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Antisaccade tasks can be used to index cognitive control processes, e.g. attention, behavioral inhibition, working memory, and goal maintenance in people with brain disorders. Though diagnoses of schizophrenia (SZ), schizoaffective (SAD), and bipolar I with psychosis (BDP) are typically considered to be distinct entities, previous work shows patterns of cognitive deficits differing in degree, rather than in kind, across these syndromes.
Large samples of individuals with psychotic disorders were recruited through the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes 2 (B-SNIP2) study. Anti- and pro-saccade task performances were evaluated in 189 people with SZ, 185 people with SAD, 96 people with BDP, and 279 healthy comparison participants. Logistic functions were fitted to each group's antisaccade speed-performance tradeoff patterns.
Psychosis groups had higher antisaccade error rates than the healthy group, with SZ and SAD participants committing 2 times as many errors, and BDP participants committing 1.5 times as many errors. Latencies on correctly performed antisaccade trials in SZ and SAD were longer than in healthy participants, although error trial latencies were preserved. Parameters of speed-performance tradeoff functions indicated that compared to the healthy group, SZ and SAD groups had optimal performance characterized by more errors, as well as less benefit from prolonged response latencies. Prosaccade metrics did not differ between groups.
With basic prosaccade mechanisms intact, the higher speed-performance tradeoff cost for antisaccade performance in psychosis cases indicates a deficit that is specific to the higher-order cognitive aspects of saccade generation.
Daytime sleepiness is associated with multiple negative outcomes in older adults receiving long-term services and supports (LTSS) including reduced cognitive performance, need for greater assistance with activities of daily living and decreased social engagement. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of change in subjective daytime sleepiness among older adults during their first 2 years of receiving LTSS.
Design and Setting:
Secondary analysis of data from a prospective longitudinal study of older adults who received LTSS in their homes, assisted living communities or nursing homes interviewed at baseline and every 3 months for 24 months.
470 older adults (60 years and older) newly enrolled in LTSS (mean = 81, SD = 8.7; range 60–98; 71% women).
Subjective daytime sleepiness was assessed every 3 months through 2 years using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Multiple validated measures were used to capture health-related quality of life characteristics of enrollees and their environment, including symptom status (Symptom Bother Scale), cognition (Mini Mental Status Exam), physical function (Basic Activities of Daily Living), physical and mental general health, quality of life (Dementia Quality of Life, D-QoL), depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale) and social support (Medical Outcomes Survey-Social Support).
Longitudinal mixed effects modeling was used to examine the relationship between independent variables and continuous measure of daytime sleepiness. Increased feelings of belonging, subscale of the D-QoL (effect size = −0.006, 95% CI: −0.013 to −0.0001, p = 0.045) and higher number of depressive symptoms (effect size = −0.002, 95% CI: −0.004 to −0.001, p = 0.001) at baseline were associated with slower rates of increase in daytime sleepiness over time.
Comprehensive baseline and longitudinal screening for changes in daytime sleepiness along with depression and perceived quality of life should be used to inform interventions aimed at reducing daytime sleepiness among older adults receiving LTSS.
Although the deviations of brain volume deficits in sporadic and familial first-episode schizophrenia patients (FEP) had been presented, the difference of brain asymmetries remained unidentified.
To assess the potential differences of volumetric asymmetries of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) between groups.
To find out the different injury alteration of sporadic FEP and familial FEP.
42 sporadic and 30 familiar drug-naïve FEP with and 72 matched normal controls (NC) were recruited. Participants were assessed with neuropsychological tests and scanned by a 3.0T MRI to obtain T1-weighted and DTI images. Lateralization distribution maps of GM and WM volume were generated by employing optimized voxel-based morphometry. The asymmetries were analyzed by comparing calculating Laterality Index (LI) voxel by voxel.
All three groups showed similar overall brain torque. Familiar FEP have more regional extensive GM asymmetry brain lesions compared to sporadic FEP. There was no shared regional lesion between two groups. LIGM and LIWM in right superior temporal were negatively correlated. Significant negative correlations were also found between LIGM of left superior parietal lobule and LIWM of right superior parietal lobule, and between LIGM of right inferior parietal lobule and LIWM of left inferior parietal lobule. The asymmetry in distinct brain regions were related to cognitive deficits especially in the domains of language and memory.
The two patient groups had different alteration in injuries of brain asymmetry. Familiar FEP has more GM extensive asymmetry brain region, which may correlate with their high genetic burdens.
