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Concept: Interquartile range


Background In 2013, New York began requiring hospitals to follow protocols for the early identification and treatment of sepsis. However, there is controversy about whether more rapid treatment of sepsis improves outcomes in patients. Methods We studied data from patients with sepsis and septic shock that were reported to the New York State Department of Health from April 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016. Patients had a sepsis protocol initiated within 6 hours after arrival in the emergency department and had all items in a 3-hour bundle of care for patients with sepsis (i.e., blood cultures, broad-spectrum antibiotic agents, and lactate measurement) completed within 12 hours. Multilevel models were used to assess the associations between the time until completion of the 3-hour bundle and risk-adjusted mortality. We also examined the times to the administration of antibiotics and to the completion of an initial bolus of intravenous fluid. Results Among 49,331 patients at 149 hospitals, 40,696 (82.5%) had the 3-hour bundle completed within 3 hours. The median time to completion of the 3-hour bundle was 1.30 hours (interquartile range, 0.65 to 2.35), the median time to the administration of antibiotics was 0.95 hours (interquartile range, 0.35 to 1.95), and the median time to completion of the fluid bolus was 2.56 hours (interquartile range, 1.33 to 4.20). Among patients who had the 3-hour bundle completed within 12 hours, a longer time to the completion of the bundle was associated with higher risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.04 per hour; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.05; P<0.001), as was a longer time to the administration of antibiotics (odds ratio, 1.04 per hour; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.06; P<0.001) but not a longer time to the completion of a bolus of intravenous fluids (odds ratio, 1.01 per hour; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.02; P=0.21). Conclusions More rapid completion of a 3-hour bundle of sepsis care and rapid administration of antibiotics, but not rapid completion of an initial bolus of intravenous fluids, were associated with lower risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).

Concepts: Hospital, Interquartile range


Background Acetaminophen is a common therapy for fever in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who have probable infection, but its effects are unknown. Methods We randomly assigned 700 ICU patients with fever (body temperature, ≥38°C) and known or suspected infection to receive either 1 g of intravenous acetaminophen or placebo every 6 hours until ICU discharge, resolution of fever, cessation of antimicrobial therapy, or death. The primary outcome was ICU-free days (days alive and free from the need for intensive care) from randomization to day 28. Results The number of ICU-free days to day 28 did not differ significantly between the acetaminophen group and the placebo group: 23 days (interquartile range, 13 to 25) among patients assigned to acetaminophen and 22 days (interquartile range, 12 to 25) among patients assigned to placebo (Hodges-Lehmann estimate of absolute difference, 0 days; 96.2% confidence interval [CI], 0 to 1; P=0.07). A total of 55 of 345 patients in the acetaminophen group (15.9%) and 57 of 344 patients in the placebo group (16.6%) had died by day 90 (relative risk, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.39; P=0.84). Conclusions Early administration of acetaminophen to treat fever due to probable infection did not affect the number of ICU-free days. (Funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and others; HEAT Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12612000513819 .).

Concepts: Estimator, Mathematics, Intensive care medicine, Interquartile range, Statistics, Fever, Clinical trial, Placebo


To identify student- and school-level sociodemographic characteristics associated with overweight and obesity, the authors conducted cross-sectional analyses of data from 624,204 public school children (kindergarten through 12th grade) who took part in the 2007-2008 New York City Fitnessgram Program. The overall prevalence of obesity was 20.3%, and the prevalence of overweight was 17.6%. In multivariate models, the odds of being obese as compared with normal weight were higher for boys versus girls (odds ratio (OR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.36, 1.42), for black (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.15) and Hispanic (OR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.43, 1.53) children as compared with white children, for children receiving reduced-price (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.21) or free (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.15) school lunches as compared with those paying full price, and for US-born students (OR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.50, 1.58) as compared with foreign-born students. After adjustment for individual-level factors, obesity was associated with the percentage of students who were US-born (across interquartile range (75th percentile vs. 25th), OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.14) and the percentage of students who received free or reduced-price lunches (across interquartile range, OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.18). The authors conclude that individual sociodemographic characteristics and school-level sociodemographic composition are associated with obesity among New York City public school students.

