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Background: Eye movements reveal neurodegenerative disease processes due to overlap between oculomotor circuitry and disease-affected areas. Characterizing oculomotor behaviour in context of cognitive function may enhance disease diagnosis and monitoring. We therefore aimed to quantify cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative disease using saccade behaviour and neuropsychology. Methods: The Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative recruited individuals with neurodegenerative disease: one of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or cerebrovascular disease. Patients (n=450, age 40-87) and healthy controls (n=149, age 42-87) completed a randomly interleaved pro- and anti-saccade task (IPAST) while their eyes were tracked. We explored the relationships of saccade parameters (e.g. task errors, reaction times) to one another and to cognitive domain-specific neuropsychological test scores (e.g. executive function, memory). Results: Task performance worsened with cognitive impairment across multiple diseases. Subsets of saccade parameters were interrelated and also differentially related to neuropsychology-based cognitive domain scores (e.g. antisaccade errors and reaction time associated with executive function). Conclusions: IPAST detects global cognitive impairment across neurodegenerative diseases. Subsets of parameters associate with one another, suggesting disparate underlying circuitry, and with different cognitive domains. This may have implications for use of IPAST as a cognitive screening tool in neurodegenerative disease.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
Introduction: Non-medical cannabis recently became legal on October 18th, 2018 to Canadian adults. The impact of legalization on Emergency Departments (EDs) has been identified as a major concern. The study objective was to identify changes in cannabis-related ED visits and changes in co-existing diagnoses associated with cannabis-related ED visits pre- and post-legalization for the entire urban population of Alberta. Urban Alberta was defined as Calgary and Edmonton, inclusive of Sherwood Park and St. Albert given the proximity of some Edmontonians to their EDs) encompassing 12 adult EDs and 2 pediatric EDs. Methods: Retrospective data was collected from the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, and from the HealthLink and the Alberta Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS) public telehealth call databases. An interrupted time-series analysis was completed via segmented regression calculation in addition to incident rate and relative risk ratio calculation for the pre- and post-legalization periods to identify both differences among the entire urban Alberta population and differences among individuals presenting to the ED. Data was collected from October 1st, 2013 up to July 31st, 2019 for ED visits and was adjusted for natural population increase using quarterly reports from the Government of Alberta. Results: The sample included 11 770 pre-legalization cannabis-related visits, and 2962 post-legalization visits. Volumes of ED visits for cannabis-related harms were found to increase post-legalization within urban EDs (IRR 1.45, 95% CI 1.39, 1.51; absolute level change: 43.48 visits per month in urban Alberta, 95% CI 26.52, 60.43), and for PADIS calls (IRR 1.87, 95% CI 1.55, 2.37; absolute level change: 4.02 calls per month in Alberta, 95% CI 0.11, 7.94). The increase in visits to EDs equates to an increase of 2.72 visits per month, per ED. Lastly, increases were observed for cannabinoid hyperemesis (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10, 1.36), unintentional ingestion (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.34, 1.62), and in individuals leaving the ED pre-treatment (RR 1.28, 95% CI 1.08, 1.49). Decreases were observed for coingestant use (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.73, 0.81) and hospital admissions (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.80, 0.96). Conclusion: Overall, national legalization of cannabis appears to be correlated with a small increase in cannabis-related ED visits and poison control calls. Post-legalization, fewer patients are being admitted, though cannabinoid hyperemesis appears to be on the rise.