The presence of comorbid anxiety disorders (AD) and bipolar II disorders (BP-II) compounds disability complicates treatment, worsens prognosis, and has been understudied. The genes involved in metabolizing dopamine and encoding dopamine receptors, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) genes, may be important to the pathogenesis of BP-II comorbid with AD. We aimed to clarify ALDH2 and DRD2 genes for predisposition to BP-II comorbid with and without AD. The sample consisted of 335 subjects BP-II without AD, 127 subjects BP-II with AD and 348 healthy subjects as normal control. The genotypes of the ALDH2 and DRD2 Taq-IA polymorphisms were determined using polymerase chain reactions plus restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significant association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD (OR = 2.231, P = 0.021). Moreover, a significant interaction of the DRD2 Taq-I A1/A1 and the ALDH2*1*1 genotypes in BP-II without AD was revealed (OR = 5.623, P = 0.001) compared with normal control. Our findings support the hypothesis that a unique genetic distinction between BP-II with and without AD, and suggest a novel association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD. Our study also provides further evidence that the ALDH2 and DRD2 genes interact in BP-II, particularly BP-II without AD.
Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is the most common postoperative complication after gynecological laparoscopic surgery. It is unknown whether the occurrence of PONV is associated with the preoperative psychological status.
To explore the effects of preoperative psychological status on the incidence of PONV following gynecological laparoscopic surgery.
To analyze the possible risk factors in order to prevent and treat PONV after gynecological laparoscopic surgery.
101 cases patients who underwent gynecological laparoscopic surgery were enrolled. Self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and self-rating depression scale (SDS) were used to assess the preoperative psychological state. Visual analog scale nausea (NVAS) was used to evaluate the occurrence of PONY within the postoperative 24 hours.
101 patients completed NVAS and 72 patients completed SAS and SDS. The incidence of PONV was 45.5%. The standard score of SAS (49.14±8.01) in PONV group was significantly higher than that in Non-PONV group (44.54±7.58) t=2.505, P < 0.05. The ratio of preoperative anxiety patients(SAS≥50) in PONV group(57%) was higher than that in Non-PONV group (30%) (χ2=5.513, P < 0.05). It showed that the occurrence of PONV was positively correlated with preoperative anxiety (r=0.277, P < 0.05). There was no difference in the scores of SDS between two groups. No correlation was found between PONV and preoperative depression.
Higher level of anxiety before surgery may increase the risk of PONV. The patients undergoing gynecological laparoscopic surgery should reduce the level of anxiety with appropriate psychological counseling or prophylactic anti-anxiety drugs.
The aim of this study was to develop and externally validate a simple-to-use nomogram for predicting the survival of hospitalised human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) patients (hospitalised person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs)). Hospitalised PLWHAs (n = 3724) between January 2012 and December 2014 were enrolled in the training cohort. HIV-infected inpatients (n = 1987) admitted in 2015 were included as the external-validation cohort. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator method was used to perform data dimension reduction and select the optimal predictors. The nomogram incorporated 11 independent predictors, including occupation, antiretroviral therapy, pneumonia, tuberculosis, Talaromyces marneffei, hypertension, septicemia, anaemia, respiratory failure, hypoproteinemia and electrolyte disturbances. The Likelihood χ2 statistic of the model was 516.30 (P = 0.000). Integrated Brier Score was 0.076 and Brier scores of the nomogram at the 10-day and 20-day time points were 0.046 and 0.071, respectively. The area under the curves for receiver operating characteristic were 0.819 and 0.828, and precision-recall curves were 0.242 and 0.378 at two time points. Calibration plots and decision curve analysis in the two sets showed good performance and a high net benefit of nomogram. In conclusion, the nomogram developed in the current study has relatively high calibration and is clinically useful. It provides a convenient and useful tool for timely clinical decision-making and the risk management of hospitalised PLWHAs.
