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Understanding the drivers of health care utilization patterns following disasters can better support health planning. This study characterized all-cause hospitalizations among older Americans after eight large-scale hurricanes.
The objective of this study was to characterize all-cause hospitalizations for any cause among older Americans in the 30 days after eight large-scale hurricanes.
A self-controlled case series study among Medicare beneficiaries (age 65+) exposed to one of eight hurricanes was conducted. The predicted probability of sociodemographic factors associated with hospitalization using logit models was estimated.
Hurricane Sandy (2012) had the highest post-hurricane admission rate, a 23% increase (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.22-1.24), while Hurricane Irene in 2011 had only a 10% increase (IRR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09-1.11). Higher likelihood of hospitalization occurring after hurricanes included being 85 or older (36.8% probability of hospitalization; 95% CI, 34.7-39.0) and being dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (62.8%; 95% CI, 60.7-64.9).
Planning to address the surge in hospitalization for a longer time period after hurricanes and interventions targeted to support aging Americans are needed.
The study describes the implementation of a prehospital treatment algorithm that included intravenous (IV) bolus (IVB) nitroglycerin (NTG) followed by maintenance infusion for the treatment of acute pulmonary edema (APE) in a single, high-volume Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system.
This is a retrospective chart review of patients who received IVB NTG for APE in a large EMS system in Minnesota and Wisconsin (USA). Inclusion criteria for treatment included a diagnosis of APE, systolic blood pressure ≥120mmHg, and oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≤93% following 800mcg of sublingual NTG. Patients received a 400mcg IVB of NTG, repeated every two minutes as needed, and subsequent infusion at 80mcg/min for transport times ≥10 minutes.
Forty-four patients were treated with IVB NTG. The median total bolus dose was 400mcg. Twenty patients were treated with NTG infusion following IVB NTG. The median infusion rate was 80mcg/min. For all patients, the initial median blood pressure was 191/113mmHg. Five minutes following IVB NTG, it was 160/94mmHg, and on arrival to the emergency department (ED) it was 152/90mmHg. Five minutes after the initial dose of IVB NTG, median SpO2 increased to 92% from an initial reading of 88% and was 94% at hospital arrival. One episode of transient hypotension occurred during EMS transport.
Patients treated with IVB NTG for APE had reduction in blood pressure and improvement in SpO2 compared to their original presentation. Prehospital treatment of APE with IVB appears to be feasible and safe. A randomized trial is needed to confirm these findings.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, an exponentially large amount of data has been published to describe the pathology, clinical presentations, and outcomes in patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome novel coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although COVID-19 has been shown to cause a systemic inflammation predisposing the involvement of multiple organs, its mechanism affecting the urogenital system has not been well-documented. This case report presents the clinical course of two male patients with COVID-19 who developed sexual dysfunction, as anorgasmia, following recovery from the infection. Although no evidence of viral replication or inflammatory involvement could be identified in these cases’ urogenital organs, a lack of other known risk factors for anorgasmia points to the role of COVID-19 as the contributing factor.
Patients with respiratory failure are usually mechanically ventilated, mostly with fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) > 0.21. Minimizing FiO2 is increasingly an accepted standard. In underserved nations and disasters, salvageable patients requiring mechanical ventilation may outstrip oxygen supplies.
The hypothesis of the present study was that mechanical ventilation with FiO2 = 0.21 is feasible. This assumption was tested in an Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) model in pigs.
Seventeen pigs were anesthetized, intubated, and mechanically ventilated with FiO2 = 0.4 and Positive End Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) of 5cmH2O. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome was induced by intravenous (IV) oleic acid (OA) infusion, and FiO2 was reduced to 0.21 after 45 minutes of stable moderate ARDS. If peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) decreased below 80%, PEEP was increased gradually until maximum 20cmH2O, then inspiratory time elevated from one second to 1.4 seconds.
