Inductively coupled plasma argon-emission spectrometry (ICPAES) was used to evaluate the lithium content of undiluted urine samples. The method can be performed with 1 mL of urine in a single tube using a routine ICPAES analysis for rapid and convenient assessment of lithium exposure in humans. Urine samples obtained from male workers (n = 86) who had not been exposed to lithium were used for the determination of this element by ICPAES. The obtained concentrations were corrected using a specific gravity of 1.024. The particular frequency distribution resulted in a log-normal distribution diagram for anatomical spread. Geometric mean value for urinary lithium in the nonexposed male workers was 23.5 microg/L, and the confidence interval from a log-normal distribution was 11.0 to 50.5 microg/L. Taking into consideration a short biological half-life and the massive urine excretion of lithium, urinary lithium was considered to be a useful index for monitoring of exposure. Calibration curves obtained for lithium standards had good sensitivity and linearity. Good reproducibility was assessed by lithium addition to urine samples. It was concluded that the obtained lithium reference values would be useful for the early diagnosis of lithium intoxication or in the assessment of the degree of exposure to lithium in subjects at risk. (+info)
(2/2665) Bioterrorism alleging use of anthrax and interim guidelines for management--United States, 1998.
From October 30 through December 23, 1998, CDC received reports of a series of bioterroristic threats of anthrax exposure. Letters alleged to contain anthrax were sent to health clinics on October 30, 1998, in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. During December 17-23 in California, a letter alleged to contain anthrax was sent to a private business, and three telephone threats of anthrax contamination of ventilation systems were made to private and public buildings. All threats were hoaxes and are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local law enforcement officials. The public health implications of these threats were investigated to assist in developing national public health guidelines for responding to bioterrorism. This report summarizes the findings of these investigations and provides interim guidance for public health authorities on bioterrorism related to anthrax. (+info)
(3/2665) Preclinical safety evaluation of human gene therapy products.
Human gene therapy products include naked DNA and viral as well as non-viral vectors containing nucleic acids. There is limited experience on the preclinical toxicity studies necessary for the safety evaluation of these products, which have been outlined in several recently released guidelines. Requirements for the preclinical safety evaluation of human gene therapy products are both specific and non-specific. All key preclinical studies should be performed in compliance with Good Laboratory Practices. Non-specific requirements are in fact common to all pharmaceutical products. Critical specific issues to be addressed are: the safety evaluation of the vector and the toxicity of the expressed protein(s), which are the two components of gene therapy products, the quality of the test article, the selection of animal species, and the verification that the administration method successfully transports the gene of interest, with the vector, to the target site(s). The treatment schedule should mimic the intended human therapeutic design. The host's immune response against the gene therapy product has to be evaluated to detect possible adverse effects and immune neutralization by antibodies. The biodistribution of the gene of interest is also essential and can be evaluated by molecular biology techniques, such as PCR. Specific confinement is required for the safe manipulation of viral vectors. (+info)
(4/2665) Gender-specific differences in dialysis quality (Kt/V): 'big men' are at risk of inadequate haemodialysis treatment.
BACKGROUND: Inadequate dialysis dose is closely related to mortality and morbidity of maintenance haemodialysis (MHD) patients. According to the DOQI guidelines a minimum prescribed dialysis dose of single-pool Kt/V (Kt/Vsp)=1.3, equivalent to equilibrated double pool Kt/V (e-Kt/Vdp)=1.1, is recommended. Knowledge of patient-related risk factors for inadequate delivery of hacmodialysis would be helpful to select patient subgroups for intensive control ofdialysis adequacy. METHODS: A retrospective survey was conducted to assess the prevalence of inadequate dialysis dose according to DOQI criteria during a 7-month period. A total of 320 e-Kt/Vdp measurements in 62 MHD patients were evaluated (mean effective dialysis time 222+/-32 min). Residual renal function (RRF) was expressed as renal weekly Kt/V (r-Kt/Vweek) and included into assessment of total weekly renal and dialytic Kt/V (t-Kt/Vweek). RESULTS: Inadequacy (e-Kt/Vdp<1.10) was prevalent in 37.2% of all measurements and in 22/62 patients (35.5%). In 54% of underdialysed patients r-Kt/Vweek compensated for insufficient dialytic urea removal. Mean weekly Kt/V was inadequate (t-Kt/Vweek<3.30) in 12/62 patients (19.4%) of whom 91.7% (11/12) were male. Body-weight, urea distribution volume (UDV). and body-surface area (BSA) were significantly higher in inadequately is adequately dialysed males. UDV>42.0 litres or BSA>2.0 m2 and a lack of RRF (r-Kt/Vweek<0.3) put 'big men' at increased risk to receive an inadequate dose of dialysis. CONCLUSION: Our data identify patients at risk for inadequate haemodialysis treatment. Special attention should be focused on 'big men' with UDV>42.0 litres or BSA>2.0 m2. In this subset of patients frequent measurements of t-Kt/Vweek and assessment of RRF should be mandatory. (+info)
(5/2665) Selecting subjects for participation in clinical research: one sphere of justice.
