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The resection of a subaortic membrane remains far from a curative operation. We sought to examine factors associated with reoperation and the degree of aortic valve regurgitation as a potential long-term source for reoperation.
All patients who underwent resection of an isolated subaortic membrane between 1995 and 2018 were included. Patients who underwent other procedures were excluded. Paired categorical data were compared using McNemar’s test. Univariate time-to-event analyses were performed using Kaplan–Meier methods with log-rank tests for categorical variables and univariate Cox models for continuous variables.
A total of 84 patients (median age 6.6, 31% females) underwent resection of isolated subaortic membrane. At a median follow-up of 9.3 years (interquartile range 0.6–22.5), 12 (14%) patients required one reoperation and 1 patient required two reoperations. Median time to first reoperation was 4.6 years. The degree of aortic valve regurgitation improved post-operatively from pre-operatively (p = 0.0007); however, the degree of aortic valve regurgitation worsened over the course of follow-up (p = 0.010) to equivalence with pre-operative aortic valve regurgitation (p = 0.18). Performance of a septal myectomy was associated with longer freedom from reoperation (p = 0.004).
In patients with isolated subaortic membranes, performance of a septal myectomy can minimise risk for reoperation. Patients should be serially monitored for degradation of the aortic valve, even if aortic regurgitation is not present post-operatively.
We evaluated the impact of an electronic health record based 72-hour antimicrobial time-out (ATO) on antimicrobial utilization. We observed that 6 hours after the ATO, 21% of empiric antimicrobials were discontinued or de-escalated. There was a significant reduction in the duration of antimicrobial therapy but no impact on overall antimicrobial usage metrics.
Introduction: There is currently no protocol for the initiation of extra corporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) in out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Atlantic Canada. Advanced care paramedics (ACPs) perform advanced cardiac life support in the prehospital setting often completing the entire resuscitation on-scene. Implementation of ECPR will present a novel intervention that is only available at the receiving hospital, altering how ACPs manage selected patients. Our objective is to determine if an educational program can improve paramedic identification of ECPR candidates. Methods: An educational program was delivered to paramedics including a short seminar and pocket card coupled with simulations of OHCA cases. A before and after study design using a case-based survey was employed. Paramedics were scored on their ability to correctly identify OHCA patients who met the inclusion criteria for our ECPR protocol. Scores before and after the education delivery were compared using a two tailed t-test. A 6-month follow-up is planned to assess knowledge retention. Qualitative data was also collected from paramedics during simulation to help identify potential barriers to implementation of our protocol in the prehospital setting. Results: Nine advanced care paramedics participated in our educational program. Mean score pre-education was 9.7/16 (61.1%) compared to 14/16 (87.5%) after education delivery. The mean difference between groups was 4.22 (CI = 2.65-5.80, p = 0.0003). There was a significant improvement in the paramedics’ ability to correctly identify ECPR candidates after completing our educational program. Conclusion: Paramedic training through a didactic session coupled with a pocket card and simulation appears to be a feasible method of knowledge translation. 6-month retention data will help ensure knowledge retention is achieved. If successful, this pilot will be expanded to train all paramedics in our prehospital system as we seek to implement an ECPR protocol at our centre.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) staff carry a high risk for the burnout syndrome of increased emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and decreased personal accomplishment. Previous research has shown that task-oriented coping skills were associated with reduced levels of burnout compared to emotion-oriented coping. ED staff at one hospital participated in an intervention to teach task-oriented coping skills. We hypothesized that the intervention would alter staff coping behaviors and ultimately reduce burnout. Methods: ED physicians, nurses and support staff at two regional hospitals were surveyed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS). Surveys were performed before and after the implementation of communication and conflict resolution skills training at the intervention facility (I) consisting of a one-day course and a small group refresher 6 to 15 months later. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis assessed differences in staff burnout and coping styles compared to the control facility (C) and over time. Results: 85/143 (I) and 42/110 (C) ED staff responded to the initial survey. Post intervention 46 (I) and 23(C) responded. During the two year study period there was no statistically significant difference in CISS or MBI scores between hospitals (CISS: (Pillai's trace = .02, F(3,63) = .47, p = .71, partial η2 = .02); MBI: (Pillai's trace = .01, F(3,63) = .11, p = .95, partial η2 = .01)) or between pre- and post-intervention groups (CISS: (Pillai's trace = .01, F(3,63) = .22, p = .88, partial η2 = .01); MBI: (Pillai's trace = .09, F(3,63) = 2.15, p = .10, partial η2 = .01)). Conclusion: We were not able to measure improvement in staff coping or burnout in ED staff receiving communication skills intervention over a two year period. Burnout is a multifactorial problem and environmental rather than individual factors may be more important to address. Alternatively, to demonstrate a measurable effect on burnout may require more robust or inclusive interventions.
