2,486 research outputs found

    Steroid use in PROWESS severe sepsis patients treated with drotrecogin alfa (activated)

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    INTRODUCTION: In a study conducted by Annane, patients with septic shock and unresponsive to adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation receiving low-dose steroid therapy had prolonged survival but not significantly improved 28-day mortality. The present study examines intravenous steroid use in PROWESS (Recombinant Human Activated Protein C Worldwide Evaluation in Severe Sepsis) patients meeting the Annane enrollment criteria (AEC). METHODS: Adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation tests were not done in PROWESS. Steroids were allowed but their use was not directed. Patients were identified using AEC (all of: randomization to study drug treatment within 8 hours of shock onset; infection, fever, or hypothermia; tachycardia; systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg on vasopressors; mechanical ventilation; and one of urine <0.5 ml/kg per hour, lactic acidosis, or arterial oxygen tension/inspired fractional oxygen <280). We examined steroid use and mortality data; additional analyses were done outside the 8-hour window. RESULTS: Steroid-treated patients were older, had higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation scores and more organ dysfunctions, and were more commonly receiving mechanical ventilation. Among patients meeting AEC, regardless of steroid treatment (n = 97), mortality in the placebo and drotrecogin alfa (activated) groups was 38% (19/50) and 28% (13/47), respectively (relative risk [RR] = 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.41–1.30). When using AEC but excluding the requirement for randomization within 8 hours of shock onset (n = 612), placebo mortality was 38% (118/313) and drotrecogin alfa (activated) mortality was 29% (88/299; RR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.62–0.98). Using AEC but excluding the 8-hour window and with steroids initiated at baseline and/or infusion (n = 228) resulted in mortality for placebo and drotrecogin alfa (activated) groups of 43% (51/118) and 33% (36/110), respectively (RR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.54–1.06). CONCLUSION: Patients with severe sepsis from the PROWESS trial who were likely to respond to low-dose steroids according to the AEC were those patients at a high risk for death. However, when using the AEC, regardless of steroid use, patients exhibited a survival benefit from treatment with drotrecogin alfa (activated)

    Ecology: a prerequisite for malaria elimination and eradication

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    * Existing front-line vector control measures, such as insecticide-treated nets and residual sprays, cannot break the transmission cycle of Plasmodium falciparum in the most intensely endemic parts of Africa and the Pacific * The goal of malaria eradication will require urgent strategic investment into understanding the ecology and evolution of the mosquito vectors that transmit malaria * Priority areas will include understanding aspects of the mosquito life cycle beyond the blood feeding processes which directly mediate malaria transmission * Global commitment to malaria eradication necessitates a corresponding long-term commitment to vector ecolog

    Cost-effectiveness of ward-based pharmacy care in surgical patients: protocol of the SUREPILL (Surgery & Pharmacy In Liaison) study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Preventable adverse drug events (pADEs) are widely known to be a health care issue for hospitalized patients. Surgical patients are especially at risk, but prevention of pADEs in this population is not demonstrated before. Ward-based pharmacy interventions seem effective in reducing pADEs in medical patients. The cost-effectiveness of these preventive efforts still needs to be assessed in a comparative study of high methodological standard and also in the surgical population. For these aims the SUREPILL (Surgery & Pharmacy in Liaison) study is initiated.</p> <p>Methods/Design</p> <p>A multi-centre controlled trial, with randomisation at ward-level and preceding baseline assessments is designed. Patients admitted to the surgical study wards for elective surgery with an expected length of stay of more than 48 hours will be included. Patients admitted to the intervention ward, will receive ward-based pharmacy care from the clinical pharmacy team, i.e. pharmacy practitioners and hospital pharmacists. This ward-based pharmacy intervention includes medication reconciliation in consultation with the patient at admission, daily medication review with face-to-face contact with the ward doctor, and patient counselling at discharge. Patients admitted in the control ward, will receive standard pharmaceutical care.</p> <p>The primary clinical outcome measure is the number of pADEs per 100 elective admissions. These pADEs will be measured by systematic patient record evaluation using a trigger tool. Patient records positive for a trigger will be evaluated on causality, severity and preventability by an independent expert panel. In addition, an economic evaluation will be performed from a societal perspective with the costs per preventable ADE as the primary economic outcome. Other outcomes of this study are: severity of pADEs, number of patients with pADEs per total number of admissions, direct (non-)medical costs and indirect non-medical costs, extra costs per prevented ADE, number and type of pharmacy interventions, length of hospital stay, complications registered in a national complication registration system for surgery, number of readmissions within three months after initial admission (follow-up), quality of life and number of non-institutionalized days during follow-up.</p> <p>Discussion</p> <p>This study will assess the cost-effectiveness of ward-based pharmacy care on preventable adverse drug events in surgical patients from a societal perspective, using a comparative study design.</p> <p>Trial registration</p> <p>Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): <a href="http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=2258">NTR2258</a></p

    Hospital characteristics associated with highly automated and usable clinical information systems in Texas, United States

