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Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) causes significant morbidity and mortality; however, the diagnosis of CDI remains controversial. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the association of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values with CDI disease severity, recurrence, and mortality among adult patients with CDI.
Retrospective cohort study.
Single tertiary-care hospital.
Adult patients diagnosed with hospital-onset, healthcare facility–associated CDI from June 2014 to September 2015.
We performed a retrospective chart review of included patients. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression methods were used to evaluate the association between Ct values and CDI severity, 8-week recurrence, and 30-day mortality.
Among 318 included patients, 51% were male and the mean age was 62 years; ~32% of the patients developed severe CDI and 11% developed severe–complicated CDI. The 30-day all-cause mortality rate was 11% and the 8-week recurrence rate was 9.5%. The overall mean Ct value was 32.9 (range, 23–40). Multivariable analyses showed that lower values of PCR Ct were associated with increased odds of 30-day morality (odds ratio [OR] 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72–0.96) but were not independently associated with CDI severity (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.90–1.09) or recurrence (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.77–1.00).
Our findings suggest that PCR Ct values at the time of diagnosis may have a limited predictive value and utility in clinical decision making for inpatients with CDI. Larger, prospective studies across different patient populations are needed to confirm our findings.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Providing care for people with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia is stressful as these individuals are commonly labelled as aggressive or resistant to care. Few studies have evaluated the impact of providing support to professional caregivers working in long-term care. Our mixed methods pilot study evaluated the impact of the innovative Affect Education Model among health care providers from two Toronto nursing homes.
The two-person centred Affect Educational Model through the use of seven questions that encourage self-reflection teaches that problematic behaviours are co-constructed between individuals with BPSD and caregivers. Study procedures included recruiting nursing staff and personal support workers and teaching them the model in five weekly 30-minute group sessions. Qualitative measures in the form of focus groups were obtained. Quantitative measures were obtained through the use of five questionnaires.
Qualitative findings from focus groups identified four themes: facilitators and barriers perceived in current care delivery, the impact of the model experience on staff care delivery, reflections on being taught the model, and future model implementation. Quantitative results were also collected and discussed.
The use of both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment of individuals with BPSD may be greatly enhanced by an interpersonal two-person Affect Education Model that emphasizes the importance of calming down and self-reflection. Future directions include expanding the model to family caregivers through the use of multimedia resources.
Background: Shared Healthcare Intervention to Eliminate Life-threatening Dissemination of MDROs in Orange County, California (SHIELD OC) was a CDC-funded regional decolonization intervention from April 2017 through July 2019 involving 38 hospitals, nursing homes (NHs), and long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) to reduce MDROs. Decolonization in NH and LTACHs consisted of universal antiseptic bathing with chlorhexidine (CHG) for routine bathing and showering plus nasal iodophor decolonization (Monday through Friday, twice daily every other week). Hospitals used universal CHG in ICUs and provided daily CHG and nasal iodophor to patients in contact precautions. We sought to evaluate whether decolonization reduced hospitalization and associated healthcare costs due to infections among residents of NHs participating in SHIELD compared to nonparticipating NHs. Methods: Medicaid insurer data covering NH residents in Orange County were used to calculate hospitalization rates due to a primary diagnosis of infection (counts per member quarter), hospital bed days/member-quarter, and expenditures/member quarter from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2019. We used a time-series design and a segmented regression analysis to evaluate changes attributable to the SHIELD OC intervention among participating and nonparticipating NHs. Results: Across the SHIELD OC intervention period, intervention NHs experienced a 44% decrease in hospitalization rates, a 43% decrease in hospital bed days, and a 53% decrease in Medicaid expenditures when comparing the last quarter of the intervention to the baseline period (Fig. 1). These data translated to a significant downward slope, with a reduction of 4% per quarter in hospital admissions due to infection (P < .001), a reduction of 7% per quarter in hospitalization days due to infection (P < .001), and a reduction of 9% per quarter in Medicaid expenditures (P = .019) per NH resident. Conclusions: The universal CHG bathing and nasal decolonization intervention adopted by NHs in the SHIELD OC collaborative resulted in large, meaningful reductions in hospitalization events, hospitalization days, and healthcare expenditures among Medicaid-insured NH residents. The findings led CalOptima, the Medicaid provider in Orange County, California, to launch an NH incentive program that provides dedicated training and covers the cost of CHG and nasal iodophor for OC NHs that enroll.