Triptorelin (TRI), a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist allowing ovulation synchronization in pigs, is indispensable for fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) protocols. However, the effect of FTAI using TRI (FTAI-TRI) on the reproductive performance is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether FTAI-TRI affects reproductive performance of pigs, including pregnancy rate (PR), number of pigs born alive per litter (NBA), farrowing rate (FR) and total number of pigs born per litter (TNB). A total of 37 trials from 15 studies were extracted and analysed in Stata. A weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated for NBA and TNB, and risk ratio (RR) with 95% CI was calculated for PR and FR. Pregnancy rate, TNB and NBA data were applied to a fixed-effect protocol, and FR data were applied to a random-effect protocol. We found that for weaned sows, the FTAI-TRI group had comparable reproductive performance to the artificial insemination (AI) following oestrus detection (EDAI) group. Fixed-time AI has many advantages, including the elimination of the need to heat-check twice daily, so that FTAI-TRI is a good substitute for EDAI. Subgroup analysis indicated that the optimal timing of triptorelin treatment was 96 h after weaning, which gave significant positive effects on PR (RR = 1.08, P = 0.000) and non-significant positive effects on TNB (WMD = 0.12, P = 0.452). Triptorelin at a dose of 100 μg showed better effects than 200 μg, with significant positive effects on PR (RR = 1.09, P = 0.005) and FR (RR = 1.06, P = 0.036). So a single dose of 100 μg was recommended. The optimal protocol was insemination at 24 h and again at 48 h after triptorelin administration if they remained in standing oestrus, and this provided a significantly higher NBA (WMD = 0.59, P = 0.013) that increased by 0.59. For gilts, the FTAI-TRI group showed decreased (not significant) PR (RR = 0.96, P = 0.127) and significantly decreased FR (RR = 0.93, P = 0.013), TNB (WMD = −0.85, P = 0.006) and NBA (WMD = −0.98, P = 0.000), which were inferior to those in the EDAI group. In conclusion, the effects of FTAI-TRI on the reproductive performance of pigs were parity-, treatment timing-, insemination timing-, and dosage-dependent. Fixed-time AI using triptorelin could effectively replace the EDAI protocol for sows, but not for gilts.
Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a children’s neuromuscular disorder. Although motor neuron loss is a major feature of the disease, we have identified fatty acid abnormalities in SMA patients and in preclinical animal models, suggesting metabolic perturbation is also an important component of SMA. Methods: Biochemical, histological, proteomic, and high resolution respirometry were used. Results: SMA patients are more susceptible to dyslipidemia than the average population as determined by a standard lipid profile in a cohort of 72 pediatric patients. As well, we observed a non-alcoholic liver disease phenotype in apreclinical mouse model. Denervation alone was not sufficient to induce liver steatosis, as a mouse model of ALS, did not develop fatty liver. Hyperglucagonemia in Smn2B/-mice could explain the hepatic steatosis by increasing plasma substrate availability via glycogen depletion and peripheral lipolysis. Proteomic analysis identified mitochondrion and lipid metabolism as major clusters. Alterations in mitochondrial function were revealed by high-resolution respirometry. Finally, low-fat diets led to increased survival in Smn2B/-mice. Conclusions: These results provide strong evidence for lipid metabolism defects in SMA. Further investigation will be required to establish the primary mechanism of these alterations and understand how they lead to additional co-morbidities in SMA patients.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
To explore the prevalence and drivers of hospital-level variability in antibiotic utilization among hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients to inform antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.
Retrospective cohort study using data merged from the Pediatric Health Information System and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
The study included 27 transplant centers in freestanding children’s hospitals.
The primary outcome was days of broad-spectrum antibiotic use in the interval from day of HCT through neutrophil engraftment. Hospital antibiotic utilization rates were reported as days of therapy (DOTs) per 1,000 neutropenic days. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate hospital utilization rates, adjusting for patient covariates including demographics, transplant characteristics, and severity of illness. To better quantify the magnitude of hospital variation and to explore hospital-level drivers in addition to patient-level drivers of variation, mixed-effects negative binomial models were also constructed.
Adjusted hospital rates of antipseudomonal antibiotic use varied from 436 to 1121 DOTs per 1,000 neutropenic days, and rates of broad-spectrum, gram-positive antibiotic use varied from 153 to 728 DOTs per 1,000 neutropenic days. We detected variability by hospital in choice of antipseudomonal agent (ie, cephalosporins, penicillins, and carbapenems), but gram-positive coverage was primarily driven by vancomycin use. Considerable center-level variability remained even after controlling for additional hospital-level factors. Antibiotic use was not strongly associated with days of significant illness or mortality.
Among a homogenous population of children undergoing HCT for acute leukemia, both the quantity and spectrum of antibiotic exposure in the immediate posttransplant period varied widely. Antimicrobial stewardship initiatives can apply these data to optimize the use of antibiotics in transplant patients.
