In the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE), successful medical and public health coordination by pre-assigned disaster medical coordinators saved many affected people, though the coordination itself had difficulties. This study aims to clarify the implementation and the challenges of disaster medical coordinators in Japan. We performed questionnaire surveillance in 2012 and 2014 to all prefectural government on assignment of disaster medical coordinators, their expected roles and supporting system. Out of all 47 prefectures, assignment or planning of disaster medical coordinators jumped up from four (8.5%) to 43 (91.5%) by the end of 2015. The most expected role is the coordination with Japan Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT) and with other early responders. The evacuation center management, public health coordination and preparedness before disaster are less frequently expected. The supporting materials, human resource, and tools for communication vary according to the prefecture. Successful implementation requires the effort of health and governmental stakeholders. The coordination between prefectural and local coordinators and the coordination between medical and public health authorities still need to be improved. The roles of disaster medical coordinators depend on the local context and types of hazards. Education and training to build fundamental capacity is necessary. In conclusion, Japanese disaster medical system rapidly implemented disaster medical coordinator after GEJE. Their roles and standardization are challenging, but education, training and systematic support by the local government will enhance the effective preparedness and response of the health sector in disasters.
Paroxysmal sympathetic hyperactivity (PSH) is a distinct syndrome of episodic sympathetic hyperactivities following severe acquired brain injury, characterized by paroxysmal transient fever, tachycardia, hypertension, tachypnea, excessive diaphoresis and specific posturing. PSH remains to be an under-recognized condition with a diagnostic pitfall especially in the intensive care unit (ICU) settings due to the high prevalence of concomitant diseases that mimic PSH. A consensus set of diagnostic criteria named PSH-Assessment Measure (PSH-AM) has been developed recently, which is consisted of two components: a diagnosis likelihood tool derived from clinical characteristics of PSH, and a clinical feature scale assigned to the severity of each sympathetic hyperactivity. We herein present a case series of patients with PSH who were diagnosed and followed by using PSH-AM in our tertiary institutional medical and surgical ICU between April 2015 and March 2017 in order to evaluate the clinical efficacy of PSH-AM. Among 394 survivors of 521 patients admitted with acquired brain injury defined as acute brain injury at all levels of severity regardless of the presence of altered consciousness, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, infectious disease, and encephalopathy, 6 patients (1.5%) were diagnosed as PSH by using PSH-AM. PSH-AM served as a useful scoring system for early objective diagnosis, assessment of severity, and serial evaluation of treatment efficacy in the management of PSH in the ICU settings. In conclusion, critical care clinicians should consider the possibility of PSH and can use PSH-AM as a useful diagnostic and guiding tool in the management of PSH.
Some epidemiological studies with a large number of subjects, like a national health study, reported that precarious employment was associated with increased depressive symptoms, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to precarious workers of all industry types. We examined the association between precarious employment and depressive symptoms in light of work-related stress in care work environments. The self-administered questionnaire, composed of the Job Content Questionnaire based on the demand-control-support model and the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), was distributed, and a total of 1,338 permanent and 531 precarious employees responded to it with complete forms. In the precarious employees, scores of CES-D, job demand and job control were lower and supervisor support score was higher compared with the permanent employees, though there was no significant difference in the proportion of CES-D score ≥16 between the two groups. Multivariate analysis with adjustment for possible confounders revealed that increased depressive symptoms were associated with low coworker support in the precarious employees and with high demand and low control at work, low support from supervisors and coworkers in the permanent employees. However, precarious employment was not significantly associated with depressive symptoms in the male or female employees. In conclusion, our results do not support the above hypothesis at least in care service workers. Such a hypothesis should be verified in employees of each industry separately. Instead, coworker support within each workplace appears to be important for the preventive strategy of depression in workers including precarious employees.
Cancer diagnosis influences both patients and their closest relatives. This cross-sectional study examined psychological distress among individuals whose partners had cancer in a population-based sample. Participants in the survey were citizens residing in Ohsaki City, Miyagi, Japan. Spouse pairs were identified by information of participants’ relationship to the householder and address provided by municipality, and we collected self-report information on cancer history and current pain (but not the cause of pain). Psychological distress was evaluated using the Kessler 6 scale (K6). We identified 29,410 potential participants (14,705 couples), of which 23,766 (11,690 men and 12,076 women) were included in the analyses. A total of 1,374 participants (581 male and 793 female participants) had partners with history of cancer. Logistic regression analyses revealed that these participants, regardless of sex, did not show significantly higher risk of psychological distress (K6 score ≥ 13). When stratifying the analysis by partners’ current pain, men whose partners had cancer and pain showed greater odds of psychological distress (odds ratio = 1.5, p = 0.04), compared with men whose partners had no cancer and had pain. However, male subjects whose partners had cancer but no pain did not show greater odds of psychological distress compared with men whose partners had no cancer and no pain. By contrast, in women whose partners had cancer, psychological distress was not associated with pain status. In conclusion, men whose partners had cancer and pain have higher risk of psychological distress, and its screening to these individuals may reduce the risk.
