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As the pathophysiology of Covid-19 emerges, this paper describes dysphagia as a sequela of the disease, including its diagnosis and management, hypothesised causes, symptomatology in relation to viral progression, and concurrent variables such as intubation, tracheostomy and delirium, at a tertiary UK hospital.
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, 208 out of 736 patients (28.9 per cent) admitted to our institution with SARS-CoV-2 were referred for swallow assessment. Of the 208 patients, 102 were admitted to the intensive treatment unit for mechanical ventilation support, of which 82 were tracheostomised. The majority of patients regained near normal swallow function prior to discharge, regardless of intubation duration or tracheostomy status.
Dysphagia is prevalent in patients admitted either to the intensive treatment unit or the ward with Covid-19 related respiratory issues. This paper describes the crucial role of intensive swallow rehabilitation to manage dysphagia associated with this disease, including therapeutic respiratory weaning for those with a tracheostomy.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Coronavirus disease 2019 personal protective equipment has been reported to affect communication in healthcare settings. This study sought to identify those challenges experimentally.
Bamford–Kowal–Bench speech discrimination in noise performance of healthcare workers was tested under simulated background noise conditions from a variety of hospital environments. Candidates were assessed for ability to interpret speech with and without personal protective equipment, with both normal speech and raised voice.
There was a significant difference in speech discrimination scores between normal and personal protective equipment wearing subjects in operating theatre simulated background noise levels (70 dB).
Wearing personal protective equipment can impact communication in healthcare environments. Efforts should be made to remind staff about this burden and to seek alternative communication paradigms, particularly in operating theatre environments.
Like elsewhere, studies from developing countries suggest that parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report significant stress. Besides symptoms, parental stress stems from experiences in interpersonal, schooling and societal domains, which may in turn be influenced by socio-cultural factors. This is a highly under-studied area.
Objectives and aims
Exploring experiences in familial, schooling and societal areas amongst Indian parents and understanding these in a cultural context using experiential qualitative research methodology.
In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with consenting parents of 27 children diagnosed with ADHD (17 mothers; 10 fathers).
All parents reported experiencing moderate to high degree of stress, feeling worried and frustrated due to child's problems. 19 parents reported being “short-tempered”, while 1 mother expressed feeling “lost”. Majority reported strained relations with spouse and extended family. Mothers reported higher stress, more difficulties in family life, faced criticism from immediate family and community regarding handling of child, felt more embarrassment, guilt and sense of failure as a mother. Half of the parents avoided attending social gatherings. Other than 2 parents, all had negative experiences with schooling. Experiential descriptions included those of teachers being highly critical of child and parents, punitive, dismissive and discriminatory. Teacher had advised seeking treatment in only 6 children. Themes of blame, discrimination and rejection were identified.
We conclude that cultural factors such as stigma, blaming of parent (especially mother) and lack of knowledge regarding ADHD amongst teachers and society may be responsible for these experiences and needs further investigation.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Cultural factors have an important role in causal model of symptoms, threshold for treatment seeking and acceptability of professional help in ADHD.
Objectives and aims
To explore causal explanations and treatment seeking amongst parents of children with ADHD and understand these in context of a largely collectivistic culture as in India.
In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 consenting parents; data interpreted using process theory.
Initial reaction to psychiatric referral revealed themes of disbelief/surprise, feeling confused/offended and lag of 6–36 months to consultation. Parents most commonly attributed causality to psychosocial reasons (lack of motivation/volitional, inadequate disciplining), while few gave one or more biomedical explanations (epilepsy, brain damage, low birth weight, nutritional deficiency, maternal ill health, low intelligence) alone or with a psychosocial reason. Despite the initial reaction, all but 1 parent was relieved with medical explanation, accepted diagnosis, and perceived need for treatment. Most parents were willing to start/continue medication if doctor suggested so as “he/she would know the best”. All parents expressed that counseling was needed.
Initial reactions and delay in treatment seeking is understood in light of cultural attitudes towards mental illnesses and psychiatric consultation in developing nations. More importantly, despite initial reluctance, most parents accepted biomedical explanation and treatment. The doctor patient relationship modeled on a guru-chela relation of complete trust in authority can explain this process change. We conclude that cultural attitudes not only influence causal models and initial treatment seeking, but also modify process of help seeking.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To assess the effect of tranexamic acid in head and neck surgical procedures.
A prospective, double-blind and randomised, parallel group, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted. Ninety-two patients undergoing various head and neck surgical procedures were randomised. Subjects received seven infusions of coded drugs (tranexamic acid or normal saline) starting at the time of skin closure. Haematological, biochemical, blood loss and other parameters were observed by the staff, who were blinded to patients’ group allocation (case or control).
