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Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
In this study, AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) with a two-dimensional hole gas (2DHG) were investigated. In addition to a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) formed at the interface of the AlGaN and GaN layers for being a channel, a 2DHG was designed and formed underneath the channel to be the back gate. The simulated results showed the operation of device can be depletion-mode and enhancement-mode by adjusting the back gate bias. The fabricated devices showed the feasibility of 2DHG back gate control.
The Lorentz factor (Γ) is an important parameter related to the relativistic jet physics. We study the evolution patterns of Γ within gamma-ray burst (GRB) and active galactic nuclear jets for individual GRB 090168, GRB 140508A, and 3C 454.3. By estimating the Γ values for well-separated pulses in GRBs 090618 and 140508A with an empirical relation derived from typical GRBs, we find that the Γ evolution pattern in the two GRBs are different. The increasing-to-coasting evolution pattern of Γ in GRB 090618 likely indicates that the GRB fireball is still being accelerated in the prompt phase. The clear decrease evolution pattern of Γ in GRB 140508A suggests the deceleration of the fireball components. By deriving the Γ value through fitting their spectral energy distribution in different flares of 3C 454.3, a pattern of Γ-tracking-γ-ray flux is clearly found, likely indicating that the observed gamma-ray flares are being due to the Doppler boosting effect to the jet emission.
Choline and betaine are essential nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism and have been hypothesised to affect breast cancer risk. Functional polymorphisms in genes encoding choline-related one-carbon metabolism enzymes, including phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) and betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), have important roles in choline metabolism and may thus interact with dietary choline and betaine intake to modify breast cancer risk. This study aimed to investigate the interactive effect of polymorphisms in PEMT, BHMT and CHDH genes with choline/betaine intake on breast cancer risk among Chinese women. This hospital-based case–control study consecutively recruited 570 cases with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 576 age-matched (5-year interval) controls. Choline and betaine intakes were assessed by a validated FFQ, and genotyping was conducted for PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890. OR and 95 % CI were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Compared with the highest quartile of choline intake, the lowest intake quartile showed a significant increased risk of breast cancer. The SNP PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890 had no overall association with breast cancer, but a significant risk reduction was observed among postmenopausal women with AA genotype of BHMT rs3733890 (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·25, 0·98). Significant interactions were observed between choline intake and SNP PEMT rs7946 (Pinteraction=0·029) and BHMT rs3733890 (Pinteraction=0·006) in relation to breast cancer risk. Our results suggest that SNP PEMT rs7946 and BHMT rs3733890 may interact with choline intake on breast cancer risk.
The effects of pre-treatments on the precipitate microstructures of an Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloy are investigated. Meanwhile, the creep-rupture behavior of the under-aged and peak-aged alloys are comparatively analyzed. Additionally, the effects of pre-treatment on the fracture mechanisms are discussed. It is found that the precipitate microstructures are sensitive to pre-treatments. The intragranular precipitates of the peak-aged alloy are larger than those of the under-aged. The precipitate free zone of the peak-aged alloy is wider than that of the under-aged. Some large intergranular precipitates appear on the grain boundaries of the under-aged alloy, and induce the nucleation of microvoids. Eventually, the creep fracture of the under-aged alloy is accelerated. Therefore, the differences in microstructures lead to the shorter creep-rupture life of the under-aged alloy, compared to the peak-aged alloy.
Van der Waals (vdW) heterojunctions consisting of vertically-stacked individual or multiple layers of two-dimensional layered semiconductors, especially the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), show novel optoelectronic functionalities due to the sensitivity of their electronic and optical properties to strong quantum confinement and interfacial interactions. Here, monolayers of n-type MoSe2 and p-type Mo1−xWxSe2 are grown by vapor transport methods, then transferred and stamped to form artificial vdW heterostructures with strong interlayer coupling as proven in photoluminescence and low-frequency Raman spectroscopy measurements. Remarkably, the heterojunctions exhibit an unprecedented photoconductivity effect that persists at room temperature for several days. This persistent photoconductivity is shown to be tunable by applying a gate bias that equilibrates the charge distribution. These measurements indicate that such ultrathin vdW heterojunctions can function as rewritable optoelectronic switches or memory elements under time-dependent photo-illumination, an effect which appears promising for new monolayer TMDs-based optoelectronic devices applications.
This study modified the surfaces of three kinds of TiNi-based shape memory alloys (SMAs) by dry electrical discharge machining (EDM) in nitrogen (N2) and acetylene (C2H2) gas mixture. The effects of composition of the dielectric medium and work-piece on the machining performance and surface characteristics were investigated. Increasing the ratio of acetylene gas in gas mixture was beneficial for improving the material removal rate (MRR). However, adding a large amount of acetylene gas resulted in unstable discharge. A recast layer, comprising nitrides and carbides, which well adhered on the EDMed surface exhibited high hardness. Among Ti50Ni50, Ti50Ni49.5Cr0.5, and Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA as a work-piece, Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA has the lowest MRR owing to it possessed the highest melting temperature and thermal conductivity. The recast layer on Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA, comprising zirconium nitride, exhibited the highest hardness and adhesion among all the SMAs. However, the high-hardness recast layer deteriorated the shape recovery of the SMA.
