To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The advent of multiple orbital and in situ missions to planetary bodies beyond Earth has enabled characterization of extraterrestrial shallow crustal processes. We describe examples of interpreting geochemical, isotopic, and radar properties from multiple remote datasets, supplemented with in situ observations from rovers and landers, meteorites, and lunar samples. Given the availability of distinct data types and the relevance to bulk-silicate bodies in the Solar System, we present five case studies for the Moon and Mars. The first involves lunar magmatic processes in relation to TiO2 and radargram-derived physical properties. Next, O and Fe isotope variations relative to the Mg number provide insight into the degree of fractional crystallization in lunar lava flows. Physical mixing of endmembers and chemical weathering processes in Gusev crater soil on Mars are discussed. Effective use of the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) is also considered by comparing mineralogic observations across Mars with terrestrial references. Lastly, the nature of bulk soil hydration on Mars is described by assessing chemical variations with Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This chapter describes in situ analyses and mapping across local and regional scales. Data synthesis also involves contrasting depth scales from tens of microns to multiple kilometers.
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition that shows a marked genetic predisposition. The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has transformed clinical genetic testing by allowing the rapid screen for causative variants in multiple genes. There are currently no NGS-based multigene panel diagnostic tests available for epilepsy as a licensed clinical diagnostic test in Ontario, Canada. Eligible patient samples are sent out of country for testing by commercial laboratories, which incurs significant cost to the public healthcare system.
An expert Working Group of medical geneticists, pediatric neurologists/epileptologists, biochemical geneticists, and clinical molecular geneticists from Ontario was formed by the Laboratories and Genetics Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to develop a programmatic approach to implementing epilepsy panel testing as a provincial service.
The Working Group made several recommendations for testing to support the clinical delivery of care in Ontario. First, an extension of community healthcare outcomes-based program should be incorporated to inform and educate ordering providers when requesting and interpreting a genetic panel test. Second, any gene panel testing must be “evidence-based” and takes into account varied clinical indications to reduce the chance of uncertain and secondary results. Finally, an ongoing evaluative process was recommended to ensure continued test improvement for the future.
This epilepsy panel testing implementation plan will be a model for genetic care directed toward a specific set of conditions in the province and serve as a prototype for genetic testing for other genetically heterogeneous diseases.
Identifying risk factors of individuals in a clinical-high-risk state for psychosis are vital to prevention and early intervention efforts. Among prodromal abnormalities, cognitive functioning has shown intermediate levels of impairment in CHR relative to first-episode psychosis and healthy controls, highlighting a potential role as a risk factor for transition to psychosis and other negative clinical outcomes. The current study used the AX-CPT, a brief 15-min computerized task, to determine whether cognitive control impairments in CHR at baseline could predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up.
Baseline AX-CPT data were obtained from 117 CHR individuals participating in two studies, the Early Detection, Intervention, and Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) and the Understanding Early Psychosis Programs (EP) and used to predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 19 individuals converted to a first episode of psychosis (CHR-C), 52 remitted (CHR-R), and 46 had persistent sub-threshold symptoms (CHR-P). Binary logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to test prediction models.
Baseline AX-CPT performance (d-prime context) was less impaired in CHR-R compared to CHR-P and CHR-C patient groups. AX-CPT predictive validity was robust (0.723) for discriminating converters v. non-converters, and even greater (0.771) when predicting CHR three subgroups.
These longitudinal outcome data indicate that cognitive control deficits as measured by AX-CPT d-prime context are a strong predictor of clinical outcome in CHR individuals. The AX-CPT is brief, easily implemented and cost-effective measure that may be valuable for large-scale prediction efforts.
