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All disasters are local but implementing a hyperlocal response in the midst of a public health emergency is challenging. The availability of neighborhood-level qualitative data that are both timely and relevant to evolving objectives and operations is a limiting factor. In 2020, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) responded to the COVID-19 emergency using a novel, hyperlocal approach. Key to the implementation of this approach was the creation of the Community Assessment to Inform Rapid Response (CAIRR), a process for rapid collection and analysis of neighborhood-specific, objective-focused, qualitative data to inform tailored response operations. This paper describes the process of developing the CAIRR and its contribution to the NYC DOHMH’s hyperlocal response in order to guide other jurisdictions seeking to employ a hyperlocal approach in future disaster responses.
Infants who require open heart surgery are at increased risk for developmental delays including gross motor impairments which may have implications for later adaptive skills and cognitive performance. We sought to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a tummy time intervention to improve motor skill development in infants after cardiac surgery.
Infants <4 months of age who underwent cardiac surgery were randomly assigned to tummy time with or without outpatient reinforcement or standard of care prior to hospital discharge. The Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) was administered to each infant prior to and 3 months after discharge. Groups were compared, and the association between parent-reported tummy time at home and change in motor scores at follow-up was examined.
Parents of infants (n = 64) who had cardiac surgery at a median age of 5 days were randomly assigned to tummy time instruction (n = 20), tummy time + outpatient reinforcement (n = 21) or standard of care (n = 23). Forty-nine (77%) returned for follow-up. At follow-up, reported daily tummy time was not significantly different between groups (p = 0.17). Fifteen infants had <15 minutes of tummy time daily. Infants who received >15 minutes of tummy time daily had a significantly greater improvement in motor scores than infants with <15 minutes of tummy time daily (p = 0.01).
In infants following cardiac surgery, <15 minutes of tummy time daily is associated with increased motor skill impairment. Further research is needed to elucidate the best strategies to optimise parental compliance with tummy time recommendations.
To investigate the frequency of environmental contamination in hospital areas outside patient rooms and in outpatient healthcare facilities.
This study was conducted across 4 hospitals, 4 outpatient clinics, and 1 surgery center.
We conducted 3 point-prevalence culture surveys for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, Clostridioides difficile, Candida spp, and gram-negative bacilli including Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia in each facility. In hospitals, high-touch surfaces were sampled from radiology, physical therapy, and mobile equipment and in emergency departments, waiting rooms, clinics, and endoscopy facilities. In outpatient facilities, surfaces were sampled in exam rooms including patient and provider areas, patient bathrooms, and waiting rooms and from portable equipment. Fluorescent markers were placed on high-touch surfaces and removal was assessed 1 day later.
In the hospitals, 110 (9.4%) of 1,195 sites were positive for 1 or more bacterial pathogens (range, 5.3%–13.7% for the 4 hospitals) and 70 (5.9%) were positive for Candida spp (range, 3.7%–5.9%). In outpatient facilities, 31 of 485 (6.4%) sites were positive for 1 or more bacterial pathogens (range, 2% to 14.4% for the 5 outpatient facilities) and 50 (10.3%) were positive for Candida spp (range, 3.9%–23.3%). Fluorescent markers had been removed from 33% of sites in hospitals (range, 28.4%–39.7%) and 46.3% of sites in outpatient clinics (range, 7.4%–82.8%).
Surfaces in hospitals outside patient rooms and in outpatient facilities are frequently contaminated with healthcare-associated pathogens. Improvements in cleaning and disinfection practices are needed to reduce contamination.
Ethnohistoric accounts indicate that the people of Australia's Channel Country engaged in activities rarely recorded elsewhere on the continent, including food storage, aquaculture and possible cultivation, yet there has been little archaeological fieldwork to verify these accounts. Here, the authors report on a collaborative research project initiated by the Mithaka people addressing this lack of archaeological investigation. The results show that Mithaka Country has a substantial and diverse archaeological record, including numerous large stone quarries, multiple ritual structures and substantial dwellings. Our archaeological research revealed unknown aspects, such as the scale of Mithaka quarrying, which could stimulate re-evaluation of Aboriginal socio-economic systems in parts of ancient Australia.
Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on paediatric non-COVID-19-related care, as well as patient and caregiver concerns and stressors, is critical for informing healthcare delivery. It was hypothesised that high care disruptions and psychological stress would be observed among paediatric and adult CHD patients in the early phase of the pandemic.
A cross-sectional, international, electronic survey study was completed. Eligible participants included parents of children with acquired or CHD, adults with CHD, or caregivers of adults with CHD.
A total of 1220 participants from 25 countries completed the survey from 16 April to 4 May, 2020. Cardiac care disruption was significant with 38% reporting delays in pre-pandemic scheduled cardiac surgeries and 46% experiencing postponed cardiac clinic visits. The majority of respondents (75%) endorsed moderate to high concern about the patient with heart disease becoming ill from COVID-19. Worry about returning for in-person care was significantly greater than worry of harm to patient due to postponed care. Clinically significant psychological stress was high across the sample including children (50%), adults with CHD (42%), and caregivers (42%).
The early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to considerable disruptions in cardiac care for patients with paediatric and adult CHD. COVID-19-related fears are notable with potential to impact willingness to return to in-person care. Psychological stress is also very high necessitating intervention. Further study of the impact of delays in care on clinical outcomes is warranted.
The aim is to determine the disparity between the overweight and obesity prevalence of Chinese American school-aged children and adolescents as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth reference and the prevalence as measured by international and ethnic-specific-growth references.
This retrospective, cross-sectional study measured overweight and obesity prevalence among a paediatric population using the CDC, International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), World Health Organization (WHO) and an ethnic Chinese growth curve.
A community health centre in New York City, USA.
Chinese American children aged 6–17 years in 2017 (N 9160).
The overweight prevalence was 24 % (CDC), 23 % (IOTF), 30 % (WHO) and 31 % (China). The obesity prevalence was 10 % (CDC), 5 % (IOTF), 10 % (WHO) and 10 % (China). When disaggregated by age and sex, the difference was the most prominent in girls; using the China reference compared with using the CDC reference almost doubles the overweight prevalence (school-aged: 31 v. 17 %, P < 0·001, adolescent: 27 v. 14 %, P < 0·001) and the obesity prevalence (school-aged: 11 v. 5 %, P < 0·001, adolescent: 7 v. 4 %, P < 0·001).
Use of the CDC reference compared with the Chinese ethnic-specific reference results in lower overweight and obesity prevalence in Chinese American girls. Almost half of the girls who were overweight and half of the girls who were obese were not identified using the CDC reference. Using ethnic-specific references or ethnic-specific cut-points may help improve overweight identification for Chinese American children.
The goal of the present study was to use a methodology that accurately and reliably describes the availability, price and quality of healthy foods at both the store and community levels using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S), to propose a spatial methodology for integrating these store and community data into measures for defining objective food access.
Two hundred and sixty-five retail food stores in and within 2 miles (3·2 km) of Flint, Michigan, USA, were mapped using ArcGIS mapping software.
A survey based on the validated NEMS-S was conducted at each retail food store. Scores were assigned to each store based on a modified version of the NEMS-S scoring system and linked to the mapped locations of stores. Neighbourhood characteristics (race and socio-economic distress) were appended to each store. Finally, spatial and kernel density analyses were run on the mapped store scores to obtain healthy food density metrics.
Regression analyses revealed that neighbourhoods with higher socio-economic distress had significantly lower dairy sub-scores compared with their lower-distress counterparts (β coefficient=−1·3; P=0·04). Additionally, supermarkets were present only in neighbourhoods with <60 % African-American population and low socio-economic distress. Two areas in Flint had an overall NEMS-S score of 0.
By identifying areas with poor access to healthy foods via a validated metric, this research can be used help local government and organizations target interventions to high-need areas. Furthermore, the methodology used for the survey and the mapping exercise can be replicated in other cities to provide comparable results.
