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This long-awaited third edition of Seminars in General Adult Psychiatry provides a highly readable and comprehensive account of modern general adult psychiatry. The text has been fully updated throughout by leading figures in modern psychiatry. This new edition covers developments in the understanding of mental disorders, service delivery, changes to risk assessment and management, collaborate care plans and 'trauma-informed' care. Coverage will also be given to the implementation of the ICD-11 and DSM-5 classification systems, and the impact on diagnosis and treatment. Key features of the previous edition that have been updated include the detailed clinical descriptions of psychiatric disorders and historical sections with access to the classic studies of psychiatry. Additional topics include autism, ADHD and physical health. This is a key text for psychiatric trainees studying for their MRCPsych exams, and a source of continuing professional development for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
In classical Athens, a funeral speech was delivered for dead combatants almost every year, the most famous being that by Pericles in 430 BC. In 1981, Nicole Loraux transformed our understanding of this genre. Her The Invention of Athens showed how it reminded the Athenians who they were as a people. Loraux demonstrated how each speech helped them to maintain the same self-identity for two centuries. But The Invention of Athens was far from complete. This volume brings together top-ranked experts to finish Loraux's book. It answers the important questions about the numerous surviving funeral speeches that she ignored. It also undertakes a comparison of the funeral oration with other genres that is missing in her famous book. What emerges is a speech that had a much greater political impact than Loraux thought. This volume puts the study of war in Athenian culture on a completely new footing.
In England, a range of mental health crisis care models and approaches to organising crisis care systems have been implemented, but characteristics associated with their effectiveness are poorly understood.
To (a) develop a typology of catchment area mental health crisis care systems and (b) investigate how crisis care service models and system characteristics relate to psychiatric hospital admissions and detentions.
Crisis systems data were obtained from a 2019 English national survey. Latent class analyses were conducted to identify discernible typologies, and mixed-effects negative binomial regression models were fitted to explore associations between crisis care models and admissions and detention rates, obtained from nationally reported data.
No clear typology of catchment area crisis care systems emerged. Regression models suggested that provision of a crisis telephone service within the local crisis system was associated with a 11.6% lower admissions rate and 15.3% lower detention rate. Provision of a crisis cafe was associated with a 7.8% lower admission rates. The provision of a crisis assessment team separate from the crisis resolution and home treatment service was associated with a 12.8% higher admission rate.
The configuration of crisis care systems varies considerably in England, but we could not derive a typology that convincingly categorised crisis care systems. Our results suggest that a crisis phone line and a crisis cafe may be associated with lower admission rates. However, our findings suggest crisis assessment teams, separate from home treatment teams, may not be associated with reductions in admission and detentions.
This review explores the evolution of dietary protein intake requirements and recommendations, with a focus on skeletal muscle remodelling to support healthy ageing based on presentations at the 2023 Nutrition Society summer conference. In this review, we describe the role of dietary protein for metabolic health and ageing muscle, explain the origins of protein and amino acid (AA) requirements and discuss current recommendations for dietary protein intake, which currently sits at about 0⋅8 g/kg/d. We also critique existing (e.g. nitrogen balance) and contemporary (e.g. indicator AA oxidation) methods to determine protein/AA intake requirements and suggest that existing methods may underestimate requirements, with more contemporary assessments indicating protein recommendations may need to be increased to >1⋅0 g/kg/d. One example of evolution in dietary protein guidance is the transition from protein requirements to recommendations. Hence, we discuss the refinement of protein/AA requirements for skeletal muscle maintenance with advanced age beyond simply the dose (e.g. source, type, quality, timing, pattern, nutrient co-ingestion) and explore the efficacy and sustainability of alternative protein sources beyond animal-based proteins to facilitate skeletal muscle remodelling in older age. We conclude that, whilst a growing body of research has demonstrated that animal-free protein sources can effectively stimulate and support muscle remodelling in a manner that is comparable to animal-based proteins, food systems need to sustainably provide a diversity of both plant and animal source foods, not least for their protein content but other vital nutrients. Finally, we propose some priority research directions for the field of protein nutrition and healthy ageing.
