A variety of environmental factors have been identified as possible triggers for migraine and other headache syndromes.
We analyzed associations between air pollution and emergency department (ED) visits for migraine and headache.
Analysis was based on 56,241 ED visits for migraine and 48,022 ED visits for headache to Edmonton hospitals between 1992 and 2002. A Poisson model of counts hierarchically clustered by day of week, month, and year was applied using generalized linear mixed models. Temperature and relative humidity were included as covariates.
Females accounted for 78.5% of migraine visits and 56.3% of headache visits. An interquartile range (IQR) increase (6.2 microg/m3) in daily average particulate matter of median aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microm (PM2.5) was associated with increases in visits of 3.3% for migraine (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6-6.0), lagged 2 days, and 3.4% for headache (95% CI: 0.3-6.6), lagged 0 days, among females in the cold season (October-March). PM2.5 was also associated with cold season migraine visits among females at lag 0 and 1 day (P
To investigate the potential correlation between ambient air pollution exposure and emergency department (ED) visits for depression.
A hierarchical clusters design was used to study 27 047 ED visits for depression in six cities in Canada. The data used in the analysis contain the dates of visits, daily numbers of diagnosed visits, and daily mean concentrations of air pollutants as well as the meteorological factors. The generalized linear mixed models technique was applied to data analysis. Poisson models were fitted to the clustered counts of ED visits with a single air pollutant, temperature and relative humidity.
Statistically significant positive correlations were observed between the number of ED visits for depression and the air concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM10). The percentage increase in daily ED visits was 15.5% (95% CI: 8.0-23.5) for CO per 0.8 ppm and 20.0% (95% CI: 13.3-27.2) for NO2 per 20.1 ppb, for same day exposure in the warm weather period (April-September). For PM10, the largest increase, 7.2% (95% CI: 3.0-11.6) per 19.4 ug/m3, was observed for the cold weather period (October-March).
The results support the hypothesis that ED visits for depressive disorder correlate with ambient air pollution, and that a large majority of this pollution results from combustion of fossil fuels (e.g. in motor vehicles).
Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common early childhood infections, resulting in an enormous economic burden to the health care system through unscheduled doctor visits and antibiotic prescriptions.
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential association between ambient air pollution exposure and emergency department (ED) visits for OM.
Ten years of ED data were obtained from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and linked to levels of air pollution: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (PM) of median aerometric diameter
Cites: An Pediatr (Barc). 2004 Feb;60(2):133-814757016
Cites: Vaccine. 2008 Dec 23;26 Suppl 7:G5-1019094935
Objectives were to assess and estimate an association between exposure to ground-level ozone and emergency department (ED) visits for cellulitis. All ED visits for cellulitis in Edmonton, Canada, in the period April 1992-March 2002 (N = 69,547) were examined. Case-crossover design was applied to estimate odds ratio (OR, and 95% confidence interval) per one interquartile range (IQR) increase in ozone concentration (IQR = 14.0 ppb). Delay of ED visit relating to exposure was probed using 0- to 5-day exposure lags. For all patients in the all months (January-December) and lags 0 to 2 days, OR = 1.05 (1.02, 1.07). For male patients during the cold months (October-March): OR = 1.05 (1.02, 1.09) for lags 0 and 2 and OR = 1.06 (1.02, 1.10) for lag 3. For female patients in the warm months (April-September): OR = 1.12 (1.06, 1.18) for lags 1 and 2. Cellulitis developing on uncovered (more exposed) skin was analyzed separately, observed effects being stronger. Cellulitis may be associated with exposure to ambient ground level ozone; the exposure may facilitate cellulitis infection and aggravate acute symptoms.
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Ambient exposure to sulphur dioxide (SO2) has been previously associated with emergency department (ED) visits for migraine headaches. In the present study, the objective was to examine the relationship between ED visits for migraine and ambient sulphur dioxide concentrations.
