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We examined the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) between epidemiological year (EY) 1996/1997 and EY2015/2016. Over the 20 EYs, 3707 cases were reported with annual incidence rates per 100 000 peaking at 11.6 in EY1999/2000, decreasing significantly to 1.5 in EY2015/2016. The highest disease burden was in infants and children <5, whereas adults aged ⩾65 years experienced the highest case fatality ratio (CFR) of 15.7% but over the study period the median annual CFR remained low (4.4%). Meningococcal serogroup B (menB) dominated (78%), followed by menC (17%), menW (1%) and menY (1%). The incidence of menC IMD declined significantly in all age groups after menC vaccine introduction in 2000. MenB incidence also declined over the 20 EYs with decreasing trends in all age groups under 65, including an almost 50% decrease in infants over the final four EYs. IMD incidence in the ROI has declined, partly attributable to menC vaccination success, coupled with a spontaneous decline in menB. However, recent gradual increases in non-menB IMD and the introduction of vaccines targeting menB demand continued detailed surveillance to accurately monitor trends and to assess vaccine impact.
To determine the burden of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), the nature of antimicrobial prescribing and factors contributing to inappropriate prescribing for SSTIs in Australian aged care facilities, SSTI and antimicrobial prescribing data were collected via a standardised national survey. The proportion of residents prescribed ⩾1 antimicrobial for presumed SSTI and the proportion whose infections met McGeer et al. surveillance definitions were determined. Antimicrobial choice was compared to national prescribing guidelines and prescription duration analysed using a negative binomial mixed-effects regression model. Of 12 319 surveyed residents, 452 (3.7%) were prescribed an antimicrobial for a SSTI and 29% of these residents had confirmed infection. Topical clotrimazole was most frequently prescribed, often for unspecified indications. Where an indication was documented, antimicrobial choice was generally aligned with recommendations. Duration of prescribing (in days) was associated with use of an agent for prophylaxis (rate ratio (RR) 1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08–2.52), PRN orders (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.42–3.11) and prescription of a topical agent (RR 1.47, 95% CI 1.08–2.02), while documentation of a review or stop date was associated with reduced duration of prescribing (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.25–0.43). Antimicrobial prescribing for SSTI is frequent in aged care facilities in Australia. Methods to enhance appropriate prescribing, including clinician documentation, are required.
Despite many interventions aiming to reduce excessive gestational weight gain (GWG), it is currently unclear the impact on infant anthropometric outcomes. The aim of this review was to evaluate offspring anthropometric outcomes in studies designed to reduce GWG. A systematic search of seven international databases, one clinical trial registry and three Chinese databases was conducted without date limits. Studies were categorised by intervention type: diet, physical activity (PA), lifestyle (diet + PA), other, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) (diet, PA, lifestyle, metformin and other). Meta-analyses were reported as weighted mean difference (WMD) for birthweight and birth length, and risk ratio (RR) for small for gestational age (SGA), large for gestational age (LGA), macrosomia and low birth weight (LBW). Collectively, interventions reduced birthweight, risk of macrosomia and LGA by 71 g (WMD: −70.67, 95% CI −101.90 to −39.43, P<0.001), 16% (RR: 0.84, 95% CI 0.73–0.98, P=0.026) and 19% (RR: 0.81, 95% CI 0.69–0.96, P=0.015), respectively. Diet interventions decreased birthweight and LGA by 99 g (WMD −98.80, 95% CI −178.85 to −18.76, P=0.016) and 65% (RR: 0.35, 95% CI 0.17–0.72, P=0.004). PA interventions reduced the risk of macrosomia by 51% (RR: 0.49, 95% CI 0.26–0.92, P=0.036). In women with GDM, diet and lifestyle interventions reduced birthweight by 211 and 296 g, respectively (WMD: −210.93, 95% CI −374.77 to −46.71, P=0.012 and WMD:−295.93, 95% CI −501.76 to −90.10, P=0.005, respectively). Interventions designed to reduce excessive GWG lead to a small reduction in infant birthweight and risk of macrosomia and LGA, without influencing the risk of adverse outcomes including LBW and SGA.
Oral anticoagulation (OAC) reduces stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) or atrial flutter (AFL). However, OAC initiation rates in patients discharged directly from the emergency department (ED) are low. We aimed to address this care gap by implementing a quality improvement intervention.
The study was performed in four Canadian urban EDs between 2015 and 2016. Patients were included if they had an electrocardiogram (ECG) documenting AF/AFL in the ED, were directly discharged from the ED, and were alive after 90 days. Baseline rates of OAC initiation were determined prior to the intervention. Between June and December 2016, we implemented our intervention in two EDs (ED-intervention), with the remaining sites acting as controls (ED-control). The intervention included a reminder statement prompting OAC initiation according to guideline recommendations, manually added to ECGs with a preliminary interpretation of AF/AFL, along with a decision-support algorithm that included a referral sheet. The primary outcome was the rate of OAC initiation within 90 days of the ED visit.
Prior to the intervention, 37.2% OAC-naïve patients with ECG-documented AF/AFL were initiated on OAC. Following implementation of the intervention, the rate of OAC initiation increased from 38.6% to 47.5% (absolute increase of 8.5%; 95% CI, 0.3% to 16.7%, p=0.04) among the ED-intervention sites, whereas the rate remained unchanged in ED-control sites (35.3% to 35.9%, p=0.9).
Implementation of a quality improvement intervention consisting of a reminder and decision-support tool increased initiation of OAC in high-risk patients. This support package can be readily implemented in other jurisdictions to improve OAC rates for AF/AFL.
