Validating the Global Surgery Geographical Accessibility Indicator: Differences in Modeled Versus Patient-Reported Travel Times

Background: Since long travel times to reach health facilities are associated with worse outcomes, geographic accessibility is one of the six core global surgery indicators; this corresponds to the second of the “Three Delays Framework,” namely “delay in reaching a health facility.” Most attempts to estimate this indicator have been based on geographical information systems (GIS) algorithms. The aim of our study was to compare GIS derived estimates to self-reported travel times for patients traveling to a district hospital in rural Rwanda for emergency obstetric care.

Methods: Our study includes 664 women who traveled to undergo a Cesarean delivery in Kirehe, Rwanda. We compared self-reported travel time from home to the hospital (excluding waiting time) with GIS estimated travel times, which were computed using the World Health Organization tool AccessMod, using linear regression.

Results: The majority of patients used multiple modes of transportation (walking = 48.5%, public transport = 74.2%, private transport = 2.9%, and ambulance 70.6%). Self-reported times were longer than GIS estimates by a factor of 1.49 (95% CI 1.40-1.57). Concordance was higher when the GIS model took into account that all patients in Rwanda are referred via their health center (β = 1.12; 95% CI 1.05-1.18).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, in this largest to date GIS validation study for geographical access to healthcare in low- and middle-income countries, a standard GIS model was found to significantly underestimate real travel time, which likely is in part because it does not model the actual route patients are travelling. Therefore, previous studies of 2-h access to surgery will need to be interpreted with caution, and future studies should take local travelling conditions into account.

Emergency Surgery in Geriatrics: A Retrospective Evaluation in a Single Center

As life expectancy increases in humans, surgical procedures applied to the elderly people are also increasing in parallel with the developments in surgery and postoperative care. A significant number of studies investigating the morbidity-mortality of geriatric patients are related to patients who are undergoing emergency operations. The present study aims to investigate the factors affecting mortality and morbidity after emergency surgery in elderly people.

The data of 200 patients aged 65 years and over who were operated under emergency conditions in the University of Health Sciences Kartal Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital between January and December 2018 were evaluated retrospectively.

Patient’s demographic information, including age, gender, ASA physical status, comorbidities, functional dependency or non-dependency of patients, types of operation, anesthesia technique, duration of operation, intraoperative blood transfusion, the changes of hematocrit levels (during the perioperative period), the outcome after surgery (intensive care admission or ward transfer), were recorded. The risk prediction of short-term mortality has been estimated using CCI and APACHE II scoring systems.

The mean age of the patients was 74.8±6.7 and the number of females (n=134, 67%) outweighed the males. Higher ASA physical status scores, dependent living conditions, long operation time, general anesthesia, intraoperative blood transfusion, low Htc values (<25%), high APACHE II scores and lower scores of 10-years survival by CCI were the factors that affected the acceptance into ICU.

Lagos state ambulance service: a performance evaluation

Objectives: The mortality rate from road traffic accidents (RTAs) in Nigeria is almost double that of the USA. In Nigeria, the first emergency medical services (EMS) system was established in March 2001, The Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS). The objectives of this study are to (1) determine the burden of RTAs in Lagos, (2) assess RTA call outcomes, and (3) analyze LASAMBUS’s response time and causes for delay.

Methodology: We reviewed completed LASAMBUS intervention forms spanning December 2017 to May 2018. We categorized the call outcomes into five groups: I. Addressed Crash, II. No Crash (False Call), III. Crash Already Addressed, IV. Did Not Respond, and V. Other. We further explored associations between the (1) causes for delay and outcomes and (2) response times and the outcomes.

Results: Overall, we analyzed 1352 intervention forms. We found that LASAMBUS did not address 53% of the RTA calls that they received. Of this, Outcome II. No Crash (False Call) accounted for 26% and Outcome III. Crash Already Addressed accounted for 22%. Self-reported causes for delay were recorded in 180 forms, representing 13.7% of the RTA burden. Traffic congestion accounted for 60% of this distribution.

Conclusion: LASAMBUS response rates are significantly lower than response rates in high-income countries such as the USA and lead to increased RTA mortality rates. Eliminating causes for delay will improve both LASAMBUS effectiveness and RTA victims’ health outcomes. Changing the public perception of LASAMBUS and standardizing LASAMBUS’ contact information will aid this as well.

Trauma burden, patient demographics and care-process in major hospitals in Tanzania: A needs assessment for improving healthcare resource management

Appropriate referrals of injured patients could improve clinical outcomes and management of healthcare resources. To gain insights for system development, we interrogated the current situation by assessing burden, patient demography, causes of injury, trauma mortality and the care-process.

We used an observational, cross-sectional study design and convenience sampling to review patient charts from 3 major hospitals and the death registry in Tanzania.