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>A hospital's clinical information system may require a specific environment in which to flourish. This environment is not yet well defined. We examined whether specific hospital characteristics are associated with highly automated and usable clinical information systems.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This was a cross-sectional survey of 125 urban hospitals in Texas, United States using the Clinical Information Technology Assessment Tool (CITAT), which measures a hospital's level of automation based on physician interactions with the information system. Physician responses were used to calculate a series of CITAT scores: automation and usability scores, four automation sub-domain scores, and an overall clinical information technology (CIT) score. A multivariable regression analysis was used to examine the relation between hospital characteristics and CITAT scores.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We received a sufficient number of physician responses at 69 hospitals (55% response rate). Teaching hospitals, hospitals with higher IT operating expenses (>1millionannually),ITcapitalexpenses(>1 million annually), IT capital expenses (>75,000 annually) and hospitals with larger IT staff (≥ 10 full-time staff) had higher automation scores than hospitals that did not meet these criteria (p < 0.05 in all cases). These findings held after adjustment for bed size, total margin, and ownership (p < 0.05 in all cases). There were few significant associations between the hospital characteristics tested in this study and usability scores.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Academic affiliation and larger IT operating, capital, and staff budgets are associated with more highly automated clinical information systems.</p

    Survey of information technology in Intensive Care Units in Ontario, Canada

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a data-rich environment where information technology (IT) may enhance patient care. We surveyed ICUs in the province of Ontario, Canada, to determine the availability, implementation and variability of information systems.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A self-administered internet-based survey was completed by ICU directors between May and October 2006. We measured the spectrum of ICU clinical data accessible electronically, the availability of decision support tools, the availability of electronic imaging systems for radiology, the use of electronic order entry and medication administration systems, and the availability of hardware and wireless or mobile systems. We used Fisher's Exact tests to compare IT availability and Classification and Regression Trees (CART) to estimate the optimal cut-point for the number of computers per ICU bed.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We obtained responses from 50 hospitals (68.5% of institutions with level 3 ICUs), of which 21 (42%) were university-affiliated. The majority electronically accessed laboratory data and imaging reports (92%) and used picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) (76%). Other computing functions were less prevalent (medication administration records 46%, physician or nursing notes 26%; medication order entry 22%). No association was noted between IT availability and ICU size or university affiliation. Sites used clinical information systems from15 different vendors and 8 different PACS systems were in use. Half of the respondents described the number of computers available as insufficient. Wireless networks and mobile computing systems were used in 23 ICUs (46%).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Ontario ICUs demontrate a high prevalence of the use of basic information technology systems. However, implementation of the more complex and potentially more beneficial applications is low. The wide variation in vendors utilized may impair information exchange, interoperability and uniform data collection.</p

    STAT-HI: A Socio-Technical Assessment Tool for Health Informatics Implementations

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    This paper proposes a socio-technical assessment tool (STAT-HI) for health informatics implementations. We explore why even projects allegedly using sound methodologies repeatedly fail to give adequate attention to socio-technical issues, and we present an initial draft of a structured assessment tool for health informatics implementation that encapsulates socio-technical good practice. Further work is proposed to enrich and validate the proposed instrument. This proposal was presented for discussion at a meeting of the UK Faculty of Health Informatics in December 2009

    Survival Rate, Fracture Strength and Failure Mode of Ceramic Implant Abutments After Chewing Simulation

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    The aim of this study was to compare titanium-reinforced ZrO2 and pure Al2O3 abutments regarding their outcome after chewing simulation and static loading. Forty-eight standard diameter implants with an external hexagon were divided into three groups of 16 implants each and restored with three different types of abutments (group A: ZrO2 abutments with titanium inserts; group B: densely sintered high-purity Al2O3 abutments; group C: titanium abutments). All abutments were fixated on the implants with gold-alloy screws at 32 Ncm torque, and metal crowns were adhesively cemented onto the abutments. The specimens were exposed to 1.2 million cycles in a chewing simulator. Surviving specimens were subsequently loaded until fracture in a static testing device. Fracture loads (N) and fracture modes were recorded. A Wilcoxon Rank test to compare fracture loads among the 3 groups and a Fisher exact test to detect group differences in fracture modes were used for statistical evaluation (

    Genetic Knock-Down of Hdac3 Does Not Modify Disease-Related Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease

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    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion of a CAG/polyglutamine repeat for which there are no disease modifying treatments. In recent years, transcriptional dysregulation has emerged as a pathogenic process that appears early in disease progression and has been recapitulated across multiple HD models. Altered histone acetylation has been proposed to underlie this transcriptional dysregulation and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, such as suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), have been shown to improve polyglutamine-dependent phenotypes in numerous HD models. However potent pan-HDAC inhibitors such as SAHA display toxic side-effects. To better understand the mechanism underlying this potential therapeutic benefit and to dissociate the beneficial and toxic effects of SAHA, we set out to identify the specific HDAC(s) involved in this process. For this purpose, we are exploring the effect of the genetic reduction of specific HDACs on HD-related phenotypes in the R6/2 mouse model of HD. The study presented here focuses on HDAC3, which, as a class I HDAC, is one of the preferred targets of SAHA and is directly involved in histone deacetylation. To evaluate a potential benefit of Hdac3 genetic reduction in R6/2, we generated a mouse carrying a critical deletion in the Hdac3 gene. We confirmed that the complete knock-out of Hdac3 is embryonic lethal. To test the effects of HDAC3 inhibition, we used Hdac3+/− heterozygotes to reduce nuclear HDAC3 levels in R6/2 mice. We found that Hdac3 knock-down does not ameliorate physiological or behavioural phenotypes and has no effect on molecular changes including dysregulated transcripts. We conclude that HDAC3 should not be considered as the major mediator of the beneficial effect induced by SAHA and other HDAC inhibitors in HD
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