Publications by authors named "Stefania Guerrini"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Non-COVID-19 patients in times of pandemic: Emergency department visits, hospitalizations and cause-specific mortality in Northern Italy.

PLoS One 2021 22;16(3):e0248995. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Emergency, Medicina d'Urgenza e Pronto Soccorso, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced healthcare services organization to adjust to mutating healthcare needs. Not exhaustive data are available on the consequences of this on non-COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the pandemic on non-COVID-19 patients living in a one-million inhabitants' area in Northern Italy (Bologna Metropolitan Area-BMA), analyzing time trends of Emergency Department (ED) visits, hospitalizations and mortality. We conducted a retrospective observational study using data extracted from BMA healthcare informative systems. Weekly trends of ED visits, hospitalizations, in- and out-of-hospital, all-cause and cause-specific mortality between December 1st, 2019 to May 31st, 2020, were compared with those of the same period of the previous year. Non-COVID-19 ED visits and hospitalizations showed a stable trend until the first Italian case of COVID-19 has been recorded, on February 19th, 2020, when they dropped simultaneously. The reduction of ED visits was observed in all age groups and across all severity and diagnosis groups. In the lockdown period a significant increase was found in overall out-of-hospital mortality (43.2%) and cause-specific out-of-hospital mortality related to neoplasms (76.7%), endocrine, nutritional and metabolic (79.5%) as well as cardiovascular (32.7%) diseases. The pandemic caused a sudden drop of ED visits and hospitalizations of non-COVID-19 patients during the lockdown period, and a concurrent increase in out-of-hospital mortality mainly driven by deaths for neoplasms, cardiovascular and endocrine diseases. As recurrencies of the COVID-19 pandemic are underway, the scenario described in this study might be useful to understand both the population reaction and the healthcare system response at the early phases of the pandemic in terms of reduced demand of care and systems capability in intercepting it.
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April 2021

Does the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) represent the optimal tool for evaluating pain in the triage process of patients presenting to the ED? Results of a muticenter study.

Acta Biomed 2016 01 16;87(3):347-352. Epub 2016 Jan 16.


Pain evaluation at triage in Emergency Department (ED) is fundamental, as it influences significantly patients color code determination. Different scales have been proposed to quantify pain but they are not always reliable. This study aims to determine a) how important is for triage nurses pain measurement b) reliability of Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), the most used instrument to evaluate pain in Italian EDs, because it frequently shows higher pain scores than others scales.

Methods: End point 1: a questionnaire was administered to triage nurses in some hospitals of northern Italy. End point 2: 250 patients arriving at the ED referring pain have been evaluated using, randomly, either the NRS or a fake "30-50" scale.

Results: End point 1: Triage nurses acknowledge to modify frequently the referred pain intensity. This for several reasons: nurses think that patients may exaggerate to obtain a higher priority color code; they may be influenced by specific patients categories (non EU citizens, drugs-addicted, elderly); the pain score referred by patients is not correspondent to nurse perception. End point 2: Data show that the mean value obtained with NRS is significantly (p<0.05) higher that the mean obtained with the "30-50" scale.

Conclusion: Manipulation on pain evaluation performed by nurses might result in a dangerous underestimation of this symptom. At the same time, the use of NRS seems to allow patients to exaggerate pain perception with consequent altered attribution of color code at triage.
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January 2016

Thirty and ninety days mortality predictive value of admission and in-hospital procalcitonin and mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin testing in patients with dyspnea. Results from the VERyfing DYspnea trial.

Am J Emerg Med 2014 Apr 3;32(4):334-41. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

Emergency Department, Sant'Andrea Hospital, School of Medicine and Psychology "Sapienza" Univesity, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

Introduction: Mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), procalcitonin (PCT), and mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) demonstrated usefulness for management of emergency department patients with dyspnea.

Methods: To evaluate in patients with dyspnea, the prognostic value for 30 and 90 days mortality and readmission of PCT, MR-proADM, and MR-proANP, a multicenter prospective study was performed evaluating biomarkers at admission, 24 and 72 hours after admission. Based on final diagnosis, patients were divided into acute heart failure (AHF), primary lung diseases, or both (AHF + NO AHF).