Disclosures: Gabrielle M. Gussin, University of California, Irvine, Stryker (Sage Products): Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Clorox: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Medline: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Xttrium: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes.
Responsive behaviours in dementia are associated with poor outcomes for the person with dementia (PWD) and caregiver burnout. Family caregivers need a variety of tools to manage responsive behaviours. The Baycrest Quick-Response Caregiver Tool was developed to provide caregivers with a tool that can be used in real time. In this study, the feasibility, impact, and effectiveness of this new tool were studied in family caregivers and health care providers (HCP) using quantitative and qualitative measures.
Family caregivers were recruited and were asked to complete a pre-survey before being sent the link to the educational tool. One month after the telephone survey, caregivers were sent an online post-survey to gather their feedback on the tool and the impact of the tool on caregiver well -being. Healthcare providers were also recruited and reviewed the tool through an online feedback survey. The feasibility, impact, and effectiveness of the tool were assessed using quantitative and qualitative measures.
Caregivers had a moderate degree of and reported a high level of competence - these scores were maintained throughout the study. Caregivers reported that tool positively impacted their compassion towards the person with dementia (PWD), and that their interactions with improved. 100% of HCP who completed the feedback survey would recommend the tool to other HCP and to caregivers of PWD. The caregivers and HCP provided specific suggestions for improvement.
The Baycrest Quick-Response Caregiver Tool was found to be feasible and helpful. It provides caregivers and HCP with an additional approach for responsive behaviours.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
As the IAU heads towards its second century, many changes have simultaneously transformed Astronomy and the human condition world-wide. Amid the amazing recent discoveries of exoplanets, primeval galaxies, and gravitational radiation, the human condition on Earth has become blazingly interconnected, yet beset with ever-increasing problems of over-population, pollution, and never-ending wars. Fossil-fueled global climate change has begun to yield perilous consequences. And the displacement of people from war-torn nations has reached levels not seen since World War II.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation within CPR (ECPR) may improve survival for refractory out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). We developed a prehospital, emergency department (ED), and hospital-based clinical and educational protocol to improve the key variable of time-to-ECPR (TTE).
In a single urban health region we involved key prehospital, clinical, and administrative stakeholders over a 2-year period, to develop a regional ECPR program with destination to a single urban tertiary care hospital. We developed clear and reproducible inclusion criteria and processes, including measures of program efficiency. We conducted seminars and teaching modules to paramedics and hospital-based clinicians including monthly simulator sessions, and performed detailed reviews of each treated case in the form of report cards. In this before-and-after study we compared patients with ECPR attempted prior to, and after, protocol implementation. The primary outcome was TTE, defined as the time of initial professional CPR to establishment of extracorporeal circulation. We compared the median TTE for patients in the two groups using the Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Four patients were identified prior to the protocol and managed in an ad hoc basis; for nine patients the protocol was utilized. Overall favourable neurological outcomes among ECPR-treated patients were 27%. The median TTE was 136 minutes (IQR 98 - 196) in the pre-protocol group, and 60 minutes (IQR 49 - 81) minutes in the protocol group (p=0.0165).
An organized clinical and educational protocol to initiate ECPR for patients with OHCA is feasible and significantly reduces the key benchmark of time-to-ECPR flows.
