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Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) consultations are often necessary for safe and effective patient care. Delays in throughput related to ED consultations can increase a patient's ED length of stay (LOS) and contribute to ED crowding. This review aimed to characterize and evaluate interventions to improve consultation metrics. Methods: Eight primary literature databases and the grey literature were comprehensively searched. Comparative studies of interventions to improve ED consultation metrics were included. Unique citations were screened for relevance and the full-texts of relevant articles were reviewed by two independent reviewers. Data on study characteristics and outcomes were extracted in duplicate onto standardized forms. Disagreements were resolved through consensus. Categorical variables are reported as proportions. Continuous variables are reported as the median of the means and total range. Results: After screening 2632 unique citations and 19 from the grey literature items, 24 studies were included. Seventeen interventions targeted specific conditions or speciality services, while the remainder targeted all ED presentations. Interventions fell into three broad categories: strategies to expedite patient care, including clinical pathways (42%); interventions to improve consultant responsiveness (33%); and addition of a specialized care team to the ED (25%). Overall, eight studies reported on the overall proportion of consults in the ED, of which six reported an increase in the consultation proportion (median: +0.6%, range: −11.3% to +49.6%). Six studies reported the proportion of consulted patients who were admitted, of which four reported an increase (median: +1.1%, range: −5.9% to +3.5%). On the other hand, six of seven studies reporting on time from request to consult arrival reported a decrease (median: −25 minutes, range: −66 to +3.8 minutes). Similarly, overall ED LOS was reported to be lower in 17/19 studies reporting this metric (median: −47.6 minutes, range: −600 minutes to +59 minutes). Conclusion: A variety of strategies have been employed to improve ED consultation processes and outcomes. Neither the proportion of consulted patients in the ED nor the proportion of admissions were improved; however, interventions appeared successful at improving consultant arrival times and overall ED LOS. Improvements in consultation processes may be an effective strategy to improve ED throughput and thereby reduce ED crowding.
Introduction: While consultation is a common and important aspect of emergency department (ED) care, a previous systematic review identified significant utilization and process variation across ED's. The aim of this review update was to examine the proportion of the patients undergoing consultation in the ED among recent studies. Methods: Eight primary literature databases and the grey literature were searched. Studies published from 2007 to 2018 focusing on all-comers to the ED and reporting a consultation-related outcome were included. Disease- and specialty-specific studies were not eligible. Two independent reviewers screened studies for relevance, inclusion, quality assessment, and data extraction. Disagreements were resolved through consensus. Means, medians and interquartile ranges are reported. Wilcoxon-rank sum test and one-way ANOVA were used to identify differences between groups, as appropriate. Results: A total of 2632 unique citations and 49 studies from the grey literature were screened, of which 29 primary studies were included. Fifteen studies reported on the proportion of ED patients undergoing consultation, involving EDs in the Middle East (n = 4), North America (n = 4), Asia (n = 4), and Europe (n = 3). Overall, the proportion of patients receiving consultation ranged from 7% to 78% (median: 26%; IQR: 20%, 38%). There were no differences in the proportions of consulted patients based on country of origin. Ten studies were conducted prior to 2013, while five studies recruited patients during and after 2013. The mean proportion of consulted patients was lower for post-2012 studies compared to pre-2012 studies (mean: 18% vs. 36%; p = 0.0048). The proportion of consulted patients admitted to hospital ranged considerably between the 14 reporting studies (median: 56%; IQR: 49%, 76%). No differences in the proportion of admitted patients undergoing a consult were identified based on country of origin or year of recruitment for the study. Conclusion: Although consultation utilization appears to be decreasing overall, there is considerable practice variation in EDs around the world. These differences may result from variation in patient acuity, case-load, staffing levels, institutional and health-system organization, and medical training and future research should explore reasons for these differences.
Pertussis morbidity is highest in infants too young to be fully protected by routine vaccination schedules. Alternate vaccine strategies are required to maximise protection in this age-group. To understand baseline pertussis epidemiology prior to the introduction of the maternal pertussis vaccination program in 2014, we conducted a retrospective case series analyses of 53 901 notifications and temporal trends from 1997 to 2014. Notifications were highest in infants younger than 4 months of age and highest annual notification rates in infants younger than 1 month of age (308/100 000 per year). Amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants aged younger than 1 month, this rate was 576/100 000 per year. Notification rates were 40% higher amongst women 15–44 years, 62·4/100 000 population compared with men (44·5/100 000) and 90% higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women of the same age (38·2/100 000) compared with men (19·7/100 000). Six infant deaths were identified, all younger than 2 months of age. Monitoring epidemiology in at-risk groups – infants too young to be vaccinated, women of childbearing age and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – following implementation of the maternal pertussis vaccination program will be important to assess its impact and safety.
