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The risk of environmental contamination by severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the intensive care unit (ICU) is unclear. We evaluated the extent of environmental contamination in the ICU and correlated this with patient and disease factors, including the impact of different ventilatory modalities.
In this observational study, surface environmental samples collected from ICU patient rooms and common areas were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Select samples from the common area were tested by cell culture. Clinical data were collected and correlated to the presence of environmental contamination. Results were compared to historical data from a previous study in general wards.
In total, 200 samples from 20 patient rooms and 75 samples from common areas and the staff pantry were tested. The results showed that 14 rooms had at least 1 site contaminated, with an overall contamination rate of 14% (28 of 200 samples). Environmental contamination was not associated with day of illness, ventilatory mode, aerosol-generating procedures, or viral load. The frequency of environmental contamination was lower in the ICU than in general ward rooms. Eight samples from the common area were positive, though all were negative on cell culture.
Environmental contamination in the ICU was lower than in the general wards. The use of mechanical ventilation or high-flow nasal oxygen was not associated with greater surface contamination, supporting their use and safety from an infection control perspective. Transmission risk via environmental surfaces in the ICUs is likely to be low. Nonetheless, infection control practices should be strictly reinforced, and transmission risk via droplet or airborne spread remains.
The aim of this study was to determining the cut-off for recurrent depressive episode to predict diagnostic conversion from unipolar depression to bipolar disorder by means of retrospective reviews of medical records.
The medical records of 250 patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder for at least 5 years were retrospectively reviewed for this study. We reviewed DSM-IV diagnosis and detailed clinical information at the index admission with assessments made every year after discharge to determining the cut-off for recurrent depressive episode to predict diagnostic conversion from unipolar depression to bipolar disorder.
Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis indicated cut-off scores for recurrent depressive episode of more than three times (area under curve = 0.647, sensitivity = 0.435, specificity = 0.819, positive predictive value = 0.351, negative predictive value = 0.865).
These findings suggest that it could predict the best diagnostic conversion from unipolar depression to bipolar disorder when depressive episodes are recurrent more than three times. Based on these findings, it will be able to promote the accuracy of diagnosis and the efficiency of treatment.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Emerging preclinical and clinical evidence suggests a potential role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the pathophysiology of depression. Several clinical trials have investigated the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists in treatment-resistant depression. We performed this meta-analysis to investigate whether nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists significantly improve symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder who have an inadequate response to standard antidepressant therapy.
A comprehensive literature search identified 6 randomized controlled trials. These 6 trials, which included 2067 participants, were pooled for this meta-analysis using a random-effects model.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists failed to show superior efficacy compared to placebo in terms of the mean change in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score [mean difference = –0.12 (95% CI = –0.96 to 0.71); response rate (risk ratio [RR] = 0.92 (95% CI = 0.83 to 1.02)); and remission rate [RR] = 1.01 (95% CI= 0.83 to 1.23)].
This meta-analysis failed to confirm preliminary positive evidence for the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists in treatment-resistant depression. Further studies investigating the efficacy of various alternative treatment strategies for treatment-resistant depression will help clinicians to better understand and choose better treatment options for these populations.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The international guideline for treating depression has been widely used.
The current study focused on the maintenance treatment section of the third revision of Korean Medication Algorithm for Depressive Disorder (KMAP-DD)
A 44-item questionnaire was used to obtain the consensus of experts regarding pharmacological treatment strategies for depressive disorder. Of the 144 committee members, 79 psychiatrists responded to the survey. Each treatment strategy or treatment option was evaluated with the nine-point scale.
Most clinicians answered to maintain both antidepressants (AD) and atypical antipsychotics (AAP) for psychotic depression in remission state. The duration of AD maintenance: from 19.8 weeks to 46.8 weeks for patients in remission of the first episode, from 34.8 weeks to 78.4 weeks for the second depressive episode, and long-term continuation for three or more depressive episodes. Aripiprazole was the most preferred AAP. The preferred doses of AD and AAP in maintenance treatment were about 75% and 50% of those in acute treatment The maintenance of AAP in the psychotic depression in remission was similar to the AD, although shorter and less.
