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Background: Although small- and medium-sized hospitals comprise most healthcare providers in South Korea, data on antibiotic usage is limited in these facilities. We evaluated the pattern of antibiotic usage and its appropriateness in hospitals with <400 beds in South Korea. Methods: A multicenter retrospective study was conducted in 10 hospitals (6 long-term care hospitals, 3 acute-care hospitals, and 1 orthopedic hospital), with <400 beds in South Korea. We analyzed patterns of antibiotic prescription and their appropriateness in the participating hospitals. Data on the monthly antibiotic prescriptions and patient days for hospitalized patients were collected using electronic databases from each hospital. To avoid the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were collected from January to December 2019. For the evaluation of the appropriateness of the prescription, 25 patients under antibiotic therapy were randomly selected at each hospital over 2 separate periods. Due to the heterogeneity of their characteristics, the orthopedics hospital was excluded from the analysis. The collected data were reviewed, and the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated by 5 specialists in infectious diseases (adult and pediatric). Data from 2 hospitals were assigned to each specialist. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was evaluated from 3 aspects: route of administration, dose, and class. If the 3 aspects were ‘optimal,’ the prescription was considered ‘optimal.’ If only the route was ‘optimal,’ and the dose and/or class was ‘suboptimal,’ but not ‘inappropriate,’ it was considered ‘suboptimal.’ If even 1 aspect was ‘inappropriate,’ it was classified as ‘inappropriate.’ Results: The most commonly prescribed antibiotics in long-term care hospitals was fluoroquinolone, followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor (antipseudomonal). In acute-care hospitals, these were third-generation cephalosporin, followed by first-generation cephalosporin and second-generation cephalosporin. The major antibiotics that were prescribed in the orthopedics hospital was first-generation cephalosporin. Only 2.3% of the antibiotics were administered inappropriately. In comparison, 15.3% of patients were prescribed an inappropriate dose. The proportion of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions was 30.6% of the total antibiotic prescriptions. Conclusions: The antibiotic usage patterns vary between small- and medium-sized hospitals in South Korea. The proportion of inappropriate prescriptions exceeded 30% of the total antibiotic prescriptions.
This study evaluated the effect of music intervention on the anxiety and stress responses of patients who underwent an interventional cardiac catheterisation.
The study design was a pre- and post-test randomised controlled trial that included 94 patients who underwent a transcatheter atrial septal defect closure. Patients were allocated to receive either music intervention (n = 47) or usual care (n = 47) during the interventional cardiac catheterisation. Music intervention effectiveness was examined in terms of anxiety, salivary cortisol level, and heart rate variability.
The average age of participants was 45.40 years (±16.04) in the experimental group and 47.26 years (±13.83) in the control group. Two-thirds (66.0%) of the participants in each group were women. State anxiety (F = 31.42, p < 0.001), anxiety-numerical rating scale (F = 20.08, p < 0.001), salivary cortisol levels (F = 4.98, p = 0.021), and low-frequency component/high-frequency component ratio (F = 17.31, p < 0.001) in the experimental group were significantly reduced compared with those in the control group at the end of the music intervention.
This study provides practical evidence of a reduction in anxiety and stress response from music intervention preceding an interventional cardiac catheterisation, indicating that this intervention should be considered in clinical management.
Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 among immunocompromised hosts can have a serious impact on COVID-19 severity, underlying disease progression and SARS-CoV-2 transmission to other patients and healthcare workers within hospitals. We experienced a nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 in the setting of a daycare unit for paediatric and young adult cancer patients. Between 9 and 18 November 2020, 473 individuals (181 patients, 247 caregivers/siblings and 45 staff members) were exposed to the index case, who was a nursing staff. Among them, three patients and four caregivers were infected. Two 5-year-old cancer patients with COVID-19 were not severely ill, but a 25-year-old cancer patient showed prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for at least 12 weeks, which probably infected his mother at home approximately 7–8 weeks after the initial diagnosis. Except for this case, no secondary transmission was observed from the confirmed cases in either the hospital or the community. To conclude, in the day care setting of immunocompromised children and young adults, the rate of in-hospital transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was 1.6% when applying the stringent policy of infection prevention and control, including universal mask application and rapid and extensive contact investigation. Severely immunocompromised children/young adults with COVID-19 would have to be carefully managed after the mandatory isolation period while keeping the possibility of prolonged shedding of live virus in mind.