We performed a spatial-temporal analysis to assess household risk factors for Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in a remote, severely-affected village. We defined a household as a family's shared living space and a case-household as a household with at least one resident who became a suspect, probable, or confirmed Ebola case from 1 August 2014 to 10 October 2014. We used Geographic Information System (GIS) software to calculate inter-household distances, performed space-time cluster analyses, and developed Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Village X consisted of 64 households; 42% of households became case-households over the observation period. Two significant space-time clusters occurred among households in the village; temporal effects outweighed spatial effects. GEE demonstrated that the odds of becoming a case-household increased by 4·0% for each additional person per household (P < 0·02) and 2·6% per day (P < 0·07). An increasing number of persons per household, and to a lesser extent, the passage of time after onset of the outbreak were risk factors for household Ebola acquisition, emphasizing the importance of prompt public health interventions that prioritize the most populated households. Using GIS with GEE can reveal complex spatial-temporal risk factors, which can inform prioritization of response activities in future outbreaks.
Reducing the dietary CP content is an efficient way to limit nitrogen excretion in broilers but, as reported in the literature, it often reduces performance, probably because of an inadequate provision in amino acids (AA). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of decreasing the CP content in the diet on animal performance, meat quality and nitrogen utilization in growing-finishing broilers using an optimized dietary AA profile based on the ideal protein concept. Two experiments (1 and 2) were performed using 1-day-old PM3 Ross male broilers (1520 and 912 for experiments 1 and 2, respectively) using the minimum AA:Lys ratios proposed by Mack et al. with modifications for Thr and Arg. The digestible Thr (dThr): dLys ratio was increased from 63% to 68% and the dArg:dLys ratio was decreased from 112% to 108%. In experiment 1, the reduction of dietary CP from 19% to 15% (five treatments) did not alter feed intake or BW, but the feed conversion ratio was increased for the 16% and 15% CP diets (+2.4% and +3.6%, respectively), while in experiment 2 (three treatments: 19%, 17.5% and 16% CP) there was no effect of dietary CP on performance. In both experiments, dietary CP content did not affect breast meat yield. However, abdominal fat content (expressed as a percentage of BW) was increased by the decrease in CP content (up to +0.5 and +0.2 percentage point, in experiments 1 and 2, respectively). In experiment 2, meat quality traits responded to dietary CP content with a higher ultimate pH and lower lightness and drip loss values for the low CP diets. Nitrogen retention efficiency increased when reducing CP content in both experiments (+3.5 points/CP percentage point). The main consequence of this higher efficiency was a decrease in nitrogen excretion (−2.5 g N/kg BW gain) and volatilization (expressed as a percentage of excretion: −5 points/CP percentage point). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that with an adapted AA profile, it is possible to reduce dietary CP content to at least 17% in growing-finishing male broilers, without altering animal performance and meat quality. Such a feeding strategy could therefore help improving the sustainability of broiler production as it is an efficient way to reduce environmental burden associated with nitrogen excretion.
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.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) provides invaluable information during resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest by determining presence/absence of cardiac activity and identifying reversible causes such as pericardial tamponade. There is no agreed guideline on how to safely and effectively incorporate PoCUS into the advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithm. We consider that a consensus-based priority checklist using a “4 F’s” approach (Fluid; Form; Function; Filling), would provide a better algorithm during ACLS. Methods: The ultrasound subcommittee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) drafted a checklist incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm. This was further developed using the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. A modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate ultrasound into cardiac arrest algorithms for emergency department patients. Results: Consensus was reached following 3 rounds. The agreed protocol focuses on the timing of PoCUS as well as the specific clinical questions. Core cardiac windows performed during the rhythm check pause in chest compressions are the sub-xiphoid and parasternal cardiac views. Either view should be used to detect pericardial fluid, as well as examining ventricular form (e.g. right heart strain) and function, (e.g. asystole versus organized cardiac activity). Supplementary views include lung views (for absent lung sliding in pneumothorax and for pleural fluid), and IVC views for filling. Additional ultrasound applications are for endotracheal tube confirmation, proximal leg veins for DVT, or for sources of blood loss (AAA, peritoneal/pelvic fluid). Conclusion: The authors hope that this process will lead to a consensus-based SHoC-cardiac arrest guideline on incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm.
Patients with psychosis display the so-called ‘Jumping to Conclusions’ bias (JTC) – a tendency for hasty decision-making in probabilistic reasoning tasks. So far, only a few studies have evaluated the JTC bias in ‘at-risk mental state’ (ARMS) patients, specifically in ARMS samples fulfilling ‘ultra-high risk’ (UHR) criteria, thus not allowing for comparisons between different ARMS subgroups.
In the framework of the PREVENT (secondary prevention of schizophrenia) study, a JTC task was applied to 188 patients either fulfilling UHR criteria or presenting with cognitive basic symptoms (BS). Similar data were available for 30 healthy control participants matched for age, gender, education and premorbid verbal intelligence. ARMS patients were identified by the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS) and the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument – Adult Version (SPI-A).
The mean number of draws to decision (DTD) significantly differed between ARM -subgroups: UHR patients made significantly less draws to make a decision than ARMS patients with only cognitive BS. Furthermore, UHR patients tended to fulfil behavioural criteria for JTC more often than BS patients. In a secondary analysis, ARMS patients were much hastier in their decision-making than controls. In patients, DTD was moderately associated with positive and negative symptoms as well as disorganization and excitement.