Neurodevelopmental impairment is increasingly recognised as a potentially disabling outcome of CHD and formal evaluation is recommended for high-risk patients. However, data are lacking regarding the proportion of eligible children who actually receive neurodevelopmental evaluation, and barriers to follow-up are unclear. We examined the prevalence and risk factors associated with failure to attend neurodevelopmental follow-up clinic after infant cardiac surgery.
Survivors of infant (<1 year) cardiac surgery at our institution (4/2011-3/2014) were included. Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were evaluated in neurodevelopmental clinic attendees and non-attendees in univariate and multivariable analyses.
A total of 552 patients were included; median age at surgery was 2.4 months, 15% were premature, and 80% had moderate–severe CHD. Only 17% returned for neurodevelopmental evaluation, with a median age of 12.4 months. In univariate analysis, non-attendees were older at surgery, had lower surgical complexity, fewer non-cardiac anomalies, shorter hospital stay, and lived farther from the surgical center. Non-attendee families had lower income, and fewer were college graduates or had private insurance. In multivariable analysis, lack of private insurance remained independently associated with non-attendance (adjusted odds ratio 1.85, p=0.01), with a trend towards significance for distance from surgical center (adjusted odds ratio 2.86, p=0.054 for ⩾200 miles).
The majority of infants with CHD at high risk for neurodevelopmental dysfunction evaluated in this study are not receiving important neurodevelopmental evaluation. Efforts to remove financial/insurance barriers, increase access to neurodevelopmental clinics, and better delineate other barriers to receipt of neurodevelopmental evaluation are needed.
Emerging CVD risk factors (e.g. HDL function and central haemodynamics) may account for residual CVD risk experienced by individuals who meet LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure (BP) targets. Recent evidence suggests that these emerging risk factors can be modified by polyphenol-rich interventions such as soya, but additional research is needed. This study was designed to investigate the effects of an isoflavone-containing soya protein isolate (delivering 25 and 50 g/d soya protein) on HDL function (i.e. ex vivo cholesterol efflux), macrovascular function and blood markers of CVD risk. Middle-aged adults (n 20; mean age=51·6 (sem 6·6) years) with moderately elevated brachial BP (mean systolic BP=129 (sem 9) mmHg; mean diastolic BP=82·5 (sem 8·4) mmHg) consumed 0 (control), 25 and 50 g/d soya protein in a randomised cross-over design. Soya and control powders were consumed for 6 weeks each with a 2-week compliance break between treatment periods. Blood samples and vascular function measures were obtained at baseline and following each supplementation period. Supplementation with 50 g/d soya protein significantly reduced brachial diastolic BP (−2·3 mmHg) compared with 25 g/d soya protein (Tukey-adjusted P=0·03) but not the control. Soya supplementation did not improve ex vivo cholesterol efflux, macrovascular function or other blood markers of CVD risk compared with the carbohydrate-matched control. Additional research is needed to clarify whether effects on these CVD risk factors depend on the relative health of participants and/or equol producing capacity.
To determine the impact of an environmental disinfection intervention on the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
A multicenter randomized trial.
In total,16 acute-care hospitals in northeastern Ohio participated in the study.
We conducted a 12-month randomized trial to compare standard cleaning to enhanced cleaning that included monitoring of environmental services (EVS) personnel performance with feedback to EVS and infection control staff. We assessed the thoroughness of cleaning based on fluorescent marker removal from high-touch surfaces and the effectiveness of disinfection based on environmental cultures for C. difficile. A linear mixed model was used to compare CDI rates in the intervention and postintervention periods for control and intervention hospitals. The primary outcome was the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
Overall, 7 intervention hospitals and 8 control hospitals completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly increased fluorescent marker removal in CDI and non-CDI rooms and decreased recovery of C. difficile from high-touch surfaces in CDI rooms. However, no reduction was observed in the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI in the intervention hospitals during the intervention and postintervention periods. Moreover, there was no correlation between the percentage of positive cultures after cleaning of CDI or non-CDI rooms and the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
An environmental disinfection intervention improved the thoroughness and effectiveness of cleaning but did not reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI. Thus, interventions that focus only on improving cleaning may not be sufficient to control healthcare-associated CDI.
