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Introduction: The ways in which Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians interact with the medical literature has been transformed with the rise of Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM). Although nearly all residents use FOAM resources, some criticize the lack of universal quality assurance. This problem is a particular risk for trainees who have many time constraints and incompletely developed critical appraisal skills. One potential safeguard is journal club, which is used by virtually all EM residency programs in North America to review new literature. However, EM resident perspectives have not been studied. Our research objective was to describe how residents perceive journal club to influence how they translate the medical literature into their clinical practice. Our research question was whether FOAM has influenced residents’ goals and perceived value of journal club. Methods: We developed a semi-structured interview script in conjunction with a methods expert and refined it via pilot testing. Following constructivist grounded theory, and using both purposive and theoretical sampling, we conducted a focus group (n = 7) and 18 individual interviews with EM residents at the 4 training sites of the University of British Columbia. In total, we analyzed 920 minutes of recorded audio. Two authors independently coded each transcript, with discrepancies reconciled by discussion and consensus. Constant comparative analysis was performed. We conducted return of findings through public presentations. Results: We found evidence that journal club works as a community of practice with a progression of roles from junior to senior residents. Participants described journal club as a safe venue to compare practice patterns and to gain insight into the practical wisdom of their peers and mentors. The social and academic activities present at journal club interacted positively to foster this environment. In asking residents about ways that journal club accelerates knowledge translation, we actually found that residents cite journal club as a quality check to prevent premature adoption of new research findings. Residents are hesitant to adopt new literature into their practice without positive validation, which can occur during journal club. Conclusion: Journal club functions as a community of practice that is valued by residents. Journal club is a primary way that new evidence can be validated before being put into practice, and may act as quality assurance in the era of FOAM.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Regional to global high-resolution correlation and timing is critical when attempting to answer important geological questions, such as the greenhouse to icehouse transition that occurred during the Eocene–Oligocene boundary transition. Timing of these events on a global scale can only be answered using correlation among many sections, and multiple correlation proxies, including biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy, geochemistry and geophysical methods. Here we present litho- and biostratigraphy for five successions located in the southeastern USA. To broaden the scope of correlation, we also employ carbon and oxygen stable isotope and magnetic susceptibility (χ) data to interpret these sections regionally, and correlate to the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) near Massignano in central Italy. Our results indicate that approaching the Eocene–Oligocene boundary, climate warmed slightly, but then δ18O data exhibit an abrupt c. +5 ‰ positive shift towards cooling that reached a maximum c. 1 m below the boundary at St Stephens Quarry, Alabama. This shift was accompanied by a c. −3 ‰ negative shift in δ13C interpreted to indicate environmental changes associated with the onset of the Eocene–Oligocene boundary planktonic foraminiferal extinction event. The observed cold pulse may be responsible for the final extinction of Hantkeninidae, used to define the beginning of the Rupelian Stage. Immediately preceding the boundary, Hantkeninidae species dropped significantly in abundance and size (pre-extinction dwarfing occurring before the final Eocene–Oligocene extinctions), and these changes may be the reason for inconsistencies in past Eocene–Oligocene boundary placement in the southeastern USA.
The Lung Cam expanded stratigraphic succession in Vietnam is correlated herein to the Meishan D section in China, the GSSP for the Permian–Triassic boundary. The first appearance datum of the conodont Hindeodus parvus at Meishan defines the Permian–Triassic boundary, and using published graphic correlation, the Permian–Triassic boundary level has been projected into the Lung Cam section. Using time-series analysis of magnetic susceptibility (χ) data, it is determined that H. parvus arrived at Lung Cam ∼18 kyr before the Permian–Triassic boundary. Data indicate that the Lung Cam section is expanded by ∼90 % relative to the GSSP section at Meishan. Given the expanded Lung Cam section, it is possible to resolve the timing of significant events during the Permian–Triassic transition with high precision. These events include major stepped extinctions, beginning at ∼135 kyr and ending at ∼110 kyr below the Permian–Triassic boundary, with a duration of ∼25 kyr, followed by deposition of Lung Cam ash Bed + 13, which is equivalent to Siberian Traps volcanism is graphically correlated to a precession Time-series model, placing onset of this major volcanic event at ~242 kyr before the PTB. The Meishan Beds 25 and 26, at ∼100 kyr before the Permian–Triassic boundary. In addition, the elemental geochemical, carbon and oxygen isotope stratigraphy, and magnetostratigraphy susceptibility datasets from Lung Cam allow good correlation to other Permian–Triassic boundary succession. These datasets are helpful when the conodont biostratigraphy is poorly known in sections with problems such as lithofacies variability, or is undefined, owing possibly to lithofacies exclusions, anoxia or for other reasons. The Lung Pu Permian–Triassic boundary section, ∼45 km from Lung Cam, is used to test these problems.
Hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB), a potential measure of healthcare-associated infections, was evaluated in a pilot study among 60 patients across 3 hospitals. Two-thirds of all HOB events and half of nonskin commensal HOB events were judged as potentially preventable. Follow-up studies are needed to further develop this measure.
