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In March 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Pennsylvania Department of Health initiated an investigation of an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) infections. Sixty infections were identified in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Nevada and Ohio. The infections were linked to a no-rinse cleansing foam product (NRCFP), produced by Manufacturer A, used for skin care of patients in healthcare settings. FDA inspected Manufacturer A's production facility (manufacturing site of over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics), reviewed production records and collected product and environmental samples for analysis. FDA's inspection found poor manufacturing practices. Analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis confirmed a match between NRCFP samples and clinical isolates. Manufacturer A conducted extensive recalls, FDA issued a warning letter citing the manufacturer's inadequate manufacturing practices, and federal, state and local partners issued public communications to advise patients, pharmacies, other healthcare providers and healthcare facilities to stop using the recalled NRCFP. This investigation highlighted the importance of following appropriate manufacturing practices to minimize microbial contamination of cosmetic products, especially if intended for use in healthcare settings.
We describe a large outbreak of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) involving an acute-care hospital emergency department during December 2020 and January 2021, in which 27 healthcare personnel worked while infectious, resulting in multiple opportunities for SARS-CoV-2 transmission to patients and other healthcare personnel. We provide recommendations for improving infection prevention and control.
Although the involvement of citizen scientists in research can contribute to scientific benefits, much remains unknown about participants’ lived experiences in research. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore how citizen scientists describe their role in, motivation for, and communication with researchers.
In-depth interviews (N = 9) were conducted with citizen scientists at a translational health research center.
Key results include that citizen scientists were invested in learning researchers’ discipline-specific language and viewed small group sizes as conducive to their active participation.
Programs can apply these findings in an effort to improve citizen scientists’ long-term engagement in research.
Background: Listeriosis is a rare but serious infectious disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes (LM) and predominantly transmitted through contaminated food. Moreover, 15% of listeriosis cases in the United States are pregnancy associated; nosocomial neonatal transmission in hospitals is extremely rare. In July 2018, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified of 4 patients, a mother–neonate pair and twin neonates, with listeriosis at the same hospital. The CDPH and San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency initiated an investigation to determine transmission and prevent additional infections. Methods: We reviewed medical records of the neonates and their mothers, interviewed the mothers with a detailed food exposure questionnaire, interviewed healthcare personnel (HCP), and performed an infection control assessment of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). CDPH performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on LM isolates that were then analyzed by whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess relatedness in PulseNet, a public health laboratory database. The CDC also performed testing for LM on formalin-fixed placentas from the mother of the twins. Results: During a 1-week period, 4 patients with LM were identified at the hospital. A mother was admitted at 31 weeks gestation with acute abdominal and back pain that progressed with precipitous vaginal delivery and postpartum sepsis. Her neonate was resuscitated, transported to the NICU, underwent a sepsis evaluation, received antibiotics, and was transferred to another hospital within 6 hours. Maternal blood, placenta, and neonatal blood cultures grew LM. Twin neonates, born to an asymptomatic mother and present in the NICU during the index neonate’s stay, developed acute infection 4 and 6 days after the index neonate’s transfer; blood cultures confirmed LM. The LM isolates from the 4 patients were indistinguishable by wgMLST and were not related to other PulseNet isolates. LM was not detected in the twin placentas. There were no common food exposures between the mothers. At least 1 common HCP cared for all 3 neonates. Infection control lapses included lack of proper hand hygiene during the index neonate’s resuscitation and potentially after cleaning and disinfection of the neonate’s incubator. Conclusions: This report provides supportive evidence that nosocomial transmission of LM can occur during a brief NICU stay due to lapses in infection control practices. Strict adherence to standard precautions in the delivery room and NICU is imperative to prevent cross transmission.
Whole-genome sequencing confirmed the presence of a Malassezia pachydermatis outbreak among neonates in a neonatal intensive care unit. This technology supports the importance of adhering to infection prevention measures.
In Canada and elsewhere, research policies require researchers to secure consent from a legally authorized representative (LAR) for prospective participants unable to consent. Few jurisdictions, however, offer a clear legislative basis for LAR identification. We investigated Canadian researchers’ practices regarding the involvement of decisionally incapacitated participants and tested whether reported practices were associated with (1) researchers’ understanding of the law on third-party authorization of research and (2) their comfort with allowing a family member to consent on behalf of an incapacitated relative.
We surveyed researchers in aging from four Canadian provinces about their practices with prospective participants deemed incapable of consent, their understanding of relevant law, and comfort with family consent for research purposes. Understanding and comfort were measured with research vignettes that briefly described hypothetical studies in which an adult who lacks the capacity to consent was invited to participate.
Many respondents reported soliciting consent from a family member (45.7% for low-risk studies and 10.7% for serious risks studies), even in jurisdictions where such authority is uncertain at law. Researchers’ tendency to solicit family consent was associated with their comfort in doing so, but not with their understanding of the law on substitute consent for research.
Findings underscore the need to clarify who may authorize an incapacitated adult's participation in research. Meanwhile, people should inform their relatives of their desire to participate or not in research in the event of incapacity, given researchers’ tendency to turn to family for consent, even where not supported by law.
Effective psychological therapies have been recommended for common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, but provision has been poor. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) may provide a cost-effective solution to this problem.
To determine the cost-effectiveness of IAPT at the Doncaster demonstration site (2007–2009).
An economic evaluation comparing costs and health outcomes for patients at the IAPT demonstration site with those for comparator sites, including a separate assessment of lost productivity. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken.
The IAPT site had higher service costs and was associated with small additional gains in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) compared with its comparator sites, resulting in a cost per QALY gained of £29 500 using the Short Form (SF-6D). Sensitivity analysis using predicted EQ-5D scores lowered this to £16 857. Costs per reliable and clinically significant (RCS) improvement were £9440 per participant.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies provided a service that was probably cost-effective within the usual National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) threshold range of £20 000-30 000, but there was considerable uncertainty surrounding the costs and outcome differences.
We study tandem ordering of constant-service stations with unlimited buffers where service at each station adds a certain value to the job. With the goal of minimizing the total expect value of the jobs in the system, we provide conditions under which some particular orderings are optimal and describe a heuristic that finds a near-optimal order for stations of arbitrary service lengths and added values.
We study tandem ordering of constant-service stations with unlimited buffers and arbitrary arrival process where service at each station adds a certain value to the job. The goal is to order the stations such that the total expected value of the jobs in the system or, equivalently, the work-in-process inventory cost is minimized. Assuming that the added value–service length ratio increases with the service length, we provide a branch and bound method that finds an optimal order.