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Background: Liberal prescribing of opioids is a major contributing factor to the opioid crisis. Patients who take opioids for >5 consecutive days are at greater risk of long-term use. Evidence shows that significantly more opioids are prescribed for emergency department (ED) patients with acute pain compared to amounts consumed. Guidelines recommend prescribing a 3-day supply or 10-15 tablets of opioids for patients with acute pain Aim Statement: By January 2020, >70% of opioid prescriptions from our ED will be for <15 tablets of morphine 5 mg equivalents. Measures & Design: Emergency physicians were educated on best practice of prescribing opioids for discharged patients. An electronic prescription writer was built for discharged ED patients with a pop-up reminder for quantities >15 tablets (indicating a recommended quantity of 10-15 tablets) and a pop-up reminder for quantities >30 tablets (indicating a maximum quantity of 30 tablets and recommended quantity). A feature was built to auto-populate a prescription for morphine 5 mg po q4h prn x 10 tablets to facilitate adherence to guidelines. Outcome Measure % opioid prescriptions for <15 tablets of morphine 5 mg equivalents Process Measure Amount of opioids prescribed for discharged ED patients, measured as morphine 5 mg equivalents Number of opioid prescriptions for >30 tablets of morphine 5 mg equivalents Balancing Measure Number of patients that return to ED within 7 days and receive a repeat opioid prescription. Evaluation/Results: Prior to implementation of the electronic prescription writer a sample audit revealed that 50% of opioid prescriptions were written for <15 tablets of morphine 5 mg equivalents. For the first three quarters of 2019, 62%, 61% and 69% of opioid prescriptions were written for <15 tablets of morphine 5 mg equivalents. Only two prescriptions during the study period were for >30 tablets of morphine 5 mg equivalents. An average number of 7 patients per quarter were given a repeat opioid prescription during a return ED visit. Discussion/Impact: We were successful in influencing emergency physicians to prescribe fewer opioids to discharged patients. This has the potential to avoid converting ED patients with acute pain into long-term opioid users and to avoid the diversion of unused opioid tablets.
A mother's nutritional choices while pregnant may have a great influence on her baby's development in the womb and during infancy. There is evidence that what a mother eats during pregnancy interacts with her genes to affect her child's susceptibility to poor health outcomes including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, allergy and asthma. Furthermore, after what an infant eats can change his or her intestinal bacteria, which can further influence the development of these poor outcomes. In the present paper, we review the importance of birth cohorts, the formation and early findings from a multi-ethnic birth cohort alliance in Canada and summarise our future research directions for this birth cohort alliance. We summarise a method for harmonising collection and analysis of self-reported dietary data across multiple cohorts and provide examples of how this birth cohort alliance has contributed to our understanding of gestational diabetes risk; ethnic and diet-influences differences in the healthy infant microbiome; and the interplay between diet, ethnicity and birth weight. Ongoing work in this birth cohort alliance will focus on the use of metabolomic profiling to measure dietary intake, discovery of unique diet–gene and diet–epigenome interactions, and qualitative interviews with families of children at risk of metabolic syndrome. Our findings to-date and future areas of research will advance the evidence base that informs dietary guidelines in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and will be relevant to diverse and high-risk populations of Canada and other high-income countries.
Since the turn of the century, much comparative politics scholarship has examined whether and how income inequality affects the prospects of democratization and, to a lesser extent, whether democracy reduces inequality. What is lacking, however, is a close examination of the extent of income inequality in authoritarian regimes. This article examines the variation in inequality across authoritarian regimes and argues that electoral competition – in conjunction with party ideology and the extent of party institutionalization – helps explain the pattern of inequality under authoritarian rule. I find that electoral authoritarian (EA) regimes – regimes in which multiple parties legally compete in elections – have lower levels of inequality compared to non-EA regimes. I further find that inequality is lower in EA regimes with left-leaning ruling parties and more institutionalized party systems. This analysis highlights the value of exploring the dynamics and contingent effects of electoral competition in authoritarian regimes.
