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To examine factors that influence decision-making, preferences, and plans related to advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care among persons with dementia and their caregivers, and examine how these may differ by race.
13 geographically dispersed Alzheimer’s Disease Centers across the United States.
431 racially diverse caregivers of persons with dementia.
Survey on “Care Planning for Individuals with Dementia.”
The respondents were knowledgeable about dementia and hospice care, indicated the person with dementia would want comfort care at the end stage of illness, and reported high levels of both legal ACP (e.g., living will; 87%) and informal ACP discussions (79%) for the person with dementia. However, notable racial differences were present. Relative to white persons with dementia, African American persons with dementia were reported to have a lower preference for comfort care (81% vs. 58%) and lower rates of completion of legal ACP (89% vs. 73%). Racial differences in ACP and care preferences were also reflected in geographic differences. Additionally, African American study partners had a lower level of knowledge about dementia and reported a greater influence of religious/spiritual beliefs on the desired types of medical treatments. Notably, all respondents indicated that more information about the stages of dementia and end-of-life health care options would be helpful.
Educational programs may be useful in reducing racial differences in attitudes towards ACP. These programs could focus on the clinical course of dementia and issues related to end-of-life care, including the importance of ACP.
Background: SMA is a neurodegenerative disease caused by biallelic deletion/mutation of the survival motor neuron (SMN1) gene. In the phase 1 trial (NCT02122952), SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of 15 symptomatic SMA1 patients (3 at a lower dose [cohort 1] and 12 at the proposed therapeutic dose [cohort 2]). This report describes long-term follow-up study design and data from the phase 1 study. Methods: Patients in the phase 1 study could rollover into a long-term follow-up study (NCT03421977). The primary objective is to collect long-term safety data (serious adverse events, hospitalizations, and adverse events of special interest). Annual follow-up will occur for 15 years. Additionally, patient record transfers from local clinician(s) will be requested. Safety assessments include medical history and record review, physical examination, clinical laboratory evaluation, and pulmonary assessments. Efficacy assessments include physical examination to assess developmental milestones. Results: As of September 27, 2018, the oldest patients are 59.2 (cohort 1) and 52.1 (cohort 2) months old and free of permanent ventilation. Preliminary data, including survival and developmental milestones, will be presented. Conclusions: Patients treated with a one-time dose of AVXS-101 continue to gain strength, develop, and achieve new milestones, demonstrating a long-term, durable response.
Introduction: Accurate forecasting of emergency department (ED) patient visits can inform better resource matching. Calendar variables such as day of week and time of day are routinely used as predictors of ED volume. Further improvement in forecasting will likely come from dynamic variables. The effect of snowfall on ED volumes in colder climates remains poorly understood. We sought to determine whether accounting for snowfall improves ED patient volume forecasting. Our secondary objective was to characterize the magnitude of effect of snowfall on ED volume. Methods: This was a retrospective observational study using historical patient volume data and local snowfall records from April 1st, 2011 to March 31st, 2018 (2,542 days) at a single urban ED. We fit a series of four generalized linear models: a baseline model which included calendar variables and three different snowfall models which contained the variables in the baseline model plus an indicator variable for modelling snowfall. Each snowfall model had a different daily threshold for its indicator variable: any snowfall ( >0cm), moderate snowfall ( > = 1 cm), or high snowfall ( > = 5 cm). We modeled daily ED volume as the dependent variable using a Poisson distribution. To evaluate model fit, we examined the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) in each of the four models. In both cases, a lower number indicates better model fit. Incident rate ratios were calculated to determine the effect of snowfall. We used the delta method to calculate confidence intervals. Results: A total of 2542 days were used to develop the model. All three snowfall models demonstrated improved model fit compared to the baseline model with lower AIC and BIC values. The best fitting model included a binary variable for moderate snowfall ( > = 1cm/day). This model showed a statistically significant decrease in ED volume of 2.65% (95% CI: 1.23% -4.00%) on snowfall days, representing 5.4 (95% CI: 2.5 -8.2) patients per day at our hospital with an average daily volume of 205 patients. Conclusion: The addition of a snowfall variable results in improved forecasting model performance in ED volume forecasting with optimal threshold set at 1 cm of snow in our setting. Snowfall is associated with a modest, but statistically significant reduction in ED volume.
Shunt-related adverse events are frequent in infants after modified Blalock–Taussig despite use of acetylsalicylic acid prophylaxis. A higher incidence of acetylsalicylic acid-resistance and sub-therapeutic acetylsalicylic acid levels has been reported in infants. We evaluated whether using high-dose acetylsalicylic acid can decrease shunt-related adverse events in infants after modified Blalock–Taussig.
