Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19

Public Data Set of COVID-19

In the deceased patients, fever (86.5%) and cough (67.6%) were common, while diarrhea was uncommon (18.9%).The median period from symptom onset to death was 13 days (ranging of IQR 11 to 18 days). Of these deceased patients, 64.9% had at least one underlying disorder (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) (Table 2). The deceased patients were significantly older [median (IQR), 70.3 (65–81) years] and had a higher percentage of ≥65 years (83.8%), in comparison to those who survived [47 (35–57) years old and 13.2% ≥65 years]. COVID-19 was diagnosed at all ages. There were 30 (2.9%) pediatric patients (<14 years) in the group of patients who survived. None of the 37 deceased cases were pediatric patients (Table 2 and Figure 2A). Ages were comparable between men and women in both patients who deceased and survived (Figure 2B). Of the 37 deceased patients, 70.3% were men and 29.7% were woman. The number of men was 2.4 times that of women in the deceased patients. While men and women had the same susceptibility, men were more prone to dying (χ2 test, P = 0.016) (Figure 2C).

More on Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality via Frontiers in Public Health.

Brain Injury & Intimate Partner Violence

The term intimate partner violence (IPV) describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former intimate partner or spouse. IPV is also known as domestic abuse or gender-based violence, and is a major public health concern that destroys lives, devastates families, and affects communities around the world.

One in three women will experience intimate partner violence. Most will also suffer a brain injury. When you consider most physical abuse involves blows to the head, face, and neck, and strangulation, it’s not surprising. But while sports concussion dominates news headlines, little attention is paid to how common brain injury is among survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) works to change that through a unique, multi-disciplinary research collaboration between University of British Columbia – Okanagan and Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

In Canada alone, it’s estimated 230,000 women between 20 and 54 will experience severe violence at the hands of an intimate partner every year.

The federal Department of Justice estimates the annual costs associated with IPV exceed $7.4B.

Learn more about the Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research (SOAR Project).

Misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly all Canadians saw COVID-19 misinformation online

During the pandemic, nine in ten Canadians (90%) used online sources to find information about COVID-19. The three main sources were online newspapers or news sites (63%), social media posts from news organizations or magazines (35%), and social media posts from other users or influencers (30%).

During the first few months of this health crisis, 96% of Canadians who used the Internet to find information saw COVID-19 information that they suspected was misleading, false or inaccurate. In addition, regardless of gender, nearly two in five Canadians (40%) reported believing that the information they saw related to COVID-19 was true, then later realized that it was not.

Only one in five Canadians always checked the accuracy of online COVID-19 information

The survey found that many Canadians were not in a regular habit of checking the accuracy of information they found online, with only 21% reporting they always check the accuracy and 37% saying they often check. However roughly 36% of Canadians reported that they only sometimes (24%) or rarely (12%) checked the accuracy of COVID-19 information they found online, which facilitates the sharing of potentially misleading, false or inaccurate information.

Half of Canadians shared COVID-19 information they found online without knowing whether it was accurate

During the first few months of the pandemic, just over half of all Canadians (53%) had shared COVID-19 information they found online without knowing if it was accurate (22% always, often or sometimes shared, and 31% rarely shared), while the other half (47%) never shared unverified information.  Information-sharing habits did not vary by gender, but differences were observed depending on the age group and education level of respondents.

More on Misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic via Statistics Canada.

Stop the spread of misinformation by determining its accuracy prior to sharing it with others.
#COVID19 #WearAMask #GetVaccinated

Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy

“Globally, there are limited data on COVID-19 in pregnancy to inform recommendations for pregnant women and their care providers. This national surveillance project serves to better our understanding of the epidemiology and outcomes associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy and to thereby provide critical data to inform recommendations for pregnant women and their infants. A national approach, with regional leadership across Canada, is in progress with provincial/territorial data collection being combined for a national dataset of cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy. This project also lays the foundation for additional COVID-19 research through the establishment of a biospecimen repository from COVID-19 affected mother-infant pairs.”

More on Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Maternal and Infant Outcomes via UBC Faculty of Medicine Reproductive Infectious Diseases Program.

Update: COVID-19 Variants on the Rise

B.C. health officials announced 564 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Thursday as the number of variants of concern continues to climb.

Of the new cases, 46 were identified as variants, bringing B.C.’s total to 246. 

A total of 248 people are in hospital, 63 of whom are in intensive care. There are currently 4,743 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 1,376 people have died of the disease since the pandemic began.

More on COVID-19 variants on the rise, as B.C. records 564 new cases and 4 more deaths via CBC.

The Future of the Professions: Implications for Health Professions Education

Health professions education has always been concerned with creating health professionals for the future. However, the nature of professional work is rapidly changing. This leads to questions about how well health professions education can “future proof” current and next generation professionals. Some of the pressures professionals face are intensifications of existing tensions that have always defined the professions and their work. Other tensions are new, reflecting shifts in societal expectations, technological innovations, and greater scrutiny of professional work. Drawing on theories from the sociology of the professions, the sociology of work, and the sociology of expertise, I will use examples from the domains of (1) patient safety and quality improvement and (2) patient engagement to explore these tensions and their implications. Ultimately, I will argue that if educators wish to preserve – and enrich – the contributions of the professions to health and healthcare, we require more complex understandings of professional work and continuous professional learning.

Learn more here.