The objective of this study is to describe a urine drug-testing program implemented for parents with a history of substance abuse by family service agencies in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Nurse collectors went to the parents' home to obtain urine specimens under direct observation and then delivered the specimens to the toxicology laboratory or arranged shipment by courier under chain of custody. Each urine specimen was screened for cannabinoids, cocaine metabolite, opiates, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, ethyl alcohol and creatinine. All positive screening tests were confirmed by another method such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In 15,979 urine specimens collected from 1994 to 1999, the percent positive rate for one (or more) drugs/metabolites ranged from 45.6% (1994-1996) to 30.0% (1998, 1999). A total of 575 specimens (3.7%) were dilute (urine creatinine
To review the incidence, associated factors, methods of diagnosis, and maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with uterine rupture in one Canadian province.
Using a perinatal database, all cases of uterine rupture in the province of Nova Scotia for the 10-year period 1988-1997 were identified and the maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity reviewed in detail.
Over the 10 years, there were 114,933 deliveries with 39 cases of uterine rupture: 18 complete and 21 incomplete (dehiscence). Thirty-six women had a previous cesarean delivery: 33 low transverse, two classic, one low vertical. Of the 114,933 deliveries, 11,585 (10%) were in women with a previous cesarean delivery. Uterine rupture in those undergoing a trial for vaginal delivery (4516) was complete rupture in 2.4 per 1000 and dehiscence in 2.4 per 1000. There were no maternal deaths, and maternal morbidity was low in patients with dehiscence. In comparison, 44% of those with complete uterine rupture received blood transfusion (odds ratio 7.60, 95% confidence interval 1.14, 82.14, P =.025). Two perinatal deaths were attributable to complete uterine rupture, one after previous cesarean delivery. Compared with dehiscence, infants born after uterine rupture had significantly lower 5-minute Apgar scores (P
Outbreaks of food-borne listeriosis have often involved strains of serotype 4b. Examination of multiple isolates from three different outbreaks revealed that ca. 11 to 29% of each epidemic population consisted of strains which were negative with the serotype-specific monoclonal antibody c74.22, lacked galactose from the teichoic acid of the cell wall, and were resistant to the serotype 4b-specific phage 2671.
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To determine the antecedent factors, morbidity, and mortality associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in a Nova Scotia tertiary maternity hospital over a 30-year period.
Cases of DIC were identified from the Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database for the years 1980 to 2009 and the hospital charts reviewed. The clinical diagnosis of DIC was confirmed or refuted using a combination of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis scoring system and an obstetrical DIC-severity staging system. The cause of DIC was determined from chart review. Maternal outcomes included massive transfusion (= 5 units), hysterectomy, admission to ICU, acute tubular necrosis (ATN) requiring dialysis, and death. Neonatal outcomes included Apgar scores, birth weight, NICU admission, and death. Treatment of DIC was assessed by blood products administered, postpartum hemorrhage management, and laboratory measurements.
There were 49 cases of DIC in 151 678 deliveries (3 per 10,000) over the 30 years. Antecedent causes included placental abruption (37%), postpartum hemorrhage or hypovolemia (29%), preeclampsia/HELLP (14%), acute fatty liver (8%), sepsis (6%), and amniotic fluid embolism (6%). The associated maternal morbidity included transfusion = 5 units (59%), hysterectomy (18%), ICU admission (41%), and ATN requiring dialysis (6%). There were three maternal deaths, giving a case fatality rate of 1 in 16. The perinatal outcomes included stillbirth (25%), neonatal death (5%), and NICU admission (72.5%).
Obstetrical DIC is an uncommon condition associated with high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Prompt recognition and treatment with timely administration of blood products is crucial in the management of this life-threatening disorder.
To determine the incidence, complications, and risk of recurrence of acute uterine inversion.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of all cases of acute uterine inversion recorded at the Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1977 to 2000.
During the 24-year period studied, 40 cases of acute uterine inversion occurred following 125,081 births. The incidence of acute uterine inversion following vaginal birth was 1 in 3737, and following Caesarean section, 1 in 1860. Post-partum hemorrhage complicated 65% of cases of acute uterine inversion, and 47.5% required blood transfusion. There was no recurrence in 26 subsequent deliveries. Following the institution of active management of the third stage of labour in 1988, the incidence of acute uterine inversion following vaginal delivery fell 4.4-fold.
Acute uterine inversion is rare but accompanied by high risk of postpartum hemorrhage and the need for blood transfusion. Active management of the third stage of labour may reduce the incidence of uterine inversion.
This paper is a report of a study to identify the patterns of prescribing by primary health care nurse practitioners for a cohort of older adults.
The older adult population is known to receive complex pharmacotherapy. Monitoring prescribing to older adults can inform quality improvement initiatives. In comparison to other countries, research examining nurse practitioner prescribing in Canada is limited. Nurse practitioner prescribing for older adults is relatively unexplored in the international literature. Although commonly used to study physician prescribing, few studies have used claims data from drug insurance programmes to investigate nurse practitioner prescribing.
Drug claims for prescriptions written by nurse practitioners from fiscal years 2004/05 to 2006/07 for beneficiaries of the Nova Scotia Seniors' Pharmacare programme were analysed. Data were retrieved and analysed in May 2008. Prescribing was described for each drug using the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code classification system by usage and costs for each fiscal year.
Antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs consistently represented the top ranked groups for prescription volume and cost. Over the three fiscal years, antimicrobial prescription rates declined relative to rates of other groups of medications. Prescription volume per nurse doubled and cost per prescription increased by approximately 20%.
Prescription claims data can be used to characterize the prescribing trends of nurse practitioners. Research linking patient characteristics, including diagnoses, to prescriptions is needed to assess prescribing quality. Some potential areas of improvement were identified with antimicrobial and non-steroidal antiinflammatory selection.
This study assessed the affordability of a basic nutritious diet for selected household types relying on income assistance (IA) by comparing potential incomes to the costs of the National Nutritious Food Basket (NNFB) and other essential expenditures in Nova Scotia from 2002 to 2010, and examined the adequacy of IA allowances during this time period.
The cost of the NNFB was surveyed across a random sample of grocery stores in NS during five time periods: 2002, 2004/05, 2007, 2008 and 2010, and was factored into affordability scenarios for three household types relying on IA: a family of four, a lone mother with three children, and a lone male. Essential monthly expenses were deducted from total net income to determine if adequate funds remained for the NNFB.
For each time period examined, the findings demonstrated that all household types faced a significant monthly deficit if they purchased a basic nutritious diet. In each household scenario, the potential monthly deficits increased from 2002 to 2010, ranging from $112 in 2002 for a lone mother with three children to $523 in 2010 for a lone male.
Despite increases in allowances, these findings suggest that the risk of food insecurity has increased for IA-dependent households in NS. To address this public health challenge, public health practitioners must advocate for integrated, progressive and sustainable social welfare policies that ensure that individuals and families relying on IA have adequate income and other supports to meet their basic needs, including access to a healthy diet.
To review and characterize 4 years of experience with suggested nontraumatic aortic emergencies (dissections/ruptures) transported by a new, provincially dedicated rotor-wing air medical program
Retrospective 4-year review of air medical program's mission records and review of related hospital records. Patients listed as suspected aortic emergencies (nontraumatic) in the air medical records were included. Mission records were reviewed for EMS diagnosis, blood pressures before and after transport, transport times, and mortality. Hospital records were reviewed for diagnosis, interventions/treatment, and mortality. Blood pressures below 80 mmHg systolic were considered hemodynamically unstable.
A cohort of 34 patients were identified, of whom 31 (91%) arrived at the hospital alive. Twenty-five patients (74%) arrived hemodynamically stable, with a mean out-of-hospital time of 60 minutes, and nine patients (26%) were hemodynamically unstable (mean out-of-hospital time was 54 minutes). No significant difference arose in times between these two groups (P = 0.16). Overall mortality was 53% (18). Differences in transport time between survivors and deaths was not statistically significant (P = 0.93). The diagnoses on admission to hospital: 14 (41%) were RAAA, five (15%) AAA no rupture, eight (24%) aortic dissections, and four (12%) had no aortic pathology. Seventeen patients (50%) received emergent surgical intervention. The EMS diagnosis was correct in 76% of cases.
Our program transported 34 suspected aortic emergencies of which 17 were immediate surgical candidates on arrival. Aortic emergencies are not infrequent within our program. Specific policies and procedures based on continuing quality review should be in place to optimize the transport and care of these patients.
To estimate the prevalence of alcohol abuse, the association of alcohol abuse with cognitive impairment, and the contribution of alcohol abuse to short-term mortality in a cohort of older people screened for dementia.
Using the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA)--a representative, national cohort study of 10,268 older persons (> or = 65 years) from communities and long-term care institutions conducted in 1991--alcohol abuse and dementia were diagnosed during clinical examinations. Death was determined by telephone interview 18 months after baseline and verified by vital statistics records.
36 regional community and 17 regional institutional populations in Canada.
The 2,873 individuals from the clinical sample of the CSHA.
Diagnosis of alcohol abuse (questionable, definite, none), diagnosis of dementia.
The prevalence of clinically detected definite alcohol abuse was 8.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 7.9-9.9) and of questionable alcohol abuse was 3.7% (95% CI 3.0-4.4). Definite or questionable alcohol abuse was associated with a younger average age compared with no such abuse history, and men were significantly more likely than women to comprise definite and questionable diagnostic groups as compared with the group without alcohol abuse. The occurrence of all types of dementia except probable Alzheimer's disease was higher in those with definite or questionable alcohol abuse. Mortality at 18 months was higher among those with definite (14.8%, 95% CI 13.5-16.1) or questionable (20.0%, 95% CI 18.5-21.5) alcohol abuse, as compared with those with no alcohol abuse history (11.5%, 95% CI 10.3-12.7), and alcohol abuse (definite or questionable) conferred a 56% additional risk of short-term mortality (odds ratio (OR) 1.56, 95% CI 1.11-2.20) after adjusting for age, sex, and a diagnosis of dementia.
Alcohol abuse among older people is common and occurs more frequently among men. It is associated with cognitive impairment and independently with short-term mortality. Physician screening for alcohol abuse can yield a group of older people at risk for adverse health outcomes.