Background: Antibiotics alone are often insufficient to treat recurrent C. difficile infection (rCDI) because they have no activity against C. difficile spores that germinate within a disrupted microbiome. SER-109, an investigational, oral, microbiome therapeutic comprised of purified Firmicutes spores, was designed to reduce rCDI through microbiome repair. We report an integrated efficacy analysis through week 24 for SER-109 from phase 3 studies, ECOSPOR III and ECOSPOR IV. Methods: ECOSPOR III was a randomized, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial conducted at 56 US or Canadian sites that included 182 participants with ≥2 CDI recurrences, confirmed via toxin EIA testing. Participants were stratified by age (<65 years or ≥65 years) and antibiotic regimen (vancomycin, fidaxomicin) and were randomized 1:1 to placebo or SER-109 groups. ECOSPOR IV was an open-label, single-arm study conducted at 72 US or Canadian sites including 263 participants with rCDI enrolled in 2 cohorts: (1) rollover participants from ECOSPOR III who experienced on-study recurrence diagnosed by toxin EIA (n = 29) and (2) participants with ≥1 CDI recurrence (diagnosed by PCR or toxin EIA), inclusive of the current episode (n = 234). In both studies, the investigational product was administered orally as 4 capsules over 3 consecutive days following symptom resolution after standard-of-care antibiotics. The primary efficacy end point was rCDI (recurrent toxin-positive diarrhea requiring treatment) through week 8. Other end points included CDI recurrence rates and safety through 24 weeks. Results: These 349 participants received at least 1 dose of SER-109 in ECOSPOR III or ECOSPOR IV (mean age 64.2; 68.8% female). Overall, 77 participants (22.1%) enrolled with their first CDI recurrence. Four participants received blinded SER-109 in ECOSPOR III followed by a second dose of open-label SER-109 in ECOSPOR IV. Overall, the proportion of participants who received any dose of SER-109 with rCDI at week 8 was 9.5% (33 of 349; 95% CI, 6.6 %–13.0%), and the CDI recurrence rate remained low through 24 weeks (15.2%, 53 of 349; 95% CI, 11.6%–19.4%), corresponding to sustained clinical response rates of 90.5% (95% CI, 87.0%–93.4%) and 84.8% (95% CI, 80.6%–88.4%), respectively (Fig. 1). Most rollover participants (25 of 29, 86.2%) were from the placebo arm; 13.8% had rCDI by week 8. Conclusions: In this integrated analysis, the rates of rCDI were low and durable in participants who received the investigational microbiome therapeutic SER-109, with sustained clinical response rates of 90.5% and 84.8% at weeks 8 and 24, respectively. These data further support the potential benefit of microbiome repair with SER-109 following antibiotics for rCDI to prevent recurrence in high-risk patients.
Financial support: This study was funded by Seres Therapeutics.
Background:Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) often recurs in patients aged ≥65 years and those with comorbidities. Clinical trials often exclude patients with history of immunosuppression, malignancy, renal insufficiency, or other comorbidities. In a phase 3 trial (ECOSPOR III), SER-109 was superior to placebo in reducing recurrent CDI (rCDI) risk at week 8 and was well tolerated. We report integrated safety data for SER-109 in a broad patient population through week 24 from phase 3 studies: ECOSPOR III and ECOSPOR IV. Methods: ECOSPOR III was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in participants with ≥2 CDI recurrences randomized 1:1 to placebo or SER-109. ECOSPOR IV was an open-label, single-arm study conducted in 263 patients with rCDI enrolled in 2 cohorts: (1) rollover participants from ECOSPOR III with on-study recurrence and (2) participants with ≥1 CDI recurrence, inclusive of the current episode. In both studies, the investigational product was administered as 4 oral capsules over 3 days. Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were collected through week 8; serious TEAEs and TEAEs of special interest (ie, bacteremia, abscess, meningitis) were collected through week 24. Results: In total, 349 participants received SER-109 in ECOSPOR III and/or ECOSPOR IV (mean age 64.2; 68.8% female). Chronic diseases included cardiac disease (31.2%), immunocompromised or immunosuppressed (21.2%), diabetes (18.9% ), and renal impairment or failure (13.2%). Overall, 221 (63.3%) of 349 participants who received SER-109 experienced TEAEs through week 24. Most were mild to moderate and gastrointestinal. The most common (>5% of participants) treatment related TEAEs were flatulence, abdominal pain and distension, decreased appetite, constipation, nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea. No participants experienced a treatment-related TEAE leading to study withdrawal. Invasive infections were observed in 28 participants (8%); those with identified pathogens were unrelated to SER-109 species, and all were deemed unrelated to treatment by the investigators. There were 11 deaths (3.2%) and 48 participants (13.8%) with serious TEAEs, none of which were deemed treatment related. There were no clinically important differences in the safety profile across subgroups of sex, race, prior antibiotic regimen, or number of CDI recurrences. No safety signals were observed in participants with renal impairment or failure, diabetes, cardiac disease, or immunocompromised or immunosuppressed individuals. Conclusions: In this integrated analysis of phase 3 trials, SER-109, an investigational microbiome therapeutic, was well tolerated in this vulnerable patient population with prevalent comorbidities. No infections, nor those with identified pathogens, were attributed to SER-109 or product species. This safety profile might be expected because this purified product is composed of spore-forming Firmicutes normally abundant in the healthy microbiome.
Financial support: This study was funded by Seres Therapeutics.
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) has emerged as a major cause of bloodstream infection among hospitalized patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). CRAB infections can be difficult to treat and are devastating in neonates (~30% mortality). CRAB outbreaks are hypothesized to arise from reservoirs in the hospital environment, but outbreak investigations in LMICs seldom incorporate whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Methods: WGS (Illumina NextSeq) was performed at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (South Africa) on 43 preserved A. baumannii isolates from a 530-bed referral hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, from March 2021–August 2022. This included 23 blood-culture isolates from 21 unique patients (aged 2 days–69 years) and 20 environmental isolates collected at the 36-bed neonatal unit in April–June 2021. Infections were considered healthcare-associated if the culture was obtained >72 hours after hospital arrival (or sooner in inborn infants). Blood cultures were incubated using an automated system (BACT/ALERT, BioMérieux) and were identified using manual methods. Environmental isolates were identified using selective or differential chromogenic media (CHROMagarTM). Taxonomic assignment, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), antimicrobial resistance gene identification, and phylogenetic analyses were performed using publicly accessible analysis pipelines. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) matrices were used to assess clonal lineage. Results: All 23 blood isolates and 5 (25%) of 20 environmental isolates were confirmed as A. baumannii; thus, 28 A. baumannii isolates were included in the phylogenetic analysis. MLST revealed that 22 (79%) of 28 isolates were sequence type 1 (ST1), including all 19 healthcare-associated blood isolates and 3 (60%) of 5 environmental isolates. Genes encoding for carbapenemases (blaNDM-1, blaOXA-23) and biocide resistance (qacE) were present in all 22 ST1 isolates; colistin resistance genes were not identified. Phylogenetic analysis of the ST1 clade demonstrated spatial clustering by hospital unit. Related isolates spanned wide ranges in time (>1 year), suggesting ongoing transmission from environmental sources (Fig. 1). An exclusively neonatal clade (0–2 SNPs) containing all 8 neonatal blood isolates was closely associated with 3 environmental isolates from the neonatal unit: a sink drain, bed rail, and a healthcare worker’s hand. Conclusions: WGS analysis of clinical and environmental A. baumannii revealed the presence of unit-specific CRAB clones, with evidence of ongoing transmission likely driven by persistent environmental reservoirs. This research highlights the potential of WGS to detect hospital outbreaks and reaffirms the importance of environmental sampling to identify and remediate reservoirs (eg, sinks) and vehicles (eg, hands and equipment) within the healthcare environment.
Knowledge graphs have become a common approach for knowledge representation. Yet, the application of graph methodology is elusive due to the sheer number and complexity of knowledge sources. In addition, semantic incompatibilities hinder efforts to harmonize and integrate across these diverse sources. As part of The Biomedical Translator Consortium, we have developed a knowledge graph–based question-answering system designed to augment human reasoning and accelerate translational scientific discovery: the Translator system. We have applied the Translator system to answer biomedical questions in the context of a broad array of diseases and syndromes, including Fanconi anemia, primary ciliary dyskinesia, multiple sclerosis, and others. A variety of collaborative approaches have been used to research and develop the Translator system. One recent approach involved the establishment of a monthly “Question-of-the-Month (QotM) Challenge” series. Herein, we describe the structure of the QotM Challenge; the six challenges that have been conducted to date on drug-induced liver injury, cannabidiol toxicity, coronavirus infection, diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, and ATP1A3-related phenotypes; the scientific insights that have been gleaned during the challenges; and the technical issues that were identified over the course of the challenges and that can now be addressed to foster further development of the prototype Translator system. We close with a discussion on Large Language Models such as ChatGPT and highlight differences between those models and the Translator system.