Recent guidelines from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate the inclusion of adequate numbers of women in clinical trials. Ought such standards to apply internationally? Walzer's theory of justice is brought to bear on the problem, the first use of the theory in research ethics, and it argues for broad application of the principle of adequate representation. A number of practical conclusions for research ethics committees (RECs) are outlined. Eligibility criteria in clinical trials ought to be justified by trial designers. Research ethics committees ought to question criteria that seem to exclude unnecessarily women from research participation. The issue of adequate representation should be construed broadly, so as to include consideration of the representation of the elderly, persons with HIV, mental illness and substance abuse disorders in clinical research. (+info)
(6/2665) Explicit guidelines for qualitative research: a step in the right direction, a defence of the 'soft' option, or a form of sociological imperialism?
Within the context of health service research, qualitative research has sometimes been seen as a 'soft' approach, lacking scientific rigour. In order to promote the legitimacy of using qualitative methodology in this field, numerous social scientists have produced checklists, guidelines or manuals for researchers to follow when conducting and writing up qualitative work. However, those working in the health service should be aware that social scientists are not all in agreement about the way in which qualitative work should be conducted, and they should not be discouraged from conducting qualitative research simply because they do not possess certain technical skills or extensive training in sociology, anthropology or psychology. The proliferation of guidelines and checklists may be off-putting to people who want to undertake this sort of research, and they may also make it even more difficult for researchers to publish work in medical journals. Consequently, the very people who may be in a position to change medical practice may never read the results of important qualitative research. (+info)
(7/2665) Infective endocarditis and dentistry: outcome-based research.
Antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of infective endocarditis has long been recommended for patients receiving dental care. Two studies of patients with endocarditis found limited risk associated with dental treatment. It is imperative that guidelines for therapy be based on outcome studies and on evidence of safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness. (+info)
(8/2665) Safe working practices and HIV infection: knowledge, attitudes, perception of risk, and policy in hospital.
OBJECTIVES--To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of risk of occupational HIV transmission in hospital in relation to existing guidelines. DESIGN--Cross sectional anonymous questionnaire survey of all occupational groups. SETTING--One large inner city teaching hospital. SUBJECTS--All 1530 staff working in the hospital in October 1991 and 22 managers. MAIN MEASURES--Knowledge of safe working practices and hospital guidelines; attitudes towards patients with AIDS; perception of risk of occupational transmission of HIV; availability of guidelines. RESULTS--The response rate in the questionnaire survey was 63% (958/1530). Although staff across all occupational groups knew of the potential risk of infection from needlestick injury (98%, 904/922), significantly more non-clinical staff (ambulance, catering, and domestic staff) than clinical staff (doctors, nurses, and paramedics) thought HIV could be transmitted by giving blood (38%, 153/404 v 12%, 40/346; chi 2 = 66.1 p < 0.001); one in ten clinical staff believed this. Except for midwives, half of staff in most occupational groups and 19% (17/91) of doctors and 22% (28/125) of nurses thought gloves should be worn in all contacts with people with AIDS. Most staff (62%, 593/958), including 38% (36/94) of doctors and 52% (67/128) of nurses thought patients should be routinely tested on admission, 17% of doctors and 19% of nurses thought they should be isolated in hospital. One in three staff perceived themselves at risk of HIV. Midwives, nurses, and theatre technicians were most aware of guidelines for safe working compared with only half of doctors, ambulance, and paramedical staff and no incinerator staff. CONCLUSIONS--Policy guidelines for safe working practices for patients with HIV infection and AIDS need to be disseminated across all occupational groups to reduce negative staff attitudes, improve knowledge of occupational transmission, establish an appropriate perception of risk, and create a supportive and caring hospital environment for people with HIV. IMPLICATIONS--Managers need to disseminate policy guidelines and information to all staff on an ongoing basis. (+info)