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BMJ Open ; 13(1): e063530, 2023 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2213955


OBJECTIVES: (1) Assess the distribution of skin-to-deltoid-muscle distance (SDMD) at the deltoid intramuscular (IM) injection site; (2) its relationship with demographic and anthropometric variables and (3) Consider the findings in relation to clinical guidance on IM injection, such as COVID-19 vaccines. DESIGN: Systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE,, Cochrane Library, CINAHL and SCOPUS between June and July 2021 with no publication date limit. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies reporting measurements of the SDMD in living adults aged 16 years and older, at the deltoid IM injection site, published in English were considered. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Two independent reviewers performed each stage of screening, data extraction and quality assessments using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for analytical cross sectional studies. RESULTS: 16 105 papers were identified, of which 11 studies were suitable for review, representing 1414 participants. Heterogeneity in the definition of the deltoid IM injection site, locations measured and methods of measurement precluded meta-analysis. Evidence from ultrasound SDMD measurements demonstrated some patients in all but 'underweight' body mass index (BMI) categories, may require needles longer than 25 mm for successful IM injection. Calliper measurements overestimated SDMD compared with ultrasound. Female sex, higher BMI categories and greater weight in women were associated with greater SDMD. CONCLUSIONS: The reviewed evidence was insufficient to inform definitive needle length 'cut points' for IM injection based on demographic or anthropomorphic variables. Contemporary clinical guidance currently based on this evidence, including the site of injection and choice of needle length, may result in subcutaneous administration in a small proportion of recipients, particularly if obese or of female sex. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021264625.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Injections, Intramuscular/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Needles
Trials ; 23(1): 534, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1905665


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has exposed the disproportionate effects of pandemics on frontline workers and the ethical imperative to provide effective prophylaxis. We present a model for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial (RCT) that utilises Bayesian methods to rapidly determine the efficacy or futility of a prophylactic agent. METHODS: We initially planned to undertake a multicentre, phase III, parallel-group, open-label RCT, to determine if hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) taken once a week was effective in preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in healthcare workers (HCW) aged ≥ 18 years in New Zealand (NZ) and Ireland. Participants were to be randomised 2:1 to either HCQ (800 mg stat then 400 mg weekly) or no prophylaxis. The primary endpoint was time to Nucleic Acid Amplification Test-proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. Secondary outcome variables included mortality, hospitalisation, intensive care unit admissions and length of mechanical ventilation. The trial had no fixed sample size or duration of intervention. Bayesian adaptive analyses were planned to occur fortnightly, commencing with a weakly informative prior for the no prophylaxis group hazard rate and a moderately informative prior on the intervention log hazard ratio centred on 'no effect'. Stopping for expected success would be executed if the intervention had a greater than 0.975 posterior probability of reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by more than 10%. Final success would be declared if, after completion of 8 weeks of follow-up (reflecting the long half-life of HCQ), the prophylaxis had at least a 0.95 posterior probability of reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by more than 10%. Futility would be declared if HCQ was shown to have less than a 0.10 posterior probability of reducing acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection by more than 20%. DISCUSSION: This study did not begin recruitment due to the marked reduction in COVID-19 cases in NZ and concerns regarding the efficacy and risks of HCQ treatment in COVID-19. Nonetheless, the model presented can be easily adapted for other potential prophylactic agents and pathogens, and pre-established collaborative models like this should be shared and incorporated into future pandemic preparedness planning. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The decision not to proceed with the study was made before trial registration occurred.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2