Background: Since January 1, 2016 2358 people have died from opioid poisoning in Alberta. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is the recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and this treatment can be initiated in emergency departments and urgent care centres (EDs). Aim Statement: This project aims to spread a quality improvement intervention to all 107 adult EDs in Alberta by March 31, 2020. The intervention supports clinicians to initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals and provide rapid referrals to OUD treatment clinics. Measures & Design: Local ED teams were identified (administrators, clinical nurse educators, physicians and, where available, pharmacists and social workers). Local teams were supported by a provincial project team (project manager, consultant, and five physician leads) through a multi-faceted implementation process using provincial order sets, clinician education products, and patient-facing information. We used administrative ED and pharmacy data to track the number of visits where bup/nal was given in ED, and whether discharged patients continued to fill any opioid agonist treatment (OAT) prescription 30 days after their index ED visit. OUD clinics reported the number of referrals received from EDs and the number attending their first appointment. Patient safety event reports were tracked to identify any unintended negative impacts. Evaluation/Results: We report data from May 15, 2018 (program start) to September 31, 2019. Forty-nine EDs (46% of 107) implemented the program and 22 (45% of 49) reported evaluation data. There were 5385 opioid-related visits to reporting ED sites after program adoption. Bup/nal was given during 832 ED visits (663 unique patients): 7 visits in the 1st quarter the program operated, 55 in the 2nd, 74 in the 3rd, 143 in the 4th, 294 in the 5th, and 255 in the 6th. Among 505 unique discharged patients with 30 day follow up data available 319 (63%) continued to fill any OAT prescription after receiving bup/nal in ED. 16 (70%) of 23 community clinics provided data. EDs referred patients to these clinics 440 times, and 236 referrals (54%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Available data may under-report program impact. 5 patient safety events have been reported, with no harm or minimal harm to the patient. Discussion/Impact: Results demonstrate effective spread and uptake of a standardized provincial ED based early medical intervention program for patients who live with OUD.
Psychological stress is associated with accelerated cellular aging and increased risk for aging-related diseases, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
We examined the effect of stress on a DNA methylation age predictor that was shown to correlate strongly with chronological age across human tissues (Horvath 2013). Genome-wide DNA methylation was measured in peripheral blood using the 450K Illumina array in three independent cohorts: the Grady Trauma Project/GTP (N=366); a panic disorder case/control sample recruited at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry/MPI-P (N=318); and the Conte Center for the Psychobiology of Early-Life Trauma/Conte (N=42). Age acceleration was calculated by subtracting chronological age from age predicted by DNA methylation. Psychiatric symptomatology and stressors were assessed using standard questionnaires.
DNA methylation age strongly correlated with chronological age in all samples (r=0.9, p=2.5x10<sup>-133</sup>). Cumulative lifetime stress but not childhood or current stress predicted age acceleration in GTP (p=0.012) and MPI-P (p=0.021). Moreover, epigenetic age acceleration predicted depression (GTP: p=0.002; Conte: p=0.014) and panic disorder (p=0.007). In secondary analyses, we examined the effect of lifetime stress on individual CpGs of the DNA methylation age predictor. After correcting for multiple comparisons, we identified in both GTP and MPI-P a stress-regulated CpG near MCAM, a gene implicated in aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Cumulative lifetime stress, but not childhood or current stress, and psychiatric phenotypes are associated with accelerated epigenetic aging. Our findings may explain the accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk associated with chronic stress and psychiatric disorders.
There is a growing interest in low-grade inflammatory and metabolic alterations in patients with chronic schizophrenia (SCH).
Inflammatory (tumor-necrosis factor-α [TNF-α], interferon-γ [IFN-γ], interleukins [IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10], monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 [MCP-1]) and growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], epidermal growth factor [EGF]) were measured in blood serum samples of 105 SCH patients and 148 control subjects (CS). Simultaneously the clinical biomarkers (C-reactive protein [CRP], triglycerides [TG], low-density lipoprotein [LDL-c] and high-density lipoprotein [HDL-c] cholesterol, glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c]) were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated for patients.
Several cyto-/chemokines (IFN-γ, MCP-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10) were significantly (P < 0.0000001) elevated in SCH patients compared to CS. Odds ratios, obtained from logistic regression analyses, were significantly elevated for IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, INF-γ, and decreased for TNF-α in SCH group. Among the patients, higher IL-2, IL-6, INF-γ and lower MCP-1 levels as well as male gender were together significant (P < 0.000001) predictors of higher HbA1c levels, and TG/HDL-c parameter was associated with ratios of INF-γ/IL-10 (P = 0.004), and INF-γ/IL-4 (P = 0.049), HbA1c (P = 0.005), INF-γ (P = 0.009), as well as LDL-c (P = 0.02) levels.
IL-2, IL-6, IL-10 and IFN-γ were the most significant SCH-related markers among the measured cytokines in our patient group. Furthermore, significant associations between pro-/anti-inflammatory imbalance and HbA1c as well as cardio-metabolic risk marker (TG/HDL-c) were observed, indicating higher risks of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among SCH patients.