This was a time-series study of 1059 ED visits for migraine (ICD-9: 346) recorded at a Vancouver hospital between 1999 and 2003 (1 520 days). Air pollution levels of SO2 were measured by fixed-site monitoring stations. The generalized linear mixed models technique was applied to regress daily counts of ED visits for migraine on the levels of the pollutant after adjusting for meteorological conditions: temperature and relative humidity. The analysis was stratified by season and gender.
Positive and statistically significant correlations were observed for SO2 exposure and ED visits for migraine for females during colder months (October-March). The percentage increase in daily visits was 16.8% (95% CI: 1.2-34.8) for a 4-day average (of daily mean concentrations) SO2 level, for an interquartile range (IQR) increase of 1.9 ppb.
Our findings provide additional support for a consistent correlation between migraine headache and air pollution (SO2).
Consolidation of neurosurgical (NS) services resulted in emergency medical services guidelines mandating transport of head-injured patients to the NS center if the Glasgow Coma Scale score is 3. This study determined what paramedic, system, or patient factors were associated with secondary head-injury transfer.
This study was a retrospective chart review from January 1996 to November 1998.
Ninety-one patient charts were reviewed. The median transport delay to the NS site was 4 hours 22 minutes. After transfer, 79 (96%) patients were admitted, 25 (30%) underwent craniotomy, and 18 (22%) died. The final diagnosis in 35 (43%) cases was subdural hematoma. Triage guidelines were violated in five patients (6%) and the NS center was on diversion in three (4%) cases. Most delays were related to patient presentations; 17 (21%) patients had no history of head trauma.
Unpredictable patient factors were the most frequent reasons patients required secondary transfer; few protocol violations or system factors were identified. No modifications to the current NS triage criteria are recommended.
Environmental audit tools must be reliable in order to accurately estimate the association between built environmental characteristics and bicycling injury risk.
To examine the inter-rater agreement of a built environment audit tool within a case-control study on the environmental determinants of bicycling injuries.
Auditor pairs visited locations where bicycling injuries occurred and independently recorded location characteristics using the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan (SPACES). Two case groups were defined: (1) where a bicyclist was struck by a motor-vehicle (MV) and (2) where the bicyclist's injuries required hospitalisation. The two corresponding control groups were (1) where non-MV bicycle-related injuries occurred and (2) where minor bicycle-related injuries occurred. Inter-rater reliability of each item on the tool was assessed using observed agreement and ? with 95% CI.
Ninety-seven locations were audited. Inter-observer agreement was generally high (=95%); most items had a 1-2% difference in responses. Items with =5% differences between raters included path condition, slope and obstructions. For land use, path and roadway characteristics, ? ranged from 0.3 for presence of offices and cleanliness to 0.9 for schools and number of lanes; overall, 78% of items had at least substantial agreement (?=0.61). For bicyclists struck by a MV the proportion of items with substantial agreement was 60%, compared with 73% for non-MV related injuries. For hospitalisations and minor bicycle-related injuries, 76% of items had substantial agreement.
Agreement was substantial for most, but not all SPACES items. The SPACES provides reliable quantitative descriptions of built environmental characteristics at bicycling injury locations.
