The 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) is feasible to use in late pregnancy.
Cycle commuting is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, and lower cancer & cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality.
SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by airborne droplets in a hamster model. Surgical masks reduce both infection & severity, particularly when worn by those infected.
Running for as little as 50 min/week reduces all-cause (27%), cardiovascular (30%) and cancer (23%) mortality.
Taiwan's success responding to COVID is due to many factors, most notably their affordable access to medical care & public health services along with widespread public mask use.
Although Taiwan has geographic, commercial and social proximity to China, it stands as a stark example of success in response to the SARS-CoV-II pandemic.
"Despite being close to China, Taiwan has stopped the COVID-19 with general screening strategy and encouraging people in Taiwan to wear a mask. Taiwan reported the first COVID-19 case on January 21, 2020. About 850,000 and 400,000 of Taiwan's 23 million citizens live and work in mainland China, respectively."
Many factors have contributed to this success, beginning with Taiwan's memory and lessons drawn from the 2003 SARS-I pandemic.
Two notable factors are Taiwan's national health service, with it's ubiquitous and affordable access to acute medical care:
"Taiwanese people … can go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital for relevant medical examinations (including sampling and testing for COVID-19, blood tests, and X-ray imaging test) with out-of-pocket medical expenses of less than NT$ 600 (USD 20). People with high suspicion of COVID-19 infection will be admitted to isolation wards, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19 can only be discharged home after three consecutive respiratory specimens test negative for the virus. … patients will have to pay less than NT$ 3000 (USD 100) out-of-pocket for medical services."
And their management of mask access, production and subsequent widespread public use:
"The daily production capacity of face mask manufacturers in Taiwan before the outbreak was 1.88 million face masks ... Currently, Taiwan is capable of producing 20 million face masks per day and will boost its production capacity to 25 million face masks per day."
In laparoscopic nephrectomy patients, early post-operative pain is associated with 30-day infectious complications.
Why is this important?
Indications for the use of laryngeal mask airways (LMAs) increasingly challenge our airway choice for surgical procedures where endotracheal intubation has been the norm. Thyroid surgery, with its limited anaesthetic access to the airway and potential for airway obstruction, has not typically been a first choice for LMA use.
Proponents point to avoiding muscle relaxants and reducing throat pain and laryngeal trauma as the main benefits.
What did they do?
Gong and team randomised 138 ASA 1 & 2 adults to either flexible (reinforced) LMA or intubation with an ETT (7.0 or 7.5 mm). Notably any patients with surgical complexity or BMI > 30 kg/m2 were excluded. The study was single-blinded.
The researchers reported the upper 95%-CI for estimated mean difference in peak airway pressure as +0.96 cmH2O, and for endtidal-CO2 +1.99 mmHg – neither of which are clinically significant.
They concluded that flexible-LMA was non-inferior to ETT in terms of PAP and ET-CO2.
The relevance of this study to most thyroid surgical patients is however limited at best. Not only were common groups of patients excluded (ie. BMI > 30) but one of the major arguments for LMA use (avoiding muscle relaxants) was irrelevant: all patients were paralysed with rocuronium.
Further, in 7% of the LMA cases severe air-leak occured and the surgical team were asked to cease or reduce tracheal traction.
Although the journal editors conclude in their Key Points that "FLMA is a safe alternative for experienced anesthesiologists in thyroid surgery" this seems quite a stretch given that this small study was neither powered for safety and only investigated airway ventilation performance as a narrow surrogate for acceptability.
Additionally the authors themselves highlight very real surgical concerns that LMA use can distort pharyngeal anatomy with serious consequences.
Not dissimilar to arguments for LMA use in GA caesarean section, the use of an LMA for thyroid surgery edges toward 'just because we can, does not mean we should'.
Ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks may yield better sensory and motor block, reduce supplementation & minor complications. Use of ultrasound alone is faster than when using with nerve stimulation.
Compared to direct laryngoscopy, videolaryngoscopy is associated with fewer failed intubations, improved glottic view and less trauma, but no consistent improvement in first-pass success, attempts, or respiratory complications.