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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a high demand on personal protective equipment, including disposable N95 masks. Given the need for mask reuse, we tested the feasibility of vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), ultraviolet light (UV), and ethanol decontamination strategies on N95 mask integrity and the ability to remove the infectious potential of SARS-CoV-2.
Disposable N95 masks, including medical grade (1860, 1870+) and industrial grade (8511) masks, were treated by VHP, UV, and ethanol decontamination. Mask degradation was tested using a quantitative respirator fit testing. Pooled clinical samples of SARS-CoV-2 were applied to mask samples, treated, and then either sent immediately for real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or incubated with Vero E6 cells to assess for virucidal effect.
Both ethanol and UV decontamination showed functional degradation to different degrees while VHP treatment showed no significant change after two treatments. We also report a single SARS-CoV-2 virucidal experiment using Vero E6 cell infection in which only ethanol treatment eliminated detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
We hope our data will guide further research for evidenced-based decisions for disposable N95 mask reuse and help protect caregivers from SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens.
Introduction: Inhaled low dose methoxyflurane (MEOF) was recently approved in Canada for the short-term relief of moderate to severe acute pain associated with trauma or interventional medical procedures in conscious adult patients. ADVANCE-ED is an ongoing phase IV, prospective open label study undertaken to generate real-world evidence to complement the global clinical development program through evaluation of the effectiveness of low dose MEOF in Canadian emergency departments (EDs). Methods: This multi-centre study is enrolling adult (≥18 yrs) patients with moderate to severe acute pain (NRS0-10 ≥ 4) associated with minor trauma. To address limitations from the pivotal study, this study allows patients who were excluded in the pivotal trials: namely, those with severe (≥7) pain, and those using OTC or stably dosed analgesics for other conditions, including chronic pain. Eligible patients receive a single treatment of up to 2 x 3 mL MEOF (2nd 3 mL to be provided only upon request), self-administered by the patient under medical supervision. Rescue medication is permitted at any time, if required. Results: Here we describe the patient demographics and treatment satisfaction (Global Medication Performance, GMP) at 50% enrolment (n = 49). Mean (SD) patient age is 48.0 (17.1) yrs and 55.1% are female. Mean pain (SD) reported at enrolment is 8.3 (1.5), with 73.4% of patients with NRS0-10 ≥ 8. Injuries are overwhelmingly limb trauma (87.8%). The most common type is sprain/strain (40.8%), followed by fracture (32.7%). At 5 minutes post-start of administration (STA) of MEOF, 80.4% of patients reported pain relief; this increased to 91.3% at 15 minutes, and 100% of patients reported pain relief by 30 minutes post-STA. GMP was assessed as “good”, “very good” or “excellent” by ≥80% of patients both 20 minutes post-start of administration (STA) of MEOF (83.3%) and at discharge (85.8%). When asked to what extent their expectation of pain relief had been met, 32.7% responded good, 26.5% responded “very good” and 22.4% responded “excellent”. Three quarters of enrolled patients (75.5%) did not require rescue medication. The most common (≥5%) treatment-related adverse events were dizziness (n = 14, 28.6%) and euphoric mood (n = 4, 8.2%). No serious adverse events have been reported. Conclusion: Based on 50% of the patients enrolled in this prospective, open label study, responses to inhaled low-dose MEOF are within expectation for both effectiveness and tolerability.