Patients were analysed on the basis of type of surgery. Fifty patients who had undergone surgical procedures, including total thyroidectomy, total parotidectomy, and various neck dissections with or without primary tumour excision, were included in the first group. The second group comprised 41 patients who had undergone hemithyroidectomy, lobectomy or superficial parotidectomy. There was no statistical difference in blood parameters between both groups. There was a reduction in post-operative drain volume, but this was not significant.
Although this prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial found a reduction in post-operative drain volume in tranexamic acid groups, the difference was not statistically significant between the various head and neck surgical procedure groups.
Mycetoma is a chronic granulomatous, suppurative and progressive inflammatory disease that usually involves the subcutaneous tissue and bones after traumatic inoculation of the causative organism. In India, actinomycotic mycetoma is prevalent in south India, south-east Rajasthan and Chandigarh, while eumycetoma, which constitutes one third of the total cases, is mainly reported from north India and central Rajasthan. The objective was to determine the epidemiological profile and spectrum of eumycetoma from a tertiary care hospital in Delhi, North India. Thirty cases of eumycetoma were diagnosed by conventional methods of direct microscopy, culture and species-specific sequencing as per standard protocol. The spectrum of fungal pathogens included Exophiala jeanselmei, Madurella mycetomatis, Fusarium solani, Sarocladium kiliense, Acremonium blochii, Aspergillus nidulans, Fusarium incarnatum, Scedosporium apiospermum complex, Curvularia lunata and Medicopsis romeroi. Eumycetoma can be treated with antifungal therapy and needs to be combined with surgery. It has good prognosis if it is timely diagnosed and the correct species identified by culture for targeted therapy of these patients. Black moulds required prolonged therapy. Its low reporting and lack of familiarity may predispose patients to misdiagnosis and consequently delayed treatment. Hence health education and awareness campaign on the national and international level in the mycetoma belt is crucial.
The design of high energy Li-ion batteries (LIBs) by coupling high voltage LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 (LNMO) cathode and Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) anode ensures effective and safe energy-storage. LTO–LNMO full-cells (FCs) with difference in electrode grain sizes and presence of excess Mn3+ in cathode were studied using micron-sized commercial LTO, nanostructured LTO donuts (LTOd), P4332 LNMO nanopowders, and nanostructured Fd3m LNMO caterpillars (LNMOcplr). Among the studied FCs, LTOd–LNMOcplr was detected with a stable capacity of 69 mA h/g (1C rate), 99% coulombic efficiency, and 87% capacity retention under 200 cycles of continuous charge–discharge studies. The superior electrochemical performance observed in LTOd–LNMOcplr FC was due to the low charge transfer resistance, which is corroborated to the effect of grain sizes and the longer retention of Mn3+ in the electrodes. An effective and simple FC design incorporating both nanostructuring and in situ conductivity in electrode materials would aid in developing future high-performance LIBs.
To study 2D and 3D dosimetric values for bladder and rectum, and the influence of bladder volume on bladder dose in high dose rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT). The large patient data incorporated in this study would better represent the inherent variations in many parameters affecting dosimetry in HDR-ICBT.
Material and Methods:
We prospectively collected data for 103 consecutive cervical cancer patients (over 310 HDR fractions) undergoing CT-based HDR-ICBT at our centre. Correlation among bladder and rectum maximum volume doses and corresponding International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurement (ICRU) point doses were estimated and analysed. Impact of bladder volume on bladder maximum dose was assessed.
The ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum varied from the volumetric doses to these organs. Further, bladder volume poorly correlated with bladder maximum dose for volume variations encountered in the clinical practice at our centre.
ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum are less likely to correlate with long-term toxicities to these organs. Further, in clinical practice where inter-fraction bladder volume does not vary widely there is no correlation between bladder volume and bladder dose.
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.
To propose a new classification of inner-ear anomalies that is more clinically oriented and surgically relevant: the SMS (Sawai Man Singh) classification of cochleovestibular malformations.
A retrospective multicentric study was conducted of 436 cochlear implantations carried out in 3 Indian tertiary care institutes. Patients with anomalous anatomy were included and classified, as per the new SMS classification, into cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, based on cochlear morphology, modiolus and lamina cribrosa.
There were 19, 23, 8 and 4 patients with cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, respectively. Two-year post-operative Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale scores were statistically analysed.
