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The Assouad dimension is a notion of dimension in fractal geometry that has been the subject of much interest in recent years. This book, written by a world expert on the topic, is the first thorough account of the Assouad dimension and its many variants and applications in fractal geometry and beyond. It places the theory of the Assouad dimension in context among up-to-date treatments of many key advances in fractal geometry, while also emphasising its diverse connections with areas of mathematics including number theory, dynamical systems, harmonic analysis, and probability theory. A final chapter detailing open problems and future directions for research brings readers to the cutting edge of this exciting field. This book will be an indispensable part of the modern fractal geometer's library and a valuable resource for pure mathematicians interested in the beauty and many applications of the Assouad dimension.
Having articulated numerous human rights norms and standards in international treaties, the pressing challenge today is their realisation in States' parties around the world. Domestic implementation has proven a difficult task for national authorities as well as international supervisory bodies. This book examines the traditional State-centric and legalistic approach to implementation, critiquing its limited efficacy in practice and failure to connect with local cultures. The book therefore explores the permissibility of other measures of implementation, and advocates more culturally sensitive approaches involving social institutions. Through an interdisciplinary case study of Islam in Indonesia, the book demonstrates the power of social institutions like religion to promote rights compliant positions and behaviours. Like the preamble of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the book reiterates the role not just of the State but indeed 'every organ of society' in realising rights.
In the early 1890s, both John Addington Symonds and Arthur Symons were fascinated by Paul Verlaine's sonnet “Parsifal” (1886)—in particular, by its final line, which dwells on the voices of singing children. Symonds enthused to Symons that it was “a line [to] treasure forever,” while, nevertheless, noting his reservations to Horatio Forbes Brown that “fine as it is, [it] looks like it […] must be rather of the sickly school.” In an article on Verlaine, Symons praised the poem as a “triumph [of] amazing virtuosity,” echoing the sentiments of his friend George Moore, who in Confessions of a Young Man (1886) exclaimed that he “kn[ew] of no more perfect thing than this sonnet.” With its repetition of assonant vowel sounds, Verlaine's closing line captures the gentle rise heavenward of the ethereal voices of Richard Wagner's offstage choristers, resounding above the stage at the conclusion of the opera. The hiatus with which the line opens functions as a sigh of renunciation, as the listeners abandon themselves to the inexpressible force of the transcendent. In Verlaine's sonnet, these children's voices become the epitome of the “disembodied voice” that Symons sees as so characteristic of Decadent poetics. They sing of the delicate immateriality of spiritual experience, the transient fragility of existence.
We developed an electronic medical record structured note template including features of Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ case definition for COVID-19. We found 218 probable COVID-19 cases in one week, increasing our reports to public health by 62%. Only 10% of patients who would have been probable COVID-19 but were tested for SARS-CoV-2, tested positive.
Linked historical records typically are unrepresentative of the population from which they are drawn even if the method of linking is restricted to time-invariant matching criteria. An example drawn from Canadian census records illustrates the nature of bias that may afflict even a carefully linked sample. The use of potentially time-varying match criteria doubles the size of a linked sample at a modest cost in terms of additional bias. This trade-off is attractive for some research purposes if care is taken in the uses to which the data are put. Reweighting to mitigate the effects of bias in visible characteristics is desirable.
Cadaveric and older radiographic studies suggest that concurrent cervical spine fractures are rare in gunshot wounds (GSWs) to the head. Despite this knowledge, patients with craniofacial GSWs often arrive with spinal motion restriction (SMR) in place. This study quantifies the incidence of cervical spine injuries in GSWs to the head, identified using computerized tomography (CT). Fracture frequency is hypothesized to be lower in self-inflicted (SI) injuries.
Isolated craniofacial GSWs were queried from this Level I trauma center registry from 2013-2017 and the US National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) from 2012–2016 (head or face abbreviated injury scale [AIS] >2). Datasets included age, gender, SI versus not, cervical spine injury, spinal surgery, and mortality. For this hospital’s data, prehospital factors, SMR, and CTs performed were assessed. Statistical evaluation was done with Stata software, with P <.05 significant.
Two-hundred forty-one patients from this hospital (mean age 39; 85% male; 66% SI) and 5,849 from the NTDB (mean age 38; 84% male; 53% SI) were included. For both cohorts, SI patients were older (P < .01) and had increased mortality (P < .01). Overall, cervical spine fractures occurred in 3.7%, with 5.4% requiring spinal surgery (0.2% of all patients). The frequency of fracture was five-fold greater in non-SI (P < .05). Locally, SMR was present in 121 (50.2%) prior to arrival with six collars (2.5%) placed in the trauma bay. Frequency of SMR was similar regardless of SI status (49.0% versus 51.0%; P = not significant) but less frequent in hypotensive patients and those receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The presence of SMR was associated with an increased use of CT of the cervical spine (80.0% versus 33.0%; P < .01).
