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Lateral neck radiographs are commonly used in the investigation and management of patients presenting with suspected fish bone impaction. The effectiveness of these is questioned, as many fish do not have radio-opaque bones.
This study evaluated the utility of lateral neck radiographs in the management of patients presenting with fish bones retained in the upper aerodigestive tract, with the creation of a treatment algorithm to guide further management.
An audit of practice was undertaken at the University Hospital of Southampton, identifying all patients admitted with potential fish bone impaction in the upper aerodigestive tract. Following analysis, a treatment algorithm was constructed for use by junior doctors.
In total, 34 per cent of patients with a normal radiograph were subsequently found to have a fish bone present under local or general anaesthetic assessment. The sensitivity of radiographs in the detection of fish bones was found to be 51.6 per cent.
Lateral neck radiographs have limited value in the management of suspected fish bone impaction, and should only be used following detailed clinical examination of the upper aerodigestive tract.
Many teaching hospitals in the United States were founded on philanthropic principles and aimed to aid the urban poor and underserved. However, as times have changed, there has been a divide created between the urban poor and teaching hospitals. There is a plethora of reasons why this is the case. This paper will specifically focus on the histories of ten hospitals and medical schools and the effect that white flight, segregation, elitism, and marginalization had on healthcare institutions all over the United States. It will call for a reexamination of the values of Ivy League and Ivy Plus teaching hospitals and medical schools and for them to take an intentional look into their communities.
In recent years mental health officials have reported a rise in the number of forensic patients present within their state psychiatric hospitals and the adverse impacts that these trends had on their hospitals. To date there have been no large-scale national studies conducted to determine if these trends are specific only to a few states or representative of a more global trend. The purpose of this study was to investigate these reported trends and their national prevalence.
The forensic directors of each state behavioral health agency (including the District of Columbia) were sent an Excel spreadsheet that had two components: a questionnaire and data tables with information collected between 1996 and 2014 from the State Profiling System maintained by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute. They were asked to verify and update these data and respond to the questionnaire.
Responses showed a 76% increase nationally in the number of forensic patients in state psychiatric hospitals between 1999 and 2014. The largest increase was for individuals who were court-committed after being found incompetent to stand trial and in need of inpatient restoration services.
The data reviewed here indicate that increases in forensic referrals to state psychiatric hospitals, while not uniform across all states, are nonetheless substantial.
More research is needed to determine whether this multi-state trend is merely a coincidence of differing local factors occurring in many states, or a product of larger systemic factors affecting mental health agencies and the courts.
In recent years, several high-profile attacks on hospitals providing medical aid in conflict settings have raised international concern. The International Humanitarian Law prohibits the deliberate targeting of health care settings. Violation of this law is considered a war crime and impacts both those delivering and receiving medical aid.
While it has been demonstrated that both aid workers and health care settings are increasingly being targeted, little is known about the trends and characteristics of security incidents involving aid workers in health care compared to non-health care settings.
Data from the publicly available Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) containing security incidents involving humanitarian aid workers world-wide were used in this study. The security incidents occurring from January 1, 1997 through December 31, 2016 were classified by two independent reviewers as having occurred in health care and non-health care settings, and those in health care settings were further classified into five categories (hospital, health clinic, mobile clinic, ambulance, and vaccination visit) for the analysis. A stratified descriptive analysis, χ2 Goodness of Fit test, and Cochran-Armitage test for trend were used to examine and compare security incidents occurring in health care and non-health care settings.
