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We assessed the impact of personal protective equipment (PPE) doffing errors on healthcare worker (HCW) contamination with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).
Prospective, observational study.
The study was conducted at 4 adult ICUs at 1 tertiary-care teaching hospital.
HCWs who cared for patients on contact precautions for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci, or multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli were enrolled. Samples were collected from standardized areas of patient body, garb sites, and high-touch environmental surfaces in patient rooms. HCW hands, gloves, PPE, and equipment were sampled before and after patient interaction. Research personnel observed PPE doffing and coded errors based on CDC guidelines.
We enrolled 125 HCWs; most were nurses (66.4%) or physicians (19.2%). During the study, 95 patients were on contact precautions for MRSA. Among 5,093 cultured sites (HCW, patient, environment), 652 (14.7%) yielded the target MDRO. Moreover, 45 HCWs (36%) were contaminated with the target MDRO after patient interactions, including 4 (3.2%) on hands and 38 (30.4%) on PPE. Overall, 49 HCWs (39.2%) made multiple doffing errors and were more likely to have contaminated clothes following a patient interaction (risk ratio [RR], 4.69; P = .04). All 4 HCWs with hand contamination made doffing errors. The risk of hand contamination was higher when gloves were removed before gowns during PPE doffing (RR, 11.76; P = .025).
When caring for patients on CP for MDROs, HCWs appear to have differential risk for hand contamination based on their method of doffing PPE. An intervention as simple as reinforcing the preferred order of doffing may reduce HCW contamination with MDROs.
Studies have demonstrated that decreases in slow-wave activity (SWA) predict decreases in depressive symptoms in those with major depressive disorder (MDD), suggesting that there may be a link between SWA and mood. The aim of the present study was to determine if the consequent change in SWA regulation following a mild homeostatic sleep challenge would predict mood disturbance.
Thirty-seven depressed and fifty-nine healthy adults spent three consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory. On the third night, bedtime was delayed by 3 h, as this procedure has been shown to provoke SWA. The Profile of Mood States questionnaire was administered on the morning following the baseline and sleep delay nights to measure mood disturbance.
Results revealed that following sleep delay, a lower delta sleep ratio, indicative of inadequate dissipation of SWA from the first to the second non-rapid eye movement period, predicted increased mood disturbance in only those with MDD.
These data demonstrate that in the first half of the night, individuals with MDD who have less SWA dissipation as a consequence of impaired SWA regulation have greater mood disturbance, and may suggest that appropriate homeostatic regulation of sleep is an important factor in the disorder.
Anomalous origin of a pulmonary artery from the ascending aorta is a congenital defect that can be complicated by pulmonary arterial hypertension, typically due to vascular disease if the anomaly is left uncorrected past 6 months of age. We describe a unique case of severe pulmonary arterial hypertension with this defect in a 1-month-old infant unexpectedly caused instead by bronchial compression from her dilated left pulmonary artery.
In November and December 2012, 6 patients at a hemodialysis clinic were given a diagnosis of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
To investigate the outbreak to identify risk factors for transmission.
A case patient was defined as a patient who was HCV-antibody negative on clinic admission but subsequently was found to be HCV-antibody positive from January 1, 2008, through April 30, 2013. Patient charts were reviewed to identify and describe case patients. The hypervariable region 1 of HCV from infected patients was tested to assess viral genetic relatedness. Infection control practices were evaluated via observations. A forensic chemiluminescent agent was used to identify blood contamination on environmental surfaces after cleaning.
Eighteen case patients were identified at the clinic from January 1, 2008, through April 30, 2013, resulting in an estimated 16.7% attack rate. Analysis of HCV quasispecies identified 4 separate clusters of transmission involving 11 case patients. The case patients and previously infected patients in each cluster were treated in neighboring dialysis stations during the same shift, or at the same dialysis station on 2 consecutive shifts. Lapses in infection control were identified. Visible and invisible blood was identified on multiple surfaces at the clinic.
Epidemiologic and laboratory data confirmed transmission of HCV among numerous patients at the dialysis clinic over 6 years. Infection control breaches were likely responsible. This outbreak highlights the importance of rigorous adherence to recommended infection control practices in dialysis settings.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):125–133
With the ongoing expansion of palliative care services throughout the United States, meeting the needs of socioeconomically marginalized populations, as in all domains of healthcare, continues to be a challenge. Our specific aim here was to help meet some of these needs through expanding delivery of pain and palliative care services by establishing a new clinic for underserved patients and collecting descriptive data about its operation.
