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Arctic rabies virus variant (ARVV) is enzootic in Quebec (Canada) north of the 55th parallel. With climate change, increased risk of re-incursion of ARVV in more densely populated southern regions raises public and animal health concerns. The objective of this study was to prioritise geographical areas to target for an early detection of ARVV incursion south of the 55th parallel based on the historical spatio-temporal trends of reported rabies in foxes in Quebec. Descriptive analyses of fox rabies cases from 1953 to 2017 were conducted. Three periods show increases in the number of fox rabies cases in southern regions and indicate incursion from northern areas or neighbouring provinces. The available data, particularly in central and northern regions of the province, were scarce and of low spatial resolution, making it impossible to identify the path of spread with precision. Hence, we investigated the use of multiple criteria, such as historical rabies cases, human population density and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) relative abundance, to prioritise areas for enhanced surveillance. This study underscores the need to define and maintain new criteria for selecting samples to be analysed in order to detect rapidly ARVV cases outside the current enzootic area and any potential re-incursion of the virus into central and southern regions of the province.
To review the management of temporal bone fractures at a major trauma centre and introduce an evidence-based protocol.
A review of reports of head computed tomography performed for trauma from January 2012 to July 2018 was conducted. Recorded data fields included: mode of trauma, patient age, associated intracranial injury, mortality, temporal bone fracture pattern, symptoms and intervention.
Of 815 temporal bone fracture cases, records for 165 patients met the inclusion criteria; detailed analysis was performed on the records of these patients.
Temporal bone fractures represent high-energy trauma. Initial management focuses on stabilisation of the patient and treatment of associated intracranial injury. Acute ENT intervention is directed towards the management of facial palsy and cerebrospinal fluid leak, and often requires multidisciplinary team input. The role of nerve conduction assessment for immediate facial palsy is variable across the UK. The administration of high-dose steroids in patients with temporal bone fracture and intracranial injury is not advised. A robust evidence-based approach is introduced for the management of significant ENT complications associated with temporal bone fractures.
Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) consultations are often necessary for safe and effective patient care. Delays in throughput related to ED consultations can increase a patient's ED length of stay (LOS) and contribute to ED crowding. This review aimed to characterize and evaluate interventions to improve consultation metrics. Methods: Eight primary literature databases and the grey literature were comprehensively searched. Comparative studies of interventions to improve ED consultation metrics were included. Unique citations were screened for relevance and the full-texts of relevant articles were reviewed by two independent reviewers. Data on study characteristics and outcomes were extracted in duplicate onto standardized forms. Disagreements were resolved through consensus. Categorical variables are reported as proportions. Continuous variables are reported as the median of the means and total range. Results: After screening 2632 unique citations and 19 from the grey literature items, 24 studies were included. Seventeen interventions targeted specific conditions or speciality services, while the remainder targeted all ED presentations. Interventions fell into three broad categories: strategies to expedite patient care, including clinical pathways (42%); interventions to improve consultant responsiveness (33%); and addition of a specialized care team to the ED (25%). Overall, eight studies reported on the overall proportion of consults in the ED, of which six reported an increase in the consultation proportion (median: +0.6%, range: −11.3% to +49.6%). Six studies reported the proportion of consulted patients who were admitted, of which four reported an increase (median: +1.1%, range: −5.9% to +3.5%). On the other hand, six of seven studies reporting on time from request to consult arrival reported a decrease (median: −25 minutes, range: −66 to +3.8 minutes). Similarly, overall ED LOS was reported to be lower in 17/19 studies reporting this metric (median: −47.6 minutes, range: −600 minutes to +59 minutes). Conclusion: A variety of strategies have been employed to improve ED consultation processes and outcomes. Neither the proportion of consulted patients in the ED nor the proportion of admissions were improved; however, interventions appeared successful at improving consultant arrival times and overall ED LOS. Improvements in consultation processes may be an effective strategy to improve ED throughput and thereby reduce ED crowding.
