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The effectiveness of Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) is strongly related to their time of arrival, and usually only few teams arrive within 24-48 h postdisaster. The decision to deploy and the scale of deployment rely heavily on context and nature of the event and consequently a rapid assessment of needs/gaps is critical to an appropriate and customized response.
In this study, we describe a desk-based study that provides: (1) knowledge about the medical needs that can be anticipated according to the phases of the disaster that is not rich in literature; and (2) a decision support framework for the deployment of EMTs to earthquakes that combines the results of a literature research and a Delphi study involving the opinion of 12 experts in the field.
The resulting framework is a tool that will help better mapping the configuration to the needs on the ground at the time the team becomes operational in the field and will assist those responsible for deploying and/or accepting EMTs in making informed decisions on deployment after an earthquake.
With additional research the framework approach may be adapted to other types of international relief such as to deploy a Search And Rescue (SAR) team.
Monolayer (ML) molybdenum disulfide (MoS₂) is a novel 2-dimensional (2D) semiconductor whose properties have many applications in devices. Despite its potential, ML MoS₂ is limited in its use due to its degradation under exposure to ambient air. Therefore, studies of possible degradation prevention methods are important. It is well established that air humidity plays a major role in the degradation. In this paper, we investigate the effects of substrate hydrophobicity on the degradation of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown ML MoS2. We use optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman mapping to investigate the degradation of ML MoS2 grown on SiO2 and Si3N4 that are hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates, respectively. Our results show that the degradation of ML MoS₂ on Si3N4 is significantly less than the degradation on SiO2. These results show that using hydrophobic substrates to grow 2D transition metal dichalcogenide ML materials may diminish ambient degradation and enable improved protocols for device manufacturing.
Objective: Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is a common cause of refractory, focal onset epilepsy in children. Interictal, scalp electroencephalograph (EEG) markers have been associated with these pathologies and epilepsy surgery may be an option for some patients. We aim to study how scalp EEG and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers of FCD affect referral of these patients for surgical evaluation. Methods: A single-center, retrospective review of children with focal onset epilepsy. Patients were included if they were between 1 month and 18 years of age, had focal onset seizures, prolonged scalp EEG monitoring, and an MRI conducted after 2 years of age. Statistics were carried out using the chi-squared and student’s t-test, as well as a logistic regression model. Results: Sixty-eight patients were included in the study. Thirty-seven of these patients were referred to a comprehensive pediatric epilepsy program (CPEP) for surgical evaluation, and of these 22% showed FCD EEG markers, 32% FCD MRI markers, and 10% had both. These markers were also present in patients not referred to a CPEP. The MRI markers were significantly associated with CPEP referral, whereas EEG markers were not. Neither marker type was associated with epilepsy surgery. Conclusion: This study found that children with focal onset epilepsy were more likely to be referred for surgical evaluation if they were medically refractory, or were diagnosed with FCD or tumor on MRI. Scalp EEG markers of FCD were not associated with CPEP referral. The online tool CASES may be a useful physician guide for identifying appropriate children for epilepsy surgery referral.
Complex challenges may arise when patients present to emergency services with an advance decision to refuse life-saving treatment following suicidal behaviour.
To investigate the use of advance decisions to refuse treatment in the context of suicidal behaviour from the perspective of clinicians and people with lived experience of self-harm and/or psychiatric services.
Forty-one participants aged 18 or over from hospital services (emergency departments, liaison psychiatry and ambulance services) and groups of individuals with experience of psychiatric services and/or self-harm were recruited to six focus groups in a multisite study in England. Data were collected in 2016 using a structured topic guide and included a fictional vignette. They were analysed using thematic framework analysis.
Advance decisions to refuse treatment for suicidal behaviour were contentious across groups. Three main themes emerged from the data: (a) they may enhance patient autonomy and aid clarity in acute emergencies, but also create legal and ethical uncertainty over treatment following self-harm; (b) they are anxiety provoking for clinicians; and (c) in practice, there are challenges in validation (for example, validating the patient’s mental capacity at the time of writing), time constraints and significant legal/ethical complexities.
The potential for patients to refuse life-saving treatment following suicidal behaviour in a legal document was challenging and anxiety provoking for participants. Clinicians should act with caution given the potential for recovery and fluctuations in suicidal ideation. Currently, advance decisions to refuse treatment have questionable use in the context of suicidal behaviour given the challenges in validation. Discussion and further patient research are needed in this area.