Our data indicate an enhanced JTC bias in the UHR group compared to ARMS patients with only cognitive BS. This underscores the importance of reasoning deficits within cognitive theories of the developing psychosis. Interactions with the liability to psychotic transitions and therapeutic interventions should be unravelled in longitudinal studies.
Influenza and pertussis are the two most common vaccine-preventable infections notified in Australia. We assessed the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnosis in influenza and pertussis cases notified to the Australian National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). There were a total of 2 10 786 notified influenza cases (2001–2013) and 2 55 866 notified pertussis cases (1991–2013). After 1 January 2007, the majority of influenza and pertussis notifications were PCR-based (80·5% and 59·6%, respectively). Before 31 December 2006, PCR-based notifications were limited (29·1% and 11·7%, respectively). By 2013, PCR-based notifications had largely replaced all other diagnostic methods, with the exception of serology-based notifications in pertussis cases in adults aged ⩾25 years.
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.
Using 4.2 K selective photoluminescence (PL) excitation and PL excitation spectroscopy, the n = 2 excited state of the light-hole exciton is observed for the first time in GaAs/Si. The excited state is about 3 meV above the ground state, similar to exciton results for GaAs/GaAs. A spectral width of 1.8 meV is observed for the ground state transition, the narrowest yet reported.
Transuranic waste is planned for disposal in the Late Permian evaporites of the Delaware Basin, southeastern New Mexico, at the WIPP Site. The disposal horizon is located in the bedded halite of the Salado Formation, which is overlain by the impure halite-anhydrite (gypsum)-siltstone-mudstone of the Rustler Formation. The Rustler Formation also contains two dolomite members, the Magenta and Culebra, which transmit water. The Culebra Member is suspected to have actively interacted with waters at time(s) from the Late Permian to the present, and it is important to assess the reactivity of these waters in conjunction with WIPP stability.
We have investigated the Rb-Sr systematics of clay minerals from the Culebra Member and elsewhere in the Rustler Formation. By separating the less than 0.125 μm size material we are able to deal with presumed true authigenic clay minerals. The authigenic fraction is especially sensitive to chemical and isotopic exchange with waters, and an episodic exposure to a large amount of water will re-set the clay minerals to such a time. Our data yield 259 ± 22 Ma Rb-Sr isochron, which is consistent with the Late Permian age of the Rustler Formation. This age demonstrates that age-determining cations in these clay minerals have preserved their isotopic and chemical integrity since the Late Permian.
Pump-excited-state-absorption (ESA) measurements on Er3+-doped phosphates, fluorophosphates, and silicate bulk glasses indicate that ESA cross sections are approximately equal to ground state absorption (GSA) cross sections in the 800-nm band. The oscillator strengths of the ESA and GSA bands are also approximately equal, in qualitative agreement with Judd-Ofelt calculations. Fluorozirconate samples were found to have substantial populations in the upper excited states for the measurement conditions used and ESA transitions originating from four excited states were identified. Fluorozirconate fiber amplifiers and lasers at 1.55 μm, therefore, would have decreased efficiency for 800-nm pumping.
In this paper we report results from electrical and optical measurements carried out on GaAs:Yb, Er.
For GaAs:Yb electrical experiments such as photoconductivity (PC) and Photo Induced Current Transient Spectroscopy (PICTS) show that there is a level at 0.65eV related to Yb. This explains why no Yb3+ photoluminescence (PL) emission is detected, the recombination energy of the trapped excitons is too low (≈ 0.6eV) to excite the Yb3+ internal transition(≈ 1.24eV). We also present results on Er doped GaAs materials. From PL experiments we deduce an estimate of 10−19cm2 for the stimulated emission cross section. By PICTS and PC, we have evidenced a trap at 0.67eV related to Er ions in GaAs. And we think that in this case, the rare earth ions are excited via formation of bound excitons.
The role of glass composition is examined theoretically and experimentally for fiber amplifiers. Simple analysis procedures can be used to set limits on performance and identify more favorable glass types for detailed investigation.
The performance of Nd3+-doped fiber amplifiers is limited by strong excited state absorption (ESA) of the signal, even for fluorozirconate glasses where ESA prevents the important region below 1320 nm from being used. To quantify this and explore alternative host materials, ESA and stimulated-emission cross sections have been measured for a representative group of glass compositions. These parameters have been used in an accurate, fiber-amplifier model to provide the first quantitative comparisons of performance for Nd3+-doped glasses in the 1300-nm band as a function of host. A high-fluorine fluorophosphate is predicted to extend the short-wavelength boundary of the gain spectrum to 1295 nm but only at reduced gain levels and at the cost of having lower gains at longer wavelengths than fluorozirconates. A substantial increase in small-signal gain is predicted if the amplified spontaneous emission for the 1050-nm band is suppressed.
The C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of amber and jet beads found at Tipu, a Colonial-period Maya site in Belize, Central America, indicate that these materials are of European origin. The two jet beads were found in association with the burial of children in a Christian cemetery, and the single amber bead was in a midden from the early years of Spanish occupation. Both the cemetery and the midden probably date to the late sixteenth century. The amber is clearly of Baltic origin. The jet spectrum is consistent with a Spanish origin.