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Short-term survival after paediatric cardiac surgery has improved significantly over the past 20 years and increasing attention is being given to measuring and reducing incidence of morbidities following surgery. How to best use routinely collected data to share morbidity information constitutes a challenge for clinical teams interested in analysing their outcomes for quality improvement. We aimed to develop a tool facilitating this process in the context of monitoring morbidities following paediatric cardiac surgery, as part of a prospective multi-centre research study in the United Kingdom.
We developed a prototype software tool to analyse and present data about morbidities associated with cardiac surgery in children. We used an iterative process, involving engagement with potential users, tool design and implementation, and feedback collection. Graphical data displays were based on the use of icons and graphs designed in collaboration with clinicians.
Our tool enables automatic creation of graphical summaries, displayed as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, from a spreadsheet containing patient-level data about specified cardiac surgery morbidities. Data summaries include numbers/percentages of cases with morbidities reported, co-occurrences of different morbidities, and time series of each complication over a time window.
Our work was characterised by a very high level of interaction with potential users of the tool, enabling us to promptly account for feedback and suggestions from clinicians and data managers. The United Kingdom centres involved in the project received the tool positively, and several expressed their interest in using it as part of their routine practice.
Breastfeeding may reduce obesity risk, but this association could be confounded by breastfeeding families’ characteristics. We investigated if body composition differs at birth among infants who were either exclusively breast- or formula-fed. We hypothesized the two groups would differ in body composition, even at birth, prior to their post-natal feeding experience. Healthy primiparous carrying singleton pregnancy were recruited at 15 weeks’ gestation. PEA POD® measured body composition within 72 hours of delivery and infant feeding was prospectively captured. Out of the 1,152 infants recruited, 117 (10.2%) and 239 (20.7%) went on to be either exclusively breast- or formula-fed, respectively. Breastfed infants were heavier at birth, but their percentage fat mass (FM) was lower than that of exclusively formula-fed infants (covariate adjusted β = −1.91 percentage points of FM; 95% CI −2.82 to −1.01). Differences in intra-uterine exposures, irrespective of early diet, may partly explain an infant’s obesity risk.
To evaluate the impact of changes to urine testing orderables in computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system on urine culturing practices.
Retrospective before-and-after study.
A 1,250-bed academic tertiary-care referral center.
Hospitalized adults who had ≥1 urine culture performed during their stay.
The intervention (implemented in April 2017) consisted of notifications to providers, changes to order sets, and inclusion of the new urine culture reflex tests in commonly used order sets. We compared the urine culture rates before the intervention (January 2015 to April 2016) and after the intervention (May 2016 to August 2017), adjusting for temporal trends.
During the study period, 18,954 inpatients (median age, 62 years; 68.8% white and 52.3% female) had 24,569 urine cultures ordered. Overall, 6,662 urine cultures (27%) were positive. The urine culturing rate decreased significantly in the postintervention period for any specimen type (38.1 per 1,000 patient days preintervention vs 20.9 per 1,000 patient days postintervention; P < .001), clean catch (30.0 vs 18.7; P < .001) and catheterized urine (7.8 vs 1.9; P < .001). Using an interrupted time series model, urine culture rates decreased for all specimen types (P < .05).
Our intervention of changes to order sets and inclusion of the new urine culture reflex tests resulted in a 45% reduction in the urine cultures ordered. CPOE system format plays a vital role in reducing the burden of unnecessary urine cultures and should be implemented in combination with other efforts.
Rapidly advancing technology often pulls the regulatory field along as it evolves to incorporate new concepts, better tools, and more finely honed equipment. When the area impacted by the technological advancement is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a gap develops between the technology and the guidelines that govern its application. Subsequently, there are challenges in determining appropriate regulatory pathways for evolving products at the initial research and developmental stages. Myriad factors necessitate several rounds of iterative review and the involvement of multiple divisions within the FDA. To better understand the regulatory science issues roiling around the area of additive manufacturing of medical products, a group of experts, led by a Clinical and Translational Science Award working group, convened the Regulatory Science to Advance Precision Medicine at the Fall Forum to discuss some of the current regulatory science roadblocks.