Introduction: Understanding the spatial distribution of opioid abuse at the local level may facilitate community intervention strategies. The purpose of this analysis was to apply spatial analytical methods to determine clustering of opioid-related emergency medical services (EMS) responses in the City of Calgary. Methods: Using opioid-related EMS responses in the City of Calgary between January 1st through October 31st, 2017, we estimated the dissemination area (DA) specific spatial randomness effects by incorporating the spatial autocorrelation using intrinsic Gaussian conditional autoregressive model and generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). Global spatial autocorrelation was evaluated by Morans I index. Both Getis-Ord Gi and the LISA function in Geoda were used to estimate the local spatial autocorrelation. Two models were applied: 1) Poisson regression with DA-specific non-spatial random effects; 2) Poisson regression with DA-specific G-side spatial random effects. A pseudolikelihood approach was used for model comparison. Two types of cluster analysis were used to identify the spatial clustering. Results: There were 1488 opioid-related EMS responses available for analysis. Of the responses, 74% of the individuals were males. The median age was 33 years ( IQR: 26-42 years) with 65% of individuals between 20 and 39 years, and 27% between 40 and 64 years. In 62% of EMS responses, poisoning/overdose was the chief complaint. The global Morans Index implied the presence of global spatial autocorrelation. Comparing the two models applied suggested that the spatial model provided a better fit for the adjusted opioid-related EMS response rate. Calgary Center and East were identified as hot spots by both types of cluster analysis. Conclusion: Spatial modeling has a better predictability to assess potential high risk areas and identify locations for community intervention strategies. The clusters identified in Calgarys Center and East may have implications for future response strategies.
Introduction: With the increasing volume of medical literature published each year, it is difficult for clinicians to translate the latest research into practice. Awareness is the first step of knowledge translation and journals have begun using social media to increase the dissemination and awareness of their publications. Infographics can describe research findings visually, are shared broadly on social media, and may be a more effective way to convey information. We hypothesized that infographic abstracts would increase the social media dissemination and online readership of research articles relative to traditional abstracts. Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 24 original research articles were chosen from the six issues of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) published between July 2016 and May 2017 (4 articles per issue). Half were randomized to the infographic and control groups within each issue. Infographic articles were promoted using a visual infographic outlining the findings of the article. Control articles were promoted using a screen capture image of each articles abstract. Both were disseminated through the journals social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook) along with the link to the selected article. Infographics were also published on CanadiEM.org. Abstract views, full text views, and the change in Altmetric score were tracked for 30 days and compared between groups. Unpaired two-tailed t-tests were used to detect significant differences. Results: Abstract views (mean, SD) were significantly higher for infographic articles (378.9, 162.0) than control articles (175.5, 69.2, p<0.001). Mean Altmetric scores were significantly higher for infographic articles (26.4, 13.8) than control articles (3.4, 1.7, p<0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference in full-text views between infographic (49.7, 90.4) and control articles (25.3, 12.3). Conclusion: CJEM articles promoted on social media using infographics had higher abstract viewership and Altmetric scores than those promoted with traditional abstracts. Although there was no difference in full-text readership, our results suggest that infographic abstracts may have a role in increasing the dissemination of medical literature.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.
The effect of tunnel cations on tunnel size in α-MnO2 structured (hollandite, cryptomelane) materials has long been of interest, as the tunnel size effects catalytic and transport properties. Previous research on the tunnel size has focused on potassium cryptomelane (KxMn8O16). This paper uses synthetic control of silver content in AgxMn8O16 to investigate the effect that tunnel silver occupancy has on the lattice parameters. Materials with silver (x) content between 1.14 and 1.66 were synthesized, synchrotron diffraction and Rietveld Refinement was used to determine lattice parameters. The lattice parameters were found to contract as silver content increases (from 9.774 Å to 9.738 Å), in contrast to previous investigations of other tunnel cations.
A substantial proportion of persons with mental disorders seek treatment from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professionals. However, data on how CAM contacts vary across countries, mental disorders and their severity, and health care settings is largely lacking. The aim was therefore to investigate the prevalence of contacts with CAM providers in a large cross-national sample of persons with 12-month mental disorders.
In the World Mental Health Surveys, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to determine the presence of past 12 month mental disorders in 138 801 participants aged 18–100 derived from representative general population samples. Participants were recruited between 2001 and 2012. Rates of self-reported CAM contacts for each of the 28 surveys across 25 countries and 12 mental disorder groups were calculated for all persons with past 12-month mental disorders. Mental disorders were grouped into mood disorders, anxiety disorders or behavioural disorders, and further divided by severity levels. Satisfaction with conventional care was also compared with CAM contact satisfaction.
An estimated 3.6% (standard error 0.2%) of persons with a past 12-month mental disorder reported a CAM contact, which was two times higher in high-income countries (4.6%; standard error 0.3%) than in low- and middle-income countries (2.3%; standard error 0.2%). CAM contacts were largely comparable for different disorder types, but particularly high in persons receiving conventional care (8.6–17.8%). CAM contacts increased with increasing mental disorder severity. Among persons receiving specialist mental health care, CAM contacts were reported by 14.0% for severe mood disorders, 16.2% for severe anxiety disorders and 22.5% for severe behavioural disorders. Satisfaction with care was comparable with respect to CAM contacts (78.3%) and conventional care (75.6%) in persons that received both.
