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Several recent reports have raised concern that infected co-workers may be an important source of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition by healthcare personnel. In a suspected outbreak among emergency department personnel, sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed transmission among co-workers. The suspected 6-person outbreak included 2 distinct transmission clusters and 1 unrelated infection.
To investigate the timing and routes of contamination of the rooms of patients newly admitted to the hospital.
Observational cohort study and simulations of pathogen transfer.
A Veterans’ Affairs hospital.
Patients newly admitted to the hospital with no known carriage of healthcare-associated pathogens.
Interactions between the participants and personnel or portable equipment were observed, and cultures of high-touch surfaces, floors, bedding, and patients’ socks and skin were collected for up to 4 days. Cultures were processed for Clostridioides difﬁcile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Simulations were conducted with bacteriophage MS2 to assess plausibility of transfer from contaminated floors to high-touch surfaces and to assess the effectiveness of wearing slippers in reducing transfer.
Environmental cultures became positive for at least 1 pathogen in 10 (59%) of the 17 rooms, with cultures positive for MRSA, C. difficile, and VRE in the rooms of 10 (59%), 2 (12%), and 2 (12%) participants, respectively. For all 14 instances of pathogen detection, the initial site of recovery was the floor followed in a subset of patients by detection on sock bottoms, bedding, and high-touch surfaces. In simulations, wearing slippers over hospital socks dramatically reduced transfer of bacteriophage MS2 from the floor to hands and to high-touch surfaces.
Floors may be an underappreciated source of pathogen dissemination in healthcare facilities. Simple interventions such as having patients wear slippers could potentially reduce the risk for transfer of pathogens from floors to hands and high-touch surfaces.
Reduction in the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics has been associated with reductions in Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) due to fluoroquinolone-resistant strains.
To determine whether facility-level fluoroquinolone use predicts healthcare facility-associated (HCFA) CDI due to fluoroquinolone-resistant 027 strains.
Using a nationwide cohort of hospitalized patients in the Veterans’ Affairs Healthcare System, we identified hospitals that categorized >80% of CDI cases as positive or negative for the 027 strain for at least one-quarter of fiscal years 2011–2018. Within these facilities, we used visual summaries and multilevel logistic regression models to assess the association between facility-level fluoroquinolone use and rates of HCFA-CDI due to 027 strains, controlling for time and facility complexity level, and adjusting for correlated outcomes within facilities.
Between 2011 and 2018, 55 hospitals met criteria for reporting 027 results, including a total of 5,091 HCFA-CDI cases, with 1,017 infections (20.0%) due to 027 strains. Across these facilities, the use of fluoroquinolones decreased by 52% from 2011 to 2018, with concurrent reductions in the overall HCFA-CDI rate and the proportion of HCFA-CDI cases due to the 027 strain of 13% and 55%, respectively. A multilevel logistic model demonstrated a significant effect of facility-level fluoroquinolone use on the proportion of infections in the facility due to the 027 strain, most noticeably in low-complexity facilities.
Our findings provide support for interventions to reduce use of fluroquinolones as a control measure for CDI, particularly in settings where fluoroquinolone use is high and fluoroquinolone-resistant strains are common causes of infection.
On coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid was frequently detected on high-touch surfaces, floors, and socks inside patient rooms. Contamination of floors and shoes was common outside patient rooms on the COVID-19 wards but decreased after improvements in floor cleaning and disinfection were implemented.
The aim of the study was to assess the experiences of discrimination as reported by people with mental health problems and to explore the impact of hospitalisation.
306 people with mental health problems provided sociodemographic data and data on discrimination using the discrimination and stigma scale version 12 (DISC-12) with the domains negative experienced discrimination, anticipated discrimination, overcoming stigma and discrimination, and positive experienced discrimination. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the impact of hospitalisation on discrimination, controlled for age, gender, education, employment, diagnosis and having been prescribed medication.