Background: Sepsis is a life-threatening syndrome, and delays to appropriate antibiotic therapy increases mortality. Order sets have shown decrease in time to antibiotics in pneumonia, and in sepsis, the implementation of order sets resulted in more intravenous fluids, appropriate initial antibiotics and lower mortality. Aim Statement: The goal was to create an order set for an approach to septic patients, to improve sepsis management. We sought to improve time from triage to first antibiotics, by 15 minutes, for Emergency Department (ED) patients with sepsis in three months after implementation compared to three months before. Measures & Design: We used a literature review, as well as comparison to existing order sets at other EDs to design our initial order set. We underwent multiple revisions based on stakeholder feedback. We educated physician and nursing teams about the order sets, although use was ultimately at physician discretion. We implemented the order set on April 9, 2017. After three months, an electronic retrospective chart review identified patients with a final sepsis diagnosis admitted to the critical care unit. For each patient, we captured triage time using the electronic record, and time to antibiotics from when the antibiotic was taken out of the medication cart. Finally, utilization of order sets was checked via manual chart audit. Evaluation/Results: A run chart did not demonstrate any shifts or trends suggesting a change after implementation. Median time to antibiotics in minutes, 3 months prior (n = 45) and post (n = 55) intervention, increased from 245 to 340 minutes, although the range was very large. Chart audits demonstrated clinicians were not using the order sets. There was 10% usage for 2 of the months and 0% usage the other month, post-intervention. Disucssion/Impact: There was insufficient uptake of the Sepsis Order Set by the Sunnybrook ED to result in any impact on time to antibiotics. Order sets require more than just implementation to be effective. Difficulties in implementation were due to the document not being readily available to physicians. To mediate, we have organized nursing staff to attach the order set onto charts based on triage assessment and will re-assess with another PDSA cycle after this intervention.
Background: Acute pain is a common presentation in the Emergency Department (ED) and inadequacy in its treatment can lengthen stay. Earlier analgesia use and discharge has been associated with positive patient experiences and improved pain management. Validated ‘fast-track pathways’ to aid physician decision making in analgesic administration is associated with decreased waiting times in renal colic diagnoses. Aim Statement: Our aim was to create an order set, for an approach to patients with acute pain, to reduce median time from point of triage to analgesia. We sought to reduce median time by 15 minutes, for ED patients with renal colic in the three months after implementation as compared to three months before. Measures & Design: We used a literature review and comparison to existing order sets at other EDs to design our draft. We focused our evaluation on patients with renal colic. We underwent multiple revisions based on stakeholder feedback and educated both physician and nursing teams about the order set. The utilization, however, was at physician discretion. We implemented the order set on March 30, 2017. After three months, an electronic retrospective chart review identified patients with a final renal colic diagnosis. For each patient, we captured triage time using electronic records and time to analgesia with the medication cart. Utilization of order sets was confirmed via manual chart audit. Evaluation/Results: A run chart showed worsening times after the intervention. Median time to analgesia in minutes, 3 months prior (n = 90) and post (n = 93) intervention, increased from 228 to 310 minutes, although the range was very large. Chart audits demonstrated a considerably low uptake of the order set with a small gradual increase from 0% to 20% over the 3-month period. Discussion/Impact: There was insufficient uptake of the Acute Pain order set preventing impact on time to analgesia. Changes in occupancy likely contributed to the worsening times. There was an increase in utilization over the 3-month period and could be due to increased awareness. This demonstrates that interventions require more than implementation to be effective. Difficulties in implementation were due to the document not being readily available. We have organized the nursing staff to attach order sets onto charts based on triage assessment and will re-assess with another PDSA cycle after this intervention.
Prenatal and early-life environmental exposures play a key role in the development of atopy and allergic disease. The Family Atherosclerosis Monitoring In earLY life Study is a general, population-based Canadian birth cohort that prospectively evaluated prenatal and early-life traits and their association with atopy and/or allergic disease. The study population included 901 babies, 857 mothers and 530 fathers. Prenatal and postnatal risk factors were evaluated through questionnaires collected during the antenatal period and at 1 year. The end points of atopy and allergic diseases in infants were evaluated through questionnaires and skin prick testing. Key outcomes included atopy (24.5%), food allergy (17.5%), cow’s milk allergy (4.8%), wheezing (18.6%) and eczema (16%). The association between infant antibiotic exposure [odds ratio (OR): 2.04, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.45–2.88] and increased atopy was noted in the multivariate analysis, whereas prenatal maternal exposure to dogs (OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.42–0.84) and acetaminophen (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.51–0.92) was associated with decreased atopy. This population-based birth cohort in Canada demonstrated high rates of atopy, food allergy, wheezing and eczema. Several previously reported and some novel prenatal and postnatal exposures were associated with atopy and allergic diseases at 1 year of age.
