Epidemiological Characteristics, Ventilator Management, and Clinical Outcome in Patients Receiving Invasive Ventilation in Intensive Care Units from 10 Asian Middle-Income Countries (PRoVENT-iMiC): An International, Multicenter, Prospective Study

Epidemiology, ventilator management, and outcome in patients receiving invasive ventilation in intensive care units (ICUs) in middle-income countries are largely unknown. PRactice of VENTilation in Middle-income Countries is an international multicenter 4-week observational study of invasively ventilated adult patients in 54 ICUs from 10 Asian countries conducted in 2017/18. Study outcomes included major ventilator settings (including tidal volume [V T ] and positive end-expiratory pressure [PEEP]); the proportion of patients at risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), according to the lung injury prediction score (LIPS), or with ARDS; the incidence of pulmonary complications; and ICU mortality. In 1,315 patients included, median V T was similar in patients with LIPS < 4 and patients with LIPS ≥ 4, but lower in patients with ARDS (7.90 [6.8–8.9], 8.0 [6.8–9.2], and 7.0 [5.8–8.4] mL/kg Predicted body weight; P = 0.0001). Median PEEP was similar in patients with LIPS < 4 and LIPS ≥ 4, but higher in patients with ARDS (five [5–7], five [5–8], and 10 [5–12] cmH2O; P < 0.0001). The proportions of patients with LIPS ≥ 4 or with ARDS were 68% (95% CI: 66–71) and 7% (95% CI: 6–8), respectively. Pulmonary complications increased stepwise from patients with LIPS < 4 to patients with LIPS ≥ 4 and patients with ARDS (19%, 21%, and 38% respectively; P = 0.0002), with a similar trend in ICU mortality (17%, 34%, and 45% respectively; P < 0.0001). The capacity of the LIPS to predict development of ARDS was poor (ROC AUC of 0.62, 95% CI: 0.54–0.70). In Asian middle-income countries, where two-thirds of ventilated patients are at risk for ARDS according to the LIPS and pulmonary complications are frequent, setting of V T is globally in line with current recommendations.

Which Surgical Operations Should be Performed in District Hospitals in East, Central and Southern Africa? Results of a Survey of Regional Clinicians

Background
In East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA), district hospitals (DH) are the main source of surgical care for 80% of the population. DHs in Africa must provide basic life-saving procedures, but the extent to which they can offer other general and emergency surgery is debated. Our paper contributes to this debate through analysis and discussion of regional surgical care providers’ perspectives.

Methods
We conducted a survey at the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa Conference in Kigali in December 2018. The survey presented the participants with 59 surgical and anaesthesia procedures and asked them if they thought the procedure should be done in a district level hospital in their region. We then measured the level of positive agreement (LPA) for each procedure and conducted sub-analysis by cadre and level of experience.

Results
We had 100 respondents of which 94 were from ECSA. Eighteen procedures had an LPA of 80% or above, among which appendicectomy (98%), caesarean section (97%) and spinal anaesthesia (97%). Twenty-one procedures had an LPA between 31 and 79%. The surgical procedures that fell in this category were a mix of obstetrics, general surgery and orthopaedics. Twenty procedures had an LPA below 30% among which paediatric anaesthesia and surgery.

Conclusion
Our study offers the perspectives of almost 100 surgical care providers from ECSA on which surgical and anaesthesia procedures should be provided in district hospitals. This might help in planning surgical care training and delivery in these hospitals.

The embodiment of low-field MRI for the diagnosis of infant hydrocephalus in Uganda

Compared to other parts of the world, theincidence of hydrocephalus in children is very high in subSaharan Africa. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be the
preferred diagnostic method for infant hydrocephaleus. However, in practice, MRI is seldom used in sub-Saharan Africa due to its high prize, low mobility, and high power consumption.
A low-cost MRI technology is under development by reducing the strength of the magnetic field and the use of alternative technologies to create the magnetic field. This paper describes the embodiment design process to match this new MRI technology under development with the specific characteristics of the healthcare system in Uganda.