Animals developed moderate ARDS (mean partial pressure of oxygen [PaO2]/FiO2 = 162.8, peak and mean inspiratory pressures doubled, and lung compliance decreased). The SpO2 decreased to <80% rapidly after FiO2 was decreased to 0.21. In 14/17 animals, increasing PEEP sufficed to maintain SpO2 > 80%. Only in 3/17 animals, elevation of FiO2 to 0.25 after PEEP reached 20cmH2O was needed to maintain SpO2 > 80%. Animals remained hemodynamically stable until euthanasia one hour later.
In a pig model of moderate ARDS, mechanical ventilation with room air was feasible in 14/17 animals by elevating PEEP. These results in animal model support the potential feasibility of lowering FiO2 to 0.21 in some ARDS patients. The present study was conceived to address the ethical and practical paradigm of mechanical ventilation in disasters and underserved areas, which assumes that oxygen is mandatory in respiratory failure and is therefore a rate-limiting factor in care capacity allocation. Further studies are needed before paradigm changes are considered.
It is difficult to obtain an accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement, especially in the prehospital environment. It is not known fully how various BP measurement techniques differ from one another.
The study hypothesized that there are differences in the accuracy of various non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP) measurement strategies as compared to the gold standard of intra-arterial (IA) measurement.
The study enrolled adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients with radial IA catheters placed to measure radial intra-arterial blood pressure (RIBP) as a part of their standard care at a large, urban, tertiary-care Level I trauma center. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was taken by three different NIBP techniques (oscillometric, auscultated, and palpated) and compared to RIBP measurements. Data were analyzed using the paired t-test with dependent samples to detect differences between RIBP measurements and each NIBP method. The primary outcome was the difference in RIBP and NIBP measurement. There was also a predetermined subgroup analysis based on gender, body mass index (BMI), primary diagnosis requiring IA line placement, and current vasoactive medication use.
Forty-four patients were enrolled to detect a predetermined clinically significant difference of 5mmHg in SBP. The patient population was 63.6% male and 36.4% female with an average age of 58.4 years old. The most common primary diagnoses were septic shock (47.7%), stroke (13.6%), and increased intracranial pressure (ICP; 13.6%). Most patients were receiving some form of sedation (63.4%), while 50.0% were receiving vasopressor medication and 31.8% were receiving anti-hypertensive medication. When compared to RIBP values, only the palpated SBP values had a clinically significant difference (9.88mmHg less than RIBP; P < .001). When compared to RIBP, the oscillometric and auscultated SBP readings showed statistically but not clinically significant lower values. The palpated method also showed a clinically significant lower SBP reading than the oscillometric method (5.48mmHg; P < .001) and the auscultated method (5.06mmHg; P < .001). There was no significant difference between the oscillometric and auscultated methods (0.42mmHg; P = .73).
Overall, NIBPs significantly under-estimated RIBP measurements. Palpated BP measurements were consistently lower than RIBP, which was statistically and clinically significant. These results raise concern about the accuracy of palpated BP and its pervasive use in prehospital care. The data also suggested that auscultated and oscillometric BP may provide similar measurements.
The increase in mortality and total prehospital time (TPT) seen in Qatar appear to be realistic. However, existing reports on the influence of TPT on mortality in trauma patients are conflicting. This study aimed to explore the impact of prehospital time on the in-hospital outcomes.
A retrospective analysis of data on patients transferred alive by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and admitted to Hamad Trauma Center (HTC) of Hamad General Hospital (HGH; Doha, Qatar) from June 2017 through May 2018 was conducted. This study was centered on the National Trauma Registry database. Patients were categorized based on the trauma triage activation and prehospital intervals, and comparative analysis was performed.
