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Successful management of an event where health-care needs exceed regional health-care capacity requires coordinated strategies for scarce resource allocation. Publications for rapid development, training, and coordination of regional hospital triage teams to manage the allocation of scarce resources during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are lacking. Over a period of 3 weeks, over 100 clinicians, ethicists, leaders, and public health authorities convened virtually to achieve consensus on how best to save the most lives possible and share resources. This is referred to as population-based crisis management. The rapid regionalization of 22 acute care hospitals across 4500 square miles in the midst of a pandemic with a shifting regulatory landscape was challenging, but overcome by mutual trust, transparency, and confidence in the public health authority. Because many cities are facing COVID-19 surges, we share a process for successful rapid formation of health-care care coalitions, Crisis Standard of Care, and training of Triage Teams. Incorporation of continuous process improvement and methods for communication is essential for successful implementation. Use of our regional health-care coalition communications, incident command system, and the crisis care committee helped mitigate crisis care in the San Diego and Imperial County region as COVID-19 cases surged and scarce resource collaborative decisions were required.
To evaluate the effect of the burden of Staphylococcus aureus colonization of nursing home residents on the risk of S. aureus transmission to healthcare worker (HCW) gowns and gloves.
Multicenter prospective cohort study.
Setting and participants:
Residents and HCWs from 13 community-based nursing homes in Maryland and Michigan.
Residents were cultured for S. aureus at the anterior nares and perianal skin. The S. aureus burden was estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction detecting the nuc gene. HCWs wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities; gowns and gloves were swabbed and then cultured for the presence of S. aureus.
In total, 403 residents were enrolled; 169 were colonized with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) or methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and comprised the study population; 232 were not colonized and thus were excluded from this analysis; and 2 were withdrawn prior to being swabbed. After multivariable analysis, perianal colonization with S. aureus conferred the greatest odds for transmission to HCW gowns and gloves, and the odds increased with increasing burden of colonization: adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 2.1 (95% CI, 1.3–3.5) for low-level colonization and aOR 5.2 (95% CI, 3.1–8.7) for high level colonization.
Among nursing home patients colonized with S. aureus, the risk of transmission to HCW gowns and gloves was greater from those colonized with greater quantities of S. aureus on the perianal skin. Our findings inform future infection control practices for both MRSA and MSSA in nursing homes.
The Apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele increases the risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, but not all carriers develop MCI/dementia. The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if early and subtle preclinical signs of cognitive dysfunction and medial temporal lobe atrophy are observed in cognitively intact ε4 carriers who subsequently develop MCI.
Twenty-nine healthy, cognitively intact ε4 carriers (ε3/ε4 heterozygotes; ages 65–85) underwent neuropsychological testing and MRI-based measurements of medial temporal volumes over a 5-year follow-up interval; data were converted to z-scores based on a non-carrier group consisting of 17 ε3/ε3 homozygotes.
At follow-up, 11 ε4 carriers (38%) converted to a diagnosis of MCI. At study entry, the MCI converters had significantly lower scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) Trials 1–5, and RAVLT Immediate Recall compared to non-converters. MCI converters also had smaller MRI volumes in the left subiculum than non-converters. Follow-up logistic regressions revealed that left subiculum volumes and RAVLT Trials 1–5 scores were significant predictors of MCI conversion.
Results from this exploratory study suggest that ε4 carriers who convert to MCI exhibit subtle cognitive and volumetric differences years prior to diagnosis.
Uninsured patients are more likely than the general population to use tobacco and less likely to quit.
To determine if the mode of delivering the PHS Guidelines influenced the effectiveness of smoking cessation among patients in a safety net setting.
Six free clinics were randomly assigned to a training program delivered by an academic physician or community partner plus video support. A repeated cross-sectional survey of patients was conducted at three waves to assess effectiveness to promote quitting.
Tobacco use was triple the rate of the US population: 57.7% (Wave 1), 44.7% (Wave 2), and 48.9% (Wave 3). Patients were more likely to report receipt of at least one evidence-based strategy to promote quitting at Wave 2 (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI (1.18–4.58)). Patients treated in clinics trained by the community partner were significantly more likely to report receiving cessation assistance at Wave 2 (AOR 2.54, 95%CI 1.29–5.00) and the trend was similar, but not significant at Wave 3. Patients in the community partner-led arm were significantly less likely to report tobacco use at Wave 3 (AOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.35–0.99).