Hospitalisation had a major impact on negative discrimination: People were more likely to be treated unfairly in making or keeping friends, in marriage or divorce, by people in their neighbourhood, in social life, by mental health staff and in terms of privacy, if they had been hospitalised. They were also more likely to be avoided or shunned by people who knew about the mental health problem. People with a history of hospitalisation also reported more anticipated discrimination: They had stopped themselves more often from having a close personal relationship and concealed their mental health problem from others more often than those without a history of hospitalisation. However, people who had been hospitalised also experienced more positive discrimination in terms of being treated more positively in getting welfare benefits or disability pensions and in housing.
Findings suggest that treatment in hospital contributed to a higher extent to experienced discrimination than treatment in the community.
Substance misuse and associated health-risking behaviors are prevalent in emerging adulthood. There is a knowledge gap concerning the post-high school effects of community-based delivery systems for universal preventive interventions implemented during young adolescence. This study reports effects of the PROSPER delivery system through age 19, 7.5 years past baseline.
A cohort sequential design included 28 public school districts randomly assigned to the PROSPER partnership delivery system or usual-programming conditions. PROSPER community teams implemented a family-focused intervention in 6th grade and a school-based intervention in 7th grade. Outcomes for the age 19, post-high school report included lifetime, current, and frequency of substance misuse, as well as antisocial and health-risking sexual behaviors. Intent-to-treat, multi-level analyses of covariance of point-in-time outcomes were conducted, along with analyses of risk-related moderation of intervention effects.
Results showed emerging adults from PROSPER communities reported significantly lower substance misuse across a range of types of substances, with relative reduction rates of up to 41.0%. No significant findings were observed for associated antisocial and health-risking sexual behavior indices; or for lifetime rates of sexually transmitted infections. Risk-related moderation effects were non-significant, suggesting generally comparable outcomes across higher- and lower-risk subgroups of emerging adults.
The PROSPER delivery system for brief universal preventive interventions has potential for public health impact by reducing long-term substance misuse, with positive results extending beyond high school.
In recent years, three-dimensional printing has demonstrated reliable reproducibility of several organs including hearts with complex congenital cardiac anomalies. This represents the next step in advanced image processing and can be used to plan surgical repair. In this study, we describe three children with complex univentricular hearts and abnormal systemic or pulmonary venous drainage, in whom three-dimensional printed models based on CT data assisted with preoperative planning. For two children, after group discussion and examination of the models, a decision was made not to proceed with surgery. We extend the current clinical experience with three-dimensional printed modelling and discuss the benefits of such models in the setting of managing complex surgical problems in children with univentricular circulation and abnormal systemic or pulmonary venous drainage.
The prevalence of osteoporosis and the incidence of age-related fragility fracture vary by ethnicity. There is greater than 10-fold variation in fracture probabilities between countries across the world. Mineral and bone metabolism are intimately interlinked, and both are known to exhibit patterns of daily variation, known as the diurnal rhythm (DR). Ethnic differences are described for Ca and P metabolism. The importance of these differences is described in detail between select ethnic groups, within the USA between African-Americans and White-Americans, between the Gambia and the UK and between China and the UK. Dietary Ca intake is higher in White-Americans compared with African-Americans, and is higher in White-British compared with Gambian and Chinese adults. Differences are observed also for plasma 25-hydroxy vitamin D, related to lifestyle differences, skin pigmentation and skin exposure to UVB-containing sunshine. Higher plasma 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D and parathyroid hormone are observed in African-American compared with White-American adults. Plasma parathyroid hormone is also higher in Gambian adults and, in winter, in Chinese compared with White-British adults. There may be ethnic differences in the bone resorptive effects of parathyroid hormone, with a relative skeletal resistance to parathyroid hormone observed in some, but not all ethnic groups. Renal mineral excretion is also influenced by ethnicity; urinary Ca (uCa) and urinary P (uP) excretions are lower in African-Americans compared with White-Americans, and in Gambians compared with their White-British counterparts. Little is known about ethnic differences in the DR of Ca and P metabolism, but differences may be expected due to known differences in lifestyle factors, such as dietary intake and sleep/wake pattern. The ethnic-specific DR of Ca and P metabolism may influence the net balance of Ca and P conservation and bone remodelling. These ethnic differences in Ca, P and the bone metabolism may be important factors in the variation in skeletal health.