Concepts: Interquartile range, Cancer, Nutrition, Overweight, Normal distribution, Obesity, High school, New York City


Background Intravenous (i.v.) iron can improve anaemia of chronic disease and response to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), but data on its use in practice and without ESAs are limited. This study evaluated effectiveness and tolerability of ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) in routine treatment of anaemic cancer patients. Patients and methods Of 639 patients enrolled in 68 haematology/oncology practices in Germany, 619 received FCM at the oncologist’s discretion, 420 had eligible baseline haemoglobin (Hb) measurements, and 364 at least one follow-up Hb measurement. Data of transfused patients were censored from analysis before transfusion. Results The median total iron dose was 1000 mg per patient (interquartile range 600-1500 mg). The median Hb increase was comparable in patients receiving FCM alone (1.4 g/dl [0.2-2.3 g/dl; N = 233]) or FCM + ESA (1.6 g/dl [0.7-2.4 g/dl; N = 46]). Patients with baseline Hb up to 11.0 g/dl and serum ferritin up to 500 ng/ml benefited from FCM treatment (stable Hb ≥11.0 g/dl). Also patients with ferritin >500 ng/ml but low transferrin saturation benefited from FCM treatment. FCM was well tolerated, 2.3% of patients reported putative drug-related adverse events. Conclusions The substantial Hb increase and stabilisation at 11-12 g/dl in FCM-treated patients suggest a role for i.v. iron alone in anaemia correction in cancer patients.

Concepts: Transferrin, Interquartile range, Iron, Oncology, Hemoglobin, Ferritin, Iron deficiency anemia, Anemia


BACKGROUND: Misreporting food intake is common because most health screenings rely on self-reports. The more accurate methods (eg, weighing food) are costly, time consuming, and impractical. OBJECTIVES: We developed a new instrument for reporting food intake-an Internet-based interactive virtual food plate. The objective of this study was to validate this instrument’s ability to assess lunch intake. METHODS: Participants were asked to compose an ordinary lunch meal using both a virtual and a real lunch plate (with real food on a real plate). The participants ate their real lunch meals on-site. Before and after pictures of the composed lunch meals were taken. Both meals included identical food items. Participants were randomized to start with either instrument. The 2 instruments were compared using correlation and concordance measures (total energy intake, nutritional components, quantity of food, and participant characteristics). RESULTS: A total of 55 men (median age: 45 years, median body mass index [BMI]: 25.8 kg/m(2)) participated. We found an overall overestimation of reported median energy intake using the computer plate (3044 kJ, interquartile range [IQR] 1202 kJ) compared with the real lunch plate (2734 kJ, IQR 1051 kJ, P<.001). Spearman rank correlations and concordance correlations for energy intake and nutritional components ranged between 0.58 to 0.79 and 0.65 to 0.81, respectively. CONCLUSION: Although it slightly overestimated, our computer plate provides promising results in assessing lunch intake.

Concepts: Nutrition, Interquartile range, Mass, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Body mass index, Meal, Food, Lunch


Background Studies have suggested an association between frequent acetaminophen use and asthma-related complications among children, leading some physicians to recommend that acetaminophen be avoided in children with asthma; however, appropriately designed trials evaluating this association in children are lacking. Methods In a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group trial, we enrolled 300 children (age range, 12 to 59 months) with mild persistent asthma and assigned them to receive either acetaminophen or ibuprofen when needed for the alleviation of fever or pain over the course of 48 weeks. The primary outcome was the number of asthma exacerbations that led to treatment with systemic glucocorticoids. Children in both groups received standardized asthma-controller therapies that were used in a simultaneous, factorially linked trial. Results Participants received a median of 5.5 doses (interquartile range, 1.0 to 15.0) of trial medication; there was no significant between-group difference in the median number of doses received (P=0.47). The number of asthma exacerbations did not differ significantly between the two groups, with a mean of 0.81 per participant with acetaminophen and 0.87 per participant with ibuprofen over 46 weeks of follow-up (relative rate of asthma exacerbations in the acetaminophen group vs. the ibuprofen group, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.69 to 1.28; P=0.67). In the acetaminophen group, 49% of participants had at least one asthma exacerbation and 21% had at least two, as compared with 47% and 24%, respectively, in the ibuprofen group. Similarly, no significant differences were detected between acetaminophen and ibuprofen with respect to the percentage of asthma-control days (85.8% and 86.8%, respectively; P=0.50), use of an albuterol rescue inhaler (2.8 and 3.0 inhalations per week, respectively; P=0.69), unscheduled health care utilization for asthma (0.75 and 0.76 episodes per participant, respectively; P=0.94), or adverse events. Conclusions Among young children with mild persistent asthma, as-needed use of acetaminophen was not shown to be associated with a higher incidence of asthma exacerbations or worse asthma control than was as-needed use of ibuprofen. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; AVICA number, NCT01606319 .).

