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Recent hospital fire incidents in South Korea have heightened the importance of patient evacuation. Moving patients from an intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency department (ED) setting is a challenge due to the complexity of moving acutely unwell patients who are reliant on invasive monitoring and organ support. Despite the importance of patient evacuation, the readiness of ICU and ED for urgent evacuation has not been assessed.
To enhance the readiness and competencies of workers from ICU and ED in the evacuation of patients during a simulated tabletop fire exercise.
A tabletop simulation exercise was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research referencing the fire evacuation manual developed by the hospital’s ICU and ED. The scenario consisted of evacuating patients horizontally and vertically from each department. The participants’ actions were assessed using a checklist. A debriefing was completed after the exercise to discuss the gaps observed. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the exercise and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 22 and 29 people participated in the exercise from ICU and ED, respectively. Knowledge and confidence improved post-exercise for both ICU and ED scenarios (p<0.05). Course satisfaction was 7.9 and 8.7, respectively for ICU and ED exercise. Correct performance rates for ICU and ED were 59% and 58%, respectively. Common gaps noted for both ICU and ED were wearing protective masks, patient hand-over communication, and preparation for resources.
There need to be exercises to recognize system gaps in place for hospital fire evacuation preparedness. Tabletop simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was a short 90-minute exercise, this increased familiarity with the evacuation plan, tested the plan, and allowed for identification of gaps.
South Korea experienced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. To mitigate the threat posed by MERS, the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control designated hospitals to be responsible for managing any suspected or confirmed infectious patient. These hospitals receive mandatory training in managing infectious patients, but many of the trainings lack practical skills practice and pandemic preparedness exercise.
To develop and evaluate a training course designed to train healthcare providers from designated hospitals to enhance their competencies in managing emerging infectious diseases and potential outbreaks.
A two-day course was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research in collaboration with the Korea Health Promotion Institute using Kern’s 6-step approach. The course consisted of didactic lectures, technical skills training, tabletop simulation, and scenario-based simulation. Table-top simulation exercises consisted of cases involving a single infectious patient detected in the outpatient clinic and outbreak in the emergency department. Scenario-based simulation exercises involved managing a critically ill infectious patient in an isolated ward. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the course and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 121 healthcare providers participated in three separate courses. The competencies for pandemic preparedness knowledge, skills, and attitude improved from pre- to post-course. The differences were all statistically significant (p<0.05). Overall course satisfaction in average for expectation, time, delivery method, and contents were 9.5, 9.2, 9.4, and 9.2, respectively.
There needs to be tests and exercises to recognize gaps of systems in place for pandemic preparedness. Simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was only a two-day intensive course, this increased familiarity with workflows, tested the coordination of workflows between different disciplines and allowed the identification of gaps.
Due to the lack of an effective prophylactic intervention and diagnosis, human liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis continues to afflict a large human population, causing a chronic inflammatory bile duct disease. With an aim to identify target antigens for sensitive serodiagnosis, adenylate kinase 3 of C. sinensis (CsAK3) was successfully expressed in soluble form in Escherichia coli by fusion to an RNA-interacting domain derived from human Lys-tRNA synthetase and purified by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Anti-CsAK3 serum was raised by immunization of mice, and Western blotting confirmed that CsAK3 was expressed in adult-stage C. sinensis. Histochemical analysis showed that CsAK3 was localized to the subtegumental tissue of C. sinensis and was excreted into the bile duct of the host. When tested against sera from various parasite-infected patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the recombinant CsAK3 elicited a specific response to C. sinensis-infected sera. The results suggest that CsAK3, either alone or in combination with other antigens, could be used for improving the clinical diagnosis of clonorchiasis.
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.
Dodder is a parasitic weed that is troublesome to the growth of many plants. Our study shows that this invasive species contains strong allelopathic potential, exerting strong inhibition against the growth of indicator plants and noxious paddy weeds in bioassay and pot trials. In a greenhouse, incorporation of 0.5 t ha−1 of dried dodder plants to paddy soil reduced spontaneous growth of paddy weeds by about 50%, whereas the 1.5 to 2 t ha−1 dose suppressed biomass of paddy weeds by more than 75% and completely controlled emergence of barnyardgrass and monochoria. By the use of a separation resin, 22 compounds were separated from dodder and identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry as belonging to terpenes, long-chain fatty acids, phenols, phenolic acids, and lactone. Among these compounds, 15 substances were quantified and tested for their herbicidal activity. Quantity of cinnamic acid was the highest (37.3 mg g−1), followed by dihydro-5,6-dehydrokavain (DDK; 6.0 mg g−1), myristic acid (3.2 mg g−1), and methyl cinnamate (2.1 mg g−1), whereas the amounts of other compounds were between 0.01 and 0.1 mg g−1. It is suggested that the content of the terpenes within dodder, which was rather high in amount (0.41–2.1 mg g−1), correlated to its strength of chemical cues to find host plants. Cinnamic acid, DDK, methyl cinnamate, and vanillin exerted the most potent herbicidal activities against radish growth. Findings of this study propose that cinnamic acid, DDK, and methyl cinnamate are responsible for its strong phytotoxic action of dodder plants. However, whether these plant growth inhibitors and other compounds detected from the dodder can suppress emergence of their hosts as well as contributing to its strong invasiveness needs further elucidation.