In this single-centre retrospective cohort study, we included infants ⩽1-year-old who underwent modified Blalock–Taussig placement and received acetylsalicylic acid in the ICU. We defined acetylsalicylic acid treatment groups as standard dose (⩽7 mg/kg/day) and high dose (⩾8 mg/kg/day) based on the initiating dose.
There were 34 infants in each group. Both groups were similar in age, gender, cardiac defect type, ICU length of stay, and time interval to second stage or definitive repair. Shunt interventions (18 versus 32%, p=0.16), shunt thrombosis (14 versus 17%, p=0.74), and mortality (9 versus 12%, p=0.65) were not significantly different between groups. On multiple logistic regression analysis, single-ventricle morphology (odds ratio 5.2, 95% confidence interval of 1.2–23, p=0.03) and post-operative red blood cells transfusion ⩾24 hours [odds ratio 15, confidence interval of (3–71), p<0.01] were associated with shunt-related adverse events. High-dose acetylsalicylic acid treatment [odds ratio 2.6, confidence interval of (0.7–10), p=0.16] was not associated with decrease in these events.
High-dose acetylsalicylic acid may not be sufficient in reducing shunt-related adverse events in infants after modified Blalock–Taussig. Post-operative red blood cells transfusion may be a modifiable risk factor for these events. A randomised trial is needed to determine appropriate acetylsalicylic acid dosing in infants with modified Blalock–Taussig.
When Hurricane Harvey landed along the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, it caused massive flooding and damage and displaced tens of thousands of residents of Harris County, Texas. Between August 29 and September 23, Harris County, along with community partners, operated a megashelter at NRG Center, which housed 3365 residents at its peak. Harris County Public Health conducted comprehensive public health surveillance and response at NRG, which comprised disease identification through daily medical record reviews, nightly “cot-to-cot” resident health surveys, and epidemiological consultations; messaging and communications; and implementation of control measures including stringent isolation and hygiene practices, vaccinations, and treatment. Despite the lengthy operation at the densely populated shelter, an early seasonal influenza A (H3) outbreak of 20 cases was quickly identified and confined. Influenza outbreaks in large evacuation shelters after a disaster pose a significant threat to populations already experiencing severe stressors. A holistic surveillance and response model, which consists of coordinated partnerships with onsite agencies, in-time epidemiological consultations, predesigned survey tools, trained staff, enhanced isolation and hygiene practices, and sufficient vaccines, is essential for effective disease identification and control. The lessons learned and successes achieved from this outbreak may serve for future disaster response settings. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:97-101)
We reviewed all patients who were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device at our institution in order to describe diagnostic characteristics and assess mortality.
A retrospective cohort study was performed including all patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device from our first case (8 October, 1998) through 25 July, 2016. The primary outcome of interest was mortality, which was modelled by the Kaplan–Meier method.
A total of 223 patients underwent 241 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Median support time was 4.0 days, ranging from 0.04 to 55.8 days, with a mean of 6.4±7.0 days. Mean (±SD) age at initiation was 727.4 days (±146.9 days). Indications for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were stratified by primary indication: cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=175; 72.6%) or respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=66; 27.4%). The most frequent diagnosis for cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients was hypoplastic left heart syndrome or hypoplastic left heart syndrome-related malformation (n=55 patients with HLHS who underwent 64 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs). For respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the most frequent diagnosis was congenital diaphragmatic hernia (n=22). A total of 24 patients underwent 26 ventricular assist device runs. Median support time was 7 days, ranging from 0 to 75 days, with a mean of 15.3±18.8 days. Mean age at initiation of ventricular assist device was 2530.8±660.2 days (6.93±1.81 years). Cardiomyopathy/myocarditis was the most frequent indication for ventricular assist device placement (n=14; 53.8%). Survival to discharge was 42.2% for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients and 54.2% for ventricular assist device patients. Kaplan–Meier 1-year survival was as follows: all patients, 41.0%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 41.0%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%. Kaplan–Meier 5-year survival was as follows: all patients, 39.7%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 39.7%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%.
This single-institutional 18-year review documents the differential probability of survival for various sub-groups of patients who require support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ventricular assist device. The indication for mechanical circulatory support, underlying diagnosis, age, and setting in which cannulation occurs may affect survival after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist device. The Kaplan–Meier analyses in this study demonstrate that patients who survive to hospital discharge have an excellent chance of longer-term survival.
Ischemic stroke treatment is time-sensitive, and barriers to providing prehospital care encountered by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers have been under-studied.
This study described barriers to providing prehospital care, identified predictors of these barriers, and assessed the impact of these barriers on EMS on-scene time and administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in the emergency department (ED).