Introduction: While consultation is a common and important aspect of emergency department (ED) care, a previous systematic review identified significant utilization and process variation across ED's. The aim of this review update was to examine the proportion of the patients undergoing consultation in the ED among recent studies. Methods: Eight primary literature databases and the grey literature were searched. Studies published from 2007 to 2018 focusing on all-comers to the ED and reporting a consultation-related outcome were included. Disease- and specialty-specific studies were not eligible. Two independent reviewers screened studies for relevance, inclusion, quality assessment, and data extraction. Disagreements were resolved through consensus. Means, medians and interquartile ranges are reported. Wilcoxon-rank sum test and one-way ANOVA were used to identify differences between groups, as appropriate. Results: A total of 2632 unique citations and 49 studies from the grey literature were screened, of which 29 primary studies were included. Fifteen studies reported on the proportion of ED patients undergoing consultation, involving EDs in the Middle East (n = 4), North America (n = 4), Asia (n = 4), and Europe (n = 3). Overall, the proportion of patients receiving consultation ranged from 7% to 78% (median: 26%; IQR: 20%, 38%). There were no differences in the proportions of consulted patients based on country of origin. Ten studies were conducted prior to 2013, while five studies recruited patients during and after 2013. The mean proportion of consulted patients was lower for post-2012 studies compared to pre-2012 studies (mean: 18% vs. 36%; p = 0.0048). The proportion of consulted patients admitted to hospital ranged considerably between the 14 reporting studies (median: 56%; IQR: 49%, 76%). No differences in the proportion of admitted patients undergoing a consult were identified based on country of origin or year of recruitment for the study. Conclusion: Although consultation utilization appears to be decreasing overall, there is considerable practice variation in EDs around the world. These differences may result from variation in patient acuity, case-load, staffing levels, institutional and health-system organization, and medical training and future research should explore reasons for these differences.
With a high affinity to carbon comparable to titanium and an electrically conductive carbide, zirconium has potential to form ohmic contact on boron doped diamond. In this work, formation of ohmic contacts on boron doped diamond using zirconium is studied in comparison to titanium. Boron doped diamond epitaxial layers have been grown by microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition with various B/C ratio. Circular Transmission Line Model structures were fabricated using standard micro-fabrication technologies. Specific contact resistance of fabricated contacts was determined for different boron concentrations and for various annealing temperatures. Ohmic contacts using zirconium are formed after annealing at 400 °C. Specific contact resistance steadily decreases with high temperature annealing down to a value of ca. 1 mΩ.cm2 after annealing at 700 °C for highly boron doped diamond. In comparison, titanium contact fabricated on highly doped diamond appears not stable under high temperature annealing.
This study measures willingness to pay (WTP) for extrinsic attributes (Angus, local, DNA traceable, raised carbon friendly, and humanely treated cattle) in steak and ground beef using choice-based experiments from a national consumer survey. Belief that survey responses could have consequences on beef products offered by the steak and ground beef industry is investigated, as well as its effect on attribute WTP. For most attributes, belief in consequentiality increases WTP. Results suggest that although consequentiality believers tend to place greater importance on certain food industry issues, they are less certain about the attribute's provision actually effecting change in the industry.