This paper presents a modularized autonomous pipeline inspection robot called MRINSPECT VII+, which we recently developed. MRINSPECT VII+ is aimed at inspect in-service urban gas pipelines with a diameter of 200 mm. The robot consists of five basic modules: driving, sensing, joint, and battery modules. For nondestructive testing (NDT), an NDT module can be added to the system. The driving module uses a multiaxial differential gear mechanism to provide traction forces to the robot. The sensor module recognizes the pipeline element using position-sensitive detector (PSD) sensors and a CCD camera. The control module contains a computing unit and manages the robot’s autonomous navigation. The battery module supplies power to the system. Each module is connected via backdrivable active joint modules, which provide flexibility while moving inside narrow pipelines. Additionally, the wireless communication module helps the system communicate with the ground station. We tested MRINSPECT VII+ in real pipeline environments and validated its feasibility successfully.
Motivated by biological systems, such as human hearts and the propulsors of aquatic creatures, the interaction between deformable structures and fluid jets has drawn considerable attention to understand the mechanism of effective fluid transport through such jets. In this study, the formation of a starting jet through a novel eversion process is investigated experimentally using a simple vortex generator model with everted sheets. The ends of two everted sheets are clamped at either side of a rectangular flow channel, with the other free ends in contact with each other in the middle of the channel. Geometric and kinematic parameters, such as the length and bending rigidity of the everting sheets and the speed of the piston, are varied to examine their effects on the deformation of the sheets and the formation of the jet. By introducing a dimensionless bending rigidity, the behaviour of the sheets during the eversion process can be correlated with jet characteristics such as the velocity profile and hydrodynamic impulse. The interaction between the starting jet and the everting sheets enables a notably faster jet with an improved hydrodynamic impulse to be developed within a shorter stroke time.
We present a case of percutaneous coronary intervention in a 4-month-old infant with both severe coronary stenosis and acute heart failure after arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries. Under extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, balloon angioplasty of the left coronary artery with a 2.0 × 15-mm balloon and stent implantation on the right coronary artery with a 2.25 × 26-mm stent were performed successfully. Echocardiography after the intervention showed recovered cardiac function and no complications.
We propose a new methodology for inferring political actors’ latent memberships in communities of collective activity that drive their observable interactions. Unlike existing methods, the proposed Bipartite Link Community Model (biLCM) (1) applies to two groups of actors, (2) takes into account that actors may be members of more than one community, and (3) allows a pair of actors to interact in more than one way. We apply this method to characterize legislative communities of special interest groups and politicians in the 113th U.S. Congress. Previous empirical studies of interest group politics have been limited by the difficulty of observing the ties between interest groups and politicians directly. We therefore first construct an original dataset that connects the politicians who sponsor congressional bills with the interest groups that lobby on those bills based on more than two million textual descriptions of lobbying activities. We then use the biLCM to make quantitative measurements of actors’ community memberships ranging from narrow targeted interactions according to industry interests and jurisdictional committee membership to broad multifaceted connections across multiple policy domains.
The two-way linear fixed effects regression (2FE) has become a default method for estimating causal effects from panel data. Many applied researchers use the 2FE estimator to adjust for unobserved unit-specific and time-specific confounders at the same time. Unfortunately, we demonstrate that the ability of the 2FE model to simultaneously adjust for these two types of unobserved confounders critically relies upon the assumption of linear additive effects. Another common justification for the use of the 2FE estimator is based on its equivalence to the difference-in-differences estimator under the simplest setting with two groups and two time periods. We show that this equivalence does not hold under more general settings commonly encountered in applied research. Instead, we prove that the multi-period difference-in-differences estimator is equivalent to the weighted 2FE estimator with some observations having negative weights. These analytical results imply that in contrast to the popular belief, the 2FE estimator does not represent a design-based, nonparametric estimation strategy for causal inference. Instead, its validity fundamentally rests on the modeling assumptions.
