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2.
The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online) ; 135(1549):120-128, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1678860

ABSTRACT

The check-in service is based on trained non-clinical staff making daily calls to positive cases isolating at home with processes for clinical escalation if required.3 A public health risk assessment would take into consideration whether cases live in a residence that allows them to isolate safely, have access to own transport, phone and internet as well as masks, food and cleaning products.4 However, there has been anecdotal evidence5-7 of suboptimal management of cases, failure to conduct check-ins and reports of whānau isolating in homes that do not meet the criteria. A recent independent review panel concluded that two of the deaths of COVID-19 cases in home isolation in Auckland were "potentially preventable" with "missed opportunities contributing to the outcome".8 At a time when over 70% of active cases in a known isolation location are in CIQ,9 it is crucial that primary care health professionals are informed and aware of their patients' clinical status, the management their patients receive, and their professional responsibilities. The level and quality of medical care provided by the specialist GPs and support teams in this audit was of a high standard, and one that could not be achieved by remote monitoring by non-medical personnel guided by decision support tools. In accordance with the Medical Council of New Zealand guidance that audits should lead to an action plan that improves clinical care and health outcomes,11 we recommend that the Ministry of Health transfers responsibility and resources for the management of COVID-19 cases isolating in the community to primary care, which is ideally placed to provide the continuity and standard of care required.

3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 765528, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555219

ABSTRACT

Influenza vaccination is an effective public health measure to reduce the risk of influenza illness, particularly when the vaccine is well matched to circulating strains. Notwithstanding, the efficacy of influenza vaccination varies greatly among vaccinees due to largely unknown immunological determinants, thereby dampening population-wide protection. Here, we report that dietary fibre may play a significant role in humoral vaccine responses. We found dietary fibre intake and the abundance of fibre-fermenting intestinal bacteria to be positively correlated with humoral influenza vaccine-specific immune responses in human vaccinees, albeit without reaching statistical significance. Importantly, this correlation was largely driven by first-time vaccinees; prior influenza vaccination negatively correlated with vaccine immunogenicity. In support of these observations, dietary fibre consumption significantly enhanced humoral influenza vaccine responses in mice, where the effect was mechanistically linked to short-chain fatty acids, the bacterial fermentation product of dietary fibre. Overall, these findings may bear significant importance for emerging infectious agents, such as COVID-19, and associated de novo vaccinations.


Subject(s)
Dietary Fiber/pharmacology , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Animals , Dietary Fiber/metabolism , Fatty Acids, Volatile/metabolism , Fatty Acids, Volatile/pharmacology , Female , Fermentation , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/drug effects , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Influenza, Human/microbiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Male , Mice , Middle Aged , Orthomyxoviridae/immunology , Seasons , Vaccination , Young Adult
4.
BMJ Open ; 11(8): e053446, 2021 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376513

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Heart disease in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common but neglected comorbidity. Patients with COPD are frequently excluded from clinical trials of treatments aimed at reducing cardiac morbidity and mortality, which has led to undertreatment of cardiovascular disease in patients with COPD. A particular concern in COPD is the underuse of beta (ß)-blockers. There is observational evidence that cardioselective ß-blockers are safe and may even reduce mortality risk in COPD, although some evidence is conflicting. There is an urgent need to answer the research question: Are cardioselective ß-blockers safe and of benefit in people with moderately severe COPD? The proposed study will investigate whether cardioselective ß-blocker treatment in patients with COPD reduces mortality and cardiac and respiratory morbidity. METHODS AND ANALYSES: This is a double-blind, randomised controlled trial to be conducted in approximately 26 sites in Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and other countries as required. Participants with COPD will be randomised to either bisoprolol once daily (range 1.25-5 mg, dependent on tolerated dose) or matched placebo, in addition to receiving usual care for their COPD over the study duration of 24 months.The study will enrol 1164 participants with moderate to severe COPD, aged 40-85 years. Participants will be symptomatic from their COPD and have a postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) ≥30% and ≤70% predicted and a history of at least one exacerbation requiring systemic corticosteroids, antibiotics or both in the prior 24 months. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study protocol has been approved by the Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee at The Concord Repatriation General Hospital. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS: NCT03917914; CTRI/2020/08/027322.


