in executive function, whereas a reduced model including only the EFA (α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid), DHA and EPA explained 25 % of the variation in executive function. Children who had sufficient whole-blood levels of EFA were 3·8 times more likely to successfully complete all DCCS tasks compared with children with insufficient EFA. These results suggest that whole-blood FA levels are associated with cognitive abilities. Intervention trials that include assessment of whole-blood FA levels are required to determine the relationships between intake, blood levels and executive function in Tanzanian children.