Injury constitutes 9–13% of the Emergency Centre census. Inpatient trauma-deaths were 8%; however, the trauma death registry figures exceeded the ‘inpatient deaths’ and recorded up to 16%. Most patients arrive through a hospital referral system (82%) and use a hospital transport network (76%). Only 8% of the trauma admissions possessed National Health Insurance. Road traffic collision (RTC) (69%), assault (20%) and falls (9%) were the leading causes of injury. The care process revealed a normal primary-survey rate of 73–90%. Deficiencies in recording were in the assessment of: Airway and breathing (67%), circulation (40%) and disability (80%). Most patients had non-operative management (42–57%) or surgery for wound care or skeletal injuries (43%). Laparotomies were performed in 26%, while craniotomy and chest drain-insertion were each performed in 10%.

The burden of trauma is high, and the leading causes are: RTC, assault, and falls. Deaths recorded in the death registries outweigh in-hospital deaths for up to twofold. There are challenges in the care process, funding and recording. We found a functional hospital referral-network, transport system, and death registry.

Impact of time of arrival in emergency unit on estimation of injuries and overall care of trauma victims

Background: Outcomes of trauma victims largely depends upon available resources, not only in terms of location of high level trauma center near the area where incident takes place but also on staff and equipment available at that particular center at that particular time. This study used retrospective charts review to ascertain whether trauma patients presenting during the night time would have delayed in establishing injuries after necessary investigations and higher in-hospital mortality than those trauma patients arriving during the day time at our hospital.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study, conducted in department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. Data was obtained from patients charts by a single investigator. By random sampling technique, 146 patients admitted between 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018inthe Emergency Department of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi were included. Patients were placed into two groups. Those arriving in hospital from 7 am to 7 pm were labeled as day time group while those who presented from 7 pm to 7 am were labeled as night time group. Difference in mortality in each group and time required for carrying out investigations and admissions to definite care were recorded and compared among both groups.

Results: A total of 146 patient charts were reviewed, with 73 patients each in both day time (DT) and night time (NT) groups. Out of 146 trauma victims 123(82.2%) were male and 23(17.8%) were female. Mean age in our population was 37.4 years (±14.3). Road traffic accident (RTA) was the most common cause in 121 patients (82.9%). Time required to conduct trauma services was shorter and significant in DT group as compared to NT group. There was significant difference observed in time required for admission in each group, with mean of 6hours and 40 minutes ± 4 hours,22 minutes in DT group and 8 hours, 36 minutes (± 5 hours,11 minutes in NT group (p = 0.03). However there was no significant difference in mortality observed in both groups.

Conclusions: In our hospital time of arrival has no impact on overall mortality of trauma patients. However time to carryout necessary investigations for stable trauma patients and their admissions to definite care is longer as compared to day time arrival of emergency trauma patients.

Affording Unavoidable Emergency Surgical Care – The Lived Experiences and Payment Coping Strategies of Households in Ibadan Metropolis, Southwestern Nigeria

Pre-payment and risk pooling schemes, central to the idea of universal health coverage, should protect households from catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment; particularly when emergency care is required. Inadequate financial protection consequent on surgical emergencies occurs despite the existence of risk-pooling schemes. This study documented the experiences and coping strategies of slum and non-slum dwellers in a southwestern metropolis of Nigeria who had undergone emergency surgery.
In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 participants (13 slums dwellers, 18 non-slum dwellers) who had recently paid for emergency surgical care in Ibadan. Patients who had experienced catastrophic health expenditure from the use of emergency surgical care were identified and people who paid for the care were purposively selected for the interviews. Using an in-depth interview guide, information on the experiences and overall coping strategies during and after the hospitalization was collected. Data were analyzed inductively using the thematic approach.
The mean age of the 31 participants (consisting of 7 men and 24 women) was 31 ± 5.6years. Apathy to savings limited the preparation for unplanned healthcare needs. Choice of hospital was determined by word of mouth, perceptions of good quality or prompt care and availability of staff. Social networks were relied on widely as a coping mechanism before and during the admission. Patients that were unable to pay experienced poor and humiliating treatment (in severe cases, incarceration). Inability to afford care was exacerbated by double billing and extraneous charges. It was opined that health care should be more affordable for all and that the current National Health Insurance Scheme, that was operating sub-optimally, should be strengthened appropriately for all to benefit.
The study highlights households’ poor attitude to health-related savings and pre-payment into a social solidarity fund to cover the costs of emergency surgical care. It also highlights the factors influencing costs of emergency surgical care and the role of social networks in mitigating the high costs of care. Improving financial protection from emergency surgical care would entail promoting a positive attitude to health-related savings, social solidarity and extending the benefits of social health insurance.

