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Plans for allocation of scarce life-sustaining resources during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic often include triage teams, but operational details are lacking, including what patient information is needed to make triage decisions.
A Delphi study among Washington state disaster preparedness experts was performed to develop a list of patient information items needed for triage team decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts proposed and rated their agreement with candidate information items during asynchronous Delphi rounds. Consensus was defined as ≥80% agreement. Qualitative analysis was used to describe considerations arising in this deliberation. A timed simulation was performed to evaluate feasibility of data collection from the electronic health record.
Over 3 asynchronous Delphi rounds, 50 experts reached consensus on 24 patient information items, including patients’ age, severe or end-stage comorbidities, the reason for and timing of admission, measures of acute respiratory failure, and clinical trajectory. Experts weighed complex considerations around how information items could support effective prognostication, consistency, accuracy, minimizing bias, and operationalizability of the triage process. Data collection took a median of 227 seconds (interquartile range = 205, 298) per patient.
Experts achieved consensus on patient information items that were necessary and appropriate for informing triage teams during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: The International League Against Epilepsy recommends patients with drug resistant epilepsy (DRE) be referred for surgical evaluation, however prior literature suggests this is an underutilized intervention. This study captures practices of North American pediatric neurologists regarding the management of DRE and factors which may promote or limit referrals for epilepsy surgical evaluation. Methods: A REDCap survey distributed via the Child Neurology Society mailing list to pediatric neurologists practicing in North America. “R” was used to conduct data analyses. Ethics approval from the CHEO REB was granted prior to the start of data collection. Results: 102 pediatric neurologists responded, 77% of whom currently practice in the United States. 73% of respondents reported they would refer a patient for surgical consultation after two failed medications. Of all potential predictors tested in a logistic regression model, low referral volume was the only predictor of whether participants refer patients after more than three failed medications. Conclusions: Pediatric neurologists demonstrate fair knowledge of formal recommendations to refer patients for surgical evaluation after two failed medication trials. Other modifiable factors reported, especially family perceptions of epilepsy surgery, should be prioritized when developing tools to enhance effective referrals and increase utilization of epilepsy surgery in the management of pediatric DRE.
Digitization and the release of public records on the Internet have expanded the reach and uses of criminal record data in the United States. This study analyzes the types and volume of personally identifiable data released on the Internet via two hundred public governmental websites for law enforcement, criminal courts, corrections, and criminal record repositories in each state. We find that public disclosures often include information valuable to the personal data economy, including the full name, birthdate, home address, and physical characteristics of arrestees, detainees, and defendants. Using administrative data, we also estimate the volume of data disclosed online. Our findings highlight the mass dissemination of pre-conviction data: every year, over ten million arrests, 4.5 million mug shots, and 14.7 million criminal court proceedings are digitally released at no cost. Post-conviction, approximately 6.5 million current and former prisoners and 12.5 million people with a felony conviction have a record on the Internet. While justified through public records laws, such broad disclosures reveal an imbalance between the “transparency” of data releases that facilitate monitoring of state action and those that facilitate monitoring individual people. The results show how the criminal legal system increasingly distributes Internet privacy violations and community surveillance as part of contemporary punishment.
In order to maximize the utility of future studies of trilobite ontogeny, we propose a set of standard practices that relate to the collection, nomenclature, description, depiction, and interpretation of ontogenetic series inferred from articulated specimens belonging to individual species. In some cases, these suggestions may also apply to ontogenetic studies of other fossilized taxa.
