2,799 research outputs found

    Nasopharyngeal temperature probes: is South Africa’s current decontamination process adequate?

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    Background: The standard practice in many institutions incorporates nasopharyngeal probes for temperature monitoring in patients undergoing general anaesthesia. Current disinfection guidelines for these devices are not clear and they are poorly adhered to. In South Africa, these temperature probes are reused and subjected to unstandardized decontamination processes. This study sought to investigate nasopharyngeal temperature probes as possible source for cross-contamination, and assess the efficacy of current disinfection practices for these probes. Methodology: This was an analytical double-blind randomized study of 4 different disinfection protocols for 48 nasopharyngeal temperature probes. The probes were randomized to disinfection protocols that included water wash, dry wipe, hibitane® and cidex® wash. After decontamination by the respective protocol, the probes were aseptically placed in nutrient broths, manually agitated and removed, and the broths were then inoculated onto blood agar plates. After 48 hours of aerobic culture incubation at 37oC, plates were examined for growth and bacteria identified using automated bioMérieux Vitek-2 microbial identification system. Chi square and logistic regression analyses were used to assess bacterial contamination rates of the disinfected probes, in order to infer the efficacy of the decontamination processes. Results: Of the 48 nasopharyngeal temperature probes disinfected by the different protocols, 22 (45.8%) had bacterial contamination, with frequency of isolation for coagulase negative staphylococci (44%), Bacillus cereus (20%), Staphylococcus aureus (10%), Enterobacter cloaca (7%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (4%), Pseudomonas fluorescens (3%), Acinetobacter baumannii (3%), amongst other bacterial species. Dry wipe, and water and soap methods, had statistically significant higher contamination rates of 83.3% and 66.7% than hibitane® and cidex®, with 25.0% and 8.3% respectively (X2=17.69, p<0.0001). The odds of contamination when water-wipe was used as a cleaning method was 6 times (OR=6.000; 95% CI=1.018-35.374, p=0.048) that of hibitane® method while the odds for dry-wipe was 15 times (OR=15.000, 95% CI=2.024-111.174, p=0.008). No statistically significant difference was observed in the contamination rates between cidex® and hibitane® disinfection methods(OR=0.273, 95% CI=0.024-3.093, p=0.294). Conclusion: These data shows that nasopharyngeal temperature probes are possible source of crosscontamination and pathogen transmission due to inadequacy of the decontamination processes for these temperature probes

    Engaged scholarship at the South African College of Music of the University of Cape Town: An exploratory study of the perceptions and practices of full-time music academic staff

