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Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasonography (PoCUS) is being incorporated into Canadian undergraduate medical school curricula. The purpose of this study was to evaluate novel PoCUS education sessions to determine what aspects of the sessions benefitted from hands-on training and which PoCUS skills were retained over time. Methods: Second year medical students voluntarily received three different PoCUS training sessions, each lasting three hours. Prior to the sessions, participants prepared independently with pre-circulated online learning materials. After a 15-minute lecture, experienced PoCUS providers led small group (1 instructor: 5 students), live scanning sessions. Evaluations were conducted before and after each session using expert validated multiple choice questions testing general and procedural knowledge, image recognition and interpretation. Volunteer students were evaluated via direct observation of live scanning using an objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSAT) based on the O-score and then re-evaluated at 2 months post-training to assess PoCUS skills retention. Results: 40 second year medical students participated in extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (eFAST), cardiac, and gallbladder PoCUS sessions. The live-training sessions significantly improved student PoCUS knowledge beyond what they learned independently for eFAST (p < 0.001), cardiac (p < 0.001), and gallbladder (p = 0.02). The largest improvement was noted in procedural knowledge test scores improving from 44.0% to 84.0% (n = 38). 16 students were evaluated after each session with a mean O-score of 2.37. 8 students returned two months later to be re-evaluated demonstrating a change in O-scores for eFAST (2.00 to 2.38, p = 0.15), cardiac (2.28 to 2.00, p = 0.32), and gallbladder (2.91 to 1.88, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Procedural PoCUS knowledge benefited the most with hands-on training. eFAST and cardiac PoCUS competency was maintained over time while gallbladder PoCUS competency degraded suggesting that targeted PoCUS skills training may be possible. Further study is required to determine the best use of PoCUS resources in undergraduate medical education.
Introduction: Increasing opioid prescribing has been linked to an epidemic of opioid misuse. Our objective was to synthesize available evidence about patient-, prescriber-, medication-, and system-level risk factors for developing opioid misuse from prescribed opioids among patients presenting with pain unrelated to cancer. Our hypothesis was that we would identify risk factors predisposing patients to developing opioid misuse. Methods: We developed a systematic search strategy and applied it to nine electronic reference databases and six clinical trial registries. We hand searched related journals and conference proceedings, the reference lists of included studies, and the top 100 hits on Google. We included studies where a medical professional exposed adults or children to an opioid through a prescription. We excluded studies with over 50% cancer patients, palliative patients, and those with illicit opioid initiation. Two reviewers independently reviewed titles, abstracts, and full texts, and extracted data using standardized forms. We assessed study quality using risk of bias. We synthesized effect sizes of dichotomous risk factors on opioid misuse using inverse variance random-effects meta-analysis, and the inverse variance-weighted mean difference between opioid misusers and non-misusers for continuously measured factors. We conducted an a priori defined subgroup analysis among opioid-naïve patients. Results: Among 9,629 studies, 67 met our inclusion criteria. Among those who had been prescribed outpatient opioids, the following factors were associated with the development of misuse: a prior history of illicit drug use (OR: 4.21, 95% CI: 2.31-7.65), recent benzodiazepine use (OR: 2.57, 95% CI: 1.23-5.38), any mental health diagnosis (OR: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.91-3.15), any short acting (IR) opioid prescription (OR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.15-5.02), younger age (OR: 2.19, 95%CI: 1.81-2.64), and male sex (OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.10-1.36). Among studies limiting their population to opioid-naïve patients, younger age was the most significant risk factor for opioid misuse (OR: 5.42, 95% CI:1.51-19.43). Conclusion: Of the risk factors examined, non-cancer pain patients with a prior history of substance use or mental health diagnoses were at highest risk for prescription opioid misuse. Younger opioid-naïve patients were at highest risk of misuse. Clinicians should consider these risk factors when managing acute pain in the emergency department.