Cervical spine fractures were identified in less than four percent of isolated GSWs to the head and face, more frequently in non-SI cases. Prehospital SMR should be avoided in cases consistent with SI injury, and for all others, SMR should be discontinued once CT imaging is completed with negative results.
This work presents the results of physical and biological investigations at 27 biogeochemical stations of early winter sea ice in the Ross Sea during the 2017 PIPERS cruise. Only two similar cruises occurred in the past, in 1995 and 1998. The year 2017 was a specific year, in that ice growth in the Central Ross Sea was considerably delayed, compared to previous years. These conditions resulted in lower ice thicknesses and Chl-a burdens, as compared to those observed during the previous cruises. It also resulted in a different structure of the sympagic algal community, unusually dominated by Phaeocystis rather than diatoms. Compared to autumn-winter sea ice in the Weddell Sea (AWECS cruise), the 2017 Ross Sea pack ice displayed similar thickness distribution, but much lower snow cover and therefore nearly no flooding conditions. It is shown that contrasted dynamics of autumnal-winter sea-ice growth between the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea impacted the development of the sympagic community. Mean/median ice Chl-a concentrations were 3–5 times lower at PIPERS, and the community status there appeared to be more mature (decaying?), based on Phaeopigments/Chl-a ratios. These contrasts are discussed in the light of temporal and spatial differences between the two cruises.
To explore what elective students learn about the specialty of Neurology.
A prospective qualitative study using pre- and post-elective written questionnaires.
Analysis concentrated on three main themes: What did students learn about the specialty of Neurology? What would they change about their experience? Did their opinions change? Major findings were (i) pre- and post-elective the most frequent response for “what is the best thing about Neurology?” was the “process of localization” and (ii) post-elective students were less likely to cite the challenge or problem-solving aspect of Neurology as the best thing while more emphasized the importance of the physical exam and the variety of cases. (iii) Students were most surprised by the scope of neurological practice. (iv) They would diversify the setting of their elective to include less time spent in the emergency room and more time in clinic. (v) The perception of Neurology as a specialty in which patients have a poor prognosis was the opinion that changed the most.
Showcasing the diversity of cases and careers in Neurology may be a useful strategy to increase interest in the specialty and reduce neurophobia. Lectures or small groups early in medical school should concentrate on clear examples of common neurological conditions and emphasize the role of general neurologists and subspecialists involved in patient care. Whenever possible students should rotate through different clinics and not concentrate exclusively on emergency room and in-patient cases.
Despite recommendations to discontinue prophylactic antibiotics after incision closure or <24 hours after surgery, prophylactic antibiotics are continued after discharge by some clinicians. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with postdischarge prophylactic antibiotic use after spinal fusion.
Multicenter retrospective cohort study.
This study included patients aged ≥18 years undergoing spinal fusion or refusion between July 2011 and June 2015 at 3 sites. Patients with an infection during the surgical admission were excluded.
Prophylactic antibiotics were identified at discharge. Factors associated with postdischarge prophylactic antibiotic use were identified using hierarchical generalized linear models.
In total, 8,652 spinal fusion admissions were included. Antibiotics were prescribed at discharge in 289 admissions (3.3%). The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (22.1%), cephalexin (18.8%), and ciprofloxacin (17.1%). Adjusted for study site, significant factors associated with prophylactic discharge antibiotics included American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class ≥3 (odds ratio [OR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.00–1.70), lymphoma (OR, 2.57; 95% CI, 1.11–5.98), solid tumor (OR, 3.63; 95% CI, 1.62–8.14), morbid obesity (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.09–2.47), paralysis (OR, 2.38; 95% CI, 1.30–4.37), hematoma/seroma (OR, 2.93; 95% CI, 1.17–7.33), thoracic surgery (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.01–1.93), longer length of stay, and intraoperative antibiotics.
Postdischarge prophylactic antibiotics were uncommon after spinal fusion. Patient and perioperative factors were associated with continuation of prophylactic antibiotics after hospital discharge.