Implementation of the PHS Guidelines in free clinics demonstrates preliminary efficacy, with delivery by community partners offering greater scalability.
Disaster Medicine (DM) education for Emergency Medicine (EM) residents is highly variable due to time constraints, competing priorities, and program expertise. The investigators’ aim was to define and prioritize DM core competencies for EM residency programs through consensus opinion of experts and EM professional organization representatives.
Investigators utilized a modified Delphi methodology to generate a recommended, prioritized core curriculum of 40 DM educational topics for EM residencies.
The DM topics recommended and outlined for inclusion in EM residency training included: patient triage in disasters, surge capacity, introduction to disaster nomenclature, blast injuries, hospital disaster mitigation, preparedness, planning and response, hospital response to chemical mass-casualty incident (MCI), decontamination indications and issues, trauma MCI, disaster exercises and training, biological agents, personal protective equipment, and hospital response to radiation MCI.
This expert-consensus-driven, prioritized ranking of DM topics may serve as the core curriculum for US EM residency programs.
Lagrangian data assimilation is a complex problem in oceanic and atmospheric modelling. Tracking drifters in large-scale geophysical flows can involve uncertainty in drifter location, complex inertial effects and other factors which make comparing them to simulated Lagrangian trajectories from numerical models extremely challenging. Temporal and spatial discretisation, factors necessary in modelling large scale flows, also contribute to separation between real and simulated drifter trajectories. The chaotic advection inherent in these turbulent flows tends to separate even closely spaced tracer particles, making error metrics based solely on drifter displacements unsuitable for estimating model parameters. We propose to instead use error in the coherent structure colouring (CSC) field to assess model skill. The CSC field provides a spatial representation of the underlying coherent patterns in the flow, and we show that it is a more robust metric for assessing model accuracy. Through the use of two test cases, one considering spatial uncertainty in particle initialisation, and one examining the influence of stochastic error along a trajectory and temporal discretisation, we show that error in the coherent structure colouring field can be used to accurately determine single or multiple simultaneously unknown model parameters, whereas a conventional error metric based on error in drifter displacement fails. Because the CSC field enhances the difference in error between correct and incorrect model parameters, error minima in model parameter sweeps become more distinct. The effectiveness and robustness of this method for single and multi-parameter estimation in analytical flows suggest that Lagrangian data assimilation for real oceanic and atmospheric models would benefit from a similar approach.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of directed and sustained attention on the allocation of visuospatial attention. Healthy people often have left lateral and upward vertical spatial attentional biases. However, it is not known whether there will be an increase in bias toward the attended portion of the stimulus when volitional spatial attention is allocated to a portion of a stimulus, whether there are asymmetrical spatial alterations of these biases, and how sustained attention influences these biases. Methods: We assessed spatial bias in 36 healthy, right-handed participants using a variant of horizontal and vertical line bisections. Participants were asked to focus on one or the other end of vertical or horizontal lines or entire vertical or horizontal lines, and then to bisect the line either immediately or after a 20 second delay. Results: We found a significant main effect of attentional focus and an interaction between attentional focus and prolonged viewing with delayed bisection. Focusing on a certain portion of the line resulting in a significant deviation toward the attended portion and prolonged viewing of the line prior to bisection significantly enhanced the degree of deviation toward the attended portion. Conclusions: The enhanced bias with directed and sustained attention may be useful modifications of the line bisection test, particularly in clinical populations. Thus, future studies should determine whether prolonged viewing with delayed bisection and spatially focused attention reveals attentional biases in patients with hemispheric lesions who perform normally on the traditional line bisection test. (JINS, 2019, 25, 65–71)
To estimate the risk of transmission of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (RGNB) to gowns and gloves worn by healthcare personnel (HCP) when providing care to residents of community-based nursing facilities to identify the types of care and resident characteristics associated with transmission.
Prospective observational study.
Settings and participants
Residents and HCP from 13 community-based nursing facilities in Maryland and Michigan.
Perianal swabs were collected from residents and cultured to detect RGNB. HCP wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities, and at the end of each interaction, these were swabbed in a standardized manner. Transmission of RGNB from a colonized resident to gowns and gloves was estimated. Odds ratios (ORs) of transmission associated with type of care or resident characteristic were calculated.
