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Patients with single-ventricle CHD undergo a series of palliative surgeries that culminate in the Fontan procedure. While the Fontan procedure allows most patients to survive to adulthood, the Fontan circulation can eventually lead to multiple cardiac complications and multi-organ dysfunction. Care for adolescents and adults with a Fontan circulation has begun to transition from a primarily cardiac-focused model to care models, which are designed to monitor multiple organ systems, and using clues from this screening, identify patients who are at risk for adverse outcomes. The complexity of care required for these patients led our centre to develop a multidisciplinary Fontan Management Programme with the primary goals of earlier detection and treatment of complications through the development of a cohesive network of diverse medical subspecialists with Fontan expertise.
Tracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation provide essential support for patients with respiratory failure, but the course of mechanical ventilation may be complicated by adverse ventilator-associated events (VAEs), which may or may not be associated with infection. We sought to understand how the frequency of subglottic suction, an indicator of the quantity of sputum produced by ventilated patients, relates to the onset of all VAEs and infection-associated VAEs.
We performed a case-crossover study including 87 patients with VAEs, and we evaluated 848 days in the pre-VAE period at risk for a VAE.
Setting and participants:
Critically ill patients were recruited from the medical intensive care unit of an academic medical center.
We used the number of as-needed subglottic suctioning events performed per calendar day to quantify sputum production, and we compared the immediate pre-VAE period to the preceding period. We used CDC surveillance definitions for VAE and to categorize whether events were infection associated or not.
Sputum quantity measured by subglottic suction frequency is greater in the period immediately prior to VAE than in the preceding period. However, it does not discriminate well between infection-associated VAEs and VAEs without associated infection.
Subglottic suction frequency may serve as a valuable marker of sputum quantity, and it is associated with risk of a VAE. However, our results require validation in a broader population of mechanically ventilated patients and intensive care settings.
SHEA endorses adhering to the recommendations by the CDC and ACIP for immunizations of all children and adults. All persons providing clinical care should be familiar with these recommendations and should routinely assess immunization compliance of their patients and strongly recommend all routine immunizations to patients. All healthcare personnel (HCP) should be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases as recommended by the CDC/ACIP (unless immunity is demonstrated by another recommended method). SHEA endorses the policy that immunization should be a condition of employment or functioning (students, contract workers, volunteers, etc) at a healthcare facility. Only recognized medical contraindications should be accepted for not receiving recommended immunizations.
This study provides a morphological and phylogenetic characterization of two novel species of the order Haplosporida (Haplosporidium carcini n. sp., and H. cranc n. sp.) infecting the common shore crab Carcinus maenas collected at one location in Swansea Bay, South Wales, UK. Both parasites were observed in the haemolymph, gills and hepatopancreas. The prevalence of clinical infections (i.e. parasites seen directly in fresh haemolymph preparations) was low, at ~1%, whereas subclinical levels, detected by polymerase chain reaction, were slightly higher at ~2%. Although no spores were found in any of the infected crabs examined histologically (n = 334), the morphology of monokaryotic and dikaryotic unicellular stages of the parasites enabled differentiation between the two new species. Phylogenetic analyses of the new species based on the small subunit (SSU) rDNA gene placed H. cranc in a clade of otherwise uncharacterized environmental sequences from marine samples, and H. carcini in a clade with other crustacean-associated lineages.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) occur frequently in pediatric inpatients, and they are associated with increased morbidity and cost. Few studies have investigated ambulatory CAUTIs, despite at-risk children utilizing home urinary catheterization. This retrospective cohort and case-control study determined incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of pediatric patients with ambulatory CAUTI.
Broad electronic queries identified potential patients with ambulatory urinary catheters, and direct chart review confirmed catheters and adjudicated whether ambulatory CAUTI occurred. CAUTI definitions included clean intermittent catheterization (CIC). Our matched case-control analysis assessed risk factors.
Five urban, academic medical centers, part of the New York City Clinical Data Research Network.
Potential patients were age <22 years who were seen between October 2010 and September 2015.