Introduction: Unnecessary imaging of adult cervical spine (C-spine) injury patients in the Emergency Department (ED) is a concern. Guidance for C-spine image ordering exists; however, the effectiveness and safety of their implementation in the ED is not well studied. This review examines their implementation and effectiveness at reducing C-spine imaging in adults presenting to the ED with stable neck trauma. Methods: Six electronic databases and the grey literature were searched. Comparative studies examining interventions to reduce C-spine imaging were eligible for inclusion. Two independent reviewers screened for study eligibility, assessed study quality, and extracted data. Data were analyzed using RevMan (Version 5.3) to explore the effectiveness of these interventions in safely reducing C-Spine radiography. Results: A total of 848 unique citations were screened of which six before-after studies and one randomized controlled trial were included. The study population varied with respect to injury severity (i.e., stability status). None of the studies were assessed as high quality. The interventions employed included locally developed guidelines and clinical decision rules, specifically the National X-radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS) criteria and the Canadian C-Spine Rule (CCR). Various implementation strategies, such as teaching sessions, pocket reminder cards, posters and computerized decision support were used. Several studies used multi-faceted interventions. Overall, of the five study groups that examined change in x-ray ordering, three groups reported a significant reduction in c-spine radiography. The remaining two showed no change in imaging. A pooled estimate of the effectiveness of the interventions was prohibited by significant heterogeneity. Conclusion: The evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions to reduce C-spine imaging in adult ED patients with stable neck trauma is inconclusive. Given the national and international focus on improving appropriateness and reducing unnecessary imaging through campaigns such as Choosing Wisely®, additional interventional research in this field is warranted.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.
Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is an extremely frequent emergency department (ED) presentation. Although LBP imaging often results in no change to the ED management, does not identify abnormalities, and has documented risks (e.g., radiation exposure), advanced imaging (i.e., computed tomography [CT], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) for patients with LBP has become increasingly frequent in the ED. The objective of this review was to identify and examine the effectiveness and safety of interventions aimed at reducing imaging in the ED for LBP patients. Methods: Six bibliographic databases and grey literature were searched. Comparative studies assessing interventions aimed at reducing ED imaging for adult patients with LBP were eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers independently screened study eligibility, completed data extraction, and assessed the quality of included studies. Due to a limited number of studies and significant heterogeneity, a descriptive analysis was performed. Results: The search yielded 510 unique citations of which three before-after studies were included. Quality assessment identified potential biases relating to comparability between the pre- and post-intervention groups, reliable assessment of outcomes, and an overall lack of information on the intervention (i.e., time point, description, intervention data collection). The interventions to reduce lumbar spine imaging varied considerably. Study interventions included: 1) clinical decision support (i.e., a specialized X-ray requisition form), which reported a 47.4% relative reduction of lumbar spine radiography referrals; 2) clinical decision guidelines, which reduced referrals by 43.8%; and 3) multidisciplinary protocols, which reported a reduction in the MRI referral rate by 26.1%. Despite reductions in simple imaging, CT use increased in two of the three studies. Conclusion: LBP has been identified as a key area of imaging overuse (e.g., Choosing Wisely recommendation). Yet, evidence of interventions’ effectiveness in reducing imaging for ED patients with LBP is sparse. While there is some evidence to suggest that interventions can reduce the use of simple imaging in LBP in the ED, unintended consequences have been reported and additional studies employing higher quality methods are strongly recommended.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension. Current established protocols (RUSH, ACES, etc) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. We wished to use reported disease incidence to develop an informed approach to PoCUS in hypotension using a “4 F’s” approach: Fluid; Form; Function; Filling. Methods: We summarized the incidence of PoCUS findings from an international multicentre RCT, and using a modified Delphi approach incorporating this data we obtained the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. The modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate PoCUS for hypotensive emergency department patients. Results: Rates of abnormal PoCUS findings from 151 patients with undifferentiated hypotension included left ventricular dynamic changes (43%), IVC abnormalities (27%), pericardial effusion (16%), and pleural fluid (8%). Abdominal pathology was rare (fluid 5%, AAA 2%). After two rounds of the survey, using majority consensus, agreement was reached on a SHoC-hypotension protocol comprising: A. Core: 1. Cardiac views (Sub-xiphoid and parasternal windows for pericardial fluid, cardiac form and ventricular function); 2. Lung views for pleural fluid and B-lines for filling status; and 3. IVC views for filling status; B. Supplementary: Additional cardiac views; and C. Additional views (when indicated) including peritoneal fluid, aorta, pelvic for IUP, and proximal leg veins for DVT. Conclusion: An international consensus process based on prospectively collected disease incidence has led to a proposed SHoC-hypotension PoCUS protocol comprising a stepwise clinical-indication based approach of Core, Supplementary and Additional PoCUS views.