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Unit cohesion may protect service member mental health by mitigating effects of combat exposure; however, questions remain about the origins of potential stress-buffering effects. We examined buffering effects associated with two forms of unit cohesion (peer-oriented horizontal cohesion and subordinate-leader vertical cohesion) defined as either individual-level or aggregated unit-level variables.
Longitudinal survey data from US Army soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 were analyzed using mixed-effects regression. Models evaluated individual- and unit-level interaction effects of combat exposure and cohesion during deployment on symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and suicidal ideation reported at 3 months post-deployment (model n's = 6684 to 6826). Given the small effective sample size (k = 89), the significance of unit-level interactions was evaluated at a 90% confidence level.
At the individual-level, buffering effects of horizontal cohesion were found for PTSD symptoms [B = −0.11, 95% CI (−0.18 to −0.04), p < 0.01] and depressive symptoms [B = −0.06, 95% CI (−0.10 to −0.01), p < 0.05]; while a buffering effect of vertical cohesion was observed for PTSD symptoms only [B = −0.03, 95% CI (−0.06 to −0.0001), p < 0.05]. At the unit-level, buffering effects of horizontal (but not vertical) cohesion were observed for PTSD symptoms [B = −0.91, 90% CI (−1.70 to −0.11), p = 0.06], depressive symptoms [B = −0.83, 90% CI (−1.24 to −0.41), p < 0.01], and suicidal ideation [B = −0.32, 90% CI (−0.62 to −0.01), p = 0.08].
Policies and interventions that enhance horizontal cohesion may protect combat-exposed units against post-deployment mental health problems. Efforts to support individual soldiers who report low levels of horizontal or vertical cohesion may also yield mental health benefits.
Background: Endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) has shown efficacy in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with infective endocarditis (IE). The possibility to undertake advanced histopathological clot analysis following EVT offers a new avenue to establish the etiological basis of the stroke – which is often labelled “cryptogenic.” In this paper, we present our findings from four consecutive patients with IE who underwent EVT following an AIS at our tertiary referral comprehensive stroke centre. Methods: Comprehensive histopathological analysis of clot retrieved after EVT, including morphology, was undertaken. Results: The consistent observation was the presence of dense paucicellular fibrinoid material mixed/interspersed with clusters of bacterial cocci. This clot morphology may be specific to septic embolus due to IE unlike incidental bacteraemia and could possibly explain the refractoriness of such clots to systemic thrombolysis. Conclusion: Detailed morphological and histopathological analysis of EVT-retrieved clots including Gram staining can assist in etiological classification of the clot. Understanding the composition of the clot may be of clinical value in early diagnostics and mapping treatment planning in IE.
At the QEII Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department (ED) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, advanced care paramedics (ACPs) perform procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) for many indications, including orthopedic procedures. We have begun using ACPs as sedationists for emergent upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy. This study compares ACP-performed ED PSA for UGI endoscopy and orthopedic procedures in terms of adverse events, airway intervention, vasopressor requirement, and PSA medication use.
A data set was built from an ED PSA quality control database matching 61 UGI endoscopy PSAs to 183 orthopedic PSAs by propensity scores calculated using age, gender, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification. Outcomes assessed were hypotension (systolic BP<100 mm Hg or a 15% decrease from baseline), hypoxia (SaO2<90%), apnea (>30 sec), vomiting, arrhythmias, death, airway intervention, vasopressor requirement, and PSA medication use.
UGI endoscopy patients experienced hypotension more frequently than orthopedic patients (OR=4.11, CI: 2.05-8.22) and required airway repositioning less often (OR=0.24, CI: 0.10-0.59). They received ketamine more frequently (OR=15.7, CI: 4.75-67.7) and fentanyl less often (OR=0.30, CI: 0.15-0.63) than orthopedic patients. Four endoscopy patients received phenylephrine, and one required intubation. No patient died in either group.
In ACP-led sedation for UGI endoscopy and orthopedic procedures, adverse events were rare with the notable exception of hypotension, which was more frequent in the endoscopy group. Only endoscopy patients required vasopressor treatment and intubation. We provide preliminary evidence that ACPs can manage ED PSA for emergent UGI endoscopy, although priorities must shift from pain control to hemodynamic optimization.