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    Debates concerning the concept of 'engaged scholarship’ (ES) in terms of university-society connectivity have become part of the discourse within the shifting South African higher education landscape after 1994. Given the legacy of historical inequalities continuing to permeate all spheres of South African society including higher education, the idea of social-justice-centred engaged scholarship forms the main thrust of the narrative in this thesis. Furthermore, with music inherently geared towards societal engagement, and 'engaged scholarship’ included in UCT’s latest Social Responsiveness Policy Framework, this thesis critically examines the ES responses - in terms of their perceptions and practices - of music academics at the SACM in post-1994 South Africa. The opening chapter outlines the largely two-pronged research methodology approach pertaining to the analysis and findings of: (1) literature and documents, and (2) in-depth interviews of a representative sample of full-time SACM music academics. Chapter 2 provides a historical sociology unpacking the ES concept as part of an emergent University Third Mission. With developments largely unfolding at American universities, the first part of Chapter 2 shows the development of ES as essentially following two routes. Firstly the Triple Helix notion of university-industry-government (U-I-G) relations since the mid-20th century, identified by Etzkowitz as a 'Second Academic Transformation’ grafted on an earlier 19th century 'First Academic Transformation’ which began in Germany. Then secondly, in the 1990s a broadened view of scholarship aimed at making universities more relevant to the needs of society (i.e. via U-CS or university-civil society links) proposed by Boyer. With the issue of an emergent University Third Mission also entering the South African higher education discourse after 1994, the second part of Chapter 2 highlights conceptual confusion by considering policy and conference debates on 'community engagement’ (CE), the preferred expression for university-society relations in South Africa. Unfolding developments at UCT however have resulted in a discourse of ES becoming integral to this university’s Social Responsiveness Policy Framework after 2012. Moreover with social justice largely absent from CE discourse and the Triple Helix, Cooper has proposed a Quadruple Helix whereby civil society is added as fourth helix (i.e. resulting in U-I-G-CS). The approach of this study, therefore, explores the concept of a social-justice-centred engagement (outlined in part three of Chapter 2) with which it strongly resonates. Chapter 3 focuses attention on the milieu and ethos of UCT and the SACM, putting SACM music academics, part of an elite historically 'white’ university, in perspective. This highlights the entrenched hegemony of the historically 'white’ European settler institutional culture and 'orphan’ status of music indigenous to Africa at the SACM. Against this backdrop Chapter 4 provides a snapshot of the ES perceptions and practices of SACM music academics derived from the in-depth interviews. Importantly, with music largely absent from ES discourse, including at UCT, the critical analysis of the narratives of music academics form the basis for this thesis creating four music-specific ES categories in this chapter, and a proposed typology of music-specific ES in Chapter 5. In addition, a particularly important finding in Chapter 5 depicts the SACM as probably the most engaged UCT department, mainly displaying elements of the Quadruple Helix (U-I-G-CS), but with this engagement significantly skewed towards largely 'white’ civil society. Moreover, given the historically Eurocentric ethos of the SACM, western classical music has retained its uncontested hegemony (including within the SACM student curriculum) despite the introduction in the 1980s of new streams of non-western classical music, including music indigenous to Africa. With reference to ES, the engagement of the majority of SACM music academics was, furthermore, found overwhelmingly to be with the elite social classes. However, 'black’ academics were significantly more engaged with the 'black’ working class than their 'white’ counterparts. Considering the core findings above, pathways enabling the development of more balanced SACM-society relationships, particularly with the 'black’ working class majority have been proposed in the concluding chapter. A crucial recommendation is the decolonisation of the institutional culture and curriculum of the SACM, thereby restoring the former 'Other’, to 'Self’. These being spaces outside the comfort-zone of most music academics, it is suggested that music-specific ES research, potentially able to shift embedded reasoning, should become integral to the decolonisation process

    In support of practice-based teacher professional learning

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    Research indicates that teacher education programmes are impeded by abstract, theory-laden and decontextualised modes of teacher professional development. As a result, teachers have particular sets of pedagogical knowledge without a clear understanding of how this knowledge ought to be implemented in diverse classroom settings. As an alternative response, an argument is made for a practice-based teacher professional learning approach. By analysing theories around practice (practice theory) and the concept professional learning, we propose, firstly, that teacher professional learning programmes should include pedagogies for learning that are continuous, intensive, socially mediated, supportive, embodied and relate to the contextual needs of the teacher. Secondly, that teachers ought to be provided with the skills, necessary for the conversion of theoretical ideas into practice. Thirdly, we contend that a practice-based teacher professional approach requires teacher agency in relation to their practices, as opposed to merely implementing various strategies and approaches

    Determination of S17(0) from published data

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    The experimental landscape for the 7Be+p radiative capture reaction is rapidly changing as new high precision data become available. We present an evaluation of existing data, detailing the treatment of systematic errors and discrepancies, and show how they constrain the astrophysical S factor (S17), independent of any nuclear structure model. With theoretical models robustly determining the behavior of the sub-threshold pole, the extrapolation error can be reduced and a constraint placed on the slope of S17. Using only radiative capture data, we find S17(0) = 20.7 +/- 0.6 (stat) +/- 1.0 (syst) eV b if data sets are completely independent, while if data sets are completely correlated we find S17(0) = 21.4 +/- 0.5 (stat) +/- 1.4 (syst) eV b. The truth likely lies somewhere in between these two limits. Although we employ a formalism capable of treating discrepant data, we note that the central value of the S factor is dominated by the recent high precision data of Junghans et al., which imply a substantially higher value than other radiative capture and indirect measurements. Therefore we conclude that further progress will require new high precision data with a detailed error budget.Comment: 10 pages, 1 figure published versio