Introduction: Continued smoking by cancer patients causes adverse cancer treatment outcomes, but few patients receive evidence-based smoking cessation as a standard of care.
Aim: To evaluate practical strategies to promote wide-scale dissemination and implementation of evidence-based tobacco cessation services within state cancer centers.
Methods: A Collaborative Learning Model (CLM) for Quality Improvement was evaluated with three community oncology practices to identify barriers and facilitate practice change to deliver evidence-based smoking cessation treatments to cancer patients using standardized assessments and referrals to statewide smoking cessation resources. Patients were enrolled and tracked through an automated data system and received follow-up cessation support post-enrollment. Monthly quantitative reports and qualitative data gathered through interviews and collaborative learning sessions were used to evaluate meaningful quality improvement changes in each cancer center.
Results: Baseline practice evaluation for the CLM identified the lack of tobacco use documentation, awareness of cessation guidelines, and awareness of services for patients as common barriers. Implementation of a structured assessment and referral process demonstrated that of 1,632 newly registered cancer patients,1,581 (97%) were screened for tobacco use. Among those screened, 283 (18%) were found to be tobacco users. Of identified tobacco users, 207 (73%) were advised to quit. Referral of new patients who reported using tobacco to an evidence-based cessation program increased from 0% at baseline across all three cancer centers to 64% (range = 30%–89%) during the project period.
Conclusions: Implementation of quality improvement learning collaborative models can dramatically improve delivery of guideline-based tobacco cessation treatments to cancer patients.
We compared sepsis “time zero” and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) SEP-1 pass rates among 3 abstractors in 3 hospitals. Abstractors agreed on time zero in 29 of 80 (36%) cases. Perceived pass rates ranged from 9 of 80 cases (11%) to 19 of 80 cases (23%). Variability in time zero and perceived pass rates limits the utility of SEP-1 for measuring quality.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the presence and severity of potential cultural and language bias in widely used cognitive and other assessment instruments, using structural MRI measures of neurodegeneration as biomarkers of disease stage and severity. Methods: Hispanic (n=75) and White non-Hispanic (WNH) (n=90) subjects were classified as cognitively normal (CN), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and mild dementia. Performance on the culture-fair and educationally fair Fuld Object Memory Evaluation (FOME) and Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) between Hispanics and WNHs was equivalent, in each diagnostic group. Volumetric and visually rated measures of the hippocampus entorhinal cortex, and inferior lateral ventricles (ILV) were measured on structural MRI scans for all subjects. A series of analyses of covariance, controlling for age, depression, and education, were conducted to compare the level of neurodegeneration on these MRI measures between Hispanics and WNHs in each diagnostic group. Results: Among both Hispanics and WNH groups there was a progressive decrease in volume of the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, and an increase in volume of the ILV (indicating increasing atrophy in the regions surrounding the ILV) from CN to aMCI to mild dementia. For equivalent levels of performance on the FOME and CDR, WNHs had greater levels of neurodegeneration than did Hispanic subjects. Conclusions: Atrophy in medial temporal regions was found to be greater among WNH than Hispanic diagnostic groups, despite the lack of statistical differences in cognitive performance between these two ethnic groups. Presumably, unmeasured factors result in better cognitive performance among WNH than Hispanics for a given level of neurodegeneration. (JINS, 2018, 24, 176–187)
Introduction: The emergence of electronic cigarettes (ECs) has become a growing phenomenon that has sharply split opinion among the public health community, physicians, and lawmakers.
Aims: We sought to determine chest physician perceptions regarding ECs.
Methods: We conducted a web-based survey of 18,000 American College of Chest Physician (CHEST) members to determine health care provider experiences with EC users and to characterise provider perceptions regarding ECs.
Results/Findings: There were 994 respondents. Eighty-eight per cent reported that patients had asked their opinion of ECs, and 31% reported EC use among at least 10% of their patients. More disagreed than agreed (41% vs. 21%) that patients could improve their health by switching from tobacco smoking to daily EC use. Respondents were split on whether ECs promote tobacco cessation (32% agree vs. 33% disagree).