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) plays an important role in addressing shortcomings in optimal healthcare delivery. However, there is little published guidance available for emergency department (ED) teams with respect to developing their own QIPS programs. We sought to create recommendations for established and aspiring ED leaders to use as a pathway to better patient care through programmatic QIPS activities, starting internally and working towards interdepartmental collaboration.
An expert panel comprised of ten ED clinicians with QIPS and leadership expertise was established. A scoping review was conducted to identify published literature on establishing QIPS programs and frameworks in healthcare. Stakeholder consultations were conducted among Canadian healthcare leaders, and recommendations were drafted by the expert panel based on all the accumulated information. These were reviewed and refined at the 2018 CAEP Academic Symposium in Calgary using in-person and technologically-supported feedback.
Recommendations include: creating a sense of urgency for improvement; engaging relevant stakeholders and leaders; creating a formal local QIPS Committee; securing funding and resources; obtaining local data to guide the work; supporting QIPS training for team members; encouraging interprofessional, cross-departmental, and patient collaborations; using an established QIPS framework to guide the work; developing reward mechanisms and incentive structures; and considering to start small by focusing on a project rather than a program.
A list of 10 recommendations is presented as guiding principles for the establishment and sustainable deployment of QIPS activities in EDs throughout Canada and abroad. ED leaders are encouraged to implement our recommendations in an effort to improve patient care.
Introduction: Access block is a pervasive problem, even during times of minimal boarding in the ED, suggesting suboptimal use of ED stretchers can contribute. A tracking board utility was embedded into the electronic health record in Calgary, AB, allowing MDs and RNs to consider patients who could be relocated from a stretcher to a chair. Objectives of this study were to evaluate the feature's impact on total stretcher time (TST) and ED length of stay (LOS) for patients relocated to a chair. We also sought to identify facilitators and barriers to the tool's use amongst ED MDs and RNs. Methods: A retrospective cohort design was used to compare TST between those where the tool was used and not used amongst patients relocated to a chair between September 1 2017 and August 15 2018. Each use of the location tool was time-stamped in an administrative database. Median TST and ED LOS were compared between patients where the tool was used and not used using a Mann-Whitney U Test. A cross sectional convenience sample survey was used to determine facilitators and barriers to the tool's use amongst ED staff. Response proportions were used to report Likert scale questions; thematic analysis was used to code themes. Results: 194882 patients met inclusion criteria. The tool was used 4301 times, with “Ok for Chairs” selected 3914(2%) times and “Not Ok for Chairs” selected 384(0.2%) times; 54462(30%) patients were moved to a chair without the tool's use. Mean age, sex, mode of arrival and triage scores were similar between both groups. Median (IQR) TST amongst patients moved to a chair via the prompt was shorter than when the prompt was not used [142.7 (100.5) mins vs 152.3 (112.3) mins, p < 0.001], resulting in 37574 mins of saved stretcher time. LOS was similar between both groups (p = 0.22). 125 questionnaires were completed by 90 ED nurses and 35 ED MDs. 95% of staff were aware of the tool and 70% agreed/strongly agreed the tool could improve ED flow; however, 38% reported only “sometimes” using the tool. MDs reported the most common barrier was forgetting to use the tool and lack of perceived action in relocating patients. Commonly reported nursing barriers were lack of chair space and increased workload. Conclusion: Despite minimal use of the tracking board utility, triggering was associated with reduced TST amongst ED patients eventually relocated to a chair. To encourage increased use, future versions should prompt staff to select a location.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
Effective integrated weed management in agricultural landscapes depends on the ability to identify and manage processes that drive weed dynamics. The current study reports the effects of grazing management and crop rotation strategies on the seedbank and emerged weed flora in an integrated crop-livestock system (ICLS) experiment during a 12-year period under no-tillage in sub-tropical southern Brazil. During winter, Italian ryegrass cover crops were grazed by sheep: grazing management treatments included two stocking methods (continuous and rotational) and two forage allowances (10 and 20 kg of herbage dry matter available per 100 kg animal live weight). During summer, the crop rotation treatments involved either soybean-maize or soybean-soybean in succession with winter-grazed cover crops. The treatments were part of a factorial randomized complete block design. Treatment effects were evaluated on the weed seedbank and emerged weed flora populations during winter-grazed cover crop and summer crop growth as well as during the harvest phase. The current results demonstrate that crop rotation and grazing management exhibited interactive effects on the determination of weed outcomes in an ICLS. However, overall, compared with moderate forage allowance, high forage allowance during the winter-grazed cover crop caused lower emerged weed flora in subsequent crops (20% reduction during crop growth and 90% reduction at crop harvest) and 48% reduction in seedbank size. High forage allowance promoted more residue from winter-grazed cover crop biomass, which remained during the summer crop phases and probably resulted in a physical barrier to weed emergence.