Postoperative Pain Management in Emergency Surgeries: A One-year Survey on Perception and Satisfaction among Surgical Patients

Postoperative pain varies from an individual to individual. It also varies with types and extent of surgery. In general, postoperative pain is inadequately managed in most centers worldwide, especially in developing countries. Therefore, this study presents the perception and satisfaction of postoperative pain management in emergency surgeries.
A 1-year prospective study of the 891 patients who underwent emergency general surgeries at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, from January to December 2018 is hereby presented. Pain scores and patient’s satisfaction toward postoperative pain management were considered at 8 and 24 h postoperatively through a predesigned questionnaire. Numeric Pain Rating Scale was used to determine pain intensity and the level of satisfaction following postoperative pain management. Student’s t-test was used to compare the pain scores and patient’s level of satisfaction of the postoperative pain management.
A total of 891 patients were recruited for this study, with a mean age of 36.4 ± 8.9 years with a male-to-female ratio of 1.3:1. Postoperative pain management satisfaction score for patients (98%) who had pain 8-h postoperative period was 4.8 ± 1.6. Similarly, 96.4% of the patients who had pain 24 h postoperatively scored 2.8 ± 1.7. Majority of the patients 481 (54%) were of the American Society of Anesthesiologist physical Class II. Most of the patients underwent general surgery using the technique of general anesthesia.
This study indicated that the perception and level of patient’s satisfaction regarding postoperative pain management are inadequate. The health professionals and policy makers should be aware that postoperative pain management is suboptimal, as patients still have severe postoperative pain. Therefore, the need for improved postoperative pain management.

Reversal of Hartmann’s procedure is still a high-morbid surgery?

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the outcome of the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure based on preoperative and intraoperative risk factors.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 78 cases, whom we applied the Hartmann’s procedure either electively or under emergency conditions in our clinic between the years 2010 and 2016.
RESULTS: Of the cases reviewed in this study, 45 patients were males, and 33 patients were females. Of all cases included in this study, 32 cases were operated due to malignancies, 15 cases were operated due to a perforated diverticulum, and 11 cases were operated due to sigmoid volvulus. Reversal of Hartmann’s was performed in 32 cases. The morbidity and mortality rates for the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure were 37.5% and 0.0%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The reversal of Hartmann’s procedure appears to be a safe operation with acceptable morbidity rates. If the correct patient selection, correct operation timing and meticulous surgical preparation are performed, the risk of morbidity and mortality of the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure can be minimized.

Comparison of emergency department trauma triage performance of clinicians and clinical prediction models: a cohort study in India

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the abilities of clinicians and clinical prediction models to accurately triage emergency department (ED) trauma patients. We compared the decisions made by clinicians with the Revised Trauma Score (RTS), the Glasgow Coma Scale, Age and Systolic Blood Pressure (GAP) score, the Kampala Trauma Score (KTS) and the Gerdin et al model.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Three hospitals in urban India.

Participants: In total, 7697 adult patients who presented to participating hospitals with a history of trauma were approached for enrolment. The final study sample included 5155 patients. The majority (4023, 78.0%) were male.

Main outcome measure The patient outcome was mortality within 30 days of arrival at the participating hospital. A grid search was used to identify model cut-off values. Clinicians and categorised models were evaluated and compared using the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUROCC) and net reclassification improvement in non-survivors (NRI+) and survivors (NRI−) separately.

Results:The differences in AUROCC between each categorised model and the clinicians were 0.016 (95% CI −0.014 to 0.045) for RTS, 0.019 (95% CI −0.007 to 0.058) for GAP, 0.054 (95% CI 0.033 to 0.077) for KTS and −0.007 (95% CI −0.035 to 0.03) for Gerdin et al. The NRI+ for each model were −0.235 (−0.37 to −0.116), 0.17 (−0.042 to 0.405), 0.55 (0.47 to 0.65) and 0.22 (0.11 to 0.717), respectively. The NRI− were 0.385 (0.348 to 0.4), −0.059 (−0.476 to −0.005), −0.162 (−0.18 to −0.146) and 0.039 (−0.229 to 0.06), respectively.

Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that there are no substantial differences in discrimination and net reclassification improvement between clinicians and all four clinical prediction models when using 30-day mortality as the outcome of ED trauma triage in adult patients.

Emergency chest wall reconstruction in open pneumo-thorax from gunshot chest: A case report

Chest trauma, penetrating or blunt is common in this era of motor vehicle accidents, violence and terrorism in South Asia. Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan but there is no dedicated chest surgery unit in any government sector hospitals. Gunshot chest, is therefore managed by general surgery team in our tertiary care setting i.e. Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital and Post Graduate Medical Institute, Islamabad. We report a case of gunshot chest with lung contusion and open pneumothorax with a chest wall defect of 10 x 15 cm. in March 2015, this young man presented in emergency department of Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital (FGPC), Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Islamabad in shock after self-inflicted point blank suicidal gunshot to his left anterolateral chest. After primary resuscitation, the patient was shifted to OR, and a left anterolateral thoracotomy performed. Lung contusion was repaired and chest drain placed. The challenging task of closing the huge chest wall defect was performed by rotating the left latissimus dorsi muscle flap. The patient was shifted to ICU and remained stable postoperatively.