Recent international communicable disease crises have highlighted the need for countries to assure their preparedness to respond effectively to public health emergencies. The objective of this study was to critically review existing tools to support a country’s assessment of its health emergency preparedness. We developed a framework to analyze the expected effectiveness and utility of these tools. Through mixed search strategies, we identified 12 tools with relevance to public health emergencies. There was considerable consensus concerning the critical preparedness system elements to be assessed, although their relative emphasis and means of assessment and measurement varied considerably. Several tools identified appeared to have reporting requirements as their primary aim, rather than primary utility for system self-assessment of the countries and states using the tool. Few tools attempted to give an account of their underlying evidence base. Only some tools were available in a user-friendly electronic modality or included quantitative measures to support the monitoring of system preparedness over time. We conclude there is still a need for improvement in tools available for assessment of country preparedness for public health emergencies, and for applied research to increase identification of system measures that are valid indicators of system response capability.
Introduction: In the emergency department (ED), high-acuity presentations encountered at low frequencies are associated with reduced staff comfort. Previous studies have shown that simulation can improve provider confidence with practical skills and management of presentations in various fields of medicine. The present study examined the effect of in situ simulation on interprofessional provider comfort with the identification and management of high-acuity low-frequency events in the ED. It further assessed the feasibility of implementing weekly simulation as an interprofessional education initiative in a high-volume ED. Methods: This was a retrospective pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design. Weekly in situ simulation events were facilitated by an interdisciplinary team in a high-volume ED in Hamilton, Ontario that sees an average of 185 patients per day. To date, 34 simulation events were held between January 18, 2019 and November 22, 2019, and included neonatal, paediatric and obstetric emergencies, and adult codes. There was an average of 20 patients presenting to the ED during these events. Events included a debrief, and typically lasted 60 minutes in total. Participants included individuals from various disciplines working on shift at the time of the event. Questionnaires were administered via email following the event, in which participants were asked to rank their comfort with emergency codes before and after the simulation using two 5-point Likert scales. The data from 39 questionnaires was analyzed. T-tests were used to analyze differences in self-reported comfort scores. Results: Questionnaire responders included nurses (41%), respiratory therapists (26%), resident physicians (10%), paramedics (3%), attending physicians (3%), students of various disciplines (10%) and other (7%). 38% of participants reported increases in comfort following simulation when compared to prior. Using the 5-point scale, the average reported score for comfort pre-simulation was 3.59 (95% CI 3.30–3.88), and the average post-simulation score was 3.97 (95% CI 3.76–4.19, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that weekly interprofessional in situ simulation is feasible in a high-volume ED, and significantly improves self-reported provider comfort with the identification and management of high-acuity, low-frequency events. This warrants the implementation of this simulation design to improve staff confidence and has implications for its potential role in improving team dynamics and patient safety.
Introduction: Electronic medical records (EMR) have placed increasing demand on emergency physicians and may contribute to physician burnout and stress. The use of scribes to reduce workload and increase productivity in emergency departments (ED) has been reported. This objective of this study was to evaluate the educational and experiential value of scribing among medical and undergraduate students. We asked: “Will undergraduates be willing to scribe in exchange for clinical exposure and experience?”; and, “Should scribing be integrated into the medical school curriculum?” Methods: A mixed-methods model was employed. The study population included 5 undergraduate, and 5 medical students. Scribes received technical training on how to take physician notes. Undergraduate students were provided with optional resources to familiarize themselves with common medical terminology. Scribes were assigned to physicians based on availability. An exit interview and semi-structured interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the study. Interviews were transcribed and coded into thematic coding trees. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to analyze the results. Themes were reviewed and verified by two members of the research team. Results: Undergraduate students preferred volunteering in the ED over other volunteer experiences (5/5); citing direct access to the medical field (5/5), demystification of the medical profession (4/5), resume building (5/5), and perceived value added to the health care team (5/5) as main motivators to continue scribing. Medical students felt scribing should be integrated into their curriculum (4/5) because it complemented their shadowing experience by providing unique value that shadowing did not. Based on survey results, five undergraduate students would be required to cover 40 volunteer hours per week. Conclusion: A student volunteer model of scribing is worthwhile to students and may be feasible; however, scribe availability, potentially high scribe turnover, and limited time to develop a rapport with their physician may impact any efficiency benefit scribes might provide. Importantly, scribing may be an invaluable experience for directing career goals and ensuring that students intrinsically interested in medicine pursue the profession. Medical students suggested that scribing could be added to the year one curriculum to help them develop a framework for how to take histories and manage patients.