Introduction: Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) is being increasingly utilized during cardiac arrests for prognosis. Following the publication of recent studies, the goal of this study was to systematically review and analyze the literature to evaluate the accuracy of PoCUS in predicting return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival to hospital admission (SHA), and survival to hospital discharge (SHD) in adult patients with non-traumatic, non- shockable out- of-hospital or emergency department cardiac arrest. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was completed. A search of Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization Registry was completed from 1974 until August 24th 2018. Adult randomized controlled trials and observational studies were included. The QUADAS-2 tool was applied by two independent reviewers. Data analysis was completed according to PRISMA guidelines and with a random effects model for the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was assessed using I-squared statistics. Results: Ten studies (1,485 participants) were included. Cardiac activity on PoCUS had a pooled sensitivity of 59.9% (95% confidence interval 36.5%-79.4%) and specificity of 91.5% (80.8%-96.5%) for ROSC; 74.7% (58.3%-86.2%) and 80.5% (71.7%-87.4%) for SHA; and 69.4% (45.5%-86.0%) and 74.6% (59.8%-85.3%) for SHD. The sensitivity of cardiac activity on PoCUS for predicting ROSC was 24.7%(6.8%-59.4%) in the asystole subgroup compared with 77% (59.4%-88.5%) within the PEA subgroup. Cardiac activity on PoCUS, compared to an absence had an odd ratio of 15.9 (5.9-42.5) for ROSC, 9.8 (4.9-19.4) for SHA and 5.7 (2.1-15.6) for SHD. Positive likelihood ratio (LR) was 6.65 (3.16-14.0) and negative LR was 0.27 (0.12-0.61) for ROSC. Conclusion: Cardiac activity on PoCUS was associated with improved odds for ROSC, SHA, and SHD among adults with non-traumatic asystole and PEA. We report lower sensitivity and higher negative likelihood ratio, but with greater heterogeneity compared to previous systematic reviews. PoCUS may provide valuable information in the management of non-traumatic PEA or asystole, but should not be viewed as the sole predictor in determining outcomes in these patients.
All-printed electronics is the key technology to ultra-low-cost, large-area electronics. As a critical step in this direction, we demonstrate that femtosecond laser processing (sintering and ablation) of solution deposited metal nanoparticles enables direct metal patterning at low-temperature with ultra high resolution (∼300nm) to overcome the resolution limitation of the current inkjet direct writing processes.
This could be explained by the combined effects of novel properties of metal nanoparticles such as melting temperature drop, strong absorption of the incident laser beam at surface plasmon mode, lower conductive heat transfer loss, and the relatively weak bonding between nanoparticles. Local thermal control of the laser sintering process could minimize the heat-affected zone and the thermal damage to the substrate and further enhance the resolution of the process. This local nanoparticle deposition and energy coupling enable an environmentally friendly and cost-effective process as well as a low-temperature manufacturing sequence to realize large-area, flexible electronics on polymer substrates.
Tools applied at the point of care can provide valuable prognostic information for practitioners. In this one-year, prospective observational study, we examined the association of the short performance physical battery (SPPB) and one-year emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Overall, 191 new referrals attending an outpatient geriatric clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, were approached, and 120 were enrolled. SPPB and other assessments were completed during the routine clinical visit. ED visits and hospitalizations within one year of the baseline assessment were abstracted from electronic medical records. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine ED visits and hospitalization predictors. The mean SPPB score in the study cohort (mean age 80.6, SD 6.3 years; 53% female) was 6.3 (SD 3.2). SPPB score was associated with a one-year ED visit (OR = 0.90 [0.78–1.03]) and hospitalization (OR = 0.84 [0.72–0.97]) after adjusting for age, sex, and co-morbidities.
