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In Québec, Canada, we evaluated the risk of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection associated with (1) the demographic and employment characteristics among healthcare workers (HCWs) and (2) the workplace and household exposures and the infection prevention and control (IPC) measures among patient-facing HCWs.
Test-negative case-control study.
Provincial health system.
HCWs with PCR-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosed between November 15, 2020, and May 29, 2021 (ie, cases), were compared to HCWs with compatible symptoms who tested negative during the same period (ie, controls).
Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of infection were estimated using regression logistic models evaluating demographic and employment characteristics (all 4,919 cases and 4,803 controls) or household and workplace exposures and IPC measures (2,046 patient-facing cases and 1,362 controls).
COVID-19 risk was associated with working as housekeeping staff (aOR, 3.6), as a patient-support assistant (aOR, 1.9), and as nursing staff (aOR, 1.4), compared to administrative staff. Other risk factors included being unexperienced (aOR, 1.5) and working in private seniors’ homes (aOR, 2.1) or long-term care facilities (aOR, 1.5), compared to acute-care hospitals. Among patient-facing HCWs, exposure to a household contact was reported by 9% of cases and was associated with the highest risk of infection (aOR, 7.8). Most infections were likely attributable to more frequent exposure to infected patients (aOR, 2.7) and coworkers (aOR, 2.2). Wearing an N95 respirator during contacts with COVID-19 patients (aOR, 0.7) and vaccination (aOR, 0.2) were the measures associated with risk reduction.
In the context of the everchanging SARS-CoV-2 virus with increasing transmissibility, measures to ensure HCW protection, including vaccination and respiratory protection, and patient safety will require ongoing evaluation.
1) To characterize mild, moderate, and severe fear of falling in older emergency department (ED) patients for minor injuries, and 2) to assess whether fear of falling could predict falls and returns to the ED within 6 months of the initial ED visit.
This study was part of the Canadian Emergency and Trauma Initiative (CETI) prospective cohort (2011–2016). Patients ages ≥ 65, who were independent in their basic daily activities and who were discharged from the ED after consulting for a minor injury, were included. Fear of falling was measured by the Short Falls Efficacy Scale International (SFES-I) in order to stratify fear of falling as mild (SFES-I = 7-8/28), moderate (SFES-I = 9-13/28), or severe (SFES-I = 14-28/28). Many other physical and psychological characteristics where collected. Research assistants conducted follow-up phone interviews at 3 and 6 months’ post-ED visit, in which patients were asked to report returns to the ED.
A total of 2,899 patients were enrolled and 2,009 had complete data at 6 months. Patients with moderate to severe fear of falling were more likely to be of ages ≥ 75, female, frailer with multiple comorbidities, and decreased mobility. Higher baseline fear of falling increased the risk of falling at 3 and 6 months (odds ratio [OR]-moderate-fear of falling: 1.63, p < 0.05, OR-severe-fear of falling 2.37, p < 0.05). Fear of falling positive predictive values for return to the ED or future falls were 7.7% to 17%.
Although a high fear of falling is associated with increased risk of falling within 6 months of a minor injury in older patients, fear of falling considered alone was not shown to be a strong predictor of return to the ED and future falls.
The Quebec Emergency Department Management Guide (QEDMG) is a unique document with 78 recommendations designed to improve the organization of emergency departments (EDs) in the province of Quebec. However, no study has examined how this guide is perceived or used by rural health care management.
We invited all directors of professional services (DPS), directors of nursing services (DNS), head nurses (HN), and emergency department directors (EDD) working in Quebec’s rural hospitals to complete an online survey (144 questions). Simple frequency analyses (percentage [%] and 95% confidence interval) were conducted to establish general familiarity and use of the QEDMG, as well as perceived usefulness and implementation of its recommendations.
Seventy-three percent (19/26) of Quebec’s rural EDs participated in the study. A total of 82% (62/76) of the targeted stakeholders participated. Sixty-one percent of respondents reported being “moderately or a lot” familiar with the QEDMG, whereas 77% reported “almost never or sometimes” refer to this guide. Physician management (DPS, EDD) were more likely than nursing management (DNS and especially HN) to report “not at all” or “little” familiarity on use of the guide. Finally, 98% of the QEDMG recommendations were considered useful.
Although the QEDMG is considered a useful guide for rural EDs, it is not optimally known or used in rural EDs, especially by physician management. Stakeholders should consider these findings before implementing the revised versions of the QEDMG.
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