Rapeseed is a popular cover crop choice due to its deep-growing taproot, which creates soil macropores and increases water infiltration. Brassicaceae spp. that are mature or at later growth stages can be troublesome to control. Experiments were conducted in Delaware and Virginia to evaluate herbicides for terminating rapeseed cover crops. Two separate experiments, adjacent to each other, were established to evaluate rapeseed termination by 14 herbicide treatments at two timings. Termination timings included an early and late termination to simulate rapeseed termination prior to planting corn and soybean, respectively, for the region. At three locations where rapeseed height averaged 12 cm at early termination and 52 cm at late termination, glyphosate + 2,4-D was most effective, controlling rapeseed 96% 28 d after early termination (DAET). Paraquat + atrazine + mesotrione (92%), glyphosate + saflufenacil (91%), glyphosate + dicamba (91%), and glyphosate (86%) all provided at least 80% control 28 DAET. Rapeseed biomass followed a similar trend. Paraquat + 2,4-D (85%), glyphosate + 2,4-D (82%), and paraquat + atrazine + mesotrione (81%) were the only treatments that provided at least 80% control 28 d after late termination (DALT). Herbicide efficacy was less at Painter in 2017, where rapeseed height was 41 cm at early termination, and 107 cm at late termination. No herbicide treatments controlled rapeseed >80% 28 DAET or 28 DALT at this location. Herbicide termination of rapeseed is best when the plant is small; termination of large rapeseed plants may require mechanical of other methods beyond herbicides.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Residual herbicides are routinely applied to control troublesome weeds in pumpkin production. Fluridone and acetochlor, Groups 12 and 15 herbicides, respectively, provide broad-spectrum PRE weed control. Field research was conducted in Virginia and New Jersey to evaluate pumpkin tolerance and weed control to PRE herbicides. Treatments consisted of fomesafen at two rates, ethalfluralin, clomazone, halosulfuron, fluridone, S-metolachlor, acetochlor emulsifiable concentrate (EC), acetochlor microencapsulated (ME), and no herbicide. At one site, fluridone, acetochlor EC, acetochlor ME, and halosulfuron injured pumpkin 81%, 39%, 34%, and 35%, respectively, at 14 d after planting (DAP); crop injury at the second site was 40%, 8%, 19%, and 33%, respectively. Differences in injury between the two sites may have been due to the amount and timing of rainfall after herbicides were applied. Fluridone provided 91% control of ivyleaf morningglory and 100% control of common ragweed at 28 DAP. Acetochlor EC controlled redroot pigweed 100%. Pumpkin treated with S-metolachlor produced the most yield (10,764 fruits ha–1) despite broadcasting over the planted row; labeling requires a directed application to row-middles. A separate study specifically evaluated fluridone applied PRE at 42, 84, 126, 168, 252, 336, and 672 g ai ha–1. Fluridone resulted in pumpkin injury ≥95% when applied at rates of ≥168 g ai ha–1; significant yield loss was noted when the herbicide was applied at rates >42 g ai ha–1. We concluded that fluridone and acetochlor formulations are unacceptable candidates for pumpkin production.
Auxin herbicides are used in combinations to control glyphosate-resistant horseweed preplant burndown. Herbicide labels for 2,4-D–containing products require a 30-d rotation interval for planting cotton cultivars not resistant to 2,4-D. Dicamba labels require an accumulation of 2.5 cm of rain plus 21 d per 280 g ae ha–1 rotation interval for planting cotton cultivars not resistant to dicamba. Previous research has shown that cotton injury caused by dicamba applied 14 d before planting was transient with little effect on cotton yield, whereas 2,4-D has little effect on cotton when applied 7 d prior to planting. Injury caused by dicamba and 2,4-D is inversely related to rainfall received between herbicide application and cotton planting. Experiments were conducted to evaluate cotton tolerance to halauxifen-methyl, a new Group 4 herbicide, applied at intervals shorter than labeled requirements. Experiments were established near Painter and Suffolk, VA, and Belvidere, Clayton, Eure, Lewiston, and Rocky Mount, NC, during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons. Herbicide treatments included halauxifen, dicamba, and 2,4-D applied 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0 wk before planting (WBP). Visible estimates of cotton growth reduction and total injury were collected 1, 2, and 4 wk after cotton emergence (WAE). Cotton stand and percentage of plants with distorted leaves were recorded 2 and 4 WAE. Cotton plant heights were recorded 4 and 8 WAE. Halauxifen was less injurious (9%) than dicamba (26%) or 2,4-D (21%) 2 WAE when herbicides were applied 0 WBP. Cotton stand reduction 2 WAE by halauxifen was less than 2,4-D and dicamba when applied 0 WBP. Injury observed from herbicides applied 1, 2, 3, and 4 WBP was minor, and no significant differences in cotton stand were observed. Early-season cotton injury was transient, and seed cotton yield was unaffected by any treatment.
