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Introduction: There is currently no protocol for the initiation of extra corporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) in out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Atlantic Canada. Advanced care paramedics (ACPs) perform advanced cardiac life support in the prehospital setting often completing the entire resuscitation on-scene. Implementation of ECPR will present a novel intervention that is only available at the receiving hospital, altering how ACPs manage selected patients. Our objective is to determine if an educational program can improve paramedic identification of ECPR candidates. Methods: An educational program was delivered to paramedics including a short seminar and pocket card coupled with simulations of OHCA cases. A before and after study design using a case-based survey was employed. Paramedics were scored on their ability to correctly identify OHCA patients who met the inclusion criteria for our ECPR protocol. Scores before and after the education delivery were compared using a two tailed t-test. A 6-month follow-up is planned to assess knowledge retention. Qualitative data was also collected from paramedics during simulation to help identify potential barriers to implementation of our protocol in the prehospital setting. Results: Nine advanced care paramedics participated in our educational program. Mean score pre-education was 9.7/16 (61.1%) compared to 14/16 (87.5%) after education delivery. The mean difference between groups was 4.22 (CI = 2.65-5.80, p = 0.0003). There was a significant improvement in the paramedics’ ability to correctly identify ECPR candidates after completing our educational program. Conclusion: Paramedic training through a didactic session coupled with a pocket card and simulation appears to be a feasible method of knowledge translation. 6-month retention data will help ensure knowledge retention is achieved. If successful, this pilot will be expanded to train all paramedics in our prehospital system as we seek to implement an ECPR protocol at our centre.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
There are no available medications for the management of alcohol dependence for patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
To conduct a multisite, double blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trial of baclofen in the treatment of alcohol dependence, with or without liver disease (trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01711125).
Patients (n = 104) were randomised to placebo, baclofen 30 mg/day or 75 mg/day for 12 weeks. Primary outcomes included survival time to lapse (any drinking), relapse (≥5 drinks per day in men and ≥4 in women), and the composite outcome of drinks per drinking day, number of heavy drinking days, and percentage days abstinent.
There was a significant effect of baclofen (composite groups) on time to lapse (χ2 = 6.44, P<0.05, Cohen's d = 0.56) and relapse (χ2 = 4.62, P<0.05, d = 0.52). A significant treatment effect of baclofen was observed for percentage days abstinent (placebo 43%, baclofen 30 mg 69%, baclofen 75 mg 65%; P<0.05). There was one serious adverse event (overdose) directly related to medication (75 mg).
Baclofen may be an effective treatment option for patients with ALD. However, given the profile of adverse events, the role for this medication might be best limited to specialist services.
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.
Early in the 1980s a selection index was designed at SAC to improve the rate of lean growth in terminal sire sheep which combined ultrasound measurements of fat and muscle depth, and live weight at 150 days of age (Simm and Dingwall, 1989). Beginning in 1985, this index was applied in the SAC Suffolk flock in a performance test. In 1994, rams from a line selected on this index weighed on average 12% more (8 kg) and had 12% lower fat depth (– 0.9 mm) and 10% higher muscle depth (2.9 mm) than rams from an unselected Control line. Comparison of Selection and Control line animals has thus far been based on live predictors of carcass composition at weights substantially heavier than typical market lamb weights. The aims of this study were to test whether selection decisions based on the lean growth index produced an improvement in actual carcass composition in purebred terminal sire sheep and whether these changes persisted at live weights different from those under which selection was carried out.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) is an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). While PoCUS protocols have been shown to improve early diagnostic accuracy, there is little published evidence for any mortality benefit. We report the findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, assessing the impact of a PoCUS protocol on survival and key clinical outcomes. Methods: Recruitment occurred at 7 centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1), randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care and no PoCUS) groups. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes, with ultrasound performed in the PoCUS group prior to secondary assessment. The primary outcome measure was 30-day/discharge mortality. Secondary outcome measures included diagnostic accuracy, changes in vital signs, acid-base status, and length of stay. Categorical data was analyzed using Fishers test, and continuous data by Student T test and multi-level log-regression testing. (GraphPad/SPSS) Final chart review was blinded to initial impressions and PoCUS findings. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no difference between groups for the primary outcome of mortality; PoCUS 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%) vs. Control 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%); RR 1.00 (95% CI 0.869 to 1.15; p=1.00). There were no differences in the secondary outcomes; ICU and total length of stay. Our sample size has a power of 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Other secondary outcomes are reported separately. Conclusion: This is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients. We did not find any mortality or length of stay benefits with the use of a PoCUS protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings. While PoCUS may have diagnostic benefits, these may not translate into a survival benefit effect.
