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The term “blue justice” was coined in 2018 during the 3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress. Since then, academic engagement with the concept has grown rapidly. This article reviews 5 years of blue justice scholarship and synthesizes some of the key perspectives, developments, and gaps. We then connect this literature to wider relevant debates by reviewing two key areas of research – first on blue injustices and second on grassroots resistance to these injustices. Much of the early scholarship on blue justice focused on injustices experienced by small-scale fishers in the context of the blue economy. In contrast, more recent writing and the empirical cases reviewed here suggest that intersecting forms of oppression render certain coastal individuals and groups vulnerable to blue injustices. These developments signal an expansion of the blue justice literature to a broader set of affected groups and underlying causes of injustice. Our review also suggests that while grassroots resistance efforts led by coastal communities have successfully stopped unfair exposure to environmental harms, preserved their livelihoods and ways of life, defended their culture and customary rights, renegotiated power distributions, and proposed alternative futures, these efforts have been underemphasized in the blue justice scholarship, and from marine and coastal literature more broadly. We conclude with some suggestions for understanding and supporting blue justice now and into the future.
We compared the effectiveness of 4 sampling methods to recover Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Clostridioides difficile from contaminated environmental surfaces: cotton swabs, RODAC culture plates, sponge sticks with manual agitation, and sponge sticks with a stomacher. Organism type was the most important factor in bacterial recovery.
The rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) required swift preparation to protect healthcare personnel (HCP) and patients, especially considering shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). Due to the lack of a pre-existing biocontainment unit, we needed to develop a novel approach to placing patients in isolation cohorts while working with the pre-existing physical space.
To prevent disease transmission to non–COVID-19 patients and HCP caring for COVID-19 patients, to optimize PPE usage, and to provide a comfortable and safe working environment.
An interdisciplinary workgroup developed a combination of approaches to convert existing spaces into COVID-19 containment units with high-risk zones (HRZs). We developed standard workflow and visual management in conjunction with updated staff training and workflows. The infection prevention team created PPE standard practices for ease of use, conservation, and staff safety.
The interventions resulted in 1 possible case of patient-to-HCP transmission and zero cases of patient-to-patient transmission. PPE usage decreased with the HRZ model while maintaining a safe environment of care. Staff on the COVID-19 units were extremely satisfied with PPE availability (76.7%) and efforts to protect them from COVID-19 (72.7%). Moreover, 54.8% of HCP working in the COVID-19 unit agreed that PPE monitors played an essential role in staff safety.
The HRZ model of containment unit is an effective method to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with several benefits. It is easily implemented and scaled to accommodate census changes. Our experience suggests that other institutions do not need to modify existing physical structures to create similarly protective spaces.
After implementing a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection prevention bundle, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of non–severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (non–SARS-CoV-2) hospital-acquired respiratory viral infection (HA-RVI) was significantly lower than the IRR from the pre–COVID-19 period (IRR, 0.322; 95% CI, 0.266–0.393; P < .01). However, HA-RVIs incidence rates mirrored community RVI trends, suggesting that hospital interventions alone did not significantly affect HA-RVI incidence.
Initial assessments of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness revealed resource shortages and variations in infection prevention policies across US hospitals. Our follow-up survey revealed improvement in resource availability, increase in testing capacity, and uniformity in infection prevention policies. Most importantly, the survey highlighted an increase in staffing shortages and use of travel nursing.
Hospital-associated fungal infections from construction and renovation activities can be mitigated using an infection control risk assessment (ICRA) and implementation of infection prevention measures. The effectiveness of these measures depends on proper installation and maintenance. Consistent infection prevention construction rounding with feedback is key to ongoing compliance.
We evaluated the ability of an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) room decontamination device to kill Candida auris and C. albicans. With an organic challenge (fetal calf serum), the UV-C device demonstrated the following log10 reductions for C. auris of 4.57 and for C. albicans of 5.26 with direct line of sight, and log10 reductions for C. auris of 2.41 and for C. ablicans of 3.96 with indirect line of sight.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects ˜15% of the US population and the majority of patients are diagnosed too late to benefit from early intervention. We are developing a new diagnostic imaging tool (RadioCF-PET) for the kidney to enable early detection of diseases and to monitor overall kidney health. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Nephron mass, or the number of functioning nephrons, is a measure of the functional capacity of the kidney. RadioCF-PET may enable early detection of nephron loss in patients with or at risk of CKD before changes are clinically detectable, facilitating early interventions to improve outcomes in these patients. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: RadioCF-PET, labeled with Cu-64, has the advantage of using sub pharmacological doses for imaging, carrying low risk and can be used with the FDA’s exploratory IND (eIND) mechanism for early in human testing. We are developing the technology to be used in pre-eIND toxicology and pharmacology studies. We are also developing other aspects of translational science to propel this technology toward translation, including: market analysis, critical path to market, customer discovery, and commercialization strategy. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Milestone 1: Apply technology in mouse model study and in human kidneys rejected for transplant. Anticipated Result 1: PET signal from RadioCF-PET correlates with glomerular density in healthy and diseased model male mice (R2 = 0.98). RadioCF-PET signal correlates with glomerular number in a donated human kidney (R2= 0.78). Milestone 2: Application to federal funding (STTR) and gap funding mechanisms to enable pre-eIND studies. Anticipated Result 1: Application for funding will aid to clarify and validate our market analysis and commercialization strategy. Milestone 3: Continued research and development with the technology in new studies. Other Anticipated Results: Future work with RadioCF-PET will enhance technology performance in preparation for pre-eIND studies. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: We foresee a large clinical and commercial potential for RadioCF-PET to provide precise, early monitoring in patients at risk for or with CKD. The two biggest hurdles for clinical translation are validating safety and proving efficacy. This work targets both issues to facilitate RadioCF-PET toward clinical translation.
