Perioperative serum albumin as a predictor of adverse outcomes in abdominal surgery: prospective cohort hospital based study in Northern Tanzania

Background: Albumin is an important protein that transports hormones, fatty acids, and exogenous drugs; it also maintains plasma oncotic pressure. Albumin is considered a negative active phase protein because it decreases during injuries and sepsis. In spite of other factors predicting surgical outcomes, the effect of pre and postoperative serum albumin to surgical complications can be assessed by calculating the percentage decrease in albumin (delta albumin). This study aimed to explore perioperative serum albumin as a predictor of adverse outcomes in major abdominal surgeries.

Methods: All eligible adult participants from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre Surgical Department were enrolled in a convenient manner. Data were collected using a study questionnaire. Full Blood Count (FBP), serum albumin levels preoperatively and on postoperative day 1 were measured in accordance with Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Data was entered and analyzed using STATA version 14. Association and extent of decrease in albumin levels as a predictor of surgical site infection (SSI), delayed wound healing and death within 30 days of surgery was determined using ordinal logistic regression models. In determining the diagnostic accuracy, a Non-parametric Receiver Operating Curve (ROC) model was used. We adjusted for ASA classification, which had a negative confounding effect on the predictive power of the percent drop in albumin to adverse outcomes.

Results: Sixty one participants were studied; the mean age was 51.6 (SD16.3), the majorities were males 40 (65.6%) and post-operative adverse outcomes were experienced by 28 (45.9%) participants. In preoperative serum albumin values, 40 (67.8%) had lower than 3.4 g/l while 51 (91%) had postoperative albumin values lower than 3.4 g/l. Only 15 (27.3%) had high delta albumin with the median percentage value of 14.77%. Delta albumin was an independent significant factor associated with adverse outcome (OR: 6.68; 95% CI: 1.59, 28.09); with a good predictive power and area under ROC curve (AUC) of 0.72 (95% CI 0.55 0.89). The best cutoff value was 11.61% with a sensitivity of 76.92% and specificity of 51.72%.

Conclusion: Early perioperative decreases in serum albumin levels may be a good, simple and cost effective tool to predict adverse outcomes in major abdominal surgeries.

Cancellation of Elective Surgical Cases in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital: Frequency and Reasons

Background: Dwindling economic resources and reduced manpower in the health sector require efficient use of the available resources. Day of surgery cancellation has far reaching consequences on the patients and the theatre staff involved. Full use of the theatre space should be pursued by every theatre user.

Objective: The study aimed to report on the rates and causes of day of surgery cancellation of elective surgical cases in our hospital as a means towards proffering solutions.

Materials and methods: It was a retrospective study of all elective cases that were booked over a 15-month period from January 2016 to March 2017. Cancellation was said to have occurred when the planned surgery did not take place on the proposed day of surgery. Cancellations were categorized into patient-related, surgeon-related, hospital-related and anesthetist-related. Reasons for the cancellations were documented. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software program, version 22. Variables were compared using Chi-square tests. A value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: During the 15-month period, a total of 1296 elective surgeries were booked. Of this, 118 (9.1%) cases were cancelled. Patient-related factor was the most common reason (47.5%) followed by surgeon-related factor (28%). Lack of funds was the most common patient related-reason for cancellation. Majority of the cancelled cases were general surgical cases (36.4%) followed by orthopedics (25.4%) and urology (11%). Seventy percent of the cancelled cases were first and second on the elective list. Conclusion: The cancellation rate in this study is high. The reasons for these cancellations are preventable. To ensure effective use of the theatre, efforts should be made to tackle these reasons.

Predictors of prolonged length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality among adult patients admitted at the surgical ward of Jimma University medical center, Ethiopia: prospective observational study

Data regarding prolonged length of hospital stay (PLOS) and in-hospital mortality are paramount to evaluate efficiency and quality of surgical care as well as for rational resource utilization, allocation, and administration. Thus, PLOS and in-hospital mortality have been used as a surrogate indicator of satisfactory treatment outcome and efficient utilization of resources for a given health institution. However, there was a scarcity of data regarding these issues in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to assess treatment outcome, length of hospital stay, in-hospital mortality, and their determinants.