The discovery of Heusler alloys has revolutionized the research field of intermetallics due to the ease with which one can derive potential candidates for multifunctional applications. During recent years, many half Heusler alloys have been investigated for their thermoelectric properties. The f-electron-based rare-earth ternary half Heusler compound DyPdBi has its f energy levels located close to the Fermi energy level. Other research efforts have emphasized that such materials have good thermoelectric capabilities. We have explored using first principles the electronic band structure of DyPdBi by use of different exchange correlation potentials in the density functional theoretical framework. Transport coefficients that arise in the study of thermoelectric properties of DyPdBi have been calculated and have illustrated its potential as an efficient thermoelectric material. Both the theoretically estimated Seebeck coefficient and the power factor agree well with the available experimental results. Our calculations illustrate that it is essential to include spin–orbit coupling in these models of f-electron half Heusler materials.
Hybrid solar receivers utilizing both photovoltaic cells and thermal collectors are capable of collecting the entire solar spectrum for use in energy systems. Such systems provide efficient solar energy conversion using PV in addition to dispatchability through thermal storage by incorporating a thermal collector in conjunction with the PV. Proposed hybrid systems typically invoke spectrum splitting so to redirect photons optimized for PV electric conversion to a cell while non-PV efficient photons are directed to a thermal absorber. This work discusses a hybrid system with a selective solar filter using a suspended nanoparticle fluid to directly absorb non-PV photons. Non-absorbed photons pass through the filter and impact the PV. Choice of nanoparticles in the fluid allow absorption and transmission of specific wavelengths. Nanoparticles were chosen based on optimization simulations for a bandpass filter to a cSi solar cell. The synthesized fluid has been experimentally characterized to show the effects of high temperature on nanoparticle stability and optical properties. Thermodynamic modeling of the system suggests solar to electric efficiency of the total system is 23.2% if all thermal energy is converted to electricity through an organic Rankine cycle (ORC). However, high temperature generation could be used for industrial process heat at a specific temperature by changing parameters such as absorbed energy and flow rates. Furthermore, a prototype is being developed with 14x concentration to demonstrate the technology on-sun with initial testing targeted for the 2nd quarter of 2016. Overall, the hybrid nanoparticle filter concentrating solar collector can be modified to fit a variety of applications through easily changeable parameters in the system.
The two Pan-STARRS telescopes, located on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii, are 1.8-meter diameter telescopes equipped with 1.4 Gigapixel cameras that deliver 7 square degree fields-of-view. The first of these telescopes, Pan-STARRS1, is conducting a search for Near Earth Objects, and is currently the leading discoverer of Near Earth Objects. The second telescope, Pan-STARRS2, is nearing the end of its commissioning, and is becoming more productive.
Pan-STARRS has become the leading survey for Near Earth Objects, responsible for approximately half of the NEO discoveries to date in 2015. Pan-STARRS is also the leading discoverer of new comets.
To determine rates of blood culture contamination comparing 3 strategies to prevent intensive care unit (ICU) infections: screening and isolation, targeted decolonization, and universal decolonization.
Pragmatic cluster-randomized trial.
Forty-three hospitals with 74 ICUs; 42 of 43 were community hospitals.
Patients admitted to adult ICUs from July 1, 2009, to September 30, 2011.
After a 6-month baseline period, hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 strategies, with all participating adult ICUs in a given hospital assigned to the same strategy. Arm 1 implemented methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares screening and isolation, arm 2 targeted decolonization (screening, isolation, and decolonization of MRSA carriers), and arm 3 conducted no screening but universal decolonization of all patients with mupirocin and chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing. Blood culture contamination rates in the intervention period were compared to the baseline period across all 3 arms.
