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Necrotising otitis externa is a progressive infection of the external auditory canal which extends to affect the temporal bone and adjacent structures. Progression of the disease process can result in serious sequelae, including cranial nerve palsies and death. There is currently no formal published treatment guideline.
This study aimed to integrate current evidence and data from our own retrospective case series in order to develop a guideline to optimise necrotising otitis externa patient management.
A retrospective review of necrotising otitis externa cases within NHS Lothian, Scotland, between 2013 and 2018, was performed, along with a PubMed review.
Prevalent presenting signs, symptoms and patient demographic data were established. Furthermore, features of cases associated with adverse outcomes were defined. A key feature of the guideline is defining at-risk patients with initial intensive treatment. Investigations and outcomes are assessed and treatment adjusted appropriately.
This multi-departmental approach has facilitated the development of a succinct, systematic guideline for the management of necrotising otitis externa. Initial patient outcomes appear promising.
Ice mélange has been postulated to impact glacier and fjord dynamics through a variety of mechanical and thermodynamic couplings. However, observations of these interactions are very limited. Here, we report on glaciological and oceanographic data that were collected from 2016 to 2017 at LeConte Glacier and Bay, Alaska, and serendipitously captured the formation, flow and break-up of ephemeral ice mélange. Sea ice formed overnight in mid-February. Over the subsequent week, the sea ice and icebergs were compacted by the advancing glacier terminus, after which the ice mélange flowed quasi-statically. The presence of ice mélange coincided with the lowest glacier velocities and frontal ablation rates in our record. In early April, increasing glacier runoff and the formation of a sub-ice-mélange plume began to melt and pull apart the ice mélange. The plume, outgoing tides and large calving events contributed to its break-up, which took place over a week and occurred in pulses. Unlike observations from elsewhere, the loss of ice mélange integrity did not coincide with the onset of seasonal glacier retreat. Our observations provide a challenge to ice mélange models aimed at quantifying the mechanical and thermodynamic couplings between ice mélange, glaciers and fjords.
Jamie Gundry’s dramatic image of a white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) on the cover of this book reflects the twisting changes in fortune experienced by this species, with a revival that can be attributed to a successful interplay of science, policy and practice. White-tailed eagles were historically much more widely distributed than they are today (Yalden, 2007), once breeding across much of Europe, but by the early twentieth century the species was extinct across much of western and southern Europe. The main cause of its decline was persecution by farmers and shepherds, who considered the eagles a threat to their livestock, but, along with other raptors, white-tailed eagles were also seriously affected by DDT in the 1960s and 1970s, which had disastrous effects on the breeding success of remaining populations.
In the Anthropocene, when our environment is changing rapidly and the windows of opportunity for action to prevent further biodiversity loss are narrow, conservation researchers are increasingly encouraged to think and operate beyond the traditional approaches of producing peer-reviewed papers and presenting results to other members of the research community. Indeed, the perception that researchers belong in their ivory tower, from which they deliver evidence for others to interpret, disseminate and use in decision-making, is thankfully now widely recognised as outdated. The rise of fake news, a deliberate lack of consideration for scientific evidence, and changes to the ways of assessing the value of researchers’ work probably all play a role in supporting this shift in perception. Moreover, for many researchers, the prospect of their work ‘making a difference’ and having an impact on wider society is at least as great a motivation for doing research as generating new knowledge, however interesting that may be.
Depression is a major public health problem in European countries, and health systems need to ensure access to effective psychological and pharmacological treatments. Research suggests that improvements in depression care require “complex interventions” that implement change in several areas simultaneously.
We describe an observational study of the implementation of a “stepped care” model to provide care for all adults presenting with a new case of depression in a mixed urban-rural area of Scotland with a population of 76,000 people.
A team of 5.2 clinicians provided care for about 1,000 new cases of depression each year. “Guided Self-Help” was the baseline intervention for all patients, supplemented where necessary with pharmacological treatment and Cognitive Behavioural or Interpersonal Therapy.
Service delivery systems were reformed to provide: specialist treatment in primary care settings using primarily non-medical clinicians, comprehensive electronic clinical records, continuous outcome monitoring and intensive investment in staff training and support.
