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We performed surveillance for hospital-acquired COVID-19 (HA-COVID-19) and compared time-based, electronic definitions to real-time adjudication of the most likely source of acquisition. Without real-time adjudication, nearly 50% of HA-COVID-19 cases identified using electronic definitions were misclassified. Both electronic and traditional contact tracing methods likely underestimated the incidence of HA-COVID-19.
The paradoxical relationship between standardized infection ratio and standardized utilization ratio for catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in contrast to central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), in addition to CAUTI definition challenges, incentivizes hospitals to focus their prevention efforts on urine culture stewardship rather than catheter avoidance and care.
To determine the impact of electronic health record (EHR)–based interventions and test restriction on Clostridioides difficile tests (CDTs) and hospital-onset C. difficile infection (HO-CDI).
Quasi-experimental study in 3 hospitals.
957-bed academic (hospital A), 354-bed (hospital B), and 175-bed (hospital C) academic-affiliated community hospitals.
Three EHR-based interventions were sequentially implemented: (1) alert when ordering a CDT if laxatives administered within 24 hours (January 2018); (2) cancellation of CDT orders after 24 hours (October 2018); (3) contextual rule-driven order questions requiring justification when laxative administered or lack of EHR documentation of diarrhea (July 2019). In February 2019, hospital C implemented a gatekeeper intervention requiring approval for all CDTs after hospital day 3. The impact of the interventions on C. difficile testing and HO-CDI rates was estimated using an interrupted time-series analysis.
C. difficile testing was already declining in the preintervention period (annual change in incidence rate [IR], 0.79; 95% CI, 0.72–0.87) and did not decrease further with the EHR interventions. The laxative alert was temporally associated with a trend reduction in HO-CDI (annual change in IR from baseline, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75–0.96) at hospitals A and B. The gatekeeper intervention at hospital C was associated with level (IRR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.42-0.60) and trend reductions in C. difficile testing (annual change in IR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.85–0.98) and level (IRR 0.42; 95% CI, 0.22–0.81) and trend reductions in HO-CDI (annual change in IR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50–0.92) relative to the baseline period.
Test restriction was more effective than EHR-based clinical decision support to reduce C. difficile testing in our 3-hospital system.
We describe the frequency of pediatric healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) identified through prospective surveillance in community hospitals participating in an infection control network. Over a 6-year period, 84 HAIs were identified. Of these 51 (61%) were pediatric central-line–associated bloodstream infections, and they often occurred in children <1 year of age.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) among cardiothoracic (CT) patients are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Data are limited regarding SSI incidence among pediatric patients undergoing primary reparative procedures for congenital cardiac disease. Published evidence on targeted interventions to prevent pediatric CT-surgery SSI is lacking. We aimed to establish standard metrics for measuring CT-surgery SSI incidence and to implement bundled interventions for SSI prevention. Methods: A dedicated CT-surgery SSI prevention workgroup was established, consisting of hospital leadership, CT surgeons, cardiac critical care unit staff, anesthesia, perfusion, environmental services, instrument sterile processing, risk management, infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship. We created a standard definition for CT-surgery SSI and calculated retrospective SSI rates over a 24-month period (2017–2019). The outcome measured was incidence of CT-surgery SSI per 100 primary cardiac procedures with delayed ( 3 days after primary surgery) or non-delayed chest closure. The difference in proportion of SSI was reported separately for delayed closure and non-delayed closure; statistical significance was tested using a Fisher’s Exact test. We identified many potential improvement opportunities, including gaps in SSI surveillance, poor compliance with daily bathing, inconsistent perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis, lack of controlled environment for bedside chest closures, and lapses in environmental cleaning. These issues informed the enhanced SSI prevention bundle, which included education on sterility with the operating room (OR) staff. Protocols for care of cardiac patients with delayed chest closures focused on universal daily and preoperative chlorhexidine baths. In addition, the bundle incorporated stringent environmental cleaning interventions including scheduled decluttering of patient rooms and clinical spaces, terminal cleaning of patient rooms prior to returning from the OR, and use of adjunctive ultraviolet light for the daily cleaning of operating rooms and patient rooms at discharge. Results: Surveillance definition of