Among the 2,139 security incidents involving 4,112 aid workers listed in the AWSD during the study period, 74 and 2,065 incidents were in health care settings and non-health care settings, respectively. There was a nine-fold increase from five to 45 incidents in health care settings (χ2 = 56.27; P < .001), and a five-fold increase from 159 to 852 incidents in non-health care settings (χ2 = 591.55; P < .001), from Period 1 (1997-2001) to Period 4 (2012-2016). Of the 74 incidents in health care settings, 23 (31.1%) occurred in ambulances, 15 (20.3%) in hospitals, 13 (17.6%) in health clinics, 13 (17.6%) during vaccination visits, and six (8.1%) in mobile clinics. Bombings were the most common means of attack in hospitals (N = 9; 60.0%), followed by gun attacks (N = 3; 20.0%). In health care settings, 184 (95.3%) were national staff and nine (4.7%) were international staff.
Security threats are a growing occupational health hazard for aid workers, especially those working in health care settings. There is a need for high-quality data from the field to better monitor the rapidly changing security situation and improve counter-strategies so aid workers can serve those in need without having to sacrifice their lives.
Music therapy has been shown to be effective for reducing anxiety and pain in people with a serious illness. Few studies have investigated the feasibility of integrating music therapy into general inpatient care of the seriously ill, including the care of diverse, multiethnic patients. This leaves a deficit in knowledge for intervention planning. This study investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of introducing music therapy for patients on 4 inpatient units in a large urban medical center. Capacitated and incapacitated patients on palliative care, transplantation, medical intensive care, and general medicine units received a single bedside session led by a music therapist.
A mixed-methods, pre-post design was used to assess clinical indicators and the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention. Multiple regression modeling was used to evaluate the effect of music therapy on anxiety, pain, pulse, and respiratory rate. Process evaluation data and qualitative analysis of observational data recorded by the music therapists were used to assess the feasibility of providing music therapy on the units and patients’ interest, receptivity, and satisfaction.
Music therapy was delivered to 150 patients over a 6-month period. Controlling for gender, age, and session length, regression modeling showed that patients reported reduced anxiety post-session. Music therapy was found to be an accessible and adaptable intervention, with patients expressing high interest, receptivity, and satisfaction.
Significance of Results
This study found it feasible and effective to introduce bedside music therapy for seriously ill patients in a large urban medical center. Lessons learned and recommendations for future investigation are discussed.
In the Dutch health care system, health insurers negotiate with hospitals about the pricing of hospital products in a managed competition framework. In this paper, we study these contract prices that became for the first time publicly available in 2016. The data show substantive price variation between hospitals for the same products, and within a hospital for the same product across insurers. About 27% of the contract prices for a hospital product are at least 20% higher or lower than the average contract price in the market. For about half of the products, the highest and the lowest contract prices across hospitals differ by a factor of three or more. Moreover, hospital product prices do not follow a consistent ranking across hospitals, suggesting substantial cross-subsidization between hospital products. Potential explanations for the large and seemingly random price variation are: (i) different cost pricing methods used by hospitals, (ii) uncertainty due to frequent changes in the hospital payment system, (iii) price adjustments related to negotiated lumpsum payments and (iv) differences in hospital and insurer market power. Several policy options are discussed to reduce variation and increase transparency of hospital prices.
A significant proportion of adults who are admitted to psychiatric hospitals are homeless, yet little is known about their outcomes after a psychiatric hospitalisation discharge. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of being homeless at the time of psychiatric hospitalisation discharge on psychiatric hospital readmission, mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits and physician-based outpatient care.
This was a population-based cohort study using health administrative databases. All patients discharged from a psychiatric hospitalisation in Ontario, Canada, between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2014 (N = 91 028) were included and categorised as homeless or non-homeless at the time of discharge. Psychiatric hospitalisation readmission rates, mental health-related ED visits and physician-based outpatient care were measured within 30 days following hospital discharge.
There were 2052 (2.3%) adults identified as homeless at discharge. Homeless individuals at discharge were significantly more likely to have a readmission within 30 days following discharge (17.1 v. 9.8%; aHR = 1.43 (95% CI 1.26–1.63)) and to have an ED visit (27.2 v. 11.6%; aHR = 1.87 (95% CI 1.68–2.0)). Homeless individuals were also over 50% less likely to have a psychiatrist visit (aHR = 0.46 (95% CI 0.40–0.53)).