Conclusions: Current perceptions of ECs are variable among providers. More than 1/3 of respondents felt that EC's could be used for smoking cessation for smokers who failed prior quit attempts with approved therapies. However, many respondents were not convinced that ECs will reduce harms from tobacco use. There is an urgent need to generate additional high quality scientific data regarding ECs to inform chest physicians, health professionals, and the general public.
To evaluate the agreement between the current National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definition for ventriculitis and others found in the literature among patients with an external ventricular drain (EVD)
Retrospective cohort study from January 2009 to December 2014
Neurology and neurosurgery intensive care unit of a large tertiary-care center
Patients with an EVD were included. Patients with an infection prior to EVD placement or a permanent ventricular shunt were excluded.
We reviewed the charts of patients with positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures and/or abnormal CSF results while they had an EVD in place and applied various ventriculitis definitions.
We identified 48 patients with a total of 52 cases of ventriculitis (41 CSF culture-positive cases and 11 cases based on abnormal CSF test results) using the NHSN definition. The most common organisms causing ventriculitis were gram-positive commensals (79.2%); however, 45% showed growth of only 1 colony on 1 piece of media. Approximately 60% of the ventriculitis cases by the NHSN definition met the Honda criteria, approximately 56% met the Gozal criteria, and 23% met Citerio’s definition. Cases defined using Honda versus Gozal definitions had a moderate agreement (κ=0.528; P<.05) whereas comparisons of Honda versus Citerio definitions (κ=0.338; P<.05) and Citerio versus Gozal definitions (κ=0.384; P<.05) had only fair agreements.
The agreement between published ventriculostomy-associated infection (VAI) definitions in this cohort was moderate to fair. A VAI surveillance definition that better defines contaminants is needed for more homogenous application of surveillance definitions between institutions and better comparison of rates.
To describe the frequency of urine cultures performed in inpatients without additional testing for pyuria
Retrospective cohort study
A 1,250-bed academic tertiary referral center
This study included urine cultures drawn on 4 medical and 2 surgical wards from 2009 to 2013 and in the medical and surgical intensive care units (ICUs) from 2012 to 2013. Patient and laboratory data were abstracted from the hospital’s medical informatics database. We identified catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in the ICUs by routine infection prevention surveillance. Cultures without urinalysis or urine microscopy were defined as “isolated.” The primary outcome was the proportion of isolated urine cultures obtained. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess predictors of isolated cultures.
During the study period, 14,743 urine cultures were obtained (63.5 cultures per 1,000 patient days) during 11,820 patient admissions. Of these, 2,973 cultures (20.2%) were isolated cultures. Of the 61 CAUTIs identified, 31 (50.8%) were identified by an isolated culture. Predictors for having an isolated culture included male gender (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.22; 95%; confidence interval [CI], 1.11–1.35], urinary catheterization (aOR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.89–2.46), ICU admission (medical ICU aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.47–2.00; surgical ICU aOR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.51–2.19), and obtaining the urine culture ≥1 calendar day after admission (1–7 days aOR, 1.91; 95% CI. 1.71–2.12; >7 days after admission aOR, 2.81; 95% CI, 2.37–3.34).
Isolated urine cultures are common in hospitalized patients, particularly in patients with urinary catheters and those in ICUs. Interventions targeting inpatient culturing practices may improve the diagnosis of urinary tract infections.
Morbidity is defined as a state of being unhealthy or of experiencing an aspect of health that is “generally bad for you”, and postoperative morbidity linked to paediatric cardiac surgery encompasses a range of conditions that may impact the patient and are potential targets for quality assurance.
As part of a wider study, a multi-disciplinary group of professionals aimed to define a list of morbidities linked to paediatric cardiac surgery that was prioritised by a panel reflecting the views of both professionals from a range of disciplines and settings as well as parents and patients.
We present a set of definitions of morbidity for use in routine audit after paediatric cardiac surgery. These morbidities are ranked in priority order as acute neurological event, unplanned re-operation, feeding problems, the need for renal support, major adverse cardiac events or never events, extracorporeal life support, necrotising enterocolitis, surgical site of blood stream infection, and prolonged pleural effusion or chylothorax. It is recognised that more than one such morbidity may arise in the same patient and these are referred to as multiple morbidities, except in the case of extracorporeal life support, which is a stand-alone constellation of morbidity.
