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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of 11 September 2001 (9/11) is one of the most prevalent and persistent health conditions among both professional (e.g. police) and non-traditional (e.g. construction worker) WTC responders, even several years after 9/11. However, little is known about the dimensionality and natural course of WTC-related PTSD symptomatology in these populations.
Data were analysed from 10 835 WTC responders, including 4035 police and 6800 non-traditional responders who were evaluated as part of the WTC Health Program, a clinic network in the New York area established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were used to evaluate structural models of PTSD symptom dimensionality; and autoregressive cross-lagged (ARCL) panel regressions were used to examine the prospective interrelationships among PTSD symptom clusters at 3, 6 and 8 years after 9/11.
CFAs suggested that five stable symptom clusters best represent PTSD symptom dimensionality in both police and non-traditional WTC responders. This five-factor model was also invariant over time with respect to factor loadings and structural parameters, thereby demonstrating its longitudinal stability. ARCL panel regression analyses revealed that hyperarousal symptoms had a prominent role in predicting other symptom clusters of PTSD, with anxious arousal symptoms primarily driving re-experiencing symptoms, and dysphoric arousal symptoms primarily driving emotional numbing symptoms over time.
Results of this study suggest that disaster-related PTSD symptomatology in WTC responders is best represented by five symptom dimensions. Anxious arousal symptoms, which are characterized by hypervigilance and exaggerated startle, may primarily drive re-experiencing symptoms, while dysphoric arousal symptoms, which are characterized by sleep disturbance, irritability/anger and concentration difficulties, may primarily drive emotional numbing symptoms over time. These results underscore the importance of assessment, monitoring and early intervention of hyperarousal symptoms in WTC and other disaster responders.
Longitudinal symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often characterized by heterogeneous trajectories, which may have unique pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. To date, however, no study has evaluated the nature and determinants of predominant trajectories of PTSD symptoms in World Trade Center (WTC) responders.
A total of 10835 WTC responders, including 4035 professional police responders and 6800 non-traditional responders (e.g. construction workers) who participated in the WTC Health Program (WTC-HP), were evaluated an average of 3, 6 and 8 years after the WTC attacks.
Among police responders, longitudinal PTSD symptoms were best characterized by four classes, with the majority (77.8%) in a resistant/resilient trajectory and the remainder exhibiting chronic (5.3%), recovering (8.4%) or delayed-onset (8.5%) symptom trajectories. Among non-traditional responders, a six-class solution was optimal, with fewer responders in a resistant/resilient trajectory (58.0%) and the remainder exhibiting recovering (12.3%), severe chronic (9.5%), subsyndromal increasing (7.3%), delayed-onset (6.7%) and moderate chronic (6.2%) trajectories. Prior psychiatric history, Hispanic ethnicity, severity of WTC exposure and WTC-related medical conditions were most strongly associated with symptomatic trajectories of PTSD symptoms in both groups of responders, whereas greater education and family and work support while working at the WTC site were protective against several of these trajectories.
Trajectories of PTSD symptoms in WTC responders are heterogeneous and associated uniquely with pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. Police responders were more likely than non-traditional responders to exhibit a resistant/resilient trajectory. These results underscore the importance of prevention, screening and treatment efforts that target high-risk disaster responders, particularly those with prior psychiatric history, high levels of trauma exposure and work-related medical morbidities.
Thousands of rescue and recovery workers descended on the World Trade Center (WTC) in the wake of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 (9/11). Recent studies show that respiratory illness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are the hallmark health problems, but relationships between them are poorly understood. The current study examined this link and evaluated contributions of WTC exposures.
Participants were 8508 police and 12 333 non-traditional responders examined at the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (WTC-MMTP), a clinic network in the New York area established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to explore patterns of association among exposures, other risk factors, probable WTC-related PTSD [based on the PTSD Checklist (PCL)], physician-assessed respiratory symptoms arising after 9/11 and present at examination, and abnormal pulmonary functioning defined by low forced vital capacity (FVC).
