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1) To characterize mild, moderate, and severe fear of falling in older emergency department (ED) patients for minor injuries, and 2) to assess whether fear of falling could predict falls and returns to the ED within 6 months of the initial ED visit.
This study was part of the Canadian Emergency and Trauma Initiative (CETI) prospective cohort (2011–2016). Patients ages ≥ 65, who were independent in their basic daily activities and who were discharged from the ED after consulting for a minor injury, were included. Fear of falling was measured by the Short Falls Efficacy Scale International (SFES-I) in order to stratify fear of falling as mild (SFES-I = 7-8/28), moderate (SFES-I = 9-13/28), or severe (SFES-I = 14-28/28). Many other physical and psychological characteristics where collected. Research assistants conducted follow-up phone interviews at 3 and 6 months’ post-ED visit, in which patients were asked to report returns to the ED.
A total of 2,899 patients were enrolled and 2,009 had complete data at 6 months. Patients with moderate to severe fear of falling were more likely to be of ages ≥ 75, female, frailer with multiple comorbidities, and decreased mobility. Higher baseline fear of falling increased the risk of falling at 3 and 6 months (odds ratio [OR]-moderate-fear of falling: 1.63, p < 0.05, OR-severe-fear of falling 2.37, p < 0.05). Fear of falling positive predictive values for return to the ED or future falls were 7.7% to 17%.
Although a high fear of falling is associated with increased risk of falling within 6 months of a minor injury in older patients, fear of falling considered alone was not shown to be a strong predictor of return to the ED and future falls.
Few studies have examined the challenges faced by emergency medicine (EM) physicians in conducting goals of care discussions. This study is the first to describe the perceived barriers and facilitators to these discussions as reported by Canadian EM physicians and residents.
A team of EM, palliative care, and internal medicine physicians developed a survey comprising multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended questions to explore four domains of goals-of-care discussions: training; communication; environment; and patient beliefs.
Surveys were sent to 273 EM staff and residents in six sites, and 130 (48%) responded. Staff physicians conducted goals-of-care discussions several times per month or more, 74.1% (80/108) of the time versus 35% (8/23) of residents. Most agreed that goals-of-care discussions are within their scope of practice (92%), they felt comfortable having these discussions (96%), and they are adequately trained (73%). However, 66% reported difficulty initiating goals-of-care discussions, and 54% believed that admitting services should conduct them. Main barriers were time (46%), lack of a relationship with the patient (25%), patient expectations (23%), no prior discussions (21%), and the inability to reach substitute decision-makers (17%). Fifty-four percent of respondents indicated that the availability of 24-hour palliative care consults would facilitate discussions in the emergency department (ED).
Important barriers to discussing goals of care in the ED were identified by respondents, including acuity and lack of prior relationship, highlighting the need for system and environmental interventions, including improved availability of palliative care services in the ED.
To make pragmatic recommendations on best practices for the engagement of patients in emergency medicine (EM) research.
We created a panel of expert Canadian EM researchers, physicians, and a patient partner to develop our recommendations. We used mixed methods consisting of 1) a literature review; 2) a survey of Canadian EM researchers; 3) qualitative interviews with key informants; and 4) feedback during the 2017 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium.
We synthesized our literature review into categories including identification and engagement, patients’ roles, perceived benefits, harms, and barriers to patient engagement; 40/75 (53% response rate) invited researchers completed our survey. Among respondents, 58% had engaged patients in research, and 83% intended to engage patients in future research. However, 95% stated that they need further guidance to engage patients. Our qualitative interviews revealed barriers to patient engagement, including the need for training and patient partner recruitment.
Our panel recommends 1) an overarching positive recommendation to support patient engagement in EM research; 2) seven policy-level recommendations for CAEP to support the creation of a national patient council, to develop, adopt and adapt training material, guidelines, and tools for patient engagement, and to support increased patient engagement in EM research; and 3) nine pragmatic recommendations about engaging patients in the preparatory, execution, and translational phases of EM research.
