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Early warning scores use vital signs to identify patients at risk of critical illness. The current study examines the Hamilton Early Warning Score (HEWS) at emergency department (ED) triage among patients who experienced a critical event during their hospitalization. HEWS was also evaluated as a predictor of sepsis.
The study population included admissions to two hospitals over a 6-month period. Cases experienced a critical event defined by unplanned intensive care unit admission, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or death. Controls were randomly selected from the database in a 2-to-1 ratio to match cases on the burden of comorbid illness. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to evaluate HEWS as a predictor of the likelihood of critical deterioration and sepsis.
The sample included 845 patients, of whom 270 experienced a critical event; 89 patients were excluded because of missing vitals. An ROC analysis indicated that HEWS at ED triage had poor discriminative ability for predicting the likelihood of experiencing a critical event 0.62 (95% CI 0.58-0.66). HEWS had a fair discriminative ability for meeting criteria for sepsis 0.77 (95% CI 0.72-0.82) and good discriminative ability for predicting the occurrence of a critical event among septic patients 0.82 (95% CI 0.75-0.90).
This study indicates that HEWS at ED triage has limited utility for identifying patients at risk of experiencing a critical event. However, HEWS may allow earlier identification of septic patients. Prospective studies are needed to further delineate the utility of the HEWS to identify septic patients in the ED.
Nursing home residents are at risk for acquiring and transmitting MDROs. A serial point-prevalence study of 605 residents in 3 facilities using random sampling found MDRO colonization in 45% of residents: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, 26%); extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL, 17%); vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE, 16%); carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE, 1%). MDRO colonization was associated with history of MDRO, care needs, incontinence, and catheters.
The fragmented ecosystems along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve provide important habitats for biota including lichens. Nonetheless, the Reserve is disturbed by dense human populations and associated air pollution. Here we investigated patterns of lichen diversity within urban and rural sites at three different locations (Niagara, Hamilton, and Owen Sound) along the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada. Our results indicate that both lichen species richness and community composition are negatively correlated with increasing human population density and air pollution. However, our quantitative analysis of community composition using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicates that human population density and air pollution is more independent than might be assumed. The CCA analysis suggests that the strongest environmental gradient (CCA1) associated with lichen community composition includes regional pollution load and climatic variables; the second gradient (CCA2) is associated with local pollution load and human population density factors. These results increase the knowledge of lichen biodiversity for the Niagara Escarpment and urban and rural fragmented ecosystems as well as along gradients of human population density and air pollution; they suggest a differential influence of regional and local pollution loads and population density factors. This study provides baseline knowledge for further research and conservation initiatives along the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.