In Australia, free-range egg production pullets are typically reared indoors, but adult layers get outdoor access. This new environment may be challenging to adapt to, which could impair egg production and/or egg quality. Adaptation might be enhanced through rearing enrichments. We reared 1386 Hy-Line Brown® chicks indoors with three treatments across 16 weeks: (1) a control group with standard litter housing conditions, (2) a novelty group providing novel objects that changed weekly, and (3) a structural enrichment group with custom-designed structures to partially impair visibility across the pen and allow for vertical movement. Pullets were transferred to a free-range system at 16 weeks of age with daily outdoor access provided from 25 until 64 weeks. Daily egg production at different laying locations (large nests, small nests and floor), weekly egg weights and egg abnormalities were recorded from 18 to 64 weeks old. External and internal egg quality parameters of egg weight, shell reflectivity, albumen height, haugh unit, yolk colour score, shell weight and shell thickness were measured at 44, 52, 60 and 64 weeks. There was a significant interaction between rearing treatment and nest box use on hen-day production from weeks 18 to 25 (P < 0.0001) with the novelty hens laying the most eggs and the control hens the fewest eggs in the nest box. Similarly, from 26 to 64 weeks, the novelty hens laid more eggs in the large nest boxes and fewer eggs on the floor than both the structural and control hens (P < 0.0001). Egg weight and abnormalities increased with age (P < 0.0001), but rearing treatment had no effect on either measure (both P ≥ 0.19). Rearing treatment affected shell reflectivity and yolk colour with the control hens showing paler colours across time relative to the changes observed in the eggs from enriched hens. The novelty hens may have established nest box laying patterns as they were more accustomed to exploring new environments. The differences in egg quality could be related to stress adaptability or ranging behaviour. This study shows that enriching environments during rearing can have some impacts on production parameters in free-range hens.
Oats can be processed in a variety of ways ranging from minimally processed such as steel-cut oats (SCO), to mildly processed such as large-flake oats (old fashioned oats, OFO), moderately processed such as instant oats (IO) or highly processed in ready-to-eat oat cereals such as Honey Nut Cheerios (HNC). Although processing is believed to increase glycaemic and insulinaemic responses, the effect of oat processing in these respects is unclear. Thus, we compared the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses elicited by 628 kJ portions of SCO, OFO, IO and HNC and a portion of Cream of Rice cereal (CR) containing the same amount of available-carbohydrate (23 g) as the oatmeals. Healthy males (n 18) and females (n 12) completed this randomised, cross-over trial. Blood was taken fasting and at intervals for 3 h following test-meal consumption. Glucose and insulin peak-rises and incremental AUC (iAUC) were subjected to repeated-measures ANOVA using Tukey’s test (two-sided P<0·05) to compare individual means. Glucose peak-rise (primary endpoint, mean (sem) mmol/l) after OFO, 2·19 (sem 0·11), was significantly less than after CR, 2·61 (sem 0·13); and glucose peak-rise after SCO, 1·93 (sem 0·13), was significantly less than after CR, HNC, 2·49 (sem 0·13) and IO 2·47 (sem 0·13). Glucose iAUC was significantly lower after SCO than CR and HNC. Insulin peak rise was similar among the test meals, but insulin iAUC was significantly less after SCO than IO. Thus, the results show that oat processing affects glycaemic and insulinaemic responses with lower responses associated with less processing.
Introduction: Pain is a significant driver of demand in emergency care and 65% of adult patients with trauma also report moderate to severe pain. Inhaled low dose methoxyflurane (MEOF) a rapid-acting patient administered inhalational analgesic was recently approved in Canada for the short-term relief of moderate to severe acute pain associated with trauma or interventional medical procedures in conscious adult patients. This study will generate real-world evidence to complement the global clinical development program through evaluation of the effectiveness of MEOF in Canadian emergency departments. Methods: This is a phase IV, prospective open label, multi-centre study. Approximately 100 adult (≥18 yrs) patients with moderate to severe acute pain (NRS0-10≥4) associated with single system trauma will be enrolled at 5-10 EDs across Canada. Patients will receive a single treatment of up to 2 x 3 mL MEOF (2nd 3 mL to be provided only upon request), self-administered by the patient under medical supervision. Rescue medication will be permitted at any time, if required. Results: Planned Assessments and Outcome Measures: Pain will be assessed using the NRS0-10 at 4 time points: screening/triage, 5 minutes and 20 minutes post-start of administration (STA) of MEOF, and when ready for discharge. Secondary assessments will include the speed of action of analgesia (from STA of MEOF); patient and physician satisfaction with treatment (as assessed through Global Medical Performance (GMP) at 20 minutes post-STA and when ready for discharge); patient and physician fulfilment of pain relief expectations (assessed when ready for discharge); use of rescue medication and treatment-emergent adverse events. Exploratory outcomes will include the time to disposition, time to readiness for discharge and responder analysis. The primary outcome measure will be the change in pain intensity over 20 minutes from the start of administration of MEOF as measured on the NRS0-10. Conclusion: We report on the methodology of a phase IV, prospective open label, multi-centre study, evaluating the use of MEOF for the management of acute traumatic pain in Canadian Emergency Departments.