Echinochloa species are among the most troublesome weeds in
rice cultivation, and grow in a broad habitat range in Korea. Although
various ecotypes of Echinochloa have been collected as
germplasm for future studies, it has been difficult to classify them due to
their high level of morphological similarity. This study was thus conducted
to develop and investigate the phylogenetic relationships between 77
Echinochloa accessions with the use of 23 simple
sequence repeat (SSR) markers and 24 morphological traits. Of 77
Echinochloa accessions, including 57 accessions from
Korea and 5 reference species, late watergrass was clearly clustered as a
distinctive group from barnyardgrass and other Echinochloa
species. In this analysis, we also identified core genetic and morphological
markers that can be used for the future identification and classification of
Echinochloa species. Five out of 23 SSR makers produced
distinctive bands that discriminate late watergrass from barnyardgrass and
other Echinochloa species. Four morphological traits of the
reproductive organs were the most influential contributors for classifying
Echinochloa species. Although there was no clear
consensus generated in this study between SSR markers and morphological
trait analyses, our results support the potential use of the selected SSR
markers and morphological traits in future studies of
Legislative responses to social changes signify how representative democracy works. Yet research is still needed to find out whether and how representatives in new democratic countries address the constituents’ interests and demands. We revisit the 18th National Assembly in Korea (2008–12) to examine legislative activities surrounding the issue of economic inequality. To understand how lawmakers in the new democracy like Korea respond to the demands of redistributive policies, we turn to representatives’ co-sponsorship behaviour. We find that Korean lawmakers do respond to constituents’ preferences. More specifically, Korean lawmakers representing conservative districts tend to care less about economic inequality than other representatives while controlling their partisanship. This study fleshes out the link between the represented and the representatives in a new democracy where party discipline at the expense of constituency connection has long dominated legislative politics.
Using data from the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) study, we aimed to present the rates and clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts/acts in patients recruited from a total of 40 centres in 10 Asian countries/areas: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Data from 1122 patients with depressive disorders in the REAP-AD study were used. The ICD-10 was employed to diagnose depressive episodes and recurrent depressive disorder. The presence or absence of suicidal thoughts/acts and profile of other depressive symptoms was established using the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for depression. Country/area differences in rates of suicidal thoughts/acts were evaluated with the χ2 test. In addition, depressive symptom profiles, other clinical characteristics, and patterns of psychotropic drug prescription in depressed patients with and without suicidal thoughts/acts were compared using analysis of covariance for continuous variables and logistic regression analysis for discrete variables to adjust the effects of covariates.
The rates of suicidal thoughts/acts in 10 countries/areas varied from 12.8% in Japan to 36.3% in China. Patients with suicidal thoughts/acts presented more persistent sadness (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=2.64, p<0.001), loss of interest (aOR=2.33, p<0.001), fatigue (aOR=1.58, p<0.001), insomnia (aOR=1.74, p<0.001), poor concentration (aOR=1.88, p<0.001), low self-confidence (aOR=1.78, p<0.001), poor appetite (aOR=2.27, p<0.001), guilt/self-blame (aOR=3.03, p<0.001), and use of mood stabilisers (aOR=1.79, p<0.001) than those without suicidal thoughts/acts.
Suicidal thoughts/acts can indicate greater severity of depression, and are associated with a poorer response to antidepressants and increased burden of illness. Hence, suicidal thoughts/acts can provide a clinical index reflecting the clinical status of depressive disorders in Asians.
We are reporting on stress engineering utilizing AlN/GaN superlattices (SLs) for epitaxy of GaN layers on 200 mm silicon substrates carried out in Veeco's Propel™ rotating disk, single wafer metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor. The Turbodisc® reactor is designed to have homogeneous alkyl/hydride flow distribution and uniform temperature profile, which translate into excellent uniformity and concentric symmetry in epilayer thickness and alloy composition. This feature results in uniform and controllable stress in epilayers across large-size substrates. Crack-free 2 μm GaN layers were grown on 200 mm Si using uniformly strained AlN/GaN SLs with periods of 3–5 and 10–30 nm, respectively. Compressive and tensile stress can be precisely adjusted by changing the thickness of the AlN and GaN layers in the SLs, resulting in controllable wafer curvature/bow after cool down. For a fixed period thickness structure, the effects of growth conditions, such as growth rate of GaN, AlN V/III ratio, and growth temperature, on wafer stress were investigated.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is closely related to stress reactions and serotonin probably underpins the pathophysiology of MDD. Alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis at the gene level have reciprocal consequences on serotonin neurotransmission. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) polymorphisms affect glucocorticoid sensitivity, which is associated with cortisol feedback effects. Therefore, we hypothesised that GR polymorphisms are associated with the susceptibility to MDD and predict the treatment response.
