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Rapid diagnosis of dementia is essential to ensure optimum patient care. This study used real-world data to quantify the dementia diagnostic pathway in Australia.
A real-world, cross-sectional survey of physicians and patients.
Primary care or specialist physicians managing patients with cognitive impairment (CI).
Descriptive analyses focused on key events in the diagnostic pathway. Regression modeling compared the duration between first consultation and formal diagnosis with various factors.
Data for 600 patients were provided by 60 physicians. Mean time from initial symptoms to first consultation was 6.1 ± 4.4 months; 20% of patients had moderate or severe CI at first consultation. Mean time from first consultation to formal diagnosis was 4.0 ± 7.4 months (1.2 ± 3.6 months if not referred to a secondary physician, and 5.3 ± 8.3 months if referred). Time from first consultation to diagnosis was significantly associated with CI severity at first consultation; time was shorter with more severe CI. There was no association of disease severity and referral to a secondary physician; 69.5% of patients were referred, the majority (57.1%) to a geriatrician. The highest proportion of patients were diagnosed by geriatricians (47.4%). Some form of test or scale was used to aid diagnosis in 98.8% of patients.
A substantial number of Australians experience cognitive decline and behavioral changes some time before consulting a physician or being diagnosed with dementia. Increasing public awareness of the importance of early diagnosis is essential to improve the proportion of patients receiving comprehensive support prior to disease progression.
Specification of appropriate personal protective equipment for respiratory protection against influenza is somewhat controversial. In a clinical environment, N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are often recommended for respiratory protection against infectious aerosols. This study evaluates the ability of N95 FFRs to capture viable H1N1 influenza aerosols.
Five N95 FFR models were challenged with aerosolized viable H1N1 influenza and inert polystyrene latex particles at continuous flow rates of 85 and 170 liters per minute. Virus was assayed using Madin-Darby canine kidney cells to determine the median tissue culture infective dose (TCID50). Aerosols were generated using a Collison nebulizer containing H1N1 influenza virus at 1 × 108 TCID50/mL. To determine filtration efficiency, viable sampling was performed upstream and downstream of the FFR.
N95 FFRs filtered 0.8-μm particles of both H1N1 influenza and inert origins with more than 95% efficiency. With the exception of 1 model, no statistically significant difference in filtration performance was observed between influenza and inert particles of similar size. Although statistically significant differences were observed for 2 models when comparing the 2 flow rates, the differences have no significance to protection.
This study empirically demonstrates that a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved N95 FFR captures viable H1N1 influenza aerosols as well as or better than its N95 rating, suggesting that a properly fitted FFR reduces inhalation exposure to airborne influenza virus. This study also provides evidence that filtration efficiency is based primarily on particle size rather than the nature of the particle's origin.
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