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Traditional decision rules have limitations when a new technology is less effective and less costly than a comparator. We propose a new probabilistic decision framework to examine non-inferiority in effectiveness and net monetary benefit (NMB) simultaneously. We illustrate this framework using the example of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment-resistant depression.
We modeled the quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with the new intervention (rTMS), an active control (ECT), and a placebo control, and we estimated the fraction of effectiveness preserved by the new intervention through probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA). We then assessed the probability of cost-effectiveness using a traditional cost-effectiveness acceptability curve (CEAC) and our new decision-making framework. In our new framework, we considered the new intervention cost-effective in each simulation of the PSA if it preserved at least 75 percent of the effectiveness of the active control (thus demonstrating non-inferiority) and had a positive NMB at a given willingness-to-pay threshold (WTP).
rTMS was less effective (i.e., associated with fewer QALYs) and less costly than ECT. The traditional CEAC approach showed that the probabilities of rTMS being cost-effective were 100 percent, 39 percent, and 14 percent at WTPs of $0, $50,000, and $100,000 per QALY gained, respectively. In the new decision framework, the probabilities of rTMS being cost-effective were reduced to 23 percent, 21 percent, and 13 percent at WTPs of $0, $50,000, and $100,000 per QALY, respectively.
This new framework provides a different perspective for decision making with considerations of both non-inferiority and WTP thresholds.
While assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power plants, researchers have focused their attention on radiocarbon (14C) owing to its high mobility in the environment and important radiological impact on human beings. The 10 MW high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China that adopted helium as primary coolant and graphite spheres containing tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particles as fuel elements. A series of experiments on the 14C source terms in HTR-10 was conducted: (1) measurement of the specific activity and distribution of typical nuclides in the irradiated graphite spheres from the core, (2) measurement of the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant, and (3) measurement of the amount of 14C discharged in the effluent from the stack. All experimental data on 14C available for HTR-10 were summarized and analyzed using theoretical calculations. A sensitivity study on the total porosity, open porosity, and percentage of closed pores that became open after irradiating the matrix graphite was performed to illustrate their effects on the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant and activity amount of 14C in various deduction routes.
We compared the fluorescent gel removal rate using fewer high-touch surfaces (HTSs) and rooms and determined the optimum number of HTSs and rooms needed to ensure accuracy using 2,942 HTSs in 228 rooms on 13 units. Randomly selecting 3 HTS in 2 rooms predicted the optimal removal rate.
Introduction: Although acute gastroenteritis is an extremely common childhood illness, there is a paucity of literature characterizing the associated pain and its management. Our primary objective was to quantify the pain experienced by children with acute gastroenteritis in the 24-hours prior to emergency department (ED) presentation. Secondary objectives included describing maximum pain, analgesic use, discharge recommendations, and factors that influenced analgesic use in the ED. Methods: Study participants were recruited into this prospective cohort study by the Alberta Provincial Pediatric EnTeric Infection TEam between January 2014 and September 2017. This study was conducted at two Canadian pediatric EDs; the Alberta Children's Hospital (Calgary) and the Stollery Children's Hospital (Edmonton). Eligibility criteria included < 18 years of age, acute gastroenteritis (□ 3 episodes of diarrhea or vomiting in the previous 24 hours), and symptom duration □ 7 days. The primary study outcome, caregiver-reported maximum pain in the 24-hours prior to presentation, was assessed using the 11-point Verbal Numerical Rating Scale. Results: We recruited 2136 patients, median age 20.8 months (IQR 10.4, 47.4); 45.8% (979/2136) female. In the 24-hours prior to enrolment, 28.6% (610/2136) of caregivers reported that their child experienced moderate (4-6) and 46.2% (986/2136) severe (7-10) pain in the preceding 24-hours. During the emergency visit, 31.1% (664/2136) described pain as moderate and 26.7% (571/2136) as severe. In the ED, analgesia was provided to 21.2% (452/2131) of children. The most commonly administered analgesics in the ED were ibuprofen (68.1%, 308/452) and acetaminophen (43.4%, 196/452); at home, acetaminophen was most commonly administered (77.7%, 700/901), followed by ibuprofen (37.5%, 338/901). Factors associated with analgesia use in the ED were greater pain scores during the visit, having a primary-care physician, shorter illness duration, fewer diarrheal episodes, presence of fever and hospitalization. Conclusion: Although children presenting to the ED with acute gastroenteritis experience moderate to severe pain, both prior to and during their emergency visit, analgesic use is limited. Future research should focus on appropriate pain management through the development of effective and safe pain treatment plans.