It is feasible to define a range of paediatric cardiac surgical morbidities for use in routine audit that reflects the priorities of both professionals and parents. The impact of these morbidities on the patient and family will be explored prospectively as part of a wider ongoing, multi-centre study.
The binary X-ray source GX 1 + 4 was observed during a balloon flight in 1986, November. The source was in a relatively high intensity state. Time analysis of the data shows that the pulsation period was 111.8 ± 1.0 s indicating that one or more episodes of spin-down occurred between 1980 and 1986. Folded pulse profiles are very broad with an indication of a notch at the peak. Evidence has been found for a correlation between hard X-ray intensity and phase of the proposed 304 day orbital period. The time averaged intensity since 1980 is an order of magnitude lower than during the 1970’s. A survey of the post 1980 data shows that several reversals of the period derivative have occurred. Spin-up at the rates typical of the 1970’s has been followed by a dramatic spin-down episode with dP/dt>2.4 × 10−7 s/s.
This study used a prospective longitudinal design to examine the early developmental pathways that underlie language growth in infants at high risk (n = 50) and low risk (n = 34) for autism spectrum disorder in the first 18 months of life. While motor imitation and responding to joint attention (RJA) have both been found to predict expressive language in children with autism spectrum disorder and those with typical development, the longitudinal relation between these capacities has not yet been identified. As hypothesized, results revealed that 15-month RJA mediated the association between 12-month motor imitation and 18-month expressive vocabulary, even after controlling for earlier levels of RJA and vocabulary. These results provide new information about the developmental sequencing of skills relevant to language growth that may inform future intervention efforts for children at risk for language delay or other developmental challenges.
Urban riparian plant communities exist at the interface between terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and they are rich sources of species biodiversity and ecosystem services. The periodic floods that promote species diversity in riparian plant communities also increase their vulnerability to nonnative plant invasions. Plant invasions are constrained by seed and suitable habitat availability. However, how seed dispersal and establishment limitations interact to shape nonnative plant invasions in riparian communities is poorly understood. We use Stream Visual Assessment Protocol data to evaluate the hydrological and geomorphological parameters that influence the seeding and establishment of six common nonnative species in urban riparian habitats: garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, reed canarygrass, common reed, Japanese knotweed, and multiflora rose. To address this objective, we analyzed stream reach data collected during a basin-wide environmental assessment of the extensively urbanized upper Niagara River watershed. We found limited support for our prediction that propagule limitation constrains the distribution of nonnative riparian species, likely because these species are well established in the study area. Instead, we found that opportune stream reach characteristics better predict the distribution of the common invasive riparian species—most notably open tree canopy. Given that there is widespread investment in urban riparian forest restoration to improve water quality, increase stream-bank stability, enhance wildlife habitat and promote recreation, our data suggest that riparian forests may provide the additional benefit of reducing the abundance of some, but not all, invasive plants.
Blood and oral fluid (OF) samples were collected from 103 suspected measles cases between February and November 2010 during a nationwide measles outbreak in Zimbabwe. Siemens measles IgM enzyme immunoassay (EIA) on serum, Microimmune measles IgM capture EIA on OF, real-time haemagglutinin (H) gene PCR and nested nucleocapsid (N) gene PCR on OF were performed, confirming 75 measles cases. These samples were then used to evaluate a newly developed point of care test (POCT) for measles and determine its potential for identifying measles cases in outbreaks. After performing POCTs on OF samples, nucleic acid was extracted from the used test strips and the measles H and N genes amplified by RT–PCR. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the POCT for IgM in OF was 75·0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 63·4–84·5], 96·2% (95% CI 80·4–99·9), 98·2% (95% CI 90·3–100) and 58·1% (95% CI 42·1–73·0), respectively. The N gene sequences showed high level of agreement between original OF and corresponding POCT strips. Measles genotype B3 was identified in all cases. We conclude that the measles POCT has the potential to be used, at the point of contact, in outbreak situations and provide molecular characterization of the virus at a later date.