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Ultraviolet C (UV-C) light reduces contamination on high-touch clinical surfaces. We assessed the efficacy of 2 UV-C devices at eradicating important clinical pathogens in hyperbaric chambers. Both devices were similarly efficacious against MRSA but differed significantly against C. difficile. Additionally, direct UV-C exposure was more efficacious against both species than indirect exposure.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a high demand on personal protective equipment, including disposable N95 masks. Given the need for mask reuse, we tested the feasibility of vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), ultraviolet light (UV), and ethanol decontamination strategies on N95 mask integrity and the ability to remove the infectious potential of SARS-CoV-2.
Disposable N95 masks, including medical grade (1860, 1870+) and industrial grade (8511) masks, were treated by vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), ultraviolet light (UV), and ethanol decontamination. Mask degradation was tested using a quantitative respirator fit testing. Pooled clinical samples of SARS-CoV-2 were applied to mask samples, treated and and then either sent immediately for real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or incubated with Vero E6 cells to assess for viracidal effect.
Both ethanol and UV decontamination showed functional degradation to different degrees while VHP treatment showed no significant change after 2 treatments.We also report a single SARS-CoV-2 virucidal experiment using Vero E6 cell infection in which only ethanol treatment eliminated detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
We hope our data will guide further research for evidenced-based decisions for disposable N95 mask reuse and help protect caregivers from SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens.
Our objective was to examine the performance characteristics of a bladder stimulation technique for urine collection among infants presenting to the emergency department (ED).
This prospective cohort study enrolled a convenience sample of infants aged ≤ 90 days requiring urine testing in the ED. Infants were excluded if critically ill, moderately to severely dehydrated, or having significant feeding issues. Bladder stimulation consisted of finger tapping on the lower abdomen with or without lower back massage while holding the child upright. The primary outcome was successful midstream urine collection within 5 minutes of stimulation. Secondary outcomes included sample contamination, bladder stimulation time for successful urine collection, and perceived patient distress on a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS).
We enrolled 151 infants and included 147 in the analysis. Median age was 53 days (interquartile range [IQR] 27–68 days). Midstream urine sample collection using bladder stimulation was successful in 78 infants (53.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 45–60.9). Thirty-nine samples (50%) were contaminated. Most contaminated samples (n = 31; 79.5%) were reported as “no significant growth” or “growth of 3 or more organisms”. Median bladder stimulation time required for midstream urine collection was 45 seconds (IQR 20–120 seconds). Mean VAS for infant distress was 22 mm (standard deviation 23 mm).
The success rate of this bladder stimulation technique was lower than previously reported. The contamination rate was high, however most contaminated specimens were easily identified and had no clinical impact.
A priority focus on palliative and supportive care is helping the 43.5 million caregivers who care for individuals with serious illness. Lacking support may lead to caregiver distress and poorer care delivery to patients with serious illness. We examined the potential of instrumental support (assistance with material and task performance) to mitigate distress among caregivers.
We analyzed data from the nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS V2, 2018). Informal/family caregivers were identified in HINTS V2 if they indicated they were caring for or making healthcare decisions for another adult with a health problem. We used the PROMIS® instrumental support four-item short-form T-scores and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4) for distress. We examined multivariable linear regression models for associations between distress and instrumental support, adjusted for sampling weights, socio-demographics, and caregiving variables (care recipient health condition(s), years caregiving (≥2), relationship to care recipient, and caregiver burden). We examined interactions between burden and instrumental support on caregiver distress level.
Our analyses included 311 caregivers (64.8% female, 64.9% non-Hispanic White). The unweighted mean instrumental support T-score was 50.4 (SD = 10.6, range = 29.3–63.3); weighted mean was 51.2 (SE = 1.00). Lower instrumental support (p < 0.01), younger caregiver age (p < 0.04), higher caregiving duration (p = 0.008), and caregiver unemployment (p = 0.006) were significantly associated with higher caregiver distress. Mean instrumental support scores by distress levels were 52.3 (within normal limits), 49.4 (mild), 48.9 (moderate), and 39.7 (severe). The association between instrumental support and distress did not differ by caregiver burden level.
Poor instrumental support is associated with high distress among caregivers, suggesting the need for palliative and supportive care interventions to help caregivers leverage instrumental support.