Carbohydrate-restricted diets are prevalent not only in obese people but also in the general population to maintain appropriate body weight. Here, we report that extreme carbohydrate restriction for one day affects the subsequent blood glucose levels in healthy adults. Ten subjects (median age 30.5 years, BMI 21.1 kg/m2, and HbA1c 5.5%), wearing with a continuous glucose monitoring device, were given isoenergetic test meals for 4 consecutive days. On day 1, day 2 (D2), and day 4 (D4), they consumed normal-carbohydrate (63-66% carbohydrate) diet, while on day 3, they took low-carbohydrate/high-fat (5% carbohydrate) diet. The daily energy intake was 2,200 kcal for males and 1,700 kcal for females. On D2 and D4, we calculated the mean 24-hr blood glucose level (MEAN/24h) and its standard deviation (SD/24h), the area under the curve (AUC) for glucose over 140 mg/dL within 4 hours after each meal (AUC/4h/140), the mean amplitude of the glycemic excursions (MAGE), the incremental AUC of 24-hr blood glucose level above the mean plus one standard deviation (iAUC/MEAN+SD). Indexes for glucose fluctuation on D4 were significantly greater than those on D2 (SD/24h; p = 0.009, MAGE; p = 0.013, AUC/4h/140 after breakfast and dinner; p = 0.006 and 0.005, and iAUC/MEAN+SD; p = 0.007). The value of MEAN/24h and AUC/4h/140 after lunch on D4 were greater than those on D2, but those differences were not statistically significant. In conclusion, consumption of low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet appears to cause higher postprandial blood glucose on subsequent normal-carbohydrate diet particularly after breakfast and dinner in healthy adults.
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) has been reported to improve chondrocytes phenotype and function. The expression levels of microRNA-483-5p (miR-483-5p), a potential regulator of TGF-β signaling pathway, were elevated in chondrocytes of patients with osteoarthritis. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of miR-483-5p for the expression of cartilage-related genes in chondrocytes. Human chondrocytes were harvested from femoral condyle and tibial plateau of different donors (n = 10) following amputation due to sarcomas not involving the joint space. The expression levels of miR-483-5p and TGF-β1 mRNA were measured by qRT-PCR. Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) is a transcription factor involved in chondrocyte differentiation, and type II collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinase13 (MMP13) contributes to cartilage degradation. qRT-PCR was also used to measure the levels of RUNX2 and MMP-13 mRNAs, as well as type II collagen alpha 1 (COL2A1) and aggrecan mRNAs. COL2A1 and aggrecan are major cartilage extracellular matrix proteins that are essential for normal cartilage function. The expression levels of miR-483-5p were significantly increased in chondrocytes from Passage 0 to 2, whereas the expression levels of TGF-β1 mRNA were marginally decreased. Passage 1 chondrocytes were employed for following experiments. MiR-483-5p overexpression reduced TGF-β1 expression, while miR-483-5p knockdown dramatically elevated TGF-β1 expression both at mRNA and protein levels. Further, miR-483-5p overexpression significantly decreased the levels of COL2A1 and aggrecan mRNAs, and increased those of RUNX2 and MMP13 mRNAs, by down-regulating TGF-β1 expression. These findings suggest that modulating miR-483-5p expression may contribute to maintaining the cartilage tissues.
Playing musical instruments can bring joy to people, but can also cause a wide variety of health issues that range from mild disorders to potentially fatal conditions. Although sports medicine is an established medical subspecialty, relatively few studies have investigated the health issues associated with musical instruments. Here we present an overview of these health issues. These include infections due to microorganisms, allergic reactions, as well as mechanical injuries from sustained high pressures within the oral, mediastinal, thoracic, and abdominal cavities. For example, wind instruments can potentially harbor thousands of pathogenic organisms. If several players share the same instrument, these instruments present potential hazards in the spread of infections. A fatal case of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in a bagpiper is particularly noteworthy. Similarly, a case of gastrointestinal anthrax in an animal-hide drummer is a reminder of this rare but highly fatal disease. Although not fatal, hearing-related disorders, neuromuscular issues, musculoskeletal problems, and contact dermatitis are also very common among instrumentalists. This review aims to illuminate these under-recognized health issues by highlighting both the common conditions and the rare but fatal cases.