Introduction: In Nova Scotia, under the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care program, paramedics can now manage symptom crises in patients with palliative care goals and often at home without the need to transport to hospital. Growing recognition that non-cancer conditions benefit from a palliative approach is expanding the program. Our team previously found treatment of pain and breathlessness is not optimized, pain scores are underutilized, and paramedics were more comfortable (pre-launch) with a palliative approach in cancer versus non-cancer conditions. Our objective was to compare symptom management in cancer versus non-cancer subgroup. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study. The Electronic Patient Care Record and Special Patient Program were queried for patients with palliative goals from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016. Descriptive analysis was conducted and results were compared with a t-test and Bonferroni correction (alpha = p < 0.007). Results: 1909 unique patients; 765/1909 (40.1%) cancer and 1144/1909 (59.9%) non-cancer. Female sex: cancer 357/765 (46.7%), non-cancer 538/1144 (47.0%). Mean age cancer: 73.3 (11.65), non-cancer 77.7 (12.80). Top non-cancer conditions: COPD (495/1144, 43.3%), CHF (322/1144, 28.1%), stroke (172/1144, 15.0%) and dementia (149/1144, 13.0%). Comorbidities for cancer patients (range): 0 to 3; non-cancer 0 to 5. Most common chief complaint (CC) for cancer and non-cancer: respiratory distress, 10.8% vs 21.5%. Overall, no difference in proportion treated cancer vs non-cancer, 11.5% vs 10.1%, p = 0.35. Some difference in individual therapies: morphine 83/765 (10.8%) vs 55/1144 (4.8%), p < 0.001, hydromorphone 9/765 (1.2%) vs 2/1144 (0.2%), p = 0.014, salbutamol 38/765 (5.0%) vs 5/1144 (0.4%), p < 0.001 and ipratropium 27/765 (3.5%) vs 134/1144 (11.7%), p < 0.001, in addition to any support with home medication which is not queriable. Pre-treatment pain scores were documented more often than post-treatment in both groups (58.7% vs 25.6% (p < 0.001), 57.4% vs 26.9% (p < 0.001)). Conclusion: Non-cancer patients represent an important proportion of palliative care calls for paramedics. Cancer and non-cancer patients had very similar CC and received similar treatment, although low proportions, despite pre-launch findings that non-cancer conditions were likely to be undertreated. Pain scores remain underutilized. Further research into the underlying reason(s) is required to improve the support of non-cancer patients by paramedics.
Introduction: The Prehospital Evidence-Based Practice (PEP) program is an online, freely accessible, continuously updated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) evidence repository. This summary describes the research evidence for the identification and management of adult patients suffering from sepsis syndrome or septic shock. Methods: PubMed was searched in a systematic manner. One author reviewed titles and abstracts for relevance and two authors appraised each study selected for inclusion. Primary outcomes were extracted. Studies were scored by trained appraisers on a three-point Level of Evidence (LOE) scale (based on study design and quality) and a three-point Direction of Evidence (DOE) scale (supportive, neutral, or opposing findings based on the studies’ primary outcome for each intervention). LOE and DOE of each intervention were plotted on an evidence matrix (DOE x LOE). Results: Eighty-eight studies were included for 15 interventions listed in PEP. The interventions with the most evidence were related to identification tools (ID) (n = 26, 30%) and early goal directed therapy (EGDT) (n = 21, 24%). ID tools included Systematic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) and other unique measures. The most common primary outcomes were related to diagnosis (n = 30, 34%), mortality (n = 40, 45%) and treatment goals (e.g. time to antibiotic) (n = 14, 16%). The evidence rank for the supported interventions were: supportive-high quality (n = 1, 7%) for crystalloid infusion, supportive-moderate quality (n = 7, 47%) for identification tools, prenotification, point of care lactate, titrated oxygen, temperature monitoring, and supportive-low quality (n = 1, 7%) for vasopressors. The benefit of prehospital antibiotics and EGDT remain inconclusive with a neutral DOE. There is moderate level evidence opposing use of high flow oxygen. Conclusion: EMS sepsis interventions are informed primarily by moderate quality supportive evidence. Several standard treatments are well supported by moderate to high quality evidence, as are identification tools. However, some standard in-hospital therapies are not supported by evidence in the prehospital setting, such as antibiotics, and EGDT. Based on primary outcomes, no identification tool appears superior. This evidence analysis can guide selection of appropriate prehospital therapies.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
