Return to work in survivors of primary brain Tumours treated with intensity modulated radiotherapy

Mini
Primary Brain Tumour survivors usually have significant morbidity, especially cognitive and neurological dysfunction. Return to pre-diagnosis work can be an important QoL indicator and outcomes measure in these patients. We did a retrospective study to assess return to work amongst the patients who underwent radiotherapy at our centre.

Background
Primary brain tumour (PBT) survivors have a high burden of morbidity. Return to work (RTW) is an important survivorship parameter and outcomes measure in these patients, especially in developing countries. This study was done to assess RTW after radiotherapy, reasons for no RTW, and relationship of RTW with treatment and patient factors.

Patients and Methods
A single centre study was done amongst PBT patients. Baseline and treatment details, education, employment was assessed. RTW assessed as: time to RTW, full/ part-time, reasons for no RTW and RTW at 6 months post-therapy, and last follow up.

Results
67 PBT patients with a median age of 42 years were assessed. Most common diagnosis was low grade glioma. Over 66% patients were illiterate, and 62% had semi-skilled and unskilled jobs, mostly agriculture. About 64.4% patients returned to employment in a median time of 3 months. At 6 months post-treatment 58.2% had a job, with only 42% working full-time. ‘Limb weakness’ (21.4%), followed by ‘loss of job/ no job’ (16.7%), ‘fatigue’/ ‘tiredness’ (14.3%), ‘poor vision/ diminished vision’ (11.9%) were the common reasons for no RTW. The factors found to be significantly associated with return to work were younger age (p = 0.042), male sex (0.013), the absence of complications during radiotherapy (p = 0.049), part time job prior to diagnosis (p = 0.047), and early return to work after RT (p < 0.001). Conclusion Studies are needed to identify the barriers in re- employment and steps to overcome them in cancer patients

High Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria Causing Surgical Site Infection in a Tertiary Care Hospital of Northeast India

Background and objective
Surgical site infections (SSI) are the most common healthcare-associated infections in low- and middle-income countries associated with substantial morbidity and mortality and impose heavy demands on healthcare resources. We aimed to study the microbiological profile of SSI pathogens and their antibiotic-resistant patterns in a tertiary care teaching hospital serving mostly rural population

Methods
A prospective, hospital-based cross-sectional study on pathogen profile and drug resistance was conducted from January 2015 to December 2016. Study subjects were the patients who developed signs of SSI after undergoing surgical procedures at three surgical wards (General Surgery, Orthopedics, and Obstetrics & Gynecology). The selection of the patients was based on CDC Module. Standard bacteriological methods were applied for isolation of pathogens and antibiotic-susceptibility testing based on CLSI (Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute) guidelines.

Results
Out of 518 enrolled subjects, 197 showed growth after aerobic culture yielding 228 pathogen isolates; 12.2% of samples showed polymicrobial growth. Escherichia coli (22.4%) and Klebsiella species (20.6%) were the predominant isolated bacteria followed by Staphylococcus species (18.4%), Pseudomonas species (12.3%), and Enterococcus species (6.6%). Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) were highly resistant to ampicillin (90.1%) and cefazolin (85.9%). High resistance was also observed to mainstay drugs like ceftriaxone (48.4%), cefepime (61%), amoxycillin-clavulanic acid (43.4%), and ciprofloxacin/levofloxacin (37.7%). Among the Gram-positive cocci, Staphylococcus aureus showed 85-96% resistance to penicillin and 65-74% to ampicillin. But GPCs were relatively less resistant to quinolones (16-18%) and macrolides (21.5%). S. aureus was 100% sensitive to vancomycin and clindamycin but vancomycin-resistant Enterococci was encountered in 3/15 (20%) isolates.

Conclusion
GNBs were responsible for more than two-thirds of aerobic-culture positive SSI and showed high resistance to the commonly used antibiotics thus leaving clinicians with few choices. This necessitates periodic surveillance of causative organisms and their antibiotic-susceptibility pattern to help in formulating hospital antibiotic policy. The antibiotic stewardship program is yet to be adopted in our hospital.

An Exploratory Qualitative Study of the Prevention of Road Trac Collisions and Neurotrauma in India: Perspectives From Key Informants in an Indian Industrial City (Visakhapatnam)

Background: Despite current preventative strategies, road traffic collisions (RTCs) and resultant neurotrauma remain a major problem in India. This study seeks to explore local perspectives in the context within which RTCs take place and identify potential suggestions for improving the current status.

Methods: Ten semi-structured interviews were carried out with purposively selected key informants from the city of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Participants were from one of the following categories: commissioning stakeholders; service providers; community or local patient group/advocacy group representatives. Transcripts from these interviews were analysed qualitatively using the Framework Method.