To make a power spectrum (PS) detection of the 21-cm signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), one must avoid/subtract bright foreground sources. Sources such as Fornax A present a modelling challenge due to spatial structures spanning from arc seconds up to a degree. We compare modelling with multi-scale (MS) CLEAN components to ‘shapelets’, an alternative set of basis functions. We introduce a new image-based shapelet modelling package, SHAMFI. We also introduce a new CUDA simulation code (WODEN) to generate point source, Gaussian, and shapelet components into visibilities. We test performance by modelling a simulation of Fornax A, peeling the model from simulated visibilities, and producing a residual PS. We find the shapelet method consistently subtracts large-angular-scale emission well, even when the angular resolution of the data is changed. We find that when increasing the angular resolution of the data, the MS CLEAN model worsens at large angular scales. When testing on real Murchison Widefield Array data, the expected improvement is not seen in real data because of the other dominating systematics still present. Through further simulation, we find the expected differences to be lower than obtainable through current processing pipelines. We conclude shapelets are worthwhile for subtracting extended galaxies, and may prove essential for an EoR detection in the future, once other systematics have been addressed.
With most mental health disorders emerging in the later teenage years, university students are arguably an at-risk population with increased mental health support needs. This population is characterised by important, life-changing transitions (moving away from home, friends and family) and new potential stressors (including increased academic pressures and relational challenges). Research to examine determinants of mental health help-seeking behaviours in university students is needed to ensure emotional health needs are being met at this critical time.
To examine levels of psychological distress and mental health help-seeking behaviours in a sample of UK university students. By identifying factors associated with help seeking, we can better understand the mental health needs of this population and inform support provision.
This study draws on data from the social and emotional well-being in university students (SoWise) study, an online survey which aimed to examine risk and resilience for social and emotional well-being in young people attending a UK university.
Whole sample analysis (n = 461) showed help seeking was significantly associated with psychological distress, current life stressors and anxious attachment and not associated with perceived mental health stigma. Sub-group analysis (n = 171) suggests being female and older significantly predicted help seeking in students with mild/moderate psychological distress.
Younger males with mild/moderate psychological distress are less likely to seek mental health support and represent an “invisible” at risk group. Results also suggest that global anti-stigma campaigns in universities may not prove effective in encouraging help seeking.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Provisia™ rice was developed recently by the BASF Corporation for control of grass weeds and is complementary to existing Clearfield® technology. Our previous research showed that resistance of Provisia™ rice to the acetyl coenzyme-A carboxylase herbicide quizalofop-p-ethyl (QPE) in laboratory and greenhouse environments is governed by a single dominant Mendelian gene. However, these results may not be consistent in different populations or field environments. Therefore, the first objective of the current research is to determine the inheritance of resistance to QPE in rice using different segregating populations evaluated under U.S. field environments. The second objective is to evaluate the response of QPE-resistant breeding lines to various herbicide concentrations at two U.S. locations. Chi-square tests of 12 F2 populations evaluated in Louisiana during 2014 and 2015 indicated that QPE seedling resistance at 240 g ai ha−1 was governed by a single dominant Mendelian gene with no observable maternal effects. Similar results were obtained in five F3 populations derived from the aforementioned F2 populations. Allele-specific SNP markers for QPE resistance also followed Mendelian segregation in the five F2 populations. For the second objective, six QPE-resistant inbred lines showed transient leaf injury at 1× (120 g ai ha−1) or 2× (240 g ai ha−1) field rates 7 and 21 d after treatment (DAT). However, a trend of reduced injury (recovery) from 7 through 33 DAT was observed for all breeding material. No differences in grain yield were found between untreated QPE-resistant lines and those treated with 1× or 2× QPE field rate. Single gene inheritance and good levels of QPE herbicide field resistance in different genetic populations suggest feasibility for rapid and effective development of new QPE-resistant varieties and effective stewardship of the Provisia™ technology.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Background: The classic ketogenic diet is the main non-pharmacological treatment for refractory epilepsy; however, adherence is often challenging. The low glycemic index diet (LGID) is less strict, almost equally effective, and associated with improved adherence. Little is known about the quality of life of children treated with LGID. The objective of this study was to explore changes in the quality of life of children with epilepsy transitioning to the LGID. Methods: Patients on LGID and their parents filled out Pediatric Quality of Life Epilepsy Module questionnaires; one while being on the LGID, and one retrospectively for the time prior to starting the LGID. Results: Data was collected from five children ages 3-13 and their parents. Complete seizure control was seen in two children, >50% seizure reduction in one, and no change in two children. Parental reported quality of life while on the LGID increased with two participants but decreased in all child self reports. Conclusions: Although the LGID led to improved seizure control in three out of five patients, the child-reported quality of life decreased in all children. Larger prospective studies are warranted to reliably assess the impact of the LGID on the quality of life in children with epilepsy.
