Oral cancer: Clinicopathological features and associated risk factors in a high risk population presenting to a major tertiary care center in Pakistan

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has the highest prevalence in head and neck cancers and is the first and second most common cancer in males and females of Pakistan respectively. Major risk factors include peculiar chewing habits like areca nut, betel quid, and tobacco. The majority of OSCC presents at an advanced stage with poor prognosis. On the face of such a high burden of this preventable cancer, there is a relative lack of recent robust data and its association with known risk factors from Pakistan. The aim of this study was to identify the socioeconomic factors and clinicopathological features that may contribute to the development of OSCC. A total of 186 patients diagnosed and treated at a tertiary care hospital, Karachi Pakistan were recruited. Clinicopathological and socioeconomic information was obtained on a structured questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was done for demographics and socioeconomic status (SES) while regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between SES and chewing habits, tumor site, and tumor stage. The majority of patients were males and the mean age of OSCC patients was 47.62±12.18 years. Most of the patients belonged to low SES (68.3%) and 77.4% were habitual of chewing. Gender (male) and SES were significantly associated with chewing habits (p<0.05). Odds of developing buccal mucosa tumors in chewers (of any type of substance) and gutka users were 2 and 4 times higher than non-chewers respectively. Middle age, chewing habits, and occupation were significantly associated with late stage presentation of OSCC (p<0.05). In conclusion, male patients belonging to low SES in their forties who had chewing habits for years constituted the bulk of OSCC. Buccal mucosa was the most common site in chewers and the majority presented with late stage tumors.

Doctor-patient Communication in Surgical Practice During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

COVID‐19 is a new respiratory disease that has become a pandemic, involving whole world. Hospitals are now a hub for this disease and patients are advised to avoid hospitals as far as possible. Many healthcare workers are infected with SARS‐CoV‐2. This virus can spread from an infected doctor to patients or colleagues and does not respect any boundaries. Moreover, immunocompromized patients are at a greater risk of this potentially life‐threatening contagious disease. Recommendations of social distancing and home isolation to limit the spread of coronavirus are major factors limiting patients’ communication with doctors regarding their disease.

Prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse in women, associated factors and impact on quality of life in rural Pakistan: population-based study

Background: Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a gynecological condition resulting from pelvic floor dysfunction in women. The objective of this study is to estimate “the prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse” associated factors, duration and impact on women’s quality of life in rural Pakistan.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a three stage random sampling strategy. Three health centers were selected and selected Lady Health Workers from each health center interviewed a random sample of women in their households. The interview used a structured questionnaire to collect symptom data. Female gynaecologists then conducted a clinical examination at the local health center on women who reported symptoms of prolapse to verify and grade pelvic organ prolapse using Baden-Walker classification system.

Results: Among the 5064 women interviewed (95.8% response rate), 521 women had clinically confirmed POP, a prevalence of 10.3% (95% CI 9-11%). Among women with POP 37.8% had grade III or IV prolapse. Women with four or more children had the highest proportion of pelvic organ prolapse (75%) followed by women aged 36-40 years (25%).Among women with POP, 60.8% reported their quality of life as greatly or moderately affected; 44.3% had it for more than 5 years; and 78.7% never consulted a doctor.

Conclusions: Pelvic organ prolapse is highly prevalent in rural Pakistan, impacts on women’s everyday lives and remains mainly untreated. Measures should be taken to provide health care services to reduce this burden of disease among women.

Practice Patterns in the Management of Strabismus in Pakistan

Purpose: To study the current practice patterns of pediatric ophthalmologists in the management of strabismus in Punjab.

Study Design: Questionnaire based Practice pattern survey.

Place and Duration of Study: Teaching hospitals of Punjab from July 2018 to July 2019.

Material and Methods: This study was conducted at ophthalmology departments of various teaching hospitals of Punjab. A questionnaire was designed to find out the current practice pattern for management of strabismus. Ophthalmologists who were members of Ophthalmological Society of Pakistan (OSP), having their expertise in strabismus surgery for more than 5years and practicing pediatric ophthalmology were selected. Discussion was also held regarding questionnaire and practices being performed after filling the proforma. This data was compiled, analyzed and was converted to a summary in points.

Results: We contacted 90 ophthalmologists out of whom 76 responded to our Questionnaire. Complete Orthoptic Assessment was performed by only 46% (35) of the ophthalmologists. Prism cover test was used as a diagnostic tool by 70 (92%) ophthalmologists. Rest of the ophthalmologists used Synoptophore with it. Percentage of ophthalmologists performing cycloplegic refraction was very low. Only 5 (6.57%) surgeons used adjustable sutures. Only 46% of surgeons used to explain the complications of Anesthesia. More than 90% of surgeons explained the surgical procedures being done, its complications, post-operative care and need to use glasses or need for orthoptic exercises. All the surgeons kept follow up of the patients on 1st post-operative day.