CAM contacts are common in persons with severe mental disorders, in high-income countries, and in persons receiving conventional care. Our findings support the notion of CAM as largely complementary but are in contrast to suggestions that this concerns person with only mild, transient complaints. There was no indication that persons were less satisfied by CAM visits than by receiving conventional care. We encourage health care professionals in conventional settings to openly discuss the care patients are receiving, whether conventional or not, and their reasons for doing so.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Scholars continue to argue about whether bipolar disorders (BD) and unipolar depression (UD) are distinguishable with regard to neurocognitive function. This study aims to explore the cognitive profiles of UD and BD by applying the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Affective Disorders (BAC-A) for neuropsychological assessment.
This cross-sectional study included 68 patients with UD, 67 patients with BD, and 135 healthy control subjects. We evaluated the participants’ cognitive functions at euthymic status using the BAC-A, which is made up of six traditional cognitive subtests and the Affective Processing Test. We then used a discriminant function analysis (DFA) to determine whether cognitive performance can be used to distinguish these participant groups.
Healthy controls demonstrated better performance in all subtests of the BAC-A than both the UD and BD patients, with the exception of delayed recognition of affective interference. Compared with the BD group, the UD group exhibited better performance in working memory and emotion inhibition. Furthermore, using all BAC-A indexes, a total of 70% of participants could be correctly classified using a DFA model, and the discriminating validity between UD and BD was superior to using either the traditional cognitive domains or the Affective Processing Test alone.
We have found that UD patients may exhibit an intermediate performance between healthy subjects and BD patients in working memory and emotional inhibition tests. The BAC-A can potentially assist in differentiating BD patients from UD patients at euthymic status in clinical settings.
Contact precautions are a traditional strategy to prevent transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Chlorhexidine bathing is increasingly used to decrease MRSA burden and transmission in intensive care units (ICUs). We sought to evaluate a hospital policy change from routine contact precautions for MRSA compared with universal chlorhexidine bathing, without contact precautions. We measured new MRSA acquisition in ICU patients and surveyed for MRSA environmental contamination in common areas and non-MRSA patient rooms before and after the policy change. During the baseline and chlorhexidine bathing periods, the number of patients (453 vs. 417), ICU days (1999 vs. 1703) and MRSA days/1000 ICU days (109 vs. 102) were similar. MRSA acquisition (2/453 vs. 2/457, P = 0·93) and environmental MRSA contamination (9/474 vs. 7/500, P = 0·53) were not significantly different between time periods. There were 58% fewer contact precaution days in the ICU during the chlorhexidine period (241/1993 vs. 102/1730, P < 0·01). We found no evidence that discontinuation of contact precautions for patients with MRSA in conjunction with adoption of daily chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs is associated with increased MRSA acquisition among ICU patients or increased MRSA contamination of ICU fomites. Although underpowered, our findings suggest this strategy, which has the potential to reduce costs and improve patient safety, should be assessed in similar but larger studies.
Introduction: A recent cross-sectional study reported a 17.3% prevalence of pulmonary embolism (PE) among patients with syncope. However, the study had several flaws including spectrum and work-up bias with over-diagnosis due to excessive investigations. We sought to evaluate the prevalence of PE among Canadian emergency department (ED) patients presenting with syncope. Methods: We enrolled adults with syncope at 5 EDs and collected demographics, proportion of patients evaluated for suspected PE, their Wells PE score values and results of investigations [d-dimer, computed angiography (CT) of chest or ventilation-perfusion (VQ) scan]. 30-day adjudicated outcome included diagnosis of PE requiring treatment. We used descriptive statistics to report the results. Results: 4,739 patients [mean age 54.3 years, 54.4% females, and 587 (12.4%) hospitalized] were enrolled. 323 patients (6.8%) had further evaluation and investigations performed for suspected PE: 255 patients had D-dimer performed, 140 had CT chest and 17 had VQ performed. Of the 323 patients, 300 patients were low risk (Wells score ≤4) and 23 were high-risk (score >4). A total of 16 patients (0.3%) in the study cohort were diagnosed with PE: 10 patients were diagnosed in the ED, 5 patients were diagnosed while hospitalized as inpatient, and 1 patient was diagnosed on a return ED visit. Overall the prevalence of PE was 0.3% among all ED patients with syncope; and a 0.9% among those hospitalized for syncope. Conclusion: Our study shows that the prevalence of PE is very low among all patients presenting to the ED with syncope. The prevalence is also very low among those hospitalized for syncope than previously reported. While PE should be suspected and further investigations performed among syncope patients if clinically appropriate, caution should also be taken against indiscriminate over-investigations for PE.