In the setting of partial nephrectomy (PN) for renal cell carcinoma, postoperative renal dysfunction might be caused by surgical procedure. The aim of this study was to clarify the technical safety and renal damage after off-clamp laparoscopic PN (LPN) with a piezo actuator-driven pulsed water jet (ADPJ) system. Eight swine underwent off-clamp LPN with this surgical device, while off-clamp open PN was also performed with radio knife or soft coagulation. The length of the removed kidney was 40 mm, and the renal parenchyma was dissected until the renal calyx became clearly visible. The degree of renal degeneration from the resection surface was compared by Hematoxylin-Eosin staining and immunostaining for 1-methyladenosine, a sensitive marker for the ischemic tissue damage. The mRNA levels of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (Ngal), a biomarker for acute kidney injury, were measured by quantitative real-time PCR. Off-clamp LPN with ADPJ system was successfully performed while preserving fine blood vessels and the renal calix with little bleeding. In contrast to other devices, the resection surface obtained with the ADPJ system showed only marginal degree of ischemic changes. Indeed, the expression level of Ngal mRNA was lower in the resection surface obtained with the ADPJ system than that with soft coagulation (p = 0.02). Furthermore, using the excised specimens of renal cell carcinoma, we measured the breaking strength at each site of the human kidney, suggesting the applicability of this ADPJ to clinical trials. In conclusion, off-clamp LPN with the ADPJ system could be safely performed with attenuated renal damage.
People living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA) experienced severe medical discrimination which is seriously affecting their lives. However, few studies examined the epidemic characteristics of self-perceived medical discrimination from the discrimination objects such as PLWHA. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the epidemiological status and analyze the influential factors of the self-perceived medical discrimination on PLWHA in South China. The self-designed questionnaire was used to investigate the medical discrimination status of the 443 infected persons, who were randomly recruited from the representative AIDS designated hospitals in Guangdong Province in South China. The results showed that 49.0% of PLWHA experienced medical discrimination, and 55.3% received discriminatory treatment, 48.4% experienced refusal of treatment, 36.4% had private information leaked and 12.9% received mandatory test. However, 52.2% patients chose to endure discrimination in silence. Compared with the Asymptomatic HIV-infected patients, AIDS patients perceived more medical discrimination. The Logistic regression analysis indicated that PLWHA self-perceived medical discrimination status was influenced by 4 factors: the voluntary of first medical detection, the route of transmission, the stage of the disease and the familiarity with the HIV/AIDS-related law. Additionally, the two dimensions of the life quality scale were influenced by medical discrimination, namely, overall function and disclosure worry. Ultimately, our study provides a better understanding of the relationship between infection status, quality of life and the medical discrimination they experienced or perceived. It will help health professionals and policy makers to develop tailored behavioral and policy-oriented intervention strategies for PLWHA to tackle different types of medical discrimination in high-risk settings.
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is characterized by the accumulation of periodic acid-schiff stain-positive lipoproteinaceous materials in the alveolar space due to impaired surfactant clearance by alveolar macrophage. Autoimmune PAP is the most common form of PAP, but rarely accompanies collagen disease or sarcoidosis. We report here a rare case of autoimmune PAP preceded by systemic sclerosis and sarcoidosis. A 64-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for blurred vision, muscle weakness of extremities, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and exertional dyspnea. We diagnosed her as having systemic sclerosis complicated with sarcoidosis. Chest computed tomography (CT) and transbronchial lung biopsy showed the findings of pulmonary fibrosis without PAP. We treated her with corticosteroid and intravenous cyclophosphamide therapy, followed by tacrolimus therapy. Thereafter, her symptoms improved except for exertional dyspnea, and she began to complain of productive cough thirteen months after corticosteroid and immunosuppressant therapy. On the second admission, a chest CT scan detected the emergence of crazy-paving pattern in bilateral upper lobes. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid with milky appearance and a lung biopsy specimen revealed acellular periodic acid-schiff stain-positive bodies. The serum titer of anti-granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) antibodies was elevated on first admission and remained high on second admission. We thus diagnosed her as having autoimmune PAP. Reducing the dose of immunosuppressive agents and repeating the segmental BAL resulted in the improvement of her symptoms and radiological findings. Immunosuppressant therapy may trigger the onset of autoimmune PAP in a subset of patients with systemic sclerosis and/or sarcoidosis.