Concepts: Nebulizer, Normal distribution, Interquartile range, Paracetamol, Aspirin, Inhaler, Median, Asthma


Background In multicenter studies, tight glycemic control targeting a normal blood glucose level has not been shown to improve outcomes in critically ill adults or children after cardiac surgery. Studies involving critically ill children who have not undergone cardiac surgery are lacking. Methods In a 35-center trial, we randomly assigned critically ill children with confirmed hyperglycemia (excluding patients who had undergone cardiac surgery) to one of two ranges of glycemic control: 80 to 110 mg per deciliter (4.4 to 6.1 mmol per liter; lower-target group) or 150 to 180 mg per deciliter (8.3 to 10.0 mmol per liter; higher-target group). Clinicians were guided by continuous glucose monitoring and explicit methods for insulin adjustment. The primary outcome was the number of intensive care unit (ICU)-free days to day 28. Results The trial was stopped early, on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board, owing to a low likelihood of benefit and evidence of the possibility of harm. Of 713 patients, 360 were randomly assigned to the lower-target group and 353 to the higher-target group. In the intention-to-treat analysis, the median number of ICU-free days did not differ significantly between the lower-target group and the higher-target group (19.4 days [interquartile range {IQR}, 0 to 24.2] and 19.4 days [IQR, 6.7 to 23.9], respectively; P=0.58). In per-protocol analyses, the median time-weighted average glucose level was significantly lower in the lower-target group (109 mg per deciliter [IQR, 102 to 118]; 6.1 mmol per liter [IQR, 5.7 to 6.6]) than in the higher-target group (123 mg per deciliter [IQR, 108 to 142]; 6.8 mmol per liter [IQR, 6.0 to 7.9]; P<0.001). Patients in the lower-target group also had higher rates of health care-associated infections than those in the higher-target group (12 of 349 patients [3.4%] vs. 4 of 349 [1.1%], P=0.04), as well as higher rates of severe hypoglycemia, defined as a blood glucose level below 40 mg per deciliter (2.2 mmol per liter) (18 patients [5.2%] vs. 7 [2.0%], P=0.03). No significant differences were observed in mortality, severity of organ dysfunction, or the number of ventilator-free days. Conclusions Critically ill children with hyperglycemia did not benefit from tight glycemic control targeted to a blood glucose level of 80 to 110 mg per deciliter, as compared with a level of 150 to 180 mg per deciliter. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; HALF-PINT number, NCT01565941 .).

Concepts: Diabetes, Blood glucose monitoring, Interquartile range, Median, Carbohydrate, Diabetes mellitus, Hyperglycemia, Blood sugar


BACKGROUND:Some children feel pain during wound closures using tissue adhesives. We sought to determine whether a topically applied analgesic solution of lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine would decrease pain during tissue adhesive repair. METHODS:We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded trial involving 221 children between the ages of 3 months and 17 years. Patients were enrolled between March 2011 and January 2012 when presenting to a tertiary-care pediatric emergency department with lacerations requiring closure with tissue adhesive. Patients received either lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine or placebo before undergoing wound closure. Our primary outcome was the pain rating of adhesive application according to the colour Visual Analogue Scale and the Faces Pain Scale - Revised. Our secondary outcomes were physician ratings of difficulty of wound closure and wound hemostasis, in addition to their prediction as to which treatment the patient had received. RESULTS:Children who received the analgesic before wound closure reported less pain (median 0.5, interquartile range [IQR] 0.25- 1.50) than those who received placebo (median 1.00, IQR 0.38-2.50) as rated using the colour Visual Analogue Scale (p = 0.01) and Faces Pain Scale - Revised (median 0.00, IQR 0.00-2.00, for analgesic v. median 2.00, IQR 0.00-4.00, for placebo, p < 0.01). Patients who received the analgesic were significantly more likely to re port having or to appear to have a pain-free procedure (relative risk [RR] of pain 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.37-0.80). Complete hemostasis of the wound was also more common among patients who received lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine than among those who received placebo (78.2% v. 59.3%, p = 0.008).Conclusion:Treating minor lacerations with lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine before wound closure with tissue adhesive reduced ratings of pain and increased the proportion of pain-free repairs among children aged 3 months to 17 years. This low-risk intervention may benefit children with lacerations requiring tissue adhesives instead of sutures. Trial registration:, no. PR 6138378804.

