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An integrated experimental‐computational study of the microclimate under dressings applied to intact weight‐bearing skin


Pressure ulcers (PUs) are one of the most prevalent adverse events in acute and chronic care. The root aetiological cause of PUs is sustained cell and tissue deformations, which triggers a synergistic tissue damage cascade that accelerates over relatively short time periods. Changes in skin microclimate conditions are known to indirectly contribute to PU‐risk levels or to exacerbation of existing wounds. It is therefore surprising that information concerning heat accumulation under dressings is poor. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of dressings on the microclimate of weight‐bearing buttocks skin in 1‐hour supine lying sessions. Using a novel and originally developed experimental‐computational approach, we compared the combined influence of the mechanical and thermal properties of a polymeric membrane dressing (PolyMem, Ferris Mfg. Corp., Fort Worth, TX) on skin microclimate under and near the dressings with those of a standard placebo foam dressing. We specifically identified the thermal conductivity properties of dressings as being highly important in the context of protective dressing performances, given its association with potential heat accumulation under dressings. Accordingly, this article highlights, for the first time in the literature, the relevance of thermal properties of a dressing in effectively mitigating the risk of developing PUs or aggravating an injury, and offers a systematic, methodological bioengineering process for assessing the thermal performances of dressings.

Comparative analysis on the effect of Z‐plasty versus conventional simple excision for the treatment of sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus: A retrospective randomised clinical study


Sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus is one of common diseases in general department. However, it is characterised, for surgeons, by high post‐surgical recurrence and high incidence of post‐surgical wound complications. Due to that fact, this retrospective randomised clinical study was designed to evaluate the surgical procedure effect of Z‐plasty (ZP), compared with convention simple excision (SE). A total of 67 patients from May 2015 to May 2019 in our department were studied into two groups randomly, the group of ZP and the group of SE. The patients' characteristics, surgical data, hospital length of stay (LOS), and post‐surgery complications were recorded. Statistical approaches were proceed with P‐value analysis. The results are as follows. No significant differences were found between these two groups of the ages, gender distribution, Body Mass Index (BMI), smoking history, diabetes mellitus, and blood hypertension. The estimated blood loss, specimen volume, distance to anus, and drain output on the first day of post‐surgery between the two groups were not statistically significant, either. However, surgical time in the ZP group was longer than that in the SE group (P < .0001). LOS in the ZP group was obviously shorter than that in the SE group (P = .0051). Furthermore, the patients of the ZP group were tending to suffer from fewer post‐surgical complications than the ones of the SE group. In a conclusion, we hold the point view that the surgical procedure of ZP can lead a better outcome than SE because it demonstrated shortened LOS and fewer post‐surgical complications.

Exploring the prevalence and management of wounds for people with dementia in long‐term care


The prevalence of wounds and comorbidities such as dementia increase with age. With an ageing population, the likelihood of overlap of these conditions is strong. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of wound types and current management strategies of wound care for people with dementia in long‐term care (LTC). A scoping literature review, a cross‐sectional observational and chart audit study of residents in dementia specific facilities in LTC were conducted. The scoping review indicated that people with dementia/cognitive impairment are often excluded from wound related studies and of the nine studies included in this review, none looked at the prevalence of types of wounds other then pressure injuries. In the skin audit, skin tears were noted as the most common wound type with some evidence‐based practice strategies in place for residents. However, documentation of current wound occurred in less than a third of residents with wounds. This is the first study to note the prevalence of different wound types in people with dementia and current management strategies being used across two dementia‐specific facilities and a lack of research in this area limits evidence in guiding practice.

Use of home negative pressure wound therapy in peripheral artery disease and diabetic limb salvage


Use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) in peripheral artery disease (PAD) and diabetic limb salvage (DLS) improves wound healing by providing moist wound conditions, reducing exudate, controlling wound‐bed infection, and stimulating granulation. NPWT duration may take several weeks, and home‐based NPWT allows patient to recover in the community while minimising risks of prolonged hospitalisation. The aim of this study is to review the use and outcomes of home NPWT in PAD and DLS. The methodology is the retrospective review of patients who were discharged with home NPWT after in‐patient PAD revascularisation and DLS debridement or minor amputations. The results included a total of 118 patients who received home NPWT between January 2017 and December 2017. The mean age was 62.8 years with 66% male and 34% female patients. The study population comprised 25% smokers, 98% patients with diabetics, 35% with ischemic heart disease, and 21% with end‐stage renal failure (ESRF). Of which, 56% of patients required revascularisation while 31% of patients underwent foot debridement, 48% underwent toe amputations, and 20% underwent forefoot amputations. All patients received in‐patient NPWT for a week before being discharged on home NPWT for 4 weeks. Then, 62% received targeted antibiotics regime while 36% received empirical antibiotics on discharge; 60% of patients achieved wound healing on home NPWT, with 9% requiring split‐thickness skin graft; 4% required further surgical debridement, 16% required further minor amputation while 20% required major amputation. 9% required further home NPWT extension, with a mean length of 7.1 ± 4.7 weeks' extension. Overall survival of 1 year was 89%. Risk factors that predict the failure of home NPWT includes subjects with a background of ESRF and wet gangrene on presentation. Home NPWT is a useful adjunct in the management of PAD and DLS foot wounds.

