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The characteristic traits of maize (Zea mays L.) leaves affect light interception and photosynthesis. Measurement or estimation of individual leaf area has been described using discontinuous equations or bell-shaped functions. However, new maize hybrids show different canopy architecture, such as leaf angle in modern maize which is more upright and ear leaf and adjacent leaves which are longer than older hybrids. The original equations and their parameters, which have been used for older maize hybrids and grown at low plant densities, will not accurately represent modern hybrids. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to develop a new empirical equation that captures vertical leaf distribution. To characterize the vertical leaf profile, we conducted a field experiment in Jilin province, Northeast China from 2015 to 2018. Our new equation for the vertical distribution of leaf profile describes leaf length, width or leaf area as a function of leaf rank, using parameters for the maximum value for leaf length, width or area, the leaf rank at which the maximum value is obtained, and the width of the curve. It thus involves one parameter less than the previously used equations. By analysing the characteristics of this new equation, we identified four key leaf ranks (4, 8, 14 and 20) for which leaf parameter values need to be quantified in order to have a good estimation of leaf length, width and area. Together, the method of leaf area estimation proposed here adds versatility for use in modern maize hybrids and simplifies the field measurements by using the four key leaf ranks to estimate vertical leaf distribution in maize canopy instead of all leaf ranks.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The Cognitive Battery of the National Institutes of Health Toolbox (NIH-TB) is a collection of assessments that have been adapted and normed for administration across the lifespan and is increasingly used in large-scale population-level research. However, despite increasing adoption in longitudinal investigations of neurocognitive development, and growing recommendations that the Toolbox be used in clinical applications, little is known about the long-term temporal stability of the NIH-TB, particularly in youth.
The present study examined the long-term temporal reliability of the NIH-TB in a large cohort of youth (9–15 years-old) recruited across two data collection sites. Participants were invited to complete testing annually for 3 years.
Reliability was generally low-to-moderate, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging between 0.31 and 0.76 for the full sample. There were multiple significant differences between sites, with one site generally exhibiting stronger temporal stability than the other.
Reliability of the NIH-TB Cognitive Battery was lower than expected given early work examining shorter test-retest intervals. Moreover, there were very few instances of tests meeting stability requirements for use in research; none of the tests exhibited adequate reliability for use in clinical applications. Reliability is paramount to establishing the validity of the tool, thus the constructs assessed by the NIH-TB may vary over time in youth. We recommend further refinement of the NIH-TB Cognitive Battery and its norming procedures for children before further adoption as a neuropsychological assessment. We also urge researchers who have already employed the NIH-TB in their studies to interpret their results with caution.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) flow is a strong predictor of patient safety, quality of care and provider satisfaction. Throughput interventions have been shown to improve flow metrics, yet few studies have considered MD leadership roles and evaluated provider experience. Our objective was to evaluate the emergency physician lead (EPL) role, a novel MD staffing initiative. Methods: This mixed-method observational time series analysis evaluated ED metrics at two tertiary EDs including ED length of stay (LOS), EMS Park LOS and physician initial assessment (PIA) time as well as 72-hour readmit and left without being seen (LWBS) rates. Data was collected from the ED information system database for control (Dec 6, 2017-Feb 28, 2018 SITE1 and Mar 1–May 31, 2018 SITE2), pre (Sept 3-Nov 30, 2018 SITE 1 and Dec 3, 2018-Feb 28, 2019 SITE2) and post (Dec 3, 2018 –Feb 28, 2019 SITE1, Mar 1- May 31, 2019 SITE2) periods for adult patients presenting to each site. Site data was analyzed independently using descriptive and inferential statistics to calculate differences in means, and means were compared using t-tests. A survey elicited provider feedback from ED physicians, nurses, and EMS professionals on the effect of the EPL on throughput, timeliness of admissions and discharges, provider workload, and the EPL as a resource to other professionals. Results: The number of ED visits at SITE1 were 13136 (Ctrl), 13236 (Pre) and 13137 (Post), and at SITE2 were 14371(Ctrl), 13866 (Pre) and 14962 (Post). Mean ED LOS was decreased by 17 min in post vs control and 20 min vs pre at SITE1 (p < 0.01). SITE2 saw an increase in ED LOS by 7 min vs control and 8 min vs pre (p < 0.01). EMS LOS at SITE1 was decreased by 21 min vs control and 22 min vs pre (p < 0.01), but was increased at SITE2 by 2 min vs control (p = 0.09) and 14 min vs pre (p < 0.01). PIA time at SITE1 was decreased by 15 min vs control (p < 0.01) and 13 min vs pre and increased by 5 min vs control and 12 min vs pre at SITE2 (p < 0.01). 72 hour readmit and LWBS rates were unchanged at both sites. Qualitative feedback from ED providers highlighted the early provision of treatments and investigations by the EPL, and many felt the EPL was an important resource. Conclusion: The inclusion of both quantitative and qualitative data in this study provided a robust analysis of the impact of the EPL role and demonstrated modest but important improvements. A site-dependent, carefully considered implementation of the EPL role may improve ED metrics and provider experiences.