A total of 1,455 patients were included, of which nearly one-quarter of patients required urgent and life-saving care at a trauma center (T1 activations). The overall TPT was 70 minutes and the on-scene time (OST) was 24 minutes. When compared to T2 activations, T1 patients were more likely to have been involved in road traffic injuries (RTIs); experienced head and chest injuries; presented with higher Injury Severity Score (ISS: median = 22); and had prolonged OST (27 minutes) and reduced TPT (65 minutes; P = .001). Prolonged OST was found to be associated with higher mortality in T1 patients, whereas TPT was not associated.
In-hospital mortality was independent of TPT but associated with longer OST in severely injured patients. The survival benefit may extend beyond the golden hour and may depend on the injury characteristics, prehospital, and in-hospital settings.
While medical nutrition therapy is an essential part of the care for critically ill patients, uncertainty exists about the right form, dosage, timing and route in relation to the phases of critical illness. As enteral nutrition (EN) is often withheld or interrupted during the intensive care unit (ICU) stay, combined EN and parenteral nutrition (PN) may represent an effective and safe option to achieve energy and protein goals as recommended by international guidelines. We hypothesise that critically ill patients at high nutritional risk may benefit from such a combined approach during their stay on the ICU. Therefore, we aim to test if an early combination of EN and high-protein PN (EN+PN) is effective in reaching energy and protein goals in patients at high nutritional risk, while avoiding overfeeding. This approach will be tested in the here-presented EFFORTcombo trial. Nutritionally high-risk ICU patients will be randomised to either high (≥2·2 g/kg per d) or low protein (≤1·2 g/kg per d). In the high protein group, the patients will receive EN+PN; in the low protein group, patients will be given EN alone. EN will be started in accordance with international guidelines in both groups. Efforts will be made to reach nutrition goals within 48–96 h. The efficacy of the proposed nutritional strategy will be tested as an innovative approach by functional outcomes at ICU and hospital discharge, as well as at a 6-month follow-up.
Cadaveric and older radiographic studies suggest that concurrent cervical spine fractures are rare in gunshot wounds (GSWs) to the head. Despite this knowledge, patients with craniofacial GSWs often arrive with spinal motion restriction (SMR) in place. This study quantifies the incidence of cervical spine injuries in GSWs to the head, identified using computerized tomography (CT). Fracture frequency is hypothesized to be lower in self-inflicted (SI) injuries.
Isolated craniofacial GSWs were queried from this Level I trauma center registry from 2013-2017 and the US National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) from 2012–2016 (head or face abbreviated injury scale [AIS] >2). Datasets included age, gender, SI versus not, cervical spine injury, spinal surgery, and mortality. For this hospital’s data, prehospital factors, SMR, and CTs performed were assessed. Statistical evaluation was done with Stata software, with P <.05 significant.
Two-hundred forty-one patients from this hospital (mean age 39; 85% male; 66% SI) and 5,849 from the NTDB (mean age 38; 84% male; 53% SI) were included. For both cohorts, SI patients were older (P < .01) and had increased mortality (P < .01). Overall, cervical spine fractures occurred in 3.7%, with 5.4% requiring spinal surgery (0.2% of all patients). The frequency of fracture was five-fold greater in non-SI (P < .05). Locally, SMR was present in 121 (50.2%) prior to arrival with six collars (2.5%) placed in the trauma bay. Frequency of SMR was similar regardless of SI status (49.0% versus 51.0%; P = not significant) but less frequent in hypotensive patients and those receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The presence of SMR was associated with an increased use of CT of the cervical spine (80.0% versus 33.0%; P < .01).
Cervical spine fractures were identified in less than four percent of isolated GSWs to the head and face, more frequently in non-SI cases. Prehospital SMR should be avoided in cases consistent with SI injury, and for all others, SMR should be discontinued once CT imaging is completed with negative results.