Results: Participants felt RTCs are a serious problem in India and a leading cause of neurotrauma. Major risk factors identified related to user behaviour such as speeding and not using personal safety equipment, and the user state, namely drink driving and underage driving. Other reported risk factors included poor infrastructure, moving obstacles on the road, overloaded vehicles and substandard safety equipment. Participants discussed how RTCs affect not only the health of the victim, but are also a burden to the healthcare system, families, and the national economy. Although there are ongoing preventative strategies being carried out by both the government and the community, challenges to successful prevention emerged from the interviews which included resource deficiencies, inconsistent implementation, lack of appropriate action, poor governance, lack of knowledge and the mindset of the community and entities involved in prevention. Recommendations were given on how prevention of RTCs and neurotrauma might be improved, addressing the areas of education and awareness, research, the pre-hospital and trauma systems, enforcement and legislation, and road engineering, in addition to building collaborations and changing mindsets.

Conclusions: RTCs remain a major problem in India and a significant cause of neurotrauma. Addressing the identified gaps and shortfalls in current approaches and reinforcing collective responsibility towards road safety would be the way forward in improving prevention and reducing the burden.

Does in-hospital trauma mortality in urban Indian academic centres differ between “office-hours” and “after-hours”?

Introduction
Trauma services within hospitals may vary considerably at different times across a 24 h period. The variable services may negatively affect the outcome of trauma victims. The current investigation aims to study the effect of arrival time of major trauma patients on mortality and morbidity.

Method
Retrospective analysis of the Australia-India Trauma Systems Collaboration (AITSC) registry established in four public university teaching centres in India Based on hospital arrival time, patients were grouped into “Office-hours” and “After-hours”. Outcome parameters were compared between the above groups.

Results
5536 (68.4%) patients presented “after-hours” (AO) and 2561 (31.6%) during “office-hours” (OH). The in-hospital mortality for “after-hours” and “office-hours” presentations were 12.1% and 11.6% respectively. On unadjusted analysis, there was no statistical difference in the odds of survival for OH versus AH presentations. (OR,1.05, 95% CI 0.9‐1.2). Adjusting for potential prognostic factors (injury severity, presence of shock on arrival, referral status, sex, or extremes of age), there was no statistically significant odds of survival for OH versus AH presentations (OR,1.02, 95%CI 0.9–1.2).ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation was longer in the AH group.

Conclusion
The in-hospital mortality did not differ between trauma patients who arrived during “after-hours” compared to ‘“office-hours”.

Designing for Health Accessibility: Case Studies of Human-Centered Design to Improve Access to Cervical Cancer Screening

Our world faces immense challenges in global health and equity. There continue to be huge disparities in access to health care across geographies, despite the massive strides that have been made to address health issues. In this dissertation, I explore the role of human-centered design to improve global health access and reduce disparities. Human-centered design, a cross-disciplinary creative problem-solving approach, has been applied and studied in both academic research and practice, but its role in improving global health access remains poorly understood.

In this dissertation, I present research on designing for health accessibility in the context of one particular disease: cervical cancer. Every year, 300,000 women around the world die of cervical cancer and ninety percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Cervical cancer is an illustrative example of the global disparities in access to health care, given that cervical cancer is preventable and the majority of global cervical cancer mortality is in low- and middle-income countries.

My research examines the work of two organizations that created unique solutions to improve access to cervical cancer screening in India and Nicaragua. I develop case studies of each organization grounded in ethnographic fieldwork, including over 250 hours of observation and 15 interviews over two years. Through these case studies, I show how early efforts to understand the barriers inhibiting cervical cancer screening access allow design practitioners to create novel and feasible ways to address these barriers. This demonstrates the importance of design practitioners considering multiple dimensions of accessibility, including availability, physical accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and acceptability, while conducting design research in order to improve the potential impact of their ideas and prototypes. Overall, this dissertation establishes the foundation of a new paradigm to “design for accessibility” that can inspire further application and research across sectors to address the many social equity and accessibility challenges facing our world.

Frugal innovations that helped mission hospitals manage during the pandemic and further suggestions

The COVID-19 pandemic with the suddenly announced lockdown in India caused great stress to already resource-constrained rural mission hospitals. Frugal innovations helped some of the mission hospitals cope with the lockdown and resume regular work. Personal Protective Equipment was made locally and staff were trained to take care of the infected patients. Cell phones and the zoom app helped them with communications. The Gas Insufflation Less Laparoscopic surgical technique helped them perform safe surgeries and allow quicker turnover of patients. The innovative Laptop Cystoscope helped in follow up treatment of patients treated earlier by specialists and for emergency treatment. Empowering local mission hospital doctors and modern communication methods helped these hospitals maintain services during the pandemic.

Barriers and facilitators of laparoscopic surgical training in rural north-east India: a qualitative study

Introduction:
Laparoscopic surgery has advantages for treating many abdominal surgical conditions, but its use in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited by many factors, including a lack of training opportunities. The aim of this study was to explore the training experiences of surgeons in rural north-east India to highlight the barriers and facilitators to laparoscopic surgery.