The role of oxidative stress in skeletal health is unclear. The present study investigated whether a high dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients (vitamins C and E, β-carotene, animal-derived vitamin A, retinol equivalents, Zn and Se) is associated with a reduced risk of hip fracture in elderly Chinese. This 1:1 matched case–control study involved 726 elderly Chinese with hip fracture and 726 control subjects, recruited between June 2009 and May 2013. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to determine habitual dietary intakes of the above-mentioned seven nutrients based on a seventy-nine-item FFQ and information on various covariates, and an antioxidant score was calculated. After adjustment for potential covariates, dose-dependent inverse associations were observed between the dietary intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene, and Se and antioxidant score and the risk of hip fracture (P for trend ≤ 0·005). The OR of hip fracture for the highest (v. lowest) quartile of intake were 0·39 (95 % CI 0·28, 0·56) for vitamin C, 0·23 (95 % CI 0·16, 0·33) for vitamin E, 0·51 (95 % CI 0·36, 0·73) for β-carotene, 0·43 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·70) for Se and 0·24 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·36) for the antioxidant score. A moderate-to-high dietary intake of retinol equivalents in quartiles 2–4 (v. 1) was found to be associated with a lower risk of hip fracture (OR range: 0·51–0·63, P< 0·05). No significant association was observed between dietary Zn or animal-derived vitamin A intake and hip fracture risk (P for trend >0·20). In conclusion, a higher dietary intake of vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and Se and a moderate-to-high dietary intake of retinol equivalents are associated with a lower risk of hip fracture in elderly Chinese.
Cancer is a serious public health problem worldwide, and its relationship
with affective disorders is not clear.
To investigate alcohol- and tobacco-related cancer risk among patients
with affective disorders in a large Taiwanese cohort.
Records of newly admitted patients with affective disorders from January
1997 through December 2002 were retrieved from the Psychiatric Inpatient
Medical Claims database in Taiwan. Cancers were stratified by site and
grouped into tobacco- or alcohol-related cancers. Standardised incidence
ratios (SIRs) were calculated to compare the risk of cancer between those
with affective disorders and the general population.
Some 10 207 patients with bipolar disorder and 9826 with major depression
were included. The risk of cancer was higher in patients with major
depression (SIR = 2.01, 95% CI 1.85–2.19) than in those with bipolar
disorder (SIR 1.39, 95% CI 1.26–1.53). The elevated cancer risk among
individuals ever admitted to hospital for affective disorders was more
pronounced in tobacco- and/or alcohol-related cancers.
Elevated cancer risk was found in patients who had received in-patient
care for affective disorders. They require holistic approaches to
lifestyle behaviours and associated cancer risks.
The high repetition rate 10 J/10 ns Yb:YAG laser system and its key techniques are reported. The amplifiers in this system have a multi-pass V-shape structure and the heat in the amplifiers is removed by means of laminar water flow. In the main amplifier, the laser is four-pass, and an approximately 8.5 J/1 Hz/10 ns output is achieved in the primary test. The far-field of the output beam is approximately 10 times the diffraction limit. Because of the higher levels of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) in the main amplifier, the output energy is lower than expected. At the end we discuss some measures that can improve the properties of the laser system.
This study investigated the microstructure and machining characteristics of a Zr38.5Ti16.5Cu15.25Ni9.75Be20 bulk metallic glass (Zr-BMG) alloy machined using electro-discharge machining (EDM). After EDM, the hardening effect near the outer surface of the electro-discharge machined (EDMed) Zr-BMG alloy originated from the surface carbides of the recast layer, ZrC and TiC. The thickness of the recast layer, crater size, and the surface roughness increased with greater pulse energy. Furthermore, the EDM can generate a porous recast layer and convert the Zr-BMG alloy surface into a carbide surface, which is a potential method to fabricate biomaterials. Experimental results also show that the material removal rate of this alloy in the EDM process was significantly related to the pulse current IP and pulse duration τP. Many electro-discharge craters and recast materials were observed on the surface of the EDMed Zr-BMG alloy. The surface roughness of the EDMed Zr-BMG alloy was found to obey the empirical equation of Ra = β(IP × τP)α.
Interfacial reactions at 100 and 150 °C in the Sn–20.48 at.% In–3.05 at.% Ag (Sn–20.0 wt% In–2.8 wt% Ag)/Ni couples are studied. Three unusual phenomena are observed. First, liquation is found in Sn–20.48 at.% In–3.05 at.% Ag (Sn–In–Ag)/Ni couples that are reacted at 150 °C, which is lower than the melting points of both the solder and the Ni substrate. In addition to the Ni3Sn4 phase, liquid phase is formed in the reaction layer. Second, the liquid phase disappears and isothermal solidification occurs when there is prolonged isothermal heat treatment at 150 °C. The results are similar to those for transient liquid phase bonding. Third, the thickness of the reaction layer in Sn–In–Ag/Ni couples that are reacted for 1440 h at 150 °C is 40 times thicker than that of those reacted at 100 °C. The reaction mechanisms for these three unusual phenomena: liquation, isothermal solidification, and an extraordinary increase in the reaction rate for only 50 °C difference in temperature are elaborated and are related to each other.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.
Congenital anomalies of the coronary arteries are present in 0.2–1.4% of the general population. These anomalies represent one of the most confusing issues in the field of cardiology and challenges for interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons if the anomalies are unrecognised. Double right coronary artery is one of the rarest coronary arteries. Previously, the probability of developing atherosclerotic changes in patients with a double right coronary artery was considered to be equal to that in those without it. In reality, however, a high prevalence of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease was found in patients with a double right coronary artery originating from a single ostium after our comprehensive literature search through the PubMed database. Owing to the fact that double right coronary artery is both a congenital and potentially atherosclerotic coronary artery disease at diagnosis, coronary intervention or cardiac operation is more complicated than previously believed. Individuals with a double right coronary artery may be unaware of its presence until an accidental finding during coronary angiography or cardiac operation and are at risk for unsuspected complications of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease or during cardiac operation. Therefore, it is important to obtain information on the anatomic variants of this congenital coronary anomaly in patients who are undergoing either coronary intervention, aortic root operation or myocardial revascularisation. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive article to discuss the anomalies and their clinical implications.