Following large-scale disasters and major complex emergencies, especially in resource-poor settings, emergency surgery is practiced by Foreign Medical Teams (FMTs) sent by governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These surgical experiences have not yielded an appropriate standardized collection of data and reporting to meet standards required by national authorities, the World Health Organization, and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Global Health Cluster. Utilizing the 2011 International Data Collection guidelines for surgery initiated by Médecins Sans Frontières, the authors of this paper developed an individual patient-centric form and an International Standard Reporting Template for Surgical Care to record data for victims of a disaster as well as the co-existing burden of surgical disease within the affected community. The data includes surgical patient outcomes and perioperative mortality, along with referrals for rehabilitation, mental health and psychosocial care. The purpose of the standard data format is fourfold: (1) to ensure that all surgical providers, especially from indigenous first responder teams and others performing emergency surgery, from national and international (Foreign) medical teams, contribute relevant and purposeful reporting; (2) to provide universally acceptable forms that meet the minimal needs of both national authorities and the Health Cluster; (3) to increase transparency and accountability, contributing to improved humanitarian coordination; and (4) to facilitate a comprehensive review of services provided to those affected by the crisis.
BurkleFMJr, NickersonJW, von SchreebJ, RedmondAD, McQueenKA, NortonI, RoyN. Emergency Surgery Data and Documentation Reporting Forms for Sudden-Onset Humanitarian Crises, Natural Disasters and the Existing Burden of Surgical Disease. Prehosp Disaster Med.2012;27(6):1-6.
Chronic tympanic membrane perforations can cause significant morbidity. The term myringoplasty describes the operation used to close such perforations. A variety of graft materials are available for use in myringoplasty, but all have limitations and few studies report post-operative hearing outcomes. Recently, the biomedical applications of silk fibroin protein have been studied. This material's biocompatibility, biodegradability and ability to act as a scaffold to support cell growth prompted an investigation of its interaction with human tympanic membrane keratinocytes.
Methods and materials:
Silk fibroin membranes were prepared and human tympanic membrane keratinocytes cultured. Keratinocytes were seeded onto the membranes and immunostained for a number of relevant protein markers relating to cell proliferation, adhesion and specific epithelial differentiation.
The silk fibroin scaffolds successfully supported the growth and adhesion of keratinocytes, whilst also maintaining their cell lineage.
The properties of silk fibroin make it an attractive option for further research, as a potential alternative graft in myringoplasty.
Stigma and discrimination related to mental-health problems impacts negatively on people's quality of life, help seeking behaviour and recovery trajectories. To date, the experience of discrimination by people with mental-health problems has not been systematically explored in the Republic of Ireland. This study aimed to explore the experience impact of discrimination as a consequence of being identified with a mental-health problem.
Transcripts of semi-structured interviews with 30 people about their experience of discrimination were subject to thematic analysis and presented in summary form.
People volunteered accounts of discrimination which clustered around employment, personal relationships, business and finance, and health care. Common experiences included being discounted or discredited, being mocked or shunned and being inhibited or constrained by oneself and others.
Qualitative research of this type may serve to illustrate the complexity of discrimination and the processes whereby stigma is internalised and may shape behaviour. Such an understanding may assist health practitioners reduce stigma, and identify and remediate the impact of discrimination.
