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We evaluated the adequacy of microbiological tests in patients withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment (WLST) at the end stage of life.
The study was conducted at 2 tertiary-care referral hospitals in Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Demographic findings, clinical and epidemiological characteristics, statistics of microbiological tests, and microbial species isolated from patients within 2 weeks before death were collected in 2 tertiary-care referral hospitals from January to December 2018. We also reviewed the antimicrobial treatment that was given within 3 days of microbiological testing in patients on WLST.
Of the 1,187 hospitalized patients included, 905 patients (76.2%) had WLST. The number of tests per 1,000 patient days was higher after WLST than before WLST (242.0 vs 202.4). Among the category of microbiological tests, blood cultures were performed most frequently, and their numbers per 1,000 patient days before and after WLST were 95.9 and 99.0, respectively. The positive rates of blood culture before and after WLST were 17.2% and 18.0%, respectively. Candida spp. were the most common microbiological species in sputum (17.4%) and urine (48.2%), and Acinetobacter spp. were the most common in blood culture (17.3%). After WLST determination, 70.5% of microbiological tests did not lead to a change in antibiotic use.
Many unnecessary microbiological tests are being performed in patients with WLST within 2 weeks of death. Microbiological testing should be performed carefully and in accordance with the patient’s treatment goals.
Background: The purpose of this study was to find out the relationship between appropriateness of antibiotic prescription and clinical outcomes in patients with community-acquired acute pyelonephritis (CA-APN). Methods: A multicenter prospective cohort study was performed in 8 Korean hospitals from September 2017 to August 2018. All hospitalized patients aged ≥19 years diagnosed with CA-APN at admission were recruited. Pregnant women and patients with insufficient data were excluded. In addition, patients with prolonged hospitalization due to medical problems that were not associated with APN treatment were excluded. The appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics was divided into “optimal,” “suboptimal,” and “inappropriate,” and optimal and suboptimal were regarded as appropriate antibiotic use. The standard for the classification of empirical antibiotics was defined reflecting the Korean national guideline for the antibiotic use in urinary tract infection 2018. The standards for the classification of definitive antibiotics were defined according to the result of in vitro susceptibility tests of causative organisms. Clinical outcomes including clinical failure (mortality or recurrence) rate, hospitalization days, and medical costs were compared between patients who were prescribed antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed them inappropriately. Results: In total, 397 and 318 patients were eligible for the analysis of the appropriateness of empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively. Of these, 10 (2.5%) and 18 (5.7%) were inappropriately prescribed empirical and definitive antibiotics, respectively, and 28 (8.8%) were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed empirical antibiotics appropriately showed a lower mortality rate (0 vs 10%; P = .025), shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 12.5 days; P = .014), and lower medical costs (US$2,333 vs US$4,531; P = .007) compared to those who were prescribed empirical antibiotics “inappropriately.” In comparison, we detected no significant differences in clinical outcomes between patients who were prescribed definitive antibiotics appropriately and those who were prescribed definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Patients who were prescribed both empirical and definitive antibiotics appropriately showed a lower clinical failure rate (0.3 vs 7.1%; P = .021) and shorter hospitalization days (9 vs 10.5 days; P = .041) compared to those who were prescribed either empirical or definitive antibiotics inappropriately. Conclusions: Appropriate use of antibiotics leads patients with CA-APN to better clinical outcomes including fewer hospitalization days and lower medical costs.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
A geometric approach to Low Earth Orbiter (LEO) precision orbit determination (POD) based exclusively on triple-differenced GPS carrier phase observables is presented. The algorithm is fast and efficient because there is no ambiguity-resolution requirement, which is a complicated and time-consuming task for long-range kinematic GPS. However, the triple-difference kinematic LEO POD requires careful screening for cycle slips, as the orbit quality depends on the accuracy and the geometry of the observations. It is shown that the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) combined with residual screening offers a good approach to data cleaning. Data from a CHAMP (Challenging Minisatellite Payload, altitude ~450 km) mission are used to present the accuracy, speed and efficiency of the processing algorithms. The methods of data screening and the effects of geometry on the orbit quality are discussed and the final achievable accuracy including the limitations and benefits of this method are quantified. It is demonstrated that the triple-difference method offers short processing times and is currently capable of achieving a 3D RMS fit to the dynamic orbit of 15–30 cm and 1 mm/s to the velocity.
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