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Founded on post-war optimism that a Europe of united democracies could provide both peace and prosperity, the European Union is slowly waking up to the fact that not all of its Member States are committed to democratic principles. Article 2 TEU pronounces (as fact) that “[t]he Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.” And Article 2 goes on to assert (as fact) that “[t]hese values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.” But for some EU member governments, these values no longer define the aspirational horizon. The requirements of Article 2 are simply no longer met in all Member States.
Introduction: Early and accurate diagnosis of critical conditions is essential in emergency medical services (EMS). Serum lactate testing may be used to identify patients with worse prognosis, including sepsis. Recently, the use of a point-of-care lactate (POCL) test has been evaluated in guiding treatment in patients with sepsis. Operating as part of the Prehospital Evidence Based Practice (PEP) Program, the authors sought to identify and describe the body of evidence for POCL use in EMS and the emergency department (ED) for patients with sepsis. Methods: Following PEP methodology, in May 2018, PubMed was searched in a systematic manner. Title and abstract screening were conducted by the program coordinator. These studies were collected, appraised and added to the existing body of literature contained within the PEP database. Evidence appraisal was conducted by two reviewers who assigned both a level of evidence (LOE) on a novel three tier scale and a direction of evidence (supportive, neutral or opposing; based on primary outcome). Data on setting and study design were also extracted. Results: Eight studies were included in our analysis. Three of these studies were conducted in the ED setting; each investigating the POCL test's ability to predict severe sepsis, ICU admission or death. All three studies found supportive results for POCL. A systematic review on the use of POCL in the ED determined that this test can also improve time to treatment. Five of the total 8 studies were conducted prehospitally. Two of these studies were supportive of POCL use in the prehospital setting; in terms of feasibility and the ability to predict sepsis. Both of these study sites used this early information as part of initiating a “sepsis alert” pathway. The other three prehospital studies provide neutral support for POCL. One study demonstrated moderate ability of POCL to predict severe illness. Two studies found poor agreement between prehospital POCL and serum lactate values. Conclusion: Limited low and moderate quality evidence suggest POCL may be feasible and helpful in predicting sepsis in the prehospital setting. However, there is sparse and inconsistent support for specific important outcomes, including accuracy.
Introduction: The Prehospital Evidence-Based Practice (PEP) program is an online, freely accessible, continuously updated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) evidence repository. This summary describes the research evidence for the identification and management of adult patients suffering from sepsis syndrome or septic shock. Methods: PubMed was searched in a systematic manner. One author reviewed titles and abstracts for relevance and two authors appraised each study selected for inclusion. Primary outcomes were extracted. Studies were scored by trained appraisers on a three-point Level of Evidence (LOE) scale (based on study design and quality) and a three-point Direction of Evidence (DOE) scale (supportive, neutral, or opposing findings based on the studies’ primary outcome for each intervention). LOE and DOE of each intervention were plotted on an evidence matrix (DOE x LOE). Results: Eighty-eight studies were included for 15 interventions listed in PEP. The interventions with the most evidence were related to identification tools (ID) (n = 26, 30%) and early goal directed therapy (EGDT) (n = 21, 24%). ID tools included Systematic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) and other unique measures. The most common primary outcomes were related to diagnosis (n = 30, 34%), mortality (n = 40, 45%) and treatment goals (e.g. time to antibiotic) (n = 14, 16%). The evidence rank for the supported interventions were: supportive-high quality (n = 1, 7%) for crystalloid infusion, supportive-moderate quality (n = 7, 47%) for identification tools, prenotification, point of care lactate, titrated oxygen, temperature monitoring, and supportive-low quality (n = 1, 7%) for vasopressors. The benefit of prehospital antibiotics and EGDT remain inconclusive with a neutral DOE. There is moderate level evidence opposing use of high flow oxygen. Conclusion: EMS sepsis interventions are informed primarily by moderate quality supportive evidence. Several standard treatments are well supported by moderate to high quality evidence, as are identification tools. However, some standard in-hospital therapies are not supported by evidence in the prehospital setting, such as antibiotics, and EGDT. Based on primary outcomes, no identification tool appears superior. This evidence analysis can guide selection of appropriate prehospital therapies.
Respiratory viral infections are a leading cause of disease worldwide. A variety of respiratory viruses produce infections in humans with effects ranging from asymptomatic to life-treathening. Standard surveillance systems typically only target severe infections (ED outpatients, hospitalisations, deaths) and fail to track asymptomatic or mild infections. Here we performed a large-scale community study across multiple age groups to assess the pathogenicity of 18 respiratory viruses. We enrolled 214 individuals at multiple New York City locations and tested weekly for respiratory viral pathogens, irrespective of symptom status, from fall 2016 to spring 2018. We combined these test results with participant-provided daily records of cold and flu symptoms and used this information to characterise symptom severity by virus and age category. Asymptomatic infection rates exceeded 70% for most viruses, excepting influenza and human metapneumovirus, which produced significantly more severe outcomes. Symptoms were negatively associated with infection frequency, with children displaying the lowest score among age groups. Upper respiratory manifestations were most common for all viruses, whereas systemic effects were less typical. These findings indicate a high burden of asymptomatic respiratory virus infection exists in the general population.
Transoral laser microsurgery is an increasingly common treatment modality for glottic carcinoma. This study aimed to determine the effect of age, gender, stage and time on voice-related quality of life using the Voice Handicap Index-10.
Primary early glottic carcinoma patients treated with transoral laser microsurgery were included in the study. Self-reported Voice Handicap Index testing was completed pre-operatively, three months post-operatively, and yearly at follow-up appointments.
Voice Handicap Index improvement was found to be dependent on age and tumour stage, while no significant differences were found in Voice Handicap Index for gender. Voice Handicap Index score was significantly improved at 12 months and 24 months. Time versus Voice Handicap Index modelling revealed a preference for non-linear over linear regression.
Age and stage are important factors, as younger patients with more advanced tumours show greater voice improvement post-operatively. Patient's Voice Handicap Index is predicted to have 95 per cent of maximal improvement by 5.5 months post-operatively.
The scientific advances that underpin economic growth and human health would not be possible without research investments. Yet demonstrating the impact of research programs is a challenge, especially in areas that span disciplines, industrial sectors, and encompass both public and private sector activity. All areas of research are under pressure to demonstrate benefits from federal funding of research. This exciting and innovative study demonstrates new methods and tools to trace the impact of federal research funding on the structure of research, and the subsequent economic activities of funded researchers. The case study is food safety research, which is critical to avoiding outbreaks of disease. The authors make use of an extraordinary new data infrastructure and apply new techniques in text analysis. Focusing on the impact of US federal food safety research, this book develops vital data-intensive methodologies that have a real world application to many other scientific fields.
Single case designs (SCDs) allow researchers to objectively evaluate the impact of an intervention by repeatedly measuring a dependent variable across baseline and intervention conditions. Rooted in baseline logic, SCDs evaluate change over time, with each participant serving as his or her own control during the course of a study. Formative and summative evaluation of data is critical to determining causal relations. Visual analysis involves evaluation of level, trend, variability, consistency, overlap, and immediacy of effects within (baseline and intervention) and between conditions (baseline to intervention). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the process for visually analysing data collected in the context of a SCD and to provide structures and procedures for evaluating the six data characteristics of interest. A checklist with dichotomous responses (i.e., yes/no) is presented to facilitate implementation and reporting of systematic visual analysis.