Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-10 (10)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Predictors of influenza among older adults in the emergency department 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2016;16:615.
Diagnosis of influenza in older adults may be complicated by atypical presentations or when patients present with complications of an underlying illness. We aimed to identify clinical characteristics and epidemiological factors associated with influenza among community-dwelling adults aged ≥60 years presenting to emergency departments.
We identified patients with influenza-compatible chief complaints presenting to emergency departments of six acute care hospitals in Ontario, Canada during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 influenza seasons. Clinical characteristics, medical history and demographics were collected by patient interview, chart review and by contacting vaccine providers. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for influenza using polymerase chain reaction. We modeled predictors of influenza using multivariable logistic regression models that compared individuals with and without influenza.
Of 1318 participants, 151 (11 %) had influenza (98 A/H3N2, 12 A/H1N1, 4 A [not sub-typed], 37 B). In the multivariable model, clinical symptoms associated with influenza were cough (OR 6.4, 95 % CI 3.2, 13.0), feverishness and/or triage temperature ≥37.2 °C (OR 3.0, 95 % CI 2.0, 4.7), 2–5 days from symptom onset to the emergency department visit (OR 2.2, 95 % CI 1.5, 3.2), and wheezing (OR 2.1, 95 % CI 1.3, 3.3). The effect of cough on influenza increased with older age. Epidemiological factors associated with increased odds for influenza included weeks when ≥10 % influenza tests from provincial laboratories were positive (OR 5.1, 95 % CI 1.2, 21.7) and exposure to a person with influenza-like illness (OR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.3, 2.8). Among participants with influenza, only 47 (31 %) met the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for influenza-like illness (temperature ≥37.8 °C and cough and/or sore throat).
As in younger adults, cough and feverishness are the two symptoms most predictive of influenza in the elderly. Current influenza-like illness definitions did not adequately capture influenza in older adults.
PMCID: PMC5084347  PMID: 27793117
Influenza; Older adults; Elderly; Clinical symptoms
2.  Fetal outcomes following emergency department point-of-care ultrasound for vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy 
Canadian Family Physician  2016;62(7):572-578.
To determine 20- and 40-week fetal outcomes following documentation of fetal cardiac activity (FCA) and intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) in women at less than 20 weeks’ gestation presenting to the emergency department (ED) with vaginal bleeding.
Prospective observational cohort study.
Single-centre tertiary care ED.
Pregnant women at less than 20 weeks’ gestation presenting to the ED with vaginal bleeding.
All study participants underwent ED point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) to document IUP and FCA.
Main outcome measures
Prevalence of spontaneous abortion or pregnancy loss by 40 weeks’ gestational age following ED POCUS documentation of FCA or IUP in women at less than 20 weeks’ gestation.
A total of 85 of 111 eligible patients were enrolled; FCA and IUP were detected in 43 (50.6%) and 54 (63.5%) participants, respectively. Participants with documented FCA on ED POCUS were less likely to experience pregnancy loss than participants without documented FCA were (5.0% vs 92.7%; Δ = 87.7%; 95% CI 71.0% to 93.7%), and participants with documented IUP were less likely to experience pregnancy loss than participants without documented IUP were (22.0% vs 93.5%; Δ = 71.5%; 95% CI 52.1% to 81.9%). Compared with radiologist-interpreted ultrasound, ED POCUS had sensitivity of 88.9% (95% CI 75.9% to 96.2%) and specificity of 100.0% (95% CI 89.6% to 100.0%) for documenting FCA, and sensitivity of 96.0% (95% CI 86.3% to 99.4%) and specificity of 93.1% (95% CI 77.2% to 99.0%) for documenting IUP.
In this cohort of women presenting to the ED with bleeding in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, detection of IUP and especially FCA using POCUS performed by providers certified by the Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society was associated with ongoing viable pregnancy at 20 and 40 weeks’ gestational age. These data might be useful for ED physicians counseling women with symptomatic early pregnancies about the chance of miscarriage after an episode of vaginal bleeding.
PMCID: PMC4955088  PMID: 27829074
3.  Prevalence and incidence of antimicrobial-resistant organisms among hospitalized inflammatory bowel disease patients 
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience frequent hospitalizations and use of immunosuppressive medications, which may predispose them to colonization with antimicrobial-resistant organisms (ARO).
To determine the prevalence of ARO colonization on admission to hospital and the incidence of infection during hospitalization among hospitalized IBD patients.
A chart review comparing the prevalence of colonization and incidence of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL) in hospitalized IBD patients with those of non-IBD controls was performed.