Introduction: Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) protocols are commonly used to guide resuscitation for emergency department (ED) patients with undifferentiated non-traumatic hypotension. While PoCUS has been shown to improve early diagnosis, there is a minimal evidence for any outcome benefit. We completed an international multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of a PoCUS protocol on key resuscitation markers in this group. We report diagnostic impact and mortality elsewhere. Methods: The SHoC-ED1 study compared the addition of PoCUS to standard care within the first hour in the treatment of adult patients presenting with undifferentiated hypotension (SBP<100 mmHg or a Shock Index >1.0) with a control group that did not receive PoCUS. Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. 4 North American, and 3 South African sites participated in the study. Resuscitation outcomes analyzed included volume of fluid administered in the ED, changes in shock index (SI), modified early warning score (MEWS), venous acid-base balance, and lactate, at one and four hours. Comparisons utilized a T-test as well as stratified binomial log-regression to assess for any significant improvement in resuscitation amount the outcomes. Our sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no significant difference in mean total volume of fluid received between the control (1658 ml; 95%CI 1365-1950) and PoCUS groups (1609 ml; 1385-1832; p=0.79). Significant improvements were seen in SI, MEWS, lactate and bicarbonate with resuscitation in both the PoCUS and control groups, however there was no difference between groups. Conclusion: SHOC-ED1 is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard of care in hypotensive ED patients. No significant difference in fluid used, or markers of resuscitation was found when comparing the use of a PoCUS protocol to that of standard of care in the resuscitation of patients with undifferentiated hypotension.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasonography (PoCUS) is an established tool in the initial management of hypotensive patients in the emergency department (ED). It has been shown rule out certain shock etiologies, and improve diagnostic certainty, however evidence on benefit in the management of hypotensive patients is limited. We report the findings from our international multicenter RCT assessing the impact of a PoCUS protocol on diagnostic accuracy, as well as other key outcomes including mortality, which are reported elsewhere. Methods: Recruitment occurred at 4 North American and 3 Southern African sites. Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 mmHg or shock index >1) who were randomized to either PoCUS or control groups. Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. Demographics, clinical details and findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes, with ultrasound performed in the PoCUS group prior to secondary assessment. Final chart review was blinded to initial impressions and PoCUS findings. Categorical data was analyzed using Fishers two-tailed test. Our sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. The perceived shock category changed more frequently in the PoCUS group 20/127 (15.7%) vs. control 7/125 (5.6%); RR 2.81 (95% CI 1.23 to 6.42; p=0.0134). There was no significant difference in change of diagnostic impression between groups PoCUS 39/123 (31.7%) vs control 34/124 (27.4%); RR 1.16 (95% CI 0.786 to 1.70; p=0.4879). There was no significant difference in the rate of correct category of shock between PoCUS (118/127; 93%) and control (113/122; 93%); RR 1.00 (95% CI 0.936 to 1.08; p=1.00), or for correct diagnosis; PoCUS 90/127 (70%) vs control 86/122 (70%); RR 0.987 (95% CI 0.671 to 1.45; p=1.00). Conclusion: This is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients. We found that the use of PoCUS did change physicians’ perceived shock category. PoCUS did not improve diagnostic accuracy for category of shock or diagnosis.
We describe an X-ray polarimeter which will be flown on the SPECTRUM-X-Gamma mission. The instrument exploits three distinct physical processes to measure polarization: Bragg reflection from a graphite crystal, Thomson scattering from a metallic lithium target, and photoemission from a Cesium Iodide photocathode. These three processes allow polarization measurements over an energy band of 0.3 keV to 12 keV. The polarimeter will make possible sensitive measurements of several hundred known X-ray sources. X-ray polarization measurements will allow us to constrain the geometry of gas flow in X-ray binaries, identify nonthermal emission in supernova remnants, test current models for X-ray emission in radio pulsars, determine the radiation mechanisms in active galactic nuclei, and search for inertial frame dragging (Lense-Thirring effect) around the putative black hole in Cygnus X-1.