Introduction: Compared to other areas in Alberta Health Services (AHS), internal data show that emergency departments (EDs) and urgent care centres (UCCs) experience a high rate of workforce violence. As such, reducing violence in AHS EDs and UCCs is a key priority. This project explored staff's lived experience with patient violence with the goal of better understanding its impact, and what strategies and resources could be put in place. Methods: To obtain a representative sample, we recruited staff from EDs and a UCC (n = 6) situated in urban and rural settings across Alberta. As the interviews had the potential to be upsetting, we conducted in-person interviews in a private space. Interviews were conducted with over 60 staff members including RNs, LPNs, unit clerks, physicians, and protective services. Data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously and iteratively until saturation was reached. The analysis involved data reduction, category development, and synthesis. Key phrases and statements were first highlighted. Preliminary labels were then assigned to the data and data was then organized into meaningful clusters. Finally, we identified common themes of participants’ lived experience. Triangulation of sources, independent and team analysis, and frequent debriefing sessions were used to enhance the trustworthiness of the data. Results: Participants frequently noted the worry they carry with them when coming into work, but also said there was a high threshold of acceptance dominating ED culture. A recurring feature of this experience was the limited resources (e.g., no peace officers, scope of security staff) available to staff to respond when patients behave violently or are threatening. Education like non-violent crisis intervention training, although helpful, was insufficient to make staff feel safe. Participants voiced the need for more protective services, the addition of physical barriers like locking doors and glass partitions, more investment in addictions and mental health services (e.g., increased access to psychiatrists or addictions counsellors), and a greater shared understanding of AHS’ zero tolerance policy. Conclusion: ED and UCC staff describe being regularly exposed to violence from patients and visitors. Many of these incidents go unreported and unresolved, leaving the workforce feeling worried and unsupported. Beyond education, the ED and UCC workforce need additional resources to support them in feeling safe coming to work.
Introduction: Emergency Departments (EDs) are at high risk of workforce-directed violence (WDV). To address ED violence in Alberta Health Services (AHS), we conducted key informant interviews to identify successful strategies that could be adopted in AHS EDs. Methods: The project team identified potential participants through their ED network; additional contacts were identified through snowball sampling. We emailed 197 individuals from Alberta (123), Canada (46), and abroad (28). The interview guide was developed and reviewed in partnership with ED managers and Workplace Health and Safety. We conducted semi-structured phone interviews with 26 representatives from urban and rural EDs or similar settings from Canada, the United States, and Australia. This interview process received an ARECCI score of 2. Two researchers conducted a content analysis of the interview notes; rural and urban sites were analyzed separately. We extracted strategies, their impact, and implementation barriers and facilitators. Strategies identified were categorized into emergent themes. We aggregated similar strategies and highlighted key or unique findings. Results: Interview results showed that there is no single solution to address ED violence. Sites with effective violence prevention strategies used a comprehensive approach where multiple strategies were used to address the issue. For example, through a violence prevention working group, one site implemented weekly violence simulations, a peer mentorship support team, security rounding, and more. This multifaceted approach had positive results: a decrease in code whites, staff feeling more supported, and the site no longer being on union “concerned” lists. Another promising strategy included addressing the culture of violence by increasing reporting, clarifying policies (i.e., zero tolerance), and establishing flagging or alert systems for visitors with violent histories. Physician involvement and support was highly valued in responding to violence (e.g., support when refusing care, on the code white response team, flagging). Conclusion: Overall, one strategy is not enough to successfully address WDV in EDs. Strategies need to be comprehensive and context specific, especially when considering urban and rural sites with different resources available. We note that few strategies were formally evaluated, and recommend that future work focus on developing comprehensive metrics to evaluate the strategies and define success.
Introduction: Buprenorphine/naloxone (buprenorphine) has proven to be a life-saving intervention amidst the ongoing opioid epidemic in Canada. Research has shown benefits to initiating buprenorphine from the emergency department (ED) including improved treatment retention, systemic health care savings and fewer drug-related visits to the ED. Despite this, there has been little to no uptake of this evidence-based practice in our department. This qualitative study aimed to determine the local barriers and potential solutions to initiating buprenorphine in the ED and gain an understanding of physician attitudes and behaviours regarding harm reduction care and opioid use disorder management. Methods: ED physicians at a midsize Atlantic hospital were recruited by convenience sampling to participate in semi-structured privately conducted interviews. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and de-identified transcripts were uploaded to NVivo 12 plus for concept driven and inductive coding and a hierarchy of open, axial and selective coding was employed. Transcripts were independently reviewed by a local qualitative research expert and themes were compared for similarity to limit bias. Interview saturation was reached after 7 interviews. Results: Emergent themes included a narrow scope of harm reduction care that primarily focused on abstinence-based therapies and a multitude of biases including feelings of deception, fear of diversion, feeling buprenorphine induction was too time consuming for the ED and differentiating patients with opioid use disorder from ‘medically ill’ patients. Several barriers and proposed solutions to initiating buprenorphine from the ED were elicited including lack of training and need for formal education, poor familiarity with buprenorphine, the need for an algorithm and community bridge program and formal supports such as an addictions consult team for the ED. Conclusion: This study elicited several opportunities for improved care for patients with addictions presenting to our ED. Future education will focus on harm reduction care, specifically strategies for managing patients desiring to continue to use substances. Education will focus on addressing the multitude of biases elicited and dispelling common myths. A locally informed buprenorphine pathway will be developed. In future, this study may be used to advocate for improved formal supports for our department including an addictions consult team.