Cognitive theories of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) stress the importance of dysfunctional beliefs in the development and maintenance of the disorder. However, a neurobiological understanding of these cognitive models, including thought-action fusion (TAF), is surprisingly lacking. Thus, this functional magnetic resonance imaging study aimed to investigate whether altered functional connectivity (FC) is associated with the TAF paradigm in OCD patients.
Forty-one OCD patients and 47 healthy controls (HCs) participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a TAF task, in which they were asked to read the name of a close or a neutral person in association with positive and negative statements.
The conventional TAF condition (negative statements/close person) induced significant FC between the regions of interest (ROIs) identified using multivoxel pattern analysis and the visual association areas, default mode network subregions, affective processing, and several subcortical regions in both groups. Notably, sparser FC was observed in OCD patients. Further analysis confined to the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) and affective networks demonstrated that OCD patients exhibited reduced ROI FC with affective regions and greater ROI FC with CSTC components in the TAF condition compared to HCs. Within the OCD patients, middle cingulate cortex–insula FC was correlated with TAF and responsibility scores.
Our TAF paradigm revealed altered context-dependent engagement of the CSTC and affective networks in OCD patients. These findings suggest that the neurobiology of cognitive models corresponds to current neuroanatomical models of OCD. Further, they elucidate the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of OCD at the circuit-based level.
We calculated the human resources required for an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in Korean hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective study.
Eight Korean hospitals ranging in size from 295 to 1,337 beds.
The time required for performing ASP activities for all hospitalized patients under antibiotic therapy was estimated and converted into hours per week. The actual time spent on patient reviews of each ASP activity was measured with a small number of cases, then the total time was estimated by applying the determined times to a larger number of cases. Full-time equivalents (FTEs) were measured according to labor laws in Korea (52 hours per week).
In total, 225 cases were reviewed to measure time spent on patient reviews. The median time spent per patient review for ASP activities ranged from 10 to 16 minutes. The total time spent on the review for all hospitalized patients was estimated using the observed number of ASP activities for 1,534 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy on surveillance days. The most commonly observed ASP activity was ‘review of surgical prophylactic antibiotics’ (32.7%), followed by ‘appropriate antibiotics recommendations for patients with suspected infection without a proven site of infection but without causative pathogens’ (28.6%). The personnel requirement was calculated as 1.20 FTEs (interquartile range [IQR], 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds and 2.28 FTEs (IQR, 1.93–2.62) per 100 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy, respectively.
The estimated time required for human resources performing extensive ASP activities on all hospitalized patients undergoing antibiotic therapy in Korean hospitals was ~1.20 FTEs (IQR, 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
Background: We describe and evaluate our outbreak of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae transmitted by contaminated duodenoscopes during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures. Methods: An outbreak investigation was performed when Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae (KPC-KP) were identified from bile specimens of 4 patients. The investigation included medical record review, practice audits, and surveillance cultures of duodenoscopes and environmental sites. If available, clinical specimens were obtained from patients who had undergone ERCP in the previous 3 months. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) screening cultures were performed to identify additional patients until no CRE cases were detected during 2 consecutive weeks. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of KPC-KP isolates was implemented. Results: In total, 12 cases were identified with exposure to duodenoscope from February 2019 through April 2019, including 6 cases with infections and 6 asymptomatic carriers. Case-control analysis showed that 2 specific duodenoscopes would be associated with the KPC-KP outbreak. Duodenoscope reprocessing procedures did not deviate from manufacturer recommendations for reprocessing. After ethylene oxide (EO) gas sterilization, the outbreak was terminated. Conclusions: Meticulous cleaning protocol and enhanced surveillance are necessary to prevent outbreaks of CRE. Notably, enhanced cleaning measures, such as sterilization for duodenoscopes, would be required after procedures with KPC-KP carriers.