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) provides invaluable information during resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest by determining presence/absence of cardiac activity and identifying reversible causes such as pericardial tamponade. There is no agreed guideline on how to safely and effectively incorporate PoCUS into the advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithm. We consider that a consensus-based priority checklist using a “4 F’s” approach (Fluid; Form; Function; Filling), would provide a better algorithm during ACLS. Methods: The ultrasound subcommittee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) drafted a checklist incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm. This was further developed using the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. A modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate ultrasound into cardiac arrest algorithms for emergency department patients. Results: Consensus was reached following 3 rounds. The agreed protocol focuses on the timing of PoCUS as well as the specific clinical questions. Core cardiac windows performed during the rhythm check pause in chest compressions are the sub-xiphoid and parasternal cardiac views. Either view should be used to detect pericardial fluid, as well as examining ventricular form (e.g. right heart strain) and function, (e.g. asystole versus organized cardiac activity). Supplementary views include lung views (for absent lung sliding in pneumothorax and for pleural fluid), and IVC views for filling. Additional ultrasound applications are for endotracheal tube confirmation, proximal leg veins for DVT, or for sources of blood loss (AAA, peritoneal/pelvic fluid). Conclusion: The authors hope that this process will lead to a consensus-based SHoC-cardiac arrest guideline on incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm.
A triple hurdle model estimates cattle farmer willingness to adopt or expand prescribed grazing on pasture in the United States in response to a hypothetical incentive program. Interest in adoption/expansion is estimated first, then willingness to participate in the program, followed by intensity of participation measured as additional acres enrolled. The supply elasticity of enrolled acres with respect to the incentive is 0.13. Nonpecuniary factors inter alia farmer sentiment about stewardship, current farm management practices, farm location, and education are associated with farmer willingness to participate and with participation intensity.
To determine whether copper incorporated into hospital ward furnishings and equipment can reduce their surface microbial load.
A crossover study.
Acute care medical ward with 19 beds at a large university hospital.
Fourteen types of frequent-touch items made of copper alloy were installed in various locations on an acute care medical ward. These included door handles and push plates, toilet seats and flush handles, grab rails, light switches and pull cord toggles, sockets, overbed tables, dressing trolleys, commodes, taps, and sink fittings. Their surfaces and those of equivalent standard items on the same ward were sampled once weekly for 24 weeks. The copper and standard items were switched over after 12 weeks of sampling to reduce bias in usage patterns. The total aerobic microbial counts and the presence of indicator microorganisms were determined.
Eight of the 14 copper item types had microbial counts on their surfaces that were significantly lower than counts on standard materials. The other 6 copper item types had reduced microbial numbers on their surfaces, compared with microbial counts on standard items, but the reduction did not reach statistical significance. Indicator microorganisms were recovered from both types of surfaces; however, significantly fewer copper surfaces were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, and coliforms, compared with standard surfaces.
Copper alloys (greater than or equal to 58% copper), when incorporated into various hospital furnishings and fittings, reduce the surface microorganisms. The use of copper in combination with optimal infection-prevention strategies may therefore further reduce the risk that patients will acquire infection in healthcare environments.
We present a comprehensive survey of B abundances in diffuse interstellar clouds from HST/STIS observations along 56 Galactic sight lines. Our sample is the result of a complete search of archival STIS data for the B II λ1362 resonance line, with each detection confirmed by the presence of absorption from other dominant ions at the same velocity. The data probe a range of astrophysical environments including both high-density regions of massive star formation as well as low-density paths through the Galactic halo, allowing us to clearly define the trend of B depletion onto interstellar grains as a function of gas density. Many extended sight lines exhibit complex absorption profiles that trace both local gas and gas associated with either the Sagittarius-Carina or Perseus spiral arm. Our analysis indicates a higher B/O ratio in the inner Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm than in the vicinity of the Sun, which may suggest that B production in the current epoch is dominated by a secondary process. The average gas-phase B abundance in the warm diffuse ISM [log ϵ(B) = 2.38±0.10] is consistent with the abundances determined for a variety of Galactic disk stars, but is depleted by 60% relative to the solar system value. Our survey also reveals sight lines with enhanced B abundances that potentially trace recent production of 11B either by cosmic-ray or neutrino-induced spallation. Such sight lines will be key to discerning the relative importance of the two production routes for 11B synthesis.
