Analysis of the effect of conversion from open to closed surgical intensive care unit.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect on clinical outcome of changing a surgical intensive care unit from an open to a closed unit. DESIGN: The study was carried out at a surgical intensive care unit in a large tertiary care hospital, which was changed on January 1, 1996, from an open unit, where private attending physicians contributed and controlled the care of their patients, to a closed unit, where patients' medical care was provided only by the surgical critical care team (ABS or ABA board-certified intensivists). A retrospective review was undertaken over 6 consecutive months in each system, encompassing 274 patients (125 in the open-unit period, 149 in the closed-unit period). Morbidity and mortality were compared between the two periods, along with length-of-stay (LOS) and number of consults obtained. A set of independent variables was also evaluated, including age, gender, APACHE III scores, the presence of preexisting medical conditions, the use of invasive monitoring (Swan-Ganz catheters, central and arterial lines), and the use of antibiotics, low-dose dopamine (LDD) for renal protection, vasopressors, TPN, and enteral feeding. RESULTS: Mortality (14.4% vs. 6.04%, p = 0.012) and the overall complication rate (55.84% vs. 44.14%, p = 0.002) were higher in the open-unit group versus the closed-unit group, respectively. The number of consults obtained was decreased (0.6 vs. 0.4 per patient, p = 0.036), and the rate of occurrence of renal failure was higher in the open-unit group (12.8% vs. 2.67%, p = 0.001). The mean age of the patients was similar in both groups (66.48 years vs. 66.40, p = 0.96). APACHE III scores were slightly higher in the open-unit group but did not reach statistical significance (39.02 vs. 36.16, p = 0.222). There were more men in the first group (63.2% vs. 51.3%). The use of Swan-Ganz catheters or central and arterial lines were identical, as was the use of antibiotics, TPN, and enteral feedings. The use of LDD was higher in the first group, but the LOS was identical. CONCLUSIONS: Conversion of a tertiary care surgical intensive care unit from an open to closed environment reduced dopamine usage and overall complication and mortality rates. These results support the concept that, when possible, patients in surgical intensive care units should be managed by board-certified intensivists in a closed environment. (+info
Antiphospholipid, anti-beta 2-glycoprotein-I and anti-oxidized-low-density-lipoprotein antibodies in antiphospholipid syndrome.
Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), anti-beta 2-glycoprotein I (anti-beta 2-GPI) and anti-oxidized-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) antibodies are all implicated in the pathogenesis of antiphospholipid syndrome. To investigate whether different autoantibodies or combinations thereof produced distinct effects related to their antigenic specificities, we examined the frequencies of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)-related features in the presence of different antibodies [aPL, beta 2-GPI, anti-oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL)] in 125 patients with APS. Median follow-up was 72 months: 58 patients were diagnosed as primary APS and 67 as APS plus systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL), anti-beta 2-GPI and anti-oxidized LDL antibodies were determined by ELISA; lupus anticoagulant (LA) by standard coagulometric methods. Univariate analysis showed that patients positive for anti-beta 2-GPI had a higher risk of recurrent thrombotic events (OR = 3.64, 95% CI, p = 0.01) and pregnancy loss (OR = 2.99, 95% CI, p = 0.004). Patients positive for anti-oxidized LDL antibodies had a 2.24-fold increase in the risk of arterial thrombosis (2.24, 95% CI, p = 0.03) and lower risk of thrombocytopenia (OR = 0.41 95% CI, p = 0.04). Patients positive for aCL antibodies had a higher risk of pregnancy loss (OR = 4.62 95% CI, p = 0.001). When these data were tested by multivariate logistic regression, the association between anti-beta 2-GPI and pregnancy loss and the negative association between anti-oxidized LDL antibodies and thrombocytopenia disappeared. (+info
Capture-recapture models including covariate effects.
Capture-recapture methods are used to estimate the incidence of a disease, using a multiple-source registry. Usually, log-linear methods are used to estimate population size, assuming that not all sources of notification are dependent. Where there are categorical covariates, a stratified analysis can be performed. The multinomial logit model has occasionally been used. In this paper, the authors compare log-linear and logit models with and without covariates, and use simulated data to compare estimates from different models. The crude estimate of population size is biased when the sources are not independent. Analyses adjusting for covariates produce less biased estimates. In the absence of covariates, or where all covariates are categorical, the log-linear model and the logit model are equivalent. The log-linear model cannot include continuous variables. To minimize potential bias in estimating incidence, covariates should be included in the design and analysis of multiple-source disease registries. (+info
Risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon.
OBJECTIVES: To identify risk factors for injuries and other health problems occurring during or immediately after participation in a marathon. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was undertaken of participants in the 1993 Auckland Citibank marathon. Demographic data, information on running experience, training and injuries, and information on other lifestyle factors were obtained from participants before the race using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Information on injuries and other health problems sustained during or immediately after the marathon were obtained by a self administered questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were undertaken to identify significant risk factors for health problems. RESULTS: This study, one of only a few controlled epidemiological studies that have been undertaken of running injuries, has identified a number of risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon. Men were at increased risk of hamstring and calf problems, whereas women were at increased risk of hip problems. Participation in a marathon for the first time, participation in other sports, illness in the two weeks before the marathon, current use of medication, and drinking alcohol once a month or more, were associated with increased self reported risks of problems. While increased training seemed to increase the risk of front thigh and hamstring problems, it may decrease the risk of knee problems. There are significant but complex relations between age and risk of injury or health problem. CONCLUSIONS: This study has identified certain high risk subjects and risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon. In particular, subjects who have recently been unwell or are taking medication should weigh up carefully the pros and cons of participating. (+info
Early mycological treatment failure in AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis.
