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An interatrial communication is present in most neonates. The majority are considered the “normal” patency of the oval foramen, while a minority are abnormal atrial septal defects. Differentiation between the two with transthoracic echocardiography may be challenging, and no generally accepted method of classification is presently available. We aimed to develop and determine the reliability of a new classification of interatrial communications in newborns.
Methods and Results:
An algorithm was developed based on echocardiographic criteria from 495 newborns (median age 11[8;13] days, 51.5% females). The algorithm defines three main categories: patency of the oval foramen, atrial septal defect, and no interatrial communication as well as several subtypes. We found an interatrial communication in 414 (83.6%) newborns. Of these, 386 (93.2%) were categorised as patency of the oval foramen and 28 (6.8%) as atrial septal defects.
Echocardiograms from another 50 newborns (median age 11[8;13] days, 36.0% female), reviewed by eight experts in paediatric echocardiography, were used to assess the inter- and intraobserver variation of classification of interatrial communications into patency of the oval foramen and atrial septal defect, with and without the use of the algorithm. Review with the algorithm gave a substantial interobserver agreement (kappa = 0.66), and an almost perfect intraobserver agreement (kappa = 0.82). Without the use of the algorithm, the interobserver agreement between experienced paediatric cardiologists was low (kappa = 0.20).
A new algorithm for echocardiographic classification of interatrial communications in newborns produced almost perfect intraobserver and substantial interobserver agreement. The algorithm may prove useful in both research and clinical practice.
Monoclonal antibody therapeutics to treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Many barriers exist when deploying a novel therapeutic during an ongoing pandemic, and it is critical to assess the needs of incorporating monoclonal antibody infusions into pandemic response activities. We examined the monoclonal antibody infusion site process during the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted a descriptive analysis using data from 3 sites at medical centers in the United States supported by the National Disaster Medical System. Monoclonal antibody implementation success factors included engagement with local medical providers, therapy batch preparation, placing the infusion center in proximity to emergency services, and creating procedures resilient to EUA changes. Infusion process challenges included confirming patient severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity, strained staff, scheduling, and pharmacy coordination. Infusion sites are effective when integrated into pre-existing pandemic response ecosystems and can be implemented with limited staff and physical resources.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), originally intended to cover 12 Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam), was arguably the largest and most economically significant regional trade agreement (RTA) ever concluded. Together, the original TPP signatories accounted for about 26% of world trade and 36% of world GDP. In early 2017, the United States withdrew from the TPP on the direction of the then-newly elected US President, Donald J. Trump, casting the agreement’s future into uncertainty.