Concepts: Statistical dispersion, Placebo, Clinical trial, Normal distribution, Quartile, Pain, Randomized controlled trial, Interquartile range


Background Increasing numbers of intensive care units (ICUs) are adopting the practice of nighttime intensivist staffing despite the lack of experimental evidence of its effectiveness. Methods We conducted a 1-year randomized trial in an academic medical ICU of the effects of nighttime staffing with in-hospital intensivists (intervention) as compared with nighttime coverage by daytime intensivists who were available for consultation by telephone (control). We randomly assigned blocks of 7 consecutive nights to the intervention or the control strategy. The primary outcome was patients' length of stay in the ICU. Secondary outcomes were patients' length of stay in the hospital, ICU and in-hospital mortality, discharge disposition, and rates of readmission to the ICU. For length-of-stay outcomes, we performed time-to-event analyses, with data censored at the time of a patient’s death or transfer to another ICU. Results A total of 1598 patients were included in the analyses. The median Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) III score (in which scores range from 0 to 299, with higher scores indicating more severe illness) was 67 (interquartile range, 47 to 91), the median length of stay in the ICU was 52.7 hours (interquartile range, 29.0 to 113.4), and mortality in the ICU was 18%. Patients who were admitted on intervention days were exposed to nighttime intensivists on more nights than were patients admitted on control days (median, 100% of nights [interquartile range, 67 to 100] vs. median, 0% [interquartile range, 0 to 33]; P<0.001). Nonetheless, intensivist staffing on the night of admission did not have a significant effect on the length of stay in the ICU (rate ratio for the time to ICU discharge, 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88 to 1.09; P=0.72), ICU mortality (relative risk, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.28), or any other end point. Analyses restricted to patients who were admitted at night showed similar results, as did sensitivity analyses that used different definitions of exposure and outcome. Conclusions In an academic medical ICU in the United States, nighttime in-hospital intensivist staffing did not improve patient outcomes. (Funded by University of Pennsylvania Health System and others; number, NCT01434823 .).

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Game theory, Patient, Normal distribution, Medical statistics, Epidemiology, Interquartile range, Intensive care medicine


Study design:Retrospective analysis.Objectives:To investigate the urodynamic effects of solifenacin treatment for neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).Setting:Paraplegic center in Switzerland.Methods:Retrospective analysis of case histories and urodynamic data of 35 SCI patients receiving solifenacin for treatment of NDO between 2008 and 2012. Patients were categorized as being at risk of renal damage when maximum detrusor pressure was >40 cm H(2)O or detrusor compliance was <20 ml cm(-1) H(2)O.Results:Solifenacin treatment was initiated 7.3 years after SCI. Most patients (63%) had already been taking other antimuscarinic drugs. After 13.1 months (median, interquartile range 6.1-19.5 months), solifenacin treatment had resulted in significant (P<0.03) improvements in bladder capacity (median +30.0 ml), maximum detrusor pressure (median -7.0 cm H(2)O), reflex volume (median +62.5 ml) and detrusor compliance (median +25.0 ml cm(-1) H(2)O). Furthermore, fewer patients presented with a risk of renal damage. However, this difference was not significant (P>0.1). The number of patients suffering from incontinence had not changed significantly. Eight and two patients discontinued solifenacin treatment as a result of insufficient efficacy and intolerable adverse events, respectively. One patient had discontinued solifenacin treatment without further explanation.Conclusion:Solifenacin treatment significantly improved bladder capacity, detrusor compliance, reflex volume and maximum detrusor pressure. Solifenacin treatment seems to be an effective oral treatment of NDO after SCI.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 18 December 2012; doi:10.1038/sc.2012.164.

Concepts: Result, 2012, Spinal cord injury, Improve, Effectiveness, Volume, Interquartile range, Urinary bladder