Human factors, such as inadequate situation awareness, have been associated with preventable accidents in anesthesia practice. Integral to developing situation awareness in the operating room environment is the safe and efficient exchange of essential information when the care of a patient is transferred from one anesthesia provider to another for circumstances such as breaks, meals, and the end of a scheduled work shift. An effective transfer involves the communication of critical information in an effort to preserve the quality and continuity of care. HumaThis article describes a 2-phase, nonexperimental exploratory study with a purpose to (1) examine current transfer of care practices of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists during the intraoperative period and (2) develop, implement, and evaluate a communication checklist tool designed to improve situation awareness. Findings from this study have the potential to contribute to the understanding of current transfer of care practices, promote situation awareness in a swift and organized manner, and minimize variation in transfer of care processes that exist in practice today.
Every three days a child dies in an agriculture-related incident, and every day 45 children are injured in the United States. These tragedies should not be regarded as "accidents," as they often follow predictable and preventable patterns. Prevention is not only possible, but vital, since many of these injuries are almost immediately fatal. Major sources of fatal injuries are machinery, motor vehicles, and drowning. Tractor injuries alone account for one-third of all deaths. The leading sources of nonfatal injuries are structures and surfaces, animals (primarily horses), and vehicles (primarily all-terrain vehicles [ATVs]). Children living on farms are at a higher risk than hired workers, and are unprotected by child labor laws. Preschool children and older male youth are at the highest risk for fatal injury, while nonfatal injury was most common among boys aged 10-15 years. Multiple prevention strategies have been developed, yet economic and cultural barriers often impede their implementation. Educational campaigns alone are often ineffective, and must be coupled with re-engineering of machines and safety devices to reduce fatalities. Legislation has the potential to improve child safety, yet political and economic pressures often prohibit changes in child labor laws and mandated safety requirements. Clinicians play a pivotal role in injury prevention, and should actively address common rural risk-taking behaviors as part of the routine office visit in order to help prevent these tragedies.
The SHAPE (Screened Health Assessment and Pacer Evaluation) trial was a 24 month randomized multicenter placebo-controlled study to determine the efficacy of an implantable gastric stimulator (IGS) for weight loss. This report is an investigator-initiated sub-study at one site designed to assess whether IGS affects plasma levels of ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY). The device was implanted in all subjects but was activated in the Treatment group (n = 7, BMI = 41.5 ± 2.0 kg/m2) and remained inactive in the Control (n = 6, BMI = 39.5 ± 1.7 kg/m2) during the first 12 months. IGS was activated in both groups during months 12-24. Fasting venous blood was drawn at months 0, 12, and 24 and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed at month 12. Although there was no difference in weight loss at 6 months (Control: -6.6 ± 1.5% vs. Treatment: -6.2 ± 1.4%), at 24 months the Control group exhibited weight gain from baseline (+2.2 ± 1.5%) that was significantly different from the weight loss in the Treatment group (-1.9 ± 1.4%; P < 0.05). At 12 months, fasting ghrelin was significantly increased (P < 0.05) in the Treatment group (285 ± 35 to 336 ± 35 pg/ml; weight change, -4.9 ± 1.4%), but not in the Control (211 ± 36 to 208 ± 35 pg/ml; weight change, -3.4 ± 1.5%). No significant change was observed in postprandial suppression of plasma ghrelin or in fasting and postprandial PYY levels. In conclusion, IGS does not prevent the increase in fasting plasma ghrelin levels associated with weight loss. Further studies are needed to determine whether changes in technology can improve weight loss and maintenance, perhaps using gut hormones as biomarkers of possible efficacy.
Situation awareness (SA) is defined as ones perception of the elements of the environment, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future. The concept of SA is well known in the aviation industry, which is characterized by complexity and dynamism. The discipline of anesthesia shares these same environmental characteristics, yet the study of SA in this setting is in its infancy. Guided by Endsleys theory of SA, the purpose of this study was to provide educators with a best-evidence predictor model of SA in student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs). Seventy-one SRNAs were randomly selected from 3 US universities. A nonexperimental, correlational design and multiple regression analysis were used to measure the relationship between memory, cognition, and automaticity and SA. Findings from this study reveal cognition as the best predictor of SA in graduate SRNAs, with the addition of memory and automaticity contributing no additional predictive value to the model. The results of this study have the potential to make a positive impact on the admission, education, and training of SRNAs. This study contributes evidence for further research examining the use of high-fidelity simulation in promoting SA in SRNAs.
The obesity epidemic is a global issue and shows no signs of abating, while the cause of this epidemic remains unclear. Marketing practices of energy-dense foods and institutionally-driven declines in physical activity are the alleged perpetrators for the epidemic, despite a lack of solid evidence to demonstrate their causal role. While both may contribute to obesity, we call attention to their unquestioned dominance in program funding and public efforts to reduce obesity, and propose several alternative putative contributors that would benefit from equal consideration and attention. Evidence for microorganisms, epigenetics, increasing maternal age, greater fecundity among people with higher adiposity, assortative mating, sleep debt, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical iatrogenesis, reduction in variability of ambient temperatures, and intrauterine and intergenerational effects as contributing factors to the obesity epidemic are reviewed herein. While the evidence is strong for some contributors such as pharmaceutical-induced weight gain, it is still emerging for other reviewed factors. Considering the role of such putative etiological factors of obesity may lead to comprehensive, cause specific, and effective strategies for prevention and treatment of this global epidemic.
The prevalence of obesity has been rising steadily over the last several decades and is currently at unprecedented levels: more than 68% of US adults are considered overweight, and 35% are obese (Flegal et al., JAMA 303:235-241, 2010). This increase has occurred across every age, sex, race, and smoking status, and data indicate that segments of individuals in the highest weight categories (i.e., BMI > 40 kg/m(2)) have increased proportionately more than those in lower BMI categories (BMI < 35 kg/m(2)). The dramatic rise in obesity has also occurred in many other countries, and the causes of this increase are not fully understood (Hill and Melanson, Med Sci Sports Exerc 31:S515-S521, 1999).
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