Introduction: Acute migraine headaches are common causes of presentation to the emergency department (ED). There is great variability in the efficacy of the available parenteral agents to manage pain, though triptans are among the recommended treatments. The objective of this systematic review was to update a previous review examining the effectiveness of parenteral agents for the treatment of acute migraine in the ED or equivalent acute care setting; our review examined pain management in emergency settings and assessed the effectiveness of triptan agents. Methods: A comprehensive search of 10 electronic databases and grey literature was conducted to supplement the previous systematic review. Two independent reviewers completed study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction. Any discrepancies were resolved by third party adjudication. Pain scale scores were analyzed using standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) calculated using a random effects model; heterogeneity (I2) was reported. Results: Titles and abstracts of 5039 unique studies were reviewed, of which, 51 studies were included. Sixty-four studies from the original review were included, resulting in a total of 115 included studies. Pain was measured within the ED or equivalent acute care setting using a variety of pain scales, most commonly the 0-10 cm or 100 mm visual analog scale. Four studies compared pain scores between patients receiving sumatriptan vs. other agents, of which, patients receiving sumatriptan reported higher pain scale scores (SMD = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.04, 1.02; I2 = 80%). In particular, patients receiving sumatriptan reported higher pain scale scores than patients receiving metoclopramide (SMD = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.31, 1.04; n = 1) or ketorolac (SMD = 1.39; 95% CI: 0.56, 2.21; n = 1). Overall, studies comparing anti-inflammatory agents (i.e., ketorolac or dexketoprofen) to other agents reported improved pain scale scores among patients receiving anti-inflammatory agents (SMD = -0.38; 95% CI: -0.73, -0.03; I2 = 66%; n = 5). Conclusion: Limited evidence suggests that patients treated with metoclopramide or anti-inflammatory agents experience greater pain reduction compared to patients treated with sumatriptan. This review will conduct a network analysis of parenteral agents to examine the comparative effectiveness of parenteral agents to manage pain among patients with acute migraine. Further analysis will also consider the balance between efficacy and adverse events.
Introduction: Although a variety of parenteral agents exist for the treatment of acute migraine, relapse after an emergency department (ED) visit is still a common occurrence. The objective of this systematic review was to update a previous review examining the effectiveness of parenteral agents for the treatment of acute migraine in the ED or equivalent acute care setting; our review focused on those studies aiming a reduction in relapse after an ED visit. Methods: A comprehensive search of 10 electronic databases and grey literature was conducted to identify comparative studies to supplement the previous systematic review. Two independent reviewers completed study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction. Any discrepancies were resolved by third party adjudication. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random effects model and heterogeneity (I2) was reported. Results: Titles and abstracts of 5039 unique studies were reviewed, of which, 51 studies were included. Sixty-four studies from the original review were included, resulting in a total of 115 included studies. Relapse was reported in 44 (38%) included studies and occurred commonly in patients receiving placebo or no interventions (median = 39%; IQR: 14%, 47%). Overall, no differences in headache relapse were found between patients receiving sumatriptan or placebo (RR = 1.09; 95% CI: 0.55, 2.17; I2 = 93%; n = 8). Conversely, patients receiving neuroleptic agents experienced fewer relapses compared to placebo (RR = 0.27; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.58; I2 = 0%; n = 3); however, patients receiving neuroleptics reported an increase in adverse events (RR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.00; I2 = 0%; n = 3). Compared to placebo, patients receiving dexamethasone were less likely to experience a headache recurrence (RR = 0.71; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.95; I2 = 60%, n = 9); however, no differences were found in reported adverse events (RR = 1.09; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.47; I2 = 0%; n = 3). Conclusion: Relapse is a common occurrence for patients with migraine headaches. This review found patients receiving neuroleptics or dexamethasone experienced fewer headache recurrences. Conversely, triptan agents appear to have minimal effect on reducing the risk for headache recurrence following discharge from an acute care setting. Limited available data on adverse events is an important limitation to inform decision-making. Guidelines should be revised to reflect these results.
