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1.
Education Sciences ; 11(12):810, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1572409

ABSTRACT

Blended learning is growing in popularity particularly following the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic. One of the fields that the pandemic has substantially affected is dental education. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the online dental education. Students’perceptions and experiences of blended learning were also investigated. Methods: A 28-question online survey was designed to gauge students’perceptions of the effect of blended learning on their academic performance. Results: 314 participants in preclinical and clinical years completed the questionnaire (223 females and 91 males). The majority of students (89%) believed that clinical and practical courses cannot be given by the internet. In terms of students’opinion in the assessment process, more females (65.8%) preferred traditional exams than males (50.5%) (p < 0.05). Most clinical students (83%) preferred a combination of online and traditional teaching compared to 72% of preclinical students (p < 0.05). Clinical year students were more willing to communicate electronically with their classmates and instructors. The majority of dental students (65%) reported that future dental courses should be blended. Conclusions: In the pandemic era, blended learning, should become the preferred method of education whereby theoretical knowledge is delivered through online tutorials and clinical training is resumed on-site, to ensure competency of dental graduates while maintaining safety of the dental team. Current facilities and course designs should be improved in order to improve students’experiences with blended learning.

2.
Evid Based Dent ; 22(2): 54-55, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281695

ABSTRACT

Study design An experimental study design was used to investigate the spread of splatter/aerosol during simulated dental procedures on a mannequin in open plan clinic and dental clinical teaching laboratory settings. All experiments were based on crown preparation of an artificial maxillary central incisor using a high-speed air turbine over a ten-minute period. Fluorescein dye was introduced into the irrigation system of the handpiece (model 1) and the mannequin's mouth was used to simulate salivary flow (model 2) under varying experimental conditions (suction flow rate, cross ventilation and exposure time). Six experiments were conducted in the open plan clinic while three experiments were undertaken in the clinical laboratory. Customised rigs with collection platforms consisting of filter papers were placed in open plan bays and adjacent walkways. Samples were also collected from a 400 cm2 area in each of the eight adjacent bays. Time course experiments repeated the same procedures on three occasions in a clinical laboratory and utilised a rig with eight four-metre rods supporting collection platforms around a dental mannequin. The distribution of fluorescein dye was analysed by fluoroscopy and spectrofluorometry.Results Contamination levels showed variations under different experimental conditions. In the absence of suction and cross ventilation, contamination was observed at large distances. Use of suction reduced contamination in the operating bay by 53% and 81.83%, while cross ventilation reduced contamination in adjacent and distant areas by 80-89%. Minimal contamination was detected at a distance of >5 m from the operating bay, with the use of medium-volume suction demonstrating that 1.5-metre-high partitions with open fronts limit 99.99% of splatter from aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) to the operating bay. Minimal additional aerosol contamination was detected ten minutes after the procedure.Conclusions Contamination from dental AGPS has the potential to contaminate distant sites in open plan clinics. Risk of cross infection is small if the bays are >5 m apart and contamination can be minimised with the use of suction and cross ventilation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aerosols , Dental Clinics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Suction
3.
J Hazard Mater ; 414: 125439, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101360

ABSTRACT

Viruses are omnipresent and persistent in wastewater, which poses a risk to human health. In this review, we summarise the different qualitative and quantitative methods for virus analysis in wastewater and systematically discuss the spatial distribution and temporal patterns of various viruses (i.e., enteric viruses, Caliciviridae (Noroviruses (NoVs)), Picornaviridae (Enteroviruses (EVs)), Hepatitis A virus (HAV)), and Adenoviridae (Adenoviruses (AdVs))) in wastewater systems. Then we critically review recent SARS-CoV-2 studies to understand the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through wastewater surveillance. SARS-CoV-2 genetic material has been detected in wastewater from France, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Japan, Spain, Turkey, India, Pakistan, China, and the USA. We then discuss the utility of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to estimate the occurrence, distribution, and genetic diversity of these viruses and generate human health risk assessment. Finally, we not only promote the prevention of viral infectious disease transmission through wastewater but also highlight the potential use of WBE as an early warning system for public health assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viruses , Australia , China , France , Humans , India , Italy , Japan , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain , Waste Water
5.
Inform Med Unlocked ; 20: 100378, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-621705

ABSTRACT

Background: The inability to test at scale has become humanity's Achille's heel in the ongoing war against the COVID-19 pandemic. A scalable screening tool would be a game changer. Building on the prior work on cough-based diagnosis of respiratory diseases, we propose, develop and test an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered screening solution for COVID-19 infection that is deployable via a smartphone app. The app, named AI4COVID-19 records and sends three 3-s cough sounds to an AI engine running in the cloud, and returns a result within 2 min. Methods: Cough is a symptom of over thirty non-COVID-19 related medical conditions. This makes the diagnosis of a COVID-19 infection by cough alone an extremely challenging multidisciplinary problem. We address this problem by investigating the distinctness of pathomorphological alterations in the respiratory system induced by COVID-19 infection when compared to other respiratory infections. To overcome the COVID-19 cough training data shortage we exploit transfer learning. To reduce the misdiagnosis risk stemming from the complex dimensionality of the problem, we leverage a multi-pronged mediator centered risk-averse AI architecture. Results: Results show AI4COVID-19 can distinguish among COVID-19 coughs and several types of non-COVID-19 coughs. The accuracy is promising enough to encourage a large-scale collection of labeled cough data to gauge the generalization capability of AI4COVID-19. AI4COVID-19 is not a clinical grade testing tool. Instead, it offers a screening tool deployable anytime, anywhere, by anyone. It can also be a clinical decision assistance tool used to channel clinical-testing and treatment to those who need it the most, thereby saving more lives.

