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The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with distress experienced by physicians during their first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) triage decisions.
An online survey was administered to physicians licensed in New York State.
Of the 164 physicians studied, 20.7% experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. The mean distress score was not significantly different between physicians who received just-in-time training and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.7 vs 6.2 ± 2.8; P = 0.550) and between physicians who received clinical guidelines and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.9 vs 6.2 ± 2.7; P = 0.820). Substantially increased odds of severe distress were found in physicians who reported that their first COVID-19 triage decisions were inconsistent with their core values (adjusted odds ratio, 6.33; 95% confidence interval, 2.03-19.76) and who reported having insufficient skills and expertise (adjusted odds ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91-9.87).
Approximately 1 in 5 physicians in New York experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. Physicians with insufficient skills and expertise, and core values misaligned to triage decisions are at heightened risk of experiencing severe distress. Just-in-time training and clinical guidelines do not appear to alleviate distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions.
To assess the potential for contamination of personnel, patients, and the environment during use of contaminated N95 respirators and to compare the effectiveness of interventions to reduce contamination.
Simulation study of patient care interactions using N95 respirators contaminated with a higher and lower inocula of the benign virus bacteriophage MS2.
In total, 12 healthcare personnel performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins including (1) control with suboptimal respirator handling technique, (2) improved technique with glove change after each N95 contact, and (3) control with 1-minute ultraviolet-C light (UV-C) treatment prior to donning. The order of the examinations was randomized within each subject. The frequencies of contamination were compared among groups. Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion were used to assess routes of transfer leading to contamination.
With suboptimal respirator handling technique, bacteriophage MS2 was frequently transferred to the participants, mannequin, and environmental surfaces and fomites. Improved technique resulted in significantly reduced transfer of MS2 in the higher inoculum simulations (P < .01), whereas UV-C treatment reduced transfer in both the higher- and lower-inoculum simulations (P < .01). Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion demonstrated multiple potential routes of transfer to participants, mannequin, and surfaces, including both direct contact with the contaminated respirator and indirect contact via contaminated gloves.
Reuse of contaminated N95 respirators can result in contamination of personnel and the environment even when correct technique is used. Decontamination technologies, such as UV-C, could reduce the risk for transmission.
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
There is controversy regarding whether the addition of cover gowns offers a substantial benefit over gloves alone in reducing personnel contamination and preventing pathogen transmission.
Simulated patient care interactions.
To evaluate the efficacy of different types of barrier precautions and to identify routes of transmission.
In randomly ordered sequence, 30 personnel each performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins contaminated with pathogen surrogate markers (cauliflower mosaic virus DNA, bacteriophage MS2, nontoxigenic Clostridioides difficile spores, and fluorescent tracer) while wearing no barriers, gloves, or gloves plus gowns followed by examination of a noncontaminated mannequin. We compared the frequency and routes of transfer of the surrogate markers to the second mannequin or the environment.
For a composite of all surrogate markers, transfer by hands occurred at significantly lower rates in the gloves-alone group (OR, 0.02; P < .001) and the gloves-plus-gown group (OR, 0.06; P = .002). Transfer by stethoscope diaphragms was common in all groups and was reduced by wiping the stethoscope between simulations (OR, 0.06; P < .001). Compared to the no-barriers group, wearing a cover gown and gloves resulted in reduced contamination of clothing (OR, 0.15; P < .001), but wearing gloves alone did not.
Wearing gloves alone or gloves plus gowns reduces hand transfer of pathogens but may not address transfer by devices such as stethoscopes. Cover gowns reduce the risk of contaminating the clothing of personnel.
Critical shortages of personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a source of concern. Novel methods of N95 filtering face-piece respirator decontamination that can be scaled-up for in-hospital use can help address this concern and keep healthcare workers (HCWs) safe.