With improvements in early survival following congenital heart surgery, it has become increasingly important to understand longer-term outcomes; however, routine collection of these data is challenging and remains very limited. We describe the development and initial results of a collaborative programme incorporating standardised longitudinal follow-up into usual care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University of Michigan (UM).
We included children undergoing benchmark operations of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Considerations regarding personnel, patient/parent engagement, funding, regulatory issues, and annual data collection are described, and initial follow-up rates are reported.
The present analysis included 1737 eligible patients undergoing surgery at CHOP from January 2007 to December 2014 and 887 UM patients from January 2010 to December 2014. Overall, follow-up data, of any type, were obtained from 90.8% of patients at CHOP (median follow-up 4.3 years, 92.2% survival) and 98.3% at UM (median follow-up 2.8 years, 92.7% survival), with similar rates across operations and institutions. Most patients lost to follow-up at CHOP had undergone surgery before 2010. Standardised questionnaires assessing burden of disease/quality of life were completed by 80.2% (CHOP) and 78.4% (UM) via phone follow-up. In subsequent pilot testing of an automated e-mail system, 53.4% of eligible patients completed the follow-up questionnaire through this system.
Standardised follow-up data can be obtained on the majority of children undergoing benchmark operations. Ongoing efforts to support automated electronic systems and integration with registry data may reduce resource needs, facilitate expansion across centres, and support multi-centre efforts to understand and improve long-term outcomes in this population.
Large volumes of data and multiple computing platforms are now universal components of paediatric cardiovascular medicine, but are in a constant state of evolution. Often, multiple sets of related data reside in disconnected “silos”, resulting in clinical, administrative, and research activities that may be duplicative, inefficient, and at times inaccurate. Comprehensive and integrated data solutions are needed to facilitate these activities across congenital heart centres. We describe methodology, key considerations, successful use cases, and lessons learnt in developing an integrated data platform across our congenital heart centre.
To determine the effectiveness of a pulsed xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) disinfection device for reduction in recovery of healthcare-associated pathogens.
Two acute-care hospitals.
We examined the effectiveness of PX-UV for killing of Clostridium difficile spores, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) on glass carriers and evaluated the impact of pathogen concentration, distance from the device, organic load, and shading from the direct field of radiation on killing efficacy. We compared the effectiveness of PX-UV and ultraviolet-C (UV-C) irradiation, each delivered for 10 minutes at 4 feet. In hospital rooms, the frequency of native pathogen contamination on high-touch surfaces was assessed before and after 10 minutes of PX-UV irradiation.
On carriers, irradiation delivered for 10 minutes at 4 feet from the PX-UV device reduced recovery of C. difficile spores, MRSA, and VRE by 0.55±0.34, 1.85±0.49, and 0.6±0.25 log10 colony-forming units (CFU)/cm2, respectively. Increasing distance from the PX-UV device dramatically reduced killing efficacy, whereas pathogen concentration, organic load, and shading did not. Continuous UV-C achieved significantly greater log10CFU reductions than PX-UV irradiation on glass carriers. On frequently touched surfaces, PX-UV significantly reduced the frequency of positive C. difficile, VRE, and MRSA culture results.
The PX-UV device reduced recovery of MRSA, C. difficile, and VRE on glass carriers and on frequently touched surfaces in hospital rooms with a 10-minute UV exposure time. PX-UV was not more effective than continuous UV-C in reducing pathogen recovery on glass slides, suggesting that both forms of UV have some effectiveness at relatively short exposure times.