Health facility-based prospective observational study was used for three consecutive months among adult patients hospitalized for the surgical case. Socio-demographic, clinical history, medication history, in-hospital complications, and overall treatment outcomes were collected from the medical charts’ of the patients, using a checklist from the day of admission to discharge. PLOS is defined as hospital stay > 75th percentile (≥33 days for the current study). To identify predictor variables for both PLOS and in-hospital mortality, multivariate logistic regression was performed at p-value  2 antibiotic exposure (p  7 days (p < 0.0001) were independent predictors for PLOS.

In-hospital mortality rate was almost comparable to reports from developing countries, though it was higher than the developed countries. However, the length of hospital stay was extremely higher than that of reports from other parts of the world. Besides, different socio-demographic, health facility’s and patients’ clinical conditions (baseline and in-hospital complications) were identified as independent predictors for both in-hospital mortality and PLOS. Therefore, the clinician and stakeholders have to emphasize to avoid the modifiable factors to reduce in-hospital mortality and PLOS in the study area; to improve the quality of surgical care.

Surgical Site Infection and Costs in Low- And Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of the Economic Burden

Background: Surgical site infection (SSI) is a worldwide problem which has morbidity, mortality and financial consequences. The incidence rate of SSI is high in Low- and Middle-Income countries (LMICs) compared to high income countries, and the costly surgical complication can raise the potential risk of financial catastrophe.

Objective: The aim of the study is to critically appraise studies on the cost of SSI in a range of LMIC studies and compare these estimates with a reference standard of high income European studies who have explored similar SSI costs.

Methods: A systematic review was undertaken using searches of two electronic databases, EMBASE and MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, up to February 2019. Study characteristics, comparator group, methods and results were extracted by using a standard template.

Results: Studies from 15 LMIC and 16 European countries were identified and reviewed in full. The additional cost of SSI range (presented in 2017 international dollars) was similar in the LMIC ($174-$29,610) and European countries ($21-$34,000). Huge study design heterogeneity was encountered across the two settings.

Discussion: SSIs were revealed to have a significant cost burden in both LMICs and High Income Countries in Europe. The magnitude of the costs depends on the SSI definition used, severity of SSI, patient population, choice of comparator, hospital setting, and cost items included. Differences in study design affected the comparability across studies. There is need for multicentre studies with standardized data collection methods to capture relevant costs and consequences of the infection across income settings.

Management Strategies and Role of Telemedicine in a Surgery Unit During COVID-19 Outbreak

At the end of 2019, in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei (China) were reported 27 cases of death caused by “severe acute respiratory virus coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) [1]. The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic [2]. Officially, Italian lockdown started on March 10th and ended on May 3rd, 2020. From 4 May a new phase of coexistence with the coronavirus began. This is characterized by a gradual reopening of commercial activities and by persistence of some important rules such as social distancing and use of masks in public transport. At the 20/05/2020 in Italy there are 226.699 total cases and 32.169 deaths, while in Campania region, total cases are 4.707 with 400 deaths [3]. In this situation, there was a rapid reorganization of public health system and hospitals. Also, for surgery there have been several changes. As part of COVID-19 containment strategy and with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) near collapse, elective operations were suspended while emergency surgery and the operative therapy of oncological patients continued. Moreover, have been deleted all non-urgent outpatients visits and endoscopic procedures.

Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study

The impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on postoperative recovery needs to be understood to inform clinical decision making during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This study reports 30-day mortality and pulmonary complication rates in patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection.

This international, multicentre, cohort study at 235 hospitals in 24 countries included all patients undergoing surgery who had SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed within 7 days before or 30 days after surgery. The primary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative mortality and was assessed in all enrolled patients. The main secondary outcome measure was pulmonary complications, defined as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or unexpected postoperative ventilation.