Introduction: Aligning health systems appropriately to the needs of the elderly is an urgent global priority, according to the WHO. In Canada, ED length of stay has risen 16% for elderly patients in the last year. Agitation requiring chemical restraint is a common, high-risk problem for elderly in the ED. Improving outcomes in this heterogeneous population remain difficult due to inability to effectively identify and evaluate delirium, frailty, multi-morbidity, and incompatibility with the ED system. A data-driven approach to complex health problems is a recognized emerging tool for healthcare innovation. New opportunities for targeted quality improvement in the ED will be uncovered by identifying the clinical characteristics of elderly patients with agitation, and the system process factors that influence their outcomes. Methods: We studied 400 patients in a case-control study at two tertiary-care EDs over five years. Patients were randomly selected if age was greater than 75 years. 200 cases of patients who received an intravenous dose of haloperidol, midazolam and/or lorazepam were selected as a surrogate data marker for having agitation. Controls were randomly matched by age and ED diagnosis. Standardized clinical, systems and process variables were collected. We conducted a univariate analysis. Results: Elderly given intravenous medications for agitation had increased mortality (OR 3.8 CI: 1.6-10.7, p<0.001) and ED length of stay (27 vs. 15 hours, p<0.001). No statistical significance was found in clinical characteristics, CTAS scores, PRISMA7 frailty scores nor sentinel or return visits. There was no statistical difference in median hospital length of stay (8 vs. 6 days, p<0.70). No differences were found in median time from ED physician seeing a patient to first consultant request (73 vs. 83 mins, p=0.75). The largest time intervals contributing to ED length of stay were from first consultant request to hospital request (15 vs. 12 hours, p=0.056) and hospitalization delay (13 vs. 7 hours, p=0.45). Conclusion: Identification of high-risk elderly patients for targeted intervention through a data-driven approach is feasible and informative. Traditional clinical characteristics remain unhelpful in identifying and evaluating outcomes in elderly with agitation. We have identified a process factor that is clinically relevant and pragmatic to evaluate in our ED system. Future research focused on optimizing systems process factors to improve quality of elderly care should be prioritized.
It has not been well established whether dietary folate intake reduces the risk of diabetes development. We aimed to clarify the prospective association between dietary folate intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk among 7333 Korean adults aged 40 years or older who were included in the Multi-Rural Communities Cohort. Dietary folate intake was estimated from all 106 food items listed on a FFQ, not including folate intake from supplements. Two different measurements of dietary folate intake were used: the baseline consumption and the average consumption from baseline until just before the end of follow-up. The association between folate intake and T2D risk was determined through a modified Poisson regression model with a robust error estimator controlling for potential confounders. For 29 745 person years, 319 cases of diabetes were ascertained. In multivariable analyses, dietary folate intake was inversely associated with risk of T2D for women, not for men. For women, the incidence rate ratio of diabetes in the third tertile compared with the first tertile was 0·57 (95 % CI 0·38–0·87, Pfor trend=0·0085) in the baseline consumption model and 0·64 (95 % CI 0·43–0·95, Pfor trend=0·0244) in the average consumption model. These inverse associations was found in both normal fasting blood glucose group and impaired fasting glucose group among women. Among non-users of multinutrients and vitamin supplements, the significant inverse association remained. Thus, higher dietary intake of folate is prospectively associated with lower risk of diabetes for women.
Vitamin D deficiency (plasma 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D)<50 nmol/l) is highly prevalent, increases risk of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and associates with increased oxidative stress in obese subjects, the elderly and patients suffering from NCD. If confirmed as an independent driver of oxidative stress, nutritional and other public health strategies to improve vitamin D status would be strongly supported. We investigated vitamin D/oxidative stress links without the confounding effects of advanced age, obesity, smoking or pre-existing disease. Plasma 25(OH)D and biomarkers of oxidative stress and antioxidant status (plasma allantoin, oxidised LDL, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), ascorbic acid, urine 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine) were measured in fasting samples from 196 consenting, healthy adults aged 18–26 years. Correlation between 25(OH)D and each biomarker as well as biomarker differences across 25(OH)D quartiles and groups (<25/25–49/≥50 nmol/l) were investigated. Median 25(OH)D was 40 nmol/l; >70 % of participants were vitamin D deficient. No significant correlations and no biomarker differences across 25(OH)D quartiles or groups were seen except for total antioxidant status. A weak direct association (r 0·252, P<0·05) was observed between 25(OH)D and FRAP, and those in the lowest 25(OH)D quartile and group had significantly lower FRAP values. Results did not reveal a clear link between vitamin D status and oxidative stress biomarkers in the absence of advanced age, obesity and disease, though some evidence of depleted antioxidant status in those with vitamin D deficiency was seen. Poor antioxidant status may pre-date increased oxidative stress. Study of effects of correction of deficiency on antioxidant status and oxidative stress in vitamin D-deficient but otherwise healthy subjects is needed.