In total, 3,598 eligible patients were identified; 359 of these used ambulatory catheterization (representing186,616 ambulatory catheter days). Of these, 63 patients (18%) experienced 95 ambulatory CAUTIs. The overall ambulatory CAUTI incidence was 0.51 infections per 1,000 catheter days (1.35 for indwelling catheters and 0.47 for CIC; incidence rate ratio, 2.88). Patients with nonprivate medical insurance (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–6.3) were significantly more likely to have ambulatory CAUTIs in bivariate models but not multivariable models. Also, 45% of ambulatory CAUTI resulted in hospitalization (median duration, 3 days); 5% resulted in intensive care admission; 47% underwent imaging; and 88% were treated with antibiotics.
Pediatric ambulatory CAUTIs occur in 18% of patients with catheters; they are associated with morbidity and healthcare utilization. Ambulatory indwelling catheter CAUTI incidence exceeded national inpatient incidence. Future quality improvement research to reduce these harmful infections is warranted.
In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
A low-cost infrared microscope is evaluated in both transmission and attenuated total internal reflection (ATR) sampling modes. Transmission spectra of 60 to 250 micrometer samples exhibited an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. Signal-to-noise in transmission mode also correlated well with theoretical predictions. The quantitative capability of the microscope was demonstrated by measuring the colorant concentration of red, yellow, and blue polypropylene fibers. These latter measurements were conducted using the ATR sampling mode of the microscope. Colorant concentrations could be measured to 1% by weight, and calibration curves with excellent R2 values were obtained over the dye concentration range of 1 to 10% by weight colorant.
Unlike most other countries, in the United States, subnational governments (states) have substantial authority over collective bargaining and union organization laws. Because states compete for business investment and union (dis)organization likely has spillover effects beyond state borders, weak unions in one state may affect union organization in other states. We examine how union decline in one state is associated with union decline in neighboring states, and whether the presence of prounion (left-leaning) governments may limit the spread of union decline. Examining a period of major union decline (1983-2014), we find that union weakness in one state is associated with union weakness in nearby states. We observe that Democratic power in Congress is associated with higher unionization rates, but that liberal state governments have been relatively powerless to stop union decline in this period. These findings have important implications for understanding the historical and contemporary weakness of American unions and for the future of union strength in the United States.
This study examined the effectiveness of a formal postdoctoral education program designed to teach skills in clinical and translational science, using scholar publication rates as a measure of research productivity.
Participants included 70 clinical fellows who were admitted to a master’s or certificate training program in clinical and translational science from 1999 to 2015 and 70 matched control peers. The primary outcomes were the number of publications 5 years post-fellowship matriculation and time to publishing 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts post-matriculation.
Clinical and translational science program graduates published significantly more peer-reviewed manuscripts at 5 years post-matriculation (median 8 vs 5, p=0.041) and had a faster time to publication of 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts (matched hazard ratio = 2.91, p=0.002). Additionally, program graduates’ publications yielded a significantly higher average H-index (11 vs. 7, p=0.013).
These findings support the effectiveness of formal training programs in clinical and translational science by increasing academic productivity.
Bowel cancer risk is strongly influenced by lifestyle factors including diet and physical activity. Several studies have investigated the effects of adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) cancer prevention recommendations on outcomes such as all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, but the relationships with molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects on bowel cancer risk are unknown. This study aimed to investigate the relationships between adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and wingless/integrated (WNT)-pathway-related markers of bowel cancer risk, including the expression of WNT pathway genes and regulatory microRNA (miRNA), secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) methylation and colonic crypt proliferative state in colorectal mucosal biopsies. Dietary and lifestyle data from seventy-five healthy participants recruited as part of the DISC Study were used. A scoring system was devised including seven of the cancer prevention recommendations and smoking status. The effects of total adherence score and scores for individual recommendations on the measured outcomes were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation analysis and unpaired t tests, respectively. Total adherence score correlated negatively with expression of Myc proto-oncogene (c-MYC) (P=0·039) and WNT11 (P=0·025), and high adherers had significantly reduced expression of cyclin D1 (CCND1) (P=0·042), WNT11 (P=0·012) and c-MYC (P=0·048). Expression of axis inhibition protein 2 (AXIN2), glycogen synthase kinase (GSK3β), catenin β1 (CTNNB1) and WNT11 and of the oncogenic miRNA miR-17 and colonic crypt kinetics correlated significantly with scores for individual recommendations, including body fatness, red meat intake, plant food intake and smoking status. The findings from this study provide evidence for positive effects of adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations on WNT-pathway-related markers of bowel cancer risk.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
Objectives: Rapid reviews are characterized as an accelerated evidence synthesis approach with no universally accepted methodology or definition. This modified Delphi consensus study aimed to develop a comprehensive set of defining characteristics for rapid reviews that may be used as a functional definition.