How patient migration in bed affects the sacral soft tissue loading and thereby the risk for a hospital‐acquired pressure injury


Head‐of‐bed (HOB) elevation is a common clinical practice in hospitals causing the patient's body to slide down in bed because of gravity. This migration effect likely results in tissue shearing between the sacrum and the support surface, which increases the risk for pressure injuries. StayInPlace (HillRom Inc.) is a commercial migration‐reduction technology (MRT) incorporated in intensive care bedframes. Yet, the effects of migration‐reduction on tissue shear stresses during HOB elevation are unknown. We analysed relationships between migration and resulting sacral soft tissue stresses by combining motion analysis and three‐dimensional finite element modelling of the buttocks. Migration data were collected for 10 subjects, lying supine on two bedframe types with and without MRT, and at HOB elevations of 45°/65°. Migration data were used as displacement boundary conditions for the modelling to calculate tissue stress exposures. Migration values for the conventional bed were 1.75‐ and 1.6‐times greater than those for the migration‐reduction bed, for elevations of 45° and 65°, respectively (P < .001). The modelling showed that the farther the migration, the greater the tissue stress exposures. Internal stresses were 1.8‐fold greater than respective skin stresses. Our results, based on the novel integrated experimental‐computational method, point to clear biomechanical benefits in minimising migration using MRT.

Preparation of placental tissue transplants and their application in skin wound healing and chosen skin bullous diseases ‐ Stevens‐Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis treatment


Unique properties of amniotic membrane make it a promising source for tissue engineering and a clinically useful alternative for patients suffering from chronic wounds including, for example, ulcers, burns, ocular surface damages and wounds occurring in the course of bullous diseases like stevens‐johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Its use has many advantages over standard wound care, as it contains pluripotent cells, nutrients, anti‐fibrotic and anti‐inflammatory cytokines, growth factors and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Placental tissues can be prepared as a medical component, an advanced therapy medicinal product or a tissue graft. In addition to basic preparation procedures such as washing, rinsing, cutting, drying and sterilisation, there are many optional steps such as perforation, crosslinking and decellularisation. Finally, transplants should be properly stored—in cryopreserved or dehydrated form. In recent years, many studies including basic science and clinical trials have proven the potential to expand the use of amniotic membrane and amnion‐derived cells to the fields of orthopaedics, dentistry, surgery, urology, vascular tissue engineering and even oncology. In this review, we discuss the role of placental tissues in skin wound healing and in the treatment of various diseases, with particular emphasis on bullous diseases. We also describe some patented procedures for placental tissue grafts preparation.

Pressure injury data in Australian acute care settings: A comparison of three data sets


Hospital‐acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) represent a serious clinical and economic problem. The cost of treating HAPIs in Australian public hospitals was recently reported at AUS$983 million per annum. There are three main sources of data for documenting pressure injury (PI) occurrence in Australian hospitals: incident reporting, medical record coded data, and real‐time surveys of pressure injury. PI data reported at hospital level and to external agencies using these three different sources are variable. This reporting issue leads to inaccurate data interpretation and hinders improvement in accuracy of PI identification and PI prevention. This study involved a comparison of the three different data sources in selected Australian hospitals, to improve the accuracy and comparability of data. Findings from this study provide benchmark areas for improvement in PI documenting and reporting. Better understanding the agreement between the three data sets could lead to a more efficient and effective sharing of data sources.