Motivated by the explosive launch of Sphagnum spores, this experimental study investigates how the vortices generated from two different sources, a piston–cylinder apparatus and a translating bluff body, interact with each other. While there have been numerous studies on the formation of a single vortex ring or multiple vortex rings, little is known about the effect of a translating bluff body on the formation of the coupled vortices. By varying the stroke ratio of the piston and the velocity ratio of the body to the piston, three distinct modes are identified for the mutual interaction between the starting jet from the piston and the wake from the cap: spill mode, attached mode and detached mode. The transitions between the vortex modes are predicted with simple analytical models. For the attached mode that appears at a velocity ratio intermediate between those of the spill mode and the detached mode, the merged flow structure becomes similar to a single vortex ring in the absence of the bluff body. By virtue of stable propagation following the cap, the vortex of the attached mode is capable of transporting a significant fluid volume initially inside the cylinder over a long distance, which shows its effectiveness in transport using a ballistic mechanism.
This paper deals with design of an alternative secure Blockchain network framework to prevent damages from an attacker. The alliance concept from the strategic management perspectives is applied on the top of a general stochastic game framework. This new enhanced hybrid theoretical model is designed to find the best strategies toward preparation for preventing a network malfunction from an attacker through strategic alliances with other genuine nodes and it is developed based on the combination of a strategic management framework and a conventional stochastic model based on the Blockchain Governance Game. Analytically, tractable results for decision-making parameters are fully obtained to predict of the moment for operations and also to provide the optimal number of allegiance nodes to protect a Blockchain network. This research helps those whom are considering initial coin offering or launching new Blockchain-based services by enhancing security features through strategic alliances in a decentralized network.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in the perception of disaster issues between disaster directors and general health care providers in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.
The Gyeonggi provincial committee distributed a survey to acute care facility personnel. Survey topics included awareness of general disaster issues, hospital preparedness, and training priorities. The questionnaire comprised multiple choices and items scored on a 10-point Likert scale. We analyzed the discrepancies and characteristics of the responses.
Completed surveys were returned from 43 (67%) of 64 directors and 145 (55.6%) of 261 health care providers. In the field of general awareness, the topic of how to triage in disaster response showed the greatest discrepancies. In the domain of hospital level disaster preparedness, individual opinions varied most within the topics of incident command, manual preparation. The responses to “accept additional patients in disaster situation” showed the biggest differences (> 21 versus 6~10).
In this study, there were disaster topics with discrepancies and concordances in perception between disaster directors and general health care providers. The analysis would present baseline information for the development of better training programs for region-specific core competencies, knowledge, and skills required for the effective response.
A number of microorganisms were hypothesised as an aetiology of the Kawasaki disease. Unfortunately, no specific agent that provides reproducible evidence has yet been reported. We report two cases of extremely rare Kawasaki disease with tsutsugamushi disease. These case reports suggest that Kawasaki disease can rarely occur concurrently or immediately after a rickettsial illness such as tsutsugamushi disease.
A certain degree of pulmonary stenosis after total correction of tetralogy of Fallot has been considered acceptable. But the long-term outcomes are not well understood. We observed the natural course of immediate pulmonary stenosis and investigated related factors for progression.
Fifty-two patients with acceptable pulmonary stenosis immediately after operation were enrolled. Acceptable pulmonary stenosis was defined as peak pressure gradient between 15 and 45 mmHg by Doppler echocardiography. Latent class linear mixed model was used to differentiate patients with progressed pulmonary stenosis, and the factors related to progression were analysed.
Pulmonary stenosis progressed in 14 patients (27%). Between the progression group and no progression group, there were no significant differences in operative age, sex, and the use of the transannular patch technique. However, immediate gradient was higher in the progression group (32.1 mmHg versus 25.7 mmHg, p = 0.009), and the cut-off value was 26.8 mmHg (sensitivity = 65.3%, specificity = 65.8%). Main stenosis at the sub-valve was observed more frequently in the progression group (85.7% versus 52.6%, p = 0.027). Despite no difference in the preoperative pulmonary valve z value, the last follow-up pulmonary valve z value was significantly lower in the progression group (−1.15 versus 0.35, p = 0.002).
Pulmonary stenosis immediately after tetralogy of Fallot total correction might progress in patients with immediate pulmonary stenosis higher than ≥26.8 mmHg and the main site was sub-valve area.