Clinical outcomes (measured by the Personal Health Questionnaire, Social and Work Adjustment Scale and EQ-5D) showed significant improvement despite relatively brief clinician contact (2.5 hours over 4.6 contacts). Savings of more than 50% were made on the antidepressant drug budget. Service user satisfaction ratings were high.
Population needs for depression care can be met using “stepped care” models such as that described above. A randomised controlled study of this approach would be required to fully test the model.
Conservation research is essential for advancing knowledge but to make an impact scientific evidence must influence conservation policies, decision making and practice. This raises a multitude of challenges. How should evidence be collated and presented to policymakers to maximise its impact? How can effective collaboration between conservation scientists and decision-makers be established? How can the resulting messages be communicated to bring about change? Emerging from a successful international symposium organised by the British Ecological Society and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, this is the first book to practically address these questions across a wide range of conservation topics. Well-renowned experts guide readers through global case studies and their own experiences. A must-read for practitioners, researchers, graduate students and policymakers wishing to enhance the prospect of their work 'making a difference'. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Background: For robot-assisted telesurgery, the workstation, in particular the haptic handcontroller itself a robot, is paramount to the performance of surgery. Based on the requirements for microsurgery, a novel haptic handcontroller Excalibur has been developed. Methods: Thirty-two surgeons performed a peg-in-hole task (simulating micromanipulation) with Excalibur and two commercially available handcontrollers (Sigma 7 and PHANToM Premium 3.0). A modified Kuka endeffector with bipolar forceps, and Leica microscope completed the remote robotic site. Comparisons were made based on training time, task completion time and number of errors. All participants completed a questionnaire. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated significance for task completion time (p=0.004), training time (p=0.021) and number of errors (p=0.004). Surgeons were faster with Excalibur (72s) than with Sigma (96s,p=0.005) and PHANToM (96s,p=0.036). Training time was shorter with Excalibur than with PHANToM (210s vs 310s,p=0.013), and users made fewer errors (0.7 vs 2.1,p=0.008). Training time required for Sigma (285s) and the number of errors (1.3) were not significant. The surgeons found Excalibur smoother, more comfortable, less tiring and easier to maneuver, with more realistic force feedback and superior movement fidelity. Conclusions: Surgical performance was superior with Excalibur compared to the other handcontrollers. This may reflect the microsurgical requirements and unique design architecture of Excalibur.
We present a workflow to track icebergs in proglacial fjords using oblique time-lapse photos and the Lucas-Kanade optical flow algorithm. We employ the workflow at LeConte Bay, Alaska, where we ran five time-lapse cameras between April 2016 and September 2017, capturing more than 400 000 photos at frame rates of 0.5–4.0 min−1. Hourly to daily average velocity fields in map coordinates illustrate dynamic currents in the bay, with dominant downfjord velocities (exceeding 0.5 m s−1 intermittently) and several eddies. Comparisons with simultaneous Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements yield best agreement for the uppermost ADCP levels (~ 12 m and above), in line with prevalent small icebergs that trace near-surface currents. Tracking results from multiple cameras compare favorably, although cameras with lower frame rates (0.5 min−1) tend to underestimate high flow speeds. Tests to determine requisite temporal and spatial image resolution confirm the importance of high image frame rates, while spatial resolution is of secondary importance. Application of our procedure to other fjords will be successful if iceberg concentrations are high enough and if the camera frame rates are sufficiently rapid (at least 1 min−1 for conditions similar to LeConte Bay).
Exercise training has been shown to increase exercise capacity in survivors of Fontan surgery. The geographic distribution of the Fontan population has been a barrier to hospital-based exercise training programmes. The objective of this study was to establish whether a home exercise training programme could achieve similar improvements to a hospital programme.
Adolescents with a Fontan circulation aged 12–19 years were prospectively recruited in a hospital or home exercise training programme. Patients underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing and completed the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory at initial assessment and after completion of an 8-week programme. Both groups performed two 1-hour training sessions per week. Patients in the home training programme had their first session in the hospital, and then progressed independently with one phone consult per week and one home visit by a physiotherapist.
In total, 17 patients, with a mean age of 15±3 years, completed the training programme (six hospital). Characteristics and baseline performance of patients were similar in both groups. Oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold increased from 19.3±3.8 to 21.6±6.0 ml/kg/minute (p=0.02) and peak oxygen pulse increased from 8.8±2.5 to 9.5±2.7 ml/beat (p=0.049). Total quality of life scale improved from 68 to 74% (p=0.01) and psychosocial health improved from 67 to 74% (p=0.02). No patient experienced training-related complications.