Introduction: Burnout includes emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP) and personal accomplishment (PA). Emergency Department (ED) staff have high levels of burnout that may be responsive to communication skills training. We surveyed ED staff perception of need and efficacy before and after an intervention using an established conflict resolution methodology. Methods: ED physicians, nurses and support staff were surveyed at two regional hospitals using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a communications questionnaire to establish the perceived need for communication skill training. Participants from one center were provided with a communications intervention (Crucial Conversations®, VitalSmarts®), and a refresher course 6-15 months later. The survey was then repeated at both sites and course participant feedback was elicited. Results: MBI results were high (mean EE = 25.25 (high > 25), 95% CI = 22.5-28; DP = 11.6 (high > 8), 95% CI = 10.1-13.2; PA = 35.85 (low <34), 95% CI = 34.3-37.4). Initially 82% of intervention and 77% of control site participants responded that “attending an educational session about ways to communicate better would help the participants at work”. Post intervention group responses to “The program will be helpful to me in communicating more effectively in my work environment” were: 75% “strongly agree” and 25% “agree”. No rating below “agree” was assigned by any of the participants. Participants preferred facilitated small group simulations and advocated for earlier career implementation. Conclusion: There was a perceived need for and impact from communication skills training for ED staff with high measured burnout. Training may be best implemented in small group simulated encounters and in health professional education curriculum or as part of work orientation.
There is a dearth of data on the burden and spectrum of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in African populations. The limited available information suggests that the prevalence of NAFLD in the general population is lowest for the Africa region. However, this is likely to be an underestimate and also does not take into consideration the long-term impact of rising rates of obesity, type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and high human immunodeficiency virus infection burden in Africa. A racial disparity in the prevalence of NAFLD has been observed in some studies but remains unexplained. There is an absence of data from population-based studies in Africa and this highlights the need for such studies, to reliably define the health service needs for this region. Screening for NAFLD at a population-based level using ultrasound is perhaps the ideal method for resource-poor settings because of its relative cost-effectiveness. What is required as a priority from Africa, are well-designed epidemiologic studies that screen for NAFLD in the general population as well as high-risk groups such as patients with T2DM or obesity.
Anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery is the second leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest/death in young athletes in the United States of America. Limited data are available regarding family history in this patient population.
Patients were evaluated prospectively from 12/2012 to 02/2017 in the Coronary Anomalies Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. Relevant family history included the presence of CHD, sudden cardiac arrest/death, arrhythmia/pacemaker use, cardiomyopathy, and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease before the age of 50 years. The presence of one or more of these in 1st- or 2nd-degree relatives was considered significant.
Of 168 unrelated probands (171 patients total) included, 36 (21%) had significant family history involving 19 (53%) 1st-degree and 17 (47%) 2nd-degree relatives. Positive family history led to cardiology referral in nine (5%) patients and the presence of abnormal tests/symptoms in the remaining patients. Coronary anomalies in probands with positive family history were anomalous right (27), anomalous left (five), single right coronary artery (two), myocardial bridge (one), and anomalous circumflex coronary artery (one). Conditions present in their family members included sudden cardiac arrest/death (15, 42%), atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (14, 39%), cardiomyopathy (12, 33%), CHD (11, 31%), coronary anomalies (3, 8%), myocardial bridge (1, 3%), long-QT syndrome (2, 6%), and Wolff–Parkinson–White (1, 3%).