In product design engineering (PDE), ideation involves the generation of technical behaviours and physical structures to address specific functional requirements. This differs from generic creative ideation tasks, which emphasise functional and technical considerations less. To advance knowledge about the neural basis of PDE ideation, we present the first fMRI study on professional product design engineers practising in industry. We aimed to explore brain activation during ideation, and compare activation in open-ended and constrained tasks. Imagery manipulation tasks were contrasted with ideation tasks in a sample of 29 PDE professionals. The key findings were: (1) PDE ideation is associated with greater activity in left cingulate gyrus; (2) there were no significant differences between open-ended and constrained tasks; and (3) a preliminary association with activity in the right superior temporal gyrus was also observed. The results are consistent with existing fMRI work on generic creative ideation, suggesting that PDE ideation may share a number of similarities at the neural level. Future work includes: functional connectivity analysis of open-ended and constrained ideation to further investigate potential differences; investigating the effects of aspects of design expertise/training on processing; and the use of novelty measures directly linked to the designer’s internal processing in fMRI analysis.
Indigenous women and children experience some of the most profound health disparities globally. These disparities are grounded in historical and contemporary trauma secondary to colonial atrocities perpetuated by settler society. The health disparities that exist for chronic diseases may have their origins in early-life exposures that Indigenous women and children face. Mechanistically, there is evidence that these adverse exposures epigenetically modify genes associated with cardiometabolic disease risk. Interventions designed to support a resilient pregnancy and first 1000 days of life should abrogate disparities in early-life socioeconomic status. Breastfeeding, prenatal care and early child education are key targets for governments and health care providers to start addressing current health disparities in cardiometabolic diseases among Indigenous youth. Programmes grounded in cultural safety and co-developed with communities have successfully reduced health disparities. More works of this kind are needed to reduce inequities in cardiometabolic diseases among Indigenous women and children worldwide.
The effect of transportation and lairage on the faecal shedding and post-slaughter contamination of carcasses with Escherichia coli O157 and O26 in young calves (4–7-day-old) was assessed in a cohort study at a regional calf-processing plant in the North Island of New Zealand, following 60 calves as cohorts from six dairy farms to slaughter. Multiple samples from each animal at pre-slaughter (recto-anal mucosal swab) and carcass at post-slaughter (sponge swab) were collected and screened using real-time PCR and culture isolation methods for the presence of E. coli O157 and O26 (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and non-STEC). Genotype analysis of E. coli O157 and O26 isolates provided little evidence of faecal–oral transmission of infection between calves during transportation and lairage. Increased cross-contamination of hides and carcasses with E. coli O157 and O26 between co-transported calves was confirmed at pre-hide removal and post-evisceration stages but not at pre-boning (at the end of dressing prior to chilling), indicating that good hygiene practices and application of an approved intervention effectively controlled carcass contamination. This study was the first of its kind to assess the impact of transportation and lairage on the faecal carriage and post-harvest contamination of carcasses with E. coli O157 and O26 in very young calves.
The Glasgow area has a combination of highly variable superficial deposits and a legacy of heavy industry, quarrying and mining. These factors create complex foundation and hydrological conditions, influencing the movement of contaminants through the subsurface and giving rise locally to unstable ground conditions. Digital geological three-dimensional models developed by the British Geological Survey are helping to resolve the complex geology underlying Glasgow, providing a key tool for planning and environmental management. The models, covering an area of 3200km2 to a depth of 1.2km, include glacial and post-glacial deposits and the underlying, faulted Carboniferous igneous and sedimentary rocks. Control data, including 95,000 boreholes, digital mine plans and published geological maps, were used in model development. Digital outputs from the models include maps of depth to key horizons, such as rockhead or depth to mine workings. The models have formed the basis for the development of site-scale high-resolution geological models and provide input data for a wide range of other applications from groundwater modelling to stochastic lithological modelling.
