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Understanding risk factors for death from Covid-19 is key to providing good quality clinical care. We assessed the presenting characteristics of the ‘first wave’ of patients with Covid-19 at Royal Oldham Hospital, UK and undertook logistic regression modelling to investigate factors associated with death. Of 470 patients admitted, 169 (36%) died. The median age was 71 years (interquartile range 57–82), and 255 (54.3%) were men. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (n = 218, 46.4%), diabetes (n = 143, 30.4%) and chronic neurological disease (n = 123, 26.1%). The most frequent complications were acute kidney injury (AKI) (n = 157, 33.4%) and myocardial injury (n = 21, 4.5%). Forty-three (9.1%) patients required intubation and ventilation, and 39 (8.3%) received non-invasive ventilation. Independent risk factors for death were increasing age (odds ratio (OR) per 10 year increase above 40 years 1.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.57–2.27), hypertension (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.10–2.70), cancer (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.27–3.81), platelets <150 × 103/μl (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.13–3.30), C-reactive protein ≥100 μg/ml (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.05–2.68), >50% chest radiograph infiltrates (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.16–3.77) and AKI (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.64–4.13). There was no independent association between death and gender, ethnicity, deprivation level, fever, SpO2/FiO2, lymphopoenia or other comorbidities. These findings will inform clinical and shared decision making, including use of respiratory support and therapeutic agents.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Crocodilians are distributed widely through the tropics and subtropics, and several species pose a substantial threat to human life. This has important implications for human safety and crocodilian conservation. Understanding the drivers of crocodilian attacks on people could help minimize future attacks and inform conflict management. Crocodilian attacks follow a seasonal pattern in many regions, but there has been limited analysis of the relationship between attack occurrence and fine-scale contemporaneous environmental conditions. We use methods from environmental niche modelling to explore the relationships between attacks on people and abiotic predictors at a daily temporal resolution for the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus in South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis in Florida, USA. Our results indicate that ambient daily temperature is the most important abiotic temporal predictor of attack occurrence for both species, with attack likelihood increasing markedly when mean daily temperatures exceed 18 °C and peaking at 28 °C. It is likely that this relationship is explained partially by human propensity to spend time in and around water in warmer weather but also by the effect of temperature on crocodilian hunting behaviour and physiology, especially the ability to digest food. We discuss the potential of our findings to contribute to the management of crocodilians, with benefits for both human safety and conservation, and the application of environmental niche modelling for understanding human–wildlife conflicts involving both ectotherms and endotherms.
Mastoiditis is the most common intra-temporal complication of acute otitis media. Despite potentially lethal sequelae, optimal management remains poorly defined.
A retrospective case review was conducted of children diagnosed with mastoiditis at a tertiary referral centre, in North East England, between 2010 and 2017.
Fifty-one cases were identified, 49 without cholesteatoma. Median patient age was 42 months (2 months to 18 years) and median hospital stay was 4 days (range, 0–27 days). There was no incidence trend over time. Imaging was conducted in 15 out of 49 cases. Surgery was performed in 29 out of 49 cases, most commonly mastoidectomy with (9 out of 29) or without (9 out of 29) grommets. Complications included sigmoid sinus thrombosis (3 out of 49) and extradural abscess (2 out of 51), amongst others; no fatalities occurred.
A detailed contemporary description of paediatric mastoiditis presentation and management is presented. The findings broadly mirror those published by other UK centres, but suggest a higher rate of identified disease complications and surgical interventions.
Epidemiological studies have reported that the increased risk of developing psychosis in cannabis users is dose related. In addition, experimental research has shown that the active constituent of cannabis responsible for its psychotogenic effect is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Murray et al, 2007). Recent evidence has suggested an increased in potency (% TCH) in the cannabis seized in the UK (Potter et al, 2007).
We predicted that first episode psychosis patients are more likely to use higher potency cannabis and more frequently than controls.
We collected information concerning socio-demographic, clinical characteristics and cannabis use (age at first use, frequency, length of use, type of cannabis used) from a sample of 191 first-episode psychosis patients and 120 matched healthy volunteers. All were recruited as part of the Genetic and Psychosis (GAP) study which studied all patients who presented to the South London and Maudsley Trust.
