Trauma team conformation in a war-influenced middle-income country in South America: is it possible?

Introduction: Trauma teams (TTs) improve outcomes in trauma patients. A multidisciplinary TT was conformed in September 2015 in a tertiary level I trauma university hospital in southwestern Colombia, a middle-income war-influenced country.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of a TT in admission-tomography and admission-surgery times as well as mortality in a tertiary center university hospital in a middle-income country war-influenced country.

Material and methods: Retrospective analytical study. Patients older than 17 years admitted to the emergency room 15 months prior and 15 months after the TT implementation were included. Patients prior to the TT implementation were taken as controls. No exclusion criteria. Four hundred sixty-four patients were included, 220 before the TT implementation (BTT) and 244 after (ATT). Demographic data, trauma characteristics, admission-tomography, and admission-surgery time interval as well as mortality were recorded. Requirement of CT scan or surgery was based on physician decision. The analysis was made on Stata 15.1®. Categorical variables were described as quantities and proportions, and continuous variables as mean and standard deviation or median and interquartile range (IQR). Categorical variables were compared using χ2 or Fisher’s test and continuous variables using Student’s T test or Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney. A multiple logistic regression model was created to evaluate the impact of being treated in the ATT group on mortality, adjusted by age, trauma severity, and physiological response upon admission.

Results: The admission-tomography time interval was 56 min (IQR 39-100) in the BTT group and 40 min (IQR 24-76) in the ATT group, p < 0.001. The admission-surgery time interval was 116 min (IQR 63-214) in the BTT group and 52 min (IQR 24-76) in the ATT group, p < 0.001. Mortality in the BTT group was 18.1% and 13.1% in the ATT group. Adjusted OR was 0.406 (0.215-0.789) p = 0.006 CONCLUSIONS: A trauma team conformation in a war-influenced middle-income country is feasible and reduces mortality as well as admission-surgery and admission-tomography time intervals in trauma patients.

Predictors of Survival After Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma in South America: The InterCHANGE Study

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) incidence is high in South America, where recent data on survival are sparse. We investigated the main predictors of HNSCC survival in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia.

Sociodemographic and lifestyle information was obtained from standardized interviews, and clinicopathologic data were extracted from medical records and pathologic reports. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression were used for statistical analyses.

Of 1,463 patients, 378 had a larynx cancer (LC), 78 hypopharynx cancer (HC), 599 oral cavity cancer (OC), and 408 oropharynx cancer (OPC). Most patients (55.5%) were diagnosed with stage IV disease, ranging from 47.6% for LC to 70.8% for OPC. Three-year survival rates were 56.0% for LC, 54.7% for OC, 48.0% for OPC, and 37.8% for HC. In multivariable models, patients with stage IV disease had approximately 7.6 (LC/HC), 11.7 (OC), and 3.5 (OPC) times higher mortality than patients with stage I disease. Current and former drinkers with LC or HC had approximately 2 times higher mortality than never-drinkers. In addition, older age at diagnosis was independently associated with worse survival for all sites. In a subset analysis of 198 patients with OPC with available human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 data, those with HPV-unrelated OPC had a significantly worse 3-year survival compared with those with HPV-related OPC (44.6% v 75.6%, respectively), corresponding to a 3.4 times higher mortality.

Late stage at diagnosis was the strongest predictor of lower HNSCC survival. Early cancer detection and reduction of harmful alcohol use are fundamental to decrease the high burden of HNSCC in South America.

Severe Acute Multi-Systemic Failure With Bilateral Ocular Toxoplasmosis in Immunocompetent Patients From Urban Settings in Colombia: Case Reports

Propose: To report two cases of severe acute multi-systemic failure with bilateral ocular toxoplasmosis in immunocompetent patients from urban settings in Colombia.

Observations: We report two immunocompetent male patients aged 44- and 67-years-old who, despite not having visited the Amazonian region in Colombia, had severe bilateral posterior uveitis and extensive-bilateral macular lesions and multiple organ failure that required admission to an intensive care unit. Toxoplasma gondii was positive by PCR assay in vitreous humor samples. Patients were treated with intravitreal clindamycin and dexamethasone in addition to systemic treatment with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. In both patients, infection by atypical strains was confirmed; in one case by serotyping and in another one by genotyping (ROP 18 virulent allele). After 2 and 4 months of treatment respectively, the patients showed improvement of the posterior uveitis and its systemic manifestations. However, there was no significant visual acuity improvement due to bilateral extensive macular involvement.

Conclusions and importance: Clinicians should be aware that toxoplasmosis originating from South America could be associated with severe acute multisystemic and intraocular bilateral involvement, even in patients with no history of exposure to jungle environments.

The Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Traffic Accidents in Latin America: A Narrative Review

Objective Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are devastating injuries and represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Traffic accidents are one of the main causes, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The epidemiology of TBI due to road traffic in Latin America is not clearly documented.

Methods A narrative review was conducted using PubMed, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar, looking for TBI studies in Latin America published between 2000 and 2018. Seventeen studies were found that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results  It was found that TBI due to road traffic accidents (RTAs) is more frequent in males between the ages of 15 and 35 years, and patients in motor vehicles accounted for most cases, followed by pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists.

Conclusion Road traffic accidents is a common cause of TBI in Latin America. More studies and registries are needed to properly document the epidemiological profiles of TBI related to RTAs.