To describe a pilot project infection prevention and control (IPC) assessment conducted in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in New York State (NYS) during a pivotal 2-week period when the region became the nation’s epicenter for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A telephone and video assessment of IPC measures in SNFs at high risk or experiencing COVID-19 activity.
SNFs in 14 New York counties, including New York City.
A 3-component remote IPC assessment: (1) screening tool; (2) telephone IPC checklist; and (3) COVID-19 video IPC assessment (ie, “COVIDeo”).
In total, 92 SNFs completed the IPC screening tool and checklist: 52 (57%) were conducted as part COVID-19 investigations, and 40 (43%) were proactive prevention-based assessments. Among the 40 proactive assessments, 14 (35%) identified suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. COVIDeo was performed in 26 (28%) of 92 assessments and provided observations that other tools would have missed: personal protective equipment (PPE) that was not easily accessible, redundant, or improperly donned, doffed, or stored and specific challenges implementing IPC in specialty populations. The IPC assessments took ∼1 hour each and reached an estimated 4 times as many SNFs as on-site visits in a similar time frame.
Remote IPC assessments by telephone and video were timely and feasible methods of assessing the extent to which IPC interventions had been implemented in a vulnerable setting and to disseminate real-time recommendations. Remote assessments are now being implemented across New York State and in various healthcare facility types. Similar methods have been adapted nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplementary materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
Immunocompromised patients are at risk for infections due to above-ceiling activities in hospitals. Mobile dust-containment carts are available as environmental controls, but no published data support their efficacy. Using microbial air sampling and particle counts, we provide evidence of reduced risk of fungal exposure during open ceiling activities.
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are increasingly common in the United States and have the potential to spread widely across healthcare networks. Only a fraction of patients with CRE carriage (ie, infection or colonization) are identified by clinical cultures. Interventions to reduce CRE transmission can be explored with agent-based models (ABMs) comprised of unique agents (eg, patients) represented by a synthetic population or model-generated representation of the population. We used electronic health record data to determine CRE carriage risk, and we discuss how these results can inform CRE transmission parameters for hospitalized agents in a regional healthcare network ABM. Methods: We reviewed the laboratory data of patients admitted during July 1, 2016−June 30, 2017, to any of 7 short-term acute-care hospitals of a regional healthcare network in North Carolina (N = 118,022 admissions) to find clinically detected cases of CRE carriage. A case was defined as the first occurrence of Enterobacter spp, Escherichia coli, or Klebsiella spp resistant to any carbapenem isolated from a clinical specimen in an admitted patient. We used Poisson regression to estimate clinically detected CRE carriage risk according to variables common to data from both the electronic health records and the ABM synthetic population, including patient demographics, systemic antibiotic administration, intensive care unit stay, comorbidities, length of stay, and admitting hospital size. Results: We identified 58 (0.05%) cases of CRE carriage among all admissions. Among these cases, 30 (52%) were ≥65 years of age and 37 (64%) were female. During their admission, 47 cases (81%) were administered systemic antibiotics and 18 cases (31%) had an intensive care unit stay. Patients administered systemic antibiotics and those with an intensive care unit stay had CRE carriage risk 6.5 times (95% CI, 3.4–12.5) and 4.9 times (95% CI, 2.8–8.5) higher, respectively, than patients without these exposures (Fig. 1). Patients ≥50 years of age and those with a higher Elixhauser comorbidity index score and with longer length of stay also had increased CRE carriage risk. Conclusions: Among admissions in our dataset, CRE carriage risk was associated with systemic antibiotic exposure, intensive care unit stay, higher Elixhauser comorbidity index score, and longer length of stay. We will use these risk estimates in the ABM to inform agents’ CRE carriage status upon hospital admission and the CRE transmission parameters for short-term acute-care hospitals. We will explore CRE transmission interventions in the parameterized regional healthcare network ABM and assess the impact of CRE carriage underestimation.
Funding: This work was supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement number U01CK000527. The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the official position of CDC.