There was no significant difference in the life-time prevalence of cannabis use or age at first use between cases and controls. However, cases were more likely to be regular users (p=0.05), to be current users (p=0.04) and to have smoked cannabis for longer (p=0.01). Among cannabis users, 86.8% of 1st Episode Psychosis Patients preferentially used Skunk/Sinsemilla compared to 27.7% of Controls. Only 13.2 % of 1st Episode psychosis Patients chose to use Resin/Hash compared to 76.3% of controls. The concentration of TCH in these in South East London, ranges between 8.5 and 14 % (Potter et al, 2007). Controls (47%) were more likely to use Hash (Resin) whose average TCH concentration is 3.4% (Potter et al, 2007).
Patients with first episode psychosis have smoked higher potency cannabis, for longer and with greater frequency, than healthy controls.
The functional Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Val 108/158 Met) polymorphism has been shown to have an impact on tasks of executive function, memory and attention and recently, tasks with an affective component. As estrogen may downregulate COMT, we were interested in the effect of gender, COMT genotype and the interaction between these factors on brain activations during an affective processing task. We used functional MRI to record brain activations from 74 healthy subjects who engaged in a facial affect recognition task; subjects viewed and identified fearful faces compared to neutral faces. We found a significant effect of gender on brain activations in the left amygdala and right superior temporal gyrus, where females demonstrated increased activations over males. Within these regions, female val/val carriers showed greater activity compared to met/met carriers, while male participants with a met/met allele showed greater deactivations compared to val/val carriers. There was no main effect of the COMT polymorphism, gender or genotype by gender interaction on task performance. We propose that the observed effects of gender and COMT allele on brain activations arise from differences in dopamine levels in these groups and that the gender differences and gender genotype interaction may be due to the downregulation of COMT by estrogen.
The interest in experiencing training abroad has grown and its benefits have been progressively recognized. For these reasons, several psychiatric trainees seek to extend their competencies, skills and knowledge through these exchange opportunities, such as the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) Exchange Programme.
With this work we intend to describe these international experiences of being acquainted with a different health system and psychiatry training programme.
Reflect on the impact of these experiences, considering on how these can be used to benefit the patient care provided across countries, further to the professional and personal individual benefits that colleagues gain.
Presenting the testimonials of junior doctors from abroad that have had the opportunity to observe and collaborate in the current system of the United Kingdom.
The EFPT Exchange Programme is an excellent opportunity for psychiatry trainees to share experiences, knowledge and good practices. The cultural and social framework of psychiatry certainly has an impact on the approach to mental health problems, and being knowledgeable of these differences can provide benefits not only to the junior doctors who complete these exchanges abroad, but also to their colleagues working at their hosting institutions that become acquainted with different realities through their presence and feedback.
The benefits of these exchange mobility experiences are unequivocal. Therefore, it is fundamental to share these experiences and promote these opportunities.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Mastoiditis is an otological emergency, and cross-sectional imaging has a role in the diagnosis of complications and surgical planning. Advances in imaging technology are becoming increasingly sophisticated and, by the same token, the ability to accurately interpret findings is essential.
This paper reviews common and rare complications of mastoiditis using case-led examples. A radiologist-derived systematic checklist is proposed, to assist the ENT surgeon with interpreting cross-sectional imaging in emergency mastoiditis cases when the opinion of a head and neck radiologist may be difficult to obtain.
A 16-point checklist (the ‘mastoid 16’) was used on a case-led basis to review the radiological features of both common and rare complications of mastoiditis; this is complemented with imaging examples.
Acute mastoiditis has a range of serious complications that may be amenable to treatment, once diagnosed using appropriate imaging. The proposed checklist provides a systematic approach to identifying complications of mastoiditis.
