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J Med Internet Res ; 23(11): e28105, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34559669


BACKGROUND: During the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly rising disease prevalence in the United States created a demand for patient-facing information exchanges that addressed questions and concerns about the disease. One approach to managing increased patient volumes during a pandemic involves the implementation of telephone-based triage systems. During a pandemic, telephone triage hotlines can be employed in innovative ways to conserve medical resources and offer useful population-level data about disease symptomatology and risk factor profiles. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe and evaluate the COVID-19 telephone triage hotline used by a large academic medical center in the midwestern United States. METHODS: Michigan Medicine established a telephone hotline to triage inbound patient calls related to COVID-19. For calls received between March 24, 2020, and May 5, 2020, we described total call volume, data reported by callers including COVID-19 risk factors and symptomatology, and distribution of callers to triage algorithm endpoints. We also described symptomatology reported by callers who were directed to the institutional patient portal (online medical visit questionnaire). RESULTS: A total of 3929 calls (average 91 calls per day) were received by the call center during the study period. The maximum total number of daily calls peaked at 211 on March 24, 2020. Call volumes were the highest from 6 AM to 11 AM and during evening hours. Callers were most often directed to the online patient portal (1654/3929, 42%), nursing hotlines (1338/3929, 34%), or employee health services (709/3929, 18%). Cough (126/370 of callers, 34%), shortness of breath (101/370, 27%), upper respiratory infection (28/111, 25%), and fever (89/370, 24%) were the most commonly reported symptoms. Immunocompromised state (23/370, 6%) and age >65 years (18/370, 5%) were the most commonly reported risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The triage algorithm successfully diverted low-risk patients to suitable algorithm endpoints, while directing high-risk patients onward for immediate assessment. Data collected from hotline calls also enhanced knowledge of symptoms and risk factors that typified community members, demonstrating that pandemic hotlines can aid in the clinical characterization of novel diseases.

COVID-19 , Hotlines , Aged , Hotlines/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Telephone , Triage , United States
iScience ; 24(7): 102700, 2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34235408


The neuromuscular junction is a synapse critical for muscle strength and coordinated motor function. Unlike CNS injuries, motor neurons mount robust regenerative responses after peripheral nerve injuries. Conversely, motor neurons selectively degenerate in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To assess how these insults affect motor neurons in vivo, we performed ribosomal profiling of mouse motor neurons. Motor neuron-specific transcripts were isolated from spinal cords following sciatic nerve crush, a model of acute injury and regeneration, and in the SOD1G93A ALS model. Of the 267 transcripts upregulated after nerve crush, 38% were also upregulated in SOD1G93A motor neurons. However, most upregulated genes in injured and ALS motor neurons were context specific. Some of the most significantly upregulated transcripts in both paradigms were chemokines such as Ccl2 and Ccl7, suggesting an important role for neuroimmune modulation. Collectively these data will aid in defining pro-regenerative and pro-degenerative mechanisms in motor neurons.