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N95 respirators are personal protective equipment most often used to control exposures to infections transmitted via the airborne route. Supplies of N95 respirators can become depleted during pandemics or when otherwise in high demand. In this paper, we offer strategies for optimizing supplies of N95 respirators in health care settings while maximizing the level of protection offered to health care personnel when there is limited supply in the United States during the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic. The strategies are intended for use by professionals who manage respiratory protection programs, occupational health services, and infection prevention programs in health care facilities to protect health care personnel from job-related risks of exposure to infectious respiratory illnesses. Consultation with federal, state, and local public health officials is also important. We use the framework of surge capacity and the occupational health and safety hierarchy of controls approach to discuss specific engineering control, administrative control, and personal protective equipment measures that may help in optimizing N95 respirator supplies.
Many writings on the changing nature of work portray the employee–organization relationship as a casualty of the modern workplace. This chapter reviews social exchange models of the employee–organization relationship as captured in organizational support and psychological contract theories. We explore the evidence of the extent to which the employee–organization relationship has changed as a result of changes in employment practices over the past several decades. Our analysis considers both overall trends in the employee–organization relationship as well as specific issues tied to temporary and part-time work, independent contractors, tripartite employment relationships, job insecurity, job hopping, and income inequality. The evidence suggests that while certain employment practices threaten the quality of the employee–organization relationship, social exchange models provide useful and relevant frameworks through which to understand the nature of these changes and employees’ reactions to them.
The utility of questionnaire based self-report measures for non-clinical psychotic symptoms is unclear and there are few reliable data about the nature and prevalence of these phenomena in children. The study aimed to investigate psychosis-like symptoms (PLIKS) in children utilizing both self-report measures and semi-structured observer rated assessments.
The study was cross-sectional; the setting being an assessment clinic for members of the ALSPAC birth cohort in Bristol, UK. 6455 respondents were assessed over 21 months, mean age 12.9 years. The main outcome measure was: 12 self-report screening questions for psychotic symptoms followed by semi-structured observer rated assessments by trained psychology graduates. The assessment instrument utilised stem questions, glossary definitions, and rating rules adapted from DISC-IV and SCAN items.
The 6-month period prevalence for one or more PLIKS rated by self-report questions was 38.9 % (95% CI = 37.7-40.1). Prevalence using observer rated assessments was 13.7% (95% CI = 12.8-14.5). Positive Predictive Values for the screen questions versus observer rated scores were low, except for auditory hallucinations (PPV=70%; 95% CI = 67.1-74.2). The most frequent observer rated symptom was auditory hallucinations (7.3%); in 18.8% of these cases symptoms occurred weekly or more. The prevalence of DSM-IV ‘core’ schizophrenia symptoms was 3.62%. Rates were significantly higher in children with low socio-economic status.
With the exception of auditory hallucinations, self-rated questionnaires are likely to substantially over-estimate the frequency of PLIKS in 12-year-old children. However, more reliable observer rated assessments reveal that PLIKS occur in a significant proportion of children.
Craving in negative emotional situations (negative craving) is commonly associated with relapse and heavy alcohol use. Elevated dynorphin levels were associated with negative emotions, while variations in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes encoding OPRK1 receptor and dynorphins were associated with alcohol dependence.
To investigate potential overlap in the genetic factors underlying, negative craving and alcohol dependence.
Examine the association of the negative craving and genetic variation in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes.
13 PDYN and 10 OPRK1 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), including those previously reported to be associated with alcohol dependence were genotyped in 196 alcohol dependent subjects. The raw scores of the negative subscale of Inventory of Drug Taking Situations (IDTS) were utilized as a quantitative measure of negative craving. Logistic regression models were used to test for associations after controlling for age and gender.
Gene-level haplotype testing demonstrated significant association of negative craving with variation in PDYN (p < 0.05) but not OPRK1 gene. The rs2281285 - rs199794 haplotype showed significant association (p = 0.0236) with negative craving, while rs2235749 - rs10485703 haplotype showed marginally significant association (p = 0.055). This replicates previous findings of association between these haplotypes and alcohol dependence. Negative craving was also associated with PDYN rs2281285 variant (p = 0.012) with estimated effect size of 6.95 (SE = 2.75). This new association finding was not significant after correction for multiple testing (p = 0.18).