Monozygotic (MZ) twins stem from the same single fertilized egg and therefore share all their inherited genetic variation. This is one of the unequivocal facts on which genetic epidemiology and twin studies are based. To what extent this also implies that MZ twins share genotypes in adult tissues is not precisely established, but a common pragmatic assumption is that MZ twins are 100% genetically identical also in adult tissues. During the past decade, this view has been challenged by several reports, with observations of differences in post-zygotic copy number variations (CNVs) between members of the same MZ pair. In this study, we performed a systematic search for differences of CNVs within 38 adult MZ pairs who had been misclassified as dizygotic (DZ) twins by questionnaire-based assessment. Initial scoring by PennCNV suggested a total of 967 CNV discordances. The within-pair correlation in number of CNVs detected was strongly dependent on confidence score filtering and reached a plateau of r = 0.8 when restricting to CNVs detected with confidence score larger than 50. The top-ranked discordances were subsequently selected for validation by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), from which one single ~120kb deletion in NRXN1 on chromosome 2 (bp 51017111–51136802) was validated. Despite involving an exon, no sign of cognitive/mental consequences was apparent in the affected twin pair, potentially reflecting limited or lack of expression of the transcripts containing this exon in nerve/brain.
Many studies suggest that strict balanced budget rules can restrain sovereign debt and lower sovereign borrowing costs, even if those rules are never enforced in court. Why might public officials adhere to a rule that is practically never enforced in court? Existing literature points to a legal deterrence logic in which the threat of judicial enforcement deters sovereigns from violating the rules in the first place. By contrast, we argue that balanced budget rules work by coordinating decentralized punishment of sovereigns by bond markets, rather than by posing a credible threat of judicial enforcement. Therefore, the clarity of the focal point provided by the rule, rather than the strength of its judicial enforcement mechanisms, determines its effectiveness. We develop a formal model that captures the logic of our argument, and we assess this model using data on U.S. states. We then consider implications of our argument for the impact of the balanced budget rules recently imposed on eurozone states in the Fiscal Compact Treaty.
The aim of this study was to estimate the amount of childhood hepatitis B virus transmission in children born in the UK, a very low-prevalence country, that is preventable only by universal hepatitis B immunization of infants. Oral fluid specimens were collected from schoolchildren aged 7–11 years in four inner city multi-ethnic areas and tested for the presence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). Those found positive or indeterminate were followed up with testing on serum to confirm their hepatitis B status. The overall prevalence of anti-HBc in children was low [0·26%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·14–0·44]. The estimated average annual incidence of hepatitis B was estimated to be 29·26/100 000 children (95% CI 16·00–49·08). The total incidence that is preventable only by a universal infant immunization programme in the UK was estimated to be between 5·00 and 12·49/100 000. The study demonstrates that the extent of horizontal childhood hepatitis B virus transmission is low in children born in the UK and suggests that schools in the UK are an uncommon setting for the transmission of the virus. Targeted hepatitis B testing and immunization of migrants from intermediate- and high-prevalence countries is likely to be a more effective measure to reduce childhood transmission than a universal infant immunization programme.