Subject(s)
Bisoprolol , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Bisoprolol/therapeutic use , Disease Progression , Double-Blind Method , Forced Expiratory Volume , Humans , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
5.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(12): 1358-1360, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366757
6.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346069

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Guideline recommendations state oxygen should be administered to acutely unwell patients to achieve a target oxygen saturation (SpO2) range. The current practice of manual oxygen titration frequently results in SpO2 outside of a prescribed range. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of automatic oxygen titration using a closed-loop feedback system to achieve SpO2 within a prescribed target range METHODS: An open-label randomised parallel group trial was undertaken comparing automatic oxygen titration using a novel nasal high-flow device to manual oxygen titration using nasal high flow. Medical inpatients requiring oxygen therapy in Wellington Regional Hospital, New Zealand with a prescribed target SpO2 range of 88%-92% or 92%-96% were recruited and randomised equally between the interventions for a period of 24 hours. The primary outcome was the proportion of time spent with SpO2 within the prescribed range. RESULTS: 20 patients were included in the analysis. Automatic oxygen titration resulted in a median (IQR) 96.2% (95.2-97.8) of time within the target range compared with 71% (59.4-88.3) with manual titration; difference (95% CI) 24.2% (7.9% to 35%), p<0.001. There was a reduction in the time spent with SpO2 ≥2% above and ≥2% below range in the automatic titration group, although the point estimate for the differences were small; -1% (-8.2% to -0.04%), p=0.017 and -2.4% (-11.5% to 0.3%), p=0.05 respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Nasal high-flow with automatic oxygen titration resulted in a greater proportion of time spent with SpO2 in target range compared with manual titration. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12619000901101).


Subject(s)
Inpatients , Oxygen , Acute Disease , Australia , Humans , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
7.
Intensive Care Med ; 47(8): 867-886, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305144

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To study the efficacy of lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: Critically ill adults with COVID-19 were randomized to receive lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, combination therapy of lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine or no antiviral therapy (control). The primary endpoint was an ordinal scale of organ support-free days. Analyses used a Bayesian cumulative logistic model and expressed treatment effects as an adjusted odds ratio (OR) where an OR > 1 is favorable. RESULTS: We randomized 694 patients to receive lopinavir-ritonavir (n = 255), hydroxychloroquine (n = 50), combination therapy (n = 27) or control (n = 362). The median organ support-free days among patients in lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, and combination therapy groups was 4 (- 1 to 15), 0 (- 1 to 9) and-1 (- 1 to 7), respectively, compared to 6 (- 1 to 16) in the control group with in-hospital mortality of 88/249 (35%), 17/49 (35%), 13/26 (50%), respectively, compared to 106/353 (30%) in the control group. The three interventions decreased organ support-free days compared to control (OR [95% credible interval]: 0.73 [0.55, 0.99], 0.57 [0.35, 0.83] 0.41 [0.24, 0.72]), yielding posterior probabilities that reached the threshold futility (≥ 99.0%), and high probabilities of harm (98.0%, 99.9% and > 99.9%, respectively). The three interventions reduced hospital survival compared with control (OR [95% CrI]: 0.65 [0.45, 0.95], 0.56 [0.30, 0.89], and 0.36 [0.17, 0.73]), yielding high probabilities of harm (98.5% and 99.4% and 99.8%, respectively). CONCLUSION: Among critically ill patients with COVID-19, lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, or combination therapy worsened outcomes compared to no antiviral therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ritonavir , Adult , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/drug therapy , Critical Illness , Drug Combinations , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
9.
ERJ Open Res ; 7(1)2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094023

