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Optimizing needleless connector hub disinfection practice is a key strategy in central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention. In this mixed-methods evaluation, 3 products with varying scrub times were tested for experimental disinfection followed by a qualitative nursing assessment of each.
Needleless connectors were inoculated with varying concentrations of Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus followed by disinfection with a 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wipe (a 15-second scrub time and a 15-second dry time), a 70% IPA cap (a 10-second scrub time and a 5-second dry time), or a 3.15% chlorhexidine gluconate with 70% IPA (CHG/IPA) wipe (a 5-second scrub time and a 5-second dry time). Cultures of needleless connectors were obtained after disinfection to quantify bacterial reduction. This was followed by surveying a convenience sample of nursing staff with intensive care unit assignments at an academic tertiary hospital on use of each product.
All products reduced overall bacterial burden when compared to sterile water controls, however the IPA and CHG/IPA wipes were superior to the IPA caps when product efficacy was compared. Nursing staff noted improved compliance with CHG/IPA wipes compared with the IPA wipes and the IPA caps, with many preferring the lesser scrub and dry times required for disinfection.
Achieving adequate bacterial disinfection of needleless connectors while maximizing healthcare staff compliance with scrub and dry times may be best achieved with a combination CHG/IPA wipe.
Graeme Laurie stepped down from the Chair in Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh in 2019. This edited collection pays tribute to his extraordinary contributions to the field. Graeme has often spoken about the importance of ‘legacy’ in academic work and has forged a remarkable intellectual legacy of his own, notably through his work on genetic privacy, human tissue and information governance, and the regulatory salience of the concept of liminality. The chapters in this volume animate the concept of legacy as a lens of analysis for the study and practice of medical jurisprudence. In this light, legacy reveals characteristics of both benefit and burden, as both a facilitator of and an encumbrance to the development of law, policy and regulation. Overall, the contributions reconcile the ideas of legacy and responsiveness and show that both dimensions are critical to achieve and sustain the health of medical jurisprudence itself as a dynamic, interdisciplinary and policy-engaged field of thinking.
There is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected mental health, but most studies have been conducted in the general population.
To identify factors associated with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness.
Participants (N = 2869, 78% women, ages 18–94 years) from a UK cohort (the National Centre for Mental Health) with a history of mental illness completed a cross-sectional online survey in June to August 2020. Mental health assessments were the GAD-7 (anxiety), PHQ-9 (depression) and WHO-5 (well-being) questionnaires, and a self-report question on whether their mental health had changed during the pandemic. Regressions examined associations between mental health outcomes and hypothesised risk factors. Secondary analyses examined associations between specific mental health diagnoses and mental health.
A total of 60% of participants reported that mental health had worsened during the pandemic. Younger age, difficulty accessing mental health services, low income, income affected by COVID-19, worry about COVID-19, reduced sleep and increased alcohol/drug use were associated with increased depression and anxiety symptoms and reduced well-being. Feeling socially supported by friends/family/services was associated with better mental health and well-being. Participants with a history of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorder were more likely to report that mental health had worsened during the pandemic than individuals without a history of these diagnoses.
We identified factors associated with worse mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness, in addition to specific groups potentially at elevated risk of poor mental health during the pandemic.
Gatherings where people are eating and drinking can increase the risk of getting and spreading SARS-CoV-2 among people who are not fully vaccinated; prevention strategies like wearing masks and physical distancing continue to be important for some groups. We conducted an online survey to characterise fall/winter 2020–2021 holiday gatherings, decisions to attend and prevention strategies employed during and before gatherings. We determined associations between practicing prevention strategies, demographics and COVID-19 experience. Among 502 respondents, one-third attended in person holiday gatherings; 73% wore masks and 84% practiced physical distancing, but less did so always (29% and 23%, respectively). Younger adults were 44% more likely to attend gatherings than adults ≥35 years. Younger adults (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 1.53, 95% CI 1.19–1.97), persons who did not experience COVID-19 themselves or have relatives/close friends experience severe COVID-19 (aPR 1.56, 95% CI 1.18–2.07), and non-Hispanic White persons (aPR 1.57, 95% CI 1.13–2.18) were more likely to not always wear masks in public during the 2 weeks before gatherings. Public health messaging emphasizing consistent application of COVID-19 prevention strategies is important to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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.
As clinical trials were rapidly initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) faced unique challenges overseeing trials of therapies never tested in a disease not yet characterized. Traditionally, individual DSMBs do not interact or have the benefit of seeing data from other accruing trials for an aggregated analysis to meaningfully interpret safety signals of similar therapeutics. In response, we developed a compliant DSMB Coordination (DSMBc) framework to allow the DSMB from one study investigating the use of SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 to review data from similar ongoing studies for the purpose of safety monitoring.
The DSMBc process included engagement of DSMB chairs and board members, execution of contractual agreements, secure data acquisition, generation of harmonized reports utilizing statistical graphics, and secure report sharing with DSMB members. Detailed process maps, a secure portal for managing DSMB reports, and templates for data sharing and confidentiality agreements were developed.
Four trials participated. Data from one trial were successfully harmonized with that of an ongoing trial. Harmonized reports allowing for visualization and drill down into the data were presented to the ongoing trial’s DSMB. While DSMB deliberations are confidential, the Chair confirmed successful review of the harmonized report.