Studies have reported a sex bias in case fatalities of COVID-19 patients. Moreover, it is observed that men have a higher risk of developing a severe form of the disease compared to women, highlighting the importance of disaggregated data of male and female COVID-19 patients. On the other hand, other factors (eg, hormonal levels and immune functions) also need to be addressed due to the effects of sex differences on the outcomes of COVID-19 patients. An insight into the underlying causes of sex differences in COVID-19 patients may provide an opportunity for better care of the patients or prevention of the disease. The current study reviews the reports concerning with the sex differences in COVID-19 patients. It is explained how sex can affect angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), that is a key component for the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and summarized the gender differences in immune responses and how sex hormones are involved in immune processes. Furthermore, the available data about the impact of sex hormones on the immune functions of COVID-19 cases are looked into.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of acute changes in serum C-reactive protein (CRP) on appetite and food intake among older hospitalised patients. A total of 200 patients (age range 65–94 years, 62·5 % women) participated in this prospective longitudinal observational study. Risk of malnutrition was measured according to the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form. The Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire (SNAQ) and Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) were used to evaluate patients’ appetite at the time of hospital admission (baseline) and after 7 d (follow-up). Food intake was measured according to the plate diagram and serum CRP was analysed at baseline and follow-up. At baseline, 30·5 % of the patients had moderate to severe inflammation, 31·0 % were malnourished and 48·0 % had food intake <75 % of the meals offered. Also, 32·5 and 23·5 % reported poor and very poor appetite or severe loss of appetite according to the SNAQ and ESAS, respectively. Of the patients, 40 % displayed a pronounced reduction in median CRP levels by −1·2 mg/dl and 19 % demonstrated an increase in median CRP levels by +1·2 mg/dl. Appetite significantly improved (P = 0·006) in patients with a decrease in CRP level and deteriorated in those with an increase in CRP level (P = 0·032). Changes in CRP levels did not show any significant impact on food intake. In a regression analysis, changes of inflammation were the major independent predictor for changes of patients’ appetite. We conclude that inflammation has a significant impact on appetite and should therefore be considered in the diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a new respiratory disease, is spreading globally. In France, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) teams are mobile medicalized resuscitation teams composed of emergency physician, nurse or anesthesiologist nurse, ambulance driver, and resident. Four types of clinical cases are presented here because they have led these EMS teams to change practices in their management of patients suspected of COVID-19 infection: cardiac arrest, hypoxia on an acute pneumonia, acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation with respiratory and hemodynamic disorders, and upper function disorders in a patient in a long-term care facility. The last case raised the question of COVID-19 cases with atypical forms in elderly subjects. Providers were contaminated during the management of these patients. These cases highlighted the need to review the way these EMS teams are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, in view of heightening potential for early identification of suspicious cases, and of reinforcing the application of staff protection equipment to limit risk of contamination.
The aim of this study was to determine the most cost-effective strategy for the prevention and control of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in intensive care units (ICUs) in areas with limited health resources. The study was conducted in 12 ICUs of four hospitals. The total cost for the prevention of MDROs and the secondary attack rate (SAR) of MDROs for each strategy were collected retrospectively from 2046 subjects from January to December 2017. The average cost-effectiveness ratio (CER), incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and cost-effectiveness acceptability curve were calculated. Hand hygiene (HH) had the lowest total cost (2149.6 RMB) and SAR of MDROs (8.8%) while single-room isolation showed the highest cost (33 700.2 RMB) and contact isolation had the highest SAR of MDROs (31.8%). The average cost per unit infection prevention was 24 427.8 RMB, with the HH strategy followed by the environment disinfection strategy (CER = 21 314.67). HH had the highest iterative cost effect under willingness to pay less than 2000 RMB. Due to the low cost for repeatability and obvious effectiveness, we conclude that HH is the optimal strategy for MDROs infections in ICUs in developing countries. The cost-effectiveness of the four prevention strategies provides some reference for developing countries but multiple strategies remain to be examined.
The rapid insurgence and spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exceeded the limit of the intensive care unit (ICU) contingency plan of the Maggiore della Carità University Hospital (Novara, Italy) generating a crisis management condition. This brief report describes how a prompt response to the sudden request of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) was provided by addressing the key elements of health care system surge capacity from contingency to crisis. In a short time and at a relatively low cost, a structural modification of a hospital aisle allowed to convert the general ICU into a COVID-19 unit, increasing the number of COVID-19 critical care beds by 107%.