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Introduction: Overuse of acute care services, particularly emergency department (ED) use, is an important topic for healthcare providers and policy makers within Canada and abroad. Prior work has shown that frail elderly patients with complex medical needs and limited personal and social resources are heavy users of ED services and are often admitted when they present to the ED. Updated information on the most effective strategies to avert ED presentation and hospital admission focused specifically on elderly patients is needed. Methods: This systematic review addressed the question: what interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in decreasing ED use and hospital admissions in elderly patients? Comprehensive literature searches were conducted in databases including Ovid Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials with no language or date restrictions. Citations were limited to interventional studies. Grey literature and reference list searches, as well as communication with experts in the field were performed. Consensus or a third reviewer resolved any disagreements. Original research regarding interventions conducted in populations 65 years or older with acute illness, either living in community or facility-living were included. Primary outcomes were ED visits and hospital admissions. Secondary outcomes included: mortality, cost, and patient-reported outcomes such as health-related quality of life and functional status. Results: Forty-three relevant studies were identified including 22 randomized controlled trials (RCT), 2 cluster-RCT, 2 trials with non-random allocation, 4 before-after studies, 6 quasi-experimental studies, and 7 cohort studies. Intervention settings included: home visits (22), long-term care (7), outpatient or primary care clinics (8), and ED (3) or inpatient (3). Data characterization revealed that home-based, outpatient and/or primary care-based strategies reduced ED visits and hospitalizations, particularly those which included comprehensive geriatric assessments, home visits or regular face-to-face contact and interdisciplinary teams. Hospital-based models generally showed no difference in ED or inpatient service utilization. There was, however, considerable variability across individual studies with respect to reporting of outcomes, statistical analyses performed, and overall risk of bias. Conclusion: Various interventional strategies have been studied to avert ED presentation and hospital admission for frail elderly patients. More rigorous methodology and standardization of outcome measures is needed to quantitatively assess the effects of these programs.
Introduction: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that high-quality, evidence-based guidelines be developed for emergency medical services (EMS). The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has outlined a strategy that will see this task fulfilled, consisting of multiple working groups focused on all aspects of guideline development and implementation. A first step, and our objective, was a cataloguing and appraisal of the current guidelines targeting EMS providers. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in MEDLINE (1175), EMBASE (519), PubMed (14), Trip (416), and guidelines.gov (64) through May 1, 2016. Two independent reviewers screened titles for relevance to prehospital care, and then abstracts for essential guideline features, including a systematic review, a grading system, and an association between level of evidence and strength of recommendation. All disagreements were moderated by a third party. Citations meeting inclusion criteria were appraised with the AGREE II tool, which looks at six different domains of guideline quality, containing a total of 23 items rated from 1 to 7. Each guideline was appraised by three separate reviewers, and composite scores were calculated by averaging the scaled domain totals. Results: After primary (kappa 97%) and secondary (kappa 93%) screening, 49 guidelines were retained for full review. Only three guidelines obtained a score of >90%, the topics of which included aeromedical transport, analgesia in trauma, and resuscitation of avalanche victims. Only two guidelines scored between 80% and 90%, the topics of which included stroke and pediatric seizure management. One guideline, splinting in an austere environment, scored between 70% and 80%. Nine guidelines scored between 60% and 70%, the topics of which included ischemic stroke, cardiovascular life support, hemorrhage control, intubation, triage, hypothermia, and fibrinolytic use. Of the remaining guidelines, 14 scored between 50% and 60%, and 20 obtained a score of <50%. Conclusion: There are few high-quality, evidence-based guidelines in EMS. Of those that are published, the majority fail to meet established quality measures. Although a lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in the prehospital field continues to limit guideline development, suboptimal methodology is also commonplace within the existing literature.