Clinicians in Emergency Medicine (EM) are increasingly exposed to guidelines and treatment recommendations. To help access and recall these recommendations, electronic Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) have been developed. This study examined the use and sensibility of two CDSS designed for emergency physicians. CDDS for community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and neutropenic fever (NF) were developed by multidisciplinary teams and have been accessed via an intranet-based homepage (eCPG) for several years. Sensibility is a term coined by Feinstein that describes common sense aspects of a survey instrument. It was modified by emergency researchers to include four main headings: (1) Appropriateness; (2) Objectivity; (3) Content; and (4) Discriminative Power. Sensibility surveys were developed using an iterative approach for both the CAP and NF CDSS and distributed to all 25 emergency physicians at one Canadian site. The overall response rate was 88%. Respondents were 88% male and 83% were less than 40; all were attending EM physicians with specialty designations. A number reported never having used the CAP (21%) or NF (33%) CDSS; 54% (CAP) and 21% (NF) of respondents had used the respective CDSS less than 10 times. Overall, both CDSS were rated highly by users with a mean response of 4.95 (SD 0.56) for CAP and 5.62 (SD 0.62) for NF on a seven-point Likert scale. The majority or respondents (CAP 59%, NF 80%) felt that the NF CDSS was more likely than the CAP CDSS to decrease the chances of making a medical error in medication dose, antibiotic choice or patient disposition (4.61 vs. 5.81, p=0.008). Despite being in place for several years, CDSS for CAP and NF are not used by all EM clinicians. Users were generally satisfied with the CDSS and felt that the NF was more likely than the CAP CDSS to decrease medical errors. Additional research is required to determine the barriers to CDSS use.
Inconsistent results have been obtained from studies that have examined the relationship between air pollution and hospital visits for stroke. We undertook a time-stratified case-crossover study to evaluate associations between outdoor air pollution and emergency department visits for stroke among the elderly according to stroke type, season, and sex. Analyses are based on a total of 12,422 stroke visits among those 65 years of age and older in Edmonton, Canada between April 1, 1992 and March 31, 2002. Daily air pollution levels for SO(2), NO(2), PM(2.5), PM(10), CO and O(3) were estimated using data from fixed-site monitoring stations. Particulate matter data were only available from 1998 onwards. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals in relation to an increase in the interquartile range (IQR) of each pollutant. ORs were adjusted for the effects of temperature and relative humidity. We found no association between outdoor measures of air pollution and all stroke visits. In contrast, elevated risks were observed between levels of air pollution and acute ischemic stroke between April and September. During this season, the ORs associated with an increase in the IQR of the 3-day average for CO and NO(2) were 1.32 (95% CI = 1.09-1.60) and 1.26 (95% CI = 1.09-1.46), respectively. CO exposures in the same season, lagged 1 day, were associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke with ORs was 1.20 (95% CI = 1.00-1.43). Our results suggest it is possible that vehicular traffic, which produces increased levels of NO(2) and CO, contributes to an increased incidence of emergency department visits for stroke.
Asthma is a widespread disease with a prevalence of approximately 7 to 10% in adults. Exacerbations are common in the emergency department (ED) setting. The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology of asthma presentations to EDs made by adults in the province of Alberta, Canada.
The Ambulatory Care Classification System of Alberta and provincial administrative databases were used to obtain all ED encounters for asthma during 6 fiscal years (April 1999 to March 2005). Information extracted included demographics, ED visit timing, and subsequent visits to non-ED settings. Data analysis included descriptive summaries and directly standardized visit rates.
There were 105,813 ED visits for asthma made by 48,942 distinct adults, with an average of 2.2 visits per individual. Most patients (66%) had only one asthma-related ED visit. Female patients (61.2%) presented more commonly than male patients. The gender- and age-standardized visit rates declined from 9.7/1,000 in 1999/2000 to 6.8/1,000 in 2004/2005. The welfare and Aboriginal subsidy groups had larger age-specific ED visits rates than other populations. Important daily, weekly, and monthly trends were observed. Hospital admission occurred in 9.8% of the cases; 6.4% had a repeat ED visit within 7 days. Overall, 67.4% of individuals had yet to have a non-ED follow-up visit by 1 week. The estimated median time to the first follow-up visit was 19 days (95% confidence interval, 18 to 21).
Asthma is a common presenting problem in Alberta EDs, and further study of these trends is required to understand the factors associated with the variation in presentations. The important findings include an overall decrease in the rates of presentation over the study period, disparities based on age, gender, and socioeconomic/cultural status, and the low rate of early follow-up. Targeted interventions could be implemented to address specific groups and reduce asthma-related visits to Alberta EDs.