We investigate the role of precursor thermal rearrangement and surface catalytic reactions in the synthesis of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNTs) by acetylene-based, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and demonstrate a millimeter-long growth of single-walled CNT (SWNT) without water assistance. A substrate heater was used to create an ascending temperature gradient from gas injection to catalyst substrate. Whereas temperature of catalyst substrates primarily determines their catalytic activity, it is a thermal condition of a gaseous mixture in the CVD chamber that also influence growth yield and structural features of as-grown CNTs. Employing Egloff’s characterization,  we discuss the importance of various gas thermal zones in producing high-quality nanotubes with augmented growth efficiency. We continue to report production of millimeter-long, VA-SWNT having a mean diameter of 1.7 ± 0.7 nm, catalyzed by iron on an alumina support. Important finding is that a million of aspect ratio of SWNT arrays can be produced, without water assistance, via combined action of an ascending temperature gradient toward catalyst substrate and low partial pressures of acetylene carbon feedstock. Our results do not only emphasize the role of precursor thermal rearrangement in CNT synthesis, but also offer a practical route to the modulation of such complex phenomena for an ultrahigh-yield growth of narrow VA-SWNT.
The goal of the present study was to examine the influence of community environment on the nutritional status (weight-for-age and height-for-age) of children (aged 0–59 months) in Bangladesh. In addition, we tested the association between specific characteristics of community environments and child nutritional status.
The data are from the nationally representative 2004 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey.
Respondents were ever-married women (aged 15–49 years) and their children (n 5731), residing in 361 communities. Child nutritional outcomes are physical measurements of weight-for-age and height-for-age in sd units. We considered the following attributes of community environments potentially related to child nutrition: (i) community water and sanitation infrastructure; (ii) availability of community health and education services; (iii) community employment and social participation; and (iv) education level of the community.
Multilevel regression analysis showed that the spatial distribution of maternal and child covariates did not entirely explain the between-community variation in child nutritional status. The education level of the community emerged as the strongest community-level predictor of child height-for-age (highest v. lowest tertile, β = 0·18 (se 0·07)) and weight-for-age (highest v. lowest tertile, β = 0·21 (se 0·06)). In the height-for-age model, community employment and social participation also emerged as being statistically significant (highest v. lowest tertile, β = 0·13 (se = 0·06)).
The community environment influences child nutrition in Bangladesh, and maternal- and child-level covariates may fail to capture the entire influence of communities. Interventions to reduce child undernutrition in developing countries should take into consideration the wider community context.
In this paper, an efficient computation method is developed for solving a general class of minmax optimal control problems, where the minimum deviation from the violation of the continuous state inequality constraints is maximized. The constraint transcription method is used to construct a smooth approximate function for each of the continuous state inequality constraints. We then obtain an approximate optimal control problem with the integral of the summation of these smooth approximate functions as its cost function. A necessary condition and a sufficient condition are derived showing the relationship between the original problem and the smooth approximate problem. We then construct a violation function from the solution of the smooth approximate optimal control problem and the original continuous state inequality constraints in such a way that the optimal control of the minmax problem is equivalent to the largest root of the violation function, and hence can be solved by the bisection search method. The control parametrization and a time scaling transform are applied to these optimal control problems. We then consider two practical problems: the obstacle avoidance optimal control problem and the abort landing of an aircraft in a windshear downburst.
An outbreak of typhoid caused by Salmonella typhi of the same Vi-phage type (D1) and of the same antibiogram was reported in a large psychiatric institution in Singapore. A total of 95 (4·8%) of the 1965 inmates were infected, 47 with symptoms and 48 asymptomatic. Transmission was through close person-to-person contact and not through contaminated food or water. The source of infection could not be established. The outbreak was brought under control by maintaining a high standard of environmental sanitation, active search for fever and diarrhoeal cases, identification of asymptomatic cases by rectal swabbing, and isolation of those found to be infected. Mass immunization with two doses of heat-phenol inactivated typhoid vaccine was also carried out concurrently. The vaccine was found to have an efficacy of 65·8% in preventing clinical illness.
In this paper, we consider a linear program with only equality constraints but containing interval and random coefficients. We first address the linear program with interval coefficients, and establish some structural properties of this linear program. On this basis, a solution method is proposed. We then move on to consider the linear program with random coefficients. Using the chance constraint approach and a new approach, the satisfaction degree approach, we obtain the two respective deterministic equivalent formulations. Then the results and the numerical solution methods obtained for these two linear models are applied to the original linear problem which contains both interval and random coefficients. By way of illustration, we consider a practical problem, where the optimal mixing proportions need to be determined for the mix slurry in the production process of aluminium with sintering. This gives rise to a linear program with interval and random coefficients. Its deterministic equivalent formulations are presented. Preliminary numerical examples show that the proposed models and the solution methods are promising.