This analysis includes 1128 patients who had surgery between Jan 1 and March 31, 2020, of whom 835 (74·0%) had emergency surgery and 280 (24·8%) had elective surgery. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed preoperatively in 294 (26·1%) patients. 30-day mortality was 23·8% (268 of 1128). Pulmonary complications occurred in 577 (51·2%) of 1128 patients; 30-day mortality in these patients was 38·0% (219 of 577), accounting for 82·6% (219 of 265) of all deaths. In adjusted analyses, 30-day mortality was associated with male sex (odds ratio 1·75 [95% CI 1·28–2·40], p<0·0001), age 70 years or older versus younger than 70 years (2·30 [1·65–3·22], p<0·0001), American Society of Anesthesiologists grades 3–5 versus grades 1–2 (2·35 [1·57–3·53], p<0·0001), malignant versus benign or obstetric diagnosis (1·55 [1·01–2·39], p=0·046), emergency versus elective surgery (1·67 [1·06–2·63], p=0·026), and major versus minor surgery (1·52 [1·01–2·31], p=0·047).

Postoperative pulmonary complications occur in half of patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection and are associated with high mortality. Thresholds for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic should be higher than during normal practice, particularly in men aged 70 years and older. Consideration should be given for postponing non-urgent procedures and promoting non-operative treatment to delay or avoid the need for surgery.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, Bowel and Cancer Research, Bowel Disease Research Foundation, Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons, British Association of Surgical Oncology, British Gynaecological Cancer Society, European Society of Coloproctology, NIHR Academy, Sarcoma UK, Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland, and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Patterns of Endoscopy During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Survey of Interventional Inflammatory Bowel Disease Practice

Background/aims: Performance of diagnostic or therapeutic endoscopic procedures in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients can be challenging during a viral pandemic; the main concerns being the safety and protection of patients and health care providers (HCP). The aim of this study is to identify endoscopic practice patterns and outcomes of IBD and coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) with a worldwide survey of HCP.

Methods: The 20-item survey questionnaire was sent to physician members of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Special Interest Group in Interventional IBD, Chinese IBD Society Endoscopy Interest Group, and the China Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Results: A total of 141 respondents submitted valid responses. Nighty-five respondents (67.9%) reported that at least 25% of their scheduled emergent endoscopic procedures were canceled or postponed during the pandemic. Fifty-six respondents (40.0%) have performed emergent endoscopy during the pandemic. A few respondents (9/140, 6.4%) estimated that more than 25% of their patients had worsened disease due to delayed or canceled emergent endoscopy procedures. More than 80% of respondents believed that personal protective equipment (PPE) for the endoscopy team, room sterilization, and pre-procedure screening of patients for COVID-19 were necessary. Out of 140 respondents, 16 (11.4%) reported that several of their patients had COVID-19. Eight clinicians (5.7%) reported that they or their endoscopy colleagues developed work-related COVID-19.

Conclusions: Cancellation of elective and emergent endoscopy in IBD care during the pandemic was common. Few respondents reported that their patients’ disease conditions worsened due to the cancellation of the endoscopy procedure. Most respondents voiced the need for proper PPE during the procedure regardless of patients’ COVID-19 status and screening the patients for COVID-19.

Morbidity and Mortality of Typhoid Intestinal Perforation Among Children in Sub-Saharan Africa 1995-2019: A Scoping Review

Background: Typhoid fever incidence and complications, including intestinal perforation, have declined significantly in high-income countries, with mortality rates <1%. However, an estimated 10.9 million cases still occur annually, most in low- and middle-income countries. With the availability of a new typhoid conjugate vaccine licensed for children and recommended by the World Health Organization, understanding severe complications, including associated mortality rates, is essential to inform country-level decisions on introduction of this vaccine. This scoping review summarizes over 20 years of the literature on typhoid intestinal perforation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We searched EMBASE, PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane databases for studies reporting mortality rates due to typhoid intestinal perforation in children, under 18 years old, in sub-Saharan Africa published from January 1995 through June 2019.