Declaration of interest
D.G., K.H. and N.K. are members of the Department of Health's (England) National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group. N.K. chaired the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline development group for the longer-term management of self-harm and the NICE Topic Expert Group (which developed the quality standards for self-harm services). He is currently chair of the updated NICE guideline for Depression. K.H. and D.G. are NIHR Senior Investigators. K.H. is also supported by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and N.K. by the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
A new deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) technique is described, called half-width at variable intensity analysis. This method utilizes the width and normalized intensity of a DLTS signal to determine the activation energy and capture cross section of the trap that generated the signal via a variable, kO. This constant relates the carrier emission rates giving rise to the differential capacitance signal associated with a given trap at two different temperatures: the temperature at which the maximum differential capacitance is detected, and an arbitrary temperature at which some nonzero differential capacitance signal is detected. The extracted activation energy of the detected trap center is used along with the position of the peak maximum to extract the capture cross section of the trap center.
Neuropsychological investigations can help untangle the aetiological and phenomenological heterogeneity of schizophrenia but have scarcely been employed in the context of treatment-resistant (TR) schizophrenia. No population-based study has examined neuropsychological function in the first-episode of TR psychosis.
We report baseline neuropsychological findings from a longitudinal, population-based study of first-episode psychosis, which followed up cases from index admission to 10 years. At the 10-year follow up patients were classified as treatment responsive or TR after reconstructing their entire case histories. Of 145 cases with neuropsychological data at baseline, 113 were classified as treatment responsive, and 32 as TR at the 10-year follow-up.
Compared with 257 community controls, both case groups showed baseline deficits in three composite neuropsychological scores, derived from principal component analysis: verbal intelligence and fluency, visuospatial ability and executive function, and verbal memory and learning (p values⩽0.001). Compared with treatment responders, TR cases showed deficits in verbal intelligence and fluency, both in the extended psychosis sample (t = −2.32; p = 0.022) and in the schizophrenia diagnostic subgroup (t = −2.49; p = 0.017). Similar relative deficits in the TR cases emerged in sub-/sensitivity analyses excluding patients with delayed-onset treatment resistance (p values<0.01–0.001) and those born outside the UK (p values<0.05).
Verbal intelligence and fluency are impaired in patients with TR psychosis compared with those who respond to treatment. This differential is already detectable – at a group level – at the first illness episode, supporting the conceptualisation of TR psychosis as a severe, pathogenically distinct variant, embedded in aberrant neurodevelopmental processes.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
To examine variation in antibiotic coverage and detection of resistant pathogens in community-onset pneumonia.
A total of 128 hospitals in the Veterans Affairs health system.
Hospitalizations with a principal diagnosis of pneumonia from 2009 through 2010.
We examined proportions of hospitalizations with empiric antibiotic coverage for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAER) and with initial detection in blood or respiratory cultures. We compared lowest- versus highest-decile hospitals, and we estimated adjusted probabilities (AP) for patient- and hospital-level factors predicting coverage and detection using hierarchical regression modeling.
Among 38,473 hospitalizations, empiric coverage varied widely across hospitals (MRSA lowest vs highest, 8.2% vs 42.0%; PAER lowest vs highest, 13.9% vs 44.4%). Detection rates also varied (MRSA lowest vs highest, 0.5% vs 3.6%; PAER lowest vs highest, 0.6% vs 3.7%). Whereas coverage was greatest among patients with recent hospitalizations (AP for anti-MRSA, 54%; AP for anti-PAER, 59%) and long-term care (AP for anti-MRSA, 60%; AP for anti-PAER, 66%), detection was greatest in patients with a previous history of a positive culture (AP for MRSA, 7.9%; AP for PAER, 11.9%) and in hospitals with a high prevalence of the organism in pneumonia (AP for MRSA, 3.9%; AP for PAER, 3.2%). Low hospital complexity and rural setting were strong negative predictors of coverage but not of detection.