A model devised by Thorpe & Li (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 758, 2014, pp. 94–120) that predicts the conditions in which stationary turbulent hydraulic jumps can occur in the flow of a continuously stratified layer over a horizontal rigid bottom is applied to, and its results compared with, observations made at several locations in the ocean. The model identifies two positions in the Samoan Passage at which hydraulic jumps should occur and where changes in the structure of the flow are indeed observed. The model predicts the amplitude of changes and the observed mode 2 form of the transitions. The predicted dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy is also consistent with observations. One location provides a particularly well-defined example of a persistent hydraulic jump. It takes the form of a 390 m thick and 3.7 km long mixing layer with frequent density inversions separated from the seabed by some 200 m of relatively rapidly moving dense water, thus revealing the previously unknown structure of an internal hydraulic jump in the deep ocean. Predictions in the Red Sea Outflow in the Gulf of Aden are relatively uncertain. Available data, and the model predictions, do not provide strong support for the existence of hydraulic jumps. In the Mediterranean Outflow, however, both model and data indicate the presence of a hydraulic jump.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
It is increasingly essential for medical researchers to be literate in statistics, but the requisite degree of literacy is not the same for every statistical competency in translational research. Statistical competency can range from ‘fundamental’ (necessary for all) to ‘specialized’ (necessary for only some). In this study, we determine the degree to which each competency is fundamental or specialized.
We surveyed members of 4 professional organizations, targeting doctorally trained biostatisticians and epidemiologists who taught statistics to medical research learners in the past 5 years. Respondents rated 24 educational competencies on a 5-point Likert scale anchored by ‘fundamental’ and ‘specialized.’
There were 112 responses. Nineteen of 24 competencies were fundamental. The competencies considered most fundamental were assessing sources of bias and variation (95%), recognizing one’s own limits with regard to statistics (93%), identifying the strengths, and limitations of study designs (93%). The least endorsed items were meta-analysis (34%) and stopping rules (18%).
We have identified the statistical competencies needed by all medical researchers. These competencies should be considered when designing statistical curricula for medical researchers and should inform which topics are taught in graduate programs and evidence-based medicine courses where learners need to read and understand the medical research literature.
During the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa, individual person-level details of disease onset, transmissions, and outcomes such as survival or death were reported in online news media. We set out to document disease transmission chains for Ebola, with the goal of generating a timely account that could be used for surveillance, mathematical modeling, and public health decision-making. By accessing public web pages only, such as locally produced newspapers and blogs, we created a transmission chain involving two Ebola clusters in West Africa that compared favorably with other published transmission chains, and derived parameters for a mathematical model of Ebola disease transmission that were not statistically different from those derived from published sources. We present a protocol for responsibly gleaning epidemiological facts, transmission model parameters, and useful details from affected communities using mostly indigenously produced sources. After comparing our transmission parameters to published parameters, we discuss additional benefits of our method, such as gaining practical information about the affected community, its infrastructure, politics, and culture. We also briefly compare our method to similar efforts that used mostly non-indigenous online sources to generate epidemiological information.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: University Departments of Emergency Medicine are responsible for the supervision of research and other scholarly projects for fellows, residents and students, though often lack resources to provide adequate input and oversight. Many departments cover large geographical areas and several programs. We piloted new research committee structures and processes to improve oversight and output of research projects. Methods: We created an interactive group supervision tool based around formation of a collaborative research committee, with rotating chairs from each program, to provide supervision and face to face interaction, and direction for research learners. Included were all Dalhousie University adult and pediatric emergency medicine residency and fellowship programs, as well as trauma and EMS programs across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. In addition to providing expertise in clinical trial coordination, database management, research administration, grant applications and Research Ethics Board submissions, we have completed a 2-year pilot of our interactive group supervision tool for research projects. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: The interactive tool consists of a structured PICOD form; allocation of topic and research mentors; standardized yearly milestones from project development through presentation and publication; and regular video-conferenced and in-person interactive group sessions involving several project leads, as well as program research directors, researchers, and co-ordinators. To date, all participating program learners have engaged with the tool, with positive feedback from learners, supervisors and program directors. Conclusion: We report our development of a regional collaborative interactive group supervision tool, that maximizes expert resources in the provision of research and scholarly project supervision.