In August 2018, India’s southern state of Kerala experienced its worst flooding in over a century. This report describes the relief efforts in Kozhikode, a coastal region of Kerala, where Operation Navajeevan was initiated.
Data were collected from a centralized database at the command center in the District Medical Office as well as first-hand accounts from providers who participated in the relief effort.
From August 15 through September 8, 2018, 36,846 flood victims were seen at 280 relief camps. The most common cause for presentation was exacerbation of an on-going chronic medical condition (18,490; 50.2%). Other common presentations included acute respiratory infection (7,451; 20.2%), traumatic injuries (3,736; 10.4%), and psychiatric illness (5,327; 14.5%).
The prevalence of chronic disease exacerbation as the primary presentation during Operation Navajeevan represents an epidemiologic shift in disaster relief in India. It is foreseeable that as access to health care improves in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and climate change increases the prevalence of extreme weather events around the world, that this trend will continue.
This article captures the webinar narrative on March 31, 2020 of four expert panelists addressing three questions on the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Each panelist was selected for their unique personal expertise, ranging from front-line emergency physicians from multiple countries, an international media personality, former director of the US Strategic National Stockpile, and one of the foremost international experts in disaster medicine and public policy. The forum was moderated by one of the most widely recognized disaster medical experts in the world. The four panelists were asked three questions regarding the current pandemic as follows:
1. What do you see as a particular issue of concern during the current pandemic?
2. What do you see as a particular strength during the current pandemic?
3. If you could change one thing about the way that the pandemic response is occurring, what would you change?
Early identification of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) may improve clinical outcomes. Prior studies suggest exhaled end tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) provides a non-invasive, real-time method to screen for DKA in the emergency department (ED).
This a retrospective cohort study among patients who activated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) during a one-year period. Initial out-of-hospital vital signs documented by EMS personnel, including ETCO2 and first recorded blood glucose level (BGL), as well as in-hospital records, including laboratory values and diagnosis, were collected. The main outcome was the association between ETCO2 and the diagnosis of DKA.
Of the 118 patients transported with hyperglycemia (defined by BGL >200), six (5%) were diagnosed with DKA. The mean level of ETCO2 in those without DKA was 35mmHg (95% CI, 33-38mmHg) compared to mean levels of 15mmHg (95% CI, 8-21mmHg) in those with DKA (P <.001). The Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) Curve (AUC) for ETCO2 identifying DKA was 0.96 (95% CI, 0.92-1.00). The correlation coefficient between ETCO2 and serum bicarbonate (HCO3) was 0.436 (P <.001) and the correlation coefficient between ETCO2 and anion gap was -0.397 (P <.001).
Among patients with hyperglycemia, prehospital levels of ETCO2 were significantly lower in patients with DKA compared to those without and were predictive of the diagnosis of DKA. Furthermore, out-of-hospital ETCO2 was significantly correlated with measures of metabolic acidosis.
There has been no study exploring the prognostic values of neutrophil percentage-to-albumin ratio (NPAR). We hypothesised that NPAR is a novel marker of inflammation and is associated with all-cause mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Patient data were extracted from the MIMIC-III V1.4 database. Only the data for the first intensive care unit (ICU) admission of each patient were used and baseline data were extracted within 24 h after ICU admission. The clinical endpoints were 30-, 90- and 365-day all-cause mortality in critically ill patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Cox proportional hazards models and subgroup analyses were used to determine the relationship between NPAR and these clinical endpoints. A total of 2166 patients were eligible for this analysis. In multivariate analysis, after adjustments for age, ethnicity and gender, higher NPAR was associated with increased risk of 30-, 90- and 365-day all-cause mortality in critically ill patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Furthermore, after adjusting for more confounding factors, higher NPAR remained a significant predictor of all-cause mortality (tertile 3 vs. tertile 1: HR, 95% CI: 1.29, 1.04–1.61; 1.41, 1.16–1.72; 1.44, 1.21–1.71). A similar trend was observed in NPAR levels stratified by quartiles. Higher NPAR was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality in critically ill patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.