microbiological growth from a clinical sample obtained within 30 days of primary cardiac procedure sufficiently captured all CT-surgery SSIs. Of 551 CT-surgery procedures prior to intervention, 91 (17%) had delayed final operative closures. Prior to the intervention, 16 SSIs were identified from July 2017 – May 2019 for a rate of 2.90 per /100 procedures, and was higher among patients with delayed chest closure 6.59 per /100 procedures (6 SSIs/91 procedures) versus those with primary chest closure 2.17 per /100 procedures (10 SSIs/460 procedures; P = 0.034). Gram-positive organisms, including coagulase coagulase-negative Staphylococci, were most frequently identified as the causative organisms for SSIs. Compliance with bundled intervention, rolled out over a 2-month period, was associated with an immediate decrease in the number of SSIs for primary and delayed chest closures 6SSIs /185 procedures in the initial quarters (August – December 2019) of the post-intervention period. However, this decrease was not reflected in the overall rate (3.24 per /100 procedures) due to fewer procedures performed. Data collection to measure sustainability is ongoing. Conclusions: Bundled interventions targeting skin antisepsis and environmental cleaning may be associated with a decrease in SSIs among pediatric CT-surgery patients. Ongoing surveillance is required to determine sustainability of these interventions.
We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
With concerns for presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 and increasing burden of contact tracing and employee furloughs, several hospitals have supplemented pre-existing infection prevention measures with universal masking of all personnel in hospitals. Other hospitals are currently faced with the dilemma of whether or not to proceed with universal masking in a time of critical mask shortages. We summarize the rationale behind a universal masking policy in healthcare settings, important considerations before implementing such a policy and the challenges with universal masking. We also discusses proposed solutions such as universal face shields.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
We identified a pseudo-outbreak of Mycobacterium avium in an outpatient bronchoscopy clinic following an increase in clinic procedure volume. We terminated the pseudo-outbreak by increasing the frequency of automated endoscope reprocessors (AER) filter changes from quarterly to monthly. Filter changing schedules should depend on use rather than fixed time intervals.
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.
Observational studies report associations between early menarche and higher levels of depressive symptoms and depression. However, no studies have investigated whether this association is causal.
To determine whether earlier menarche is a causal risk factor for depressive symptoms and depression in adolescence.
The associations between a genetic score for age at menarche and depressive symptoms at 14, 17 and 19 years, and depression at 18 years, were examined using Mendelian randomisation analysis techniques.
Using a genetic risk score to indicate earlier timing of menarche, we found that early menarche is associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms at 14 years (odds ratio per risk allele 1.02, 95% CI 1.005–1.04, n=2404). We did not find an association between the early menarche risk score and depressive symptoms or depression after age 14.
Our results provide evidence for a causal effect of age at menarche on depressive symptoms at age 14.
There are no existing longitudinal studies of inflammatory markers and atopic disorders in childhood and risk of hypomanic symptoms in adulthood. This study examined if childhood: (1) serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP); and (2) asthma and/or eczema are associated with features of hypomania in young adulthood.
Participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective general population UK birth cohort, had non-fasting blood samples for IL-6 and CRP measurement at the age of 9 years (n = 4645), and parents answered a question about doctor-diagnosed atopic illness before the age of 10 years (n = 7809). These participants completed the Hypomania Checklist at age 22 years (n = 3361).
After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status, past psychological and behavioural problems, body mass index and maternal postnatal depression, participants in the top third of IL-6 values at 9 years, compared with the bottom third, had an increased risk of hypomanic symptoms by age 22 years [adjusted odds ratio 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–2.85, p < 0.001]. Higher IL-6 levels in childhood were associated with adult hypomania features in a dose–response fashion. After further adjustment for depression at the age of 18 years this association remained (adjusted odds ratio 1.70, 95% CI 1.03–2.81, p = 0.038). There was no evidence of an association of hypomanic symptoms with CRP levels, asthma or eczema in childhood.
Higher levels of systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 in childhood were associated with hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood, suggesting that inflammation may play a role in the pathophysiology of mania. Inflammatory pathways may be suitable targets for the prevention and intervention for bipolar disorder.