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Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
Exotic annual grasses such as medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski] and downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) dominate millions of hectares of grasslands in the western United States. Applying picloram, aminopyralid, and other growth regulator herbicides at late growth stages reduces seed production of most exotic annual grasses. In this study, we applied aminopyralid to T. caput-medusae to determine how reducing seed production in the current growing season influenced cover in the subsequent growing season. At eight annual grassland sites, we applied aminopyralid at 55, 123, and 245 g ae ha−1 in spring just before T. caput-medusae heading. The two higher rates were also applied pre-emergence (PRE) in fall to allow comparisons with this previously tested timing. When applied in spring during the roughly 10-d period between the flag leaf and inflorescence first becoming visible, just 55 g ae ha−1 of aminopyralid greatly limited seed production and subsequently reduced T. caput-medusae cover to nearly zero. Fall aminopyralid applications were less effective against T. caput-medusae, even at a rate of 245 g ae ha−1. The growing season of application, fall treatments, but not spring treatments, sometimes reduced cover of desirable winter annual forage grasses. The growing season after application, both spring and fall treatments tended to increase forage grasses, though spring treatments generally caused larger increases. Compared with other herbicide treatment options, preheading aminopyralid treatments are a relatively inexpensive, effective approach for controlling T. caput-medusae and increasing forage production.
The History, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Age, Risk Factors, and Troponin (HEART) score is a decision aid designed to risk stratify emergency department (ED) patients with acute chest pain. It has been validated for ED use, but it has yet to be evaluated in a prehospital setting.
A prehospital modified HEART score can predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) among undifferentiated chest pain patients transported to the ED.
A retrospective cohort study of patients with chest pain transported by two county-based Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies to a tertiary care center was conducted. Adults without ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) were included. Inter-facility transfers and those without a prehospital 12-lead ECG or an ED troponin measurement were excluded. Modified HEART scores were calculated by study investigators using a standardized data collection tool for each patient. All MACE (death, myocardial infarction [MI], or coronary revascularization) were determined by record review at 30 days. The sensitivity and negative predictive values (NPVs) for MACE at 30 days were calculated.
Over the study period, 794 patients met inclusion criteria. A MACE at 30 days was present in 10.7% (85/794) of patients with 12 deaths (1.5%), 66 MIs (8.3%), and 12 coronary revascularizations without MI (1.5%). The modified HEART score identified 33.2% (264/794) of patients as low risk. Among low-risk patients, 1.9% (5/264) had MACE (two MIs and three revascularizations without MI). The sensitivity and NPV for 30-day MACE was 94.1% (95% CI, 86.8-98.1) and 98.1% (95% CI, 95.6-99.4), respectively.
Prehospital modified HEART scores have a high NPV for MACE at 30 days. A study in which prehospital providers prospectively apply this decision aid is warranted.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as a matter of long-standing policy, does not inform the public of instances whereby applications for new drugs or new indications for existing drugs have been rejected by the agency or withdrawn from consideration, nor does it disclose the agency’s analyses of the data submitted with such applications. This lack of transparency is unjustified and prevents patients, researchers, and healthcare providers from gaining insight into why a drug’s application was not approved. The FDA’s policy is particularly troubling in cases where the agency has found a currently marketed drug to be ineffective or unsafe for a newly proposed indication. Disclosure of the FDA’s findings in such cases would promote public health by encouraging healthcare providers to avoid prescribing drugs for unapproved (off-label) uses that the agency has deemed to be potentially dangerous or ineffective. The FDA’s counterpart agencies in Europe and Canada have demonstrated the feasibility of disclosing information on rejected and withdrawn drug marketing applications. The FDA should follow suit and allow the American public to know when a drug is deemed unsafe or ineffective for a certain use.
Given the profound public health and economic ramifications of decisions made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the degree to which FDA activities should reflect an approach founded on complete transparency versus one focused on preserving confidentiality of information deserves public discussion. On one hand, reasonable requirements for transparency are critical to stimulating effective innovation, knowledge dissemination, and good business practice. On the other, ensuring the vitality of the medical products industry requires protecting legitimately proprietary information. With current standards reflecting a lengthy accumulation of legal, regulatory, and practical precedent, recent significant changes in the environment in which the FDA operates should prompt a critical examination of current practices. In this article, I comment on Sharfstein and colleagues’ “Blueprint for Transparency,” which calls for multiple specific actions to increase transparency at the agency across five key areas, including interactions between FDA and industry, public disclosure of internal FDA analyses, deliberations concerning generics and biosimilars, expanded access to raw study data, and approaches to countering misleading information in the public sphere. I evaluate these recommendations in light of my experience as a clinician, researcher, and former FDA Commissioner, and reflect on possible outcomes that could result from enacting these practices.