Introduction: Trauma code activation is initiated by emergency physicians using physiologic and anatomic criteria, mechanism of injury and patient demographic factors in conjunction with data obtained from emergency medical service personnel. This enables rapid definitive treatment of trauma patients. Our objective was to identify factors associated with delayed trauma team activation. Methods: We conducted a health records review to supplement data from a regional trauma center database. We assessed consecutive cases from the trauma database from January 2008 to March 2014 including all cases in which a trauma code was activated by an emergency physician. We defined a delay in trauma code activation as a time greater than 30 minutes from time to arrival to trauma team activation. Data were collected in Microsoft Excel and analyzed in Statistical Analysis System (SAS). We conducted univariate analysis for factors potentially influencing trauma team activation and we subsequently used multiple logistic regression analysis models for delayed activation in relation to mortality, length of stay and time to operative management. Results: 1020 patients were screened from which 174 patients were excluded, as they were seen directly by the trauma team. 846 patients were included for our analysis. 4.1% (35/846) of trauma codes were activated after 30 minutes. Mean age was 40.8 years in the early group versus 49.2 in the delayed group p=0.01. There was no significant difference in type of injury, injury severity or time from injury between the two groups. Patients were over 70 years in 7.6% in the early activation group vs 17.1% in the delayed group (p=0.04). 77.7% of the early group were male vs 71.4% in the delayed group (p=0.39). There was no significant difference in mortality (15.2% vs 11.4% p=0.10), median length of stay (10 days in both groups p=0.94) or median time to operative management (331 minutes vs 277 minutes p=0.52). Conclusion: Delayed activation is linked with increasing age with no clear link with increased mortality. Given the severe injuries in the delayed cohort which required activation of the trauma team further emphasis on the older trauma patient and interventions to recognize this vulnerable population should be made. When assessing elderly trauma patients emergency physicians should have a low threshold to activate trauma teams.
Using data from the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) study, we aimed to present the rates and clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts/acts in patients recruited from a total of 40 centres in 10 Asian countries/areas: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Data from 1122 patients with depressive disorders in the REAP-AD study were used. The ICD-10 was employed to diagnose depressive episodes and recurrent depressive disorder. The presence or absence of suicidal thoughts/acts and profile of other depressive symptoms was established using the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for depression. Country/area differences in rates of suicidal thoughts/acts were evaluated with the χ2 test. In addition, depressive symptom profiles, other clinical characteristics, and patterns of psychotropic drug prescription in depressed patients with and without suicidal thoughts/acts were compared using analysis of covariance for continuous variables and logistic regression analysis for discrete variables to adjust the effects of covariates.
The rates of suicidal thoughts/acts in 10 countries/areas varied from 12.8% in Japan to 36.3% in China. Patients with suicidal thoughts/acts presented more persistent sadness (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=2.64, p<0.001), loss of interest (aOR=2.33, p<0.001), fatigue (aOR=1.58, p<0.001), insomnia (aOR=1.74, p<0.001), poor concentration (aOR=1.88, p<0.001), low self-confidence (aOR=1.78, p<0.001), poor appetite (aOR=2.27, p<0.001), guilt/self-blame (aOR=3.03, p<0.001), and use of mood stabilisers (aOR=1.79, p<0.001) than those without suicidal thoughts/acts.
Suicidal thoughts/acts can indicate greater severity of depression, and are associated with a poorer response to antidepressants and increased burden of illness. Hence, suicidal thoughts/acts can provide a clinical index reflecting the clinical status of depressive disorders in Asians.
Introduction: Testicular torsion is a time sensitive condition for which there can be significant delays to surgery or transfer to definitive care while trying to obtain an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. This study determines the test characteristics for each individual sonographic sign of testicular torsion associated with the patient requiring surgical intervention. Methods: A retrospective health records review of adult patients with acute, non-traumatic scrotal pain or swelling (defined as under 24 hours since onset) presenting to one of two Canadian academic tertiary care emergency departments between November 2009 and March 2013 was performed. A single data abstractor completed a case report form for each patient including demographics, individual ultrasound findings, final diagnosis, and need for surgical intervention. The sensitivity and specificity of each ultrasonographic sign (including testicular heterogeneity, decreased colour doppler, and decreased pulsed wave doppler) at predicting surgical intervention during the same hospital visit was calculated along with 95% confidence intervals. Results: During the study period there were a total of 876 emergency department visits for scrotal pain, of which 198 patients met our inclusion criteria. The included patients had a mean age of 36.2 years. Decreased blood flow to the painful testicle on colour doppler showed the best overall test characteristics with a sensitivity of 82.4% (95% CI 55.8%-95.3%) and specificity of 100% (95% CI 96.3%-100%) for predicting a need for surgical intervention for testicular torsion. Other ultrasound findings for testicular torsion included a heterogeneous appearance of the painful testicle (sensitivity 47.1% [95% CI 23.9%-71.5%], specificity 77.4% [95% CI 68.9%-84.2%]), and decreased arterial or venous flow on pulsed wave doppler (sensitivity 76.5% [95% CI 49.8%-92.1%], specificity 100% [95% CI 96.3%-100%]). Conclusion: Decreased blood flow to the painful testicle on colour doppler showed excellent specificity and can rapidly “rule-in” a need for surgical intervention for testicular torsion. Given that colour doppler is relatively easy to learn and perform, future studies should assess the use of colour doppler using point of care ultrasound to expedite surgical consultation.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension. Current established protocols (RUSH, ACES, etc) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. We wished to use reported disease incidence to develop an informed approach to PoCUS in hypotension using a “4 F’s” approach: Fluid; Form; Function; Filling. Methods: We summarized the incidence of PoCUS findings from an international multicentre RCT, and using a modified Delphi approach incorporating this data we obtained the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. The modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate PoCUS for hypotensive emergency department patients. Results: Rates of abnormal PoCUS findings from 151 patients with undifferentiated hypotension included left ventricular dynamic changes (43%), IVC abnormalities (27%), pericardial effusion (16%), and pleural fluid (8%). Abdominal pathology was rare (fluid 5%, AAA 2%). After two rounds of the survey, using majority consensus, agreement was reached on a SHoC-hypotension protocol comprising: A. Core: 1. Cardiac views (Sub-xiphoid and parasternal windows for pericardial fluid, cardiac form and ventricular function); 2. Lung views for pleural fluid and B-lines for filling status; and 3. IVC views for filling status; B. Supplementary: Additional cardiac views; and C. Additional views (when indicated) including peritoneal fluid, aorta, pelvic for IUP, and proximal leg veins for DVT. Conclusion: An international consensus process based on prospectively collected disease incidence has led to a proposed SHoC-hypotension PoCUS protocol comprising a stepwise clinical-indication based approach of Core, Supplementary and Additional PoCUS views.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) provides invaluable information during resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest by determining presence/absence of cardiac activity and identifying reversible causes such as pericardial tamponade. There is no agreed guideline on how to safely and effectively incorporate PoCUS into the advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithm. We consider that a consensus-based priority checklist using a “4 F’s” approach (Fluid; Form; Function; Filling), would provide a better algorithm during ACLS. Methods: The ultrasound subcommittee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) drafted a checklist incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm. This was further developed using the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. A modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate ultrasound into cardiac arrest algorithms for emergency department patients. Results: Consensus was reached following 3 rounds. The agreed protocol focuses on the timing of PoCUS as well as the specific clinical questions. Core cardiac windows performed during the rhythm check pause in chest compressions are the sub-xiphoid and parasternal cardiac views. Either view should be used to detect pericardial fluid, as well as examining ventricular form (e.g. right heart strain) and function, (e.g. asystole versus organized cardiac activity). Supplementary views include lung views (for absent lung sliding in pneumothorax and for pleural fluid), and IVC views for filling. Additional ultrasound applications are for endotracheal tube confirmation, proximal leg veins for DVT, or for sources of blood loss (AAA, peritoneal/pelvic fluid). Conclusion: The authors hope that this process will lead to a consensus-based SHoC-cardiac arrest guideline on incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm.