Nurses' Use and Ways of Understanding Web-Based National Guidelines for Child Healthcare

imageThe national Rikshandboken for child healthcare is both a Web-based guideline containing knowledge and methodological guidance and a national child healthcare program in the process of being implemented in Sweden. The aim of this study was to examine child healthcare nurses' use and ways of understanding the national Web-based Rikshandboken. A mixed-methods study with sequential explanatory design in two phases was used; a Web survey with descriptive statistics was followed with telephone interviews with phenomenographic analysis. The study showed variations in use and contributed deeper knowledge of child healthcare nurses' ways of understanding the unit Rikshandboken whose varied parts interact with each other. To be reliable, useful, and relevant for nurses in their specific contexts, Rikshandboken must be kept updated and involve the end users in the development process. With access to technical devices and optimal use of the possibilities of information and communication technology, Rikshandboken can be a resource for continuing learning, a tool in everyday work, and a possible determinant to equality in child healthcare. The study contributes valuable knowledge for the design of Web-based national guidelines for healthcare, making them useful and relevant for the end users.

Factors Affecting Patient Prioritization Decisions at Admission to Home Healthcare: A Predictive Study to Develop a Risk Screening Tool

imageThere is a lack of evidence on how to identify high-risk patients admitted to home healthcare. This study aimed (1) to identify which disease characteristics, medications, patient needs, social support characteristics, and other factors are associated with patient priority for the first home health nursing visit; and (2) to construct and validate a predictive model of patient priority for the first home health nursing visit. This was a predictive study of home health visit priority decisions made by 20 nurses for 519 older adults. The study found that nurses were more likely to prioritize patients who had wounds (odds ratio = 1.88), comorbid condition of depression (odds ratio = 1.73), limitation in current toileting status (odds ratio = 2.02), higher number of medications (increase in odds ratio for each medication = 1.04), and comorbid conditions (increase in odds ratio for each condition = 1.04). This study developed one of the first clinical decision support tools for home healthcare called “PREVENT”. (PRiority home health Visit Tool). Further work is needed to increase the specificity and generalizability of the tool and to test its effects on patient outcomes.

Steps to Develop a Mobile App for Pain Assessment of Cancer Patients: A Usability Study

imageHealth-related mobile apps have the potential to allow patients and providers to proactively and responsibly manage pain together. However, there is a gap between the science of pain and current mobile apps. To develop a prototype science-based pain assessment mobile app (PainSmart) for Android smartphones, pain assessment tasks were extracted from a clinical guideline. These tasks were then converted to activity diagrams and became the logic of PainSmart. Five participants diagnosed with breast cancer evaluated usability of PainSmart with the System Usability Scale. Patient experience was recorded using Camtasia Studio Version 9 software. The five participants were able to explore the pain app after only 20 minutes of training. Using the System Usability Scale with comments, participant mean usability score was 77.5; above 68 is considered an above average system. A prototype of a pain assessment mobile app for cancer patients demonstrated high usability and will be refined based on participant feedback.

Cost effectiveness of rituximab and mycophenolate mofetil for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder in Thailand: Economic evaluation and budget impact analysis

by Saharat Aungsumart, Metha Apiwattanakul

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an inflammatory condition of the central nervous system. The extent of disability depends on the severity of the disease and the number of relapses. Although azathioprine is currently the main treatment for patients with NMOSD in Thailand, patients often relapse during its use. Hence, it is argued that there are other drugs that would be more effective. The purpose of this study is to evaluate, from a societal perspective and from the economic impact on Thailand’s healthcare system, the cost utility of treatment with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and rituximab in patients resistant to azathioprine. The Markov model with a one-year cycle length was applied to predict the health and cost outcomes in patients with NMOSD over a lifetime. The results showed that rituximab exhibited the highest quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gains among all the options. Among the rituximab-based treatments, the administration of a rituximab biosimilar with CD27+ memory B cell monitoring proved to be the most cost-effective option. At the willingness-to-pay threshold of 160,000 Thai baht (THB), or 5,289 US dollar (USD), per QALY gained, the treatment exhibited the highest probability of being cost effective (48%). A sensitivity analysis based on the adjusted price of a generic MMF determined that the treatment was cost effective, exhibiting an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of -164,653 THB (-5,443 USD) and a 32% probability of being cost effective. The calculated budget impact of treating patients resistant to conventional therapy was 1–6 million THB (33,000–198,000 USD) for the first three years, while after the third year, the budget impact stabilized at 3–4 million THB (99,000–132,000 USD). These data indicate that, in Thailand, treatment of drug resistant NMOSD with a rituximab biosimilar with CD27+ memory B cell monitoring or treatment with a generic MMF would be cost effective and would result in a low budget impact. Therefore, the inclusion of both the rituximab biosimilar and a generic MMF in the National Drug List of Essential Medicine for the treatment of NMOSD may be appropriate.