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
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.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension. Current established protocols (RUSH, ACES, etc) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. We wished to use reported disease incidence to develop an informed approach to PoCUS in hypotension using a “4 F’s” approach: Fluid; Form; Function; Filling. Methods: We summarized the incidence of PoCUS findings from an international multicentre RCT, and using a modified Delphi approach incorporating this data we obtained the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. The modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate PoCUS for hypotensive emergency department patients. Results: Rates of abnormal PoCUS findings from 151 patients with undifferentiated hypotension included left ventricular dynamic changes (43%), IVC abnormalities (27%), pericardial effusion (16%), and pleural fluid (8%). Abdominal pathology was rare (fluid 5%, AAA 2%). After two rounds of the survey, using majority consensus, agreement was reached on a SHoC-hypotension protocol comprising: A. Core: 1. Cardiac views (Sub-xiphoid and parasternal windows for pericardial fluid, cardiac form and ventricular function); 2. Lung views for pleural fluid and B-lines for filling status; and 3. IVC views for filling status; B. Supplementary: Additional cardiac views; and C. Additional views (when indicated) including peritoneal fluid, aorta, pelvic for IUP, and proximal leg veins for DVT. Conclusion: An international consensus process based on prospectively collected disease incidence has led to a proposed SHoC-hypotension PoCUS protocol comprising a stepwise clinical-indication based approach of Core, Supplementary and Additional PoCUS views.
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.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Cholesteatoma is keratinising epithelium within the middle-ear cleft or mastoid. This disease destroys the peripheral organs of balance and hearing, with possible intracranial sequelae. The management of cholesteatoma is surgical and the primary aim is to remove the disease and prevent recurrence. Secondary aims are to obtain a non-discharging, hearing ear. Cholesteatoma surgery falls into two broad categories: open cavity surgery and combined approach surgery. A third surgical category is reconstruction of an open mastoid cavity after open surgery. This study performed a pooled analysis of the worldwide literature to compare the rates of cholesteatoma not being cured (i.e. recidivism), ear discharge and hearing change among open cavity, combined approach and reconstruction mastoid surgery for primary cholesteatoma.
A literature search for all types of cholesteatoma surgery in the PubMed, Google Scholar and Medline databases and in published conference proceedings was undertaken.
There was no level 1 evidence for the best method of primary cholesteatoma surgery. The highest evidence level found (level 2; 5366 patients) shows no difference in hearing change or discharge rate between open and combined approach surgery; however, these methods fail to cure the cholesteatomas in 16.0 per cent and 29.4 per cent of cases, respectively. In a total of 640 patients, reconstruction and/or repair mastoid surgery using a variety of non-comparable techniques had a failure rate of between 5.3 per cent and 20 per cent.
The available evidence suggests that reconstruction of the posterior canal wall and/or obliteration of the mastoid may be the best surgical treatment alternative. This technique appears to provide the lowest recidivism rate combined with a low post-operative ear discharge rate.
Although the incidence of invasive group A streptococcal disease in northern Australia is very high, little is known of the regional epidemiology and molecular characteristics. We conducted a case series of Northern Territory residents reported between 2011 and 2013 with Streptococcus pyogenes isolates from a normally sterile site. Of the 128 reported episodes, the incidence was disproportionately high in the Indigenous population at 69·7/100 000 compared to 8·8/100 000 in the non-Indigenous population. Novel to the Northern Territory is the extremely high incidence in haemodialysis patients of 2205·9/100 000 population; and for whom targeted infection control measures could prevent transmission. The incidences in the tropical north and semi-arid Central Australian regions were similar. Case fatality was 8% (10/128) and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome occurred in 14 (11%) episodes. Molecular typing of 82 isolates identified 28 emm types, of which 63 (77%) were represented by four emm clusters. Typing confirmed transmission between infant twins. While the diverse range of emm types presents a challenge for effective coverage by vaccine formulations, the limited number of emm clusters raises optimism should cluster-specific cross-protection prove efficacious. Further studies are required to determine effectiveness of chemoprophylaxis for contacts and to inform public health response.
Multimodal treatment options in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma have allowed for greater control of locoregional disease, but this has not translated into a significant overall survival advantage for patients. This is partially because these treatment modalities have no influence over the rate of development of distant metastases.
This article summarises the current methods of detecting circulating and disseminated tumour cells. It also discusses how these cells can offer prognostic value in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and considers questions posed by the identification of these cells.
A literature search of relevant journal articles was performed using ScienceDirect and PubMed databases, and a general article search was conducted using the online search engine Google.
Results and conclusion:
The evidence presented in this article indicates that circulating tumour cells and disseminated tumour cells may be clinically useful as prognostic markers or in the assessment of response to treatment in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0–∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
To determine whether the fibula free flap is the most frequently used osteocutaneous flap for mandible reconstruction, and whether it provides quality of life, depression and anxiety advantages.
A systematic review of the public Medline database was conducted. Thirteen patients who underwent mandibular reconstruction at our hospital centre completed questionnaires to evaluate quality of life, depression and anxiety outcomes.
The most frequently used free flaps are those of the fibula (n = 982), radial forearm (n = 201), iliac crest (n = 113), subscapular system (n = 50) and rib–serratus (n = 7). In our patient population, there was a trend towards a better quality of life in those with a fibula free flap. However, patients in this group were significantly younger than patients with other flap types (p = 0.025). Patients with a subscapular system free flap were more depressed (p = 0.031); however, they had large through-and-through defects.
The flap used most frequently in the literature is the fibula free flap. Comparative quality of life data are lacking, and homogeneous populations should be used to reach significant conclusions.