Homeless adults are at higher risk of readmission and ED visits following discharge. They are also much less likely to receive post-discharge physician care. Efforts to improve access to services for this vulnerable population are required to reduce acute care service use and improve care continuity.
During the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak, health services in Liberia collapsed. Health care facilities could not support effective infection prevention and control (IPC) practices to prevent Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission necessitating their closure. This report describes the process by which health services and infrastructure were recovered in the public hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. The authors conducted an assessment of the existing capacity for health care provision, including qualitative interviews with community members, record reviews in Ebola treatment units, and phone calls to health facilities. Assessment information was used to determine necessary actions to re-establish services, including building and environmental renovations, acquiring IPC supplies, changing health care practices, hiring additional staff, developing and using an EVD screening tool, and implementing psychosocial supports. On-site monitoring was continued for 2 years to assess what changes were sustained. Described in the report are 2 cases that highlight the challenge of safely re-establishing services with only a symptom-based screening tool and no laboratory tests available on-site. Despite fears among the public, health workers, and the international community, the actions taken enabled basic health care services to be provided during EVD transmission and led to sustainable improvements. This experience suggests that providing routine medical needs helps limit the morbidity and mortality during times of disease outbreak. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;13:767–773)
There is renewed interest in the inverse association between psychiatric hospital and prison places, with reciprocal time trends shown in more than one country. We hypothesised that the numbers of admissions to psychiatric hospitals and committals to prisons in Ireland would also correlate inversely over time (i.e. dynamic measures of admission and committal rather than static, cross-sectional numbers of places).
Publicly available activity statistics for psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland were collated from 1986 to 2010.
There was a reciprocal association between psychiatric admissions and prison committals (Pearson r=−0.788, p<0.001), an increase of 91 prison committals for every 100 psychiatric hospital admissions foregone.
Penrose’s hypothesis applies to admissions to psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland over time (dynamic measures), just as it does to the numbers of places in psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland and elsewhere (static, cross-sectional measures). Although no causal connection can be definitively established yet, mentally disordered prisoners are usually known to community mental health services. Psychiatric services for prisons and the community should be linked to ensure that the needs of those currently accessing care through prisons can also be met in the community.
During the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the lack of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health care facilities amplified human-to-human transmission and contributed to the magnitude of this humanitarian disaster.
In the summer of 2014, the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG; Geneva, Switzerland) conducted an IPC assessment and developed a project based on the local needs and their expertise with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Humanitarian Aid Unit (SDC/HA; Bern, Switzerland). The project consisted of building local capacity in the production of alcohol-based hand-rub solution (ABHRS) based on the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland) formula in non-Ebola health facilities at the peak of the outbreak in Liberia (Fall 2014) and during recovery in Guinea (September 2015) to promote safer care. Twenty-one pharmacists in Liberia and 22 in Guinea were trained and one years’ worth of laboratory equipment, chemical products, containers for personal use, and bioethanol were delivered to 10 hospitals per country with more than 8,000 100 ml bottles of solution produced at the end of the project.
Hand hygiene using hand-rub solution is a critical component of safer care, especially in health care settings lacking runnable water. Throughout the Ebola outbreak, it was a timely moment to promote hand-rub solution and to reinforce IPC measures in non-Ebola health facilities. During the project implementation, a substantial challenge was the unavailability of bioethanol in Liberia and Guinea. In the long run, sustainability of the production can become an issue as it depends heavily on the local government’s financial and political commitment, the capacity to create an on-going demand for hand-rub solution in health facilities, the local purchase and replacement of the materials and chemical products, as well as the availability of continuous local partners’ support.
The project demonstrated that it was feasible to build local capacity in ABHRS production during an emergency and in limited-resource settings when materials and training are provided. Future programs in similar contexts should identify and address the factors of sustainability during the implementation phase and provide regular, long-term technical support.