Introduction: Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy is a common emergency department (ED) presentation, with many of these episodes resulting in poor obstetrical outcome. These outcomes have been extensively studied, but there have been few evaluations of what variables are associated predictors. This study aimed to identify predictors of less than optimal obstetrical outcomes for women who present to the ED with early pregnancy bleeding. Methods: A regional centre health records review included pregnant females who presented to the ED with vaginal bleeding at <20 weeks gestation. This study investigated differences in presenting features between groups with subsequent optimal outcomes (OO; defined as a full-term live birth >37 weeks) and less than optimal outcomes (LOO; defined as a miscarriage, stillbirth or pre-term live birth). Predictor variables included: maternal age, gestational age at presentation, number of return ED visits, socioeconomic status (SES), gravida-para-abortus status, Rh status, Hgb level and presence of cramping. Rates and results of point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) and ultrasound (US) by radiology were also considered. Results: Records for 422 patients from Jan 2017 to Nov 2018 were screened and 180 patients were included. Overall, 58.3% of study participants had a LOO. The only strong predictor of outcome was seeing an Intra-Uterine Pregnancy (IUP) with Fetal Heart Beat (FHB) on US; OO rate 74.3% (95% CI 59.8-88.7; p < 0.01). Cramping (with bleeding) trended towards a higher rate of LOO (62.7%, 95% CI 54.2-71.1; p = 0.07). SES was not a reliable predictor of LOO, with similar clinical outcome rates above and below the poverty line (57.5% [95% CI 46.7-68.3] vs 59% [95% CI 49.3-68.6] LOO). For anemic patients, the non-live birth rate was 100%, but the number with this variable was small (n = 5). Return visits (58.3%, 95% CI 42.2-74.4), previous abortion (58.8%, 95% CI 49.7-67.8), no living children (60.2%, 95% CI 50.7-69.6) and past pregnancy (55.9%, 95% CI 46.6-65.1) were not associated with higher rates of LOO. Conclusion: Identification of a live IUP, anemia, and cramping have potential as predictors of obstetrical outcome in early pregnancy bleeding. This information may provide better guidance for clinical practice and investigations in the emergency department and the predictive value of these variables support more appropriate counseling to this patient population.
Introduction: Distal radial fractures (DRF) remain the most commonly encountered fracture in the Emergency Department (ED). The initial management of displaced DRFs by Emergency Physicians (EP) poses considerable resource allocation. We wished to determine the adequacy of reduction, both initially and at follow up. This data updates previously presented high level findings. Methods: We performed a mixed-methods study including patients who underwent procedural sedation and manipulation by an EP for a DRF. Radiological images performed at initial assessment, post-reduction, and clinic follow up were reviewed by a panel of orthopedic surgeons and radiologists blinded to outcomes, and assessed for evidence of displacement. Demographic data were pooled from patient records and included in statistical analysis. Results: Seventy patients were included and had follow-up completed. Initial reduction was deemed to be adequate in 37 patients (53%; 95% CI 41.32 to 64.10%). At clinic follow-up assessment, 26 reductions remained adequate; a slippage rate of 30% (95% CI of 17.37 to 45.90). Overall 7 patients (10%; 95% CI 4.65 to 19.51%) required revision of the initial reduction in the operating room. Agreement on adequacy of reduction on post-reduction radiographs between radiologists and orthopedic surgeons was 38.6% (95% CI -38.3 to -7.4, Kappa -0.229). The statistical strength of this agreement is worse than what would be expected by chance alone. There was no association found between age, sex, or of time of initial presentation and final outcomes. Conclusion: Although blinded review by specialists determined only half of initial EP DRF reductions to be radiographically adequate, only 10 percent actually required further intervention. Agreement between specialists on adequacy was poor. The majority of DRFs reduced by EPs do not require further surgical intervention.