During the 6-month baseline period, 7,926 blood cultures were collected from 3,399 unique patients: 1,099 sets in arm 1, 928 in arm 2, and 1,372 in arm 3. During the 18-month intervention period, 22,761 blood cultures were collected from 9,878 unique patients: 3,055 sets in arm 1, 3,213 in arm 2, and 3,610 in arm 3. Among all individual draws, for arms 1,2, and 3, the contamination rates were 4.1%, 3.9%, and 3.8% for the baseline period and 3.3%, 3.2%, and 2.4% for the intervention period, respectively. When we evaluated sets of blood cultures rather than individual draws, the contamination rate in arm 1 (screening and isolation) was 9.8% (N = 108 sets) in the baseline period and 7.5% (N = 228) in the intervention period. For arm 2 (targeted decolonization), the baseline rate was 8.4% (N = 78) compared to 7.5% (N = 241) in the intervention period. Arm 3 (universal decolonization) had the greatest decrease in contamination rate, with a decrease from 8.7% (N = 119) contaminated blood cultures during the baseline period to 5.1% (N = 184) during the intervention period. Logistic regression models demonstrated a significant difference across the arms when comparing the reduction in contamination between baseline and intervention periods in both unadjusted (P = .02) and adjusted (P = .02) analyses. Arm 3 resulted in the greatest reduction in blood culture contamination rates, with an unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.56 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.044-0.71) and an adjusted OR of 0.55 (95% CI, 0.43-0.71).
In this large cluster-randomized trial, we demonstrated that universal decolonization with CHG bathing resulted in a significant reduction in blood culture contamination.
Diamond is a unique material that often exhibits extreme properties compared to other materials. Discovered about 30 years ago, the use of hydrogen in plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (CVD) has enabled the growth and coating of diamond in film form on various substrate materials. CVD diamond research has been actively continued subsequently to develop new understanding and approaches for the growth and processing of this fascinating material. Currently, the study and development of diamond films has enabled a wide range of applications based on the combination of unique and extreme properties of diamond and the variety of film properties obtainable through tuning the microstructure, morphology, impurities, and surfaces. This issue of MRS Bulletin introduces the latest research, recent applications, and the challenges ahead for CVD diamond films.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a policy in October 2008 to eliminate additional Medicare payment for mediastinitis following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
To evaluate the impact of this policy on mediastinitis rates, using Medicare claims and National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) prospective surveillance data.
We used an interrupted time series design to compare mediastinitis rates before and after the policy, adjusted for secular trends. Billing rates came from Medicare inpatient claims following 638,761 CABG procedures in 1,234 US hospitals (January 2006-September 2010). Prospective surveillance rates came from 151 NHSN hospitals in 29 states performing 94,739 CABG procedures (January 2007-September 2010). Logistic regression mixed-effects models estimated trends for mediastinitis rates.
We found a sudden drop in coding for index admission mediastinitis at the time of policy implementation (odds ratio, 0.36 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.23-0.57]) and a decreasing trend in coding for index admission mediastinitis in the postintervention period compared with the preintervention period (ratio of slopes, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.74-0.95]). However, we saw no impact of the policy on infection rates as measured using NHSN data. Our results were not affected by changes in patient risk over time, heterogeneity in hospital demographics, or timing of hospital participation in NHSN.
The CMS policy of withholding additional Medicare payment for mediastinitis on the basis of claims-based evidence of infection was associated with changes in coding for infections but not with changes in actual infection rates during the first 2 years after policy implementation.
In taste cells, taste receptors, their coupled G proteins and downstream signalling elements mediate the detection and transduction of sweet, bitter and umami compounds. In some intestinal endocrine cells, taste receptors and gustducin contribute to the release of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and other gut hormones in response to glucose and non-energetic sweeteners. Conversely, taste cells have been found to express multiple hormones typically found in intestinal endocrine cells, e.g. GLP-1, glucagon, somatostatin and ghrelin. In the present study, by immunohistochemistry, multiple subsets of taste cells were found to express GLP-1. The release of GLP-1 from ‘endocrine taste cells’ into the bloodstream was examined. In wild-type mice, even after oesophagectomy and vagotomy, oral stimulation with glucose induced an elevation of GLP-1 levels in the bloodstream within 10 min. Stimulation of taste cell explants from wild-type mice with glucose led to the release of GLP-1 into the medium. Knocking out of the Tas1r3 gene did not eliminate glucose-stimulated GLP-1 release from taste cells in vivo. The present results indicate that a portion of the cephalic-phase rise in circulating GLP-1 levels is mediated by the direct release of GLP-1 from taste cells into the bloodstream.