Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: a scoping review

Sixty-nine million people suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, and TBI is the most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Traumatic SAH (tSAH) has been described as an adverse prognostic factor leading to progressive neurological deterioration and increased morbidity and mortality. However, a limited number of studies evaluate recent trends in the diagnostic and management of SAH in the context of trauma. The objective of this scoping review was to understand the extent and type of evidence concerning the diagnostic criteria and management of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. This scoping review was conducted following the JBI methodology for scoping reviews. The review included adults who suffered SAH secondary to trauma. Data extracted from each study included study aim, country, methodology, population characteristics, outcome measures, a summary of findings, and future directives. Thirty studies met inclusion criteria. Studies were grouped into five categories by topic: tSAH associated with mild TBI (n=13), and severe TBI (n=3); clinical management and diagnosis (n=9); imaging (n=3); and 5) aneurysmal tSAH (n=1). Of the 30 studies, two came from a low-and middle-income country (LMIC); excluding China, nearly a high-income country. Patients with tSAH associated with mTBI have a very low risk of clinical deterioration and surgical intervention and should be managed conservatively when considering ICU admission. The Helsinki and Stockholm CT scoring systems, in addition to the AIS, Cr, age decision tree, may be valuable tools to use when predicting outcome and mortality.

The Rise of Inflow Cisternostomy in Resource-Limited Settings: Rationale, Limitations, and Future Challenges

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bear most of the global burden of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but they lack the resources to address this public health crisis. For TBI guidelines and innovations to be effective, they must consider the context in LMICs; keeping this in mind, this article will focus on the history, pathophysiology, practice, evidence, and implications of cisternostomy. In this narrative review, the author discusses the history, pathophysiology, practice, evidence, and implications of cisternostomy. Cisternostomy for the management of TBI is an innovation developed in LMICs, primarily for LMICs. Its practice is based on the cerebrospinal fluid shift edema theory that attributes injury to increased pressure within the subarachnoid space due to subarachnoid hemorrhage and subsequent dysfunction of glymphatic drainage. Early reports of the technique report significant improvements in the Glasgow Outcome Scale, lower mortality rates, and shorter intensive care unit durations. Most reports are single-center studies with small sample sizes, and the technique requires experience and skill. These limitations have led to criticisms and slow adoption of the technique. Further research is needed to establish the effect of cisternostomy on TBI outcomes.

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

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.

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.

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

The Withdrawal of the United States From the World Health Organization and Its Impact on Global Neurosurgery

To the Editor:

Right now, in any low to middle income country (LMIC), a child has developed postinfectious life-threatening hydrocephalus or a mother has suffered a brain bleed after a motor vehicle collision. Their lives could be saved by neurosurgical procedures such as shunting, third ventriculostomies, or burr holes. In the poor countries of the world, these conditions are incredibly common and result in significant morbidity and mortality while taking a tremendous toll on national economies. The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery clearly demonstrated the utility in ensuring access to life-saving surgical interventions such as these.1 However, the efforts to help vulnerable people lead full and productive lives are now at profound risk due to the unfortunate decision by the United States to withdraw funding from the World Health Organization (WHO).

On July 7, 2020, the United States announced its withdrawal of large financial support to WHO due to concerns surrounding the agency’s coronavirus response. Global efforts in infectious disease control, nutrition, and education will certainly be impacted by this decision, but so will global neurosurgery. Defunding WHO could have a profound impact on the gains made in capacity-building efforts and improving access to neurosurgical care.

Global neurosurgery is the public health and clinical care of neurosurgical patients with the primary purpose of ensuring timely, safe, and affordable neurosurgical care to all who need it.2 The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery incorporates all surgical disciplines, including global neurosurgery. The release of the Commission sounded the alarm on the investment of interdependent components of a surgical system such as anesthesia staff, nurses, operating rooms, critical care services, and biomedical engineers.3 With better capacity comes better neurosurgery and consequently improved treatment of the millions of patients every year with life-altering neurosurgical disease.

So where does WHO fit in? The United Nations (UN) has outlined its Sustainable Developmental Goals, which are to be reached by 2030. Global neurosurgery is related to targets #3 and #17—the promotion of healthy lives and global partnerships, respectively.4 WHO is the coordinating authority regarding health within the UN.