Methods: Expert panelists with knowledge in rapid reviews and evidence synthesis were identified. In the first round, panelists were asked to answer a seventeen-item survey addressing a variety of rapid review topics. Results led to the development of statements describing the characteristics of rapid reviews that were circulated to experts for agreement in a second survey round and further revised in a third round. Consensus was reached if ≥70 percent of experts agreed and there was stability in free-text comments.
Results: A panel of sixty-six experts participated. Consensus was reached on ten of eleven statements describing the characteristics of rapid reviews. According to the panel, rapid reviews aim to meet the requirements and timelines of a decision maker and should be conducted in less time than a systematic review. They use a variety of approaches to accelerate the evidence synthesis process, tailor the methods conventionally used to carry out systematic reviews, and use the most rigorous methods that the delivery time frame will allow.
Conclusions: This study achieved consensus on ten statements describing the defining characteristics of rapid reviews based on the opinion of a panel of knowledgeable experts. Areas of disagreement were also highlighted. Findings emphasize the role of the decision maker and stress the importance of transparent reporting.
Due to injuries and disease, there is a great need for a robust, biocompatible, biodegradable, skin-like dermal substitute to repair and regenerate damaged or lost skin. A novel electrochemical process was used to fabricate planarly aligned, densely packed collagen-based sheet which closely mimics the major structure of collagen in skin. The collagen matrix was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), oxygen permeation, moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), and mechanical strength. The seeding and proliferation of adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) on the matrix was also evaluated. The results indicate that electrochemically-aligned collagen matrix has good MVTR, superior oxygen permeability, and is robust and biocompatible. Thus, it will be evaluated in vivo in the near future as a dermal substitute material.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Preadmission skin antisepsis, while controversial, has gained acceptance as a strategy for reducing the risk of SSI. In this study, we analyze the benefit of an electronic alert system for enhancing compliance to preadmission application of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Following informed consent, 100 healthy volunteers in an academic, tertiary care medical center were randomized to 5 chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin application groups: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive applications. Participants were further randomized into 2 subgroups: with or without electronic alert. Skin surface concentrations of CHG (μg/mL) were analyzed using a colorimetric assay at 5 separate anatomic sites.
Preadmission application of chlorhexidine gluconate, 2%
Mean composite skin surface CHG concentrations in volunteer participants receiving EA following 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 applications were 1,040.5, 1,334.4, 1,278.2, 1,643.9, and 1,803.1 µg/mL, respectively, while composite skin surface concentrations in the no-EA group were 913.8, 1,240.0, 1,249.8, 1,194.4, and 1,364.2 µg/mL, respectively (ANOVA, P<.001). Composite ratios (CHG concentration/minimum inhibitory concentration required to inhibit the growth of 90% of organisms [MIC90]) for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 applications using the 2% CHG cloth were 208.1, 266.8, 255.6, 328.8, and 360.6, respectively, representing CHG skin concentrations effective against staphylococcal surgical pathogens. The use of an electronic alert system resulted in significant increase in skin concentrations of CHG in the 4- and 5-application groups (P<.04 and P<.007, respectively).
The findings of this study suggest an evidence-based standardized process that includes use of an Internet-based electronic alert system to improve patient compliance while maximizing skin surface concentrations effective against MRSA and other staphylococcal surgical pathogens.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):254–259