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Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
Here, we present an overview of how a tertiary hospital responded to maintain necessary activities and protect patients and staff from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Gil Medical Center, a tertiary hospital in Incheon, has operated a special response team since January 21, 2020. All visitors were assessed for body temperature and respiratory symptoms, and screened for recent overseas travel. Suspected COVID-19 patients were taken to a screening clinic. All febrile patients with or without respiratory symptoms were taken to a respiratory safety clinic. An isolation ward, which consisted of 10 negative-pressure rooms, was used to treat confirmed cases. More than 120 beds were prepared for the outbreak, and patients with pneumonia were preemptively isolated.
By May 5, 480 960 visitors were assessed at the control station, 3350 patients visited the triage center, and 1794 were treated in the respiratory safety clinic. Seventeen confirmed cases were admitted to the negative isolation ward, and 350 patients with pneumonia were preemptively isolated. A total of 2977 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction tests were performed.
While tertiary hospitals play an important role in treating both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients, hospital staff have to protect themselves from unexpected in-hospital transmission. A multifaceted response must be undertaken to protect tertiary hospitals and their staff during the COVID-19 epidemic.
In regression discontinuity (RD), a running variable (or “score”) crossing a cutoff determines a treatment that affects the mean-regression function. This paper generalizes this usual “one-score mean RD” in three ways: (i) considering multiple scores, (ii) allowing partial effects due to each score crossing its own cutoff, not just the full effect with all scores crossing all cutoffs, and (iii) accommodating quantile/mode regressions. This generalization is motivated by (i) many multiple-score RD cases, (ii) the full-effect identification needing the partial effects to be separated, and (iii) informative quantile/mode regression functions. We establish identification for multiple-score RD (MRD), and propose simple estimators that become “local difference in differences” in case of double scores. We also provide an empirical illustration where partial effects exist.
Bloodstream infection (BSI) occurred in 21 of 121 patients (17%) receiving venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation within the median time of 6 days after initiation (interquartile range, 4–19 days). Longer duration of arterial catheterization and more blood transfusions were independently associated with BSI, which is associated with poor clinical outcomes.
Advancements in medical and surgical treatment have increased the life expectancy of patients with CHD. Many patients with CHD, however, struggle with the medical, psychosocial, and behavioural challenges as they transition from childhood to adulthood. Specifically, the environmental and lifestyle challenges in school are very important factors that affect children and adolescents with CHD. This study aimed to evaluate school-related adjustments depending on school level and disclosure of disease in children and adolescents with CHD. This was a descriptive and exploratory study with 205 children and adolescents, aged 7–18 years, who were recruited from two congenital heart clinics from 5 January to 27 February, 2015. Data were analysed using the Student’s t-test, analysis of variance, and a univariate general linear model. School-related adjustment scores were significantly different according to school level and disclosure of disease (p<0.001) when age, religion, experience being bullied, and parents’ educational levels were assigned as covariates. The school-related adjustment score of patients who did not disclose their disease dropped significantly in high school. This indicated that it is important for healthcare providers to plan developmentally appropriate educational transition programmes for middle-school students with CHD in order for students to prepare themselves before entering high school.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Background: Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) on clinics who subsequently turn out to have normal dopamine transporter images have been referred to as scans without evidence of dopaminergic deficits (SWEDDs) patients. Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction has frequently been reported in PD. In this study, we determined the similarities and differences in cardiac autonomic dysfunction between SWEDDs and PD patients. This study investigated whether 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (24-hour ABPM) can help identify possible cases with SWEDDs. Methods: We enrolled 28 SWEDDs patients, 46 patients with PD, and 30 healthy controls. To evaluate cardiac autonomic function, 24-hour ABPM was performed on all subjects. Cardiac metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy was performed on the SWEDDs and PD subjects. Results: The percentage nocturnal decline in blood pressure differed significantly among SWEDDs patients, PD patients, and controls (p<0.05). In addition to the abnormal nocturnal BP, regulation (nondipping and reverse dipping) was significantly higher in SWEDDs and PD subjects than in the control subjects (p<0.05). There was no significant correlation between the % nocturnal blood pressure reduction and parameters of cardiac MIBG uptake ratio. However, orthostatic hypotension was significant correlated with the nocturnal blood pressure dip (%), nocturnal blood pressure patterns, and the cardiac MIBG uptake ratio (early and late) in combined SWEDDs and PD subjects. Conclusions: Pathologic nocturnal blood pressure regulation and nocturnal hypertension, known characteristics of PD, are also present in SWEDDs. Moreover, cardiac sympathetic denervation should not be attributed to cardiac autonomic dysfunction in SWEDDs patients. As with PD patients, the SWEDDs patients studied here tended to have cardiac autonomic dysfunction.