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been considerable international variation in mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this study was to investigate the differences between mortality registered as due to COVID-19 and the excess all-cause mortality reported in countries worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Ecological analysis of 22 countries compared 5-year historical all-cause mortality, reported all-cause mortality and expected all-cause mortality (calculated as historical mortality plus the reported deaths attributed to COVID-19). Data available from the first week of January 2020 to that most recently available were analysed. RESULTS: Compared to the preceding 5 years, there was an excess of 716 616 deaths, of which 64.3% were attributed to COVID-19. The proportion of deaths registered as COVID-19-related/excess deaths varied markedly between countries, ranging between 30% and 197% in those countries that had an excess of deaths during the period of observation. In most countries where a definite peak in COVID-19-related deaths occurred, the increase in reported all-cause mortality preceded the increase in COVID-19 reported mortality. During the latter period of observation, a few countries reported fewer all-cause deaths than the historical figures. CONCLUSION: The increases in all-cause mortality preceded the increase in COVID-19 mortality in most countries that had definite spikes in COVID-19 mortality. The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 was underestimated by at least 35%. Together these findings suggest that calculation of excess all-cause mortality is a better predictor of COVID-19 mortality than the reported rates, in those countries experiencing definite increases in mortality.

10.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 203(7): 799-801, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088354
11.
BMJ Open ; 11(1): e042464, 2021 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054681

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To characterise the self-isolating household units (bubbles) during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown in New Zealand. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: In this cross-sectional study, an online survey was distributed to a convenience sample via Facebook advertising and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand's social media platforms and mailing list. Respondents were able to share a link to the survey via their own social media platforms and by email. Results were collected over 6 days during Alert Level 4 from respondents living in New Zealand, aged 16 years and over. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: The primary outcome was the mean size of a self-isolating household unit or bubble. Secondary outcomes included the mean number of households in each bubble, the proportion of bubbles containing essential workers and/or vulnerable people, and the mean number of times the home was left each week. RESULTS: 14 876 surveys were included in the analysis. The mean (SD) bubble size was 3.58 (4.63) people, with mean (SD) number of households 1.26 (0.77). The proportion of bubbles containing one or more essential workers, or one or more vulnerable persons was 45.3% and 42.1%, respectively. The mean number of times individual bubble members left their home in the previous week was 12.9 (12.4). Bubbles that contained at least one vulnerable individual had fewer outings over the previous week compared with bubbles that did not contain a vulnerable person. The bubble sizes were similar by respondent ethnicity. CONCLUSION: In this New Zealand convenience sample, bubble sizes were small, mostly limited to one household, and a high proportion contained essential workers and/or vulnerable people. Understanding these characteristics from a country which achieved a low COVID-19 infection rate may help inform public health interventions during this and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Family Characteristics , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Family Characteristics/ethnology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New Zealand/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , /statistics & numerical data
13.
J Vis Commun Med ; 44(1): 12-22, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933796

ABSTRACT

An independent online Public Health survey regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted during an Alert Level 4 lockdown, the highest possible, in New Zealand. An illustrated and curiosity-driven public engagement campaign was designed to advertise survey participation, and performance compared with a standard approach using randomised controlled A/B Split tests. The 'Caretoon' approach featured comic illustrations, appealed to goodwill and was intended to pique curiosity. This linked to an illustrated version of the survey which, upon completion, gave a personalised comic summary showing how respondent's answers compared with national averages. The standard ad and survey were not illustrated with comics, and did not provide a personalised comic summary on completion. Both approaches were cost- and time-effective, together resulting in 18,788 responses over six days. The Caretoon approach outperformed the standard approach in terms of the number of people reached, engaged, survey link clicks, gender and ethnic diversity amongst respondents, and cost-effectiveness of advertising. This came at the expense of a small reduction in the proportion of completed surveys and male respondents. The research evidences objective value of public engagement activity, comics and curiosity as tools which can support Public Health research on a national scale.


Subject(s)
Audiovisual Aids , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Health Communication/methods , Health Behavior , Humans , Internet , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
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