The maintenance strategies of KMAP-DD 2017 were similar to those of KMAP-DD 2012. Most clinicians preferred to maintain AD for substantial duration after achieving remission. The maintenance of AAP was also preferred, but the duration was shorter than AD.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
For heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) heads, a major reliability limiter is the peak near-field transducer (NFT) temperature. Since the NFT is nanoscale, heat sinking is controlled by materials and interfaces within a few 100 nm of the NFT. Heat sinks can be metallic to take advantage of the 10x-100x higher thermal boundary conductance (TBC) of metal/metal interfaces, versus nonmetal interfaces. Oxide formation at these interfaces can greatly decrease the TBC and contribute to NFT failure. Likewise, the thermal resistance of material between the NFT and media recording layer greatly influences the NFT operating temperature. Here we use pump-probe thermoreflectance techniques (FDTR, TDTR) to study metal-metal interfaces and detect partial oxidation of a buried metallic thin film, as well as evaluate the interface thermal conductance of amorphous-amorphous interfaces in a film stack representative of a HAMR head-media interface.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO), which will be launched onboard the
Lomonosov spacecraft, contains two crucial instruments: UFFO Burst
Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) for detection and localization of Gamma-Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and the fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) designed for the observation
of the prompt optical/UV counterparts. Here we discuss the in-space calibrations of the
UBAT detector and SMT telescope. After the launch, the observations of the standard X-ray
sources such as pulsar in Crab nebula will provide data for necessary calibrations of
UBAT. Several standard stars will be used for the photometric calibration of SMT. The
celestial X-ray sources, e.g. X-ray binaries with bright optical sources
in their close angular vicinity will serve for the cross-calibration of UBAT and SMT.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) Pathfinder for Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) consists
of two telescopes. The UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) handles the
detection and localization of GRBs, and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) conducts the
measurement of the UV/optical afterglow. UBAT is equipped with an X-ray detector, analog
and digital signal readout electronics that detects X-rays from GRBs and determines the
location. SMT is equipped with a stepping motor and the associated electronics to rotate
the slewing mirror targeting the GRBs identified by UBAT. First the slewing mirror points
to a GRB, then SMT obtains the optical image of the GRB using the intensified CCD and its
readout electronics. The UFFO Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) is responsible for the
overall function and operation of the observatory and the communication with the satellite
main processor. In this paper we present the design and implementation of the electronics
of UBAT and SMT as well as the architecture and implementation of UDAQ.
One of the unexplored domains in the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the early time
phase of the optical light curve. We have proposed Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) to
address this question through extraordinary opportunities presented by a series of small
space missions. The UFFO is equipped with a fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope that
uses a rapidly moving mirror or mirror array to redirect the optical beam rather than
slewing the entire spacecraft or telescope to aim the optical instrument at the GRB
position. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs with sub-second response, for
the first time, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies. Its fast
response measurements of the optical emission of dozens of GRB each year will provide
unique probes of the burst mechanism and test the prospect of GRB as a new standard
candle, potentially opening up the z > 10 universe. We describe the current limit in
early photon measurements, the aspects of early photon physics, our soon-to-be-launched
UFFO-pathfinder mission, and our next planned mission, the UFFO-100.
The UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory) is a GRB detector on board the Lomonosov
satellite, to be launched in 2013. The GRB trigger is provided by an X-ray detector,
called UBAT (UFFO Burst Alarm & Trigger Telescope), which detects X-rays from the GRB
and then triggers to determine the direction of the GRB and then alerts the Slewing Mirror
Telescope (SMT) to turn in the direction of the GRB and record the optical photon fluxes.
This report details the calibration of the two components: the MAPMTs and the YSO crystals
and simulations of the UBAT. The results shows that this design can observe a GRB within a
field of view of ±35° and can trigger in a time scale as short as 0.2 – 1.0 s
after the appearance of a GRB X-ray spike.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space observatory for optical follow-ups of
gamma ray bursts (GRBs), aiming to explore the first 60 seconds of GRBs optical emission.
UFFO is utilized to catch early optical emissions from GRBs within few sec after trigger
using a Gimbal mirror which redirects the optical path rather than slewing entire
spacecraft. We have developed a 15 cm two-axis Gimbal mirror stage for the UFFO-Pathfinder
which is going to be on board the Lomonosov satellite which is to be launched in 2013. The
stage is designed for fast and accurate motion with given budgets of 3 kg of mass and 3
Watt of power. By employing stepping motors, the slewing mirror can rotate faster than 15
deg/sec so that objects in the UFFO coverage (60 deg × 60 deg) can be targeted in
~1 sec. The obtained targeting resolution is better 2 arcmin using a close-loop
control with high precision rotary encoder. In this presentation, we will discuss details
of design, manufacturing, space qualification tests, as well as performance tests.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) aims to detect the earliest moment of Gamma-Ray
Bursts (GRBs) which is not well known, resulting into the enhancement of GRB mechanism
understanding. The pathfinder mission was proposed to be a scaled-down version of UFFO,
and only contains the UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) measuring the
X-ray/gamma-ray with the wide-field of view and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) with a
rapid-response for the UV/optical photons. Once the UBAT detects a GRB candidate with the
position accuracy of 10 arcmin, the SMT steers the UV/optical photons from the candidate
to the telescope by the fast rotatable mirror and provides the early UV/optical photons
measurements with 4 arcsec accuracy. The SMT has a modified Ritchey-Chrètien telescope
with the aperture size of 10 cm diameter including the rotatable mirror and the image
readout by the intensified charge-coupled device. There is a key board called the UFFO
Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) that manages the communication of each telescope and also
of the satellite and the UFFO overall operation. This pathfinder is designed and built
within the limited size and weight of ~20 kg and the low power consumption up to
~30 W. We will discuss the design and performance of the UFFO-pathfinder, and its
integration to the Lomonosov satellite.