Exercise training is beneficial and most likely safe after Fontan, resulting in improved exercise capacity and self-reported quality of life. Home exercise training programmes are probably as effective as hospital programmes. Home exercise training programmes should be integrated in the follow-up care of patients undergoing Fontan surgery.
Introduction: The Ottawa SAH Rule was developed to identify patients at high-risk for subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) who require investigations and the 6-Hour CT Rule found that computed tomography (CT) was 100% sensitive for SAH 6 hours of headache onset. Together, they form the Ottawa SAH Strategy. Our objectives were to assess: 1) Safety of the Ottawa SAH Strategy and its 2) Impact on: a) CTs, b) LPs, c) ED length of stay, and d) CT angiography (CTA). Methods: We conducted a multicentre prospective before/after study at 6 tertiary-care EDs January 2010 to December 2016 (implementation July 2013). Consecutive alert, neurologically intact adults with a headache peaking within one hour were included. SAH was defined by subarachnoid blood on head CT (radiologists final report); xanthochromia in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); >1x106/L red blood cells in the final tube of CSF with an aneurysm on CTA. Results: We enrolled 3,669 patients, 1,743 before and 1,926 after implementation, including 185 with SAH. The investigation rate before implementation was 89.0% (range 82.9 to 95.6%) versus 88.4% (range 85.2 to 92.3%) after implementation. The proportion who had CT remained stable (88.0% versus 87.4%; p=0.60), while the proportion who had LP decreased from 38.9% to 25.9% (p<0.001), and the proportion investigated with CTA increased from 18.8% to 21.6% (p=0.036). The additional testing rate (i.e. LP or CTA) diminishedfrom 50.1% to 40.8% (p<0.001). The proportion admitted declined from 9.8% to 7.3% (p=0.008), while the mean length of ED stay was stable (6.2 +/− 4.0 to 6.4 +/− 4.1 hours; p=0.45). For the 1,201 patients with CT 6 hours, there was an absolute decrease in additional testing (i.e. LP or CTA) of 15.0% (46.6% versus 31.6%; p<0.001). The sensitivity of the Ottawa SAH Rule was 100% (95%CI: 98-100%), and the 6-Hour CT Rule was 95.3% (95%CI: 88.9-98.3) for SAH. Five patients with early CT had SAH with CT reported as normal: 2 unruptured aneuryms on CTA and presumed traumatic LP (determined by treating neurosurgeon); 1 missed by the radiologist on the initial interpretation; 1 dural vein fistula (i.e. non-aneuyrsmal); and 1 profoundly anemic (Hgb 63g/L). Conclusion: The Ottawa SAH Strategy is highly sensitive and can be used routinely when SAH is being considered in alert and neurologically intact headache patients. Its implementation was associated with a decrease in LPs and admissions to hospital.
Icebergs calved from tidewater glaciers represent about one third to one half of the freshwater flux from the Greenland ice sheet to the surrounding ocean. Using multiple satellite datasets, we quantify the first fjord-wide distributions of iceberg sizes and characteristics for three fjords with distinct hydrography and geometry: Sermilik Fjord, Rink Isbræ Fjord and Kangerlussuup Sermia Fjord. We estimate average total iceberg volumes in summer in the three fjords to be 6.4 ± 1.5, 1.7 ± 0.40 and 0.16 ± 0.09 km3, respectively. Iceberg properties are influenced by glacier calving style and grounding line depth, with variations in size distribution represented by exponents of power law distributions that are −1.95 ± 0.06, −1.87 ± 0.05 and −1.62 ± 0.04, respectively. The underwater surface area of icebergs exceeds the subsurface area of glacial termini by at least one order of magnitude in all three fjords, underscoring the need to include iceberg melt in fjord freshwater budgets. Indeed, in Sermilik Fjord, we calculate summertime freshwater flux from iceberg melt of 620 m3 s−1 (±140 m3 s−1), similar in magnitude to subglacial discharge. The method developed here can be extended across Greenland to assess relationships between glacier calving, iceberg discharge and freshwater production.