A retrospective cohort study was performed using the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-S; American Heart Association [AHA]; Dallas, Texas USA) registry at two hospitals to identify ischemic stroke patients arriving by EMS. Variables were abstracted from prehospital and hospital medical records and merged with registry data. Barriers to care were grouped into themes. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of barriers to care, and bi-variate tests were used to assess differences in EMS on-scene time and the proportion of patients receiving tPA between patients with and without barriers.
Barriers to providing prehospital care were documented for 15.5% of patients: 29.6% related to access, 26.7% communication, 23.0% extrication and transportation, 20.0% refusal, and 14.1% assessment/management. Non-white and non-black race (OR: 3.69; 95% CI, 1.63-8.36) and living alone (OR: 1.53; 95% CI, 1.05-2.23) were associated with greater odds of barriers to providing care. The EMS on-scene time was ≥15 minutes for 70.4% of patients who had a barrier to care, compared with 49.0% of patients who did not (P<.001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients who were administered tPA between those with and without barriers to care (14.1% vs 19.2%; P=.159).
Barriers to providing prehospital care were documented for a sizable proportion of ischemic stroke patients, with the majority related to patient access and communication, and occurred more frequently among non-white and non-black patients and those living alone. Although EMS on-scene time was longer for patients with barriers to care, the proportion of patients receiving tPA in the ED did not differ.
LiT, CushmanJT, ShahMN, KellyAG, RichDQ, JonesCMC. Barriers to Providing Prehospital Care to Ischemic Stroke Patients: Predictors and Impact on Care. Prehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(5):501–507.
Little is known about what motivates people to enroll in research registries. The purpose of this study is to identify facilitators of registry enrollment among diverse older adults.
Participants completed an 18-item Research Interest Assessment Tool. We used logistic regression analyses to examine responses across participants and by race and gender.
Participants (N=374) were 58% black, 76% women, with a mean age of 68.2 years. All participants were motivated to maintain their memory while aging. Facilitators of registry enrolled varied by both race and gender. Notably, blacks (estimate=0.71, p<0.0001) and women (estimate=0.32, p=0.03) were more willing to enroll in the registry due to home visits compared with whites and men, respectively.
Researchers must consider participant desire for maintaining memory while aging and home visits when designing culturally tailored registries.
The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.
To identify ways that the built environment may support or disrupt safe doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) in biocontainment units (BCU).
We observed interactions between healthcare workers (HCWs) and the built environment during 41 simulated PPE donning and doffing exercises.
The BCUs of 4 Ebola treatment facilities and 1 high-fidelity BCU mockup.
A total of 64 HCWs (41 doffing HCWs and 15 trained observers) participated in this study.
In each facility, we observed how the physical environment influences risky behaviors by the HCW. The environmental design impeded communication between trained observers (TOs) and HCWs because of limited window size or visual obstructions with louvers, which allowed unobserved errors. The size and configuration of the doffing area impacted HCW adherence to protocol, and lack of clear demarcation of zones resulted in HCWs inadvertently leaving the doffing area and stepping back into the contaminated areas. Lack of standard location for items resulted in equipment and supplies frequently shifting positions. Finally, different solutions for maintaining balance while removing shoe covers (ie, chair, hand grips, and step stool) had variable success. We identified the 5 key requirements that doffing areas must achieve to support safe doffing of PPE, and we developed a matrix of proposed design strategies that can be implemented to meet those requirements.
Simple, low-cost environmental design interventions can provide structure to support and improve HCW safety in BCUs. These interventions should be implemented in both current and future BCUs.
Patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) have frequent exposure to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) risk factors but the incidence and aetiology of CDI on this population is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence, disease presentation and outcomes of CDI in patients with underlying CLD. The Health Care and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) 2009 dataset was used to identify patients with CLD who developed CDI along with matched non-CLD patients with CDI. Using the NIS dataset, the incidence rate of CDI was 189.4/10 000 discharges in CLD patients vs. 83.7/10 000 discharges in the non-CLD matched cohort (P < 0.001). Compared with non-CLD, comorbidity-matched controls with CDI, CLD patients with CDI had higher likelihood of in-hospital mortality (8.8% vs. 18.6%, P < 0.001), increased length of stay by 1.19 days (P < 0.001) and increased total costs by $8632 (P < 0.001). In separate analyses using a tertiary case database of hospitalised patients in Houston, Texas (2006–2016) with CLD and CDI (n = 41) compared with patients with CDI but not CLD (n = 111), CLD patients had significantly higher Charlson comorbidity index (P < 0.0001) but similar risk factors for CDI and CDI-related disease presentation compared with non-CLD patients. In conclusion, CDI-related risk factors were almost universally present in the CLD population. CDI resulted in worse outcomes in this population.
