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Short-term survival after paediatric cardiac surgery has improved significantly over the past 20 years and increasing attention is being given to measuring and reducing incidence of morbidities following surgery. How to best use routinely collected data to share morbidity information constitutes a challenge for clinical teams interested in analysing their outcomes for quality improvement. We aimed to develop a tool facilitating this process in the context of monitoring morbidities following paediatric cardiac surgery, as part of a prospective multi-centre research study in the United Kingdom.
We developed a prototype software tool to analyse and present data about morbidities associated with cardiac surgery in children. We used an iterative process, involving engagement with potential users, tool design and implementation, and feedback collection. Graphical data displays were based on the use of icons and graphs designed in collaboration with clinicians.
Our tool enables automatic creation of graphical summaries, displayed as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, from a spreadsheet containing patient-level data about specified cardiac surgery morbidities. Data summaries include numbers/percentages of cases with morbidities reported, co-occurrences of different morbidities, and time series of each complication over a time window.
Our work was characterised by a very high level of interaction with potential users of the tool, enabling us to promptly account for feedback and suggestions from clinicians and data managers. The United Kingdom centres involved in the project received the tool positively, and several expressed their interest in using it as part of their routine practice.
This statement by Nobel laureate Roger Sperry encourages us to consider the sort of information that is necessary to bridge the conceptual gap between psychological phenomena (such as religious behaviours and experiences) and the phenomenology of neurology. But what is it that needs to be taken into account in the gap between basic neurophysiology and the social and psychological phenomena of religiousness? Are religiousness and spirituality embodied physical phenomena at all? Answers to such questions are critical to establishing the basis upon which one should approach study of the impact of neurological disorders on religiousness and spirituality. What model of the relationship between body and mind is most fruitful for such study?
The goal of this study was to evaluate the ability of semantic (animal naming) and phonemic (FAS) fluency in their ability to discriminate between normal aging, amnestic-Mild Cognitive Impairment (a-MCI), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
We used binary logistic regressions, multinomial regressions, and discriminant analysis to evaluate the predictive value of semantic and phonemic fluency in regards to specific diagnostic classifications.
Outpatient geriatric neuropsychology clinic.
232 participants (normal aging = 99, a-MCI = 90, AD = 43; mean age = 65.75 years).
Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE), Controlled Oral Word Association Test
Results indicate that semantic and phonemic fluency were significant predictors of diagnostic classification, and semantic fluency explained a greater amount of the discriminant ability of the model.
These results suggest that verbal fluency, particularly semantic fluency, may be an accurate and efficient tool in screening for early dementia in time-limited medical settings.
Background: Agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC) involves congenital absence of all or part of the corpus callosum. Because the disorder can only be firmly diagnosed via neuroradiology, it has a short research history, and only recently has the cognitive syndrome become clear. Purpose: Our purpose is to review the primary deficits in AgCC that constitute the core syndrome. Conclusions: The cores syndrome includes: (1) reduced interhemispheric transfer of sensory-motor information; (2) reduced cognitive processing speed; and (3) deficits in complex reasoning and novel problem-solving. These domains do not appear to reflect different neuroanatomical abnormalities, but rather different domains of expression of reduced interhemispheric communication from callosal absence. Implications: These core deficits are expressed across various domains of cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning. The impact of these deficits varies across development and may be moderated by individual factors such as co-occurrence of other neurodevelopmental conditions, general intellectual capacity, and environmental support. (JINS, 2019, 25, 324–330)
Rapidly advancing technology often pulls the regulatory field along as it evolves to incorporate new concepts, better tools, and more finely honed equipment. When the area impacted by the technological advancement is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a gap develops between the technology and the guidelines that govern its application. Subsequently, there are challenges in determining appropriate regulatory pathways for evolving products at the initial research and developmental stages. Myriad factors necessitate several rounds of iterative review and the involvement of multiple divisions within the FDA. To better understand the regulatory science issues roiling around the area of additive manufacturing of medical products, a group of experts, led by a Clinical and Translational Science Award working group, convened the Regulatory Science to Advance Precision Medicine at the Fall Forum to discuss some of the current regulatory science roadblocks.
We compared sepsis “time zero” and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) SEP-1 pass rates among 3 abstractors in 3 hospitals. Abstractors agreed on time zero in 29 of 80 (36%) cases. Perceived pass rates ranged from 9 of 80 cases (11%) to 19 of 80 cases (23%). Variability in time zero and perceived pass rates limits the utility of SEP-1 for measuring quality.