Cover crops are increasingly being used for weed management, and planting them as diverse mixtures has become an increasingly popular strategy for their implementation. While ecological theory suggests that cover crop mixtures should be more weed suppressive than cover crop monocultures, few experiments have explicitly tested this for more than a single temporal niche. We assessed the effects of cover crop mixtures (5- or 6-species and 14-species mixtures) and monocultures on weed abundance (weed biomass) and weed suppression at the time of cover crop termination. Separate experiments were conducted in Madbury, NH, from 2014 to 2017 for each of three temporal cover-cropping niches: summer (spring planting–summer termination), fall (summer planting–fall termination), and spring (fall planting–subsequent spring termination). Regardless of temporal niche, mixtures were never more weed suppressive than the most weed-suppressive cover crop grown as a monoculture, and the more diverse mixture (14 species) never outperformed the less diverse mixture. Mean weed-suppression levels of the best-performing monocultures in each temporal niche ranged from 97% to 98% for buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) in the summer niche and forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. niger J. Kern.) in the fall niche, and 83% to 100% for triticale (×Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus [Secale × Triticum]) in the winter–spring niche. In comparison, weed-suppression levels for the mixtures ranged from 66% to 97%, 70% to 90%, and 67% to 99% in the summer, fall, and spring niches, respectively. Stability of weed suppression, measured as the coefficient of variation, was two to six times greater in the best-performing monoculture compared with the most stable mixture, depending on the temporal niche. Results of this study suggest that when weed suppression is the sole objective, farmers are more likely to achieve better results planting the most weed-suppressive cover crop as a monoculture than a mixture.
The global expansion of nuclear energy will generate increasing quantities of waste with low levels of plutonium or other nuclear materials (NM) potentially subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Reducing requirements on retained wastes has the potential to reduce future demands on already strained IAEA resources. We describe an effort to help the IAEA and Member States better estimate projected waste loads and associated safeguards obligations by developing a reporting tool to estimate types and sizes of future waste-storage and -disposal facilities. States can use such information to plan waste facilities, including size and type. The IAEA can use these data for inclusion in multiple agency reports and products for the benefit of Member States.
Serotonin and sympathomimetic toxicity (SST) after ingestion of amphetamine-based drugs can lead to severe morbidity and death. There have been evaluations of the safety and efficacy of on-site treatment protocols for SST at music festivals.
The study aimed to examine the safety and efficacy of treating patients with SST on-site at a music festival using a protocol adapted from hospital-based treatment of SST.
The study is an audit of presentations with SST over a one-year period. The primary outcome was need for ambulance transport to hospital. The threshold for safety was prospectively defined as less than 10% of patients requiring ambulance transport to hospital.
The protocol suggested patients be treated with a combination of benzodiazepines; cold intravenous (IV) fluid; specific therapies (cyproheptadine, chlorpromazine, and clonidine); rapid sequence intubation; and cooling with ice, misted water, and convection techniques.
One patient of 13 (7.7%) patients with mild or moderate SST required ambulance transport to hospital. Two of seven further patients with severe SST required transport to hospital.
On-site treatment may be a safe, efficacious, and efficient alternative to urgent transport to hospital for patients with mild and moderate SST. The keys to success of the protocol tested included inclusive and clear education of staff at all levels of the organization, robust referral pathways to senior clinical staff, and the rapid delivery of therapies aimed at rapidly lowering body temperature. Further collaborative research is required to define the optimal approach to patients with SST at music festivals.
Field studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 in Clinton, NC, to determine the interspecific and intraspecific interference of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) or large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.] in ‘Covington’ sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]. Amaranthus palmeri and D. sanguinalis were established 1 d after sweetpotato transplanting and maintained season-long at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 0, 1, 2, 4, 16 plants m−1 of row in the presence and absence of sweetpotato, respectively. Predicted yield loss for sweetpotato was 35% to 76% for D. sanguinalis at 1 to 16 plants m−1 of row and 50% to 79% for A. palmeri at 1 to 8 plants m−1 of row. Weed dry biomass per meter of row increased linearly with increasing weed density. Individual dry biomass of A. palmeri and D. sanguinalis was not affected by weed density when grown in the presence of sweetpotato. When grown without sweetpotato, individual weed dry biomass decreased 71% and 62% from 1 to 4 plants m−1 row for A. palmeri and D. sanguinalis, respectively. Individual weed dry biomass was not affected above 4 plants m−1 row to the highest densities of 8 and 16 plants m−1 row for A. palmeri and D. sanguinalis, respectively.
