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Scientific diving in natural sciences

Abstract

Scientific diving is increasingly being used for numerous studies. Moreover, this form of diving allows for the conduction of interdisciplinary research. The current nomenclature of this type of dive is defined as scuba diving to collect information to support science by using diving techniques. Underwater research is particularly important in the natural sciences where it allows for the non-invasive observations of fauna and flora of aquatic ecosystems in their natural environment. At the same time, the use of diving for scientific purposes avoids mistakes made in random sampling, which is related to the use of classical sampling methods. As a result, such diving is crucial in systematic, ecological and behavioural analysis. Nevertheless, dive techniques, however versatile, require optimisation, separate study and systematisation, depending on the type of research conducted. This article is an attempt to present an outline of the topic, to systematise basic concepts in presenting the principles of legal regulations in Poland and abroad..

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Securing the hyperbaric treatment of decompression sickness in the polish navy

Abstract

Recently, the Polish Navy has extended its capability for the implementation of underwater works with autonomous dives conducted beyond the saturation zone to a depth of 80 mH2O. In the near future it is also planned to introduce long-term dives within typical depths of the saturation plateau.

One of the activities resulting from the analysis of the risk associated with the extension of these competences is the need to conduct a critical review of the system for securing hyperbaric treatment of cases of decompression sickness1.

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Sick building syndrome, a crossroad in modern occupational medicine assessment

Abstract

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a complex syndrome consisting of non-specific symptoms with an onset associated with subjects’ presence in some modern building and the disappearance of symptoms shortly after they leave it. The effects of SBS may be the result of a series of protective reactions of the human body triggered by various types of surrounding environment, further suggesting that the human response could be based on a three-phase biological model: sensory perception, low degree inflammatory reactions and environmental stress reactions. Besides stress created by the discomfort of people who develop symptoms, SBS is the cause of an extensive loss of productivity, sickness absenteeism, wasted time in complaints with all the legal punitive issues that arise from them. The subjects diagnosed with SBS are hard to follow-up over time due to workers often leaving their jobs and being lost from cohort databases. Achieving a reputation of a “sick building” may prove difficult to rehabilitate even after expensive repairs and upgrades. In extreme cases closure and even demolition can occur. SBS is an evolving concept and this review we will present part of this evolution and what are the major challenges for its definition.

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Stress vulnerability assessment among medical and political science and public administration students

Abstract

Context. Stress is a complex psychosocial phenomenon that significantly influences health. The individual differences in stress response depend on sensitivity to stressors, named “stress vulnerability”.

Objectives. The aims of the study were to determine the level of perceived vulnerability to stress and compare stress vulnerability among students from 2 universities in Bucharest: University of Medicine “Carol Davila” and National University of Political Studies and Public Administration.

Methods. An approximately equal number of students from the two selected universities completed the Romanian version of the Miller-Smith stress vulnerability questionnaire.

Results. A number of 86 (60 women and 26 men) students agreed to participate. Average age was 23.56 years with a standard deviation of 4.86 years. The high vulnerability group included 18 (38%) medical students and 27 (60%) political science and public administration students. The difference was statistically significant (chi2 test, p=0.02) between the two groups. The average health score for medical students (MS) was 15.97, with a median of 15, while for the political science and administration students (PSPAS) the average health score was 24.91, with a median of 26. The average psychosocial score for MS group was 20.41 and the median was 20. In the PSAPS group, the psychosocial score was 26.14 and the median 24. The difference was statistically significant for both health score (p<0.00001) and psychosocial score (p=0.0006).

Conclusions: Stress is a common problem among undergraduated students. In this study the vulnerability to stress was higher for students PSAPS group compared to the students from MS group.