A multi-scale strategy is employed in the paper to investigate the thermo-mechanical properties of 2.5D angle-interlock woven shape memory polymer composites (SMPCs). In the study, the mesoscopic model of 2.5D woven SMPCs and microscopic model of yarns are firstly developed. After that, the themo-viscoelastic constitutive relationship of the yarn is described in the form of hereditary integral and the parameters of relaxation moduli are obtained from nonlinear fitting of Prony series based on the results of finite element method (FEM). Based on the multi-scale models and the constitutive relationship, the effects of warp and weft arranged densities on viscoelastic properties of 2.5D woven SMPCs are studied in detail. Finally, the shape memory behavior along the warp direction in small strain region is also analyzed. The research in the paper lays a foundation for design and application of woven SMPCs in engineering.
To systematically assess enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) doffing safety risks.
We employed a 3-part approach to this study: (1) hierarchical task analysis (HTA) of the PPE doffing process; (2) human factors-informed failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA); and (3) focus group sessions with a convenience sample of infection prevention (IP) subject matter experts.
A large academic US hospital with a regional Special Pathogens Treatment Center and enhanced PPE doffing protocol experience.
Eight IP experts.
The HTA was conducted jointly by 2 human-factors experts based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PPE guidelines. The findings were used as a guide in 7 focus group sessions with IP experts to assess PPE doffing safety risks. For each HTA task step, IP experts identified failure mode(s), assigned priority risk scores, identified contributing factors and potential consequences, and identified potential risk mitigation strategies. Data were recorded in a tabular format during the sessions.
Of 103 identified failure modes, the highest priority scores were associated with team members moving between clean and contaminated areas, glove removal, apron removal, and self-inspection while preparing to doff. Contributing factors related to the individual (eg, technical/ teamwork competency), task (eg, undetected PPE contamination), tools/technology (eg, PPE design characteristics), environment (eg, inadequate space), and organizational aspects (eg, training) were identified. Participants identified 86 types of risk mitigation strategies targeting the failure modes.
Despite detailed guidelines, our study revealed 103 enhanced PPE doffing failure modes. Analysis of the failure modes suggests potential mitigation strategies to decrease self-contamination risk during enhanced PPE doffing.
We study the shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a horizontal or slightly inclined thin annulus. Experimental data show that in the horizontal annulus, bubbles develop a unique ‘tadpole-like’ shape with a semi-circular cap and a highly stretched tail. As the annulus is inclined, the bubble tail tends to vanish, resulting in a significant decrease of bubble length. To model the bubble evolution, the thin annulus is conceptualised as a ‘Hele-Shaw’ cell in a curvilinear space. The three-dimensional flow within the cell is represented by a gap-averaged, two-dimensional model, which achieved a close match to the experimental data. The numerical model is further used to investigate the effects of gap thickness and pipe diameter on the bubble behaviour. The mechanism for the semi-circular cap formation is interpreted based on an analogous irrotational flow field around a circular cylinder, based on which a theoretical solution to the bubble velocity is derived. The bubble motion and cap geometry is mainly controlled by the gravitational component perpendicular to the flow direction. The bubble elongation in the horizontal annulus is caused by the buoyancy that moves the bubble to the top of the annulus. However, as the annulus is inclined, the gravitational component parallel to the flow direction becomes important, causing bubble separation at the tail and reduction in bubble length.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.
