The characteristics and outcomes of trauma admissions to an adult general surgery ward in a tertiary teaching hospital

Traumatic injuries are proportionally higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than high-income counties. Data on trauma epidemiology and patients’ outcomes are limited in LMICs.

A retrospective review of medical records was performed for trauma admissions to the Princess Marina Hospital general surgical (GS) wards from August 2017 to July 2018. Data on demographics, mechanisms of injury, body parts injured, Revised Trauma Score, surgical procedures, hospital stay, and outcomes were analysed.

During the study period, 2610 patients were admitted to GS wards, 1307 were emergency admissions. Trauma contributed 22.1% (576) of the total and 44.1% of the emergency admissions. Among the trauma admissions, 79.3% (457) were male. The median[interquartile range(IQR)](range) age in years was 30[24–40](13–97). The main mechanisms of injury were interpersonal violence (IPV), 53.1% and road traffic crashes (RTCs), 23.1%. More females than males suffered animal bites (5.9% vs. 0.9%), and burns (8.4% vs. 4.2%), while more males than females were affected by IPV (57.8% vs. 35.3%) and self-harm (5.5% vs. 3.4%). Multiple body parts were injured in 6.6%, mainly by RTCs. Interpersonal violence (IPV) and RTCs resulted in significant numbers of head and neck injuries, 57.3% and 22.2% respectively. More females than males had multiple body-parts injury 34.5% vs. 18.5%. Revised Trauma Score (RTS) of ≤11 was recorded in IPV, 38.4% and RTCs, 33.6%. Surgical procedures were performed on 44.4% patients. The most common surgical procedures were laparotomy (27.8%), insertion of chest tube (27.8%), and craniotomy/burr hole(25.1%). Complications were recorded in 10.1% of the patients(58) including 39 deaths, 6.8% of the 576.

Trauma contributed significantly to the total GS and emergency admissions. The most common mechanism of injury was IPV with head and neck the most frequently injured body part. Further studies on IPV and trauma admissions involving paediatric and orthopaedic patients are warranted.

Impact of Community-Based Clinical Breast Examinations in Botswana

We evaluated a clinical breast examination (CBE) screening program to determine the prevalence of breast abnormalities, number examined per cancer diagnosis, and clinical resources required for these diagnoses in a middle-income African setting.

We performed a retrospective review of a CBE screening program (2015-2018) by Journey of Hope Botswana, a Botswana-based nongovernmental organization (NGO). Symptomatic and asymptomatic women were invited to attend. Screening events were held in communities throughout rural and periurban Botswana, with CBEs performed by volunteer nurses. Individuals who screened positive were referred to a private tertiary facility and were followed by the NGO. Data were obtained from NGO records.

Of 6,120 screened women (50 men excluded), 452 (7.4%) presented with a symptom and 357 (5.83%) were referred for further evaluation; 257 ultrasounds, 100 fine-needle aspirations (FNAs), 58 mammograms, and 31 biopsies were performed. In total, 6,031 were exonerated from cancer, 78 were lost to follow-up (67 for ≤ 50 years and 11 for > 50 years), and 11 were diagnosed with cancer (five for 41-50 years and six for > 50 years, 10 presented with symptoms). Overall breast cancer prevalence was calculated to be 18/10,000 (95% CI, 8 to 29/10,000). The number of women examined per breast cancer diagnosis was 237 (95% CI, 126 to 1910) for women of age 41-50 years and 196 (95% CI, 109 to 977) for women of age > 50 years. Median time to diagnosis for all women was 17.5 [1 to 32.5] days. CBE-detected tumors were not different than tumors presenting through standard care.

In a previously unscreened population, yield from community-based CBE screening was high, particularly among symptomatic women, and required modest diagnostic resources. This strategy has potential to reduce breast cancer mortality.

Evaluation of Resources Necessary for Provision of Trauma Care in Botswana: An Initiative for a Local System.

Developing countries face the highest incidence of trauma, and on the other hand, they do not have resources for mitigating the scourge of these injuries. The World Health Organization through the Essential Trauma Care (ETC) project provides recommendations for improving management of the injured and building up of systems that are effective in low-middle-income countries (LMICs). This study uses ETC project recommendations and other trauma-care guidelines to evaluate the current status of the resources and organizational structures necessary for optimal trauma care in Botswana; an African country with relatively good health facilities network, subsidized public hospital care and a functioning Motor Vehicle Accident fund covering road traffic collision victims.A cross-sectional descriptive design employed convenience sampling for recruiting high-volume trauma hospitals and selecting candidates. A questionnaire, checklist, and physical verification of resources were utilized to evaluate resources, staff knowledge, and organization-of-care and hospital capabilities. Results are provided in plain descriptive language to demonstrate the findings.Necessary consumables, good infrastructure, adequate numbers of personnel and rehabilitation services were identified all meeting or exceeding ETC recommendations. Deficiencies were noted in staff knowledge of initial trauma care, district hospital capability to provide essential surgery, and the organization of trauma care.The good level of resources available in Botswana may be used to improve trauma care: To further this process, more empowering of high-volume trauma hospitals by adopting trauma-care recommendations and inclusive trauma-system approaches are desirable. The use of successful examples on enhanced surgical skills and capabilities, effective trauma-care resource management, and leadership should be encouraged.