Piloting a novel medical student virtual discharge counseling process in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic
BACKGROUND:During the COVID-19 pandemic, we identified a gap in adequate discharge counseling for COVID-19 patients in the Emergency Department. This was due to high patient volumes and lack of patient education regarding a novel disease. Medical students were also restricted from clinical areas due to safety concerns, compromising their clinical experience. We piloted a novel program in which medical students served as virtual discharge counselors for COVID-19 patients via teleconference. We aimed to demonstrate an impact on patient care by examining the patient bounce back rate as well as assessing medical student education and experience. METHODS:This program was piloted in a tertiary care Emergency Department. Medical student volunteers served as virtual discharge counselors. Students were trained in discharge counseling with a standardized protocol and a discharge script. Eligible patients for virtual discharge counseling were 18 years old or greater with a diagnosis of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and no impediment precluding them from participating in a telemedicine encounter. Counseling was provided via secure teleconference in the patient's preferred language. Counseling included diagnosis, supportive care with medication dosing, quarantine instructions, return precautions, follow up, and time to ask questions. Duration of counseling was recorded and medical students were anonymously surveyed regarding their experience. RESULTS:Over an 18-week period, 45 patients were counseled for a median of 20 min. The 72-hr ED revisit rate was 0%, versus 4.2% in similarly-matched, not counseled COVID-19 patients. 90% of medical students believed this project increased their confidence when speaking with patients while 80% indicated this was their first telemedicine experience. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our pilot discharge program provided patients with an extensive discharge counseling experience that would not otherwise be possible in an urban ED setting and demonstrated benefit to patient care. Medical students received a safe clinical experience that improved their communication skills.
The pandemic of workplace violence: the gendered experience of emergency medicine trainees
Objectives/UNASSIGNED:Many health care providers experience physical and verbal abuse from patients and their visitors. This abuse is a form of workplace violence and likely has negative implications for the providers well-being. The objective of our study was to determine the rates of nonphysical workplace violence against emergency medicine (EM) trainees with a focus on prevalence by provider gender. Methods/UNASSIGNED:This was a single-center prospective cohort study using tally counters to track occurrences of nonphysical workplace violence perpetrated by patients and their visitors against EM trainees in the adult emergency department. Results/UNASSIGNED:There were a total of 39 completed responses submitted by 22 respondents. Of the 22 respondents, 14 identified as women and eight identified as men. On average, both men and women experienced near daily occurrences of nonphysical workplace violence. However, women experienced higher rates compared to their colleagues who are men with a mean of three occurrences per day versus 0.9, respectively. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:We found that women trainees were more likely to experience nonphysical workplace violence from patients and their visitors.
Therapeutic hypothermia and hypoxia-ischemia in the term-equivalent neonatal rat: characterization of a translational preclinical model
BACKGROUND:Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a major cause of morbidity in survivors. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is the only available intervention, but the protection is incomplete. Preclinical studies of HIE/TH in the rodent have relied on the postnatal day (P) 7 rat whose brain approximates a 32-36â€‰wk gestation infant, less relevant for these studies. We propose that HIE and TH in the term-equivalent P10 rat will be more translational. METHODS:P10-11 rat pups were subjected to unilateral hypoxia-ischemia (HI) and 4â€‰h recovery in normothermic (N) or hypothermic (TH) conditions. Brain damage was assessed longitudinally at 24â€‰h, 2â€‰wk, and 12â€‰wk. Motor function was assessed with the beam walk; recognition memory was measured by novel object recognition. RESULTS:Neuroprotection with TH was apparent at 2 and 12â€‰wk in both moderately and severely damaged animals. TH improved motor function in moderate, but not severe, damage. Impaired object recognition occurred with severe damage with no evidence of protection of TH. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This adaptation of the immature rat model of HI provides a reproducible platform to further study HIE/TH in which individual animals are followed up longitudinally to provide a useful translational preclinical model.
Neonatal encephalopathy: pre-clinical studies in neuroprotection
Neonatal encephalopathy resulting from HI (hypoxia-ischaemia) continues to be a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in infants and children, affecting 1-2/1000 live term births and up to 60% of pre-term births. In order to understand the pathophysiology of this insult, as well as design therapeutic interventions, it is important to establish a relevant animal model for pre-clinical studies. One of the most frequently used models of HI-induced brain damage in immature animals is the unilateral carotid ligation/hypoxia model, initially developed in our laboratory more than 30 years ago. The original model employed the postnatal day 7 rat, whose brain is representative of that of a late gestation, pre-term [32-36 weeks GA (gestational age)] human infant. We, and others, have employed this model to characterize the pathophysiological, biochemical/energetic and neuropathological events following HI, as well as the determination of the unique characteristics of the immature brain that define its vulnerability to, and outcome from, HI. In defining the cascade of events following HI, it has become possible to identify potential targets for intervention and neuroprotection. Currently, the only available therapeutic intervention for neonatal encephalopathy in the term asphyxiated infant is therapeutic hypothermia, although this must be initiated within 6 h of birth and is at best partially effective in moderately injured infants. Ongoing pre-clinical studies are necessary to determine the basis for the partial protection afforded by hypothermia as well as the design of adjunct therapies to improve the outcome. The present review highlights the importance of using a well-characterized and relevant animal model to continue to pursue translational research in neuroprotection for the infant brain.
Mast cell isolation from the immature rat brain
Mast cells are immune cells of hematopoietic origin that circulate as precursor cells prior to migration into vascularized tissues where they mature and undergo terminal differentiation in response to different cytokines within the local environment. Mast cells are well known as important regulators of inflammatory processes in peripheral tissues and recent studies support the involvement of mast cells in mediating the inflammatory response to cerebral hypoxia-ischemia in both the neonatal and adult brain. To better study mast cell function in vivo, it is important to be able to identify their environment-specific phenotype, as well as to study their interaction with other neural cells in vitro. Previous such studies of mast cells have relied on mast cells isolated from gut or bone marrow, or on a number of mast cell lines, all of which may behave differently from brain mast cells. The purpose of this study was to develop a technique for the isolation of mast cells from neonatal rat brain and to characterize these cells following hypoxia and hypoxia-ischemia. We adapted a previously described technique of coupling an antibody to the mast cell-specific FcÎµR1 receptor to a MACS microbead for the selective removal of intact mast cells from a neonatal brain preparation. We have isolated toluidine blue-positive brain mast cells that provide substrate for both protein analysis and in vitro studies. These cells express proteins previously used to specifically identify microglia in the brain, Iba-1 and coronin-1a. A subpopulation of mast cells in vivo also expresses Iba-1. Thus, we report a novel method for isolation of brain mast cells suitable for the study of mast cell phenotype under a variety of conditions. Further, we suggest that the use of proteins such as Iba-1 for the identification of microglia in the brain includes the caveat that mast cells may also be detected.