Low levels of serum adiponectin (i.e. hypoadiponectinaemia) are a marker of cardiometabolic risk in overweight children. It is not clear whether early-life factors may play a role in the development of hypoadiponectinaemia. We investigated whether antenatal factors and postnatal growth are associated with childhood adiponectin levels. This was an observational study in a birth cohort (Vulnerable Windows Cohort Study). Anthropometry was measured at birth, at 6 weeks, every 3 months up to 2 years and then every 6 months. Fasting glucose, insulin, lipids and adiponectin were measured at a mean age 11.5 years. Data on 323 children were analysed with age- and sex-adjusted multivariate analyses. The sizes of mother, placenta, fetus and newborn were not significantly associated with adiponectin levels. Current weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, waist circumference, glucose, insulin resistance [homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)], triglycerides and systolic blood pressure were inversely related to adiponectin (P < 0.05). Faster growth in BMI during late infancy and childhood was associated with lower adiponectin levels (P < 0.05). After adjusting for current waist circumference, faster growth in BMI during early infancy was positively associated with adiponectin (P < 0.01). Faster growth in BMI during childhood was inversely associated (P < 0.001). These associations were similar after adjusting for HOMA-IR. We concluded that antenatal factors are not determinants of childhood adiponectin levels. Faster growth in BMI during infancy is associated with higher levels, whereas faster rates during childhood are associated with hypoadiponectinaemia. Hypoadiponectinaemia is a marker of a more adverse cardiometabolic profile in Afro-Caribbean children.
Direct epitaxial CoSi2 formation from Co, which is contrary to the reported silicidation process : Co→Co2 Si→CoSi→CoSi2, has been found during anneal of Co / Ti / (100) Si system. 2 nm thick Ti and 15 nm thick Co films were sputter deposited, and then annealed for 30 min at temperatures between 375°C and 900°C. At room temperature, the 2 nrm Ti immediately forms an amorphous Ti-Si-Co layer between the Co and Si. Epitaxial CoSi2 begins to form at 400°C, while the amorphous layer continues to act as both a Co diffusion retardant and Si diffusion suppressant even at 900°C. This retarded diffusion of Co reduces the growth rate of the CoSi2 over the entire temperature range studied. Superiority of the epitaxial to polycrystalline silicide has been demonstrated. In self aligned structures, an epitaxial CoSi2 film is formed by a single-step anneal without any overgrowth onto adjacent field oxide areas utilizing the amorphous diffusion controlling layer. A p+/n junction of 40 nm depth with reduced leakage and low ideality factor has been obtained by impurity diffusion from epitaxial CoSi2.
To evaluate the use of inpatient pharmacy and administrative data to detect surgical site infections (SSIs) following hysterectomy and colorectal and vascular surgery.
Retrospective cohort study.
Five hospitals affiliated with academic medical centers.
Adults who underwent abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy, colorectal surgery, or vascular surgery procedures between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2005.
We reviewed the medical records of weighted, random samples drawn from 3,079 abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy, 4,748 colorectal surgery, and 3,332 vascular surgery procedures. We compared routine surveillance with screening of inpatient pharmacy data and diagnosis codes and then performed medical record review to confirm SSI status.
Medical records from 823 hysterectomy, 736 colorectal surgery, and 680 vascular surgery procedures were reviewed. SSI rates determined by antimicrobial- and/or diagnosis code-based screening followed by medical record review (enhanced surveillance) were substantially higher than rates determined by routine surveillance (4.3% [95% confidence interval, 3.6%—5.1%] vs 2.7% for hysterectomies, 7.1% [95% confidence interval, 6.7%–8.2%] vs 2.0% for colorectal procedures, and 2.3% [95% confidence interval, 1.9%–2.9%] vs 1.4% for vascular procedures). Enhanced surveillance had substantially higher sensitivity than did routine surveillance to detect SSI (92% vs 59% for hysterectomies, 88% vs 22% for colorectal procedures, and 72% vs 43% for vascular procedures). A review of medical records confirmed SSI for 31% of hysterectomies, 20% of colorectal procedures, and 31% of vascular procedures that met the enhanced screening criteria.
Antimicrobial- and diagnosis code-based screening may be a useful method for enhancing and streamlining SSI surveillance for a variety of surgical procedures, including those procedures targeted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
To evaluate the use of routinely collected electronic health data in Medicare claims to identify surgical site infections (SSIs) following hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty, and vascular surgery.
Retrospective cohort study.
Four academic hospitals that perform prospective SSI surveillance.