Introduction: Understanding factors that influence laboratory test ordering in emergency departments (EDs) can help to improve current laboratory test ordering practices. The aim of this study is to compare patterns and influences in laboratory test ordering between emergency physicians and nurses at two ED sites, Halifax Infirmary (HI) and Dartmouth General (DG). Methods: A mixed-methods approach involving administrative data and telephone interviews was employed. Data from 211,279 patients at HI and DG EDs were analyzed. Chi-square analysis and binary logistic regression were used to determine significant factors influencing whether a test was ordered, as well as significant factors predicting likelihood of a nurse or a physician ordering a test. All significant associations had a p-value of <0.0001. Interviews were conducted (n=25) with doctors and nurses in order to explore areas of potential influence in a clinician’s decision-making process, and discuss what makes decision making difficult or inconsistent in the ED. These interviews were analyzed according to the Theoretical Domains Framework. The interviews were coded by two individuals using a consensus methodology in order to ensure accuracy of coding. Results: Overall, laboratory tests were more likely to be ordered at DG than at HI (OR=1.52, 95% CI: [1.48, 1.55]). Laboratory tests were more likely to be ordered by nurses at DG than at HI (OR=1.58, 95% CI: [1.54, 1.62]). Laboratory tests were more likely to be ordered if the ED was not busy, if the patient was over 65, had a high acuity, had a long stay in the ED, required consults, or was admitted to hospital. Doctors were more likely to order a laboratory test in patients over 65, requiring consults or hospital admission, whereas nurses were more likely to order laboratory tests in patients with high acuity or long stays in the ED. Data from the interviews suggested differing influences on decision making between nurses and doctors, especially in the areas of social influence and knowledge. Conclusion: Currently, there is limited research that investigates behaviour of both emergency physicians and nurses. By determining barriers that are most amenable to behaviour change in emergency physicians and nurses, findings from this work may be used to update practice guidelines, ensuring more consistency and efficiency in laboratory test ordering in the ED.
Introduction: Choosing Wisely Canada® (CWC) launched in April 2012. Since then, the Emergency Medicine (EM) top-10 list of tests, treatments and procedures to avoid has been released and initiatives are on-going. This study explored CWC awareness and support among emergency physicians. Methods: A 60-question online survey was distributed to Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) members with valid e-mails. The survey collected information on demographics, awareness/support for CWC as well as physicians’ perceived barriers and facilitators to implementation. Descriptive statistics were performed in SPSS (Version 24). Results: Overall, 324 surveys were completed (response rate: 18%). Respondents were more often male (64%) and practiced at academic/tertiary care hospitals (56%) with mixed patient populations (74%) with annual ED volumes of >50,000 (70%). Respondents were familiar with campaigns to improve care (90%). Among these respondents, 98% were specifically familiar with CWC and 73% felt these campaigns assisted them in providing high-quality care. Respondents felt that the top-5 EM recommendations were supported by high quality evidence, specifically the first 4 recommendations (>90% each). The most frequently reported barriers to implementation were: patients’ expectations/requests (33%), the possibility of missing severe condition(s) (20%), and requirements of ED consultations (12%). Potential facilitators were identified as: strong evidence-base for recommendations (37%), medico-legal protection for clinicians who adhere to guidelines (13%), and support from institutional leadership (11%). Conclusion: CWC is well-known and supported by emergency physicians. Despite the low response rate, exploring the barriers and facilitators identified here could enhance CWC’s uptake in Canadian emergency departments.