Patient engagement can improve EM research by helping researchers select meaningful outcomes, increase social acceptability of studies, and design knowledge translation strategies that target patients’ needs.
In the fast pace of the Emergency Department (ED), clinicians are in need of tailored screening tools to detect seniors who are at risk of adverse outcomes. We aimed to explore the usefulness of the Bergman-Paris Question (BPQ) to expose potential undetected geriatric syndromes in community-living seniors presenting to the ED.
This is a planned sub-study of the INDEED multicentre prospective cohort study, including independent or semi-independent seniors (≥65 years old) admitted to hospital after an ED stay ≥8 hours and who were not delirious. Patients were assessed using validated screening tests for 3 geriatric syndromes: cognitive and functional impairment, and frailty. The BPQ was asked upon availability of a relative at enrolment. BPQ’s sensitivity and specificity analyses were used to ascertain outcomes.
A response to the BPQ was available for 171 patients (47% of the main study’s cohort). Of this number, 75.4% were positive (suggesting impairment), and 24.6% were negative. To detect one of the three geriatric syndromes, the BPQ had a sensitivity of 85.4% (95% CI [76.3, 92.0]) and a specificity of 35.4% (95% CI [25.1, 46.7]). Similar results were obtained for each separate outcome. Odds ratio demonstrated a higher risk of presence of geriatric syndromes.
The Bergman-Paris Question could be an ED screening tool for possible geriatric syndrome. A positive BPQ should prompt the need of further investigations and a negative BPQ possibly warrants no further action. More research is needed to validate the usefulness of the BPQ for day-to-day geriatric screening by ED professionals or geriatricians.
Recent developments in U.S-Cuba relations have resulted in a proliferating global interest in Cuba, including its legal regime. This comprehensive Guide aims to fill a noticeable void in the availability of information in English on this enigmatic jurisdiction's legal order, and on how to conduct research related to it. Covered topics include “The Constitution,” “Legislation and Codes,” “The Judiciary,” “Cuba in the International Arena,” and “The Legal Profession.” A detailed section on “Cuban Legal Materials in U.S. and Canadian Libraries” is also featured. Although the Guide emphasizes sources in English and English-language translation, materials in Spanish are likewise included as English-language equivalents are often unavailable. The Guide's 12 authors are members of the Latin American Law Interest Group of the American Association of Law Libraries’ Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS).
The consequences of minor trauma involving a head injury (MT-HI) in independent older adults are largely unknown. This study assessed the impact of a head injury on the functional outcomes six months post-injury in older adults who sustained a minor trauma.
This multicenter prospective cohort study in eight sites included patients who were aged 65 years or older, previously independent, presenting to the emergency department (ED) for a minor trauma, and discharged within 48 hours. To assess the functional decline, we used a validated test: the Older Americans’ Resources and Services Scale. The cognitive function of study patients was also evaluated. Finally, we explored the influence of a concomitant injury on the functional decline in the MT-HI group.
All 926 eligible patients were included in the analyses: 344 MT-HI patients and 582 minor trauma without head injury. After six months, the functional decline was similar in both groups: 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively (RR=0.79 [95% CI: 0.55–1.14]). The proportion of patients with mild cognitive disabilities was also similar: 21.7% and 22.8%, respectively (RR=0.91 [95% CI: 0.71–1.18]). Furthermore, for the group of patients with a MT-HI, the functional outcome was not statistically different with or without the presence of a co-injury (RR=1.35 [95% CI: 0.71–2.59]).
This study did not demonstrate that the occurrence of a MT-HI is associated with a worse functional or cognitive prognosis than other minor injuries without a head injury in an elderly population, six months after injury.
We conducted a program of research to derive and test the reliability of a clinical prediction rule to identify high-risk older adults using paramedics’ observations.
