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Background: There are few published reports on the safety and efficacy of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) in the presurgical evaluation of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy. Our objective was to describe institutional experience with pediatric SEEG in terms of (1) insertional complications, (2) identification of the epileptogenic zone and (3) seizure outcome following SEEG-tailored resections. Methods: Retrospective review of 29 patients pediatric drug resistant epilepsy patients who underwent presurgical SEEG between 2005 – 2018. Results: 29 pediatric SEEG patients (15 male; 12.4 ± 4.6 years old) were included in this study with mean follow-up of 6.0 ± 4.1 years. SEEG-related complications occurred in 1/29 (3%)—neurogenic pulmonary edema. A total of 190 multi-contact electrodes (mean of 7.0 ± 2.5per patient) were implanted across 30 insertions which captured 437 electrographic seizures (mean 17.5 ± 27.6 per patient). The most common rationale for SEEG was normal MRI with surface EEG that failed to identify the EZ (16/29; 55%). SEEG-tailored resections were performed in 24/29 (83%). Engel I outcome was achieved following resections in 19/24 cases (79%) with 5.9 ± 4.0 years of post-operative follow-up. Conclusions: Stereoelectroencephalography in presurgical evaluation of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy is a safe and effective way to identify the epileptogenic zone permitting SEEG-tailored resection.
Introduction: Simulation is becoming widely adopted across medical disciplines and by different medical professionals. For medical students, emergency medicine simulation has been shown to increase knowledge, confidence and satisfaction. At the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre, third-year medical students participate in simulated scenarios common to Emergency Medicine (EM) as part of their mandatory EM clerkship rotation. This study aims to evaluate simulation as part of the EM clerkship rotation by assessing changes in student confidence following a simulation session. Methods: In groups of seven, third year medical students at the University of Ottawa completed simulation sessions of the following: Status Asthmaticus, Status Epilepticus, Urosepsis and Breaking Bad News. Student confidence with each topic was assessed before and after simulation with a written survey. Confidence scores pre- and post-simulation were compared with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Results: Forty-eight third years medical students in their core EM clerkship rotation, between September 2017 and August 2018 participated in this study. Medical student confidence with diagnosis of status asthmaticus (N = 44, p = 0.0449) and status epilepticus (N = 45, p = 0.0011) increased significantly following simulation, whereas confidence with diagnosis of urosepsis was unchanged (N = 45, p = 0.0871). Treatment confidence increased significantly for status asthmaticus (N = 47, p = 0.0009), status epilepticus (N = 48, p = 0.0005) and urosepsis (N = 48, p < 0.0001). Confidence for breaking bad news was not significantly changed after simulation (N = 47, p = 0.0689). Conclusion: Simulation training in our EM clerkship rotation significantly increased the confidence of medical students for certain common EM presentations, but not for all. Further work will aim to understand why some simulation scenarios did not improve confidence, and look to improve existing scenarios.
Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is a common neurosurgical procedure performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, but can be associated with complications. The objectives of this study are to evaluate data on national practice patterns and complications rates in order to optimize clinical care Methods: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative conducted a prospective multi-centre registry of patients undergoing EVD insertions at Canadian residency programs Results: In this interim analysis, 4 sites had recruited 46 patients (mean age: 53.9 years, male:female 2:1). Most EVD insertions occurred outside of the operating theatre, using free-hand technique, and performed by junior neurosurgery residents (R1-R3). The catheter tip was in the ipsilateral frontal horn or body of the lateral ventricle in 76% of cases. Suboptimally placed catheters did not have higher rates of short-term occlusion. EVD-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.5% (3/45) with only 1 symptomatic patient. EVD-related infection occurred in 13% (6/46) at a mean of 6 days and was associated with longer duration of CSF drainage (P=0.039; OR: 1.13) Conclusions: Interim results indicate rates of EVD-related complications may be higher than previously thought. This study will continue to recruit patients to confirm these findings and determine specific risk factors associated with them
Background: Communicating with senior neurosurgical colleagues during residency necessitates a reliable and versatile smartphone. Smartphones and their apps are commonplace. They enhance communication with colleagues, provide the ability to access patient information and results, and allow access to medical reference applications. Patient data safety and compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA, 2004) in Canada remain a public concern that can significantly impact the way in which mobile smartphones are utilized by resident physicians Methods: Through the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC), an online survey characterizing smartphone ownership and utilization of apps among Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows was completed in April 2016. Results: Our study had a 47% response rate (80 surveys completed out of 171 eligible residents and fellows). Smartphone ownership was almost universal with a high rate of app utilization for learning and facilitating the care of patients. Utilization of smartphones to communicate and transfer urgent imaging with senior colleagues was common. Conclusions: Smartphone and app utilization is an essential part of neurosurgery resident workflow. In this study we characterize the smartphone and app usage within a specialized cohort of residents and suggest potential solutions to facilitate greater PHIPA adherence
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) was founded in November 2015 as a resident-led national network for multicentre research. We present an annual report of our activities. Methods: CNRC meetings and publications were reviewed and summarized. The status of ongoing and future studies was collected from project leaders. Results: In its first year, the CNRC produced two papers accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences: A CNRC launch letter and a study of operative volume at Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Three manuscripts are in preparation: 1) a study of the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, 2) an assessment of mobile devices usage patterns and 3) a validation study of the most utilized neurosurgery mobile apps. In addition, protocols for two multi-centre studies are currently undergoing national Research Ethics Board review: A retrospective study of the incidence and predictors of cerebellar mutism and a prospective registry of external ventricular drain procedures and complications. The network is now a registered not-for-profit organization endorsed by the Canadian Neurosurgical Society. Conclusions: The CNRC is a feasibile, relevant and productive resident-led national research network. As the CNRC matures, we look forward to expanding the scope and impact of its projects.
Background Currently, the literature lacks reliable data regarding operative case volumes at Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Our objective was to provide a snapshot of the operative landscape in Canadian neurosurgical training using the trainee-led Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative. Methods: Anonymized administrative operative data were gathered from each neurosurgery residency program from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014. Procedures were broadly classified into cranial, spine, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous procedures. A number of prespecified subspecialty procedures were recorded. We defined the resident case index as the ratio of the total number of operations to the total number of neurosurgery residents in that program. Resident number included both Canadian medical and international medical graduates, and included residents on the neurosurgery service, off-service, or on leave for research or other personal reasons. Results: Overall, there was an average of 1845 operative cases per neurosurgery residency program. The mean numbers of cranial, spine, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous procedures were 725, 466, 48, and 193, respectively. The nationwide mean resident case indices for cranial, spine, peripheral nerve, and total procedures were 90, 58, 5, and 196, respectively. There was some variation in the resident case indices for specific subspecialty procedures, with some training programs not performing carotid endarterectomy or endoscopic transsphenoidal procedures. Conclusions: This study presents the breadth of neurosurgical training within Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. These results may help inform the implementation of neurosurgery training as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons residency training transitions to a competence-by-design curriculum.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a new consortium of neurosurgery residency programs set-up to facilitate the planning and implementation of multi-center studies. As a trainee-led organization, it will focus on resident-initiated, resident-driven projects. The goal of this study is to assess the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, with particular focus on their academic and subspecialty interests. Methods: After approval by the CNRC, an online survey will be sent to all Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows with reminders at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. Anonymous, basic demographic data will be collected. Specific interest towards the various subspecialties, research and academic vs community practice will be measured. The data will be crossed with the ongoing Canadian Neurosurgery Operative Landscape study to assess the impact of case volume on academic and subspecialty interests. Results: This is the first study providing a snapshot of Canadian neurosurgery residents at all levels of training. The study is ongoing and the official results will be presented at the meeting. As one of the first CNRC studies, it will also demonstrate the effectiveness of the collaborative. Conclusions: Understanding the demographics and interests of Canadian neurosurgery residents will allow the CNRC to better fulfill its mission.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a trainee-led multi-centre collaboration made up of representatives from 12 of 14 neurosurgical centres with residency programs. To demonstrate the potential of this collaborative network, we gathered administrative operative data from each centre in order to provide a snapshot of the operative landscape in Canadian neurosurgery. Methods: Residents from each training program provided adult neurosurgical operative data for the 2014 calendar year, including the number of surgeries in the subcategories cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerve. Because some residency programs have surgeries distributed among more than one hospital, we calculated mean case load per residency program and per hospital. Results: Interim results from 6 neurosurgery residency programs are presented (with data from other programs forthcoming). Overall, there were on average 2,352 operative cases per residency program (n=6) and 1,176 operative cases per adult hospital (n=12). Among 5 programs with more detailed operative data, the mean numbers of cranial, spinal, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous surgeries per residency program were 757 (47%), 487 (30%), 47 (3%), and 319 (20%) respectively. Conclusions: We show as a proof-of-concept that a trainee-led nation-wide research collaborative can generate meaningful data in a Canadian context.