On admission, there were no significant differences between IBD inpatients and controls in the prevalence of colonization of methicillin-resistant S aureus (1.0% versus 1.2%; P=0.74), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (0.2% versus 0%; P=1.0) or ESBL (4.1% versus 5.5%; P=0.33). Pooling data from historical clinic-based cohorts, IBD patients were more likely than controls to have ESBL colonization (19% versus 6.6%; P<0.05). Antibiotic use on admission was associated with ESBL colonization among IBD inpatients (OR 4.2 [95% CI 1.4 to 12.6]). The incidence of ARO infections during hospitalization was not significantly different between IBD patients and controls. Among IBD patients who acquired ARO infections during hospitalizations, the mean time interval from admission to infection was shorter for those who were already colonized with ARO on admission.
This particular population of hospitalized IBD patients was not shown to have a higher prevalence or incidence of ARO colonization or infection compared with non-IBD inpatients.
PMCID: PMC3905012  PMID: 24489571
Crohn disease; Extended spectrum beta-lactamase; Inflammatory bowel disease; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Ulcerative colitis; Vancomycin-resistant enterococci
4.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization among health care workers in a downtown emergency department in Toronto, Ontario 
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) acquired in the community, otherwise known as community-acquired MRSA, has emerged rapidly in recent years. Colonization with MRSA has been associated with an increased risk of symptomatic and serious infections and, in some settings, health care workers (HCWs) exhibit a higher prevalence of MRSA colonization.
To determine MRSA colonization in emergency department (ED) HCWs in the setting of a moderate prevalence of MRSA in skin and soft tissue infections.
The present study was conducted at a downtown ED in Toronto, Ontario. ED HCWs completed a brief questionnaire and swabs were taken from one anterior nare, one axilla and any open wounds (if present). Swabs were processed using standard laboratory techniques.
None of the 89 staff (registered nurses [n=55], physicians [n=15], other [n=19]) were MRSA positive and 25 (28.1%) were colonized with methicillin-susceptible S aureus.
Contrary to common belief among HCWs and previous studies documenting MRSA colonization of HCWs, MRSA colonization of this particular Canadian ED HCW cohort was very low and similar to that of the local population.
PMCID: PMC3852458  PMID: 24421831
Emergency department; Health care workers; MRSA colonization
5.  Clinical characteristics associated with adverse events in patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a prospective cohort study 
To assist physicians with difficult decisions about hospital admission for patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presenting in the emergency department, we sought to identify clinical characteristics associated with serious adverse events.
We conducted this prospective cohort study in 6 large Canadian academic emergency departments. Patients were assessed for standardized clinical variables and then followed for serious adverse events, defined as death, intubation, admission to a monitored unit or new visit to the emergency department requiring admission.
We enrolled 945 patients, of whom 354 (37.5%) were admitted to hospital. Of 74 (7.8%) patients with a subsequent serious adverse event, 36 (49%) had not been admitted after the initial emergency visit. Multivariable modelling identified 5 variables that were independently associated with adverse events: prior intubation, initial heart rate ≥ 110/minute, being too ill to do a walk test, hemoglobin < 100 g/L and urea ≥ 12 mmol/L. A preliminary risk scale incorporating these and 5 other clinical variables produced risk categories ranging from 2.2% for a score of 0 to 91.4% for a score of 10. Using a risk score of 2 or higher as a threshold for admission would capture all patients with a predicted risk of adverse events of 7.2% or higher, while only slightly increasing admission rates, from 37.5% to 43.2%.
In Canada, many patients with COPD suffer a serious adverse event or death after being discharged home from the emergency department. We identified high-risk characteristics and developed a preliminary risk scale that, once validated, could be used to stratify the likelihood of poor outcomes and to enable rational and safe admission decisions.
PMCID: PMC3971051  PMID: 24549125
6.  Practice patterns of graduates of a CCFP(EM) residency program 
Canadian Family Physician  2012;58(7):e385-e389.
To determine the practice settings of graduates of a residency program that leads to a Certificate of Special Competence in Emergency Medicine (CCFP[EM]).
Web-based survey using standard Dillman methodology.
All graduates of the CCFP(EM) residency training program at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Ontario between 1982 and 2009.
Main outcome measures
Practice type and location, job satisfaction, and nonclinical EM activities of graduates of a CCFP(EM) residency program.