Although alienation toward parents is important for children (for current mental health status or later interpersonal relationships in adulthood), it is undervalued and even lacks a standardized tool of assessment. Moreover, the large number of left-behind children in China is a cause of public concern. However, their experienced alienation toward their parents remains unclear, which may be important for early detection or intervention for behavioral problems in this population. Hence, the current study aimed to develop an alienation inventory for children and then use it to investigate the experienced alienation toward parents in Chinese left-behind children.
Two studies were carried out. Study 1 was designed to develop a standard inventory of alienation toward parents (IAP). In study 2, 8361 children and adolescents (6704 of them were left-behind status) of the Chongqing area, aged between 8 and 19 years old, were recruited for investigation. All participants were surveyed with a standard sociodemographic questionnaire, children's cognitive style questionnaire, children's depression inventory, adolescent self-rating life events checklist, and newly built IAP in study 1.
In study 1, we developed a two-component (communication and emotional distance) and 18-item (9 items for maternal or paternal form, respectively) IAP questionnaire. In study 2, exploratory factor analysis indicated an expected two-factor structure of IAP, which was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients showed a good reliability (0.887 and 0.821 for maternal and paternal form, respectively). Children with absent mother experienced the highest alienation toward parents. Boys as well as children aged 8–10 years old experienced higher alienation toward parents. Poor communication with parents (sparse or no connection), level of left-behind condition (parents divorced, been far away from parents), and psychosocial vulnerability (stressful life events, negative cognitive style) were risk factors of alienation toward parents.
The current study develops a two-factor (communication and emotional distance) IAP, which offers a reliable tool to assess experienced alienation of affection toward parents in children aged between 8 and 19 years old. Our result is the first investigation of experienced alienation and potential influential factors in Chinese left-behind children. The findings that children with absent mother experience higher alienation toward parents, as well as three recognized risk factors for alienation of affection toward parents (poor communication with absent parents, worse left-behind condition, and psychosocial vulnerability), give valuable guidance for parents who intend to leave or who are already leaving as well as for government policymaking.