Introduction: Recently, campaigns placing considerable emphasis on improving emergency department (ED) care by reducing unnecessary tests, treatments, and/or procedures have been initiated. This study explored how Canadian emergency physicians (EPs) conceptualize unnecessary care in the ED. Methods: An online 60-question survey was distributed to EP-members of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) with valid emails. The survey explored respondents awareness/support for initiatives to improve ED care (i.e., reduce unnecessary tests, treatments and/or procedures) and asked respondents to define “unnecessary care” in the ED. Thematic qualitative analysis was performed on these responses to identify key themes and sub-themes and explore variation among EPs definitions of unnecessary care. Results: A total of 324 surveys were completed (response rate: 18%); 300 provided free-text definitions of unnecessary care. Most commonly, unnecessary ED care was defined as: 1) performing tests, treatments, procedures, and/or consults that were not indicated or potentially harmful (n=169) and/or 2) care that should have been provided within a non-emergent context for a non-urgent patient (n=143). Emergency physicians highlighted the role of system-level factors and system failures that result in ED presentations as definitions of unnecessary care (n=69). They also noted a distinction between providing necessary care for a non-urgent patient and performing inappropriate/non-evidenced based care. Finally, a tension emerged in their description of frustration with patient expectations (n=17) and/or non-ED referrals (n=24) for specific tests, treatments, and/or procedures. These frustrations were juxtaposed by participants who asserted that “in a patient-centred care environment, no care is unnecessary” (Participant 50; n=12). Conclusion: Variation in the definition of unnecessary ED care is evident among EPs and illustrates that EPs’ conceptualization of unnecessary care is more nuanced than current campaigns addressing ED care improvements represent. This may contribute to a perceived lack of uptake or support for these initiatives. Further exploring EPs perceptions of these campaigns has the potential to improve EP engagement and influence the language utilized by these programs.
Introduction: Headache is a common emergency department (ED) presentation. Benign (i.e., non-pathological) headaches are particularly common, including exacerbations of chronic migraine, tension, and cluster headache. Several studies have reported concerns over the frequent use of advanced imaging, specifically computed tomography (CT), in the ED management of benign or primary headache presentations. This systematic review examined the proportion of adult ED benign headache presentations who receive a CT(head). Methods: Eight bibliographic databases and the grey literature were searched. All studies reporting the proportion of benign headache patients receiving a CT(head) in the ED were eligible for inclusion. Studies which included a secondary headache population of 15% of their total study population or less where eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers independently assessed study inclusion and completed quality assessment and data extraction. Weighted medians were calculated for the primary and secondary outcomes, as appropriate. Results: The search returned 2,444 unique citations, of which 20 met the inclusion criteria (21 patient groups were analyzed). The majority of the studies were descriptive in nature and conducted in North America. The reported proportion of benign headache patients receiving a CT(head) varied considerably (range: 2.06-67.21%); with a weighted median of 30.0% (interquartile range: 30.0, 30.0). Studies published in 2000 or later (18/21 groups) were found to have a higher weighted median percentage compared to those published pre-2000 (p=0.016). Neither the country of origin nor the proportion of patients with secondary headache included within the study population had a significant effect on CT utilization. Of the three studies which reported the discharge diagnosis of all patients, sub-arachnoid hemorrhage was discovered in 2/241 (0.83%) of CT scans. Conclusion: Considerable variation in CT utilization for benign headache ED presentations exists and estimates indicate that more than a quarter of patients receive a CT(head). Overall, these CT scans rarely identify significant pathology, suggesting imaging may be safely reduced. Further research is required to identify interventions which can safely and effectively reduce unnecessary imaging among headache presentations.
The stress sensitization theory hypothesizes that individuals exposed to childhood adversity will be more vulnerable to mental disorders from proximal stressors. We aimed to test this theory with respect to risk of 30-day major depressive episode (MDE) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) among new US Army soldiers.
The sample consisted of 30 436 new soldier recruits in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience (Army STARRS). Generalized linear models were constructed, and additive interactions between childhood maltreatment profiles and level of 12-month stressful experiences on the risk of 30-day MDE and GAD were analyzed.