We developed the Paramedics assessing Elders at Risk of Independence Loss (PERIL) checklist of 43 yes or no questions, including the Identifying Seniors at Risk (ISAR) tool items. We trained 1,185 paramedics from three Ontario services to use this checklist, and assessed inter-observer reliability in a convenience sample. The primary outcome, return to the ED, hospitalization, or death within one month was assessed using provincial databases. We derived a prediction rule using multivariable logistic regression.
We enrolled 1,065 subjects, of which 764 (71.7%) had complete data. Inter-observer reliability was good or excellent for 40/43 questions. We derived a four-item rule: 1) “Problems in the home contributing to adverse outcomes?” (OR 1.43); 2) “Called 911 in the last 30 days?” (OR 1.72); 3) male (OR 1.38) and 4) lacks social support (OR 1.4). The PERIL rule performed better than a proxy measure of clinical judgment (AUC 0.62 vs. 0.56, p=0.02) and adherence was better for PERIL than for ISAR.
The four-item PERIL rule has good inter-observer reliability and adherence, and had advantages compared to a proxy measure of clinical judgment. The ISAR is an acceptable alternative, but adherence may be lower. If future research validates the PERIL rule, it could be used by emergency physicians and paramedic services to target preventative interventions for seniors identified as high-risk.
There are a number of screening tools to predict return to the emergency department (ED) in elderly trauma patients, but none exist to specifically screen for functional decline after a minor injury. The objective of this study was to identify outcome measures for a possible future clinical decision rule to be used in the ED to identify previously independent patients at high risk of functional decline at six months post minor injury.
After a rigorous development process, a survey instrument was administered to a random sample of 178 emergency physicians using the Dillman’s Tailored Design Method.
Of 156 eligible surveys, we received 81 completed surveys (response rate 51.9%). Considering all 14 activities of daily living (ADL) items, 90% of physicians deemed a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in function to be at least three points on the 28-point Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) ADL Scale as clinically significant. A tool with a sensitivity of 93% to detect patients at risk of functional decline at six months post injury would meet or exceed the sensitivity deemed to be required by 90% of physicians. The majority of emergency physicians do not assess elderly injured patients for the majority of the tasks.
A drop of three points on the 28-point OARS ADL Scale would be deemed clinically important by the vast majority of emergency physicians. Further, a sensitivity of 93% for a clinical decision tool would satisfy the MCID requirements of the vast majority of emergency physicians. There appears to be a gap between physician knowledge and actual practice. We intend to use these findings in the development of a clinical decision rule to identify high-risk elderly trauma patients.
The level of expertise and degree of training in neonatal resuscitation (NNR) of emergency physicians is not standardized and has not been measured. We sought to determine the self-reported comfort with, knowledge of, and experience with NNR of emergency department (ED) staff in a general ED prior to the opening of a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and to explore factors associated with NNR comfort.
Using Dillman methodology, we electronically surveyed full-time emergency physicians and nurses. Participants rated knowledge, comfort, and experience on 5-point Likert scales. We used logistic regression to explore factors associated with NNR comfort.
The response rate was 67.3% (n = 107). Only 4.2% of staff reported ever participating in a NNR, and only 38.7% reported any previous NNR training. Between 75 and 85% of participants rated their comfort level in caring for neonates, sense of preparedness, and knowledge of managing a sick neonate as poor or very poor. A recent neonatal clinical encounter was the strongest predictor of perceived comfort in NNR (OR = 22.2, 95% CI 5.0-98.7), as was completion of the Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP) course (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.4-7.0).
Perceived comfort with, knowledge of, and preparedness for NNR were poor in an urban, general ED prior to the opening of an NICU. Recent neonatal clinical encounter and participation in the NRP course were the strongest predictors of improved NNR comfort. In future work, we intend to assess the impact of simulation-based training on comfort with NNR among ED staff who primarily treat adults.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is difficult to diagnose yet potentially life threatening. A low-risk pretest probability (PTP) assessment combined with a negative Ddimer can rule out VTE in two-thirds of outpatients, reducing the need for imaging. Real-life implementation of this strategy is associated with several challenges.