Newcastle disease (ND) is a notifiable disease affecting chickens and other avian species caused by virulent strains of Avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1). While outbreaks of ND can have devastating consequences, avirulent strains of APMV-1 generally cause subclinical infections or mild disease. However, viruses can cause different levels of disease in different species and virulence can evolve following cross-species transmission events. This report describes the detection of three cases of avirulent APMV-1 infection in Great Britain (GB). Case 1 emerged from the ‘testing to exclude’ scheme in chickens in Shropshire while cases 2 and 3 were made directly from notifiable avian disease investigations in chicken broilers in Herefordshire and on premises in Wiltshire containing ducks and mixed species, respectively). Class II/genotype I.1.1 APMV-1 from case 1 shared 99.94% identity to the Queensland V4 strain of APMV-1. Class II/genotype II APMV-1 was detected from case 2 while the class II/genotype I.2 virus from case 3 aligned closely with strains isolated from Anseriformes. Exclusion of ND through rapid detection of avirulent APMV-1 is important where clinical signs caused by avirulent or virulent APMV-1s could be ambiguous. Understanding the diversity of APMV-1s circulating in GB is critical to understanding disease threat from these adaptable viruses.
The lattice parameters and the crystal and magnetic structures of Fe2SiO4 have been determined from 10 K to 1453 K by high-resolution time-of-flight neutron powder diffraction. Fe2SiO4 undergoes two antiferromagnetic phase transformations on cooling from room temperature: the first, at 65.4 K, is to a collinear antiferromagnet with moments on two symmetry-independent Fe ions; the second transition, at ~23 K, is to a structure in which the moments on one of the sets of Fe ions (those on the ‘M1 site’) become canted. The magnetic unit cell is identical to the crystallographic (chemical) unit cell and the space group remains Pbnm throughout. The magnetic structures have been refined and the results found to be in good agreement with previous studies; however, we have determined the spontaneous magnetostrictive strains, which have not been reported previously. In the paramagnetic phase of Fe2SiO4, at temperatures of 70 K and above, we find that the temperature dependence of the linear thermal expansion coefficient of the b axis takes an unusual form. In contrast to the behaviour of the expansion coefficients of the unit-cell volume and of the a and c axes, which show the expected reduction in magnitude below ~300 K, that of the b axis remains almost constant between ~70 K and 1000 K.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has been a leader in weed science research covering topics ranging from the development and use of integrated weed management (IWM) tactics to basic mechanistic studies, including biotic resistance of desirable plant communities and herbicide resistance. ARS weed scientists have worked in agricultural and natural ecosystems, including agronomic and horticultural crops, pastures, forests, wild lands, aquatic habitats, wetlands, and riparian areas. Through strong partnerships with academia, state agencies, private industry, and numerous federal programs, ARS weed scientists have made contributions to discoveries in the newest fields of robotics and genetics, as well as the traditional and fundamental subjects of weed–crop competition and physiology and integration of weed control tactics and practices. Weed science at ARS is often overshadowed by other research topics; thus, few are aware of the long history of ARS weed science and its important contributions. This review is the result of a symposium held at the Weed Science Society of America’s 62nd Annual Meeting in 2022 that included 10 separate presentations in a virtual Weed Science Webinar Series. The overarching themes of management tactics (IWM, biological control, and automation), basic mechanisms (competition, invasive plant genetics, and herbicide resistance), and ecosystem impacts (invasive plant spread, climate change, conservation, and restoration) represent core ARS weed science research that is dynamic and efficacious and has been a significant component of the agency’s national and international efforts. This review highlights current studies and future directions that exemplify the science and collaborative relationships both within and outside ARS. Given the constraints of weeds and invasive plants on all aspects of food, feed, and fiber systems, there is an acknowledged need to face new challenges, including agriculture and natural resources sustainability, economic resilience and reliability, and societal health and well-being.
Being able to characterise objects at low frequencies, but in situations where the modelling error in the eddy current approximation of the Maxwell system becomes large, is important for improving current metal detection technologies. Importantly, the modelling error becomes large as the frequency increases, but the accuracy of the eddy current model also depends on the object topology and on its materials, with the error being much larger for certain geometries compared to others of the same size and materials. Additionally, the eddy current model breaks down at much smaller frequencies for highly magnetic conducting materials compared to non-permeable objects (with similar conductivities, sizes and shapes) and, hence, characterising small magnetic objects made of permeable materials using the eddy current at typical frequencies of operation for a metal detector is not always possible. To address this, we derive a new asymptotic expansion for permeable highly conducting objects that is valid for small objects and holds not only for frequencies where the eddy current model is valid but also for situations where the eddy current modelling error becomes large and applying the eddy approximation would be invalid. The leading-order term we derive leads to new forms of object characterisations in terms of polarizability tensor object descriptions where the coefficients can be obtained from solving vectorial transmission problems. We expect these new characterisations to be important when considering objects at greater stand-off distance from the coils, which is important for safety critical applications, such as the identification of landmines, unexploded ordnance and concealed weapons. We also expect our results to be important when characterising artefacts of archaeological and forensic significance at greater depths than the eddy current model allows and to have further applications parking sensors and improving the detection of hidden, out-of-sight, metallic objects.