Stress sensitization was observed in models of past 30-day MDE (χ28 = 17.6, p = 0.025) and GAD (χ28 = 26.8, p = 0.001). This sensitization only occurred at high (3+) levels of reported 12-month stressful experiences. In pairwise comparisons for the risk of 30-day MDE, the risk difference between 3+ stressful experiences and no stressful experiences was significantly greater for all maltreatment profiles relative to No Maltreatment. Similar results were found with the risk for 30-day GAD with the exception of the risk difference for Episodic Emotional and Sexual Abuse, which did not differ statistically from No Maltreatment.
New soldiers are at an increased risk of 30-day MDE or GAD following recent stressful experiences if they were exposed to childhood maltreatment. Particularly in the military with an abundance of unique stressors, attempts to identify this population and improve stress management may be useful in the effort to reduce the risk of mental disorders.
To investigate an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex and describe the measures that revealed the source.
A 629-bed, tertiary-care, pediatric hospital in Houston, Texas.
Pediatric patients without cystic fibrosis (CF) hospitalized in the pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units.
We investigated an outbreak of B. cepacia complex from February through July 2016. Isolates were evaluated for molecular relatedness with repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR); specific species identification and genotyping were performed at an independent laboratory. The investigation included a detailed review of all cases, direct observation of clinical practices, and respiratory surveillance cultures. Environmental and product cultures were performed at an accredited reference environmental microbiology laboratory.
Overall, 18 respiratory tract cultures, 5 blood cultures, 4 urine cultures, and 3 stool cultures were positive in 24 patients. Among the 24 patients, 17 had symptomatic infections and 7 were colonized. The median age of the patients was 22.5 months (range, 2–148 months). Rep-PCR typing showed that 21 of 24 cases represented the same strain, which was identified as a novel species within the B. cepacia complex. Product cultures of liquid docusate were positive with an identical strain of B. cepacia complex. Local and state health departments, as well as the CDC and FDA, were notified, prompting a multistate investigation.
Our investigation revealed an outbreak of a unique strain of B. cepacia complex isolated in clinical specimens from non-CF pediatric patients and from liquid docusate. This resulted in a national alert and voluntary recall by the manufacturer.
A small fraction of Tidal Disruption Events (TDE) produce relativistic jets, evidenced by their non-thermal X-ray spectra and transient radio emission. Here we present milliarcsecond-resolution imaging results on TDE J1644+5734 with the European VLBI Network (EVN). These provide a strong astrometric constraint on the average apparent jet velocity βapp < 0.27, that constrains the intrinsic jet velocity for a given viewing angle.
A new protocol for the quantitative determination of zeolite-group mineral compositions by electron probe microanalysis (wavelength-dispersive spectrometry) under ambient conditions, is presented. The method overcomes the most serious challenges for this mineral group, including new confidence in the fundamentally important Si-Al ratio. Development tests were undertaken on a set of natural zeolite candidate reference samples, representing the compositional extremes of Na, K, Cs, Mg, Ca, Sr and Ba zeolites, to demonstrate and assess the extent of beam interaction effects on each oxide component for each mineral. These tests highlight the variability and impact of component mobility due to beam interaction, and show that it can be minimized with recommended operating conditions of 15 kV, 2 nA, a defocused, 20 μm spot size, and element prioritizing with the spectrometer configuration. The protocol represents a pragmatic solution that works, but provides scope for additional optimization where required. Vital to the determination of high-quality results is the attention to careful preparations and the employment of strict criteria for data reduction and quality control, including the monitoring and removal of non-zeolitic contaminants from the data (mainly Fe and clay phases). Essential quality criteria include the zeolite-specific parameters of R value (Si/(Si + Al + Fe3+), the 'E%' charge-balance calculation, and the weight percent of non-hydrous total oxides. When these criteria are applied in conjunction with the recommended analytical operating conditions, excellent inter-batch reproducibility is demonstrated. Application of the method to zeolites with complex solid-solution compositions is effective, enabling more precise geochemical discrimination for occurrence-composition studies. Phase validation for the reference set was conducted satisfactorily with the use of X-ray diffraction and laser-ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectroscopy.