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Environmental hazard of polypropylene microplastics from disposable medical masks : acute toxicity towards Daphnia magna and current knowledge on other polypropylene microplastics
Anita Jemec Kokalj, Andraž Dolar, Damjana Drobne, Marjan Marinšek, Matej Dolenec, Luka Škrlep, Gregor Strmljan, Branka Mušič, Andrijana Sever Škapin, 2022, izvirni znanstveni članek

Povzetek: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the use of disposable plastics, including medical masks, which have become a necessity in our daily lives. As these are often improperly disposed of, they represent an important potential source of microplastics in the environment. We prepared microplastics from polypropylene medical masks and characterised their size, shape, organic chemical leaching, and acute toxicity to the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna. The three layers of the masks were separately milled and characterised. Each of the inner frontal, middle filtering, and outer layers yielded different types of microplastics: fibres were obtained from the inner and outer layer, but irregular fragments from the middle layer. The shape of the obtained microplastics differed from the initial fibrous structure of the intact medical mask layers, which indicates that the material is deformed during cryo-milling. The chemical compositions of plastics-associated chemicals also varied between the different layers. Typically, the inner layer contained more chemicals related to antimicrobial function and flavouring. The other two layers also contained antioxidants and their degradation products, plasticisers, cross-linking agents, antistatic agents, lubricants, and non-ionic surfactants. An acute study with D. magna showed that these microplastics do not cause immobility but do physically interact with the daphnids. Further long-term studies with these microplastics are needed using a suite of test organisms. Indeed, studies with other polypropylene microplastics have shown numerous adverse effects on other organisms at concentrations that have already been reported in the environment. Further efforts should be made to investigate the environmental hazards of polypropylene microplastics from medical masks and how to handle this new source of environmental burden.
Ključne besede: COVID-19 pandemic, plastics-associated chemicals, Daphnia magna, fibres, fragments, nanofibres, polypropylene microplastics, single-use plastic
Objavljeno v DiRROS: 05.05.2023; Ogledov: 123; Prenosov: 72
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Prevalence of and factors associated with healthcare-associated infections in Slovenian acute care hospitals : results of the third national survey
Irena Klavs, Mojca Serdt, Aleš Korošec, Tatjana Lejko-Zupanc, Blaž Pečavar, 2019, izvirni znanstveni članek

Povzetek: Introduction. In the third Slovenian national healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) prevalence survey, conducted within the European point prevalence survey of HAIs and antimicrobial use in acute care hospitals, we estimated the prevalence of all types of HAIs and identified factors associated with them. Methods. Patients were enrolled into a one-day cross-sectional study in November 2017. Descriptive analyses were performed to describe the characteristics of patients, their exposure to invasive procedures and the prevalence of different types of HAIs. Univariate and multivariate analyses of association of having at least one HAI with possible risk factors were performed to identify risk factors. Results. Among 5,743 patients, 4.4% had at least one HAI and an additional 2.2% were still treated for HAIs on the day of the survey, with a prevalence of HAIs of 6.6%. The prevalence of pneumoniae was the highest (1.8%), followed by surgical site infections (1.5%) and urinary tract infections (1.2%). Prevalence of blood stream infections was 0.3%. In intensive care units (ICUs), the prevalence of patients with at least one HAI was 30.6%. Factors associated with HAIs included central vascular catheter (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.1; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 3.1–5.4), peripheral vascular catheter (aOR 3.0; 95% CI: 2.3–3.9), urinary catheter (aOR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.4–2.3). Conclusions. The prevalence of HAIs in Slovenian acute care hospitals in 2017 was substantial, especially in ICUs. HAIs prevention and control is an important public health priority. National surveillance of HAIs in ICUs should be developed to support evidence-based prevention and control.
Ključne besede: healthcare-associated infections, prevalence, survey, risk factors, Slovenia
Objavljeno v DiRROS: 16.10.2020; Ogledov: 1934; Prenosov: 746
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