The aim of this study was to analyze the profile of chest injuries, oxygen therapy for respiratory failure, and the outcomes of victims after the Jiangsu tornado, which occurred on June 23, 2016 in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, China.
The clinical records of 144 patients referred to Yancheng City No.1 People’s Hospital from June 23 through June 25 were retrospectively investigated. Of those patients, 68 (47.2%) sustained major chest injuries. The demographic details, trauma history, details of injuries and Abbreviated Injury Scores (AIS), therapy for respiratory failure, surgical procedures, length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stay, and mortality were analyzed.
Of the 68 patients, 41 (60.3%) were female and 27 (39.7%) were male. The average age of the injured patients was 57.1 years. Forty-six patients (67.6%) suffered from polytrauma. The mean thoracic AIS of the victims was calculated as 2.85 (SD = 0.76). Rib fracture was the most common chest injury, noted in 56 patients (82.4%). Pulmonary contusion was the next most frequent injury, occurring in 12 patients (17.7%). Ten patients with severe chest trauma were admitted to ICU. The median ICU stay was 11.7 (SD = 8.5) days. Five patients required intubation and ventilation, one patient was treated with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV), and four patients were treated with high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC). Three patients died during hospitalization. The hospital mortality was 4.41%.
Chest trauma was a common type of injury after tornado. The most frequent thoracic injuries were rib fractures and pulmonary contusion. Severe chest trauma is usually associated with a high incidence of respiratory support requirements and a long length of stay in the ICU. Early initiation of appropriate oxygen therapy was vital to restoring normal respiratory function and saving lives. Going forward, HFNC might be an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic addition to the management of acute respiratory failure in chest trauma.
Prehospital vital signs are used to triage trauma patients to mobilize appropriate resources and personnel prior to patient arrival in the emergency department (ED). Due to inherent challenges in obtaining prehospital vital signs, concerns exist regarding their accuracy and ability to predict first ED vitals.
The objective of this study was to determine the correlation between prehospital and initial ED vitals among patients meeting criteria for highest levels of trauma team activation (TTA). The hypothesis was that in a medical system with short transport times, prehospital and first ED vital signs would correlate well.
Patients meeting criteria for highest levels of TTA at a Level I trauma center (2008-2018) were included. Those with absent or missing prehospital vital signs were excluded. Demographics, injury data, and prehospital and first ED vital signs were abstracted. Prehospital and initial ED vital signs were compared using Bland-Altman intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) with good agreement as >0.60; fair as 0.40-0.60; and poor as <0.40).
After exclusions, 15,320 patients were included. Mean age was 39 years (range 0-105) and 11,622 patients (76%) were male. Mechanism of injury was blunt in 79% (n = 12,041) and mortality was three percent (n = 513). Mean transport time was 21 minutes (range 0-1,439). Prehospital and first ED vital signs demonstrated good agreement for Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score (ICC 0.79; 95% CI, 0.77-0.79); fair agreement for heart rate (HR; ICC 0.59; 95% CI, 0.56-0.61) and systolic blood pressure (SBP; ICC 0.48; 95% CI, 0.46-0.49); and poor agreement for pulse pressure (PP; ICC 0.32; 95% CI, 0.30-0.33) and respiratory rate (RR; ICC 0.13; 95% CI, 0.11-0.15).
Despite challenges in prehospital assessments, field GCS, SBP, and HR correlate well with first ED vital signs. The data show that these prehospital measurements accurately predict initial ED vitals in an urban setting with short transport times. The generalizability of these data to settings with longer transport times is unknown.