Because individuals develop dementia as a manifestation of neurodegenerative or neurovascular disorder, there is a need to develop reliable approaches to their identification. We are undertaking an observational study (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI]) that includes genomics, neuroimaging, and assessments of cognition as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular cognitive impairment. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database to facilitate correlative analysis. ONDRI will provide a repertoire of endophenotyped individuals that will be a unique, publicly available resource.
In Norway, no published data on seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in humans and swine exists. Serum samples from blood donors, veterinarians, swine farm workers and swine were analysed by ELISA to estimate the seroprevalence of HEV in Norway and to investigate the association between direct contact with swine and HEV seroprevalence in humans. The seroprevalence of HEV IgG antibodies was 30% (24/79) in farm workers, 13% (21/163) in veterinarians, 14% (162/1200) in blood donors and 90% (137/153) in swine. Our results show a high seroprevalence of HEV in humans and swine in Norway. HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and blood donors increased with age, and veterinarians working with swine were twice as likely to be HEV seropositive compared to other veterinarians. High HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and veterinarians working with swine support previous reports suggesting swine as a reservoir for HEV infections in humans in Europe.
Introduction: The addition of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to Emergency Departments in recent years has led to speculation over potential benefits and pitfalls. Recent studies have shown benefits to CPOE, though there lacks sufficient evidence on how it could change physician behaviour. Physician practices are known to be difficult to change, with getting evidence into daily practice being the main challenge of knowledge translation. Our study aims were to determine if well-designed electronic order sets for CPOE improved MD practices. Methods: The Calgary Zone Pain Management in the Emergency Department Working Group relied on a GRADE-based literature review for identifying best practices for analgesia and antiemetics, resulting in soft changes to the dedicated analgesia and antiemetic electronic order set noting working group preference, and emphasizing hydromorphone over morphine, as well as 4 mg ondansetron over 8 mg. The new electronic order set was started in the only Calgary Region order entry system on December 11th, 2014. Data was collected from July 2014 - May 2015. A Yates chi-squared analysis was completed on all orders in a category, as well as the subgroups of ED staff and residents, and orders placed using the new order set. Results: A total of 100460 orders were analyzed. The use of hydromorphone increased significantly across all 4 EDs. IV hydromorphone use increased (5.82% of all opioid orders up to 26.93%, P<0.0001) with a reciprocal decline in IV morphine (67.81% of all opioid orders down to 46.56%, P<0.0001). Similar effects were observed with ondansetron 4 mg IV orders increasing (1.37% of all ondansetron orders to 18.64%, P<0.0001) with a decrease in 8 mg dosing (15.75% of all ondansetron orders to 7.23%, P<0.0001). These results were replicated to a lesser degree in the non-ED staff and non-order set subgroups. Implementation of the new order set resulted in an increase of its use (37.64% of all opioid orders up to 49.29%, P<0.0001). Finally, a cost-savings analysis was completed showing a projected annual savings of $185,676.52 on medications alone. Conclusion: This data supports the manipulation of electronic order sets to help shape physician behaviour towards best practices. This provides another strong argument towards the benefits of CPOE, and can help maintain best practices in Emergency Medicine.
In November 2013, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health was notified of a gastroenteritis outbreak following two meetings held at a conference centre. Identical food and beverages were served during the meetings. We investigated in order to identify the vehicle of infection and implement control measures. Meeting participants completed an online questionnaire on consumption of foods and beverages. We asked symptomatic participants to provide a stool sample. We defined a case as diarrhoea and/or vomiting in a participant who became ill within 3 days after the meeting. We calculated attack rates (AR) and adjusted risk ratios (aRR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using binomial regression. We conducted environmental investigations. Overall, 147/168 (88%) participants responded, of which 74 (50%) met the case definition. All five stool samples provided were norovirus positive. No kitchen staff reported being sick. Risk of illness was higher in those who consumed raspberry mousse (aRR 3·4, 95% CI 1·4–8·2) and sliced fresh fruit (aRR 1·9, 95% CI 1·3–2·8). Seventy cases (95%) ate raspberry mousse. Frozen raspberries used for the mousse were imported and not heat-treated before consumption. Non-heat-treated frozen raspberries were the most likely outbreak vehicle. Contamination by a food handler could not be excluded. We recommend heat-treatment of imported frozen berries before consumption.