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.

Percutaneous versus open pedicle screw instrumentation in treatment of thoracic and lumbar spine fractures: A systematic review and meta-analysis

To assess the safety and efficacy of percutaneous short-segment pedicle instrumentation compared with conventionally open short-segment pedicle instrumentation and provide recommendations for using these procedures to treat thoracolumbar fractures.
The Medline database, Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Clinical Trial Register, and Embase were searched for articles published. The randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs that compared percutaneous short-segment pedicle instrumentation to open short-segment pedicle instrumentation and provided data on safety and clinical effects were included. Demographic characteristics, clinical outcomes, radiological outcomes, and adverse events were manually extracted from all of the selected studies. Methodological quality of included studies using Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies scale and Cochrane collaboration’s tool for assessing the risk of bias by 2 reviewers independently.
Nine studies encompassing 433 patients met the inclusion criteria. Subgroup meta-analyses were performed according to the study design. The pooled results showed there were significant differences between the 2 techniques in short- and long-term visual analog scale, intraoperative blood loss, operative time, postoperative draining loss, hospital stay, and incision size, although there were no significant differences in postoperative radiological outcomes, Oswestry Disability Index, hospitalization cost, intraoperative fluoroscopy time, and adverse events.
Percutaneous short-segment pedicle instrumentation in cases with achieve satisfactory results, could replace in many cases extensive open surgery and not increased related complications. However, further high-quality RCTs are needed to assess the long-term outcome of patients between 2 techniques.

Double-island anterolateral thigh free flap used in reconstruction for salvage surgery for locally recurrent head and neck carcinoma

Salvage surgery is usually the only treatment for recurrent head and neck tumors but often poses a challenge to surgeons due to post-resected defects at 2 or more sites. Here we present the outcomes and rationale for reconstruction by a double-island anterolateral thigh (ALT) free flap following the salvage surgery.Patients treated with double-island ALT free flaps in salvage surgery between September 2012 and January 2017 at West China Hospital, Sichuan University were retrospectively viewed.A total of 18 patients (15 males) underwent reconstruction with double-island ALT free flaps (range from 40 to 77 years old). All patients had recurrent tumors after surgery and/or chemoradiotherapy and were selected for salvage surgery by a multidisciplinary team. The flaps were initially harvested as 7 cm × 7 cm to 16 cm × 10 cm single blocks and then divided into double-island flaps with each individual paddle ranging from5 cm × 3 cm to 10 cm × 8 cm. The average flap thickness was 3.5 cm (range from 2 to 6 cm), and the average pedicle length was 8 cm (range from 6 to 10 cm). A total of 18 arteries and 32 veins were anastomosed. Three patients developed fistula, 1 developed flap failure due to thrombosis and was re-operated with a pedicle flap. One patient died of pulmonary infection 6 months after the operation.Flap reconstruction for complex head and neck defects after salvage surgery remains challenging, but double-island ALT free flap reconstruction conducted by a multidisciplinary team and experienced surgeons would have a role in this setting

A case report of a polytrauma patient with penetrating iron rods in thorax and head

Impalement injury is an uncommon presentation, and penetrating chest injuries account for 1% to 13% of thoracic trauma hospital admissions. The vast majority of patients with penetrating thoracic trauma who survive to reach the hospital alive can be managed nonoperatively. Nevertheless, in 10% to 15% of cases, emergency operation is necessary due to the associated hemorrhagic shock and visceral injury.
Here, we report on a 39-year-old male, a construction worker, who fell down from a height of a construction site, landing ventrally on a clump of iron rods with 4 projecting heavy metallic rods penetrating into his thorax and head (scalp pierced only). Emergency surgery was taken, and the patient had an uneventful successful outcome.
After massive thoracic impalement, rapid transportation to a tertiary trauma center with the impaled objects in situ can improve the outcome. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is recommended to remove the foreign body under direct vision and to reduce the incidence of missed, potentially fatal vascular or visceral injuries.

Effects of income and residential area on survival of patients with head and neck cancers following radiotherapy: working age individuals in Taiwan.

The five-year survival rate of head and neck cancer (HNC) after radiotherapy (RT) varies widely from 35% to 89%. Many studies have addressed the effect of socioeconomic status and urban dwelling on the survival of HNC, but a limited number of studies have focused on the survival rate of HNC patients after RT.During the period of 2000-2013, 40,985 working age individuals (20 < age  medium income group > low income group and northern > central > southern > eastern Taiwan. Patients with moderate income levels had a 36.9% higher risk of mortality as compared with patients with high income levels (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.369; p < 0.001). Patients with low income levels had a 51.4% greater risk of mortality than patients with high income levels (HR = 1.514, p < 0.001).In Taiwan, income and residential area significantly affected the survival rate of HNC patients receiving RT. The highest income level group had the best survival rate, regardless of the geographic area. The difference in survival between the low and high income groups was still pronounced in more deprived areas.