This new classification for inner-ear anomalies is a simpler, more practical, outcome-oriented classification that can be used to better plan the surgery. These merits make it a more uniform classification for recording results.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is widely used for the treatment of stage-I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patient-specific motion correlated with 4DCT could be essential for hypofractionated SBRT. All patients undergoing SBRT do not require motion management during the dose delivery. The objective of this study was to evaluate which patient may benefit from Gated SBRT.
Materials and methods
Treatment planning of 20 patients of stage-I NSCLC was analysed. Conventional and 4DCT scans were taken. Internal target volume as well as planning target volume (ITV and PTV) were determined in the CT data sets. PTVall phases created using 4DCT data sets and PTV15mm created using conventional CT data were compared. Also, ITVall phases were compared with ITV created from maximum intensity projections (ITVMIP). Suitability of patients for motion management-based treatment delivery was also evaluated.
The average ITVMIP to ITVall phases ratio is 1·06 indicating good agreement between them. Based on the ratio of intensity projections, 9 out of 17 patients were found suitable for our existing gated treatment.
4D CT is the main requirement in SBRT to identify the patients who can benefit from motion management during the dose delivery.
The study primarily aimed to calculate the orientation of the cochlea pre-operatively, using high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone, and predict the ease of electrode insertion.
Pre-operatively, high-resolution computed tomography scans were conducted on children scheduled for cochlear implantation, and two angles, α and β, were calculated. The values of α and β were then correlated with intra-operative difficulty in insertion of the electrode array.
Ninety-six children were included in the study. Of the seven patients who had an α angle of less than 50 degrees, the surgeon experienced difficulties in electrode insertion. However, there were four patients with an α angle of more than 50 degrees for whom the surgeon also experienced difficulties in electrode insertion. In all these patients, the β angle was more than 20 degrees.
Calculation of cochlear orientation and its angle with the surgical axis (α and β) can aid the planning of surgery, particularly with regard to the cochleostomy site and preservation of residual hearing.
Rice has the lowest grain protein content (GPC) among cereals. Efforts have been made to improve GPC through the modified bulk-pedigree method of selection. A total of 1780 F8 recombinant lines were derived in the year 2013 from five different cross combinations involving two high-GPC landraces, namely ARC10075 and ARC10063, three high-yielding parents, namely Swarna, Naveen and IR64, and one parent, namely Sharbati, known for superior grain quality with high micronutrient content. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to facilitate high-throughput selection for GPC. Significant selection differential, response to selection and non-significant differences between the predicted and observed response to selection for GPC and protein yield indicated the effectiveness of this selection process. This resulted in lines with high GPC, protein yield and desirable levels of amylose content. Further, based on high mean and stability for GPC and protein yield over the environments in the wet seasons of 2013, 2014 and the dry season of 2014, 12 elite lines were identified. Higher accumulation of glutelin fraction and non-significant change in prolamin/glutelin ratio in the grain suggested safe guarding of the nutritional value of rice grain protein of most of these identified lines. Since rice is the staple food of millions, the output of breeding for high GPC could have a significant role in alleviating protein malnutrition, especially in the developing world.
Although quality of life (QoL) is receiving increasing attention in bipolar disorder (BD) research and practice, little is known about its naturalistic trajectory. The dual aims of this study were to prospectively investigate: (a) the trajectory of QoL under guideline-driven treatment and (b) the dynamic relationship between mood symptoms and QoL.
In total, 362 patients with BD receiving guideline-driven treatment were prospectively followed at 3-month intervals for up to 5 years. Mental (Mental Component Score – MCS) and physical (Physical Component Score – PCS) QoL were measured using the self-report SF-36. Clinician-rated symptom data were recorded for mania and depression. Multilevel modelling was used to analyse MCS and PCS over time, QoL trajectories predicted by time-lagged symptoms, and symptom trajectories predicted by time-lagged QoL.
MCS exhibited a positive trajectory, while PCS worsened over time. Investigation of temporal relationships between QoL and symptoms suggested bidirectional effects: earlier depressive symptoms were negatively associated with mental QoL, and earlier manic symptoms were negatively associated with physical QoL. Importantly, earlier MCS and PCS were both negatively associated with downstream symptoms of mania and depression.
The present investigation illustrates real-world outcomes for QoL under guideline-driven BD treatment: improvements in mental QoL and decrements in physical QoL were observed. The data permitted investigation of dynamic interactions between QoL and symptoms, generating novel evidence for bidirectional effects and encouraging further research into this important interplay. Investigation of relevant time-varying covariates (e.g. medications) was beyond scope. Future research should investigate possible determinants of QoL and the interplay between symptoms and wellbeing/satisfaction-centric measures of QoL.
The Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN) is composed by four ground cosmic ray detectors distributed around the Earth: Nagoya (Japan), Hobart (Australia), Sao Martinho da Serra (Brazil) and Kuwait city (Kuwait). The network has operated since March 2006. It has been upgraded a few times, increasing its detection area. Each detector is sensitive to muons produced by the interactions of ~50 GeV Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) with the Earth′s atmosphere. At these energies, GCR are known to be affected by interplanetary disturbances in the vicinity of the earth. Of special interest are the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and their driven shocks because they are known to be the main origins of geomagnetic storms. It has been observed that these ICMEs produce changes in the cosmic ray gradient, which can be measured by GMDN observations. In terms of applications for space weather, some attempts have been made to use GMDN for forecasting ICME arrival at the earth with lead times of the order of few hours. Scientific space weather studies benefit the most from the GMDN network. As an example, studies have been able to determine ICME orientation at the earth using cosmic ray gradient. Such determinations are of crucial importance for southward interplanetary magnetic field estimates, as well as ICME rotation.
To investigate the feasibility of a national audit of epistaxis management led and delivered by a multi-region trainee collaborative using a web-based interface to capture patient data.
Six trainee collaboratives across England nominated one site each and worked together to carry out this pilot. An encrypted data capture tool was adapted and installed within the infrastructure of a university secure server. Site-lead feedback was assessed through questionnaires.
Sixty-three patients with epistaxis were admitted over a two-week period. Site leads reported an average of 5 minutes to complete questionnaires and described the tool as easy to use. Data quality was high, with little missing data. Site-lead feedback showed high satisfaction ratings for the project (mean, 4.83 out of 5).
This pilot showed that trainee collaboratives can work together to deliver an audit using an encrypted data capture tool cost-effectively, whilst maintaining the highest levels of data quality.
In low- and middle-income countries, mental health training often includes sending few generalist clinicians to specialist-led programs for several weeks. Our objective is to develop and test a video-assisted training model addressing the shortcomings of traditional programs that affect scalability: failing to train all clinicians, disrupting clinical services, and depending on specialists.
We implemented the program -video lectures and on-site skills training- for all clinicians at a rural Nepali hospital. We used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to evaluate pre- and post-test change in knowledge (diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis, and appropriate treatment). We used a series of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions to assess attitudes about mental illness, and utilized exact McNemar's test to analyze the proportions of participants who held a specific belief before and after the training. We assessed acceptability and feasibility through key informant interviews and structured feedback.
For each topic except depression, there was a statistically significant increase (Δ) in median scores on knowledge questionnaires: Acute Stress Reaction (Δ = 20, p = 0.03), Depression (Δ = 11, p = 0.12), Grief (Δ = 40, p < 0.01), Psychosis (Δ = 22, p = 0.01), and post-traumatic stress disorder (Δ = 20, p = 0.01). The training received high ratings; key informants shared examples and views about the training's positive impact and complementary nature of the program's components.
Video lectures and on-site skills training can address the limitations of a conventional training model while being acceptable, feasible, and impactful toward improving knowledge and attitudes of the participants.
The interaction of laser radiation with low density aerogels is of crucial importance in areas such as the creation of coherent radiation sources in the X-ray range, simulation of astrophysical as well as nuclear fusion phenomena in laboratory and fundamental studies of the properties of soft condensed matter under dynamic pressure in the Mbar range. In the present paper, the experimental results on the X-ray emission of laser induced plasma in TEOS based, MTMS based aerogels and solid quartz targets, are reported. The aerogels were produced by the sol-gel processing of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) followed by supercritical drying. Silica alcogels were produced using 0.001 M oxalic acid (C2H4O4), 0.5 M ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH) catalysts. Different densities of aerogels varying from 0.02 to 0.06 g/cm3 have been obtained using different molar ratios of TEOS, MTMS, ethanol and catalysts. The laser, with intensity up to 2 x 1014 W/m2, interaction with TEOS and MTMS based aerogels have been conducted using 30J/500 ps Nd : glass laser system. The resulting soft (0.8 – 1.56 Kev) and hard (>4 Kev) X-ray emissions have been measured using semiconductor photodiodes. It has been observed that the soft X-ray yield increases by a factor of two for the silica aerogel targets compared to the X-ray emission from the solid quartz target, whereas the hard X-ray yield reduces. The enhanced soft X-ray yield in silica aerogel targets is attributed to the large volume heating.