Jacquerioz BauschFA, HellerO, BengalyL, Matthey-KhouityB, BonnabryP, TouréY, KervillainGJ, BahEI, ChappuisF, HagonO. Building Local Capacity in Hand-Rub Solution Production during the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak Disaster: The Case of Liberia and Guinea.. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):660–667.
This study examines the effect of perceived organisational politics on organisational silence through the mediating role of organisational cynicism. In addition, it tests the effect of perceived support on this relationship. A quantitative (questionnaire survey) design was used to gather data from 346 employees in three public hospitals in Iraq. The structural equation model was used for data analysis. The results demonstrate that all the major hypotheses were accepted, and important role of perceived support in reversing the positive relationship between perceived organisational politics and organisational cynicism was also highlighted. Furthermore, the mediating role was clear in terms of organisational cynicism and the relationship between perceived organisational politics and organisational silence.
This article interrogates the complicated understanding of sectarianism in institutional cultures in late-nineteenth-century England through an examination of the practice of religion in the daily life of hospital wards in voluntary hospitals. Voluntary hospitals prided themselves on their identity as philanthropic institutions free from sectarian practices. The public accusation of sectarianism against University College Hospital triggered a series of responses that suggests that hospital practices reflected and reinforced an acceptable degree of ‘tolerable intolerance’. The debates this incident prompted help us to interrogate the meaning of sectarianism in late nineteenth-century England. How was sectarianism understood? Why was it so important for voluntary institutions to appear free from sectarian influences? How did the responses to claims of sectarian attitudes influence the actions of the male governors, administrators and medical staff of voluntary hospitals? The contradictory meanings of sectarianism are examined in three interrelated themes: the patient, daily life on the wards and hospital funding. The broader debates that arose from the threat of ‘sectarianism in hospital’ uncovers the extent to which religious practices were ingrained in hospital spaces throughout England and remained so long afterwards. Despite the increasing medicalisation and secularisation of hospital spaces, religious practices and symbols were embedded in the daily life of voluntary hospitals.
The objective of the study was to research the basic seismic response capability (BSRC) of hospitals in Lima Metropolitana. A large number of wounded could be registered in case of an earthquake; therefore, operational hospitals are necessary to cure the injured. The study focused on the operational performance of the hospitals, autonomies of essential resources such as power, water, medical gases, and medicine, in addition to the availability of emergency communication system and ambulances.
Data by a probabilistic seismic risk analysis have been used to assess the operational level of the hospitals. Subsequently, availability of an essential resource has been combined with the immediately operational hospitals to evaluate the BSRC of the health facilities.
Forty-one of Lima’s hospitals have been analyzed for a seismic event with 72-100 years of a return period. Three hospitals (7.3%) were capable to work in a self-sufficient manner for 72 hours, another three (7.3%) for 24 hours, and one (2.4%) for 12 hours.
Results showed a low performance of the hospitals in case of an earthquake. The issue is due to the high seismic vulnerability of the existing structures. Given the importance of Lima city in Peru, structural and nonstructural retrofitting plans should be implemented to improve the preparedness of the health system in case of an emergency. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:138–143)
Malnutrition risk screening is essential for the adequate identification and treatment of malnourished hospitalised patients. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the use of an electronic malnutrition screening tool on the knowledge, attitudes and perceived practices (KAP) of a pool of nurses, nurses’ aides and physicians. A controlled study using a pre-test–post-test design was carried out in two Austrian hospitals. The hospital that was assigned to the intervention group used the Graz malnutrition screening tool. The hospital that was assigned to the control group received no intervention. To collect data, a questionnaire was filled out by the study participants at baseline (T0) and 1 month after the implementation (T1) to assess KAP. All data were analysed using descriptive statistics, χ2 tests, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and Student’s t tests. A total of 269 nurses, nurses’ aides and physicians participated in the study and completed the questionnaires at T0, and 190 people at T1. The sum score for the KAP questionnaire changed significantly after the implementation of the malnutrition screening tool in the intervention group (P<0·001), but not in the control group. The use of a valid and reliable malnutrition screening tool effectively improved the KAP of healthcare staff. The KAP described here are essential for providing successful nutritional care in malnourished patients, and improving these factors may result in improved patient outcomes. To attain these outcomes, stakeholders, as well as members of all professions involved in multidisciplinary nutritional care, must invest significant efforts.