We present abundance measurements for a large number of neutron-capture elements in giant stars of the globular clusters M4, M5, and M13. The relative abundance ratios differ between all three clusters. For all clusters, we find that the mean abundances for the elements from Ba to Hf can be well explained by scaled versions of the solar s- and r-process abundances, albeit with different mixtures of s- and r-process material for each clusters.
B. E. Reddy, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India,
D. L. Lambert, McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA,
C. Allende Prieto, McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA
We present the results of our recent abundance survey of the Galactic thick disk. We selected from the Hipparcos catalog 176 sample stars satisfying the following criteria: they are nearby (d ≤ 150 pc) subgiants and dwarfs, of spectral types F and G, and with thick-disk kinematics (VLSR ≤ −40 kms−1, │WLSR│ ≤ 30 kms−1). Assuming that the velocity distribution of each stellar population is Gaussian, we assigned stars with a probability P ≤ 70% to one of the three components. This resulted in 95 thick-disk stars, 17 thin-disk stars, and 24 halo stars. The remaining 40 objects cannot be unambiguously assigned to one of the three components.
We derived abundances for 23 elements from C to Eu. The thick-disk abundance patterns are compared with earlier results from the thin-disk survey of Reddy et al. (2003). The levels of α-elements (O, Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti), thought to be produced dominantly in Type-ii supernovae, are enhanced in thick-disk stars relative to the values found for thin-disk members in the range −0.3 > [Fe/H] > −1.2. The scatter in the abundance ratios [X/Fe] at a given [Fe/H] for thick-disk stars is consistent with the predicted dispersion due to measurement errors, as is the case for the thin disk, suggesting a lack of “cosmic” scatter. The observed compositions seem consistent with a model of galaxy formation by mergers in a ∧ CDM universe.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
As in vivo cellular imaging becomes the necessary norm for understanding cancer and other diseases, new non-toxic nanoprobes are going to be required to replace the high quality cadmium based nanoprobes in use today. We are developing less toxic probes based on two types of luminescent ceramic nanoparticles: naturally occurring fluorescent (NOF) mimics and Ln-based ceramic oxide materials. The NOF minerals of interest and that have demonstrated initial luminosity of sufficient brightness for use in cellular studies that include sphalerite, scheelite, manganoan and perovskite nanoparticles. For Ln-based materials we have shown that Ln-doped zincite will also luminesce enough to allow for quantification in cellular activity. Once formed, these probes are functionalized such that they can be delivered to desired cellular targets. Probe derivatization has focused on surface capping with functionalized poly(ethyleneglycol) molecules/lipids to yield water soluble NCs and polyarginine-based transporters for transmembrane delivery. The probes are being evaluated for their luminescent properties, as well as their non-toxicity and ability to report on cell-signaling events with various cell lines using multi-spectral, confocal microscopy, and other techniques. Preliminary interdisciplinary studies have validated the basic approaches for the synthesis of NOF nanoprobes and the bio-delivery and imaging of nanoparticles. Work to optimize the design, delivery, and imaging of these new nanoprobes is expected to achieve the NIH directed goal of increasing in the sensitivity and specificity of molecular probes for imaging. Details of the synthesis, functionalization and biological imaging using these probes will be presented. This work partially supported by the United States Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC04-94AL85000. Sandia is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed-Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy and by the National Institutes of health through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, Grant #1 R21 EB005365-01. Information on this RFA (Innovation in Molecular Imaging Probes) can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-04-021.html.