Our findings support association of PDYN sequence variation with negative craving in alcohol dependent subjects. Future studies should investigate functional mechanisms of this association.
To examine the impact of appearance comparison behaviours, trait body dissatisfaction and eating pathology on women's state body dissatisfaction and engagement in disordered eating behaviours in daily life.
Using ecological sampling method (ESM), 116 women residing in Australia, completed a baseline questionnaire containing the trait-based measures, before being signalled by an iPhone app six times daily, for seven days, to self-report on their recent appearance comparison behaviours, current state body dissatisfaction and recent disordered eating behaviours.
Multi-level modelling revealed that upward comparisons (comparisons against more attractive individuals) elicited increases in state body dissatisfaction (β = 0.89, P < .001) and disordered eating behaviours (β = 0.29, P = .002). Contrastingly, downward comparisons (comparisons against less attractive individuals) elicited decreases in state body dissatisfaction (β = –0.31, P = .048) and, unexpectedly, increases in disordered eating behaviours (β = 0.46, P < .01). The frequency of appearance comparison engagement, regardless of whether it was upward or downward comparisons, was also predictive of increased disordered eating behaviours (β = 0.12, P < .001). In addition, eating pathology and trait body dissatisfaction were directly associated with higher state body dissatisfaction, and increased in disordered eating behaviours (all P < .001).
These findings highlight the general negative impact that appearance comparisons have on fluctuating states of body dissatisfaction and eating pathology, as well as illustrating how trait characteristics partially account for this volatility. These findings provide further information that may be used to inform eating disorder prevention and intervention efforts.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Longitudinal studies of first episode of psychosis (FEP) patients are critical to understanding the dynamic clinical factors influencing functional outcomes; negative symptoms and verbal memory (VM) deficits are two such factors that remain a therapeutic challenge. This study uses white-gray matter contrast at the inner edge of the cortex, in addition to cortical thickness, to probe changes in microstructure and their relation with negative symptoms and possible intersections with verbal memory.
T1-weighted images and clinical data were collected longitudinally for patients (N = 88) over a two-year period. Cognitive data were also collected at baseline. Relationships between baseline VM (immediate/delayed recall) and rate of change in two negative symptom dimensions, amotivation and expressivity, were assessed at the behavioral level, as well as at the level of brain structure.
VM, particularly immediate recall, was significantly and positively associated with a steeper rate of expressivity symptom decline (r = 0.32, q = 0.012). Significant interaction effects between baseline delayed recall and change in expressivity were uncovered in somatomotor regions bilaterally for both white-gray matter contrast and cortical thickness. Furthermore, interaction effects between immediate recall and change in expressivity on cortical thickness rates were uncovered across higher-order regions of the language processing network.
This study shows common neural correlates of language-related brain areas underlying expressivity and VM in FEP, suggesting deficits in these domains may be more linked to speech production rather than general cognitive capacity. Together, white-gray matter contrast and cortical thickness may optimally inform clinical investigations aiming to capture peri-cortical microstructural changes.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Innovation Concept: Free open access medical education (FOAM) is a quickly growing field. While there is an abundance of resources online, and on social media, the quality of those resources should always be questioned and reviewed. Furthermore, as medical learners progress in their training, they become lead consumers and producers of FOAM. Our educational innovation concept was the introduction of two FOAM streams into our residency program to assist learners to produce their own content with mentorship from our emergency medicine faculty. Methods: Medical students and residents training in the emergency department were encouraged to submit content to either our department website in the form of a clinical PEARL, or a research paper to the departmental Cureus online journal. All website content was reviewed by an attending physician and all Cureus content was submitted for further peer review and publication if approved. All published content was shared on social media through our department's Twitter account. A select number of residents were also mentored in reviewing and editing FOAM content and publishing it to our departmental website. Curriculum, Tool or Material: sjrhem.ca is the Saint John Regional Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine's website. A portion of the website is dedicated to posts arising from departmental rounds, case reviews as well as posts from learners in the form of clinical PEARLS. They are designed as succinct and informative clinical summaries and allow learners to share their content to a wider audience online. Cureus.com is an online journal of medical science, with a dedicated Dalhousie Emergency Medicine Channel. The editors are local emergency medicine faculty and senior residents, while reviewers are independent. In the last year, the clinical pearls received 5672 views, and the Cureus channel received 1143 content views. Conclusion: Feedback from learners regarding publication of their own FOAM has been positive and has allowed them to share their content to a much wider audience through our Departmental Website, Cureus Channel and Twitter stream. Furthermore, we are helping to prepare residents to produce their own high quality content, allowing our FOAM program to grow.