The provision of surgery within humanitarian crises is complex, requiring coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders. During the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit best practice guidelines were proposed to provide greater accountability and standardization in surgical humanitarian relief efforts. Surgical humanitarian relief planning should occur early and include team selection and preparation, appropriate disaster-specific anticipatory planning, needs assessment, and an awareness of local resources and limitations of cross-cultural project management. Accurate medical record keeping and timely follow-up is important for a transient surgical population. Integration with local health systems is essential and will help facilitate longer term surgical health system strengthening.
Limb amputations are frequently performed as a result of trauma inflicted during conflict or disasters. As demonstrated during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, coordinating care of these patients in austere settings is complex. During the 2011 Humanitarian Action Summit, consensus statements were developed for international organizations providing care to limb amputation patients during disasters or humanitarian emergencies. Expanded planning is needed for a multidisciplinary surgical care team, inclusive of surgeons, anesthesiologists, rehabilitation specialists and mental health professionals. Surgical providers should approach amputation using an operative technique that optimizes limb length and prosthetic fitting. Appropriate anesthesia care involves both peri-operative and long-term pain control. Rehabilitation specialists must be involved early in treatment, ideally before amputation, and should educate the surgical team in prosthetic considerations. Mental health specialists must be included to help the patient with community reintegration. A key step in developing local health systemsis the establishment of surgical outcomes monitoring. Such monitoring can optimizepatient follow-up and foster professional accountability for the treatment of amputation patients in disaster settings and humanitarian emergencies.
Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia and diminutive or absent intrapericardial pulmonary arteries is a rare congenital abnormality, with high morbidity and mortality. Despite great advances in surgical- and catheter-based therapies, management remains challenging and controversial. We describe the surgical methods and the results from our institution.
We performed a retrospective study of the medical records of patients included in our institutional database with tetralogy and pulmonary atresia, concentrating on those predominantly managed by our programme over their lifetime. We obtained demographics and records of all catheterisations and operations, and established mortality. We assessed the current state of those surviving in terms of clinical function at their most recent clinical evaluation and right ventricular function by echocardiography.
We assessed 38 patients, with 89% follow-up. The mean number of catheterisations for each patients was 5, with a range from 1 to 15. The mean number of operations was 2.2, with a range from 1 to 6. Unifocalisation had been performed in 26 patients, with 12 undergoing procedures to recruit the native pulmonary vasculature. Of the overall cohort, eight patients died. The ventricular septal defect had been closed in all but two patients. Most patients have no or mild exercise intolerance. Right ventricle dysfunction has been a continuing hazard for 15 years.
An individualised approach, using unifocalisation as well as aggressive attempts to recruit the available native pulmonary vasculature, achieves outcomes in the intermediate term superior to the natural history of the lesions, and comparable with those of other studies.
Primary care providers and researchers wishing to estimate study recruitment rates need estimates of illness frequency in primary care. Previous studies of children’s symptoms have found that presentations are most common for the symptoms: cough, fever, earache, rash, diarrhoea and vomiting. Since 2000, primary care provision in the United Kingdom has changed with the introduction of Walk-in-Centres (WICs) and new Out of Hours (OoHs) providers.
To describe the type and frequency of parent-reported presenting symptoms at a range of primary care sites between 2005 and 2007.
Parent-reported presenting symptoms, recorded in their own words, were extracted from data collected from all children aged six months to six years during recruitment to a randomised controlled trial. Presenting symptoms were coded and presented as frequency per 100 ‘consulting sessions’ by type of primary care site.
Results were evaluated from 2491 episodes of illness at 35 sites. When grouped by primary care site, respiratory symptoms were the most common at OoHs centres, the WIC and general practitioner (GP) surgeries. Trauma symptoms were common in the Emergency Department, but unexpectedly, diarrhoea and vomiting were more common in the Emergency Department and skin presenting symptoms more common at the WIC than at GP sites.
We report the relative frequency of acute symptoms by type of primary care provider. These data may be useful to those planning recruitment to primary care paediatric studies and policy makers for planning primary care service provision.