In November of 2014, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center's Pain and Palliative Care Service (PPCS) launched a bimonthly offsite pain and palliative care outpatient clinic in collaboration with Mobile Medical Care Inc. (MobileMed), a private not-for-profit primary care provider in Montgomery County, Maryland, serving underserved area residents since 1968. Staffed by NIH hospice and palliative medicine clinical fellows and faculty, the clinic provides specialty pain and palliative care consultation services to patients referred by their primary care healthcare providers. A patient log was maintained, charts reviewed, and referring providers surveyed on their satisfaction with the service.
The clinic had 27 patient encounters with 10 patients (6 males, 4 females, aged 23–67) during its first 7 months of operation. The reason for referral for all but one patient was chronic pain of multiple etiologies. Patients had numerous psychosocial stressors and comorbidities. All primary care providers who returned surveys (n = 4) rated their level of satisfaction with the consultation service as “very satisfied” or “extremely satisfied.”
Significance of Results:
This brief descriptive report outlines the steps taken and logistical issues addressed to launch and continue the clinic, the characteristics of patients treated, and the results of quality-improvement projects. Lessons learned are highlighted and future directions suggested for the clinic and others that may come along like it.
In our previous work  we investigated the impact of cold-crystallization on the structure of nanocomposites of PVDF with Lucentite STN™ OMS and observed the crossover composition in which the crystallographic beta phase dominated over alpha phase. Here, melt crystallization of PVDF/OMS nanocomposites was studied in the range of 0 to 1.0 wt% of OMS. In crystallization from melt, a decrease in crystallinity index occurs as a result of an increase in OMS. While beta phase fraction increased with an increase of OMS content in the range of interest, the amount of alpha crystals was found to be dominant even at high OMS compositions. At 1.0 wt% of OMS, beta crystals had reached at most 30% of the total crystallinity. Polarizing optical microscopy (POM) studies showed smaller, less birefringent spherulites with higher melting temperature compared to alpha spherulites appeared with OMS addition. Growth rate of these weakly birefringent spherulites is smaller than that of the strongly birefringent alpha spherulites. The increase in size and amount of the weakly birefringent spherulites with an increase of OMS and their higher melting point suggests these spherulites may be in the beta crystallographic phase.
This article traces the development of the definition of “investment” under Article 25(1) of the ICSID Convention. It proposes that the definition should act as an outer limit to the usually broad definition of investment (encompassing every kind of asset) in international investment agreements (IIAs). The article discusses the various characteristics (hallmarks) of an investment which should constitute the definition. It argues that the hallmark of “significant contribution to economic development” can be refined to reduce uncertainty while giving effect to the intent of the ICSID contracting states by drawing a distinction between an ordinary commercial transaction and an investment. Recent IIA definitions of investment adopting Salini hallmarks show that states adopt the “every kind of asset” definition of investment in IIAs out of a concern that the form which the investment may take should not be restricted and that states do not necessarily view the Salini hallmarks as unwelcome.
There has been much federal and local health planning for an influenza pandemic in the United States, but little is known about the ability of the clinical community to deal quickly and effectively with a potentially overwhelming surge of pandemic influenza patients.
The attitudes and expectations of emergency physicians, emergency nurses, hospital nursing supervisors, hospital administrators, and infection control personnel concerning clinical care in a pandemic were assessed.
Key informant structured interviews of 46 respondents from 34 randomly selected emergency receiving hospitals in Los Angeles County were conducted using an Institutional Review Board-approved protocol. The interview asked about supplies/resources, triage, quality of care, and decision-making. At the conclusion of each interview, the informant was asked to provide the contact information for at least two others within their respective professional group. Interviews were transcribed and coded for key themes using qualitative analytical software.
There was little salience that an influx of variably ill patients with influenza would force stratified healthcare decision-making. There also was a general lack of preparation to address the ethics and practices of triaging patients in the clinical setting of a pandemic.
Guidelines must be developed in concert with public health, medical society, and legislative authorities to help clinicians define, adopt, and communicate to the public those practice standards that will be followed in a mass population, infectious disease emergency.
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