Management and outcomes following emergency surgery for traumatic brain injury – A multi-centre, international, prospective cohort study (the Global Neurotrauma Outcomes Study).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for a significant amount of death and disability worldwide and the majority of this burden affects individuals in low-and-middle income countries. Despite this, considerable geographical differences have been reported in the care of TBI patients. On this background, we aim to provide a comprehensive international picture of the epidemiological characteristics, management and outcomes of patients undergoing emergency surgery for traumatic brain injury (TBI) worldwide. The Global Neurotrauma Outcomes Study (GNOS) is a multi-centre, international, prospective observational cohort study. Any unit performing emergency surgery for TBI worldwide will be eligible to participate. All TBI patients who receive emergency surgery in any given consecutive 30-day period beginning between 1st of November 2018 and 31st of December 2019 in a given participating unit will be included. Data will be collected via a secure online platform in anonymised form. The primary outcome measures for the study will be 14-day mortality (or survival to hospital discharge, whichever comes first). Final day of data collection for the primary outcome measure is February 13th. Secondary outcome measures include return to theatre and surgical site infection. This project will not affect clinical practice and has been classified as clinical audit following research ethics review. Access to source data will be made available to collaborators through national or international anonymised datasets on request and after review of the scientific validity of the proposed analysis by the central study team.

An International Collaborative Study on Surgical Education for Quality Improvement (ASSURED): A Project by the 2017 International Society of Surgery (ISS/SIC) Travel Scholars International Working Group

Background: There is a huge difference in the standard of surgical training in different countries around the world. The disparity is more obvious in the various models of surgical training in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) compared to high-income countries. Although the global training model of surgeons is evolving from an apprenticeship model to a competency-based model with additional training using simulation, the training of surgeons in LMICs still lacks a standard pathway of training.

Methods: This is a qualitative, descriptive, and collaborative study conducted in six LMICs across Asia, Africa, and South America. The data were collected on the status of surgical education in these countries as per the guidelines designed for the ASSURED project along with plans for quality improvement in surgical education in these countries.

Results: The training model in these selected LMICs appears to be a hybrid of the standard models of surgical training. The training models were tailored to the country’s need, but many fail to meet international standards. There are many areas identified that can be addressed in order to improve the quality of surgical education in these countries.

Conclusions: Many areas need to be improved for a better quality of surgical training in LMICs. There is a need of financial, technical, and research support for the improvement in these models of surgical education in LMICs.

Wide Dissection and Intercostal Vessel Division Allows for Repair of Hypoplastic Aortic Arch Through Thoracotomy.

The approach to coarctation of the aorta with hypoplastic aortic arch is controversial. We evaluated the outcomes in patients with coarctation of the aorta with or without hypoplastic aortic arch operated through a posterior left lateral thoracotomy.
A retrospective cohort of patients with aortic coarctation, who underwent repair between January 2009 and October 2017, was analyzed. Preoperative, postoperative, and echocardiographic characteristics were reviewed. Statistical analysis examined survival, freedom from reintervention, and freedom from recoarctation.
In nine years, 389 patients who underwent surgical treatment for coarctation of the aorta were identified; after exclusion criteria and complete echocardiographic reports, 143 patients were analyzed, of which 29 patients had hypoplastic aortic arch. The modification in the extended end-to-end anastomosis technique was a wide dissection and mobilization of the descending aorta that was achieved due to the ligation and division of 3 to 5 intercostal vessels. In both groups, patients were close to one month of age and had a median weight of 3.6 and 3.4 kg for hypoplastic and nonhypoplastic arch, respectively. In postoperative events, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups ( P = .57 for renal failure, P = .057 for transient, nonpermanent neurologic events, P = .496 for sepsis), as for intensive care unit ( P = .502) and total in-hospital stay ( P = .929). There was one case of postoperative mortality in each group and both were associated with noncardiac comorbidities. Regarding survival (log-rank = 0.060), freedom from reintervention (log-rank = 0.073), and freedom from recoarctation (log-rank = 0.568), there was no statistically significant difference between the groups.
We believe that it is the modified technique that allowed greater mobilization of the aorta and successful repair of hypoplastic arch through thoracotomy, without an increase in paraplegia or other adverse outcomes.

Early detection and treatment strategies for breast cancer in low-income and upper middle-income countries: a modelling study.

Poor breast cancer survival in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) can be attributed to advanced-stage presentation and poor access to systemic therapy. We aimed to estimate the outcomes of different early detection strategies in combination with systemic chemotherapy and endocrine therapy in LMICs.We adapted a microsimulation model to project outcomes of three early detection strategies alone or in combination with three systemic treatment programmes beyond standard of care (programme A): programme B was endocrine therapy for all oestrogen-receptor (ER)-positive cases; programme C was programme B plus chemotherapy for ER-negative cases; programme D was programme C plus chemotherapy for advanced ER-positive cases. The main outcomes were reductions in breast cancer-related mortality and lives saved per 100 000 women relative to the standard of care for women aged 30-49 years in a low-income setting (East Africa; using incidence data and life tables from Uganda and data on tumour characteristics from various East African countries) and for women aged 50-69 years in a middle-income setting (Colombia).In the East African setting, relative mortality reductions were 8-41%, corresponding to 23 (95% uncertainty interval -12 to 49) to 114 (80 to 138) lives saved per 100 000 women over 10 years. In Colombia, mortality reductions were 7-25%, corresponding to 32 (-29 to 70) to 105 (61 to 141) lives saved per 100 000 women over 10 years.The best projected outcomes were in settings where access to both early detection and adjuvant therapy is improved. Even in the absence of mammographic screening, improvements in detection can provide substantial benefit in settings where advanced-stage presentation is common.Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington Cancer Consortium Cancer Center Support Grant of the US National Institutes of Health.