A CoCrFeNiMn high-entropy alloy (HEA), in the form of a face-centered cubic (fcc) solid solution, was processed by high-pressure torsion (HPT) to produce a nanocrystalline (nc) HEA. Significant grain refinement was achieved from the very early stage of HPT through 1/4 turn and an nc structure with an average grain size of ∼40 nm was successfully attained after 2 turns. The feasibility of significant microstructural changes was attributed to the occurrence of accelerated atomic diffusivity under the torsional stress during HPT. Nanoindentation experiments showed that the hardness increased significantly in the nc HEA during HPT processing and this was associated with additional grain refinement. The estimated values of the strain-rate sensitivity were maintained reasonably constant from the as-cast condition to the nc alloy after HPT through 2 turns, thereby demonstrating a preservation of plasticity in the HEA. In addition, a calculation of the activation volume suggested that the grain boundaries play an important role in the plastic deformation of the nc HEA where the flow mechanism is consistent with other nc metals. Transmission electron microscopy showed that, unlike conventional fcc nc metals, the nc HEA exhibits excellent microstructural stability under severe stress conditions.
Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) which consists of three identical 1.6 m wide-field telescopes with 18k × 18k CCDs, is the first optical survey system of its kind. The combination of fast optics and the mosaic CCD delivers seeing limited images over a 4 square degrees field of view. The main science goal of KMTNet is the discovery and characterization of exoplanets, yet it also offers various other science applications including DEep Ecliptic Patrol of SOUTHern sky (DEEP-South). The aim of DEEP-South is to discover and characterize asteroids and comets, including Near Earth Objects (NEOs). We started test runs last February after commissioning, and will return to normal operations in October 2015. A summary of early results from the test runs will be presented.
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) successfully completed the development of Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet, Park et al. 2012) in mid-2015, following which it conducted test runs for several months. ‘DEep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern sky’ (DEEP-South, Moon et al. 2015), which will be used for asteroid and comet studies, will not only characterize targeted asteroids, carrying out blind surveys toward the sweet spots, but will also mine the data of such bodies using the KMTNet archive. We report preliminary lightcurves of four Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) from test runs at KMTNet-CTIO in the February - May 2015 period.
We started ‘DEep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern sky’ (DEEP-South, DS) (Moon et al. 2015) in late 2012, and conducted test runs with the first Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) (Park et al. 2012), a 1.6 m telescope with 18k x 18k CCD stationed at CTIO in early 2015. While the primary objective of DEEP-South is the physical characterization of small Solar System bodies, it is also expected to discover a large number of such bodies, many of them previously unknown. An automated observation scheduling, data reduction and analysis software subsystem called ‘DEEP-South Scheduling and Data reduction System’ (DS SDS) is thus being designed and implemented to enable observation planning, data reduction and analysis with minimal human intervention.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
A 44-year-old man developed sudden non-fluent aphasia and right hemiplegia due to left striatocapsular infarction (Figure). Neurologic examination revealed gaze deviation to the right with eyes closed, but not with eyes open (Video). There was no spontaneous or gaze-evoked nystagmus, even after elimination of visual fixation. Leftward pursuit was impaired in a craniotopic frame of reference, and horizontal saccades were hypometric in both directions. Head impulse test was normal in the horizontal plane and there were no visual field defects. The contralesional gaze deviation with eye closure persisted for ten days.