One of the key aspects of the upcoming Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) pathfinder for
Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) identification is the UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope
(UBAT). The scientific propose of UBAT is to detect and locate as fast as possible the
GRBs in the sky. This is achieved by using a coded mask aperture camera scheme with a wide
field of view (FOV) and selecting a X-ray detector of high quantum efficiency and large
detection area. This X-ray detector of high quantum efficiency and large detection area is
called the UBAT detector. The UBAT detector consists of 48 × 48 Yttrium Oxyorthosilicate
(YSO) scintillator crystal arrays and Multi Anode Photomultiplier Tubes (MAPMTs), analog
electronics equipped with ASIC chips, digital electronics equipped with Field Programmable
Gate Array (FPGA) chips, and a mechanical structure that supports all components of the
UBAT detector. The total number of the pixels in the UBAT detector is 2304, and the total
effective detection area is 191 cm2. We will present the design and
construction, and performance of the UBAT detector including the responses of the UBAT
detector to X-ray sources.
We investigated the HfO2:GaAs interface electronic structure and interface passivation by first principles calculations. The HfO2:GaAs interface of HfO2 terminated with four O atoms and GaAs terminated two Ga atoms is found to be the most energetically favorable. It is found that the interface states mainly arise from the interfacial charge mismatch, more specifically from the electron loss of interfacial As. Si or Ge as an interfacial passivating layer helps to maintain the charge of interfacial As and hence reduce the interface states.
To investigate the potential reservoir and mode of transmission of pandrug-resistant (PDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in a 7-day-old neonate who developed PDR A. baumannii bacteremia that was presumed to be the iceberg of a potential outbreak.
Outbreak investigation based on a program of prospective hospital-wide surveillance for nosocomial infection.
A 24-bed neonatal intensive care unit in a 2,200-bed major teaching hospital in Taiwan that provides care for critically ill neonates born in this hospital and those transferred from other hospitals.
Samples from 33 healthcare workers' hands and 40 samples from the environment were cultured. Surveillance cultures of anal swab specimens and sputum samples were performed for neonates on admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and every 2 weeks until discharge. The PDR A. baumannii isolates, defined as isolates resistant to all currently available systemic antimicrobials except polymyxin B, were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Control measures consisted of implementing contact isolation, reinforcing hand hygiene adherence, cohorting of nurses, and environmental cleaning.
One culture of an environmental sample and no cultures of samples from healthcare workers' hands grew PDR A. baumannii. The positive culture result involved a sample obtained from a ventilation tube used by the index patient. During the following 2 months, active surveillance identified PDR A. baumannii in 8 additional neonates, and isolates from 7 had the same electrokaryotype. Of the 9 neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii, 1 died from an unrelated condition. Reinforcement of infection control measures resulted in 100% adherence to proper hand hygiene protocol. The outbreak was stopped without compromising patient care.
In the absence of environmental contamination, transient hand carriage by personnel who cared for neonates colonized or infected with PDR A. baumannii was suspected to be the mode of transmission. Vigilance, prompt intervention and strict adherence to hand hygiene protocol were the key factors that led to the successful control of this outbreak. Active surveillance appears to be an effective measure to identify potential transmitters and reservoirs of PDR A. baumannii.
Tracheocutaneous fistula is a frequent sequel of long-term tracheostomy or tracheal fenestration. Closure of fistula is complicated by the presence of extensive scar tissue, mucopurulent secretions, and tension from insufficient advancement of adjacent soft tissue. We report two successfully closed cases of large tracheocutaneous fistulae using a hinge flap and a V-Y advancement flap.
Telomerase maintains the length of telomeres in immortal cells and is also often associated with cell proliferation. Cholesteatoma epithelium is characterized by a dysregulation with hyperproliferative growth. The study evaluated the telomerase activity in cholesteatoma and normal retro-auricular skin to discover the relationship between telomerase expression and clinical findings. Twenty-two samples of cholesteatoma and 15 samples of retro-auricular skin were obtained from patients undergoing middle-ear surgery. The telomerase activity was detected by the telomerase repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay method. Seventeen of the 22 (77.3 per cent) cholesteatoma cases expressed telomerase activity, whereas none of the 15 retro-auricular normal skin (0 per cent) detected telomerase activity. There was no significant difference between telomerase expressions and clinical findings, including hearing level, duration of disease, and the degree of extension (p>0.05). The high expression of telomerase in cholesteatoma suggests that the activation of telomerase may be related to the proliferative nature of cholesteatoma.