Introduction: Gastroenteritis accounts for 1.7 million emergency department visits by children annually in the United States. We conducted a double-blind trial to determine whether twice daily probiotic administration for 5 days, improves outcomes. Methods: 886 children aged 348 months with gastroenteritis were enrolled in six Canadian pediatric emergency departments. Participants were randomly assigned to twice daily Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 and Lactobacillus helveticus R0052, 4.0 x 109 CFU, in a 95:5 ratio or placebo. Primary outcome was development of moderate-severe disease within 14 days of randomization defined by a Modified Vesikari Scale score 9. Secondary outcomes included duration of diarrhea and vomiting, subsequent physician visits and adverse events. Results: Moderate-severe disease occurred in 108 (26.1%) participants administered probiotics and 102 (24.7%) participants allocated to placebo (OR 1.06; 95%CI: 0.77, 1.46; P=0.72). After adjustment for site, age, and frequency of vomiting and diarrhea, treatment assignment did not predict moderate-severe disease (OR, 1.11, 95%CI, 0.80 to 1.56; P=0.53). In the probiotic versus placebo groups, there were no differences in the median duration of diarrhea [52.5 (18.3, 95.8) vs. 55.5 (20.2, 102.3) hours; P=0.31], vomiting [17.7 (0, 58.6) vs. 18.7 (0, 51.6) hours; P=0.18], physician visits (30.2% vs. 26.6%; OR 1.19; 95% CI0.87. 1.62; P=0.27), or adverse events (32.9% vs. 36.8%; OR 0.83; 95%CI 0.62. 1.11; P=0.21). Conclusion: In children presenting to an emergency department with gastroenteritis, twice daily administration of 4.0 x 109 CFU of a Lactobacillus rhamnosus/helveticus probiotic does not prevent development of moderate-severe disease or improvements in other outcomes measured.
A new helminthomorph millipede, Sinosoma luopingense new genus new species, from the Triassic Luoping biota of China, has 39 body segments, metazonites with lateral swellings that bear a pair of posterolateral pits (?insertion pits for spine bases), and sternites that are unfused to the pleurotergites. This millipede shares a number of characters with nematophoran diplopods, but lacks the prominent dorsal suture characteristic of that order. Other “millipede” material from the biota is more problematic. Millipedes are a rare part of the Luoping biota, which is composed mainly of marine and near-shore organisms. Occurrences of fossil millipedes are exceedingly rare in Triassic rocks worldwide, comprising specimens from Europe, Asia, and Africa, and consisting of juliform millipedes and millipedes that are either nematophorans or forms very similar to nematophorans.
Four complete platysiagid fish specimens are described from the Luoping Biota, Anisian (Middle Triassic), Yunnan Province, southwest China. They are small fishes with bones and scales covered with ganoine. All characters observed, such as nasals meeting in the midline, a keystone-like dermosphenotic, absence of post-rostral bone, two infraorbitals between dermosphenotic and jugal, large antorbital, and two postcleithra, suggest that the new materials belong to a single, new Platysiagum species, P. sinensis sp. nov. Three genera are ascribed to Platysiagidae: Platysiagum, Helmolepis and Caelatichthys. However, most specimens of the first two genera are imprints or fragmentary. The new, well-preserved specimens from the Luoping Biota provide more detailed anatomical information than before, and thus help amend the concept of the Platysiagidae. The Family Platysiagidae was previously classed in the Perleidiformes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Platysiagidae is a member of basal Neopterygii, and its origin seems to predate that of Perleidiformes. Moreover, platysiagid fishes are known from the Middle Triassic of the western Tethys region. The newly found specimens of platysiagids from Luoping provide additional evidence that both eastern and western sides of the Tethys Ocean were biogeographically more connected than previously thought.
To observe the five-year efficacy of standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy for house dust mite allergy in monosensitised and polysensitised children with persistent allergic rhinitis.
From January 2007 to August 2009, 236 children with persistent allergic rhinitis were divided into 2 groups: 1 group received standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy using house dust mite extract; the other received pharmacotherapy with intranasal corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. A total of 193 patients (106 in the immunotherapy group and 87 in the pharmacotherapy group) completed treatment. Scores for symptoms, total medication and quality of life were evaluated.