Fewer police than non-traditional responders had probable PTSD (5.9% v. 23.0%) and respiratory symptoms (22.5% v. 28.4%), whereas pulmonary function was similar. PTSD and respiratory symptoms were moderately correlated (r=0.28 for police and 0.27 for non-traditional responders). Exposure was more strongly associated with respiratory symptoms than with PTSD or lung function. The SEM model that best fit the data in both groups suggested that PTSD statistically mediated the association of exposure with respiratory symptoms.
Although longitudinal data are needed to confirm the mediation hypothesis, the link between PTSD and respiratory symptoms is noteworthy and calls for further investigation. The findings also support the value of integrated medical and psychiatric treatment for disaster responders.
To determine if instituting an Emergency Department (ED) fast-track area would increase efficiency in patient flow, improve utilization of limited resources, and identify critical versus non-critical patients during disaster relief in Port au Prince, Haiti.
A survey was conducted at L'Hôpital de l'Université d'Etat d'Haïti (HUEH) in Port au Prince, Haiti by Emergency physicians and nurses from SUNY Downstate Medical Center on a disaster relief mission following the 2010 earthquake. The following variables were obtained to assess ED effectiveness: number of patients, acuity level, chief complaints, critical interventions, waiting times, length of stay, specialty service coverage and physical plant space. Additionally, existing practitioners were surveyed regarding existing ED practices. ED operation flow maps were created.
The assessment revealed a large volume of low-acuity patients mixed with high-acuity patients without identification of acuity level, time of arrival, or designated area for treatment. Although literature reports routine use of START triage, this was not being implemented in this setting. Results of implementing a fast track area included: (1) Improved identification of patients needing immediate treatment. (2) Increased flow of low acuity patients in designated fast track areas. (3) Improved triage protocols maximized appropriate use of resources, and expedited subspecialty consultation.
By instituting well-accepted, validated patient flow systems and reinforcing communication regarding resources available and the use of geographic space, better management of incoming emergency patients was achieved.
Upon arrival of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center team for their disaster relief mission in Port au Prince, Haiti, it was observed that obstacles to patient care were directly related to difficulty in locating supplies and medications in a timely manner. In addition, staffing schedules had not been correlated to patient flow patterns.
A survey was conducted at L'Hôpital de l'Université d'Etat d'Haïti (HUEH) in Port au Prince, Haiti by Emergency physicians and nurses from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The following variables were obtained to assess existing resources: number and types of providers available, provider staffing schedules, medication/supply inventories and management systems. Basic ED operation and supply system flow maps were created.
The assessment revealed a large volume of patients presenting in the early morning. Night shifts were inconsistently staffed with ED physicians. Although medications and supplies were reported to be available on-site, they were not tracked, inventoried, or centrally managed. As a result, this increased time to treatment and practitioner fatigue. Process improvements included: (1) Institution of swing and night shifts accommodated peak patient volumes, decreased waiting times, provided care for critical patients during off-peak hours, and decreased physician fatigue. (2) Identification and labeling of existing medications/supplies facilitated more accurate management of inventories and decreased time to treatment and disposition.
Process improvement through systematic analysis led to better disaster resource utilization in this tent hospital.
To assess the effect on staff- and patient-related complications of a needleless intermittent intravenous access system with a reflux valve for peripheral infusions.
A 6-month cross-over clinical trial (phase I, 13 weeks; phase II, 12 weeks) of a needleless intermittent intravenous access system (NL; study device) compared to a conventional heparin-lock system (CHL, control device) was performed during 1991 on 16 medical and surgical units. A random selection of patients was assessed for local intravenous-site complications; all patients were assessed for the development of nosocomial bacteremia and device-related complications. Staff were assessed for percutaneous injuries and participated in completion of product evaluations. A cost analysis of the study compared to the control device was performed.
A 1,100-bed, teaching, referral medical center.