6.
Evid Based Dent ; 21(2): 44-45, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615422

ABSTRACT

Data sources Experimental investigation.Study design A retrospective review to evaluate the use of a negative-pressure otolaryngology viral isolation drape (NOVID) system to reduce cross-infection through aerosol. The apparatus consists of a plastic drape suspended over the surgical field in the head and neck region with a smoke evacuator suction placed inside the chamber with an ultra-low penetrating air (ULPA) efficiency rating and a fluid suction high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter compartment. Spread of patient secretions and droplet formation was evaluated using 1% fluorescein dye in 10 ml of normal saline and ultraviolet light. The dye was applied topically in the nasal cavity and nasopharynx preoperatively and intraoperatively prior to the use of instruments such as micro-debrider, electrocautery and high-speed drilling. Following completion of the surgical procedure, an ultraviolet Wood's lamp was used to evaluate the presence of droplets on the surgical drapes and surgical gowns of the operating team.Results The study sample consisted of four patients who underwent endonasal endoscopic surgical procedures; two of these patients required concurrent endoscopic sinus surgery. A micro-debrider was used in three cases; electrocautery in three cases, while a high-speed drilling was employed in two cases. Presence of fluorescein was identified around the patients' nares; on the chest wipe and instrument tray in all four patients. Dye contamination was noted on the gauze placed over the smoke evacuator (two cases of skull base surgery); no fluid droplets were identified beyond the nares or the smoke evacuator (two cases of sinus surgery). However, fluid contamination was identified underneath barrier several centimetres away from the nares (one case of trans-sphenoidal surgery). Droplets were also identified on the surgeon's gown in the abdominal region in all cases and on the arm region in one case. In one case, droplets were also identified on the abdominal region of the nurse, but this was attributed to cross contamination from surgical gauze and instruments. Conclusions This retrospective study provides preliminary data on aerosol and droplet contamination during endonasal and transoral surgery performed under a negative pressure isolation drape system. Although the authors did not screen patients for SARS-CoV-2, they propose smoke evacuator ULPA filter attachment is appropriate to capture particles down to 0.1 microns including SARS-CoV-2 which is 0.125 microns. It would be helpful to see direct evidence to support this claim in future studies. The authors have not provided details regarding set-up time and training requirements for effective application of the isolation drape apparatus or the associated costs etc. It would have also been helpful if the authors could comment on any potential difficulties in undertaking the surgical procedure with the isolation system in place. The sample size is limited to four patients and variations in the magnitude and extent of aerosol contamination needs to be investigated further before drawing any conclusions. Although unlikely, this study design did not capture the presence of aerosol/droplets in the air within the operating room which may follow removal of the isolation drape system or from exposed surgical instruments. Notwithstanding the limitations of the design, negative-pressure aspiration of air under a chamber barrier is likely to minimise the contamination from aerosol and droplet during endonasal and transoral surgery.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aerosols , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Dentistry , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Acad Radiol ; 27(8): 1162-1172, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597774

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced rapid evolution of the healthcare environment. Efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus through social distancing and shelter-at-home edicts have unintended consequences upon clinical and educational missions and mental well-being of radiology departments. We sought to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiology residencies with respect to the educational mission and perceptions of impact on well-being. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was IRB exempt. An anonymous 22 question survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on educational and clinical missions of residencies, its perceived impact upon morale of radiologists and trainees and a query of innovative solutions devised in response, was emailed to the Association of Program Directors in Radiology membership. Survey data were collected using SurveyMonkey (San Mateo, California). RESULTS: Respondents felt the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their residency programs. Regarding the educational mission impact, 70.1% (75/107) report moderate/marked negative impact and 2.8% (3/107) that educational activities have ceased. Regarding the pandemic's impact on resident morale, 44.8% (48/107) perceive moderate/marked negative effect; perceived resident morale in programs with redeployment is significantly worse with 57.1% (12/21) reporting moderate/marked decrease. Respondents overwhelmingly report adequate resident access to mental health resources during the acute phase of the pandemic (88.8%, 95/107). Regarding morale of program directors, 61% (65/106) report either mild or marked decreased morale. Program innovations reported by program directors were catalogued and shared. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has markedly impacted the perceived well-being and educational missions of radiology residency programs across the United States.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Internship and Residency , Mental Health/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Radiography/methods , Radiologists/psychology , Radiology/education , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Internship and Residency/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
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