Ninety-six subjects with a minimum score of 17 on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) at baseline were enrolled into the present study. The genotypes of GR (N363S, ER22/23EK, Bcl1, and TthIII1 polymorphisms) were analysed. The HAMD score was again measured after 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment to detect whether the therapeutic effects differed with the GR genotype.
Our subjects carried no N363S or ER22/23EK genetic polymorphisms and three types of Bcl1 and TthIII1 genetic polymorphisms. The C/C genotype and C allele at Bcl1 polymorphism were more frequent in MDD patients than in normal controls (p < 0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively). The genotype distributions did not differ significantly between responders and non-responders.
These results suggest that GR polymorphism cannot predict the therapeutic response after antidepressant administration. However, GR polymorphism (Bcl1) might play a role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Future studies should check this finding in larger populations with different characteristics.
The incidence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is presumed to be higher among people with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic medication, most of which blocks the dopamine D2 receptor. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the G-protein β3 subunit (GNB3) C825T polymorphism is associated with antipsychotic-induced RLS in schizophrenia.
We examined 178 Korean patients with schizophrenia. All of the subjects were evaluated using the diagnostic criteria of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group and the International Restless Legs Scale. Genotyping was performed for the C825T polymorphism in the GNB3 gene.
The genotype distribution did not differ significantly between antipsychotic-induced RLS patients and patients who had no-RLS symptoms (χ2 = 4.30, p = 0.116). The genotypes of the C825T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) were classified into two groups: C+ (CC and CT genotypes) and C– (TT genotype). The presence of the C allele (C+) was associated with an increased likelihood of RLS (χ2 = 4.14, p = 0.042; odds ratio = 2.56, 95% confidence interval = 1.02–6.47).
These results suggest that the GNB3 C825T SNP is associated with RLS in schizophrenia. However, confirming this association requires future larger scale studies in which the effects of medication are strictly controlled.
Worldwide, the number of individuals with dementia is growing in an epidemic manner, with an estimated 35.6 million people affected in 2010 (Prince et al., 2013). With the population aging in Asia, dementia care will become a major public health challenge in this region in the coming decades. Over half of the patients with dementia in the world will live in Asia by 2030. In China alone, a recent review of dementia studies showed that there were 9.2 million dementia patients in 2010 (Chan et al., 2013). These figures are staggering. In many Asian countries, dementia is regarded as a shameful illness, and the local terms for dementia are derogatory. Dementia carries a stigma that may lead to patients’ reluctance in seeking treatment and delay in diagnosis. In addition, local names for dementia frequently conjure up pictures of severe stage of dementia, and may lead to therapeutic nihilism, discouraging mental health professionals from working with elderly patients with dementia. As Asia faces the challenges of a rapidly aging population and provisions of care for growing number of dementia patients, change in local names for dementia has become an issue of attention.
Stress control using AlN/GaN superlattices (SLs) for epitaxy of GaN on 200 mm Si (111) substrates is reported. Crack-free 2 μm GaN layers were grown over structures containing 50 to 100 pairs of 3-5 nm AlN/10-30 nm GaN SLs. Compressive and tensile stress can be precisely adjusted by changing the thickness of the AlN and GaN layers in the SLs. For a constant period thickness, the effects of growth conditions, such as growth rate of GaN, V/III ratio during AlN growth, and growth temperature, on wafer stress were investigated.
The diatoms are an ecologically important group of algae that have been extensively studied by ecologists and taxonomists. However, the large-scale patterns of diatom distribution and the factors underlying this distribution are largely unknown. The aims of this study were to identify the large-scale spatial patterns of benthic diatom assemblages in Korean streams and rivers, and to assess the importance of numerous environmental factors on diatom distribution. We classified 720 study sites based on diatom flora. Benthic diatoms, water chemistry, altitude, and riparian land cover and use were characterized by multivariate analyses, Monte Carlo permutation tests, and indicator species analysis. In total, we identified 531 diatom taxa. Diatom assemblages were mostly dominated by species of the genera Achnanthes, Navicula, Nitzschia, Cocconeis, Fragilaria (Synedra included), Cymbella, Gomphonema, and Melosira. Cluster analysis partitioned all 720 sites into eight groups based on diatom species composition. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that altitude, land cover and use, current velocity, electrical conductivity, and nutrient levels explained a significant amount of the variation in the composition of assemblages of benthic diatoms. At the national scale, a downstream ecological gradient was apparent, from fast-flowing, mostly oligotrophic highland streams to slow-flowing, mostly eutrophic lowland rivers. Our data suggest that spatial factors explain some of the variation in diatom distribution. The present investigation of the spatial patterns of benthic diatoms, the ecological determinants of diatom occurrence, and the identification of diatom indicator species contributes to development of a program for assessing the biological integrity of lotic ecosystems in Korea.