To study the antibody response to tetanus toxoid and measles by age following vaccination in children aged 4 months to 6 years in Entebbe, Uganda. Serum samples were obtained from 113 children aged 4–15 months, at the Mother-Child Health Clinic (MCHC), Entebbe Hospital and from 203 of the 206 children aged between 12 and 75 months recruited through the Outpatients Department (OPD). Antibodies to measles were quantified by plaque reduction neutralisation test (PRNT) and with Siemens IgG EIA. VaccZyme IgG EIA was used to quantify anti-tetanus antibodies. Sera from 96 of 113 (85.0%) children attending the MCHC contained Measles PRNT titres below the protective level (120 mIU/ml). Sera from 24 of 203 (11.8%) children attending the OPD contained PRNT titres <120 mIU/ml. There was no detectable decline in anti-measles antibody concentrations between 1 and 6 years. The anti-tetanus antibody titres in all 113 children attending MCHC and in 189 of 203 (93.1%) children attending the OPD were >0.15 IU/ml by EIA, a level considered protective. The overall concentration of anti-tetanus antibody was sixfold higher in children under 12 months compared with the older children, with geometric mean concentrations of 3.15 IU/ml and 0.49 IU/ml, respectively. For each doubling in age between 4 and 64 months, the anti-tetanus antibody concentration declined by 50%. As time since the administration of the third DTP vaccination doubled, anti-tetanus antibody concentration declined by 39%. The low measles antibody prevalence in the children presenting at the MCHC is consistent with the current measles epidemiology in Uganda, where a significant number of measles cases occur in children under 1 year of age and earlier vaccination may be indicated. The consistent fall in anti-tetanus antibody titre over time following vaccination supports the need for further vaccine boosters at age 4–5 years as recommended by the WHO.
The northern New England region includes the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and encompasses a large degree of climate and edaphic variation across a relatively small spatial area, making it ideal for studying climate change impacts on agricultural weed communities. We sampled weed seedbanks and measured soil physical and chemical characteristics on 77 organic farms across the region and analyzed the relationships between weed community parameters and select geographic, climatic, and edaphic variables using multivariate procedures. Temperature-related variables (latitude, longitude, mean maximum and minimum temperature) were the strongest and most consistent correlates with weed seedbank composition. Edaphic variables were, for the most part, relatively weaker and inconsistent correlates with weed seedbanks. Our analyses also indicate that a number of agriculturally important weed species are associated with specific U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones, implying that future changes in climate factors that result in geographic shifts in these zones will likely be accompanied by changes in the composition of weed communities and therefore new management challenges for farmers.
Morbidity is defined as a state of being unhealthy or of experiencing an aspect of health that is “generally bad for you”, and postoperative morbidity linked to paediatric cardiac surgery encompasses a range of conditions that may impact the patient and are potential targets for quality assurance.
As part of a wider study, a multi-disciplinary group of professionals aimed to define a list of morbidities linked to paediatric cardiac surgery that was prioritised by a panel reflecting the views of both professionals from a range of disciplines and settings as well as parents and patients.
We present a set of definitions of morbidity for use in routine audit after paediatric cardiac surgery. These morbidities are ranked in priority order as acute neurological event, unplanned re-operation, feeding problems, the need for renal support, major adverse cardiac events or never events, extracorporeal life support, necrotising enterocolitis, surgical site of blood stream infection, and prolonged pleural effusion or chylothorax. It is recognised that more than one such morbidity may arise in the same patient and these are referred to as multiple morbidities, except in the case of extracorporeal life support, which is a stand-alone constellation of morbidity.
It is feasible to define a range of paediatric cardiac surgical morbidities for use in routine audit that reflects the priorities of both professionals and parents. The impact of these morbidities on the patient and family will be explored prospectively as part of a wider ongoing, multi-centre study.
Blood and oral fluid (OF) samples were collected from 103 suspected measles cases between February and November 2010 during a nationwide measles outbreak in Zimbabwe. Siemens measles IgM enzyme immunoassay (EIA) on serum, Microimmune measles IgM capture EIA on OF, real-time haemagglutinin (H) gene PCR and nested nucleocapsid (N) gene PCR on OF were performed, confirming 75 measles cases. These samples were then used to evaluate a newly developed point of care test (POCT) for measles and determine its potential for identifying measles cases in outbreaks. After performing POCTs on OF samples, nucleic acid was extracted from the used test strips and the measles H and N genes amplified by RT–PCR. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the POCT for IgM in OF was 75·0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 63·4–84·5], 96·2% (95% CI 80·4–99·9), 98·2% (95% CI 90·3–100) and 58·1% (95% CI 42·1–73·0), respectively. The N gene sequences showed high level of agreement between original OF and corresponding POCT strips. Measles genotype B3 was identified in all cases. We conclude that the measles POCT has the potential to be used, at the point of contact, in outbreak situations and provide molecular characterization of the virus at a later date.
High-quality data from appropriate archives are needed for the continuing improvement of radiocarbon calibration curves. We discuss here the basic assumptions behind 14C dating that necessitate calibration and the relative strengths and weaknesses of archives from which calibration data are obtained. We also highlight the procedures, problems, and uncertainties involved in determining atmospheric and surface ocean 14C/12C in these archives, including a discussion of the various methods used to derive an independent absolute timescale and uncertainty. The types of data required for the current IntCal database and calibration curve model are tabulated with examples.
Many more documents survive from the early Middle Ages than from the Roman Empire. Although ecclesiastical archives may account for the dramatic increase in the number of surviving documents, this new investigation reveals the scale and spread of documentary culture beyond the Church. The contributors explore the nature of the surviving documentation without preconceptions to show that we cannot infer changing documentary practices from patterns of survival. Throughout Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages - from North Africa, Egypt, Italy, Francia and Spain to Anglo-Saxon England - people at all social levels, whether laity or clergy, landowners or tenants, farmers or royal functionaries, needed, used and kept documents. The story of documentary culture in the early medieval world emerges not as one of its capture by the Church, but rather of a response adopted by those who needed documents, as they reacted to a changing legal, social and institutional landscape.