We evaluated the impact of introducing a standardized diagnostic algorithm including a mandatory PTP assessment and D-dimer on radiologic test use for VTE in our emergency department (ED). A retrospective review of all ED visits for suspected VTE in the year prior to and following the introduction of this algorithm was conducted. VTE diagnosis was based on imaging. Guideline compliance was also assessed.
ED visits were investigated for suspected VTE in the pre- and postintervention periods (n 5 1,785). Most D-dimers (95%) ordered were associated with a PTP assessment, and 50% of visits assigned a low PTP had a negative D-dimer. The proportion of imaging tests ordered for VTE in all ED visits was unchanged postintervention (1.9% v. 2.0%). The proportion of patients with suspected VTE in whom VTE was confirmed on imaging decreased postintervention (10.2% v. 14.1%).
In spite of excellent compliance with our algorithm, we were unable to reduce imaging for VTE. This
may be due to a lower threshold for suspecting VTE and an increase in investigation for VTE combined with a high false positive rate of our D-dimer assay in low–pretest probability patients. This study highlights two common real-life challenges with adopting this strategy for VTE investigation.
Many emergency physicians (EPs) order “confirmatory” abdominal computed tomography (CT) in young flank pain patients, despite a high clinical suspicion of renal colic and the risk of radiation exposure. We measured the adverse outcome rate among flank pain patients identified as not requiring abdominal CT by the EP on a data form, regardless of whether CT was eventually ordered. Our secondary objective was to describe diagnoses other than renal colic identified by CT in this population.
We conducted a prospective observational study at two community EDs. We asked staff EPs to complete a data sheet on patients ages 18 to 50 years with a first episode of flank pain, recording 1) if the flank pain was consistent with renal colic and 2) if the EP felt abdominal CT was indicated. Adverse outcomes (defined a priori as urgent surgical procedures, disability, or death) were assessed by research assistants at 4 weeks using telephone follow-up and a hospital records search.
We enrolled 389 patients; 353 completed follow-up (91%). The average age was 38.8 years, and 72.0% were male. Of 212 patients identified in the “CT not indicated” group, 2 had another diagnosis identified (unruptured diverticulitis and a ruptured ovarian cyst), but none had adverse outcomes (95% CI 0-1.4).
Adverse events were rare (< 1.5%) among patients < 50 years old with flank pain when CT was not required according to the clinical assessment of the EP. Future research should assess the adverse outcomes of withholding CT in low-risk patients using a larger patient sample.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), which is caused primarily by the Canadian methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-10 (CMRSA-10) strain (also known as the USA300 strain) has emerged rapidly in the United States and is now emerging in Canada. We assessed the prevalence, risk factors, microbiological characteristics and outcomes of CA-MRSA in patients with purulent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the Greater Toronto Area.
Patients with Staphylococcus aureus SSTIs who presented to 7 EDs between Mar. 1 and Jun. 30, 2007, were eligible for inclusion in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibilities and molecular characteristics of MRSA strains were identified. Demographic, risk factor and clinical data were collected through telephone interviews.
MRSA was isolated from 58 (19%) of 299 eligible patients. CMRSA-10 was identified at 6 of the 7 study sites and accounted for 29 (50%) of all cases of MRSA. Telephone interviews were completed for 161 of the eligible patients. Individuals with CMRSA-10 were younger (median 34 v. 63 yr, p = 0.002), less likely to report recent antibiotic use (22% v. 67%, p = 0.046) or health care–related risk factors (33% v. 72%, p = 0.097) and more likely to report community-related risk factors (56% v. 6%, p = 0.008) than patients with other MRSA strains. CMRSA-10 SSTIs were treated with incision and drainage (1 patient), antibiotic therapy (3 patients) or both (5 patients), and all resolved. CMRSA-10 isolates were susceptible to clindamycin, tetracycline and trimethoprimsulfamethoxazole.