Hospitals demonstrated widespread variation in both coverage and detection of MRSA and PAER, but probability of coverage correlated poorly with probability of detection. Factors associated with empiric coverage (eg, healthcare exposure) were different from those associated with detection (eg, microbiology history). Providing microbiology data during empiric antibiotic decision making could better align coverage to risk for resistant pathogens and could promote more judicious use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
We present wide-field, spatially and highly resolved spectroscopic observations of Balmer filaments in the northeastern rim of Tycho’s supernova remnant in order to investigate the signal of cosmic-ray (CR) acceleration. The spectra of Balmer-dominated shocks (BDSs) have characteristic narrow (FWHM ~ 10 km s−1) and broad (FWHM ~ 1000 km s−1) Hα components. CRs affect the Hα-line parameters: heating the cold neutrals in the interstellar medium results in broadening of the narrow Hα-line width beyond 20 km s−1, but also in reduction of the broad Hα-line width due to energy being removed from the protons in the post-shock region. For the first time we show that the width of the narrow Hα line, much larger than 20 km s−1, is not a resolution or geometric effect nor a spurious result of a neglected intermediate (FWHM ~ 100 km s−1) component resulting from hydrogen atoms undergoing charge exchange with warm protons in the broad-neutral precursor. Moreover, we show that a narrow line width ≫ 20 km s−1 extends across the entire NE rim, implying CR acceleration is ubiquitous, and making it possible to relate its strength to locally varying shock conditions. Finally, we find several locations along the rim, where spectra are significantly better explained (based on Bayesian evidence) by inclusion of the intermediate component, with a width of 180 km s−1 on average.
The rapid growth and co-option of the local agriculture movement highlights a need to deepen connections to place-based culture. Selection of plant varieties specifically adapted to regional production and end-use is an important component of building a resilient food system. Doing so will facilitate a defetishization of food systems by increasing the cultural connection to production and consumption. Today's dominant model of plant breeding relies on selection for centralized production and end-use, thereby limiting opportunity for regional differentiation. On the other hand, end-user-driven selection of heirloom varieties with strong cultural and culinary significance may limit productivity while failing to promote continued advances in end-use quality. Farmer-based selection may directly reflect local food culture; however, increasing genetic gains may require increased exchange of germplasm, and collaboration with trained plant breeders. Participatory farmer–breeder–chef collaborations are an emerging model for overcoming these limitations and adding the strength of culturally based plant breeding to the alternative food movement. These models of variety selection are examined within the context of small grain and dry bean production in Western Washington.
Recent efforts have demonstrated enhanced tailoring of material functionality with mixed anion materials, yet exploratory research with mixed anion chemistries is limited by the sensitivity of these materials to synthesis conditions. Synthesis of a particular metal oxynitride compound by traditional reactive annealing requires specific, limited ranges of both oxygen and nitrogen chemical potentials to establish equilibrium between the solid-state material and a reactive atmosphere. Using Ta–O–N as an example system, we describe a combination of reactive sputter deposition and rapid thermal processing (RTP) for synthesis of mixed anion inorganic materials. Heuristic optimization of reactive gas pressures to attain a desired anion stoichiometry is discussed, and the ability of RTP to enable amorphous to crystalline transitions without preferential anion loss is demonstrated through the controlled synthesis of nitride, oxide, and oxynitride phases.
Standard estimates of the impact of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) on inpatient lengths of stay (LOS) may overstate inpatient care costs attributable to CDI. In this study, we used multistate modeling (MSM) of CDI timing to reduce bias in estimates of excess LOS.
A retrospective cohort study of all hospitalizations at any of 120 acute care facilities within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) between 2005 and 2012 was conducted. We estimated the excess LOS attributable to CDI using an MSM to address time-dependent bias. Bootstrapping was used to generate 95% confidence intervals (CI). These estimates were compared to unadjusted differences in mean LOS for hospitalizations with and without CDI.
During the study period, there were 3.96 million hospitalizations and 43,540 CDIs. A comparison of unadjusted means suggested an excess LOS of 14.0 days (19.4 vs 5.4 days). In contrast, the MSM estimated an attributable LOS of only 2.27 days (95% CI, 2.14–2.40). The excess LOS for mild-to-moderate CDI was 0.75 days (95% CI, 0.59–0.89), and for severe CDI, it was 4.11 days (95% CI, 3.90–4.32). Substantial variation across the Veteran Integrated Services Networks (VISN) was observed.
CDI significantly contributes to LOS, but the magnitude of its estimated impact is smaller when methods are used that account for the time-varying nature of infection. The greatest impact on LOS occurred among patients with severe CDI. Significant geographic variability was observed. MSM is a useful tool for obtaining more accurate estimates of the inpatient care costs of CDI.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1024–1030