Methods:
Eleven surgeons with experience in laparoscopy in rural north-east India were recruited using purposive and convenience sampling. Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India and the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences Research Ethics Sub-Committee, West Yorkshire, England. Consenting participants took part in semi-structured interviews, either between May 20 and 25, 2019 in rural north-east India or via Skype or at the University of Leeds in June 2019. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed and thematic content analysis performed.

Results:
Exposure to laparoscopy during postgraduate training was common, but training experiences were inconsistent and informal. Alternative training opportunities are limited by availability and cost. There is high demand for a structured curriculum, incorporating formal assessment and credentialing, to include observation and assistance in live surgery and laparoscopic simulation.

Conclusions:
Laparoscopic training experiences are highly variable, with limited training resources and lack of a curriculum. Poor accessibility is consistent with that recorded in literature. Current recommendations include government support and funding to guide development of a standardized curriculum and widen access to training programs for surgeons in rural settings.

Traumatic Brain Injury in Mumbai: A Survey of Providers along the Care Continuum

Introduction:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a significant burden of a global disease, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as India. Efforts to curb the impact of TBI require an appreciation of local factors related to this disease and its treatment.

Methods:
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were administered to paramedics, anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and neurosurgeons in locations throughout Mumbai from April to May 2018. A thematic analysis with an iterative coding was used to analyze the data. The primary objective was to identify provider-perceived themes related to TBI care in Mumbai.

Results:
A total of 50 participants were interviewed, including 17 paramedics, 15 anesthesiologists, 9 general surgeons, and 9 neurosurgeons who were involved in caring for TBI patients. The majority of physicians interviewed discussed their experiences in public sector hospitals (82%), while 12% discussed private sector hospitals and 6% discussed both. Four major themes emerged: Workforce, equipment, financing care, and the family and public role. These themes were often discussed in the context of their effects on increasing or decreasing complications and delays. Participants developed adaptations when managing shortcomings in these thematic areas. These adaptations included teamwork during workforce shortages and resource allocation when equipment was limited among others.

Conclusions:
Workforce, equipment, financing care, and the family and public role were identified as major themes in the care for TBI in Mumbai. These thematic elements provide a framework to evaluate and improve care along the care spectrum for TBI. Similar frameworks should be adapted to local contexts in urbanizing cities in LMICs.

Letter to Editor: “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Big Data Analytics for Resource Optimization in Surgery”

Dear Editor,

Health care delivery in the pandemic is heavily disrupted. There are high stakes and economic implications are huge especially in more vulnerable low and middle-income group countries (LMICs). It is even more imperative now that we optimize our resources. Artificial intelligence (AI) and its exploits should now be requisitioned. Two subsets of AI are machine learning (ML) which in turn enables deep learning (DL). Big data are analyzed [1]. Such tasks are complex and will require yeoman efforts both on the parts individuals and governments. The respective state and central governments will provide regulatory sanctions. Preparations into big data analysis, machine learning leading to deep learning is likely to save resources. The current pandemic has amply shown this and should prompt us to invest in AI. Efforts and investment in deep learning should be translational in resource allocation and resource triage even during normal settings.

An Analysis of 30-Day in-Hospital Trauma Mortality in Four Urban University Hospitals Using the Australia India Trauma Registry

Background
India has one-sixth (16%) of the world’s population but more than one-fifth (21%) of the world’s injury mortality. A trauma registry established by the Australia India Trauma Systems Collaboration (AITSC) Project was utilized to study 30-day in-hospital trauma mortality at high-volume Indian hospitals.

Methods
The AITSC Project collected data prospectively between April 2016 and March 2018 at four Indian university hospitals in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad. Patients admitted with an injury mechanism of road or rail-related injury, fall, assault, or burns were included. The associations between demographic, physiological on-admission vitals, and process-of-care parameters with early (0–24 h), delayed (1–7 days), and late (8–30 days) in-hospital trauma mortality were analyzed.

Results
Of 9354 patients in the AITSC registry, 8606 were subjected to analysis. The 30-day mortality was 12.4% among all trauma victims. Early (24-h) mortality was 1.9%, delayed (1–7 days) mortality was 7.3%, and late (8–30 days) mortality was 3.2%. Abnormal physiological parameters such as a low SBP, SpO2, and GCS and high HR and RR were observed among non-survivors. Early initiation of trauma assessment and monitoring on arrival was an important process of care indicator for predicting 30-day survival.

Conclusions
One in ten admitted trauma patients (12.4%) died in urban trauma centers in India. More than half of the trauma deaths were delayed, beyond 24 h but within one week following injury. On-admission physiological vital signs remain a valid predictor of early 24-h trauma mortality.