High-residue cover crops can facilitate organic no-till vegetable production when cover crop biomass production is sufficient to suppress weeds (>8000 kg ha−1), and cash crop growth is not limited by soil temperature, nutrient availability, or cover crop regrowth. In cool climates, however, both cover crop biomass production and soil temperature can be limiting for organic no-till. In addition, successful termination of cover crops can be a challenge, particularly when cover crops are grown as mixtures. We tested whether reusable plastic tarps, an increasingly popular tool for small-scale vegetable farmers, could be used to augment organic no-till cover crop termination and weed suppression. We no-till transplanted cabbage into a winter rye (Secale cereale L.)-hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) cover crop mulch that was terminated with either a roller-crimper alone or a roller-crimper plus black or clear tarps. Tarps were applied for durations of 2, 4 and 5 weeks. Across tarp durations, black tarps increased the mean cabbage head weight by 58% compared with the no tarp treatment. This was likely due to a combination of improved weed suppression and nutrient availability. Although soil nutrients and biological activity were not directly measured, remaining cover crop mulch in the black tarp treatments was reduced by more than 1100 kg ha−1 when tarps were removed compared with clear and no tarp treatments. We interpret this as an indirect measurement of biological activity perhaps accelerated by lower daily soil temperature fluctuations and more constant volumetric water content under black tarps. The edges of both tarp types were held down, rather than buried, but moisture losses from the clear tarps were greater and this may have affected the efficacy of clear tarps. Plastic tarps effectively killed the vetch cover crop, whereas it readily regrew in the crimped but uncovered plots. However, emergence of large and smooth crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) appeared to be enhanced in the clear tarp treatment. Although this experiment was limited to a single site-year in New Hampshire, it shows that use of black tarps can overcome some of the obstacles to implementing cover crop-based no-till vegetable productions in northern climates.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Network analysis is an emerging approach in the study of psychopathology, yet few applications have been seen in eating disorders (EDs). Furthermore, little research exists regarding changes in network strength after interventions. Therefore the present study examined the network structures of ED and co-occurring depression and anxiety symptoms before and after treatment for EDs.
Participants from residential or partial hospital ED treatment programs (N = 446) completed assessments upon admission and discharge. Networks were estimated using regularized Graphical Gaussian Models using 38 items from the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire, Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
ED symptoms with high centrality indices included a desire to lose weight, guilt about eating, shape overvaluation, and wanting an empty stomach, while restlessness, self-esteem, lack of energy, and feeling overwhelmed bridged ED to depression and anxiety symptoms. Comparisons between admission and discharge networks indicated the global network strength did not change significantly, though symptom severity decreased. Participants with denser networks at admission evidenced less change in ED symptomatology during treatment.
Findings suggest that symptoms related to shape and weight concerns and guilt are central ED symptoms, while physical symptoms, self-esteem, and feeling overwhelmed are links that may underlie comorbidities in EDs. Results provided some support for the validity of network approaches, in that admission networks conveyed prognostic information. However, the lack of correspondence between symptom reduction and change in network strength indicates that future research is needed to examine network dynamics in the context of intervention and relapse prevention.
The northern New England region includes the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and encompasses a large degree of climate and edaphic variation across a relatively small spatial area, making it ideal for studying climate change impacts on agricultural weed communities. We sampled weed seedbanks and measured soil physical and chemical characteristics on 77 organic farms across the region and analyzed the relationships between weed community parameters and select geographic, climatic, and edaphic variables using multivariate procedures. Temperature-related variables (latitude, longitude, mean maximum and minimum temperature) were the strongest and most consistent correlates with weed seedbank composition. Edaphic variables were, for the most part, relatively weaker and inconsistent correlates with weed seedbanks. Our analyses also indicate that a number of agriculturally important weed species are associated with specific U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones, implying that future changes in climate factors that result in geographic shifts in these zones will likely be accompanied by changes in the composition of weed communities and therefore new management challenges for farmers.
Kenneth Dover proposes an explanation of this joke in which the gist is to be understood in terms of ‘homosexual rape as an expression of dominance’, so that Dicaeopolis is offering himself up for use as a pathic by Lamachus. Dover believes that the joke becomes ‘intelligible if the assumption is that the erastēs handles the penis of the erōmenos during anal copulation’. Others have seen a circumcision joke here. Alan Sommerstein explains how the joke would work either of these ways.
Despite national guidelines recommending early concurrent palliative care for individuals newly diagnosed with metastatic cancer, few community cancer centers, especially those in underserved rural areas do so. We are implementing an early concurrent palliative care model, ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) in four, rural-serving community cancer centers. Our objective was to develop a “toolkit” to assist community cancer centers that wish to integrate early palliative care for patients with newly diagnosed advanced cancer and their family caregivers.
Guided by the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness–Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) framework, we undertook an instrument-development process based on the literature, expert and site stakeholder review and feedback, and pilot testing during site visits.
We developed four instruments to measure ENABLE implementation: (1) the ENABLE RE-AIM Self-Assessment Tool to assess reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance; (2) the ENABLE General Organizational Index to assess institutional implementation; (3) an Implementation Costs Tool; and (4) an Oncology Clinicians' Perceptions of Early Concurrent Oncology Palliative Care survey.
Significance of results:
We developed four measures to determine early palliative care implementation. These measures have been pilot-tested, and will be integrated into a comprehensive “toolkit” to assist community cancer centers to measure implementation outcomes. We describe the lessons learned and recommend strategies for promoting long-term program sustainability.