We developed lists of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, and Current Procedural Terminology diagnosis and procedure codes to identify potential SSIs. We then screened for these codes in Medicare claims submitted by each hospital on patients older than 65 years of age who had undergone 1 of the study procedures during 2007. Each site reviewed medical records of patients identified by either claims codes or traditional infection control surveillance to confirm SSI using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ National Healthcare Safety Network criteria. We assessed the performance of both methods against all chart-confirmed SSIs identified by either method.
Claims-based surveillance detected 1.8–4.7-fold more SSIs than traditional surveillance, including detection of all previously identified cases. For hip and vascular surgery, there was a 5-fold and 1.6-fold increase in detection of deep and organ/space infections, respectively, with no increased detection of deep and organ/space infections following knee surgery. Use of claims to trigger chart review led to confirmation of SSI in 1 out of 3 charts for hip arthroplasty, 1 out of 5 charts for knee arthroplasty, and 1 out of 2 charts for vascular surgery.
Claims-based SSI surveillance markedly increased the number of SSIs detected following hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty, and vascular surgery. It deserves consideration as a more effective approach to target chart reviews for identifying SSIs.
The development of the triphenylethylene derivatives has been a major advance in the treatment of breast carcinoma, due to their low toxicity. Currently there is controversy not only about their mode of action but in three main areas of clinical practice: (A) adjuvant therapy in premenopausal and oestrogen receptor-negative cases; (B) primary therapy in the elderly; (C) the prevention of breast cancer.
The United States' National Institute of Health consensus of 1985 that adjuvant tamoxifen be confined to postmenopausal women with positive nodes and ER positive tumours has been refuted by randomised clinical trials. The evidence that ER negative tumours also respond to tamoxifen has added to laboratory evidence that tamoxifen acts other than purely by oestrogen antagonism at the ER.
The use of tamoxifen as sole treatment in primary breast cancer in the elderly is being evaluated in randomised clinical trials. Two that have been reported so far have flaws which make their contradictory conclusions difficult to assess.
Recent results from the CRC trial suggest that tamoxifen has more benefit than simply preventing cancer deaths and clarification of the effects of triphenylethylenes on bone metabolism and the cardiovascular system may strengthen the case for a trial of prophylactic tamoxifen in those at risk of developing breast carcinoma.
A bilayer of CoSi2 covered with TiN on (100)Si has been processed in a nonvacuum environment using a (100)Si wafer deposited with a thin film bilayer of Ti under Co. The Si/CoSi2/TiN stack has been studied using transmission electron microscopy, Rutherfor Backscattering Spectrometry and Auger Electron Spectroscopy. Cross section TEM and RBS studies showed that CoSi2 film is a single crystal and epitaxial with (100)Si. Ledges parallel to (111)Si were also observed at the (100)Si/CoSi2 interface, which was mostly planar. The orientation relationship at Si/CoSi2 interiace, microstructural characteristics of CoSi2 and TiN and the mechanism of 2the reaction are presented.
We have measured the principal strain state of AI-0.5%Cu lines passivated with silicon nitride directly and used it to calculate the stress state. The stress was determined as the lines were thermally cycled from room temperature to 450°C. The general stress-temperature behavior shows good fundamental agreement with that calculated using finite-element methods, although the magnitude of the stresses measured with x-rays is less than that predicted by modeling due to stressinduced voiding in the lines. This is shown with a high voltage scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) operated in the backscattering mode.
Cu has two advantages over Al for sub-quarter micron interconnect application: (1) higher conductivity and (2) improved electromigration reliability. However, Cu diffuses quickly in SiO2and Si, and must be encapsulated. Polycrystalline films of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Ta, W, Mo, TiN, and Metal-Organo Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) TiN and Ti-Si-N have been evaluated as Cu diffusion barriers using electrically biased-thermal-stressing tests. Barrier effectiveness of these thin films were correlated with their physical properties from Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Secondary Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) analysis. The barrier failure is dominated by “micro-defects” in the barrier film that serve as easy pathways for Cu diffusion. An ideal barrier system should be free of such micro-defects (e.g., amorphous Ti-Si-N and annealed Ta). The median-time-to-failure (MTTF) of a Ta barrier (30 nm) has been measured at different bias electrical fields and stressing temperatures, and the extrapolated MTTF of such a barrier is > 100 year at an operating condition of 200C and 0.1 MV/cm.