    Decay Rate of Triaxially-Deformed Proton Emitters

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    The decay rate of a triaxially-deformed proton emitter is calculated in a particle-rotor model, which is based on a deformed Woods-Saxon potential and includes a deformed spin-orbit interaction. The wave function of the I=7/2−I=7/2^{-} ground state of the deformed proton emitter 141^{141}Ho is obtained in the adiabatic limit, and a Green's function technique is used to calculate the decay rate and branching ratio to the first excited 2+^{+} state of the daughter nucleus. Only for values of the triaxial angle γ\gamma <5∘<5^{\circ} is good agreement obtained for both the total decay rate and the 2+^{+} branching ratio.Comment: 19 pages, 4 figure

    Flood-Resilient Communities: How We Can Encourage Adaptive Behaviour Through Smart Tools in Public-Private Interaction

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    To achieve a more flood-resilient society, it is essential to involve citizens. Therefore, new instruments, such as tailor-made advice for homeowners, are being developed to inform homeowners about adaptive strategies in building to motivate them to implement these measures. This article evaluates if public–private interactions, such as tailored advice, change risk behaviour and therefore increase flood resilience among homeowners. The article conducted semi-structured interviews with homeowners who had received advice as well as involved experts in two case study regions in Europe: Flanders in Belgium and Vorarlberg in Austria. The results show how the tailored advice helps homeowners who are already aware of flood risks and provides them with answers on how to adapt a house. However, the tool seems to lack the ability to inform and "recruit" new groups of homeowners who are not as familiar with flood risks. As such, this article concludes that this initiative has a relatively low impact in raising flood risk awareness among homeowners but may be more successful in serving as a tool that suggests tailored property-level flood risk adaptation measures for those who are already aware. Alternatively, more automated tailored information systems might be more efficient for unaware homeowners

    Systematics of proton emission

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    A very simple formula is presented that relates the logarithm of the half-life, corrected by the centrifugal barrier, with the Coulomb parameter in proton decay processes. The corresponding experimental data lie on two straight lines which appear as a result of a sudden change in the nuclear shape marking two regions of deformation independently of the angular momentum of the outgoing proton. This feature provides a powerful tool to assign experimentally quantum numbers in proton emitters.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Sports teams as complex adaptive systems: manipulating player numbers shapes behaviours during football small-sided games

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    Small-sided and conditioned games (SSCGs) in sport have been modelled as complex adaptive systems. Research has shown that the relative space per player (RSP) formulated in SSCGs can impact on emergent tactical behaviours. In this study we adopted a systems orientation to analyse how different RSP values, obtained through manipulations of player numbers, influenced four measures of interpersonal coordination observed during performance in SSCGs. For this purpose we calculated positional data (GPS 15 Hz) from ten U-15 football players performing in three SSCGs varying in player numbers (3v3, 4v4 and 5v5). Key measures of SSCG system behaviours included values of (1) players’ dispersion, (2) teams’ separateness, (3) coupling strength and time delays between participants’ emerging movements, respectively. Results showed that values of participants’ dispersion increased, but the teams’ separateness remained identical across treatments. Coupling strength and time delay also showed consistent values across SSCGs. These results exemplified how complex adaptive systems, like football teams, can harness inherent degeneracy to maintain similar team spatial–temporal relations with opponents through changes in inter-individual coordination modes (i.e., players’ dispersion). The results imply that different team behaviours might emerge at different ratios of field dimension/player numbers. Therefore, sport pedagogists should carefully evaluate the effects of changing RSP in SSCGs as a way of promoting increased or decreased pressure on players
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