We evaluated the feasibility of incorporating integrated care (IC) for smoking cessation into routine care for homeless veterans at seven Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers and the utility of the learning collaborative (LC) model in facilitating implementation. The goal of IC is for clinicians to provide smoking cessation concurrent with other clinical duties. The LC model utilises multidisciplinary teams and recognised field experts to develop methods for accelerating the use of evidence-based treatments. Multidisciplinary teams comprising 34 (of about 175) staff members from seven VA homeless provider teams participated. Via self-report questionnaires, we assessed providers’ perceptions of the LC and the number of providers delivering IC. Nineteen of thirty-four providers (54%) reported delivering IC at the end of training and at 10-months. Providers rated the face-to-face trainings and collaborative team trainings as the most helpful LC components. Barriers to the use of the LC included lack of leadership support and the lack of ability to electronically track progress through the electronic medical record. Additional research, quality improvement, and policy changes at higher administrative levels are needed to identify methods to sustain the use of LC among providers serving homeless veterans.
This study examined whether parents’ social information processing was related to their subsequent reports of their harsh discipline. Interviews were conducted with mothers (n = 1,277) and fathers (n = 1,030) of children in 1,297 families in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States), initially when children were 7 to 9 years old and again 1 year later. Structural equation models showed that parents’ positive evaluations of aggressive responses to hypothetical childrearing vignettes at Time 1 predicted parents’ self-reported harsh physical and nonphysical discipline at Time 2. This link was consistent across mothers and fathers, and across the nine countries, providing support for the universality of the link between positive evaluations of harsh discipline and parents’ aggressive behavior toward children. The results suggest that international efforts to eliminate violence toward children could target parents’ beliefs about the acceptability and advisability of using harsh physical and nonphysical forms of discipline.
TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified as a major disease protein in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. More recently, TDP-43 proteinopathy has also been observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) with a characteristic distribution of TDP-43 predominantly in the mesial temporal lobe, and to a lesser degree in the neocortical areas. AD subjects with psychotic symptoms (AD+P) represent a subgroup characterized by greater impairment of frontal cortex-dependent cognitive functions and more severe frontal cortical neuropathology. The aim of this study is to determine whether there is an association between TDP-43 pathology and AD+P. We hypothesized that TDP-43 pathology would be more frequent in AD+P than in AD without psychosis.
We studied the presence and distribution of TDP-43 pathology by immunohistochemistry in the dentate gyrus (DG) and prefrontal cortex (FC) of postmortem brain specimens from 68 subjects with a primary neuropathologic diagnosis of AD as determined by the Neuropathology Core of the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Forty-five (66%) subjects were classified as AD+P. Fourteen (20.6%) subjects had TDP-43 pathology in DG, eight (11.8%) had TDP-43 pathology in FC, and six (8.8%) had TDP-43 pathology in both regions. TDP-43 in DG was not significantly associated with AD+P. However, TDP-43 in FC demonstrated a trend toward reduced likelihood of psychosis (p = 0.068). TDP-43 pathology in DG, but not FC, was significantly associated with greater age at death and longer duration of illness.
Our findings indicate that there was no association between concomitant TDP-43 pathology in DG or FC and AD+P.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pulsed-field type (PFT) USA300 causes skin and soft tissue infections in military recruits and invasive disease in hospitals. Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) is used to reduce MRSA colonization and infection. The impact of CHG on the molecular epidemiology of MRSA is not known.
To evaluate the impact of 2% CHG—impregnated cloths on the molecular epidemiology of MRSA colonization.
Marine Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia, in 2007.
Thrice-weekly application of CHG-impregnated or control (Comfort Bath; Sage) cloths over the entire body.
Baseline and serial (every 2 weeks) nasal and/or axillary swab samples were assessed for MRSA colonization. Molecular analysis was performed with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
During training, 77 subjects (4.9%) acquired MRSA, 26 (3.3%) in the CHG group and 51 (6.5%) in the control group (P = .004). When analyzed for PFT, 24 subjects (3.1%) in the control group but only 6 subjects (0.8%) in the CHG group (P = .001) had USA300. Of the 167 colonizing isolates recovered from 77 subjects, 99 were recovered from the control group, including USA300 (40.4%), USA800 (38.4%), USA1000 (12.1%), and USA100 (6.1%), and 68 were recovered from the CHG group, including USA800 (51.5%), USA100 (23.5%), and USA300 (13.2%).
CHG decreased the transmission of MRSA—more specifically, USA300—among military recruits. In addition, USA300 and USA800 outcompeted other MRSA PFTs at incident colonization. Future studies should evaluate the broad-based use of CHG to decrease transmission of USA300 in hospital settings.
Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDRAB) is difficult to treat and eradicate. Several reports describe isolation and environmental cleaning strategies that controlled hospital MDRAB outbreaks. Such interventions were insufficient to interrupt MDRAB transmission in 2 intensive care unit-based outbreaks in our hospital. We describe strategies that were associated with termination of MDRAB outbreaks at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
In response to MDRAB outbreaks in 2007 and 2009, we implemented multiple interventions, including stakeholder meetings, enhanced isolation precautions, active microbial surveillance, cohorting, and extensive environmental cleaning. We conducted a case-control study to analyze risk factors for acquiring MDRAB. In each outbreak, infection control adherence monitors were placed in MDRAB cohort areas to observe and correct staff infection control behavior.
Between May 2007 and December 2009, 63 patients acquired nosocomial MDRAB; 57 (90%) acquired 1 or more of 4 outbreak strains. Of 347 environmental cultures, only 2 grew outbreak strains of MDRAB from areas other than MDRAB patient rooms. Adherence monitors recorded 1,330 isolation room entries in 2007, of which 8% required interventions. In 2009, around-the-clock monitors recorded 4,892 staff observations, including 127 (2.6%) instances of nonadherence with precautions, requiring 68 interventions (1.4%). Physicians were responsible for more violations than other staff (58% of hand hygiene violations and 37% of violations relating to gown and glove use). Each outbreak terminated in temporal association with initiation of adherence monitoring.
Although labor intensive, adherence monitoring may be useful as part of a multifaceted strategy to limit nosocomial transmission of MDRAB.
The multicenter, cluster-randomized Strategies to Reduce Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria in Intensive Care Units (STAR*ICU) trial was performed in 18 U.S. adult intensive care units (ICUs). It evaluated the effectiveness of infection control strategies to reduce the transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization and/or infection. Our study objective was to examine the molecular epidemiology of MRSA and assess the prevalence and risk factors for community acquired (CA)-MRSA genotype nasal carriage at the time of ICU admission.
Selected MRSA isolates were subjected to molecular typing using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
Of 5,512 ICU patient admissions in the STAR*ICU trial during the intervention period, 626 (11%) had a nares sample culture result that was positive for MRSA. A total of 210 (34%) of 626 available isolates were selected for molecular typing by weighted random sampling. Of 210 patients, 123 (59%) were male; mean age was 63 years. Molecular typing revealed that 147 isolates (70%) were the USAIOO clone, 26 (12%) were USA300, 12 (6%) were USA500, 8 (4%) were USA800, and 17 (8%) were other MRSA genotypes. In a multivariate analysis, patients who were colonized with a CA-MRSA genotype (USA300, USA400, or USA1000) were less likely to have been hospitalized during the previous 12 months (PR [prevalence ratio], 0.39 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21-0.73]) and were less likely to be older (PR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.95-0.98] per year) compared with patients who were colonized with a healthcare-associated (HA)-MRSA genotype.
CA-MRSA genotypes have emerged as a cause of MRSA nares colonization among patients admitted to adult ICUs in the United States. During the study period (2006), the predominant site of CA-MRSA genotype acquisition appeared to be in the community.
Application of CHG-impregnated or control (Comfort Bath; Sage) cloths applied over entire body thrice weekly.
Recruits were monitored daily for SSTI. Baseline and serial nasal and/or axillary swabs were collected to assess S. aureus colonization.
Of 1,562 subjects enrolled, 781 (from 23 platoons) underwent CHG-impregnated cloth application and 781 (from 21 platoons) underwent control cloth application. The rate of compliance (defined as application of 50% or more of wipes) at 2 weeks was similar (CHG group, 63%; control group, 67%) and decreased over the 6-week period. The mean 6-week SSTI rate in the CHG-impregnated cloth group was 0.094, compared with 0.071 in the control group (analysis of variance model rate difference, 0.025 ± 0.016; P = .14). At baseline, 43% of subjects were colonized with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and 2.1% were colonized with MRSA. The mean incidence of colonization with MSSA was 50% and 61% (P = .026) and with MRSA was 2.6% and 6.0% (P = .034) for the CHG-impregnated and control cloth groups, respectively.
CHG-impregnated cloths applied thrice weekly did not reduce rates of SSTI among recruits. S. aureus colonization rates increased in both groups but to a lesser extent in those assigned to the CHG-impregnated cloth Intervention. Antecedent S. aureus colonization was not a risk factor for SSTI. Additional studies are needed to identify effective measures for preventing SSTI among military recruits.
Objectives: This study reviews the coverage and usefulness of a short-term register, established specifically for health technology assessment of a novel interventional procedure (minimally invasive repair of pectus excavatum, or the Nuss procedure).