Several reports have indicated that dietary intake of DHA is associated with lower prevalence of periodontitis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of DHA on the production of proinflammatory mediators in murine macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) isolated from Prevotellaintermedia, a pathogen implicated in inflammatory periodontal disease, and its mechanisms of action. LPS was isolated from lyophilised P. intermedia ATCC 25 611 cells using the standard hot-phenol–water protocol. Culture supernatants were collected and assayed for NO, IL-1β and IL-6. Real-time PCR analysis was carried out to detect the expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), IL-1β, IL-6 and haeme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mRNA. Immunoblot analysis was carried out to quantify the expression of iNOS and HO-1 protein and concentrations of signalling proteins. DNA-binding activities of NF-κB subunits were determined using an ELISA-based assay kit. DHA significantly attenuated the production of NO, IL-1β and IL-6 at both gene transcription and translation levels in P. intermedia LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. DHA induced the expression of HO-1 in cells treated with P. intermedia LPS. Selective inhibition of HO-1 activity by tin protoporphyrin IX significantly mitigated the inhibitory effects of DHA on LPS-induced NO production. DHA significantly attenuated the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase induced by LPS. In addition, DHA suppressed the transcriptional activity of NF-κB by regulating the nuclear translocation and DNA-binding activity of NF-κB p50 subunit and inhibited the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1. Further in vivo studies are needed to better evaluate the potential of DHA in humans as a therapeutic agent to treat periodontal disease.
The sulfur-iodine thermo-chemical cycle (S-I cycle) is one of the promising nuclear hydrogen production methods combined with a high temperature gas-cooled reactor. However, extremely corrosive environments limit the selection of structural materials. Therefore, in this study, corrosion behaviors of several metallic materials were investigated to screen the candidate metallic materials. Coupon type specimens were exposed for 100 h in simulated SO3 and HI decomposer conditions at 850 °C. After 100 h exposure, the surface treated Alloy 617 showed the superior weight change in both environments. However, scanning electron microscope observation showed oxide spallation for EB-treated and NiAl coated Alloy 617. On the other hand, the Ni3Al coated Alloy 617 showed better corrosion resistance in SO3 decomposer condition, such that only formed external Al-rich oxide layer. Especially, in a HI decomposer condition, the damage on the Ni3Al coated Alloy 617 was considerably less significant probably due to the protection by very thin aluminum-rich oxide on the surface.
To compare the characteristics and risk factors for surgical site infections (SSIs) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a nationwide survey, using shared case detection and recording systems.
Retrospective cohort study.
Twenty-six hospitals participating in the Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS).
From 2006 to 2009, all patients undergoing THA and TKA in KONIS were enrolled.
SSI occurred in 161 (2.35%) of 6,848 cases (3,422 THAs and 3,426 TKAs). Pooled mean SSI rates were 1.69% and 2.82% for THA and TKA, respectively. Of the cases we examined, 42 (26%) were superficial-incisional SSIs and 119 (74%) were “severe” SSIs; of the latter, 24 (15%) were deep-incisional SSIs and 95 (59%) were organ/space SSIs. In multivariate analysis, a duration of preoperative hospital stay of greater than 3 days was a risk factor for total SSI after both THA and TKA. Diabetes mellitus, revision surgery, prolonged duration of surgery (above the 75th percentile), and the need for surgery due to trauma were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after THA, while male sex and an operating room without artificial ventilation were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after TKA. A large volume of surgeries (more than 10 procedures per month) protected against total and severe SSI, but only in patients who underwent TKA.
Risk factors for SSI after arthroplasty differ according to the site of the arthroplasty. Therefore, clinicians should take into account the site of arthroplasty in the analysis of SSI and the development of strategies for reducing SSI.
To evaluate the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after gastric surgery in patients in Korea.
A nationwide prospective multicenter study.
Twenty university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
The Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), a Web-based system, was developed. Patients in 20 Korean hospitals from 2007 to 2009 were prospectively monitored for SSI for up to 30 days after gastric surgery. Demographic data, hospital characteristics, and potential perioperative risk factors were collected and analyzed, using multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 4,238 case patients monitored, 64.9% (2,752) were male, and mean age (±SD) was 58.8 (±12.3) years. The SSI rates were 2.92, 6.45, and 10.87 per 100 operations for the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system risk index categories of 0, 1, and 2 or 3, respectively. The majority (69.4%) of the SSIs observed were organ or space SSIs. The most frequently isolated microorganisms were Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.58]), increased operation time (1.20 [1.07–1.34] per 1-hour increase), reoperation (7.27 [3.68–14.38]), combined multiple procedures (1.79 [1.13–2.83]), prophylactic administration of the first antibiotic dose after skin incision (3.00 [1.09–8.23]), and prolonged duration (≥7 days) of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP; 2.70 [1.26–5.64]) were independently associated with increased risk of SSI.
Male sex, inappropriate SAP, and operation-related variables are independent risk factors for SSI after gastric surgery.