CA-MRSA is a significant cause of SSTIs in the Greater Toronto Area, and can affect patients without known community-related risk factors. The changing epidemiology of CA-MRSA necessitates further surveillance to inform prevention strategies and empiric treatment guidelines.
Youth violence continues to trouble Canadians. Emergency department (ED) visits by youth after a violent injury may represent a “teachable moment,” and thus secondary violence prevention interventions may be effective. We conducted a systematic review to identify the success rates of any interventions, the populations likely to benefit and the outcome measures used.
We searched 8 databases (i.e., MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the ACP Journal Club, DARE and CENTRAL).
Studies were included if they described and evaluated an intervention, were health care–based and targeted youth who were injured by violence. Two blinded investigators selected 15 articles from 181 abstracts. After full-text review, 8 articles were excluded, leaving 7 articles from 4 intervention programs.
All interventions used ED case management of the violently injured patient. One randomized control trial (RCT) demonstrated a significant reduction in reinjury rates (treatment group 8.1% v. control group 20.3%, p = 0.05). Another small RCT found no statistically significant reductions in repeat violence or service use. One retrospective cohort study demonstrated a lower relative risk (RR) in future criminal justice involvement (RR = 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.45–0.99). A retrospective study of pediatric patients with violent injuries found only 1% of these youth returned with injuries as a result of repeat violence.
Although all 4 case management interventions that we reviewed showed promise in the United States, small sample sizes and incomplete follow-up limited their ability to demonstrate significant decreases in reinjury.
Future research is necessary to help EDs capitalize on the opportunity to effectively reduce youth violence.
Based on the Lie-group-algebraic properties of the displacement set and intrinsic coordinate-free geometry, several novel 4-dof overconstrained hybrid parallel manipulators (HPMs) with uncoupled actuation of three spatial translations and one rotation (3T-1R) are proposed. In these HPMs, three limbs are those of Cartesian translational parallel mechanisms (CTPMs) and the fourth limb includes an Oldham-type constant velocity shaft coupling (CVSC). The Lie subgroup of Schoenflies (X) displacements of the displacement Lie group and its mechanical generators with nine categories of their general architectures are recalled. A comprehensive enumeration of all possible Oldham-type CVSC limbs is derived from X-motion generators. Their constant velocity (CV) transmissions are verified by group-algebraic approach. Then, combining one CTPM and one CVSC, we synthesize a lot of uncoupled 3T-1R overconstrained HPMs, which are classified into nine distinct classes of general architectures. In addition, all possible architectures with at least one hinged parallelogram or with one cylindrical pair are disclosed too. At last, related non-overconstrained HPMs are attained by the addition of one idle pair in each limb of the previous HPMs.
Concern about youth violence in Canada is growing. Because victims of violence are more likely to become future violent perpetrators, preventative interventions are often based out of inpatient units; however, the question of how often youth who have been injured due to violence are discharged from emergency departments (EDs), or whether there are opportunities for emergency healthcare workers to deliver violence prevention programs, is not known. The primary objectives of this study were to describe the frequency and patterns of violent injuries among youth, to determine how many injured youth are discharged directly from EDs and to estimate the proportion of injured youth who may benefit from ED-based intervention programs.
We conducted an observational study using a population-based database that records information on all ED visits in Ontario. We analyzed age, sex, cause of injury and disposition for all patients aged 12–19 years who presented to Toronto EDs with violent injuries during a 2-year period (April 2002 to March 2004).
A total of 4100 patients aged 12–19 years visited Toronto EDs with violent injuries during the study period. Assault due to bodily force (in contrast to sharp objects, guns or other) was the most common injury mechanism, accounting for 48.7% of cases (95% confidence interval [CI] 47.1%–50.2%). The majority of patients (89.3%; 95% CI 88.3%–90.2%) were discharged directly from EDs, including 44% of gun-related injuries.
In Toronto, a large proportion (89.3%) of youth injured in violent incidents are discharged directly from EDs. There are opportunities to develop ED-based youth violence prevention initiatives.