Of 146 graduates surveyed, 88 responded (response rate of 60.3%). All of the respondents indicated that they had practised EM at some point after completing the CCFP(EM) program at U of T. At survey completion, 76.7% were practising EM. Of the EM-practising cohort, 93.9% worked in urban or suburban hospitals as opposed to rural settings. Those practising EM expressed high levels of job satisfaction, with 83.3% reporting a score of 8 or higher on a 10-point satisfaction scale. Most (57.0%) of the graduates of the CCFP(EM) residency program at U of T had participated in leadership activities in EM on local, provincial, or national levels.
Most graduates of the CCFP(EM) residency program continue to practise EM, and most of them practise in urban and suburban environments. The low attrition rate of CCFP(EM) graduates should be regarded as a success of the CCFP(EM) program, and the geographic distribution of all physicians, including EM providers, warrants further study to help plan future physician resources in Canada.
PMCID: PMC3395545  PMID: 22798475
7.  Self-Collected Mid-Turbinate Swabs for the Detection of Respiratory Viruses in Adults with Acute Respiratory Illnesses 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21335.
The gold standard for respiratory virus testing is a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, which is collected by a healthcare worker. Midturbinate (MT) swabs are an alternative due to their ease of collection and possible self-collection by patients. The objective of this study was to compare the respiratory virus isolation of flocked MT swabs compared to flocked NP swabs.
Beginning in October 2008, healthy adults aged 18 to 69 years were recruited into a cohort and followed up for symptoms of influenza. They were asked to have NP and MT swabs taken as soon as possible after the onset of a fever or two or more respiratory symptoms with an acute onset. The swabs were tested for viral respiratory infections using Seeplex® RV12 multiplex PCR detection kit. Seventy six pairs of simultaneous NP and MT swabs were collected from 38 symptomatic subjects. Twenty nine (38%) of these pairs were positive by either NP or MT swabs or both. Sixty nine (91%) of the pair results were concordant. Two samples (3%) for hCV OC43/HKU1 and 1 sample (1%) for rhinovirus A/B were positive by NP but negative by MT. One sample each for hCV 229E/NL63, hCV OC43/HKU1, respiratory syncytial virus A, and influenza B were positive by MT but negative by NP.
Flocked MT swabs are sensitive for the diagnosis of multiple respiratory viruses. Given the ease of MT collection and similar results between the two swabs, it is likely that MT swabs should be the preferred method of respiratory cell collection for outpatient studies. In light of this data, larger studies should be performed to ensure that this still holds true and data should also be collected on the patient preference of collection methods.
PMCID: PMC3121745  PMID: 21731708
8.  Non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes: A simplified risk-oriented algorithm 
Non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) include a clinical spectrum that ranges from unstable angina to NSTE myocardial infarction. Management goals aim to prevent recurrent ACS and improve long-term outcomes by choosing a treatment strategy according to an estimate of the risk of an adverse outcome. Recent registry data suggest that patients with NSTE ACS frequently do not receive recommended treatment, and that risk stratification is not used to determine either the choice of treatment or the speed of access to coronary angiography.
The present article evaluates the evidence for recommended treatment using information from recent trials and guidelines published by the major cardiac organizations in Europe and North America. Using this information, a multidisciplinary group developed a simplified algorithm that uses risk stratification to select an optimal early management strategy. Long-term outcomes are improved by a multi-faceted vascular protection strategy that is initiated at the time of hospitalization for NSTE ACS.
PMCID: PMC2560559  PMID: 16801997
Anticoagulants; Coronary disease; Myocardial infarction; Platelet aggregation inhibitors; Thrombosis
9.  Long-term Psychological and Occupational Effects of Providing Hospital Healthcare during SARS Outbreak 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2006;12(12):1924-1932.
TOC Summary Line: Healthcare workers in hospitals affected by SARS experience increased psychological stress 1–2 years after the outbreak.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) found the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to be stressful, but the long-term impact is not known. From 13 to 26 months after the SARS outbreak, 769 HCWs at 9 Toronto hospitals that treated SARS patients and 4 Hamilton hospitals that did not treat SARS patients completed a survey of several adverse outcomes. Toronto HCWs reported significantly higher levels of burnout (p = 0.019), psychological distress (p<0.001), and posttraumatic stress (p<0.001). Toronto workers were more likely to have reduced patient contact and work hours and to report behavioral consequences of stress. Variance in adverse outcomes was explained by a protective effect of the perceived adequacy of training and support and by a provocative effect of maladaptive coping style and other individual factors. The results reinforce the value of effective staff support and training in preparation for future outbreaks.
PMCID: PMC3291360  PMID: 17326946
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome; Stress, Psychological; Health Personnel; Stress, Traumatic; Burnout, Professional, research

Results 1-10 (10)