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Introduction: Low acuity patients have been controversially tagged as a source of emergency department (ED) misuse. Authorities for many Canadian health regions have set up policies so these patients preferably present to walk-in clinics (WIC). We compared the cost and quality of the care given to low acuity patients in an academic ED and a WIC of Québec City during fiscal year 2015-16. Methods: We conducted an ambidirectional (prospective and retrospective) cohort study using a time-driven activity-based costing method. This method uses duration of care processes (e.g., triage) to allocate to patient care all direct costs (e.g., personnel, consumables), overheads (e.g., building maintenance) and physician charges. We included consecutive adult patients, ambulatory at all time and discharged from the ED or WIC with a diagnosis of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), urinary tract infection (UTI) or low back pain. Mean cost [95%CI] per patient per condition was compared between settings after risk-adjustment for age, sex, vital signs, number of regular medications and co-morbidities using generalized log-gamma regression models. Proportions [95%CI] of antibiotic prescription and chest X-Ray use in URTI, compliance with provincial guidelines on use of antibiotics in UTI, and column X-Ray use in low back pain were compared between settings using a Pearson Chi-Square test. Results: A total of 409 patients were included. ED and WIC groups were similar in terms of age, sex and vital signs on presentation, but ED patients had a greater burden of comorbidities. Adjusted mean cost (2016 CAN$) of care was significantly higher in the ED than in the WIC (p < 0.0001) for URTI (78.42[64.85-94.82] vs. 59.43[50.43-70.06]), UTI (78.88[69.53-89.48] vs. 53.29[43.68-65.03]), and low back pain (87.97[68.30-113.32] vs. 61.71[47.90-79.51]). For URTI, antibiotics were more frequently prescribed in the WIC (44.1%[34.3-54.3] vs. 5.8%[1.2-16.0]; p < 0.0001) and chest X-Rays, more frequently used in the ED (26.9%[15.6-41.0] vs. 13.7%[7.7-22.0]; p = 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the compliance with guidelines on use of antibiotics in UTI and in the use of column X-Ray in low back pain. Conclusion: Total cost of care for low acuity patients is lower in walk-in clinics than in EDs. However, our results suggest that quality-of-care issues should be considered in determining the best alternate setting for treating ambulatory emergency patients.
Background: Patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with unmet palliative care needs are often admitted to hospital and this can be a pivotal point in their subsequent health care journey. Literature from the United States supports the integration of palliative care resources in the ED and to our knowledge, this has yet to be done in a Canadian setting. Aim Statement: To develop, implement, and evaluate a model to support patients presenting to the ED with unmet palliative care needs. Measures & Design: A pilot project was implemented in one campus of the ED at a tertiary care academic center in Ottawa, Ontario. A palliative care nurse specialist was available for consultation with goals to: a) reduce admission to hospital for patients choosing to have a palliative approach to their care; b) increase coordination between ED and community resources; and c) be a resource for ED staff. Referral criteria were developed after systematic review of the literature and in consultation with palliative and emergency medicine experts. Evaluation/Results: Over the course of the study period (9 months), 50 referrals were made. The primary reason for referral was for increased community supports. Patient outcomes: 10 patients were discharged to hospice/palliative care units from the ED, 38 patients were discharged home. Of those discharged home, 66% had no returns to ED within 30 days. Qualitative feedback collected via pre and post survey has been extremely supportive from ED health care practitioners and community palliative care providers. Discussion/Impact: This ongoing project has led to positive, patient centered outcomes and decreased admission to acute care hospital. Ongoing evaluation will include consideration of Ontario Palliative Care Network quality indicators and cost-analysis to determine impact on health care system.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The objective of this study was to reconstruct patient-specific distal airway patterns at the tissue- and single-cell resolution and develop personalized distal airway models based on utilization of patient-derived DABCs and autologous region-specific stromal cells. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Patient-specific distal airway units, containing parental small bronchiole (<2 mm in diameter, >12th generation) and daughter airway branches, including pre-terminal/terminal bronchioles, leading to alveoli (3-7 units/lung), were dissected. Epithelial and stromal cells were isolated from these units and processed for ddSeq single-cell RNA-sequencing (n=6 samples). Autologous DABCs and stromal cells were isolated, propagated, biobanked, and used for establishment of patient-specific distal airway models (3D-organoids and air-liquid interface-based airway wall model; n=10 samples). Region-specific tissue patterns were evaluated using immunofluorescence and laser-capture microdissection (LCM; n=6 samples). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Single-cell-based human distal airway transcriptome map (constructed based on the analysis of >6,500 distal airway cells obtained from 6 subjects) identified physiological and COPD-relevant distal airway differentiation patterns, including distal airway-specific secretory phenotype (DASP) characterized with high expression of secretoglobins 3A2 and 3A1, surfactant proteins SFTPB and SFTPA2, and mucin 1, unique signatures of DABCs, and stromal (fibroblasts, smooth muscle, endothelial cell subpopulations) and immune (macrophage, T cells, B cell, mast cells). Immunofluorescence analysis and LCM confirmed distribution of cell type-specific markers with differential expression patterns of DABC and DASP signatures. Patient-derived DABC-stromal co-culture models reproduced 3 regenerative patterns: 1) physiological (high DABC-clonogenic potency, establishment of polarized differentiated organoids and DASP-expressing epithelia); 2) hypo-regenerative (failure of DABCs to form clones, spheres and mechanically stable differentiated epithelial barrier); and 3) hyperplastic (generation of DABC hyperplasia accompanied in some COPD samples by mucous-cell hyperplasia mimicking in vivo remodeling patterns). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Patient-specific maps and models of distal airway regeneration patterns have been established in this study, which can be used to identify candidate pathways that mediate disease-relevant airway remodeling and potentially utilized as pre-clinical platforms for developing personalized therapeutic approaches to suppress the progression of distal airway remodeling in chronic lung diseases, including COPD.
Despite the lack of another Flagship-class mission such as Cassini–Huygens, prospects for the future exploration of Saturn are nevertheless encouraging. Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are exploring the possibilities of focused interplanetary missions (1) to drop one or more in situ atmospheric entry probes into Saturn and (2) to explore the satellites Titan and Enceladus, which would provide opportunities for both in situ investigations of Saturn’s magnetosphere and detailed remote-sensing observations of Saturn’s atmosphere. Additionally, a new generation of powerful Earth-based and near-Earth telescopes with advanced instrumentation spanning the ultraviolet to the far-infrared promise to provide systematic observations of Saturn’s seasonally changing composition and thermal structure, cloud structures and wind fields. Finally, new advances in amateur telescopic observations brought on largely by the availability of low-cost, powerful computers, low-noise, large-format cameras, and attendant sophisticated software promise to provide regular, longterm observations of Saturn in remarkable detail.
Childhood adversity is associated with cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. However, findings to date are inconsistent and little is known about the relationship between social cognition and childhood trauma. We investigated the relationship between childhood abuse and neglect and cognitive function in patients with a first-episode of schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder (n = 56) and matched healthy controls (n = 52). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing this relationship in patients and controls exposed to similarly high levels of trauma.
Pearson correlational coefficients were used to assess correlations between Childhood Trauma Questionnaire abuse and neglect scores and cognition. For the MCCB domains displaying significant (p < 0.05) correlations, within group hierarchical linear regression, was done to assess whether abuse and neglect were significant predictors of cognition after controlling for the effect of education.
Patients and controls reported similarly high levels of abuse and neglect. Cognitive performance was poorer for patients compared with controls for all cognitive domains except working memory and social cognition. After controlling for education, exposure to childhood neglect remained a significant predictor of impairment in social cognition in both patients and controls. Neglect was also a significant predictor of poorer verbal learning in patients and of attention/vigilance in controls. However, childhood abuse did not significantly predict cognitive impairments in either patients or controls.
These findings are cross sectional and do not infer causality. Nonetheless, they indicate that associations between one type of childhood adversity (i.e. neglect) and social cognition are present and are not illness-specific.
Decline in cognitive functioning precedes the first psychotic episode in the course of schizophrenia and is considered a hallmark symptom of the disorder. Given the low incidence of schizophrenia, it remains a challenge to investigate whether cognitive decline coincides with disease-related changes in brain structure, such as white matter abnormalities. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is an appealing model in this context, as 25% of patients develop psychosis. Furthermore, we recently showed that cognitive decline also precedes the onset of psychosis in individuals with 22q11DS. Here, we investigate whether the early cognitive decline in patients with 22q11DS is associated with alterations in white matter microstructure.
We compared the fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter in 22q11DS patients with cognitive decline [n = 16; −18.34 (15.8) VIQ percentile points over 6.80 (2.39) years] to 22q11DS patients without cognitive decline [n = 18; 17.71 (20.17) VIQ percentile points over 5.27 (2.03) years] by applying an atlas-based approach to diffusion-weighted imaging data.
FA was significantly increased (p < 0.05, FDR) in 22q11DS patients with a cognitive decline in the bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus, the bilateral cingulum bundle, all subcomponents of the left internal capsule and the left superior frontal-occipital fasciculus as compared with 22q11DS patients without cognitive decline.
Within 22q11DS, the early cognitive decline is associated with microstructural differences in white matter. At the mean age of 17.8 years, these changes are reflected in increased FA in several tracts. We hypothesize that similar brain alterations associated with cognitive decline take place early in the trajectory of schizophrenia.
The presence of a child afflicted with a life-threatening illness is a difficult situation for the child's siblings, especially when their own needs are left unmet. The present article describes the first three phases of research involved in the conceptualization, development, and content validation of an initial version of the Inventaire des Besoins de la Fratrie d'Enfants Malades Sévèrement (IBesFEMS) [Needs Inventory for Siblings of Critically ill Children].
The first phase of the development of this instrument was conducted using qualitative methodology (focus groups: 6 siblings, 8 parents). The second phase consisted of validating the content of a pool of items developed according to the needs identified in the first phase. Some 21 participants (3 psychometricians, 3 researchers, 9 clinicians, and 6 siblings) evaluated each item for relevance and clarity. Finally, during the third phase, the acceptability and administration procedures of the preliminary version of the instrument were assessed qualitatively by five siblings.
The first phase led to production of a typology made up of 43 needs in 10 different environments. The second phase allowed for selection of the items that were clearest and most relevant, based on expert opinion. This procedure gave rise to a first version of the IBesFEMS, which consisted of 48 items.
Significance of results:
The IBesFEMS appears to be a promising tool for specifically assessing the needs of the adolescent siblings of seriously ill children.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a widely used endocrine-disrupting chemical. Prenatal exposure to BPA is known to affect birth weight, but its impact on the cardiovascular system has not been studied in detail. In this study, we investigated the effects of prenatal BPA treatment and its interaction with postnatal overfeeding on the cardiovascular system. Pregnant sheep were given daily subcutaneous injections of corn oil (control) or BPA (0.5 mg/kg/day in corn oil) from day 30 to day 90 of gestation. A subset of female offspring of these dams were overfed to increase body weight to ~30% over that of normal fed controls. Cardiovascular function was assessed using non-invasive echocardiography and cuff blood pressure (BP) monitoring at 21 months of age. Ventricular tissue was analyzed for gene expression of cardiac markers of hypertrophy and collagen at the end of the observation period. Prenatal BPA exposure had no significant effect on BP or morphometric measures. However, it increased atrial natriuretic peptide gene expression in the ventricles and reduced collagen expression in the right ventricle. Overfeeding produced a marked increase in body weight and BP. There were compensatory increases in left ventricular area and internal diameter. Prenatal BPA treatment produced a significant increase in interventricular septal thickness when animals were overfed. However, it appeared to block the increase in BP and left ventricular area caused by overfeeding. Taken together, these results suggest that prenatal BPA produces intrinsic changes in the heart that are capable of modulating morphological and functional parameters when animals become obese in later life.
Euclid is a Europe-led cosmology space mission dedicated to a visible and near infrared survey of the entire extra-galactic sky. Its purpose is to deepen our knowledge of the dark content of our Universe. After an overview of the Euclid mission and science, this contribution describes how the community is getting organized to face the data analysis challenges, both in software development and in operational data processing matters. It ends with a more specific account of some of the main contributions of the Swiss Science Data Center (SDC-CH).