Genetic characteristics of Jiaji Duck by whole genome re-sequencing

by Lihong Gu, Feng Wang, Zhemin Lin, Tieshan Xu, Dajie Lin, Manping Xing, Shaoxiong Yang, Zhe Chao, Baoguo Ye, Peng Lin, Chunhui Hui, Lizhi Lu, Shuisheng Hou

Jiaji Duck (JJ) is a Muscovy duck species that possesses many superior characteristics, and it has become an important genetic resource in China. However, to date, its genetic characteristics and genetic relationship with other duck breeds have not been explored yet, which greatly limits the utilization of JJ. In the present study, we investigated the genome sequences of 15 individual ducks representing five different duck populations, including JJ, French Muscovy duck (FF), mallard (YD), hong duck (HD) and Beijing duck (BD). Moreover, we investigated the characteristics of JJ-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and compared the genome sequences of JJ vs. YD and JJ vs. BD using integrated strategies, including mutation detection, selective screening, and Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. More than 40 Gb of clean data were obtained for each population (mean coverage of 13.46 Gb per individual). A total number of 22,481,367 SNPs and 4,156,829 small insertion-deletions (Indels) were identified for the five duck populations, which could be used as molecular markers in breeding and utilization of JJ. Moreover, we identified 1,447,932 JJ-specific SNPs, and found that genes covering at least one JJ-specific SNP mainly involved in protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, as well as DNA modification. Phylogenetic tree and principal components analysis (PCA) revealed that the genetic relationship of JJ was closest to FF, while it was farthest to BD. A total of 120 and 111 genes were identified as positive selection genes for JJ vs. BD and JJ vs. YD, respectively. GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses showed that the positive selection genes for JJ vs. BD ducks mainly involved in pigmentation, muscle contraction and stretch, gland secretion, and immunology, while the positive selection genes obtained from JJ vs. YD ducks mainly involved in embryo development, muscle contraction and stretch, and gland secretion. Taken together, our findings enabled us to better understand the characteristics of JJ and provided a molecular basis for the breeding and hybrid utilization of JJ in the future.

Long-term mortality and outcome in hospital survivors of septic shock, sepsis, and severe infections: The importance of aftercare

by Tim Rahmel, Stefanie Schmitz, Hartmuth Nowak, Kaspar Schepanek, Lars Bergmann, Peter Halberstadt, Stefan Hörter, Jürgen Peters, Michael Adamzik

Patients with severe infections and especially sepsis have a high in-hospital mortality, but even hospital survivors face long-term sequelae, decreased health-related quality of life, and high risk of death, suggesting a great need for specialized aftercare. However, data regarding a potential benefit of post-discharge rehabilitation in these patients are scarce. In this retrospective matched cohort study the claim data of a large German statutory health care insurer was analyzed. 83,974 hospital survivors having suffered from septic shock, sepsis, and severe infections within the years 2009–2016 were identified using an ICD abstraction strategy closely matched to the current Sepsis-3 definition. Cases were analyzed and compared with their matched pairs to determine their 5-year mortality and the impact of post-discharge rehabilitation. Five years after hospital discharge, mortality of initial hospital survivors were still increased after septic shock (HRadj 2.03, 95%-CI 1.87 to 2.19; Padj 1.73, 95%-CI 1.71 to 1.76; Padj 1.70, 95%-CI 1.65 to 1.74; Padj 0.81, 95%-CI 0.77 to 0.85; Padj 0.81, 95%-CI 0.73 to 0.90; P

Corticotropin releasing factor-overexpressing mouse is a model of chronic stress-induced muscle atrophy

by Wesuk Kang, Tao Tong, Taesun Park

Chronic stress and continually high glucocorticoid levels can induce muscle atrophy. Unfortunately, there is a lack of appropriate animal models for stress-induced muscle atrophy research. Corticotropin releasing factor-overexpressing (CRF-OE) mice are a transgenic model of chronic stress that exhibit increased plasma corticosterone levels and Cushing’s syndrome; however, the skeletal muscle pathology of the CRF-OE mouse has not been well studied. We observed that male, 19-week-old CRF-OE mice had significantly lower skeletal muscle mass, average cross-sectional myofiber area, and total muscle protein content than their wild type (WT) littermates. Muscle function determined by grip strength, wire-hang, and open field tests showed that 19-week-old male CRF-OE mice had impaired physical ability. Additionally, the skeletal muscles of CRF-mice exhibited decreased expression of factors involved in the IGF-1/AKT/mTOR protein synthesis pathway and increased ubiquitin proteasome pathway activity compared to the WT control mice. In conclusion, 19-week-old CRF-OE mice display numerous features of muscle atrophy and thus serve as a model for investigating stress-induced muscle atrophy and interventions to target the deleterious effects of stress on skeletal muscle.