The US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives food safety regulators increased authority to require implementation of safety measures to reduce the contamination of produce. To evaluate the future impact of FSMA on food safety, a better understanding is needed regarding outbreaks attributed to the consumption of raw produce. Data reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System during 1998–2013 were analysed. During 1998–2013, there were 972 raw produce outbreaks reported resulting in 34 674 outbreak-associated illnesses, 2315 hospitalisations, and 72 deaths. Overall, the total number of foodborne outbreaks reported decreased by 38% during the study period and the number of raw produce outbreaks decreased 19% during the same period; however, the percentage of outbreaks attributed to raw produce among outbreaks with a food reported increased from 8% during 1998–2001 to 16% during 2010–2013. Raw produce outbreaks were most commonly attributed to vegetable row crops (38% of outbreaks), fruits (35%) and seeded vegetables (11%). The most common aetiologic agents identified were norovirus (54% of outbreaks), Salmonella enterica (21%) and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (10%). Food-handling errors were reported in 39% of outbreaks. The proportion of all foodborne outbreaks attributable to raw produce has been increasing. Evaluation of safety measures to address the contamination on farms, during processing and food preparation, should take into account the trends occurring before FSMA implementation.
Molecular characterization of pediatric low-grade glioma (pLGG) over the last decade has identified recurrent alterations, most commonly involving BRAF, and less frequently other pathways including MYB and MYBL1. Many of these molecular markers have been exploited clinically to aid in diagnosis and treatment decisions. However, their frequency and prognostic significance remain unknown. Further, a significant portion of cases do not have any of these alterations and what underlies these cases remains unknown. To address this we compiled a cohort of 562 patients diagnosed at SickKids from 1990-2017. We identified molecular alterations in 454 cases (81% of the cohort). The most frequent events were those involving BRAF; either as fusions (most commonly with KIAA1549 (30%)) or V600E mutations (17%) and NF-1 (22%). Less frequently, we identified recurrent FGFR1 fusions and mutations (3%), MYB/MYBL alterations (2%), H3F3AK27M (2%) or IDH1R132H (0.5%) mutations, as well as other novel rare events. Survival analysis revealed significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of KIAA1549-BRAF fused patients compared to BRAFV600E with 10-year OS 97.7% (95%, CI 95.5-100) and 83.9% (95%, CI 72.5-95.6), respectively. In addition to survival, molecular alterations predicted differences in response to conventional therapeutics; BRAF fused patients showed a 46% response-rate, versus only 14% in V600E patients. pLGGs harboring H3F3AK27M progressed early with median PFS of 11 months. In patients with MYB/MYBL1, FGFR1/FGFR2 alterations, we observed only one death (FGFR1N546K case). The work here represents the largest cohort of pLGGs with molecular profiling and their impact on the clinical behaviour of the disease.
Tonsillectomy is a common procedure with significant post-operative pain. This study was designed to compare post-operative pain, returns to a normal diet and normal activity, and duration of regular analgesic use in Coblation and bipolar tonsillectomy patients.
A total of 137 patients, aged 2–50 years, presenting to a single institution for tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were recruited. Pain level, diet, analgesic use, return to normal activity and haemorrhage data were collected.
Coblation tonsillectomy was associated with significantly less pain than bipolar tonsillectomy on post-operative days 1 (p = 0.005), 2 (p = 0.006) and 3 (p = 0.010). Mean pain scores were also significantly lower in the Coblation group (p = 0.039). Coblation patients had a significantly faster return to normal activity than bipolar tonsillectomy patients (p < 0.001).
Coblation tonsillectomy is a less painful technique compared to bipolar tonsillectomy in the immediate post-operative period and in the overall post-operative period. This allows a faster return to normal activity and decreased analgesic requirements.
A new juvenile specimen of Pteranodon from the Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Formation of western Kansas had an estimated wingspan in life of 1.76 m, ~45% smaller than the smallest previously known specimens, but does not differ in morphology from larger specimens. Its presence indicates that juveniles were capable of flying long distances, so it falsifies the interpretation of Pteranodon as growing rapidly to adult size under parental care before flying. Instead juveniles were precocial, growing more slowly to adult size while flying and feeding independently for several years before going to sea. Because juveniles are otherwise unknown in the Smoky Hill Chalk Member, they must have occupied different environments and ecological niches than adults; thus Pteranodon exhibited ontogenetic niches. Evidence is presented that most other pterosaurs (e.g., Rhamphorhynchus, Pterodactylus, Anhanguera) also exhibited various ontogenetic niches, which, along with their large body size, suggests that pterosaur taxonomic diversity was rather low, like that of crocodilians.
Ketamine has recently become an agent of interest as an acute treatment for severe depression and as the anaesthetic for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Subanaesthetic doses result in an acute reduction in depression severity while evidence is equivocal for this antidepressant effect with anaesthetic or adjuvant doses. Recent systematic reviews call for high-quality evidence from further randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
To establish if ketamine as the anaesthetic for ECT results in fewer ECT treatments, improvements in depression severity ratings and less memory impairment than the standard anaesthetic.
Double-blind, parallel-design, RCT of intravenous ketamine (up to 2 mg/kg) with an active comparator, intravenous propofol (up to 2.5 mg/kg), as the anaesthetic for ECT in patients receiving ECT for major depression on an informal basis. (Trial registration: European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT): 2011-000396-14 and clinicalTrials.gov: NCT01306760.)
No significant differences were found on any outcome measure during, at the end of or 1 month following the ECT course.
Ketamine as an anaesthetic does not enhance the efficacy of ECT.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a frequent complication of severe burn injury. Comparing the current ventilator-associated event-possible VAP definition to the pre-2013 VAP definition, we identified considerably fewer VAP cases in our burn ICU. The new definition does not capture many VAP cases that would have been reported using the pre-2013 definition.