Introduction: Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) provide access to care in rural communities. After hours, registered nurses (RNs) and paramedics work together in the ED with telephone support by an emergency medical services (EMS) physician. The safety of such a model is unknown. Relapse visits are often used as a proxy measure for safety in emergency medicine. The primary outcome of this study is to measure unscheduled relapses to emergency care. Methods: The electronic patient care record (ePCR) database was queried for all patients who visited two CECs from April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013. Abstracted data included demographics, time, acuity score, clinical impression, chief complaint, and disposition. Records were searched for each discharged CEC patient to identify unscheduled relapses to emergency care, defined as presenting back to EMS, CEC, or any other ED within the Health Authority within 48 hours of CEC discharge. Results: There were 894 CEC visits, of which 66 were excluded due to missing data. The dispositions from CEC were: 131/828 (15.8%) transferred to regional ED; 264/828 (31.9%) discharged home; 488/828 (58.9%) discharged with follow up visit booked; and 11/82 (1.2%) left the CEC without being seen. There was 37/828 (4.5%) visits which relapsed back to emergency care, all of whom were discharged from CEC or left without being seen: 3/828 (0.4%) relapsed back to EMS (two taken to regional ED and one to CEC); 16/828 (1.9%) relapsed to regional ED (by walking-in); and 18/828 (2.2%) had a relapse to the CEC (walk-in). 516/828 (62.3%) CEC visits were resolved in a single visit. Conclusion: This study was based on only two of the 7 operating CECs due to accessing paper-based charts for multiple health regions. We also acknowledge the limitations of using relapse as a proxy for safety, and that low volumes and acuity will make detection of adverse events challenging. Albeit a proxy measure, the rate of patients who relapse to emergency care was under 5% in this case series of two CECs. Most patients had their concern resolved in a single visit to a CEC. Further research is underway to determine the effectiveness, optimal utilization and safety of this collaborative model of rural emergency care.
Vertebrate rod and cone photoreceptors require continuous supply of chromophore for regenerating their visual pigments after photoactivation. Cones, which mediate our daytime vision, demand a particularly rapid supply of 11-cis retinal chromophore in order to maintain their function in bright light. An important contribution to this process is thought to be the chromophore precursor 11-cis retinol, which is supplied to cones from Müller cells in the retina and subsequently oxidized to 11-cis retinal as part of the retina visual cycle. However, the molecular identity of the cis retinol oxidase in cones remains unclear. Here, as a first step in characterizing this enzymatic reaction, we sought to determine the subcellular localization of this activity in salamander red cones. We found that the onset of dark adaptation of isolated salamander red cones was substantially faster when exposing directly their outer vs. their inner segment to 9-cis retinol, an analogue of 11-cis retinol. In contrast, this difference was not observed when treating the outer vs. inner segment with 9-cis retinal, a chromophore analogue which can directly support pigment regeneration. These results suggest, surprisingly, that the cis-retinol oxidation occurs in the outer segments of cone photoreceptors. Confirming this notion, pigment regeneration with exogenously added 9-cis retinol was directly observed in the truncated outer segments of cones, but not in rods. We conclude that the enzymatic machinery required for the oxidation of recycled cis retinol as part of the retina visual cycle is present in the outer segments of cones.