Objectives: Hospital-based health technology assessment (HB-HTA) is becoming increasingly relevant because of its role in managing the introduction and withdrawal of health technologies. The organizational arrangement in which HB-HTA activities are conducted depends on several contextual factors, although the dominant models have several similarities. The aims of this study were to explore, describe, interpret, and explain seven cases of the application of HB-HTA logic and to propose a classification for HB-HTA organizational models which may be beneficial for policy makers and HTA professionals.
Methods: The study was part of the AdHopHTA Project, granted under the European 7th Framework Research Programme. A case study methodology was applied to analyze seven HB-HTA initiatives in seven countries, with collection of qualitative and quantitative data. Cross-case analysis was performed within the framework of contingent organizational theory.
Results: Evidence showed that some organizational or “structural” variables, namely the level of procedure formalization/structuration and the level of integration with other HTA bodies at the national, regional, and provincial levels, predominantly shape the HB-HTA approach, determining a contingency model of HB-HTA. Crossing the two variables, four options have emerged: integrated specialized HTA unit, stand-alone HTA unit, integrated-essential HTA, independent group unit.
Conclusions: No one-best-way approach can be used for HTA at the hospital level. Rather, the characteristics of HTA models depend on many contextual factors. Such conceptualization may aid the diffusion of HB-HTA to inform managerial decision making and clinical practice.
To complement our environmental scan of academic emergency medicine departments, we conducted a similar environmental scan of the academic pediatric emergency medicine programs offered by the Canadian medical schools.
We developed an 88-question form, which was distributed to pediatric academic leaders at each medical school. The responses were validated via email to ensure that the questions were answered completely and consistently.
Fourteen of the 17 Canadian medical schools have some type of pediatric emergency medicine academic program. None of the pediatric emergency medicine units have full departmental status, while nine are divisions, two are sections, and three have no status. Canadian academic pediatric emergency medicine is practised at 13 major teaching hospitals and one specialized pediatric emergency department. There are 394 pediatric emergency medicine faculty members, including 13 full professors and 64 associate professors. Eight sites regularly take pediatric undergraduate clinical clerks, and all 14 provide resident education. Fellowship training is offered at 10 sites, with five offering advanced pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training. Half of the sites have at least one physician with a Master’s degree in education, totalling 18 faculty members across Canada. There are 31 clinical researchers with salary support at nine universities. Eleven sites have published peer-reviewed papers (n=423) in the past five years, ranging from two to 102 per site. Annual academic budgets range from $10,000 to $2,607,515.
This comprehensive review of academic activities in pediatric emergency medicine across Canada identifies the variability across the country, including the recognition of sites above and below the national average, which may prompt change at individual sites. Sharing these academic practices may inspire sites to provide more support to teachers, educators, and researchers.
Health care coalitions play an increasingly important role in both preparedness for, response to, and recovery from large scale disaster events occurring across the United States. The actions taken by the South East Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) in response to the landfall of Hurricane Harvey, and the consequential flooding that ensued, serve as an excellent example of how health care coalitions are increasingly needed to play a unifying role in response. This paper highlights a number of the strategic planning, operational planning and response, information sharing, and resource coordination and management activities that were undertaken for the response to Hurricane Harvey. The successful response to this devastating storm in the Houston, Texas area serves as an example to other regions across the country as they work to implement the 2017-2022 health care capabilities articulated by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:637–639)
The use of specialised psychiatric services for depression and anxiety has increased steadily among young people in Sweden during recent years. It is not known to what extent this service use is due to an increase in psychiatric morbidity, or whether other adversities explain these trends. The aim of this study is to examine if there is increased use of psychiatric services among young adults in Sweden between 2000 and 2010, and if so, to what extent this increase is associated with differences in depression, anxiety and negative life events.