Meat and milk from ruminants provide an important source of protein and other nutrients for human consumption. Although ruminants have a unique advantage of being able to consume forages and graze lands not suitable for arable cropping, 2% to 12% of the gross energy consumed is converted to enteric CH4 during ruminal digestion, which contributes approximately 6% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, ruminant producers need to find cost-effective ways to reduce emissions while meeting consumer demand for food. This paper provides a critical review of the substantial amount of ruminant CH4-related research published in past decades, highlighting hydrogen flow in the rumen, the microbiome associated with methanogenesis, current and future prospects for CH4 mitigation and insights into future challenges for science, governments, farmers and associated industries. Methane emission intensity, measured as emissions per unit of meat and milk, has continuously declined over the past decades due to improvements in production efficiency and animal performance, and this trend is expected to continue. However, continued decline in emission intensity will likely be insufficient to offset the rising emissions from increasing demand for animal protein. Thus, decreases in both emission intensity (g CH4/animal product) and absolute emissions (g CH4/day) are needed if the ruminant industries continue to grow. Providing producers with cost-effective options for decreasing CH4 emissions is therefore imperative, yet few cost-effective approaches are currently available. Future abatement may be achieved through animal genetics, vaccine development, early life programming, diet formulation, use of alternative hydrogen sinks, chemical inhibitors and fermentation modifiers. Individually, these strategies are expected to have moderate effects (<20% decrease), with the exception of the experimental inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol for which decreases in CH4 have consistently been greater (20% to 40% decrease). Therefore, it will be necessary to combine strategies to attain the sizable reduction in CH4 needed, but further research is required to determine whether combining anti-methanogenic strategies will have consistent additive effects. It is also not clear whether a decrease in CH4 production leads to consistent improved animal performance, information that will be necessary for adoption by producers. Major constraints for decreasing global enteric CH4 emissions from ruminants are continued expansion of the industry, the cost of mitigation, the difficulty of applying mitigation strategies to grazing ruminants, the inconsistent effects on animal performance and the paucity of information on animal health, reproduction, product quality, cost-benefit, safety and consumer acceptance.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
Rubber seed oil (RO) that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA) can improve milk production and milk FA profiles of dairy cows; however, the responses of digestion and ruminal fermentation to RO supplementation in vivo are still unknown. This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of RO and flaxseed oil (FO) supplementation on nutrients digestibility, rumen fermentation parameters and rumen FA profile of dairy cows. Forty-eight mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of four treatments for 8 weeks, including basal diet (CON) or the basal dietary supplemented with 4% RO, 4% FO or 2% RO plus 2% FO on a DM basis. Compared with CON, dietary oil supplementation improved the total tract apparent digestibility of DM, neutral detergent fibre and ether extracts ( P < 0.05). Oil treatment groups had no effects on ruminal digesta pH value, ammonia N and microbial crude protein ( P > 0.05), whereas oil groups significantly changed the volatile fatty acid (VFA) profile by increasing the proportion of propionate whilst decreasing total VFA concentration, the proportion of acetate and the ratio of acetate to propionate ( P < 0.05). However, there were no differences in VFA proportions between the three oil groups (P > 0.05). In addition, dietary oil supplementation increased the total unsaturated FA proportion in the rumen by enhancing the proportion of trans-11 C18:1 vaccenic acid (VA), cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) ( P < 0.05). These results indicate that dietary supplementation with RO and FO could improve nutrients digestibility, ruminal fermentation and ruminal FA profile by enhancing the VA, cis-9, trans-11 CLA and ALA composition of lactating dairy cows. These findings provide a theoretical basis for the application of RO in livestock production.
The ALMA twenty-six arcmin2 survey of GOODS-S at one millimeter (ASAGAO) is a deep (1σ ∼ 61μJy/beam) and wide area (26 arcmin2) survey on a contiguous field at 1.2 mm. By combining with archival data, we obtained a deeper map in the same region (1σ ∼ 30μJy/beam−1, synthesized beam size 0.59″ × 0.53″), providing the largest sample of sources (25 sources at 5σ, 45 sources at 4.5σ) among ALMA blank-field surveys. The median redshift of the 4.5σ sources is 2.4. The number counts shows that 52% of the extragalactic background light at 1.2 mm is resolved into discrete sources. We create IR luminosity functions (LFs) at z = 1–3, and constrain the faintest luminosity of the LF at 2 < z < 3. The LFs are consistent with previous results based on other ALMA and SCUBA-2 observations, which suggests a positive luminosity evolution and negative density evolution.