Results: Twenty-four papers from six countries were included. Reported mortality rates ranged from 4.6-75%, with 16 of the 24 studies between 11 and 30%. Thirteen papers included postoperative morbidity rates, ranging from 16-100%. The most documented complications included surgical site infections, intra-abdominal abscesses, and enterocutaneous fistulas. High mortality rates can be attributed to late presentation to tertiary centers, sepsis and electrolyte abnormalities requiring preoperative resuscitation, prolonged perforation-to-surgery interval, and lack of access to critical care or an intensive care unit postoperatively.

Conclusions: Current estimates of mortality related to typhoid intestinal perforation among children in sub-Saharan Africa remain unacceptably high. Prevention of typhoid fever is essential to reduce mortality, with the ultimate goal of a comprehensive approach that utilizes vaccination, improvements in water, sanitation, and hygiene, and greater access to surgical care.

Improving Quality of Surgical and Anaesthesia Care at Hospital Level in sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review Protocol of Health System Strengthening Interventions

Introduction: Over 5 billion people in the world do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. In order to improve health outcomes in patients with surgical conditions, both access to care and the quality of care need to be improved. A recent commission on high-quality health systems highlighted that poor-quality care is now a bigger barrier than non-utilisation of the health system for reducing mortality.

Aim: To carry out a systematic review to provide an evidence-based summary of hospital-based interventions associated with improved quality of surgical and anaesthesia care in sub-Saharan African countries (SSACs).

Methods and analysis: Three search strings (1) surgery and anaesthesia, (2) quality improvement hospital-based interventions and (3) SSACs will be combined. The following databases EMBASE, Global Health, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science and Scopus will be searched. Further relevant studies will be identified from national and international health organisations and publications and reference lists of all selected full-text articles. The review will include all type of original articles in English published between 2008 and 2019. Article screening, data extraction and assessment of methodological quality will be done by two reviewers independently and any disputes will be resolved by a third reviewer or team consensus. Three types of outcomes will be collected including clinical, process and implementation outcomes. The primary outcome will be mortality. Secondary outcomes will include other clinical outcomes (major and minor complications), as well as process and implementation outcomes. Descriptive statistics and outcomes will be summarised and discussed. For the primary outcome, the methodological rigour will be assessed.

Ethics and dissemination: The results will be published in a peer reviewed open access journal and presented at national and international conferences. As this is a review of secondary data no formal ethical approval is required.

Primary Hydatid Cyst of the Adrenal Gland: A Case Report and a Review of the Literature

Introduction: In North Africa which is an endemic region for Hydatid Cyst, Tunisia is considered as an endemic country. The liver and lungs are common locations for Hydatid Cysts, whereas the Adrenal Glands are unusual and rare locations.

Presentation of case: Here is a report of primary Hydatid Cyst in a 55-year old patient, with left hypochondrium pain as chief complain. No remarkable findings were revealed by physical examination and blood analysis showed normal range. Hydatid serology was negative. The diagnosis of Hydatid Cyst was suspected based on CT Scan results which showed a well-circumscribed, non-enhanced, multi-cystic, 12 cm mass with scattered calcifications located in the left adrenal gland. Therefore, the patient underwent an open surgery with resection of the protruding dome of the cyst as it was attached to the renal pedicle, the pancreatic tail, the spleen and the jejunum. The final pathological examination of the specimen led to a Hydatid Cyst.

Discussion: Throughout an extensive literature review that we have made, we have analyzed 54 reported cases, with their clinical presentations, biological exams, radiological features and surgical managements. The treatment should be surgical and has to be as conservative as possible. The prevention of the parasite transmission has to be the cornerstone of the disease management.

Conclusion: The hydatid cyst of the adrenal gland remains a rare diagnosis that has to be evoked in case of an adrenal gland cyst, especially in an endemic country.