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Teaching communication for safety in selected water based recreational disciplines

Abstract

This paper describes the concept of didactic communication and verifies the course of teaching selected disciplines of water based recreation, i.e. swimming (at the standard technique level), handling a sailing boat whilst undertaking simple manoeuvres, and the basics of diving. At the same time, research in the area of experiments conducted in the field of teaching methods of these disciplines was reviewed in terms of teaching effectiveness, as well as the health and safety of the participants, and ways of communicating while in, on and under the water. Communication between an instructor and a student in any environment which is different from the norm, is difficult owing to its specificity. Additionally, teaching skills on, in or under water requires strict observance of safety rules. Lack of student’s readiness to act in a different water environment, be that based on anxiety or fear, may interfere with or, even prevent didactic communication. Consequently, the effectiveness of teaching decreases. The aim of this work is to search for innovative forms of information transfer that will enable a permanent change in the student’s behaviour, especially when acting in a difficult environment – on the water, in the water and under the water. There are premises to believe that immediate verbal instruction and emphasising the metalinguistic function in it should improve the quality and effectiveness of the process of teaching activities in various water based environments.

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Utilising a Skin Prick Test for the determination of the presence of allergic rhinitis in divers

Abstract

Allergic rhinitis occurs in various regions of the world and affects from 10 to 40% of the population. The skin prick test is the “gold standard” for the detection of type I allergic diseases according to the Gella and Coombs classification, which is mediated by IgE. For our experiment, skin prick tests were performed on 60 divers aged between 30 and 40 years of age. The following tests for airborne allergens were used: tests for pollen from trees, grasses, cereals, weeds, proteins from house dust mites, animal hair and epidermis, and moulds. On the basis of an interview and a positive skin prick test allergic rhinitis was diagnosed in 17 divers.

Conclusions:

  1. Allergic rhinitis can cause health problems in divers and be the cause of diving accidents.
  2. The application of the skin prick test during the health qualification in the Military Maritime Health Commission, would allow the exclusion of diver candidates suffering from allergies.

Open access
Analysis of 22 years of surveillance for prion diseases in Slovenia, 1996 to 2017

Abstract

Introduction

The objective was to present the results of surveillance of prion diseases in Slovenia that was established in 1996 and then to assess the interdisciplinary approach according to the algorithm of case management and reporting data to the National Register at the National Institute of Public Health.

Methods

A descriptive study of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) recorded in the period from 1996 to 2017 was carried out.

Results

A total of 123 cases of prion disease were notified between 1996 and 2017. Out of these, 68 were recorded and confirmed by autopsy as sporadic CJD with an average incidence rate of 1,5 cases per million population per year. In one case a gene analysis showed mutation E200K in prion protein gene, PRNP. Two cases of the Gerstman-Sträussler Scheinker syndrome and one clinical case of fatal insomnia with new PRNP mutation, N181S, were notified. Diagnostic value of protein 14-3-3 analysis in the liquor reached 82% sensitivity and 71% specificity. 25 cases of notified clinically possible/probable CJD were disproved after autopsy. In eleven notified possible CJD cases the autopsy had not been performed. Variant CJD has not yet been proven in Slovenia.

Conclusion

Incidence rates were comparable with other European countries. Completeness of reporting and proper management of CJD cases according to the algorithm of reporting, management and case confirmation would need some improvement. A well-functioning surveillance system, including timely notifications, would enable an appropriate epidemiological investigation and an effective response to public health risks, thus the awareness of prion diseases should not decline.

Open access
Correlation between the DAI and ICON indices used for assessment of orthodontic treatment need in Croatian schoolchildren

Abstract

Introduction

The aims were: evaluation of the correlation between the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI) and Index of Complexity, Outcome and Need (ICON); the assessment of orthodontic treatment need for schoolchildren in a population with two indices, separately for schoolchildren with mixed and permanent dentition; the estimation of the population share that could not receive orthodontic treatment because of the presence of caries and/or gingivitis.

Methods

A total of 2652 Zagreb school children (7 - 19 years old, 52.4% of them were females) completed a questionnaire regarding previous orthodontic treatment and the type of appliance used. Their oral cavity was also inspected. The DAI and ICON indices were used for the assessment of malocclusion prevalence.