Results: Five hundred one patients were enrolled. Procalcitonin and MR-proADM values at admission and at 72 hours were significantly (P < .001) predictive for 30-day mortality: baseline PCT with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.70 and PCT at 72 hours with an AUC of 0.61; baseline MR-proADM with an AUC of 0.62 and MR-proADM at 72 hours with an AUC of 0.68. As for 90-day mortality, both PCT and MR-proADM baseline and 72 hours values showed a significant (P < .0001) predictive ability: baseline PCT with an AUC of 0.73 and 72 hours PCT with an AUC of 0.64; baseline MR-proADM with an AUC of 0.66 and 72 hours MR-proADM with an AUC of 0.71. In AHF, group biomarkers predicted rehospitalization and mortality at 90 days, whereas in AHF + NO AHF group, they predict mortality at 30 and 90 days.

Conclusions: In patients admitted for dyspnea, assessment of PCT plus MR-proADM improves risk stratification and management. Combined use of biomarkers is able to predict in the total cohort both rehospitalization and death at 30 and 90 days.
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April 2014

Inflammatory neuropathies of the enteric nervous system.

Gastroenterology 2004 Jun;126(7):1872-83

Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, St. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Via Massarenti 9, I-40138 Bologna, Italy.

Inflammatory neuropathy of the enteric nervous system is emerging as an important topic in the field of neurogastroenterology. Enteric ganglionitis can be either primary or secondary to a wide array of diseases (i.e., paraneoplastic, infectious, and neurological disorders) and is characterized by a dense infiltrate of inflammatory/immune cells mainly confined to the neural microenvironment. The clinical picture reflects the involved segment of the gastrointestinal tract (achalasia, gastroparesis, pseudo-obstruction, and megacolon). In these settings, symptoms may develop either acutely (frequently after a flulike episode in otherwise previously healthy individuals) or more slowly (e.g., in paraneoplastic syndromes). The inflammatory/immune response in enteric ganglionitis leads to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration over time and sometimes results in a complete loss of enteric neurons. The diagnosis of enteric ganglionitis is supported by detection of circulating antineuronal antibodies against select molecular targets, including Hu and Yo proteins, neurotransmitter receptors, and ion channels. Potential mechanisms involved in neuronal dysfunction include viral antigen expression in the enteric neural environment, molecular mimicry (onconeural antigens), and the role exerted by cellular and humoral autoimmunity. A short course of steroid or other immunosuppressive therapy has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of these conditions. This feature reinforces the concept of a cause/effect relationship of the immune-mediated insult damaging the enteric innervation. An increased awareness of the clinical features and the immunologic and neurodegenerative mechanisms of these forms of peripheral neuropathy is important to correctly diagnose this problem during the early stages of the disease process and to provide appropriate immunosuppressive therapies.
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June 2004

Distribution of galanin receptor 1 immunoreactivity in the rat stomach and small intestine.

J Comp Neurol 2002 Aug;450(3):292-302

CURE Digestive Diseases Research Center, Division of Digestive Diseases, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Galanin affects gastrointestinal functions by activating different G protein-coupled receptors. Here, we identified the sites of expression of the galanin receptor 1 (GAL-R1) subtype in the rat stomach and small intestine by using immunohistochemistry with an antibody raised to the third intracellular loop of rat GAL-R1 (GAL-R1(Y225-238)) and confocal microscopy. Antibody specificity was confirmed by (1) the detection of a band at approximately 70 kDa in Western blot of membranes from GAL-R1 transfected cells, (2) the cell surface staining of GAL-R1 transfected cells, which was not detected in control cells, and (3) the abolition of Western signal and tissue immunostaining by preadsorbing the antibody with the peptide used for immunization. GAL-R1 immunoreactivity was localized to the cell surface of enterochromaffin-like cells, and of myenteric and submucous neurons, and to fibers distributed to the plexuses, interconnecting strands, muscle layers, vasculature, and mucosa. A dense network of GAL-R1 immunoreactivity was observed in the deep muscular plexus in very close association with interstitial cells of Cajal visualized by c-kit immunostaining. In the ileum, 81.6% of GAL-R1 myenteric neurons and 70.7% of GAL-R1 submucosal neurons were substance P immunoreactive. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide immunoreactivity was found in 48.3% of GAL-R1 submucosal neurons, but not in GAL-R1 myenteric neurons. These findings support the hypothesis that GAL-R1 mediates galanin actions on gastrointestinal motility and secretion by modulating the release of other neurotransmitters and contributes to galanin-induced inhibition of gastric acid secretion by means of the suppression of endogenous histamine release.
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August 2002