A multidisciplinary pragmatic study was conducted to evaluate the use of an ultrasonic room high-level disinfection system (HLDS) that generates aerosolized peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide for decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators. A cycle duration that consistently achieved disinfection of N95 respirators (defined as ≥6 log10 reductions in bacteriophage MS2 and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores inoculated onto respirators) was identified. The treated masks were assessed for changes to their hydrophobicity, material structure, strap elasticity, and filtration efficiency. PAA and hydrogen peroxide off-gassing from treated masks were also assessed.
The PAA room HLDS was effective for disinfection of bacteriophage MS2 and G. stearothermophilus spores on respirators in a 2,447 cubic-foot (69.6 cubic-meter) room with an aerosol deployment time of 16 minutes and a dwell time of 32 minutes. The total cycle time was 1 hour and 16 minutes. After 5 treatment cycles, no adverse effects were detected on filtration efficiency, structural integrity, or strap elasticity. There was no detectable off-gassing of PAA and hydrogen peroxide from the treated masks at 20 and 60 minutes after the disinfection cycle, respectively.
The PAA room disinfection system provides a rapidly scalable solution for in-hospital decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid was frequently detected on high-touch surfaces, floors, and socks inside patient rooms. Contamination of floors and shoes was common outside patient rooms on the COVID-19 wards but decreased after improvements in floor cleaning and disinfection were implemented.
For patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization, a traditional fist-bump greeting did not significantly reduce MRSA transfer in comparison to a handshake. However, transfer was reduced with a modified fist bump that minimized the surface area of contact and when hand hygiene was performed before the handshake.
Multi-wavelength flares have routinely been observed from the supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A⋆ (Sgr A⋆), at our Galactic center. The nature of these flares remains largely unclear, despite many theoretical models. We study the statistical properties of the Sgr A⋆ X-ray flares and find that they are consistent with the theoretical prediction of the self-organized criticality system with the spatial dimension S = 3. We suggest that the X-ray flares represent plasmoid ejections driven by magnetic reconnection (similar to solar flares) in the accretion flow onto the black hole. Motivated by the statistical results, we further develop a time-dependent magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model for the multi-band flares from Sgr A⋆ by analogy with models of solar flares/coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We calculate the X-ray, infrared flare light curves, and the spectra, and find that our model can explain the main features of the flares.
Sponge-related research in Taiwan has primarily focused on natural product exploration. This research has, however, been hampered by a lack of fundamental work on sponge taxonomy and ecology. In the present study, subtidal sponges were photo-recorded in situ and collected by scuba diving at a depth range of 2–20 m from 2009 to 2012 in 16 different sites surrounding the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan. Sponge samples were identified to the lowest taxonomic level based on skeletal morphology and spicules. A total of 53 species belonging to 24 families and 10 orders were identified in this study. The number of sponge species per site ranged from 0 to 24. The most widely distributed sponge species was Callyspongia (Euplacella) cf. communis (Carter, 1881) followed by Haliclona (Gellius) cymaeformis (Esper, 1794), and Aaptos suberitoides (Brøndsted, 1934). At one location, Chipeiyu, no sponges were observed. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination revealed relatively low similarity among most sampling sites. Large- and small-scale hydrological and habitat features are probably responsible for compositional variation of sponge assemblages among groups of sampling sites. Our richness analyses suggest that many more sponge species remain to be discovered in the Penghu Archipelago.
This paper reports the result of a study of organic-inorganic network assembles as chemically sensitive interfacial materials. Core-shell gold nanoparticles of a 5 nm size and organic linkers such as 1,9-nonanedithiol and 1,5-pentadithiol are utilized as building blocks for constructing network assembles on planar substrates. To explore the responsive properties of such materials to volatile organic compounds, we utilized interdigitated microelectrodes as transducer. The responses at these nanostructured interfaces are demonstrated to be dependent on the chain length of the linking molecules. The difference of molecular interactions at the nanostructured interface has a significant impact to the response profile and sensitivity. The implications of the findings to the delineation of design parameters for constructing organic-inorganic network assemblies as chemically-sensitive interfacial materials are also discussed.
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