In patients with anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery and/or myocardial bridges, there appears to be familial clustering of cardiac diseases in approximately 20% of patients, half of these with early occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest/death in the family.
Objective: Perceived upright depends on three main factors: vision, graviception, and the internal representation of the long axis of the body. We assessed the relative contributions of these factors in individuals with sub-acute and chronic stroke and controls using a novel tool; the Oriented Character Recognition Test (OCHART). We also considered whether individuals who displayed active pushing or had a history of pushing behaviours had different weightings than those with no signs of pushing. Method: Three participants experienced a stroke <3 months before the experiment: one with active pushing. In total, 14 participants experienced a stroke >6 months prior: eight with a history of pushing. In total, 12 participants served as healthy aged-matched controls. Visual and graviceptive cues were dissociated by orienting the visual background left, right, or upright relative to the body, or by orienting the body left, right, or upright relative to gravity. A three-vector model was used to quantify the weightings of vision, graviception, and the body to the perceptual upright. Results: The control group showed weightings of 13% vision, 25% graviception, and 62% body. Some individuals with stroke showed a similar pattern; others, particularly those with recent stroke, showed different patterns, for example, being unaffected by one of the three factors. The participant with active pushing behaviour displayed an ipsilesional perceptual bias (>30°) and was not affected by visual cues to upright. Conclusion: The results of OCHART may be used to quantify the weightings of multisensory inputs in individuals post-stroke and may help characterize perceptual sources of pushing behaviours.
Introduction: As reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the rate of child and youth emergency department (ED) visits for mental health complaints increased by 50% between 2007 and 2015. Improving care for these patients has been identified as a major priority of Alberta Health Services As part of a multi-phased approach to improving care, the Emergency and the Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Networks undertook an analysis of administrative data to define incidence in Alberta and changing trends. Methods: The data analyzed included 5 different clinical information systems encompassing the 17 highest volume hospitals in Alberta, from April 2013 to March 2016. Patient encounters were included if the patient was under 25 years of age at the time of visit, and if the encounter included a CEDIS Presenting Complaint and/or an ICD-10 Primary Diagnosis relating to Addiction and/or Mental Health (AMH). A total of 54,810 patient encounters were included. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Sub-group analysis was undertaken based upon age, presenting complaint, and primary diagnosis. Results: The incidence of children and youth presenting to an ED with an AMH complaint and an AMH primary diagnosis increased 22% and 7%, respectively, from 2013/14 to 2015/16. Admissions of patients were constant throughout this period. The largest increase in ED visits occurred among children aged 7-10, with a 60% increase in visits defined by presenting complaint and a 21% increase in primary diagnosis. The second largest increase was in young adults aged 18-21 with a 26% increase defined by presenting complaint, and a 12% increase in primary diagnosis. Analyzed by age group, the largest increase in primary diagnosis between 2013/14 and 2015/16 was seen in Depression/Suicidal/Self Harm with a 667% increase among ages 0-6, and a 79% increase among ages 7-10. The second highest increase was for Anxiety/Situational Crisis with a 223% increase among ages 0-6, and 74% among children aged 7-10. Conclusion: Within Alberta there has been a substantial increase in the incidence of child and youth visits to the ED for issues of mental health and addictions. It is clear is that these changing trends are placing an increased burden on our healthcare system and necessitate strategic planning to ensure the health and wellness of our patients.
Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) staff burnout correlates with psychological coping strategies used by Emergency department health professionals (EDHPs). Staff at two urban referral EDs in New Brunswick took part in a survey of burnout and coping strategies after one ED experienced an influx of new physicians and a newly renovated ED in 2011. Six years later, ED crowding and EDHP staffing problems became prevalent at both EDs. We compared levels of burnout at two urban referral EDs to determine if burnout and coping worsened over time. Methods: An anonymous survey of all EDHPs at 2 urban referral EDs was performed in 2011 and in 2017. A demographics questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI, measuring emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment), and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS, measuring task-oriented, emotion-oriented, and avoidance-oriented coping styles) were collected. Descriptive statistics and linear regression models examined relationships over time and between the two hospitals. Results: Burnout scores were similar both at the two facilities and in 2011 (n=153) and 2017 (n=127). There were no differences between samples or EDs for important factors. Emotion-oriented coping was associated with higher levels of burnout, while task-oriented coping was inversely correlated with burnout. Experiencing professional stress was a significant predictor of emotional exhaustion, while those working longer years in their current department had higher emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. By 2017, both EDs had experienced significant nursing staff turnover (50%) compared to 2011. Conclusion: Burnout scores remained consistent after 6 years at these two urban referral EDs. Given the evidence that increased years of service is associated with increased burnout, high staff turnover rate at both EDs could explain how scores remained constant. Staff turnover may represent a way these ED systems cope in a challenging environment. In 2017, task-oriented copers continued to score lower while emotionally-oriented copers showed higher burnout risk, and experiencing professional stress remains a strong predictor of burnout.
Pulmonary artery slings and vascular rings are very rare congenital anomalies. It is even rarer to have both anomalies in the same setting. We present a case of a toddler who was diagnosed with a left pulmonary artery sling and a vascular ring as part of the screening process for the VACTERL association – co-occurrence of vertebral, anorectal, cardiac, tracheoesophageal, renal, and limb malformations. He underwent a successful surgical repair via median sternotomy and on cardiopulmonary bypass with an uneventful postoperative course.
The centralized nature of the United States food production, processing and distribution system makes it difficult for small fruit and vegetable farmers to serve as suppliers to institutional foodservice operations (IFOs), such as schools and hospitals. Due to age, economic and/or health status, it is often the clients of these foodservice operations who would benefit from increasing their consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, institutions are often limited in their resources and food preparation infrastructure, and lack market-based incentives to incorporate locally grown foods into their menus. This study identifies and suggests solutions to barriers that limit the ability of small fruit and vegetable farmers to serve as suppliers to IFOs. Data were collected through an extensive series of focus group meetings held with small-scale fruit and vegetable farmers in three South-Atlantic states. From these meetings, practical marketing considerations, such as payment terms, and processing, packaging and delivery requirements of supplying institutional foodservice buyers, were identified as obstacles to the efficient function of this market channel. Food safety challenges, including the related issues of obtaining (food) products liability insurance and food safety certifications, were also acknowledged among top concerns. A majority of the identified challenges were similar to those reported in other studies, but several were complicated by characteristics of farm production, limited food system infrastructure and marketing experiences in the study region. Several practical solutions to overcoming some of these marketing constraints are offered.
Tonsillectomy is a common procedure with significant post-operative pain. This study was designed to compare post-operative pain, returns to a normal diet and normal activity, and duration of regular analgesic use in Coblation and bipolar tonsillectomy patients.
A total of 137 patients, aged 2–50 years, presenting to a single institution for tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were recruited. Pain level, diet, analgesic use, return to normal activity and haemorrhage data were collected.
Coblation tonsillectomy was associated with significantly less pain than bipolar tonsillectomy on post-operative days 1 (p = 0.005), 2 (p = 0.006) and 3 (p = 0.010). Mean pain scores were also significantly lower in the Coblation group (p = 0.039). Coblation patients had a significantly faster return to normal activity than bipolar tonsillectomy patients (p < 0.001).
Coblation tonsillectomy is a less painful technique compared to bipolar tonsillectomy in the immediate post-operative period and in the overall post-operative period. This allows a faster return to normal activity and decreased analgesic requirements.