We investigated the performance of 65nm pFETs whereby the source and drain extensions (SDE) were implanted with Carborane, (C2B10H12) a novel form of molecular species. The high atomic mass of this molecule (146 a.m.u.) and the number of boron atoms transported per ion enables the productivity at low energy required for manufacturing of ultra shallow junctions for advanced scaling. In this investigation, Carborane was implanted at 13 keV to produce a Boron profile near equivalent to that produced by the reference BF2 implant. Results of electrical measurements did not exhibit any compromise in the I-V characteristics in terms of Id-Vg and Id-Vd and Ion-Ioff. External resistance and Vt roll-off shifted slightly with respect to the reference devices. This is attributed to a deeper junction with Carborane due to slight offset in the profile matching. It will be shown that with fully matched profiles, a perfect match of the device characteristics can be achieved.
To determine the incidence of complications following temperature-controlled radiofrequency treatment of the soft palate, uvula and tongue base.
Settings and methods:
We included all patients who had received temperature-controlled radiofrequency treatment of the soft palate, uvula and tongue base, for sleep-disordered breathing, over a four-year period in a tertiary hospital. Patients' medical records were systematically reviewed for radiofrequency treatment parameters and complications.
Main outcome measure:
Seventy-six patients had been treated, with a total of 127 treatment sessions and 544 lesions to the palate, uvula and tongue base. The incidences of minor and moderate complications were, respectively, 2.6 per cent (14/544 lesions) and 0.4 per cent (2/544 treatment lesions), being 3.0 per cent (16/544 lesions) overall. Subdividing by anatomical region, the incidences of minor and moderate complications following palatal and uvula radiofrequency treatment were, respectively, 3.1 per cent (14/446 lesions) and 0 per cent, and those following tongue base treatment were, respectively, 0 per cent and 2.0 per cent (2/98 lesions). The incidence of minor complications following soft palate and uvula treatment, per treatment session, was 10.9 per cent. The incidence of moderate complications following tongue base treatment, per treatment session, was 4.6 per cent. There were no major complications in our study population.
In this study, the incidence of complications of temperature-controlled radiofrequency treatment of the palate, uvula and tongue base was low. Temperature-controlled radiofrequency is a safe treatment modality for patients with sleep-disordered breathing and can be performed as a day case procedure. We recommend day admission for patients undergoing radiofrequency of the tongue base, in view of the potential for severe complications and airway compromise.
Demonstrating the equivalence of constructs is a key requirement for cross-cultural empirical research. The major purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how to assess measurement and functional equivalence or invariance using the 9-item, 3-factor Love of Money Scale (LOMS, a second-order factor model) and the 4-item, 1-factor Pay Level Satisfaction Scale (PLSS, a first-order factor model) across 29 samples in six continents (N = 5973). In step 1, we tested the configural, metric and scalar invariance of the LOMS and 17 samples achieved measurement invariance. In step 2, we applied the same procedures to the PLSS and nine samples achieved measurement invariance. Five samples (Brazil, China, South Africa, Spain and the USA) passed the measurement invariance criteria for both measures. In step 3, we found that for these two measures, common method variance was non-significant. In step 4, we tested the functional equivalence between the Love of Money Scale and Pay Level Satisfaction Scale. We achieved functional equivalence for these two scales in all five samples. The results of this study suggest the critical importance of evaluating and establishing measurement equivalence in cross-cultural studies. Suggestions for remedying measurement non-equivalence are offered.
An alternative method for seeding catalyst nanoparticles for carbon nanotubes and nanowires growth is presented. Ni nanoparticles are formed inside a 450 nm SiO2 film on (100) Si wafers through the implantation of Ni ions at fluences of 7.5×1015 and 1.7×1016 ions cm−2 and post-annealing treatment at 700, 900 and 1100 °C. After exposed to the surface by HF dip etching, the Ni nanoparticles are used as catalyst for the growth of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes by direct current plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition.