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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.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
To compare round window niche visibility as seen endoscopically during cochlear implant surgery with pre-operative high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone.
Nineteen patients scheduled for cochlear implantation, aged 2–20 years, were referred for computed tomography from October 2016 to March 2018. Angles were measured between the lines passing through the mid-sagittal plane and cochlear basal turn on the scans. Endoscopic round window niche visibility during posterior tympanotomy was categorised as: type I = 100 per cent, type IIa = more than 50 per cent, type IIb = less than 50 per cent or type III = 0 per cent. Pre-operative computed tomography measurements were used to predict round window niche visibility before surgery and correlated with intra-operative findings.
The mean (range) of pre-operative angles on computed tomography for endoscopic visibility types I, IIa and IIb, were 64.06° (61.16–69.37°), 63.81° (58.61–71.35°) and 56.48° (50.37–59.05°), respectively, a statistically significant finding (one-way analysis of variance test, p = 0.016).
Pre-operative high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography measurements are useful in predicting round window niche visualisation as viewed endoscopically during posterior tympanotomy. The angle was more acute in type IIb compared to type I.
A mother's nutritional choices while pregnant may have a great influence on her baby's development in the womb and during infancy. There is evidence that what a mother eats during pregnancy interacts with her genes to affect her child's susceptibility to poor health outcomes including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, allergy and asthma. Furthermore, after what an infant eats can change his or her intestinal bacteria, which can further influence the development of these poor outcomes. In the present paper, we review the importance of birth cohorts, the formation and early findings from a multi-ethnic birth cohort alliance in Canada and summarise our future research directions for this birth cohort alliance. We summarise a method for harmonising collection and analysis of self-reported dietary data across multiple cohorts and provide examples of how this birth cohort alliance has contributed to our understanding of gestational diabetes risk; ethnic and diet-influences differences in the healthy infant microbiome; and the interplay between diet, ethnicity and birth weight. Ongoing work in this birth cohort alliance will focus on the use of metabolomic profiling to measure dietary intake, discovery of unique diet–gene and diet–epigenome interactions, and qualitative interviews with families of children at risk of metabolic syndrome. Our findings to-date and future areas of research will advance the evidence base that informs dietary guidelines in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and will be relevant to diverse and high-risk populations of Canada and other high-income countries.
A non-perturbative nonlinear theory for moderately dense gas–solid suspensions is outlined within the framework of the Boltzmann–Enskog equation by extending the work of Saha & Alam (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 833, 2017, pp. 206–246). A linear Stokes’ drag law is adopted for gas–particle interactions, and the viscous dissipation due to hydrodynamic interactions is incorporated in the second-moment equation via a density-corrected Stokes number. For the homogeneous shear flow, the present theory provides a unified treatment of dilute to dense suspensions of highly inelastic particles, encompassing the high-Stokes-number rapid granular regime (
) and its small-Stokes-number counterpart, with quantitative agreement for all transport coefficients. It is shown that the predictions of the shear viscosity and normal-stress differences based on existing theories deteriorate markedly with increasing density as well as with decreasing Stokes number and restitution coefficient.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
To evaluate the survival outcomes and toxicities experienced by non-metastatic head and neck cancer (HNC) patients receiving modulated radiotherapy (RT).
Materials and methods
A total of 608 HNC patients treated consecutively from March 2010 to December 2014 with common subsites (oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx and nasopharynx) of HNCs formed the study group. Eligible patients included those treated with radical or postoperative RT between March 2010 and December 2014. More than 90% patients received modulated RT [intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) or volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT)] with concurrent chemotherapy as per stage guidelines. Demographic parameters and disease-related factors were analysed. Disease-free survival (DFS) was calculated from end date of RT till last follow-up or last date of disease control. Overall survival (OS) was calculated from date of registration to last follow-up date if alive. The primary endpoint was survival. The statistical analyses were performed using SPSS version 20.0 and Kaplan–Meier method was used for calculation survival.
Among the evaluable patients, the median age was 60 years (range: 16–93) with male preponderance (male:female – 513:95). Majority were squamous cell carcinoma 93·4% (568/608). The subsites treated were oral cavity 36·8% (224). oropharynx 26·4% (161), larynx 19·7% (120), hypopharynx 10% (62) and nasopharynx 6·4% (41). RT intent was radical in 63·5% (386) and postoperative in 36·5% (222), with 59·5% (362) receiving concurrent chemotherapy. At last follow-up, 348 (57·2%) patients were alive, 169 (27·7%) patients had succumbed to disease and 120 (24·6%) patients had recurrent disease. Out of 120 recurrent cases loco-regional recurrence, nodal recurrence and distant metastases were seen in 62 (51·7%), 25 (20·8%), 33 (27·5%), respectively. In the entire study cohort at 2 year OS and DFS was 80 and 79% whereas 3 years OS and DFS was 70 and 75%, respectively.
In our study, 2 years and 3 years OS and DFS rates are found comparable to the international data with acceptable toxicity profile with the use of modulated RT. It seems to be possible because of stringent departmental protocols and good medical physics support. Our data re-validates need and benefit of advanced RT techniques like IG-IMRT and VMAT for both postoperative and radical HNC treatment at the cost of minimal long-term side effects. Future stringent follow-up and quality of life issues are being considered in a prospective manner.
To compare combined conventional Freer medialisation and controlled synechiae, performed for middle meatal access (during the initial steps of functional endoscopic sinus surgery) and post-operative middle turbinate medialisation, with basal lamella relaxing incision, the latter of which is a single step for achieving both middle meatal access and post-operative medialisation. The study also compared the effects of controlled synechiae and basal lamella relaxing incision on post-operative olfaction.
A randomised prospective study was performed on 52 nasal cavity sides (32 patients). Only basal lamella relaxing incision was performed in one group, and both conventional medialisation and controlled synechiae were performed in the other. Intra-operative and post-operative photography was used to measure the middle meatal area. A pocket smell test was used to assess olfaction.
There were no significant differences in operative middle meatal access and post-operative medialisation of the middle turbinate. Post-operative olfaction was affected more in the combined conventional medialisation and controlled synechiae group, compared to the basal lamella relaxing incision group, but this finding was not statistically significant.
Basal lamella relaxing incision is an effective single-step technique for achieving adequate middle meatal access and post-operative medialisation, with no significant effect on olfaction.
Introduction: Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that paramedics are equipped to treat effectively in the field. Current literature suggests improvements in paramedic recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis could be made. The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of cases of anaphylaxis appropriately treated with epinephrine by paramedics before and after a targeted educational intervention. Methods: This was a retrospective medical records review of patients with anaphylaxis managed by primary or advanced care paramedics in five Emergency Medical Service areas in Ontario, before and after an educational module was introduced. This module included education on anaphylaxis diagnosis, recognition, treatment priorities, and feedback on the recognition and management from the before period. All paramedic call records (PCRs) coded as local allergic reaction or anaphylaxis during 12-month periods before and after the intervention were reviewed by trained data abstractors to determine if patients met an international definition of anaphylaxis. The details of interventions performed by the paramedics were used to determine primary and secondary outcomes. Results: Of the 600 PCRs reviewed, 99/120 PCRs in the before and 300/480 in the after period were included. Of the charts included, 63/99 (63.6%) in the before and 136/300 (45.3%) in the after period met criteria for anaphylaxis (p=0.002). Of the cases meeting anaphylaxis criteria, 41/63 (65.1%) in the before and 88/136 (64.7%) in the after period were correctly identified as anaphylaxis (p=0.96). Epinephrine was administered in 37/63 (58.7%) of anaphylaxis cases in the before period and 76/136 (55.9%) in the after period (p=0.70). Anaphylactic patients with only two-system involvement received epinephrine in 20/40 (50.0%) cases in the before period and 45/93 (48.4%) in the after period (p=0.86). Conclusion: There are gaps in paramedic recognition and management of anaphylaxis, particularly in cases of two-system involvement. These gaps persisted after the implementation of an educational intervention. Other quality interventions and periodic refreshers may be necessary to improve prehospital treatment of anaphylaxis. Limitations include an increase in overall cases and decrease in rate of true anaphylaxis in the after period, which may relate to better case identification after electronic PCR implementation and changes in paramedic recognition.
We report seven cases of probable endotoxin poisoning linked to contaminated compounded glutathione. Five of the cases were using the infusions for treatment of Lyme disease highlighting the risks of using compounded sterile preparations for unapproved indications, especially if the quality of source products cannot be assured.
The correlation between objective and subjective nasal obstruction is poor, and dissatisfaction rates after surgery for nasal obstruction are high. Accordingly, novel assessment techniques may be required. This survey aimed to determine patient experience and preferences for the measurement of nasal obstruction.
Prospective survey of rhinology patients.
Of 72 questionnaires distributed, 60 were completed (response rate of 83 per cent). Obstruction duration (more than one year) (χ2 = 13.5, p = 0.00024), but not obstruction severity, affected willingness to spend more time being assessed. Questionnaires (48 per cent) and nasal inspiratory peak flow measurement (53 per cent) are the most commonly used assessment techniques. Forty-nine per cent of participants found their assessment unhelpful in understanding their obstruction. Eighty-two per cent agreed or strongly agreed that a visual and numerical aid would help them understand their blockage.
Many patients are dissatisfied with current assessment techniques; a novel device with visual or numerical results may help. Obstruction duration determines willingness to undergo longer assessment.
The study proposes a semi-analytical model for the pulse compression of two co-propagating intense laser beams having Gaussian intensity profile in the temporal domain. The high power laser beams create the relativistic nonlinearity during propagation in plasma, which leads to the modification of the refractive index profile. The co-propagating laser beams get self- compressed by virtue of group velocity dispersion and induced nonlinearity. The induced nonlinearity in the plasma broadens the frequency spectrum of the pulse via self-phase modulation, turn to shorter the pulse duration and enhancement of laser beam intensity. The nonlinear Schrodinger equations were set up for co-propagating laser beams in plasmas and have been solved in Matlab by considering paraxial approximation. The propagation characteristics of both laser beams inside plasma are divided into three regions through the critical divider curve, which has been plotted between pulse width τ01 and laser beam power P01. Based on the preferred value of critical parameters, these regions are oscillatory compression, oscillatory broadening, and steady broadening. In findings, it is observed that the compression of the laser beam depends on the combined intensity of both beams, plasma density, and initial pulse width.
The mathematical model for the propagation of intense laser pulse in a plasma having Gaussian profile is investigated. The model has been formulated considering that the relativistic–ponderomotive nonlinearity dominates over other nonlinearities in the plasma. Model equation for self-compression and self-focusing properties of the laser pulse has been set up and solved by both semi-analytical and numerical methods. The result indicates that due to the effect of group velocity dispersion, diffraction of the laser pulse and the nonlinearity of medium, the pulse width parameter as well as beam width parameter of pulse gets focused at a different normalized distance, and hence the normalized intensity is also deferred at those points. Numerical simulation shows an oscillatory behavior of intensity during propagation in the plasma either having minimum beam radius (r0) or having minimum pulse duration (t0) depending on the normalized distance.
Introduction: Active substance use and unstable housing are both associated with increased emergency department (ED) utilization. This study examined ED health care costs among a cohort of substance using and/or homeless adults following an index ED visit, relative to a control ED population. Methods: Consecutive patients presenting to an inner-city ED between August 2010 and November 2011 who reported unstable housing and/or who had a chief presenting complaint related to acute or chronic substance use were evaluated. Controls were enrolled in a 1:4 ratio. Participants’ health care utilization was tracked via electronic medical record for six months after the index ED visit. Costing data across all EDs in the region was obtained from Alberta Health Services and calculated to include physician billing and the cost of an ED visit excluding investigations. The cost impact of ED utilization was estimated by multiplying the derived ED cost per visit by the median number of visits with interquartile ranges (IQR) for each group during follow up. Proportions were compared using non-parametric tests. Results: From 4679 patients screened, 209 patients were enrolled (41 controls, 46 substance using, 91 unstably housed, 31 both unstably housed and substance using (UHS)). Median costs (IQR) per group over the six-month period were $0 ($0-$345.42) for control, $345.42 ($0-$1139.89) for substance using, $345.42 ($0-$1381.68) for unstably housed and $1381.68 ($690.84-$4248.67) for unstably housed and substance using patients (p<0.05). Conclusion: The intensity of excess ED costs was greatest in patients who were both unstably housed and presenting with a chief complaint related to substance use. This group had a significantly larger impact on health care expenditure relative to ED users who were not unstably housed or who presented with a substance use related complaint. Further research into how care or connection to community resources in the ED can reduce these costs is warranted.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
A study of the daily motions of individual sunspots and of sunspot groups has been undertaken using Kodaikanal and Mount Wilson white-light observations. The Mount Wilson measurements were completed several years ago, and the Kodaikanal measurements have recently been started, using a technique identical to that used for the Mount Wilson data. Both data sets started early in this century, and both have continued to the present time. Preliminary results of a comparison of the two data sets are presented which show a good agreement between them in spot areas and motions. Analysis of the combined data set for the years that are available so far indicates that many more spots are available in such a reduction because the 12-hour time difference between the two sites allows for a more certain identification of individual spots from one observation to the next than in the case when data from only one site are used. This greatly increases the number of sunspots available for motion studies, particularly the smaller sunspots. Preliminary rotation and latitude drift reduction from the combined data set confirm earlier results from the Mount Wilson data alone.
We have obtained simultaneous observations of single pulses from the bright pulsars B0329+54 and B1133+16 at two frequencies in full polarization and a total of four frequencies in total power only. Here is a summary of our fantastic results!
The Global Meningococcal Initiative (GMI) is an international group of scientists and clinicians with recognized expertise in meningococcal disease including microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, public health and vaccinology. The GMI was established to promote the global prevention of meningococcal disease through education, research and international cooperation. The GMI held its second summit meeting in 2013 to discuss the different aspects of existing meningococcal immunization programmes and surveillance systems. Laboratory confirmation and characterization were identified as essential for informing evidence-based vaccine implementation decisions. The relative merits of different confirmatory methodologies and their applications in different resource settings were a key component of the discussions. This paper summarizes the salient issues discussed, with special emphasis on the recommendations made and any deficiencies that were identified.