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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus disease-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic of 2020-2021 created unprecedented challenges for clinicians in critical care transport (CCT). These CCT services had to rapidly adjust their clinical approaches to evolving patient demographics, a preponderance of respiratory failure, and transport utilization stratagem. Organizations had to develop and implement new protocols and guidelines in rapid succession, often without the education and training that would have been involved pre-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These changes were complicated by the need to protect crew members as well as to optimize patient care. Clinical initiatives included developing an awake proning transport protocol and a protocol to transport intubated proned patients. One service developed a protocol for helmet ventilation to minimize aerosolization risks for patients on noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV). While these clinical protocols were developed specifically for COVID-19, the growth in practice will enhance the care of patients with other causes of respiratory failure. Additionally, these processes will apply to future respiratory epidemics and pandemics.
In April 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its recovery plan for the jaguar Panthera onca after several decades of discussion, litigation and controversy about the status of the species in the USA. The USFWS estimated that potential habitat, south of the Interstate-10 highway in Arizona and New Mexico, had a carrying capacity of c. six jaguars, and so focused its recovery programme on areas south of the USA–Mexico border. Here we present a systematic review of the modelling and assessment efforts over the last 25 years, with a focus on areas north of Interstate-10 in Arizona and New Mexico, outside the recovery unit considered by the USFWS. Despite differences in data inputs, methods, and analytical extent, the nine previous studies found support for potential suitable jaguar habitat in the central mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico. Applying slightly modified versions of the USFWS model and recalculating an Arizona-focused model over both states provided additional confirmation. Extending the area of consideration also substantially raised the carrying capacity of habitats in Arizona and New Mexico, from six to 90 or 151 adult jaguars, using the modified USFWS models. This review demonstrates the crucial ways in which choosing the extent of analysis influences the conclusions of a conservation plan. More importantly, it opens a new opportunity for jaguar conservation in North America that could help address threats from habitat losses, climate change and border infrastructure.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has accelerated rapidly for patients in severe cardiac or respiratory failure. As a result, ECMO networks are being developed across the world using a “hub and spoke” model. Current guidelines call for all patients transported on ECMO to be accompanied by a physician during transport. However, as ECMO centers and networks grow, the increasing number of transports will be limited by this mandate.
The aim of this study was to compare rates of adverse events occurring during transport of ECMO patients with and without an additional clinician, defined as a physician, nurse practitioner (NP), or physician assistant (PA).
This is a retrospective cohort study of all adults transported while cannulated on ECMO from 2011-2018 via ground and air between 21 hospitals in the northeastern United States, comparing transports with and without additional clinicians. The primary outcome was the rate of major adverse events, and the secondary outcome was minor adverse events.
Over the seven-year study period, 93 patients on ECMO were transported. Twenty-three transports (24.7%) were accompanied by a physician or other additional clinician. Major adverse events occurred in 21.5% of all transports. There was no difference in the total rate of major adverse events between accompanied and unaccompanied transports (P = .91). Multivariate analysis did not demonstrate any parameter as being predictive of major adverse events.
In a retrospective cohort study of transports of ECMO patients, there was no association between the overall rate of major adverse events in transport and the accompaniment of an additional clinician. No variables were associated with major adverse events in either cohort.
Hypoxemic patients often desaturate further with movement and transport. While inhaled epoprostenol does not improve mortality, improving oxygenation allows for transport of severely hypoxemic patients to tertiary care centers with a related improvement in mortality rates. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) use is increasing in frequency for patients with refractory hypoxemia, and with increasing regionalization of care, safe transport of hypoxemic patients only becomes more important. In this series, four cases are presented of young patients with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure from Legionnaires’ disease transported on inhaled epoprostenol to ECMO centers for consideration of cannulation. With continued climate changes, Legionella and other pathogens are likely to be a continued threat. As such, optimizing oxygenation to allow for transport should continue to be a priority for critical care transport (CCT) services.