Cinnamon is a common spice obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). It has been used for culinary, as well as medicinal, purposes since ancient times in various countries. Apart from substantial amounts of several nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, choline, vitamins (A, K, C, B3), and minerals, several biological active compounds are present in the extract of oil, which contribute to immunomodulatory, antioxidant, antiviral, lowering blood cholesterol, antimicrobial, lipid-lowering, antihypertension, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, gastroprotective, antidiabetic, neuroprotective and blood purifying properties. Cinnamon roots serve as a hepatic stimulant by improving bile production, eliminating toxins, restoring electrolyte balance and regulating hydration and can be used for enhancing digestion. In addition, nutritional properties of cinnamon powder include positive effects regarding growth, digestion, enhanced activity of gut microflora, improvement of immune response, as well as improved feed efficiency and health improvement of poultry birds. Recently, research focus has been directed towards supplementing broiler diets with cinnamon powder as a phytobiotic in order to replace synthetic growth promoters. After reviewing the literature, it was found that the research at the molecular level to elucidate the mechanisms behind the potential of cinnamon as a feed additive in poultry is limited, despite its promising impacts. Furthermore, supplementation doses vary significantly, i.e., from 0.02 to 7%. So, the aim of this review was to compile the published research related to cinnamon. Hence explore its beneficial properties, find out its optimal dosage for uses by veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists, as well as its potential to use as a natural feed additive to replace the synthetic antibiotic growth promoters in poultry feed.
Flavonoids are natural compounds derived from different types of vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbal plants. Hesperidin, a flavanone (a class of flavonoids) glycoside is found abundantly in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons tangerines and limes and is known to possess significant benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, antioxidant, growth promoting, anticancer and immunological properties. Hesperidin enhances mucosal and humoral immunity by increasing intestinal intraepithelial lymphocyte numbers, lymphoid organs (thymus, spleen and bursa) indices, as well as improving anti-avian influenza and anti-Newcastle disease antibody titres in poultry. In addition, hesperidin is a strong chain-breaking antioxidant that provides potent cellular antioxidant defence against the damaging effects induced by peroxide hydrogen. As a natural antioxidant, hesperidin could help mitigate heat stress during summer by decreasing heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, and quenching reactive oxygen species generated by summer heat stress. The aim of this review was to elucidate the biological effects and health benefits of hesperidin as an alternative of synthetic immune boosters and growth promoters in poultry diets.
Exposure to prenatal hypoxia in rats leads to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), decreases fetal cardiomyocyte proliferation and increases the risk to develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) later in life. The tumor necrosis factor-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) induces cardiomyocyte proliferation through activation of the fibroblast growth factor-inducible molecule 14 (Fn-14) receptor. The TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway becomes quiescent shortly after birth, however, it becomes upregulated with CVD; suggesting that it could be a link between the increased susceptibility to CVD in pregnancies complicated by hypoxia/IUGR. We hypothesized that offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia will exhibit reduced cardiomyocyte proliferation due to reduced Fn-14 expression and that the TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway will be expressed in those adult offspring. We exposed pregnant Sprague Dawley rats to control (21% oxygen) or hypoxic (11% oxygen) conditions from gestational days 15 to 21. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from male and female, control and hypoxic offspring at postnatal day 1. Proliferation was assessed in the presence or absence of r-TWEAK (72 h, 100 ng/ml). Prenatal hypoxia was not associated with differences in Fn-14 protein expression in either male or female offspring. Cardiomyocytes from prenatal hypoxic male, but not female, offspring had decreased proliferation compared with controls. Addition of r-TWEAK increased cardiomyocyte proliferation in all offspring. In adult offspring of all groups, the TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway was not detectable. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was reduced in only male offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia but this was not due to changes in the Fn-14 pathway. Studies addressing other pathways associated with CVD and prenatal hypoxia are needed.
Echinacea purpurea is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs that is of interest to animal scientists due to its valuable immuno-stimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that it activates the immune system through stimulating T-cell production, lymphocytic activity, phagocytosis, cellular respiration and inhibiting the secretion of the hyaluronidase enzyme. Chicoric acid (CA) is a major active constituent of Echinacea purpurea. The CA content in roots ranges between 16.80-24.30 mg/g which has gained a lot of renown due to its promising bio-activities. CA has shown to simulate growth promoters and have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-bacterial, hypoglycaemic and hepatocyte protective properties. There have been very few studies relevant to CA and its use in poultry diets. Previously published studies have included pharmacological and nutritional investigations in the poultry industry. CA could be used as an alternative to antibiotics, and may improve meat quality and health status in broiler chickens.