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To describe the cumulative seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among employees of a large pediatric healthcare system.
Design, setting, and participants:
Prospective observational cohort study open to adult employees at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted April 20–December 17, 2020.
Employees were recruited starting with high-risk exposure groups, utilizing e-mails, flyers, and announcements at virtual town hall meetings. At baseline, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months, participants reported occupational and community exposures and gave a blood sample for SARS-CoV-2 antibody measurement by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). A post hoc Cox proportional hazards regression model was performed to identify factors associated with increased risk for seropositivity.
In total, 1,740 employees were enrolled. At 6 months, the cumulative seroprevalence was 5.3%, which was below estimated community point seroprevalence. Seroprevalence was 5.8% among employees who provided direct care and was 3.4% among employees who did not perform direct patient care. Most participants who were seropositive at baseline remained positive at follow-up assessments. In a post hoc analysis, direct patient care (hazard ratio [HR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–3.68), Black race (HR, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.24–5.87), and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting (HR, 4.32; 95% CI, 2.71–6.88) were associated with statistically significant increased risk for seropositivity.
Employee SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates remained below the point-prevalence rates of the surrounding community. Provision of direct patient care, Black race, and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting conferred increased risk. These data can inform occupational protection measures to maximize protection of employees within the workplace during future COVID-19 waves or other epidemics.
In 2015, an international outbreak of Mycobacterium chimaera infections among patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgeries was associated with exposure to contaminated LivaNova 3T heater-cooler devices (HCDs). From June 2017 to October 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified of 18 patients with M. chimaera infections who had undergone cardiothoracic surgeries at 2 hospitals in Kansas (14 patients) and California (4 patients); 17 had exposure to 3T HCDs. Whole-genome sequencing of the clinical and environmental isolates matched the global outbreak strain identified in 2015.
Investigations were conducted at each hospital to determine the cause of ongoing infections. Investigative methods included query of microbiologic records to identify additional cases, medical chart review, observations of operating room setup, HCD use and maintenance practices, and collection of HCD and environmental samples.
Onsite observations identified deviations in the positioning and maintenance of the 3T HCDs from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations and the manufacturer’s updated cleaning and disinfection protocols. Additionally, most 3T HCDs had not undergone the recommended vacuum and sealing upgrades by the manufacturer to decrease the dispersal of M. chimaera–containing aerosols into the operating room, despite hospital requests to the manufacturer.
These findings highlight the need for continued awareness of the risk of M. chimaera infections associated with 3T HCDs, even if the devices are newly manufactured. Hospitals should maintain vigilance in adhering to FDA recommendations and the manufacturer’s protocols and in identifying patients with potential M. chimaera infections with exposure to these devices.
In response to advancing clinical practice guidelines regarding concussion management, service members, like athletes, complete a baseline assessment prior to participating in high-risk activities. While several studies have established test stability in athletes, no investigation to date has examined the stability of baseline assessment scores in military cadets. The objective of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability of a baseline concussion test battery in cadets at U.S. Service Academies.
All cadets participating in the Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium investigation completed a standard baseline battery that included memory, balance, symptom, and neurocognitive assessments. Annual baseline testing was completed during the first 3 years of the study. A two-way mixed-model analysis of variance (intraclass correlation coefficent (ICC)3,1) and Kappa statistics were used to assess the stability of the metrics at 1-year and 2-year time intervals.
ICC values for the 1-year test interval ranged from 0.28 to 0.67 and from 0.15 to 0.57 for the 2-year interval. Kappa values ranged from 0.16 to 0.21 for the 1-year interval and from 0.29 to 0.31 for the 2-year test interval. Across all measures, the observed effects were small, ranging from 0.01 to 0.44.
This investigation noted less than optimal reliability for the most common concussion baseline assessments. While none of the assessments met or exceeded the accepted clinical threshold, the effect sizes were relatively small suggesting an overlap in performance from year-to-year. As such, baseline assessments beyond the initial evaluation in cadets are not essential but could aid concussion diagnosis.