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Rapid antigen detection tests (Ag-RDT) for SARS-CoV-2 with emergency use authorization generally include a condition of authorization to evaluate the test’s performance in asymptomatic individuals when used serially. We aim to describe a novel study design that was used to generate regulatory-quality data to evaluate the serial use of Ag-RDT in detecting SARS-CoV-2 virus among asymptomatic individuals.
This prospective cohort study used a siteless, digital approach to assess longitudinal performance of Ag-RDT. Individuals over 2 years old from across the USA with no reported COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to study enrollment were eligible to enroll in this study. Participants throughout the mainland USA were enrolled through a digital platform between October 18, 2021 and February 15, 2022. Participants were asked to test using Ag-RDT and molecular comparators every 48 hours for 15 days. Enrollment demographics, geographic distribution, and SARS-CoV-2 infection rates are reported.
A total of 7361 participants enrolled in the study, and 492 participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 154 who were asymptomatic and tested negative to start the study. This exceeded the initial enrollment goals of 60 positive participants. We enrolled participants from 44 US states, and geographic distribution of participants shifted in accordance with the changing COVID-19 prevalence nationwide.
The digital site-less approach employed in the “Test Us At Home” study enabled rapid, efficient, and rigorous evaluation of rapid diagnostics for COVID-19 and can be adapted across research disciplines to optimize study enrollment and accessibility.
Agitated behaviors are frequently encountered in the prehospital setting and require emergent treatment to prevent harm to patients and prehospital personnel. Chemical sedation with ketamine works faster than traditional pharmacologic agents, though it has a higher incidence of adverse events, including intubation. Outcomes following varying initial doses of prehospital intramuscular (IM) ketamine use have been incompletely described.
To determine whether using a lower dose IM ketamine protocol for agitation is associated with more favorable outcomes.
This study was a pre-/post-intervention retrospective chart review of prehospital care reports (PCRs). Adult patients who received chemical sedation in the form of IM ketamine for agitated behaviors were included. Patients were divided into two cohorts based on the standard IM ketamine dose of 4mg/kg and the lower IM dose of 3mg/kg with the option for an additional 1mg/kg if required. Primary outcomes included intubation and hospital admission. Secondary outcomes included emergency department (ED) length of stay, additional chemical or physical restraints, assaults on prehospital or ED employees, and documented adverse events.
The standard dose cohort consisted of 211 patients. The lower dose cohort consisted of 81 patients, 17 of whom received supplemental ketamine administration. Demographics did not significantly differ between the cohorts (mean age 35.14 versus 35.65 years; P = .484; and 67.8% versus 65.4% male; P = .89). Lower dose subjects were administered a lower ketamine dose (mean 3.24mg/kg) compared to the standard dose cohort (mean 3.51mg/kg). There was no statistically significant difference between the cohorts in intubation rate (14.2% versus 18.5%; P = .455), ED length of stay (14.31 versus 14.88 hours; P = .118), need for additional restraint and sedation (P = .787), or admission rate (26.1% versus 25.9%; P = .677). In the lower dose cohort, 41.2% (7/17) of patients who received supplemental ketamine doses were intubated, a higher rate than the patients in this cohort who did not receive supplemental ketamine (8/64, 12.5%; P <.01).
Access to effective, fast-acting chemical sedation is paramount for prehospital providers. No significant outcomes differences existed when a lower dose IM ketamine protocol was implemented for prehospital chemical sedation. Patients who received a second dose of ketamine had a significant increase in intubation rate. A lower dose protocol may be considered for an agitation protocol to limit the amount of medication administered to a population of high-risk patients.
The most commonly used methods for triage in mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) rely upon providers to take exact counts of vital signs or other patient parameters. The acuity and volume of patients which can be present during an MCI makes this a time-consuming and potentially costly process.
This study evaluates and compares the speed of the commonly used Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) triage method with that of an “intuitive triage” method which relies instead upon the abilities of an experienced first responder to determine the triage category of each victim based upon their overall first-impression assessment. The research team hypothesized that intuitive triage would be faster, without loss of accuracy in assigning triage categories.