A context exploration was performed to identify factors that may affect the design and implementation of the low-field MRI in Ugandan hospitals and Ugandan healthcare environment. The key-insights from the technology- and context-exploration were translated into requirements which were the starting point for the design process. The concept development did have a focus on Cost-effective design, Design for durability & reliability, and Design for repairability. The final design was validated by stakeholders from the Ugandan Healthcare context.

Challenges and opportunities for managing pediatric central nervous system tumors in China

Central nervous system (CNS) tumors represent the most deadly cancer in pediatric age group. In China, thousands of children are diagnosed with CNS tumors every year. Despite the improving socioeconomic status and availability of medical expertise within the country, unique challenges remain for the delivery of pediatric neuro‐oncology service. In this review, we discuss the existing hurdles for improving the outcome of children with CNS tumors in China. Need for precise disease burden estimation, lack of intra‐ and inter‐hospital collaborative networks, high probability of treatment abandonment, along with financial toxicities from treatment represent the key challenges that Chinese healthcare providers encounter. The tremendous opportunities for advancing the status of pediatric neuro‐oncology care in and beyond the country are explored.

Psychological Status of Surgical Staff During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which appeared in early December 2019, had an atypical viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei, China. And there is a high risk of global proliferation and impact. The sudden increase in confirmed cases has brought tremendous stress and anxiety to frontline surgical staff. The results showed that the anxiety and depression of surgical staff during the outbreak period were significantly higher and mental health problems appeared, so psychological interventions are essential.

Epidemiological Characteristics of Spinal Cord Injury in Northwest China: A Single Hospital-Based Study

Background: While the cities in China in which spinal cord injury (SCI) studies have been conducted previously are at the forefront of medical care, northwest China is relatively underdeveloped economically, and the epidemiological characteristics of SCI have rarely been reported in this region.

Methods: The SCI epidemiological survey software developed was used to analyze the data of patients treated with SCI from 2014 to 2018. The sociodemographic characteristics of patients, including name, age, sex, and occupation, were recorded. The following medical record data, obtained from physical and radiographic examinations, were included in the study: data on the cause of injury, fracture location, associated injuries, and level of injury. Neurological function was evaluated using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale. In addition, the treatment and complications during hospitalization were documented.

Results: A total of 3487 patients with SCI with a mean age of 39.5 ± 11.2 years were identified in this study, and the male to female ratio was 2.57:1. The primary cause of SCI was falls (low falls 47.75%, high falls 37.31%), followed by traffic accidents (8.98%), and impact with falling objects (4.39%). Of all patients, 1786 patients (51.22%) had complications and other injuries. According to the ASIA impairment scale, the numbers of grade A, B, C, and D injuries were 747 (21.42%), 688 (19.73%), 618 (17.72%), and 1434 (41.12%), respectively. During the hospitalization period, a total of 1341 patients experienced complications, with a percentage of 38.46%. Among all complications, pulmonary infection was the most common (437, 32.59%), followed by hyponatremia (326, 24.31%), bedsores (219, 16.33%), urinary tract infection (168, 12.53%), deep venous thrombosis (157, 11.71%), and others (34, 2.53%). Notably, among 3487 patients with SCI, only 528 patients (15.14%) received long-term rehabilitation treatment.

Conclusion: The incidence of SCI in northwest China was on the rise with higher proportion in males; fall and the MCVs were the primary causes of SCI. The occupations most threatened by SCI are farmers and workers. The investigation and analysis of the epidemiological characteristics of SCI in respiratory complications are important factors leading to death after SCI, especially when the SCI occurs in the cervical spinal cord. Finally, the significance of SCI rehabilitation should be addressed.