Traps designed to capture insects during normal movement/dispersal, or via attraction to non-specific (plant) volatile lures, yield by-catch that carries valuable information about patterns of community diversity and composition. In order to identify potential native/introduced pests and detect predictors of colonization of non-native pines, we examined beetle assemblages captured in intercept panel traps baited with kairomone lures used during a national monitoring of the woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, in Southern Africa. We identified 50 families and 436 morphospecies of beetles from nine sites sampled in both 2008 and 2009 and six areas in 2007 (trap catch pooled by region) across a latitudinal and elevational gradient. The most diverse groups were mainly those strongly associated with trees, known to include damaging pests. While native species dominated the samples in terms of richness, the dominant species was the introduced bark beetle Orthotomicus erosus (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) (22 ± 34 individuals/site). Four Scolytinae species without previous records in South Africa, namely Coccotrypes niger, Hypocryphalus robustus (formerly Hypocryphalus mangiferae), Hypothenemus birmanus and Xyleborus perforans, were captured in low abundances. Communities showed temporal stability within sites and strong biogeographic patterns across the landscape. The strongest single predictors of community composition were potential evaporation, latitude and maximum relative humidity, while the strongest multifactor model contained elevation, potential evaporation and maximum relative humidity. Temperature, land use variables and distance to natural areas did not significantly correlate with community composition. Non-phytophagous beetles were also captured and were highly diverse (32 families) perhaps representing important beneficial insects.
Plutonium metal is a very unusual element, exhibiting six allotropes at ambient pressure, between room temperature and its melting point, a complicated phase diagram, and a complex electronic structure. Many phases of plutonium metal are unstable with changes in temperature, pressure, chemical additions, or time. This strongly affects structure and properties, and becomes of high importance, particularly when considering effects on structural integrity over long periods of time . This paper presents a time-dependent neutron total scattering study of the local and average structure of naturally aging δ-phase 239Pu-Ga alloys, together with preliminary results on neutron tomography characterization.
Feasibility demonstrations using one to two meter telescopes have confirmed the utility of laser beacons as wavefront references for adaptive optics systems. Laser beacon architectures suitable for the new generation of eight and ten meter telescopes are presently under study. This paper reviews the concept of laser guide star adaptive optics and the progress that has been made by groups around the world in implementing such systems. A description of the laser guide star program at LLNL and some experimental results is also presented.
This book presents a wide range of new research on many aspects of naval strategy in the early modern and modern periods. Among the themes covered are the problems of naval manpower, the nature of naval leadership and naval officers, intelligence, naval training and education, and strategic thinking and planning. The book is notable for giving extensive consideration to navies other than those ofBritain, its empire and the United States. It explores a number of fascinating subjects including how financial difficulties frustrated the attempts by Louis XIV's ministers to build a strong navy; how the absence of centralised power in the Dutch Republic had important consequences for Dutch naval power; how Hitler's relationship with his admirals severely affected German naval strategy during the Second World War; and many more besides. The book is a Festschrift in honour of John B. Hattendorf, for more than thirty years Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History at the US Naval War College and an influential figure in naval affairs worldwide.
N.A.M. Rodger is Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.
J. Ross Dancy is Assistant Professor of Military History at Sam Houston State University.
Benjamin Darnell is a D.Phil. candidate at New College, Oxford.
Evan Wilson is Caird Senior Research Fellow at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Contributors: Tim Benbow, Peter John Brobst, Jaap R. Bruijn, Olivier Chaline, J. Ross Dancy, Benjamin Darnell, James Goldrick, Agustín Guimerá, Paul Kennedy, Keizo Kitagawa, Roger Knight, Andrew D. Lambert, George C. Peden, Carla Rahn Phillips, Werner Rahn, Paul M. Ramsey, Duncan Redford, N.A.M. Rodger, Jakob Seerup, Matthew S. Seligmann, Geoffrey Till, Evan Wilson