Clinical trials face many challenges with meeting projected enrollment and retention goals. A study’s recruitment materials and messaging convey necessary key information and therefore serve as a critical first impression with potential participants. Yet study teams often lack the resources and skills needed to develop engaging, culturally tailored, and professional-looking recruitment materials. To address this gap, the Recruitment Innovation Center recently developed a Recruitment & Retention Materials Content and Design Toolkit, which offers research teams guidance, actionable tips, resources, and customizable templates for creating trial-specific study materials. This paper seeks to describe the creation and contents of this new toolkit.
In the context of an ageing population and longer working lives, the impact of increasing rates of early exit from the labour force on quality of life is a particularly current concern. However, relatively little is known about the impact on quality of life of later-life labour force transitions and various forms of early exit from the labour force, compared to remaining in employment. This paper examines lifecourse labour force trajectories and transitions in relation to change in quality of life prior to the State Pension Age. Lifecourse data on early life circumstances, labour force trajectories and labour force transitions from 3,894 women and 3,528 men in the National Child Development Study (1958 British Birth Cohort) were examined in relation to change in quality of life, measured by a short-form version of CASP, between the ages of 50 and 55. Women and men differed in the types of labour force transition associated with positive change in quality of life, with men more frequent beneficiaries. For both men and women, labour force exit due to being sick or disabled was associated with a negative change in quality of life, whereas joining the labour force was associated with a positive change in quality of life. Moving into retirement was associated with a positive change in men's quality of life, but not women's. Moving from full-time to part-time employment was associated with a positive change in women's quality of life but not men's. The findings that stand out for their policy relevance are: the threat to the quality of life of both women and men from early labour force exit due to limiting longstanding illness; and women are less likely to experience beneficial labour force exit in the later years of their working life, but are more likely to benefit from a reduction in working hours.
Understanding the dynamics of staircases in salt fingering convection presents a long-standing theoretical challenge to fluid dynamicists. Although there has been significant progress, particularly through numerical simulations, there are a number of conflicting theoretical explanations as to the driving mechanism underlying staircase formation. The Phillips effect proposes that layering in stirred stratified flow is due to an antidiffusive process, and it has been suggested that this mechanism may also be responsible for salt fingering staircases. However, the details of this process, as well as mathematical models to predict the evolution and merger dynamics of staircases, have yet to be established. We generalise the theory of the Phillips effect to a three-component system (e.g. temperature, salinity, energy) and demonstrate a regularised nonlinear model of layering based on mixing length parametrisations. The model predicts both the inception of layering and its long-term evolution through mergers, while generalising, and remaining consistent with, previous results for double-diffusive layering based on flux ratios. Our model of salt fingering is formulated using spatial averaging processes, and closed by a mixing length parametrised in terms of the kinetic energy and the ratio of the temperature and salt gradients. The model predicts a layering instability for a bounded range of parameter values in the salt fingering regime. Nonlinear solutions show that an initially unstable linear buoyancy gradient develops into layers, which proceed to merge through a process of stronger interfaces growing at the expense of weaker ones. Our results indicate that these mergers are responsible for the characteristic increase of buoyancy flux through thermohaline staircases.
Prior trials suggest that intravenous racemic ketamine is a highly effective for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), but phase 3 trials of racemic ketamine are needed.
To assess the acute efficacy and safety of a 4-week course of subcutaneous racemic ketamine in participants with TRD. Trial registration: ACTRN12616001096448 at www.anzctr.org.au.
This phase 3, double-blind, randomised, active-controlled multicentre trial was conducted at seven mood disorders centres in Australia and New Zealand. Participants received twice-weekly subcutaneous racemic ketamine or midazolam for 4 weeks. Initially, the trial tested fixed-dose ketamine 0.5 mg/kg versus midazolam 0.025 mg/kg (cohort 1). Dosing was revised, after a Data Safety Monitoring Board recommendation, to flexible-dose ketamine 0.5–0.9 mg/kg or midazolam 0.025–0.045 mg/kg, with response-guided dosing increments (cohort 2). The primary outcome was remission (Montgomery-Åsberg Rating Scale for Depression score ≤10) at the end of week 4.
The final analysis (those who received at least one treatment) comprised 68 in cohort 1 (fixed-dose), 106 in cohort 2 (flexible-dose). Ketamine was more efficacious than midazolam in cohort 2 (remission rate 19.6% v. 2.0%; OR = 12.1, 95% CI 2.1–69.2, P = 0.005), but not different in cohort 1 (remission rate 6.3% v. 8.8%; OR = 1.3, 95% CI 0.2–8.2, P = 0.76). Ketamine was well tolerated. Acute adverse effects (psychotomimetic, blood pressure increases) resolved within 2 h.
Adequately dosed subcutaneous racemic ketamine was efficacious and safe in treating TRD over a 4-week treatment period. The subcutaneous route is practical and feasible.
An Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service offers treatment in the community to people with a first episode of psychosis. EIP is meant to be given for three years; after this time, those who are well are discharged to their GP, while those with ongoing symptoms and care needs are transferred to a general community mental health team. People can become unwell at this time of change and might benefit from longer treatment with EIP. We also know that some people who are well could possibly have been discharged back to their GP earlier. The EXTEND programme aims to develop a more tailored approach to EIP services based on the needs of each individual and understand the health, social, and cost-benefits of this approach.
This qualitative study sits within a larger programme of work. Ethics and HRA approvals gained. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health care professionals from primary and specialist care, managers and commissioners, to understand why and how decisions about duration of EIP care are made. Interviews have been transcribed and thematic analysis using principles of constant comparison is being conducted. Patient and public involvement is key to all stages of the study.
Five interviews with General Practitioners and twelve interviews with EIP healthcare professionals, managers and commissioners have been conducted. Initial analysis suggests that access to EIP services can be challenging. Initial engagement is needed before therapy can begin. Decisions about duration of care can depend upon availability of access to Community Mental Health teams. Discharge planning rarely involves communication between primary and specialist care, and this can be a difficult transition, particularly when discharge is back to primary care. The pathway back into mental health care following discharge can be difficult. Trusting relationships between service users and EIP professionals are key to the success of EIP care. Healthcare professionals would value - and in some cases are given - flexibility to extend EIP care beyond 3 years.
We have developed a model to illustrate the patient journey through the EIP service which will be presented for the first time at the conference.
This research provides a framework to understand decision-making around duration of care, discharge planning and practices, and post-discharge support for EIP service users. The next phase of the study will be interviews with service users and carers to explore their experiences of EIP services, duration of care and discharge planning.
In far-forward combat situations, the military challenged dogma by using whole blood transfusions (WBTs) rather than component-based therapy. More recently, some trauma centers have initiated WBT programs with reported success. There are a few Emergency Medical Service (EMS) systems that are using WBTs, but the vast majority are not. Given the increasing data supporting the use of WBTs in the prehospital setting, more EMS systems are likely to consider or begin WBT programs in the future.
A prehospital WBT program was recently implemented in Palm Beach County, Florida (USA). This report will discuss how the program was implemented, the obstacles faced, and the initial results.
This report describes the process by which a prehospital WBT program was implemented by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and the outcomes of the initial case series of patients who received WBTs in this system. Efforts to initiate the prehospital WBT program for this system began in 2018. The program had several obstacles to overcome, with one of the major obstacles being the legal team’s perception of potential liability that might occur with a new prehospital blood transfusion program. This obstacle was overcome through education of local elected officials regarding the latest scientific evidence in favor of prehospital WBTs with potential life-saving benefits to the community. After moving past this hurdle, the program went live on July 6, 2022. The initial indications for transfusion of cold-stored, low titer, leukoreduced O+ whole blood in the prehospital setting included traumatic injuries with systolic blood pressure (SBP) < 70mmHg or SBP < 90mmHg plus heart rate (HR) > 110 beats per minute.
From the date of onset through December 31, 2022, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue transported a total of 881 trauma activation patients, with 20 (2.3%) receiving WBT. Overall, nine (45%) of the patients who had received WBTs so far remain alive. No adverse events related to transfusion were identified following WBT administration. A total of 18 units of whole blood reached expiration of the unit’s shelf life prior to transfusion.
Despite a number of logistical and legal obstacles, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue successfully implemented a prehospital WBT program. Other EMS systems that are considering a prehospital WBT program should review the included protocol and the barriers to implementation that were faced.