WHO is mandated to implement the health priorities set by its member states (MSs). In 2015, the members of WHO unanimously passed a resolution calling for “Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage.” The United States was a cosponsor of this historic resolution. Today, with the help of WHO and its key partners, more than 40 LMICs are currently in various stages of implementing the mandates of this resolution. Subspecialists such as neurosurgeons are transforming the profession by integrating the principle of health equity with WHO’s support. For example, WHO has partnered with the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS), the largest professional society within neurosurgery, to better understand the global neurosurgical disease burden and workforce deficits. This partnership also permits better access to local stakeholders to continue important advocacy efforts. Individual LMICs, under the WFNS-WHO partnership, can effectively push the agenda of improved neurosurgical care that is nationally or regionally specific.

At the World Health Assembly meeting in 2018, it was clear that WHO was increasing collaboration and communication between neurosurgical systems around the world.5 As Rosseau describes, neurosurgeons convened with health ministries and other key players to commit to “…sharing training, equipment, and other resources with the rest of the global surgery community.” Neurosurgeons seated at the table with WHO was a significant step in the right direction.

Finally, it is well known that WHO is one of the most significant champions of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Neurosurgical care is part of UHC and thus needs to be protected at all costs. In a country like Uganda, where the average person makes $2280 USD/yr and may spend up to $1220 USD for a neurosurgical procedure, the economic burden on patients can be devastating.6 WHO encourages governments to strategically partner with the public and private sectors to ensure that all health needs, including neurosurgical ones, are economically met with the best quality of medicine available.

The global neurosurgery movement, as part of the broader global surgery movement, would not have been possible without WHO. The key stakeholders respect and depend on WHO to set global priorities and support the MS implementation of their mandates. Yes, WHO can improve. But the United States will be far more effective in driving the improvement as an MS. The consequences of withdrawal of funding from WHO are devastating and will adversely affect millions of people around the world and, in particular, neurosurgical patients.

Neurosurgery at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia: experience from a Surabaya academic tertiary hospital

Global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced healthcare systems worldwide to reshape their facilities and protocols. Although not considered the frontline specialty in managing COVID-19 patients, neurosurgical service and training were also significantly affected. This article focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak at a low- and/or middle-income country (LMIC) academic tertiary referral hospital, the university and hospital policies and actions for the neurosurgical service and training program during the outbreak, and the contingency plan for future reference on preparedness for service and education.

The authors collected data from several official databases, including the Indonesian Ministry of Health database, East Java provincial government database, hospital database, and neurosurgery operative case log. Policies and regulations information was obtained from stakeholders, including the Indonesian Society of Neurological Surgeons, the hospital board of directors, and the dean’s office.

The curve of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia had not flattened by the 2nd week of June 2020. Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia, became the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia. The neurosurgical service experienced a significant drop in cases (50% of cases from normal days) along all lines (outpatient clinic, emergency room, and surgical ward). Despite a strict preadmission screening, postoperative COVID-19 infection cases were detected during the treatment course of neurosurgical patients, and those with a positive COVID-19 infection had a high mortality rate. The reduction in the overall number of cases treated in the neurosurgical service had an impact on the educational and training program. The digital environment found popularity in the educational term; however, digital resources could not replace direct exposure to real patients. The education stakeholders adjusted the undergraduate students’ clinical postings and residents’ working schemes for safety reasons.

The neurosurgery service at an academic tertiary referral hospital in an LMIC experienced a significant reduction in cases. The university and program directors had to adapt to an off-campus and off-hospital policy for neurosurgical residents and undergraduate students. The hospital instituted a reorganization of residents for service. The digital environment found popularity during the outbreak to support the educational process.

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.

Global neurosurgery, Bangladesh and COVID-19 era

Background. COVID-19 has become an alarming pandemic for our earth. It has created panic not only in China but also in developing countries like Bangladesh. Bangladesh has adequate confinements to constrain the spread of the infection and in this circumstance, overall healthcare workers including neurosurgeons are confronting a ton of difficulties. The purpose of this paper is to depict the proficiency of Global neurosurgery in this COVID-19 time.

Method. Global neurosurgery offers the chance of fusing the best proof-based guidelines of care. This paper demonstrated that, in low to middle-income countries, Global medical procedure has been received to address the issues of residents who lack critical surgical care.