We enrolled 403 residents and their HCP in this study. Overall, 19% of enrolled residents with a perianal swab (n=399) were colonized with at least 1 RGNB. RGNB transmission to either gloves or gowns occurred during 11% of the 584 interactions. Showering the resident, hygiene or toilet assistance, and wound dressing changes were associated with a high risk of transmission. Glucose monitoring and assistance with feeding or medication were associated with a low risk of transmission. Residents with a pressure ulcer were 3 times more likely to transmit RGNB than residents without one (OR, 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–11.1).
Gown and glove use in community nursing facilities should be prioritized for certain residents and care interactions that are deemed a high risk for transmission.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Clinical guidelines recommend using predicted atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk to inform treatment decisions. The objective was to compare the contribution of changes in modifiable risk factors Versus aging to the development of high 10-year predicted ASCVD risk. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Prospective follow-up of the Jackson Heart Study, an exclusively African-American cohort, at visit 1 (2000–2004) and visit 3 (2009–2012). Analyses included 1115 African-American participants without a high 10-year predicted ASCVD risk (<7.5%), hypertension, diabetes, or ASCVD at visit 1. We used the Pooled Cohort equations to calculate the incidence of high (≥7.5%) 10-year predicted ASCVD risk at visit 3. We recalculated the percentage with a high 10-year predicted ASCVD risk at visit 3 assuming each risk factor [age, systolic blood pressure (SBP), antihypertensive medication use, diabetes, smoking, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol], one at a time, did not change from visit 1. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The mean age at visit 1 was 45.2±9.5 years. Overall, 30.9% (95% CI 28.3%–33.4%) of participants developed high 10-year predicted ASCVD risk. Aging accounted for 59.7% (95% CI 54.2%–65.1%) of the development of high 10-year predicted ASCVD risk compared with 32.8% (95% CI 27.0%–38.2%) for increases in SBP or antihypertensive medication initiation and 12.8% (95% CI 9.6%–16.5%) for incident diabetes. Among participants <50 years, the contribution of increases in SBP or antihypertensive medication initiation was similar to aging. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Increases in SBP and antihypertensive medication initiation are major contributors to the development of high 10-year predicted ASCVD risk in African Americans, particularly among younger adults.
We present a frame-invariant method for detecting coherent structures from Lagrangian flow trajectories that can be sparse in number, as is the case in many fluid mechanics applications of practical interest. The method, based on principles used in graph colouring and spectral graph drawing algorithms, examines a measure of the kinematic dissimilarity of all pairs of fluid trajectories, measured either experimentally, e.g. using particle tracking velocimetry, or numerically, by advecting fluid particles in the Eulerian velocity field. Coherence is assigned to groups of particles whose kinematics remain similar throughout the time interval for which trajectory data are available, regardless of their physical proximity to one another. Through the use of several analytical and experimental validation cases, this algorithm is shown to robustly detect coherent structures using significantly less flow data than are required by existing spectral graph theory methods.
Objectives: White matter (WM) integrity within the mesial temporal lobe (MTL) is important for episodic memory (EM) functioning. The current study investigated the ability of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in MTL WM tracts to predict 3-year changes in EM performance in healthy elders at disproportionately higher genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: Fifty-one cognitively intact elders (52% with family history (FH) of dementia and 33% possessing an Apolipoprotein E ε4 allelle) were administered the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) at study entry and at 3-year follow-up. DTI scanning, conducted at study entry, examined fractional anisotropy and mean, radial and axial diffusion within three MTL WM tracts: uncinate fasciculus (UNC), cingulate-hippocampal (CHG), and fornix-stria terminalis (FxS). Correlations were performed between residualized change scores computed from RAVLT trials 1–5, immediate recall, and delayed recall scores and baseline DTI measures; MTL gray matter (GM) and WM volumes; demographics; and AD genetic and metabolic risk factors. Results: Higher MTL mean and axial diffusivity at baseline significantly predicted 3-year changes in EM, whereas baseline MTL GM and WM volumes, FH, and metabolic risk factors did not. Both ε4 status and DTI correlated with change in immediate recall. Conclusions: Longitudinal EM changes in cognitively intact, healthy elders can be predicted by disruption of the MTL WM microstructure. These results are derived from a sample with a disproportionately higher genetic risk for AD, suggesting that the observed WM disruption in MTL pathways may be related to early neuropathological changes associated with the preclinical stage of AD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1005–1015)
To estimate the frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission to gowns and gloves worn by healthcare workers (HCWs) interacting with nursing home residents to better inform infection prevention policies in this setting
Participants were recruited from 13 community-based nursing homes in Maryland and Michigan
Residents and HCWs from these nursing homes
Residents were cultured for MRSA at the anterior nares and perianal or perineal skin. HCWs wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities. At the end of each activity, a research coordinator swabbed the HCW’s gown and gloves.