Local adult volunteers were recruited for a staged MCI simulation (active-shooter scenario) utilizing local police, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), public services, and government leadership. Using these same volunteers, a cluster randomized simulation was completed comparing START and intuitive triage. Outcomes consisted of the time and accuracy between the two methods.
The overall mean speed of the triage process was found to be significantly faster with intuitive triage (72.18 seconds) when compared to START (106.57 seconds). This effect was especially dramatic for Red (94.40 vs 138.83 seconds) and Yellow (55.99 vs 91.43 seconds) patients. There were 17 episodes of disagreement between intuitive triage and START, with no statistical difference in the incidence of over- and under-triage between the two groups in a head-to-head comparison.
Significant time may be saved using the intuitive triage method. Comparing START and intuitive triage groups, there was a very high degree of agreement between triage categories. More prospective research is needed to validate these results.
HartA, NammourE, MangoldsV, BroachJ. Intuitive versus Algorithmic TriagePrehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(4):355–361.
After large-scale disasters, victim identification frequently presents a challenge and a priority for responders attempting to reunite families and ensure proper identification of deceased persons. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether currently commercially available facial recognition software can successfully identify disaster victims with facial injuries.
Photos of 106 people were taken before and after application of moulage designed to simulate traumatic facial injuries. These photos as well as photos from volunteers’ personal photo collections were analyzed by using facial recognition software to determine whether this technology could accurately identify a person with facial injuries.
The study results suggest that a responder could expect to get a correct match between submitted photos and photos of injured patients between 39% and 45% of the time and a much higher percentage of correct returns if submitted photos were of optimal quality with percentages correct exceeding 90% in most situations.
The present results suggest that the use of this software would provide significant benefit to responders. Although a correct result was returned only 40% of the time, this would still likely represent a benefit for a responder trying to identify hundreds or thousands of victims. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:568–572)
Hurricanes cause substantial mortality, especially in developing nations, and climate science predicts that powerful hurricanes will increase in frequency during the coming decades. This study examined the association of wind speed and national economic conditions with mortality in a large sample of hurricane events in small countries.
Economic, meteorological, and fatality data for 149 hurricane events in 16 nations between 1958 and 2011 were analyzed. Mortality rate was modeled with negative binomial regression implemented by generalized estimating equations to account for variable population exposure, sequence of storm events, exposure of multiple islands to the same storm, and nonlinear associations.
Low-amplitude storms caused little mortality regardless of economic status. Among high-amplitude storms (Saffir-Simpson category 4 or 5), expected mortality rate was 0.72 deaths per 100,000 people (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.16–1.28) for nations in the highest tertile of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) compared with 25.93 deaths per 100,000 people (95% CI: 13.30–38.55) for nations with low per capita GDP.
Lower per capita GDP and higher wind speeds were associated with greater mortality rates in small countries. Excessive fatalities occurred when powerful storms struck resource-poor nations. Predictions of increasing storm amplitude over time suggest increasing disparity between death rates unless steps are taken to modify the risk profiles of poor nations. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:832–837)
On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred approximately 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history. The purpose of this report is to describe the types of illness experienced by people living in tent camps around the city in the immediate aftermath of this event. The data were collected by a team of medical personnel working with an international nongovernmental organization and operating in the tent camps surrounding the city from day 15 to day 18 following the earthquake. In agreement with the existing literature describing patterns of illness in refugee and internally displaced populations, the authors note a preponderance of pediatric illness, with 53% of cases being patients younger than 20 years old and 25% younger than 5 years old. The most common complaints noted by category were respiratory (24.6%), gastrointestinal (16.9%), and genitourinary (10.9%). Another important feature of illness among this population was the observed high incidence of malnutrition among pediatric patients. This report should serve as a guide for future medical interventions in refugee and internally displaced people situations and reinforces the need for strong nutritional support programs in disaster relief operations of this kind.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:116-121)
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