Results. Inappropriate and insufficient asset allotment has been a significant obstacle for the health system for decently giving security to the patients. The fundamental training process has been genuinely hampered in the current circumstance. Worldwide health activities have set to an alternate centre and Global neurosurgery as an assurance is slowed down.

Conclusion. This paper recommended that Global neurosurgical activities need to come forward and increase the workforce to emphasize surgical service.

Neural Tube Defects and Associated Factors among Neonates Admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital, Harar, Ethiopia

Neural tube defects are a major public health problem and substantially contribute to morbidity and mortality, particularly in low-income countries, including Ethiopia. There are a paucity of data on the magnitude and associated factors of neural tube defects in Ethiopia, particularly in the study setting.

This study aimed to assess the magnitude of neural tube defects and associated factors among neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit in Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital, Harar, Ethiopia.

A hospital-based cross-sectional study was employed from October 2019 to January 2020. A total of 420 newborn-mother pairs were included consecutively. Data were collected using a face-to-face interviewer-administered questionnaire and clinical examination. Data were entered into Epi Data version 3.1 and analyzed using the statistical package for Social Sciences version 20.0 software. An adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to identify the associated factors. A p-value <.05 was considered statistically significant.

The magnitude of neural tube defects was 5.71% (95% CI: 3.5-7.9). Approximately 83.5% of infants had spinal bifida and 16.5% anencephaly. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, preterm birth (32-34 weeks) (AOR= 3.84; 95% CI: 2.1,10.7), low birth weight (1000-1500 g) (AOR = 4.74; 95% CI: 1.8, 9.1), 1500-2500 g (AOR = 3.01; 95% CI: 2. 1, 13.2), maternal coffee consumption (AOR = 11.2; 95% CI: 3.1, 23.7), a history of abortion or stillbirth (AOR = 9.6; 95% CI:7.6,19.4), radiation exposure (AOR = 5.0; 95% CI:1.6,14.3), and intake of anticonvulsant drugs during pregnancy (AOR = 4.75; 95% CI: 1.5,16.2) were factors associated with neural tube defects.

In this study, the burden of neural tube defects was 5.71% among neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, which was a public health concern. Increased attention to the monitoring of neural tube defects in eastern Ethiopia is crucial to improve birth outcomes in the study setting.

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.

Improving Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Survival Disparities in the United States–Mexico Border Region: A Cross-Border Initiative Between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico

Treatment of children with CNS tumors (CNSTs) demands a complex, interdisciplinary approach that is rarely available in low- and middle-income countries. We established the Cross-Border Neuro-Oncology Program (CBNP) between Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego (RCHSD), and Hospital General, Tijuana (HGT), Mexico, to provide access to neuro-oncology care, including neurosurgic services, for children with CNSTs diagnosed at HGT. Our purpose was to assess the feasibility of the CBNP across the United States-Mexico border and improve survival for children with CNSTs at HGT by implementing the CBNP.

We prospectively assessed clinicopathologic profiles, the extent of resection, progression-free survival, and overall survival (OS) in children with CNSTs at HGT from 2010 to 2017.

Sixty patients with CNSTs participated in the CBNP during the study period. The most common diagnoses were low-grade glioma (24.5%) and medulloblastoma (22.4%). Of patients who were eligible for surgery, 49 underwent resection at RCHSD and returned to HGT for collaborative management. Gross total resection was achieved in 78% of cases at RCHSD compared with 0% at HGT (P < .001) and was a predictor of 5-year OS (hazard ratio, 0.250; 95% CI, 0.067 to 0.934; P = .024). Five-year OS improved from 0% before 2010 to 52% in 2017. CONCLUSION The CBNP facilitated access to complex neuro-oncology care for underserved children in Mexico through binational exchanges of resources and expertise. Survival for patients in the CBNP dramatically improved. Gross total resection at RCHSD was associated with higher OS, highlighting the critical role of experienced neurosurgeons in the treatment of CNSTs. The CBNP model offers an attractive alternative for children with CNSTs in low- and middle-income countries who require complex neuro-oncology care, particularly those in close proximity to institutions in high-income countries with extensive neuro-oncology expertise.