General Thoracic Surgery Services Across Asia During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 posed an historic challenge to healthcare systems around the world. Besides mounting a massive response to the viral outbreak, healthcare systems needed to consider provision of clinical services to other patients in need. Surgical services for patients with thoracic disease were maintained to different degrees across various regions of Asia, ranging from significant reductions to near-normal service. Key determinants of robust thoracic surgery service provision included: preexisting plans for an epidemic response, aggressive early action to “flatten the curve”, ability to dedicate resources separately to COVID-19 and routine clinical services, prioritization of thoracic surgery, and the volume of COVID-19 cases in that region. The lessons learned can apply to other regions during this pandemic, and to the world, in preparation for the next one.

Pearls of Experience for Safe and Efficient Hospital Practices in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in Hong Kong During the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic originated in Wuhan, China and spread rapidly worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare an official global COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In Hong Kong, clinicians and other healthcare personnel collaborated closely to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and minimize the cross-transmission of disease among hospital staff members. In the field of otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OHNS) and its various subspecialties, contingency plans were required for patient bookings in outpatient clinics, surgeries in operating rooms, protocols in wards and other services. Infected patients may shed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) particles into their environments via body secretions. Therefore, otolaryngologists and other healthcare personnel in this specialty face a high risk of contracting COVID-19 and must remain vigilant when performing examinations and procedures involving the nose and throat. In this article, we share our experiences of the planning and logistics undertaken to provide safe and efficient OHNS practices over the last 2 months, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that our experiences will serve as pearls for otolaryngologists and other healthcare personnel working in institutes that serve large numbers of patients every day, particularly with regard to the sharing of clinical and administrative tasks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Case Report With COVID-19 During Perioperative Period of Lobectomy

Rationale: Currently, COVID-19 has made a significant impact on many countries in the world. However, there have been no reported cases of pulmonary lobectomy with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) infection. We are the first to report such a case.

Patient concerns: We report a 63-year-old Wuhan male patient with smoking history of 40 cigarettes per day for 40 years. He sought medical consultation for right lower lung nodules found by CT scan.

Diagnoses and interventions: The patient’s postoperative pathological diagnosis was squamous cell carcinoma of the right lower lung. On the fourth day after the operation, the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test showed a positive result. After the operation, we routinely give symptomatic treatments such as anti-infection, nebulization and oxygen inhalation. We also change antibiotics several times depending on the patient’s condition.

Outcomes: The patient’s condition continued to deteriorate. On the fifth day after surgery, the patient died despite medical treatment.

Lessons: We are the first to report the diagnosis and treatment process of patients with COVID-19 during perioperative period of lobectomy. It provides a case for the postoperative management of such patients.

Bariatric Surgery Did Not Increase the Risk of Gallstone Disease in Obese Patients: a Comprehensive Cohort Study

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of bariatric surgery on gallstone disease in obese patients.
This large cohort retrospective study was conducted based on the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. All patients 18-55 years of age with a diagnosis code for obesity (ICD-9-CM codes 278.00-278.02 or 278.1) between 2003 and 2010 were included. Patients with a history of gallstone disease and hepatic malignancies were excluded. The patients were divided into non-surgical and bariatric surgery groups. Obesity surgery was defined by ICD-9-OP codes. We also enrolled healthy civilians as the general population. The primary end point was defined as re-hospitalization with a diagnosis of gallstone disease after the index hospitalization. All patients were followed until the end of 2013, a biliary complication occurred, or death.
Two thousand three hundred seventeen patients in the bariatric surgery group, 2331 patients in the non-surgical group, and 8162 patients in the general population were included. Compared to the non-surgery group (2.79%), bariatric surgery (2.89%) did not elevate the risk of subsequent biliary events (HR = 1.075, p = 0.679). Compared to the general population (1.15%), bariatric surgery group had a significantly higher risk (HR = 4.996, p < 0.001). In the bariatric surgery group, female gender (HR = 1.774, p = 0.032) and a restrictive procedure (HR = 1.624, p = 0.048) were risk factors for gallstone disease.
The risk for gallstone disease did not increase after bariatric surgery, although the risk was still higher than the general population. The benefit of concomitant cholecystectomy during bariatric surgery should be carefully evaluated.