It is feasible to coordinate DSMB reviews of multiple independent studies of a similar therapeutic in similar patient cohorts. The materials presented mitigate challenges to DSMBc and will help expand these initiatives so DSMBs may make more informed decisions with all available information.
Graeme Laurie stepped down from the Chair in Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh in 2019. This edited collection pays tribute to his extraordinary contributions to the field. Graeme often spoke about the importance of 'legacy' in academic work and forged a remarkable intellectual legacy of his own, notably through his work on genetic privacy, human tissue and information governance, and the regulatory salience of the concept of liminality. The essays in this volume animate the concept of legacy to analyse the study and practice of medical jurisprudence. In this light, legacy reveals characteristics of both benefit and burden, as both an encumbrance to and facilitator of the development of law, policy and regulation. The contributions reconcile the ideas of legacy and responsiveness and show that both dimensions are critical to achieve and sustain the health of medical jurisprudence itself as a dynamic, interdisciplinary and policy-engaged field of thinking.
Why do dictators purge specific elites but not others? And why do dictators purge these elites in certain ways? Examining these related questions helps us understand not only how dictators retain sufficient competence in their regimes to alleviate popular and foreign threats, but also how dictators nullify elite threats. Dictators are more likely to purge first-generation elites, who are more powerful because they can negotiate their role from a position of strength and possess valuable vertical and horizontal linkages with other elites. Further, dictators tend to imprison purged first-generation elites – rather than execute, exile or simply remove them – to avoid retaliation from other elites or the purged elite continuing to sow discord. We find empirical support for our predictions from novel data on autocratic elites in 16 regimes from 1922 to 2020.
Dural venous sinus thrombosis (DVST) is an important cause of papilledema. Patients diagnosed with DVST should undergo work-up for underlying hypercoagulable state, including genetic causes. One important prothrombotic mutation is in the JAK2 gene, which is a driver of myeloproliferative neoplasms including polycythemia vera (PV). We aimed to determine the prevalence of JAK2 mutation in patients in presenting to neuro-ophthalmology clinic with DVST and papilledema.
Retrospective case series of patients seen in a tertiary neuro-ophthalmology practice who presented with papilledema due to DVST and were investigated for presence of JAK2 mutation.
Four out of 15 patients with DVST (26%) were found to have JAK2 V617F mutation which led to subsequent diagnosis of PV in 2. One additional patient had a known diagnosis of essential thrombocytosis. We describe the clinical presentation of these four patients with papilledema and JAK2 mutation.
A significant proportion of patients with papilledema secondary to DVST will harbor mutations in the JAK2 gene. Clinicians should be aware of this mutation as early testing will facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment of myeloproliferative disease to improve prognosis and reduce risk of recurrent thrombotic events.
Previous studies have demonstrated substantial associations between substance use disorders (SUD) and suicidal behavior. The current study empirically assesses the extent to which shared genetic and/or environmental factors contribute to associations between alcohol use disorders (AUD) or drug use disorders (DUD) and suicidal behavior, including attempts and death.
The authors used Swedish national registry data, including medical, pharmacy, criminal, and death registrations, for a large cohort of twins, full siblings, and half siblings (N = 1 314 990) born 1960–1980 and followed through 2017. They conducted twin-sibling modeling of suicide attempt (SA) or suicide death (SD) with AUD and DUD to estimate genetic and environmental correlations between outcomes. Analyses were stratified by sex.
Genetic correlations between SA and SUD ranged from rA = 0.60–0.88; corresponding shared environmental correlations were rC = 0.42–0.89 but accounted for little overall variance; and unique environmental correlations were rE = 0.42–0.57. When replacing attempt with SD, genetic and shared environmental correlations with AUD and DUD were comparable (rA = 0.48–0.72, rC = 0.92–1.00), but were attenuated for unique environmental factors (rE = −0.01 to 0.31).
These findings indicate that shared genetic and unique environmental factors contribute to comorbidity of suicidal behavior and SUD, in conjunction with previously reported causal associations. Thus, each outcome should be considered an indicator of risk for the others. Opportunities for joint prevention and intervention, while limited by the polygenic nature of these outcomes, may be feasible considering moderate environmental correlations between SA and SUD.
Background: To describe preliminary results of a multi-center, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled, pilot trial of shunt surgery in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH). Methods: Five sites of the Adult Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (AHCRN) randomized 18 patients scheduled for ventriculoperitoneal shunting based on CSF-drainage response. Patients were randomized to a Codman® Certas® Plus valve with SiphonGuard at either setting 4 (Active, N=9) or setting 8/”virtual off” (Placebo, N=9). Patients and assessors were blinded to the shunt setting. Outcomes included 10-meter gait velocity, cognitive function, and bladder activity scores. The prespecified primary analysis compared changes in 4-month gait velocity in the Active versus Placebo groups. Placebo-set shunts were then blindly adjusted to the active setting and all patients underwent 8 and 12-month post-surgical assessment. Results: At 4-months, gait velocity increased by 0.28±0.28m/s in the Active Group and 0.04±0.17m/s in the Placebo Group (p=0.071). Overactive Bladder (OAB-q) scores significantly improved in the Active versus Placebo groups (p=0.007). At 8 months, Placebo gait velocity increased by 0.36±0.27m/s and was comparable to the Active Group (0.40±0.20m/s; p=0.56). Conclusions: This AHCRN study shows a trend suggesting gait velocity improves more at an Active shunt setting than a Placebo shunt setting and demonstrates the feasibility of a placebo-controlled trial in iNPH.