Perceived needs of patients and family caregivers regarding home-based enteral nutritional therapy in South Africa: A qualitative study

by Nomaxabiso Mildred Mooi, Busisiwe Purity Ncama


The need for specialized care, particularly enteral nutritional therapy in community settings is now increasing with implications for both patients and primary care providers. More research is needed to identify the needs of patients and primary caregivers. The study aimed to explore the perceived support needs regarding the provision of home-based enteral nutritional therapy among critically ill adult patients and family caregivers in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.


A qualitative study of purposely selected adult patients on homebased enteral nutritional therapy and family caregivers was conducted in a district hospital, a community health centre, two primary health care clinics and selected households in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted between June and September 2018 and the content analysis approach was used to analyse data.


Two major themes and five subthemes emerged from the results of the interviews. The major themes concerned socioeconomic and psychosocial support needs related to the provision of home-based enteral nutritional therapy. Subthemes included the need for financial assistance, need for enteral nutrition products and supplementary supplies, need for infrastructure for continuity of care, and psychological support needs.


Results of this study confirm the need for developing strategies adapted to a South African context and yonder to meet patients’ and family caregivers’ needs with regard to nutritional services. More research on the identification of needs through monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of nutritional guidelines is needed, particularly in the district hospital and primary health care (PHC) setting.

Are senior high school students in Ghana meeting WHO’s recommended level of physical activity? Evidence from the 2012 Global School-based Student Health Survey Data

by Abdul-Aziz Seidu, Bright Opoku Ahinkorah, Ebenezer Agbaglo, Eugene Kofuor Maafo Darteh, Edward Kwabena Ameyaw, Eugene Budu, Hawa Iddrisu


Physical activity (PA) has both short- and long-term importance. In this study we sought to assess the prevalence and correlates of PA among 1,542 Senior High School (SHS) students.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ghana among SHS students using the 2012 version of the Ghana Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data, which utilised two-stage cluster sampling technique. The population for the study comprised SHS students. The outcome variable was physical activity. The data were analysed using STATA version 14.2 for Mac OS. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were employed. At the bivariate level, Pearson chi-square test between each independent variable and PA was conducted and the level of statistical significance was set at 5%. All the significant variables from the chi-square test were selected for the multivariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis, Poisson regression with robust variance was performed to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (APR).


It was found that 25.0% (29.0% males and 21.9% females) of SHS students were physically active. Female students (APR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.65, 0.94), students in SHS 2 (APR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.577, 0.941) and SHS3 (APR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.63, 0.93), and those who went hungry (APR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.65, 0.92) were less likely to be physically active compared to males, those in SHS1 and those who did not go hungry respectively. On the other hand, students who actively commuted to school (APR = 2.40, 95% CI = 1.72, 2.42) and got support from their peers were more likely to be physically active (APR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.09–2.41).


Only a quarter of SHS students who participated in the 2012 version of the GSHS met the WHO’s recommended level of physical activity. Sex, grade/form and experience of hunger are associated with physical activity. Physical activity is a major component of any health promotion program. Policies and programmes targeting improvement in physical activity among SHS students should take these associated factors into consideration.

Social media and drug resistance in nursing training: Using a Twitterchat to develop an international community of practice for antimicrobial resistance


Aims and objectives

To assess the impact of a Twitterchat focusing on antimicrobial resistance and it is feasibility for integration within a nursing prelicensure research methods class.


Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats to global health and food security. Consequently, developing a global approach with large outreach is critical. Twitter, as a popular social media platform, is useful for creating communities of practice and communities of interest.


A case study design using a Twitterchat is a hosted, convened and focussed discussion on a particular topic using a discrete hashtag.


Using a standardised protocol, a Twitterchat was undertaken over a 24‐hr period and digital metrics assessed at 72 hr. A summary of impact was undertaken using an online tool provided by Union Metrics (


At 72 hr, 2,632,762 accounts were reached and over 10 million impressions achieved. Twitterchats can be useful in creating awareness and fostering a community of interest and demonstrating the role of nurses in thought leadership. A formalised research study will draw on this case study to evaluate the impact on the Twitter participants and nursing students.

Relevance to clinical practice

Social media are an accessible and useful tool to harness focus and attention on clinical issues with global relevance. Demonstrating the utility and leverage to nursing students is important in increasing their understanding of the importance of communication and diffusion of information.