Results

The subjects with mixed dentition had a greater need for orthodontic treatment, when compared to subjects with permanent dentition, when using the DAI index (p<0.001). When using the ICON index, 11.7% of subjects with mixed dentition had very severe malocclusion, as opposed to 5.8% of subjects with permanent dentition. The DAI and ICON scores correlated positively linearly (r=0.521; p<0.001). A higher prevalence of both gingivitis and caries was recorded more often in boys; caries more often in the group with the mixed dentition, and gingivitis in the group with permanent dentition (p<0.05).

Conclusion

The DAI and ICON indices have moderate agreement in assessment of malocclusion severity scores. One third of all schoolchildren with various degrees of both ICON and DAI indices have gingivitis, and half of them have caries.

Open access
Empirical evaluation of a conceptual model for the perceived value of health services

Abstract

Introduction

Perceived value and its antecedents and consequences have been claimed to be important in industries with higher customer involvement. The aim of this paper is therefore to empirically assess the conceptual model, with perceived service value as its central component. It also investigates how it affects loyalty and satisfaction, how it is influenced by its antecedents, and to compare with other studies investigating partial relationship between variables.

Methods

A total of 800 patients were enrolled in the main study, and the data was analysed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. By modelling linear structural equations, we assessed reliability and established the convergent and discriminant validity of the questionnaire in the same way as in the pilot study.

Results

In the conceptual model for testing our hypotheses, we also included the relationship between patient satisfaction and loyalty. In this manner, the fitting of data to the model was significantly improved. After including the additional relationship, global fit indices had the following values: Chi-square=349.6 (sig.=0.00), df=143, RMSEA=0.05, NFI=0.96, CFI=0.97. All relationships between the constructs were statistically significant, thus confirming all our hypotheses.

Conclusions

The major conclusion of this paper is that an especially higher reputation and higher perceived service quality can contribute to perceived service value and therefore to more satisfied patients. The research approach has a few limitations. In the future, the model of perceived service value can be extended with variables such as emotions, patient trust, and commitment as well.

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Outpatient antibiotic consumption for urinary infections in Croatia 2005 - 2014: What can be learned from utilization trends

Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to determine quantities of antibiotics used mainly or exclusively for urinary tract infections in Croatia between 2005 and 2014, to describe utilisation trends, and general consequences of antibiotic consumption on antimicrobial resistance.

Methods

Antibiotic utilisation data were obtained from annual reports of both the Croatian Drug Agency and Croatian Academy of Medical Sciences. Antibiotic consumption was expressed in DDD/1000 inhabitants/day (DDD TID). Antimicrobial resistance was analysed for E. coli, E. faecalis, E. faecium, P. aeruginosa, Klebsiella spp., P. mirabilis. Descriptive statistics were used to process data and calculate trends.

Results

Overall, utilisation of antibacterials decreased by 4.8% (from 3,35 to 3,19 DDD TID), while trends of individual agents varied substantially – from 87% decline for ceftibuten to 160% rise for levofloxacin. The consumption of quinolones increased by 32.3%. This was mostly due to increased ciprofloxacin consumption (144% raise). Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim declined by 57%, while nitrofurantoin increased by 86%. The use of fosfomycin was marginal. Antimicrobial resistance of E. coli increased against quinolones by 54.5%, and against nitrofurantoin by 2–3%. Quinolone resistance of other pathogens (Klebiella spp, Proteus mirabilis), increased variably – between 17.2% (Klebsiella) and 90% (Proteus), while for P. aeruginosa remained the same at 22%.

Conclusion

High rates of antimicrobial utilisation require prescribing restrictions and educational interventions. The increased use of fluoroquinolones is a potentially serious public health threat due to the rapid development of resistance among uropathogens. This threat can be avoided by greater use of nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin.

Open access