In this paper, we extend the work by Sato devoted to the development of economic growth models within the framework of the Lie group theory. We propose a new growth model based on the assumption of logistic growth in factors and derive the corresponding production functions, as well as a compatible notion of wage share. In the process, it is shown that the new functions compare reasonably well against relevant economic data. The corresponding problem of maximisation of profit under conditions of perfect competition is solved with the aid of one of these functions. In addition, it is explained in reasonably rigorous mathematical terms why Bowley’s law no longer holds true in the post-1960 data.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Hydrogen is an important intermediate that is produced during carbohydrate fermentation to volatile fatty acid and utilized by methanogens to produce methane in the rumen. Ruminal volatile fatty acid and dissolved methane concentrations are more than 500 times greater than dissolved hydrogen concentration. Therefore, we hypothesized that dissolved hydrogen might have a higher sensitivity in response to dietary changes compared with volatile fatty acid and dissolved methane. Using goats, we investigated the effects of increasing dietary starch content (maize replaced with wheat bran) and supplementing with rhubarb rhizomes and roots on the relationships among dissolved hydrogen, dissolved methane and other fermentation end products. The study was conducted in a replicated 4×4 Latin square with a 2×2 factorial arrangement of four treatments: two starch levels (220 v. 320 g/kg dry matter (DM)), without and with rhubarb supplement (0% v. 2.8% of total mixed ration). Increased dietary starch and rhubarb supplementation did not alter volatile fatty acid concentrations or methane emissions in terms of g/day, g/g DM intake and g/g organic matter digested. However, goats fed the high-starch diet had greater dissolved hydrogen (P=0.005) and relative abundance of Selenomonas ruminantium (P<0.01), and lower (P=0.02) copy number of protozoa than those fed the low-starch diet. Rhubarb increased ruminal dissolved H2 (P=0.03) and total volatile fatty acid concentration (P<0.001), but decreased copies of bacteria (P=0.002). In conclusion, dissolved hydrogen appears to be more sensitive to dietary changes with starch content and rhubarb supplementation, when compared with volatile fatty acid concentrations and methane production.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.
Thousand Island Lake (TIL) is a typical fragmented landscape and an ideal model to study ecological effects of fragmentation. Partial fragments of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of 23 island populations of Dendrolimus punctatus in TIL were sequenced, 141 haplotypes being identified. The number of haplotypes increased significantly with the increase in island area and shape index, whereas no significant correlation was detected between three island attributes (area, shape and isolation) and haplotype diversity. However, the correlation with number of haplotypes was no longer significant when the ‘outlier’ island JSD (the largest island) was not included. Additionally, we found no significant relationship between geographic distance and genetic distance. Geographic isolation did not obstruct the gene flow among D. punctatus populations, which might be because of the high dispersal capacity of this pine moth. Fragmentation resulted in the conversion of large and continuous habitats into isolated, small and insular patches, which was the primary effect on the genetic diversity of D. punctatus in TIL. The conclusion to emphasize from our research is that habitat fragmentation reduced the biological genetic diversity to some extent, further demonstrating the importance of habitat continuity in biodiversity protection.
Introduction: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), including preeclampsia, can develop or worsen in the early postpartum period, often following discharge from hospital, resulting in severe preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. Due to a lack of routine early out-patient follow-up, many women with postpartum HDP present to the emergency department (ED) with severe hypertension or symptoms of preeclampsia (e.g., headache). In the ED, postpartum HDP can be difficult for clinicians to recognize (due to vague presenting symptom) and manage (due to lower blood pressure targets and concern of medication safety). ED clinicians recognized a need for timely recognition and effective treatments for postpartum HDP in the ED to improve maternal outcomes. As such, as part of a multi-step quality improvement initiative, an interdisciplinary team developed and implemented a postpartum HDP management protocol (consisting of nursing and physician protocols and an electronic order set embedded in the electronic medical record). The aims of this specific project were to assess: 1) the use of this clinical management protocol in the ED; and 2) its impacts on clinical care. Methods: This quality improvement project used electronic medical records to identify: 1) ED visits for postpartum HDP for postpartum women ages 20-50; 2) utilization of the postpartum HDP order set; and 3) clinical care outcomes (consultation and admission). Patient population characteristics and clinical care measures were summarized with descriptive statistics and compared using a before and after design. Changes in the utilization of the protocol were assessed using run charts. Results: 540 women with postpartum HDP were seen in the four Calgary EDs in the 16-month period following protocol implementation compared with 335 women in the preceding 12 months. The protocol was used in 46% of these 540 women, and increased over the 16 month follow-up period. We found an increase in the frequency of consultation of specialists (47% to 52%) and admissions (26% to 29%) amongst these women after protocol implementation. Conclusion: This initial assessment demonstrated good uptake of a postpartum HDP management protocol including referral for consultation and admission to hospital for blood pressure management. Future steps include evaluation of the impacts of this management protocol on important patient outcomes.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.