Methods: Coverage of the register during 2004–07 was assessed by comparison with Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) for England. Its usefulness was assessed by comparing safety and efficacy data with the published literature and by feedback from committee members who in 2009 were involved in reviewing NICE's original guidance from 2003.
Results: The register reported 260 cases from thirteen UK hospitals during nearly 9 years. During a coverage evaluation period of 3 years, there were 152 registered Nuss procedures. An additional 246 repairs of pectus excavatum were undertaken in twenty-six previously unidentified hospitals. Of the 246, 23 were Nuss procedures (from two hospitals), 140 were open procedures (from eleven hospitals), and 3 were coding errors. No details were available for eighty cases undertaken at ten hospitals. The quantity of published literature had increased substantially since publication of original guidance in 2003. It related mostly to technical and safety outcomes, whereas the register included patient reported outcomes. The literature and the register reported similar rates of major adverse events such as bar displacement (2–10 percent). Committee members considered that the Register made a useful contribution to guidance development.
Conclusions: This study shows that a register set up to support a health technology assessment process can produce useful data both about safety and about patient-reported outcomes. Coverage may be improved by active follow-up based on routine hospital statistics. Improvement in coding for new procedures is needed in the United Kingdom.
A Pliocene (2.6–3.5 Ma) age is determined from glacial sediments studied in a 20 m long, 4 m deep trench excavated in Heidemann Valley, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica. The age determination is based on a combined study of amino acid racemization, diatoms, foraminifera, and magnetic polarity, and supports earlier estimates of the age of the sedimentary section; all are beyond 14C range. Four till units are recognized and documented, and 16 subunits are identified. All are ascribed to deposition during a Late Pliocene glaciation that was probably the last time the entire Vestfold Hills was covered by an enlarged East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Evidence for other more recent glacial events of the ‘Vestfold Glaciation’ may have been due to lateral expansion of the Sørsdal Glacier and limited expansion of the icesheet margin during the Last Glacial Maximum rather than a major expansion of the EAIS. The deposit appears to correlate with a marine deposition event recorded in Ocean Drilling Program Site 1166 in Prydz Bay, possibly with the Bardin Bluffs Formation of the Prince Charles Mountains and with part of the time represented in the ANDRILL AND-1B core in the Ross Sea.
Nosocomial outbreaks of Legionnaires disease have been linked to contaminated water in hospitals. Immunocompromised patients are particularly vulnerable and, when infected, have a high mortality rate. We report the investigation of a cluster of cases of nosocomial pneumonia attributable to Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 that occurred among patients on our stem cell transplantation unit.
We conducted a record review to identify common points of potential exposure, followed by environmental and water sampling for Legionella species from those sources. We used an air sampler to in an attempt to detect aerosolized Legionella and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to compare clinical and environmental isolates.
The most likely sources identified were the water supply in the patients' rooms and a decorative fountain in the radiation oncology suite. Samples from the patients' rooms did not grow Legionella species. Cultures of the fountain, which had been restarted 4 months earlier after being shut off for 5 months, yielded L. pneumophila serogroup 1. The isolates from both patients and the fountain were identical by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Both patients developed pneumonia within 10 days of completing radiation therapy, and each reported having observed the fountain at close range. Both patients' infections were identified early and treated promptly, and both recovered.
This cluster was caused by contamination of a decorative fountain despite its being equipped with a filter and ozone generator. Fountains are a potential source of nosocomial Legionnaires disease despite standard maintenance and sanitizing measures. In our opinion, fountains present unacceptable risk in hospitals serving immunocompromised patients.
We describe two cases reports, demonstrating an association between clozapine treatment and stuttering. Stuttering in both cases was dose-related and a significant improvement was noted when the dose of clozapine was reduced.
Austrochlamys heardensis (Fleming) is recorded from a boulder of Late Pliocene (3.62–2.5 Ma) volcaniclastic sandstone dredged 70 km east-north-east of Heard Island, the third record of the species. The collection is much larger than the original described by Fleming and includes left valves which are described for the first time. The species is compared with A. anderssoni (Hennig) from Cockburn Island and ‘Chlamys’ mawsoni Fletcher from Îles Kerguelen. The source rock accumulated in fully marine, highly current-affected conditions. The collection is dominated by right valves, possibly because left valves are more susceptible to breakage and the effects of current winnowing. The locality may have subsided some 500 m since deposition. It lies immediately north of a straight, north-east–south-west trending lineament which may mark a major tectonic feature with left-lateral displacement of approximately 50 km, and provides a natural boundary within the Central Province of Kerguelen Plateau.