Conclusion: The current practices in strabismus need to be standardized and a consensus should be developed at a national level.

Comparison of intraarticular distal humerus fracture outcomes treated with or without olecranon osteotomy – A case series

A case series was extracted from the trauma registry at Aga Khan University Hospital from the period June 2015 to June 2019. Included were 16 adult patients who presented with intra-articular distal humerus fracture type C2. The functional, clinical and radiological outcomes of fractures treated with or without olecranon osteotomy up to 12 months follow-up were compared. Outcomes were assessed at 6 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months re-visits. Among the 16 studied patients, 9 (56%) were males and 7 (44%) were females. In the group without osteotomy, there was a good functional and clinical outcome with a mean Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score of 32±30 at 3 months post-procedure. Bone healing was noticed at 6 months after surgery. In the osteotomy group, 50%-70% bone union was seen at 3 months post-surgery while fair functional and clinical outcome was achieved at 6 months after surgery

Managing the soft tissue defects over the dorsum of hand: Our experience with Posterior Interosseous Artery (PIA) flap

Objective: To determine the outcome of posterior interosseous artery (PIA) flap in terms of coverage of the defects and survival of the flap in patients with complex defects over the dorsum of hand and distal forearm.

Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in Hand and Upper Limb Surgery (HULS) CMH Lahore Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan from 15th July 2017 to 15th August 2019.All patients with complex defects of the dorsum of the hand and distal forearm were treated with posterior interosseous artery (PIA) flap. Post operatively the grafts were observed for coverage of the defects and graft survival.

Results: The total number of patients were 24 with 19(79.1%) males and 05(20.8%) females. The mean age was 37±7SD(range 21 to 56 years). Right hand was involved in 17(70.8%) patients and left in 7(29.1%) patients. Complete coverage of the defects were achieved in all cases. Successful graft survival and uptake was seen in 20(83.3%) flaps. Partial loss was seen in 03 (12.5%) flaps which required debridement and subsequent Split Thickness Skin Grafting. Complete graft loss was seen in 01 (4.1%) flap

Conclusion: Posterior interosseous artery flap (PIA) had higher survival rates and larger area of the dorsum of the hand and distal forearm were entirely covered with this graft. We recommend posterior interosseous artery flap as first line surgical technique to treat complex tissue defects of the dorsum of the hand and distal forearm

Utility of Tranexamic acid to minimize blood loss in brain tumour surgery

Tranexamic acid is emerging as a useful option for a number of clinical indications, by virtue of its anti-fibrinolytic properties that allow better haemostasis and lesser blood loss. Herein, the authors have attempted to summarize the existing evidence on the possible role of tranexamic acid in brain tumour surgeries.

Perioperative hypothermia in colorectal surgeries: are we doing enough to prevent it?

Objective: To determine the incidence of hypothermia in patients undergoing colorectal surgery, and to identify factors that increase vulnerability to perioperative hypothermia.

Methods: The retrospective study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised medical records from May 2012 to June 2017 related to all patients aged >16 years of either gender who underwent colorectal procedures. Analysis about predictors of perioperative hypothermia was done using Stata 12.

Results: Of the 100 patients, 69(69%) were males. The overall mean age was 50.2±16.7 years. Majority cases had elective presentation 72(72%). Incidence of perioperative hypothermia was noted in 74(74%) patients. Postoperative morbidity was 16(16%), while mortality was 4(4%). Elective presentation and hypothermia before surgery were significantly associated with occurrence of intraoperative hypothermia (odds ratio: 4.5 and 1.3 respectively).

Conclusions: Perioperative incidence of hypothermia was found to be quite high despite appropriate measures. Factors responsible need to be explored and rectified.

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.

Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy: A prospective analysis among ICU patients

Introduction: Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) is a simple bedside procedure, particularly useful in the intensive care units. Over the last few decades, the technique of PDT has gained popularity due to its comparable safety to the more surgical tracheostomy (ST).

Objective: To describe the outcome of PDT using modified Ciaglia’s technique in patients of Surgical ICU.

Methodology: This was a prospective cohort study that analysed the outcomes of PDTs carried out on critically ill patients admitted in the surgical ICU, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad from August 2015 to January 2017. All PDTs were performed by the presiding consultant and his team using modified Ciaglia’s (Blue Rhino) technique. The main outcome was the frequency of perioperative and early complications within the first six days. Demographic variables and complications were recorded. Data was analysed using SPSS version 18.

Results: Seventy-four patients underwent PDTs in the surgical ICU with mean age of the patients was 49.17 ± 12.82 years. The commonest indication of tracheostomy was prolonged mechanical ventilation followed by failure to wean. Complications rate was 12.16% of which perioperative bleeding occurred in 6.7% of patients. Early complications within the first six days were wound infection, tube displacement and blocked tube.

Conclusion: PDT is a valuable, efficacious and safe method that can be performed at the bedside with minimal complication rate and needs to be considered more frequently in the intensive care units in developing countries.