Transparency requires more than disclosure of data. It requires a mechanism and policy for conveying information to the public. In order for the aims of the excellent report of the FDA Transparency Working Group to be realized, a publicity initiative will need to accompany the plan of action. The FDA will need to actively convey information about the evidence concerning benefit-risk profiles of drugs, sometimes pointing out misleading claims by manufacturers or sponsors. In other cases, the FDA will need to make available its procedures, including possible conflicts of interest, not only in drug approval, but also in guidance documents and in rulemaking. Transparency as a process of letting the public see into the agency should be accompanied by a proactive strategy of distributing information about the products regulated by the agency.
The market can produce skewed information about investigational products awaiting FDA approval. But the FDA rarely steps in to correct such misleading information, despite statutory authority to do so. This article evaluates a recommendation by the FDA Transparency Working Group that FDA more clearly signal when and how it will correct misleading information about investigational products, and why such a recommendation is particularly important after the 21st Century Cures Act.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) traditionally has kept confidential significant amounts of information relevant to the approval or non-approval of specific drugs, devices, and biologics and about the regulatory status of such medical products in FDA’s pipeline.
To develop practical recommendations for FDA to improve its transparency to the public that FDA could implement by rulemaking or other regulatory processes without further congressional authorization. These recommendations would build on the work of FDA’s Transparency Task Force in 2010.
In 2016-2017, we convened a team of academic faculty from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Yale Medical School, Yale Law School, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to develop recommendations through an iterative process of reviewing FDA’s practices, considering the legal and policy constraints on FDA in expanding transparency, and obtaining insights from independent observers of FDA.
The team developed 18 specific recommendations for improving FDA’s transparency to the public. FDA could adopt all these recommendations without further congressional action.
The development of the Blueprint for Transparency at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Ethical, evidence-informed decision making is undermined by the grave concerns that have emerged over the trustworthiness of clinical trials published in biomedical journals. The inescapable conclusion from this growing body of research is that what we see, even in the most highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, cannot be trusted at face value. Concerns of inaccurate, biased, and insufficient reporting of trials are impossible to resolve without access to underlying trial data. Access to such data, including things like clinical study reports—huge, unabridged, detailed reports of clinical trials—would minimise the risk of distortions and selective publication. But the FDA, the world’s greatest custodian of those data, just sits on them. We see no reason why FDA should not publicly release clinical study reports with minimal redactions. The European regulator is already doing this, but FDA’s holdings are far greater. Data transparency is not simply an “opportunity” FDA might consider, but rather an ethical imperative. The Blueprint is good but does not go far enough. We do not need gates, barriers and committees between us and access to aggregate reports on drugs and other interventions which we are prescribing or using daily. Let’s leave the nannies at home.
The Blueprint for Transparency at the FDA recommends that the FDA proactively release more clinical trial data. We show that the FDA possesses the legal authority to act on this recommendation, and describe several reasons that the agency should do so. In particular, the primary existing route for researchers to obtain access to this data, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), has important limits, as our own recent experience shows.
This paper presents our experience of managing children with a tracheostomy in a multidisciplinary team clinic consisting of an ENT consultant, paediatric respiratory consultant, a nurse specialist, and speech and language therapist.
A retrospective case note review was conducted of all children seen in the multidisciplinary team tracheostomy clinic (at a tertiary paediatric hospital) between February 2009 and September 2014.
Ninety-seven patients were examined. The most common indications for tracheostomy were: lower airway and respiratory problems (66 per cent), upper airway obstruction (64 per cent), and neurodevelopmental problems (60.8 per cent).
Children with a tracheostomy are a diverse group of patients. The most common indications for paediatric tracheostomy have changed from infective causes to airway obstruction and anomalies, long-term ventilation requirement, and underlying neuromuscular or respiratory problems. Our unified approach empowers the carers and patient, as a home management plan, long-term plan and goals are generated at the end of each appointment.