The subcutaneous immunotherapy group demonstrated a significant reduction in visual analogue scale scores, Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores and total medication scores (p < 0.05) compared with the pharmacotherapy group. No significant differences in the visual analogue scale and Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores were found between the polysensitised and monosensitised subgroups (p > 0.05). No serious adverse events occurred.
Standardised subcutaneous immunotherapy has long-term efficacy for children with persistent allergic rhinitis. Single-allergen subcutaneous immunotherapy was appropriate for allergic rhinitis caused by multiple allergens, including house dust mites, in the paediatric population.
The grain-size distribution (GSD) of sediments provides information on sediment provenance, transport processes, and the sedimentary environment. Although a wide range of statistical parameters have been applied to summarize GSDs, most are directed at only parts of the distribution, which limits the amount of environmental information that can be retrieved. Endmember modeling provides a flexible method for unmixing GSDs; however, the calculation of the exact number of endmembers and geologically meaningful endmember spectra remain unresolved using existing modeling methods. Here we present the methodology hierarchical clustering endmember modeling analysis (CEMMA) for unmixing the GSDs of sediments. Within the CEMMA framework, the number of endmembers can be inferred from agglomeration coefficients, and the grain-size spectra of endmembers are defined on the basis of the average distance between the samples in the clusters. After objectively defining grain-size endmembers, we use a least squares algorithm to calculate the fractions of each GSD endmember that contributes to individual samples. To test the CEMMA method, we use a grain-size data set from a sediment core from Wulungu Lake in the Junggar Basin in China, and find that application of the CEMMA methodology yields geologically and mathematically meaningful results. We conclude that CEMMA is a rapid and flexible approach for analyzing the GSDs of sediments.
Methanesulfonate was investigated as a potential contributor to the sulfur budget, based on analysis of a firn core from Collins Ice Cap, King George Island, Antarctica (62°10′ S, 58°50′ W). The anion was found to be present at a mean concentration of 0.17 μeq L−1, with a maximum of 0.73 μeq L−1. Dating based on the δ18O profile suggests that the principal peaks of methanesulfonate are associated with snow deposited in summer and autumn. A careful examination of MSA, SO42− and nssSO42− profiles indicates that two of the three peaks in the MSA profile may result mainly from migration and relocation of MSA. The mechanism responsible for this might be similar to that for deep cores from other Antarctic glaciers, supporting the migration hypothesis proposed by prior researchers and extending it to near-temperate ice. Due to the post-depositional modification, the main part of the MSA profile of the firn is no longer indicative of the seasonal pattern of MSA in the atmosphere, and the basis for calculation of the MSA/nssSO42− ratio should be changed. The MSA/nssS042 ratio obtained by a new computation is 0.22, 10% higher than that ignoring the effect of MSA migration.
We have examined the global properties of 250 galaxies and galaxy pairs observed as part of the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory (FCRAO) Extragalactic CO Survey with respect to bar type and arm type, and we have compared the results with the global properties of the same galaxies as a function of morphological type. The bar types of the galaxies were taken from RC2, and the arm types for 48% of the sample were taken from Elmegreen and Elmegreen (1987). We find the following:
1) There is little dependence of the star formation efficiency, as measured by the global FIR luminosity to molecular gas mass ratio, on bar type. Similarly, we find no obvious correlation between the global ratio of molecular to atomic gas mass and the bar type.
2) Variations of up to a factor of 6 are seen in the mean star formation efficiency with arm type, where flocculent galaxies appear to have slightly higher global star formation efficiencies than spirals with clearly delineated arms. Variations in the mean molecular to atomic gas mass ratio of a factor of 5 are seen as a function of arm type, but there is no apparent trend from flocculent to grand design spirals.
3) The decrease of a factor of 20 in the molecular to atomic gas mass ratio observed as a function of morphological type (Young and Knezek 1989) is more pronounced than the same ratio as a function of bar or arm type.