Cryptococcal meningitis causes significant morbidity and mortality in persons with AIDS. Of 236 AIDS patients treated with amphotericin B plus flucytosine, 29 (12%) died within 2 weeks and 62 (26%) died before 10 weeks. Just 129 (55%) of 236 patients were alive with negative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures at 10 weeks. Multivariate analyses identified that titer of cryptococcal antigen in CSF, serum albumin level, and CD4 cell count, together with dose of amphotericin B, had the strongest joint association with failure to achieve negative CSF cultures by day 14. Among patients with similar CSF cryptococcal antigen titers, CD4 cell counts, and serum albumin levels, the odds of failure at week 10 for those without negative CSF cultures by day 14 was five times that for those with negative CSF cultures by day 14 (odds ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-10.9). Prognosis is dismal for patients with AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis. Multivariate analyses identified three components that, along with initial treatment, have the strongest joint association with early outcome. Clearly, more effective initial therapy and patient management strategies that address immune function and nutritional status are needed to improve outcomes of this disease. (+info
The Sock Test for evaluating activity limitation in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Assessment within rehabilitation often must reflect patients' perceived functional problems and provide information on whether these problems are caused by impairments of the musculoskeletal system. Such capabilities were examined in a new functional test, the Sock Test, simulating the activity of putting on a sock. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Intertester reliability was examined in 21 patients. Concurrent validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity were examined in a sample of 337 patients and in subgroups of this sample. RESULTS: Intertester reliability was acceptable. Sock Test scores were related to concurrent reports of activity limitation in dressing activities. Scores also reflected questionnaire-derived reports of problems in a broad range of activities of daily living and pain and were responsive to change over time. Increases in age and body mass index increased the likelihood of Sock Test scores indicating activity limitation. Pretest scores were predictive of perceived difficulties in dressing activities after 1 year. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: Sock Test scores reflect perceived activity limitations and restrictions of the musculoskeletal system. (+info
Modified cuspal relationships of mandibular molar teeth in children with Down's syndrome.
A total of 50 permanent mandibular 1st molars of 26 children with Down's syndrome (DS) were examined from dental casts and 59 permanent mandibular 1st molars of normal children were examined from 33 individuals. The following measurements were performed on both right and left molars (teeth 46 and 36 respectively): (a) the intercusp distances (mb-db, mb-d, mb-dl, db-ml, db-d, db-dl, db-ml, d-dl, d-ml, dl-ml); (b) the db-mb-ml, mb-db-ml, mb-ml-db, d-mb-dl, mb-d-dl, mb-dl-d angles; (c) the area of the pentagon formed by connecting the cusp tips. All intercusp distances were significantly smaller in the DS group. Stepwise logistic regression, applied to all the intercusp distances, was used to design a multivariate probability model for DS and normals. A model based on 2 distances only, mb-dl and mb-db, proved sufficient to discriminate between the teeth of DS and the normal population. The model for tooth 36 for example was as follows: p(DS) = (e(30.6-5.6(mb-dl)+25(mb-db)))/(1 + e(30.6 5.6(mb-dl)+25(mb db))). A similar model for tooth 46 was also created, as well as a model which incorporated both teeth. With respect to the angles, significant differences between DS and normals were found in 3 out of the 6 angles which were measured: the d-mb-dl angle was smaller than in normals, the mb-d-dl angle was higher, and the mb-dl-d angle was smaller. The dl cusp was located closer to the centre of the tooth. The change in size occurs at an early stage, while the change in shape occurs in a later stage of tooth formation in the DS population. (+info
Organizational and environmental factors associated with nursing home participation in managed care.
OBJECTIVE: To develop and test a model, based on resource dependence theory, that identifies the organizational and environmental characteristics associated with nursing home participation in managed care. DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: Data for statistical analysis derived from a survey of Directors of Nursing in a sample of nursing homes in eight states (n = 308). These data were merged with data from the On-line Survey Certification and Reporting System, the Medicare Managed Care State/County Data File, and the 1995 Area Resource File. STUDY DESIGN: Since the dependent variable is dichotomous, the logistic procedure was used to fit the regression. The analysis was weighted using SUDAAN. FINDINGS: Participation in a provider network, higher proportions of resident care covered by Medicare, providing IV therapy, greater availability of RNs and physical therapists, and Medicare HMO market penetration are associated with a greater likelihood of having a managed care contract. CONCLUSION: As more Medicare recipients enroll in HMOs, nursing home involvement in managed care is likely to increase. Interorganizational linkages enhance the likelihood of managed care participation. Nursing homes interested in managed care should consider upgrading staffing and providing at least some subacute services. (+info