Introduction: The timely diagnosis and treatment of testicular torsion is essential as a longer duration of symptoms is correlated with testicular necrosis and infertility. Ultrasound imaging assists in separating this diagnosis from other causes of acute scrotal pain. Our objective was to characterize which ultrasound findings predicted surgical intervention. Methods: We performed a retrospective health records review of all patients, ages 0-17 years that presented to the emergency department of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario over a 5-year period (2009-14) with scrotal pain <24 hours duration who were assessed by an emergency physician (EP) and received a testicular ultrasound by the Diagnostic Imaging Department. Patients’ records and ultrasound reports were reviewed by two reviewers who recorded ultrasound findings, times of EP assessment, ultrasound and surgical intervention in a standardized data extraction form. Sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values were calculated for the ultrasound findings. Results: 190 patients were analyzed of which 34 had a final diagnosis of testicular torsion (mean age 11.5 years, range 0-17.3). The mean time from EP assessment to ultrasound was 67.6 minutes (95%CI 50.5-84.6) during the daytime (800-2159) and 83.2 minutes (95%CI 36.7-130.4) for overnight presentations (2200-759). The absence of blood flow on colour Doppler ultrasound of the affected testicle was the best predictor of surgical intervention (sensitivity=94.1% [95%CI 80.3%-99.3%], specificity=99.4% [95%CI 96.5%-99.9%], positive likelihood ratio=146.8 [95%CI 20.7-1037.7] and negative likelihood ratio=0.06 [95%CI 0.02-0.23]. Other ultrasound findings that help rule in testicular torsion were the presence of a heterogeneous testicle on the symptomatic side (specificity=91.0% [95%CI 85.4%-95.0%] and the presence of the whirlpool sign (specificity=99.4% [95%CI 96.5%-99.9%]). Conclusion: The absence of blood flow on ultrasound is the best ultrasound finding for predicting surgical management of testicular torsion. Neither a heterogeneous testicle nor whirlpool sign had strong enough sensitivity to warrant their independent use. Future studies, such as those utilizing point of care ultrasound by EPs, should be conducted to study the affect on delays in treatment.
We have presented photometric results for two asteroids (895) Helio and (165) Loreley. The observations were performed from 2000 Oct. to 2001 Jan. using the 61cm telescope installed at Sobaeksan Optical Astronomy Observatory in Korea.
Space missions have unique requirements for payloads of electronics, sensors, instruments, and other components in terms of mass, footprint, power consumption, and resistance to various types of radiation. Nanomaterials offer the potential for future radiation-hardened or radiation-immune electronics. Gas-sensing needs in planetary exploration and crew-cabin air-quality monitoring are currently being met by bulky instruments. Routine health checkups of astronauts and testing of water in space habitats are being done on a delayed basis by bringing samples back to Earth. Instead, nanomaterials can be used to construct ultrasmall, postage-stamp-sized gas/vapor sensors with selective discrimination and also lab-on-a-chip biosensors for water-quality monitoring and crew health monitoring.
The junction resistance control of conducting networks is a crucial factor for high performance of the network-structured conducting film. Here, we show that silver nanowire (AgNW) networks can be stabilized by using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) which were functionalized with 2-ureido-4[1H]pyrimidinone (UHP) moieties. UHP-modified SWCNTs allowed us to fabricate AgNW suspension containing SWCNTs without adding additional dispersant molecules. The stabilization of AgNW networks was achieved by minimizing the joule heating at the NW-NW junction assisted by in-situ interconnection with the work function modulated SWCNTs. We propose that the electrical transportation pathway was modulated by the SWCNTs through the SWCNT-AgNW junctions, which results in a relatively lower junction resistance than the NW-NW junction in the network film.
Emergency medicine point-of-care ultrasonography (EM-PoCUS) is a core competency for residents in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and College of Family Physicians of Canada emergency medicine (EM) training programs. Although EM-PoCUS fellowships are currently offered in Canada, there is little consensus regarding what training should be included in a Canadian EM-PoCUS fellowship curriculum or how this contrasts with the training received in an EM residency.
To conduct a systematic needs assessment of major stakeholders to define the essential elements necessary for a Canadian EM-PoCUS fellowship training curriculum.
We carried out a national survey of experts in EM-PoCUS, EM residency program directors, and EM residents. Respondents were asked to identify competencies deemed either nonessential to EM practice, essential for general EM practice, essential for advanced EM practice, or essential for EM-PoCUS fellowship trained (‘‘expert’’) practice.
The response rate was 81% (351 of 435). PoCUS was deemed essential to general EM practice for basic cardiac, aortic, trauma, and procedural imaging. PoCUS was deemed essential to advanced EM practice in undifferentiated symptomatology, advanced chest pathologies, and advanced procedural applications. Expert-level PoCUS competencies were identified for administrative, pediatric, and advanced gynecologic applications. Eighty-seven percent of respondents indicated that there was a need for EM-PoCUS fellowships, with an ideal length of 6 months.
This is the first needs assessment of major stakeholders in Canada to identify competencies for expert training in EM-PoCUS. The competencies should form the basis for EM-PoCUS fellowship programs in Canada.