We sought to define the prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and determine the utility of screening in asymptomatic patients. We analysed echocardiograms performed on survivors who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from 1982 to 2006. A total of 389 patients were alive in 2017, with 114 having an echocardiogram obtained ⩾5 years post-infusion. A total of 95 patients had echocardiogram performed for routine surveillance. The mean time post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 13 years. Of 95 patients, 77 (82.1%) had ejection fraction measured, and 10/77 (13.0%) had ejection fraction z-scores ⩽−2.0, which is abnormally low. Those patients with abnormal ejection fraction were significantly more likely to have been exposed to anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Among individuals who received neither anthracyclines nor total body irradiation, only 1/31 (3.2%) was found to have an abnormal ejection fraction of 51.4%, z-score −2.73. In the cohort of 77 patients, the negative predictive value of having a normal ejection fraction given no exposure to total body irradiation or anthracyclines was 96.7% at 95% confidence interval (83.3–99.8%). Systolic dysfunction is relatively common in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who have received anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Survivors who are asymptomatic and did not receive radiation or anthracyclines likely do not require surveillance echocardiograms, unless otherwise indicated.
Childhood maltreatment is one of the strongest predictors of adulthood depression and alterations to circulating levels of inflammatory markers is one putative mechanism mediating risk or resilience.
To determine the effects of childhood maltreatment on circulating levels of 41 inflammatory markers in healthy individuals and those with a major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis.
We investigated the association of childhood maltreatment with levels of 41 inflammatory markers in two groups, 164 patients with MDD and 301 controls, using multiplex electrochemiluminescence methods applied to blood serum.
Childhood maltreatment was not associated with altered inflammatory markers in either group after multiple testing correction. Body mass index (BMI) exerted strong effects on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels in those with MDD.
Childhood maltreatment did not exert effects on inflammatory marker levels in either the participants with MDD or the control group in our study. Our results instead highlight the more pertinent influence of BMI.
Declaration of interest
D.A.C. and H.W. work for Eli Lilly Inc. R.N. has received speaker fees from Sunovion, Jansen and Lundbeck. G.B. has received consultancy fees and funding from Eli Lilly. R.H.M.-W. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Ferrer, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck, MyTomorrows, Otsuka, Pfizer, Pulse, Roche, Servier, SPIMACO and Sunovian. I.M.A. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with Alkermes, Lundbeck, Lundbeck/Otsuka, and Servier. S.W. has sat on an advisory board for Sunovion, Allergan and has received speaker fees from Astra Zeneca. A.H.Y. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly, Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion, Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. A.J.C. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck and research grant support from Lundbeck.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
Introduction: Emergency Department Overcrowding (EDOC) is a multifactorial issue that leads to Access Block for patients needing emergency care. Identified as a national problem, patients presenting to a Canadian Emergency Department (ED) at a time of overcrowding have higher rates of admission to hospital and increased seven-day mortality. Using the well accepted input-throughput-output model to study EDOC, current research has focused on throughput as a measure of patient flow, reported as ED length of stay (LOS). In fact, ED LOS and ED beds occupied by inpatients are two “extremely important indicators of EDOC identified by a 2005 survey of Canadian ED directors. One proposed solution to improve ED throughput is to utilize a physician at triage (PAT) to rapidly assess newly arriving patients. In 2017, a pilot PAT program was trialed at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), a tertiary care hospital, as part of a PDSA cycle. The aim was to mitigate EDOC by improving ED throughput by the end of 2018, to meet the national targets for ED LOS suggested in the 2013 CAEP position statement. Methods: During the fiscal periods 1-6 (April 1 to September 7, 2017) a PAT shift occurred daily from 1000-2200, over four long weekends. ED LOS, time to inpatient bed, time to physician initial assessment (PIA), number of British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) offload delays, and number of patients who left without being seen (LWBS) were extracted from an administrative database. Results were retrospectively analyzed and compared to data from 1000-2200 of non-PAT trial days during the trial periods. Results: Median ED LOS decreased from 3.8 to 3.4 hours for high-acuity patients (CTAS 1-3), from 2.1 to 1.8 hours for low-acuity patients (CTAS 4-5), and from 9.3 to 8.0 hours for all admitted patients. During PAT trial weekends, there was a decrease in the average time to PIA by 65% (from 73 to 26 minutes for CTAS 2-5), average number of daily BCAS offload delays by 39% (from 2.3 to 1.4 delays per day), and number of patients who LWBS from 2.4% to 1.7%. Conclusion: The implementation of PAT was associated with improvements in all five measures of ED throughput, providing a potential solution for EDOC at KGH. ED LOS was reduced compared to non-PAT control days, successfully meeting the suggested national targets. PAT could improve efficiency, resulting in the ability to see more patients in the ED, and increase the quality and safety of ED practice. Next, we hope to prospectively evaluate PAT, continuing to analyze these process measures, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and formally assess ED staff and patient perceptions of the program.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Leprocaulon calcicola is described as new from walls in SE England; it is leprose, pale to mid blue-grey, and contains zeorin and usnic acid. It differs from L. knudsenii from North America in its habitat on mortared walls rather than non-calcareous rock and in its ITS sequence. ‘Lecanora’ ecorticata differs in the yellower colour, and the presence of unidentified fatty acids and traces of unknown terpenoids (but not zeorin) by thin-layer chromatography. Leprose lichens with usnic acid are still poorly known and sequencing must be used to support morphological and chemical studies.