Background: Cannabis has been shown to be an effective therapy for epilepsy in children with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Despite the fact that many pediatric epilepsy patients across Canada are currently being treated with cannabis, little is known about pediatric neurologists’ attitudes towards it. Methods: A 26-item online survey was distributed to 148 pediatric neurologists across Canada. Results: 56/148 neurologists responded and reported that over 600 children with epilepsy are currently taking cannabinoids. 34% of neurologists authorized cannabis to children, 38% referred children for authorization, and 29% did not authorize or refer their patients. Of those neurologists who referred, 76% referred to a community-based non-neurologist. The majority of physicians authorized cannabis to patients with Dravet syndrome (68%) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (64%). Cannabis was never authorized as a first-line treatment. 54% of neurologists stated that their patients were taking CBD alone, despite this option not being available in Canada. All physicians reported having at least one hesitation regarding cannabis, the most common ones being poor evidence (66%), poor quality control (52%), and cost (50%). Conclusions: The majority of Canadian pediatric neurologists use cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy in children. However, there appear to be knowledge gaps and hesitations.
Background: Seizure monitoring via amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) is standard of care in many NICUs; however, conventional EEG (cEEG) is the gold standard for seizure detection. We compared the diagnostic yield of aEEG interpreted at the bedside, aEEG interpreted by an expert, and cEEG. Methods: Neonates received aEEG and cEEG in parallel. Clinical events and aEEG were interpreted at bedside and subsequently independently analyzed by experienced neonatology and neurology readers. Sensitivity and specificity of bedside aEEG as compared to expert aEEG interpretation and cEEG were evaluated. Results: Thirteen neonates were monitored for an average duration of 33 hours (range 15-94). Fourteen seizure-like events were detected by clinical observation, and 12 others by bedside aEEG analysis. None of the bedside aEEG events were confirmed as seizures on cEEG. Expert aEEG interpretation had a sensitivity of 13% with 46% specificity for individual seizure detection (not adjusting for patient differences), and a sensitivity of 50% with 46% specificity for detecting patients with seizures. Conclusions: Real-world bedside aEEG monitoring failed to detect seizures evidenced via cEEG, while misclassifying other events as seizures. Even post-hoc expert aEEG interpretation provided limited sensitivity and specificity. Considering the poor sensitivity and specificity of bedside aEEG interpretation, combined monitoring may provide limited clinical benefit.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
The study of parasites typically crosses into other research disciplines and spans across diverse scales, from molecular- to populational-levels, notwithstanding promoting an understanding of parasites set within evolutionary time. Today, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) help frame much of contemporary parasitological research, since parasites can be found in all ecosystems, blighting human, animal and plant health. In recognition of the multi-disciplinary nature of parasitological research, the 2017 Autumn Symposium of the British Society for Parasitology was held in London to provide a forum for novel exchange across medical, veterinary and wildlife fields of study. Whilst the meeting was devoted to the topic of parasitism, it sought to foster mutualism, the antithesis perhaps of parasitism, by forging new academic connections and social networks to exchange novel ideas. The meeting also celebrated the longstanding career of Professor David Rollinson, FLS in the award of the International Federation for Tropical Medicine Medal for his efforts spanning 40 years of parasitological research. Indeed, David has done so much to explore and promote the fascinating biology of parasitism, as exemplified by the 15 manuscripts contained within this Special Issue.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.