This is a repeated cross-sectional study of 20–30-year old men and women in Stockholm County in 2000 and 2010 (n = 2590 and n = 1120). Log-binomial regression analyses were conducted to compare the prevalence of service use, depression and panic disorder between the two cohorts. Self-reported life events were entered individually and as a summary index, and entered as potential mediators. Different effects of life events on service use were examined through interaction analysis. We report prevalence proportion ratios (PPR) with 95% confidence intervals.
Specialised psychiatric service use, but also depression and panic disorder was more common in the younger cohort (current service use 2.4 and 5.0%). The younger cohort did not report more life events overall or among those with depression or anxiety. Neither depression, panic disorder nor life events could explain the increased use of psychiatric services in the younger cohort (Fully adjusted model PPR = 1.70, 1.20–2.40 95% CI). There was no significant interaction between cohort and life events in predicting psychiatric service use.
This study provides initial support for an increase in service use among young adults compared with 10 years earlier. The increased service use cannot be explained with increasing worse life situations.
No study on hospital staff preparedness for managing blast injuries has been conducted in Libya. The internal conflict in Libya since 2011 and the difficulties faced by the hospitals has highlighted the need for such studies.
Physicians working in Tripoli (capital city Libya) hospitals are inadequately prepared for the management of blast injuries.
A survey was conducted in all 13 hospitals in Tripoli between June 2014 and May 2015 by using interviews based on a questionnaire consisting of 29 questions covering physicians’ education related to blast injury, hospital management of mass casualties, and aspects of hospital preparedness for such incidents.
Of 3,799 physicians working in Tripoli hospitals, 607 physicians were interviewed (16.0%). All but one of the physicians reported that there was no disaster response plan, none of them had read such a plan, 496 (81.7%) reported that hospitals were not prepared, and 471 (77.6%) that hospitals were not equipped for blast injuries. Though 414 (68.2%) reported that radiological equipment was available, 597 (98.3%) revealed that hospitals do not adopt training for blast injury. Only 39 (6.4%) had received professional training, though 183 (30.1%) were seeing blast injury patients at least once a week in their daily practice. Nevertheless, 185 (30.5%) had previous knowledge and experience in blast injuries management and 338 (55.70%) were aware of the major physical findings, but only 75 (12.4%) were following specific guidelines. According to approximately one-third of the physicians (192; 31%), staff and patient safety were not priorities for the hospital administration. Almost all (606; 99.9%) revealed that personal protective equipment for chemical and nuclear accidents was not available.
Preparedness for blast injuries in Tripoli hospitals is seriously deficient. Planning optimized blast and disaster management in Libya is essential.
OunAM, HadidaEM, StewartC. Assessment of the Knowledge of Blast Injuries Management among Physicians Working in Tripoli Hospitals (Libya). Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(3):311–316.
This paper explores the social, medical, institutional and enumerative histories of blindness in British India from 1850 to 1950. It begins by tracing the contours and causes of blindness using census records, and then outlines how colonial physicians and observers ascribed both infectious aetiologies and social pathologies to blindness. Blindness was often interpreted as the inevitable consequence of South Asian ignorance, superstition and backwardness. This paper also explores the social worlds of the Blind, with a particular focus on the figure of the blind beggar. This paper further interrogates missionary discourse on ‘Indian’ blindness and outlines how blindness was a metaphor for the perceived civilisational inferiority and religious failings of South Asian peoples. This paper also describes the introduction of institutions for the Blind in addition to the introduction of Braille and Moon technologies.