The link between circulating glucocorticoids and leptin in beef calves has not been explored but has been noted in several studies. The aim of this study is to determine the effects of exogenous glucocorticoids given at birth and 1 day of age on serum leptin concentrations in beef calves. Ruminant animals secrete leptin, which is thought to be important for the programming of the hypothalamic appetite centers. Angus crossbred cows (n = 31) bred via natural service were utilized for this experiment. At parturition (day 0), calf BW was recorded and each calf was infused intravenously with either a hydrocortisol sodium succinate solution (HC, 8 males and 8 females) at a dosage of 3.5 μg/kg of BW or a similar volume of saline solution (CONT, 7 males and 8 females). Each calf was given a second infusion of its respective treatment 24 h postpartum at 1.5 μg/kg of BW for HC treatment. Calf treatment was blocked by sex, dam body condition score (BCS), and dam age. Blood samples were taken via jugular venipuncture before infusion, daily from days 0 to 5, then every other day up to day 17. Serum leptin and cortisol concentrations were analyzed via radioimmunoassay. Dam age, dam BCS, calf BW, and serum leptin and cortisol concentrations were analyzed using MIXED procedure of SAS. Dam age was not different (P = 0.81) among HC and CONT calves (4.9±0.5 and 4.7±0.5, respectively). Dam BCS was not different between treatments (5.7±0.2 and 5.6±0.2 HC and CONT, respectively; P = 0.66). There was no difference in calf birth BW between treatments (P = 0.87) and averaged 38.3±1.4 kg. Cortisol concentrations were not different between both treatments (P = 0.23) from birth to day 4 of age. Calves that received the HC treatment showed significantly reduced (P = 0.03) leptin concentrations on days 1 to 13. Calf BW from 60 to 150 days of age was not different between CONT and HC treated calves (P = 0.65). These data indicate that exogenous glucocorticoids can be used to suppress neonatal leptin levels in calves. This could lead to changes in voluntary feed intake of treated calves.
Current work in multicultural competency has emphasized factors such as race and ethnicity, age, disability status, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and gender. For those clinicians who work with military and veteran populations, grounding in military cultural competence is also critical as a prerequisite for providing quality care. We believe that engaging these populations from a specifically cognitive behavioural orientation allows bridging of cultural gaps and that there is a natural alignment between cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and many aspects of warrior culture. This paper outlines several factors related to the values of military culture and strategies of the CBT therapist to better understand and use these values effectively in clinical practice, including lessons learned from an intensive outpatient program providing speciality care to veterans and military service members.
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.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is a promising method for bone tissue engineering applications. For enhanced bone regeneration, it is important to have printable ink materials with appealing properties such as construct interconnectivity, mechanical strength, controlled degradation rates, and the presence of bioactive materials. In this respect, we develop a composite ink composed of polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), and hydroxyapatite particles (HAps) and 3D print it into porous constructs. In vitro study revealed that composite constructs had higher mechanical properties, surface roughness, quicker degradation profile, and cellular behaviors compared to PCL counterparts. Furthermore, in vivo results showed that 3D-printed composite constructs had a positive influence on bone regeneration due to the presence of newly formed mineralized bone tissue and blood vessel formation. Therefore, 3D printable ink made of PCL/PLGA/HAp can be a highly useful material for 3D printing of bone tissue constructs.