Background: The goals of evidence-based neurosurgery are to improve surgical outcomes, reduce complications, and provide an objective basis for altering practice. The need for higher quality studies, typically prospective and multicentre, has been growing especially in light of the evolving complexity of neurosurgical interventions and heterogeneity of patient populations. In the United Kingdom (UK), trainee-led research collaboratives have been established to tackle this problem. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the potential role for a resident-led research collaborative in neurosurgery in Canada based on the UK experience. Methods: A literature review of trainee-led collaboratives was conducted utilizing PubMed and Medline. Identified articles were reviewed for study quality and clinical relevance to explore the potential benefits of collaboratives. Results: In the UK, 27 collaboratives have been established in various specialties by trainees. Some published high quality trials with implications on their clinical fields. Evidence suggests that such endeavors improves trainees’ research skills and may help cultivate a research culture tailored towards clinical trials. Conclusions: Given the growing evidence for research collaboratives in the UK, we propose launching the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) which currently represents 12 out of 14 neurosurgery programs in Canada, and planning its first multicenter prospective study.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
To determine whether copper incorporated into hospital ward furnishings and equipment can reduce their surface microbial load.
A crossover study.
Acute care medical ward with 19 beds at a large university hospital.
Fourteen types of frequent-touch items made of copper alloy were installed in various locations on an acute care medical ward. These included door handles and push plates, toilet seats and flush handles, grab rails, light switches and pull cord toggles, sockets, overbed tables, dressing trolleys, commodes, taps, and sink fittings. Their surfaces and those of equivalent standard items on the same ward were sampled once weekly for 24 weeks. The copper and standard items were switched over after 12 weeks of sampling to reduce bias in usage patterns. The total aerobic microbial counts and the presence of indicator microorganisms were determined.
Eight of the 14 copper item types had microbial counts on their surfaces that were significantly lower than counts on standard materials. The other 6 copper item types had reduced microbial numbers on their surfaces, compared with microbial counts on standard items, but the reduction did not reach statistical significance. Indicator microorganisms were recovered from both types of surfaces; however, significantly fewer copper surfaces were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, and coliforms, compared with standard surfaces.
Copper alloys (greater than or equal to 58% copper), when incorporated into various hospital furnishings and fittings, reduce the surface microorganisms. The use of copper in combination with optimal infection-prevention strategies may therefore further reduce the risk that patients will acquire infection in healthcare environments.
Both past depressive episodes and the personality trait of depressive rumination are strong risk factors for future depression. Depression is associated with abnormal emotional processing, which may be a neurobiological marker for vulnerability to depression. A consistent picture has yet to emerge as to how a history of depression and the tendency to ruminate influence emotional processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between rumination, past depression and neural responses when processing face emotions.
The Ruminative Responses Scale (RRS) was completed by 30 remitted depressives and 37 controls who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning while viewing happy, sad, fearful and neutral faces.
The remitted depressives showed overall reductions in neural responses to negative emotions relative to the controls. However, in the remitted depressives, but not the controls, RRS scores were correlated with increased neural responses to negative emotions and decreased responses to happiness in limbic regions.
Automatic emotion processing biases and rumination seem to be correlated to aspects of vulnerability to depression. However, remission from depression may be maintained by a general suppression of limbic responsiveness to negative emotion.