Background: Research has suggested that female athletes have a higher incidence of concussion compared to their male counterparts. As such, programs designed to improve knowledge and attitudes of concussion should target this high-risk population. Previous work demonstrated the effect of a novel Concussion-U educational presentation on knowledge and attitudes of concussion amongst male Bantam and Midget AAA hockey players. The objective of this study was to determine if the same presentation was effective in improving the knowledge and attitudes of concussion in a cohort of elite female hockey players. Methods: 26 elite female high-school aged (14-17) hockey players from the province of New Brunswick consented to participate in the study. Each participant completed a modified version of Rosenbaum and Arnett’s Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes Survey questionnaire immediately before and after a Concussion-U educational presentation. Results were compared across the two time-points to assess the effectiveness of the presentation. Results: Concussion knowledge and attitude scores significantly (p<.001) increased from pre-presentation to post-presentation by 12.5% and 13.4%, respectively. Conclusions: A Concussion-U educational presentation resulted in increased knowledge and improved attitudes towards concussion in elite female hockey players. Future research should examine the long-term retention of these improvements.
The collective response of electrons in an ultrathin foil target irradiated by an ultraintense (
) laser pulse is investigated experimentally and via 3D particle-in-cell simulations. It is shown that if the target is sufficiently thin that the laser induces significant radiation pressure, but not thin enough to become relativistically transparent to the laser light, the resulting relativistic electron beam is elliptical, with the major axis of the ellipse directed along the laser polarization axis. When the target thickness is decreased such that it becomes relativistically transparent early in the interaction with the laser pulse, diffraction of the transmitted laser light occurs through a so called ‘relativistic plasma aperture’, inducing structure in the spatial-intensity profile of the beam of energetic electrons. It is shown that the electron beam profile can be modified by variation of the target thickness and degree of ellipticity in the laser polarization.
This study aimed to compare the efficacy of diode laser, coblation and cold dissection tonsillectomy in paediatric patients.
A total of 120 patients aged 10–15 years with recurrent tonsillitis were recruited. Participants were prospectively randomised to diode laser, coblation or cold dissection tonsillectomy. Operative time and blood loss were recorded. Pain was recorded on a Wong–Baker FACES® pain scale.
The operative time (10 ± 0.99 minutes), blood loss (20 ± 0.85 ml) and pain were significantly lower with coblation tonsillectomy than with cold dissection tonsillectomy (20 ± 1.0 minutes and 30 ± 1.0 ml; p = 0.0001) and diode laser tonsillectomy (15 ± 0.83 minutes and 25 ± 0.83 ml; p = 0.0001). Diode laser tonsillectomy had a shorter operative time (p = 0.0001) and less blood loss (p = 0.001) compared with cold dissection tonsillectomy. However, at post-operative day seven, the diode laser tonsillectomy group had significantly higher pain scores compared with the cold dissection (p = 0.042) and coblation (p = 0.04) tonsillectomy groups.
Both coblation and diode laser tonsillectomy are associated with significantly reduced blood loss and shorter operative times compared with cold dissection tonsillectomy. However, we advocate coblation tonsillectomy because of the lower post-operative pain scores compared with diode laser and cold dissection tonsillectomy.