Introduction: Patients with chronic diseases are known to benefit from exercise. Such patients often visit the emergency department (ED). There are few studies examining prescribing exercise in the ED. We wished to study if exercise prescription in the ED is feasible and effective. Methods: In this pilot prospective block randomized trial, patients in the control group received routine care, whereas the intervention group received a combined written and verbal prescription for moderate exercise (150 minutes/week). Both groups were followed up by phone at 2 months. The primary outcome was achieving 150 min of exercise per week. Secondary outcomes included change in exercise, and differences in reported median weekly exercise. Comparisons were made by Mann-Whitney and Fishers tests (GraphPad). Results: Follow-up was completed for 22 patients (11 Control; 11 Intervention). Baseline reported median (with IQR) weekly exercise was similar between groups; Control 0(0-0)min; Intervention 0(0-45)min. There was no difference between groups for the primary outcome of 150 min/week at 2 months (Control 3/11; Intervention 4/11, RR 1.33 (95%CI 0.38-4.6;p=1.0). There was a significant increase in median exercise from baseline in both groups, but no difference between the groups (Control 75(10-225)min; Intervention 120(52.5-150)min;NS). 3 control patients actually received exercise prescription as part of routine care. A post-hoc comparison of patients receiving intervention vs. no intervention, revealed an increase in patients meeting the primary target of 150min/week (No intervention 0/8; Intervention 7/14, RR 2.0 (95%CI 1.2-3.4);p=0.023). Conclusion: Recruitment was feasible, however our study was underpowered to quantify an estimated effect size. As a significant proportion of the control group received the intervention (as part of standard care), any potential measurable effect was diluted. The improvement seen in patients receiving intervention and the increase in reported exercise in both groups (possible Hawthorne effect) suggests that exercise prescription for ED patients may be beneficial.
Introduction: Ultrasonography (US), performed in the Emergency Department (ED) by Emergency Physicians, is well established. Educational studies have shown some promise in training paramedics in US use. We have developed and piloted a novel curriculum for paramedic US education. Methods: Based on an informal needs assessment, an US curriculum for paramedics was developed to include: Basic principles, Focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST), cardiac, and vascular access. Participants included ED-based and pre-hospital paramedics including all paramedics with critical care training who routinely perform vascular access and procedural sedation within our ED. Comparisons were made using paired non-parametric tests (GraphPad). Results: Participants (N=9) were provided pre- reading materials prior to completing a 6-hour course, consisting of a mix of didactic and practical sessions with live models and vascular access phantoms. Each module was introduced with a 30 minute didactic session, led by an Emergency Physician trained in US, followed immediately by a 1 hour hands-on session lead by either an Emergency Physician or an Emergency Medicine Resident at a learner to instructor ratio of 3:1. At the end of the course, participants were asked to complete a short 10 minute survey that included (1) an assessment of the course quality with regard to preparatory material and course content/delivery (4 point Likert scale; excellent, good, fair, poor); (2) self reported US knowledge pre and post course on a scale of 1-10 (10 high, 1 low); (3) general yes/no questions related to the future of ECCU paramedical and (4) a subjective written section for additional comments. All participants rated the content favourably: 97% scoring it as excellent, and 3% as good. The participants median self-reported US knowledge score increased from 2/10 (IQR 2-3) to 8/10 (IQR 7.25-8; p=0.009) post- course. All comments from the text field were positive in nature. Conclusion: We report a paramedic US course curriculum, which when piloted resulted in high learner satisfaction and a high rate of self reported improvement in US knowledge. Further study will include an assessment of knowledge acquisition and practical performance. Future modifications in our curriculum will be based on needs assessment and may include additional modules.
We performed a spatial-temporal analysis to assess household risk factors for Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in a remote, severely-affected village. We defined a household as a family's shared living space and a case-household as a household with at least one resident who became a suspect, probable, or confirmed Ebola case from 1 August 2014 to 10 October 2014. We used Geographic Information System (GIS) software to calculate inter-household distances, performed space-time cluster analyses, and developed Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Village X consisted of 64 households; 42% of households became case-households over the observation period. Two significant space-time clusters occurred among households in the village; temporal effects outweighed spatial effects. GEE demonstrated that the odds of becoming a case-household increased by 4·0% for each additional person per household (P < 0·02) and 2·6% per day (P < 0·07). An increasing number of persons per household, and to a lesser extent, the passage of time after onset of the outbreak were risk factors for household Ebola acquisition, emphasizing the importance of prompt public health interventions that prioritize the most populated households. Using GIS with GEE can reveal complex spatial-temporal risk factors, which can inform prioritization of response activities in future outbreaks.