A total of 403 residents were enrolled; 113 were MRSA colonized. Glove contamination was higher than gown contamination (24% vs 14% of 954 interactions; P<.01). Transmission varied greatly by type of care from 0% to 24% for gowns and from 8% to 37% for gloves. We identified high-risk care activities: dressing, transferring, providing hygiene, changing linens, and toileting the resident (OR >1.0; P<.05). We also identified low-risk care activities: giving medications and performing glucose monitoring (OR<1.0; P<.05). Residents with chronic skin breakdown had significantly higher rates of gown and glove contamination.
MRSA transmission from MRSA-positive residents to HCW gown and gloves is substantial; high-contact activities of daily living confer the highest risk. These activities do not involve overt contact with body fluids, skin breakdown, or mucous membranes, which suggests the need to modify current standards of care involving the use of gowns and gloves in the nursing home setting.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1050–1057
Previous studies suggest that task-activated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can predict future cognitive decline among healthy older adults. The present fMRI study examined the relative sensitivity of semantic memory (SM) versus episodic memory (EM) activation tasks for predicting cognitive decline. Seventy-eight cognitively intact elders underwent neuropsychological testing at entry and after an 18-month interval, with participants classified as cognitively “Stable” or “Declining” based on ≥1.0 SD decline in performance. Baseline fMRI scanning involved SM (famous name discrimination) and EM (name recognition) tasks. SM and EM fMRI activation, along with Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status, served as predictors of cognitive outcome using a logistic regression analysis. Twenty-seven (34.6%) participants were classified as Declining and 51 (65.4%) as Stable. APOE ε4 status alone significantly predicted cognitive decline (R2 = .106; C index = .642). Addition of SM activation significantly improved prediction accuracy (R2 = .285; C index = .787), whereas the addition of EM did not (R2 = .212; C index = .711). In combination with APOE status, SM task activation predicts future cognitive decline better than EM activation. These results have implications for use of fMRI in prevention clinical trials involving the identification of persons at-risk for age-associated memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–11)
This Summary for Policymakers presents key findings from the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX). The SREX approaches the topic by assessing the scientific literature on issues that range from the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events (‘climate extremes’) to the implications of these events for society and sustainable development. The assessment concerns the interaction of climatic, environmental, and human factors that can lead to impacts and disasters, options for managing the risks posed by impacts and disasters, and the important role that non-climatic factors play in determining impacts. Box SPM.1 defines concepts central to the SREX.
The character and severity of impacts from climate extremes depend not only on the extremes themselves but also on exposure and vulnerability. In this report, adverse impacts are considered disasters when they produce widespread damage and cause severe alterations in the normal functioning of communities or societies. Climate extremes, exposure, and vulnerability are influenced by a wide range of factors, including anthropogenic climate change, natural climate variability, and socioeconomic development (Figure SPM.1). Disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change focus on reducing exposure and vulnerability and increasing resilience to the potential adverse impacts of climate extremes, even though risks cannot fully be eliminated (Figure SPM.2). Although mitigation of climate change is not the focus of this report, adaptation and mitigation can complement each other and together can significantly reduce the risks of climate change. [SYR AR4, 5.3]
The point of departure for this study is the recent work of Burden (2008) on the “gender gap” in partisanship in the United States. He shows that the preponderance of Democratic identification among women is partly a function of the measurement of party identification. When respondents were asked “Do you feel that you are” rather than, more traditionally, “Do you think of yourself as” a Democrat or Republican, the sex gap narrowed to statistical nonsignificance. Burden's explanation for this result lies in the psychology of partisanship. The traditional “think of yourself as” (or cognitive) question primes women to consider their partisanship as a social identity, which in turn activates the stereotypical association between women and the Democratic Party. The “feel that you are” (or affective) question encourages a deeper, more personalized response, rendering social identity less relevant and thereby nullifying the effect of that stereotype.