PATIENTS AND STAFF PARTICIPANTS:
594 patients during 602 patient admissions, comprising a random sample of all patients with a study or control device inserted within a previous 24-hour period on study and control units, were assessed for local complications. The 16 units included adult inpatient general medicine, surgical, and subspecialty units. Pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, and intensive-care units were excluded. All patients on study and control units were assessed for development of nosocomial bacteremia and device-related complications. All staff who utilized, manipulated, or may have been exposed to sharps on study and control units were assessed for percutaneous injuries. Nursing staff completed product evaluations.
The study device, a needleless intermittent intravenous access system with a reflux valve, was compared to the control device, a conventional heparin lock, for peripheral infusions.
During the study, 35 percutaneous injuries were reported. Eight injuries were CHL-related; no NL-related injuries were reported (P=.007). An evaluation of 602 patient admissions, 1,134 intermittent access devices, and 2,268 observed indwelling device days demonstrated more pain at the insertion site for CHL than NL; however, no differences in objective signs of phlebitis were noted. Of 773 episodes of positive blood cultures on study and control units, 6 (0.8%) were device-related (assessed by blinded investigator), with no difference between NL and CHL. Complications, including difficulty with infusion (P<.001) and disconnection of intravenous tubing from device (P<.001), were reported more frequently with CHL than with NL. Of nursing staff responding to a product evaluation survey, 95.2% preferred the study over control device. The projected annual incremental cost to our institution for hospitalwide implementation of NL for intermittent access for peripheral infusions was estimated at $82,845, or $230 per 1,000 patient days.
A needleless intermittent intravenous access system with a reflux valve for peripheral infusions is effective in reducing percutaneous injuries to staff and is not associated with an increase in either insertion-site complications or nosocomial bacteremia. Institutions should consider these data, available institutional resources, and institution-specific data regarding the frequency and risk of intermittent access-device-related injuries and other types of sharps injuries in their staff when selecting the above or other safety devices.
This investigation compares microstructures and mechanical properties of both Gelcast B4C and “conventionally” die-pressed B4C, using both microwave and conventional sintering methods. The microstructures and final mechanical properties of B4C specimens are discussed.
We investigate whether the currently available Galactic Cepheid kinematic data can put interesting constraints on large scale low amplitude non-axisymmetry of the Galactic plane rotation pattern. In this connection we address the experimental design problem of where in the Galactic plane additional Cepheids would prove the most useful for the axisymmetric and the non-axisymmetric modeling of the kinematics.
Vigabatrin (ɣ-vinyl GABA; GVG), an irreversible inhibitor of GABA-transaminase, at a daily dose of 2-4 g, and a placebo were each administered orally for 4 months to 14 patients with cerebellar ataxia (9 with Friedreich's ataxia, 5 with olivopontocerebellar atrophy), in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. For the group as a whole, there was no significant difference between the GVG and placebo periods in any of the parameters of cerebellar symptomatology measured. Individually, one patient showed some improvement after 3 months of treatment with 2 g/day GVG. Tolerance to 4 g/day GVG was poor, whereas 2 g/day was well tolerated. The results suggest that agents which increase central GABA concentrations are not likely to be of benefit to patients with Friedreich's ataxia or olivopontocerebellar atrophy.
The spatial distribution of galaxies in the Local Supercluster, as described at this meeting, together with the measured anisotropy in the microwave background suggest that there exist significant deviations from a uniform Hubble flow in the velocity field of galaxies within a few thousand km/s. In principle, it is not too hard to improve on the uniform flow model: one simply needs to examine the spatial distribution of the radial velocity residuals for many nearby galaxies. In practice, the problem is non-trivial because of the coupling of velocity and distance, and the lack of a distance indicator of high precision, and the “thermal” noise in the velocity field. Our recent efforts in this direction are described in more detail in a paper in a current Astrophysical Journal (Aaronson et al. 1982a).
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