The ability to efficiently harvest heat as a source of sustainable energy would make a significant contribution to reducing our current reliance on fossil fuels. Waste heat sources, such as those produced in industrial processes or through geothermal activity, are extensive, often continuous, and at present severely underutilised. Thermoelectrochemical cells offer an alternative design to the traditional semiconductor-based thermoelectric devices and offer thepromise of continuous and cheap operation at moderate temperatures, low maintenance and with no carbon emissions. They utilise two electrodes, held at different temperatures, separated by an electrolyte containing a redox couple. It is the temperature dependence of the electrochemical redox potential that generates the potential difference across the device as a result of the appliedtemperature difference. The magnitude of this redox potential temperature dependence is given by the Seebeck coefficient, Se. Until recently, research into thermoelectrochemical cells had primarily focused on aqueous media, predominantly with the Fe(CN)63-/4- redox couple. However, the good thermal and electrochemical stability, non-volatility and non-flammability ofmany ionic liquids make them promising alternative electrolytes for these devices. The use of ionic liquid (IL) electrolytes offers potential advantages that include increased thermoelectrochemical device efficiencies and lifetimes and the ability to utilise low temperature (often “waste”) heat sources in the 100 – 200 °C temperature range. Here we discuss our research into the use of the Fe(CN)63-/4- redox couple in protic IL electrolytes, with different amounts of added water, in a thermoelectrochemical device with platinum and single walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) electrodes.
To compare the average out-of-home (OH) consumption of foods and beverages, as well as energy intake, among populations from 10 European countries and to describe the characteristics of substantial OH eaters, as defined for the purpose of the present study, in comparison to other individuals.
Cross-sectional study. Dietary data were collected through single 24-hour dietary recalls, in which the place of consumption was recorded. For the present study, substantial OH eaters were defined as those who consumed more than 25% of total daily energy intake at locations other than the household premises. Mean dietary intakes and the proportion of substantial OH eaters are presented by food group and country. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds of being a substantial OH eater in comparison to not being one, using mutually adjusted possible non-dietary determinants.
Ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
The subjects were 34 270 individuals, 12 537 men and 21 733 women, aged 35–74 years.
The fraction of energy intake during OH eating was generally higher in northern European countries than in the southern ones. Among the food and beverage groups, those selectively consumed outside the home were coffee/tea/waters and sweets and, to a lesser extent, cereals, meats, added lipids and vegetables. Substantial OH eating was positively associated with energy intake and inversely associated with age and physical activity. Substantial OH eating was less common among the less educated compared with the more educated, and more common during weekdays in central and north Europe and during the weekend in south Europe.
Eating outside the home was associated with sedentary lifestyle and increased energy intake; it was more common among the young and concerned in particular coffee/tea/waters and sweets.
To investigate possible transmission of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in a dental setting.
A retrospective, descriptive study of dental workers (DWs), patients, and practice characteristics.
Two dental workers (DW1 and DW2) with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and MDR-TB.
A hospital-based (Hospital X) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) dental clinic in New York City.
To identify dental patients with tuberculosis (TB), patients treated in the dental clinic at Hospital X during 1990 were cross-matched with those listed in the New York City Department of Health Tuberculosis Registry Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from both DWs and from dental patients with TB were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility and typed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Infection control practices were reviewed.
M tuberculosis isolates infecting DW1 and DW2 were resistant to isoniazid and rifampin and had identical RFLP patterns. DW1 and DW2 worked in close proximity to each other in a small HIV dental clinic in Hospital X during 1990. Of 472 patients treated in the dental clinic in 1990, 41 (8.7%) had culture-proven M tuberculosis infection. Of these 41, 5 had isolates with resistance patterns similar to both DWs; however, for four available isolates, the RFLP patterns were different from the patterns of the DWs. Sixteen of the 41 patients received dental treatment while potentially infectious. Dental patients were not routinely questioned about TB by dental staff, nor were all dental staff screened routinely for TB. No supplemental environmental measures for TB were employed in the dental clinic in 1990.
Our investigation suggests that MDR-TB transmission may have occurred between two DWs in an HIV dental clinic. Opportunities for transmission of TB among dental staff and patients were identified. TB surveillance programs for DWs and appropriate infection control strategies, including worker education, are needed to monitor and minimize exposure to TB in dental settings providing care to patients at risk for TB.
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