Cost of postoperative sepsis in Vietnam

Despite improvements in medical care, the burden of sepsis remains high. In this study, we evaluated the incremental cost associated with postoperative sepsis and the impact of postoperative sepsis on clinical outcomes among surgical patients in Vietnam. We used the national database that contained 1,241,893 surgical patients undergoing seven types of surgery. We controlled the balance between the groups of patients using propensity score matching method. Generalized gamma regression and logistic regression were utilized to estimate incremental cost, readmission, and reexamination associated with postoperative sepsis. The average incremental cost associated with postoperative sepsis was 724.1 USD (95% CI 553.7–891.7) for the 30 days after surgery, which is equivalent to 28.2% of the per capita GDP in Vietnam in 2018. The highest incremental cost was found in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, at 2,897 USD (95% CI 530.7–5263.2). Postoperative sepsis increased patient odds of readmission (OR = 6.40; 95% CI 6.06–6.76), reexamination (OR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.58–1.76), and also associated with 4.9 days longer of hospital length of stay among surgical patients. Creating appropriate prevention strategies for postoperative sepsis is extremely important, not only to improve the quality of health care but also to save health financial resources each year.

COVID-19 and resilience of healthcare systems in ten countries

Declines in health service use during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic could have important effects on population health. In this study, we used an interrupted time series design to assess the immediate effect of the pandemic on 31 health services in two low-income (Ethiopia and Haiti), six middle-income (Ghana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Nepal, South Africa and Thailand) and high-income (Chile and South Korea) countries. Despite efforts to maintain health services, disruptions of varying magnitude and duration were found in every country, with no clear patterns by country income group or pandemic intensity. Disruptions in health services often preceded COVID-19 waves. Cancer screenings, TB screening and detection and HIV testing were most affected (26–96% declines). Total outpatient visits declined by 9–40% at national levels and remained lower than predicted by the end of 2020. Maternal health services were disrupted in approximately half of the countries, with declines ranging from 5% to 33%. Child vaccinations were disrupted for shorter periods, but we estimate that catch-up campaigns might not have reached all children missed. By contrast, provision of antiretrovirals for HIV was not affected. By the end of 2020, substantial disruptions remained in half of the countries. Preliminary data for 2021 indicate that disruptions likely persisted. Although a portion of the declines observed might result from decreased needs during lockdowns (from fewer infectious illnesses or injuries), a larger share likely reflects a shortfall of health system resilience. Countries must plan to compensate for missed healthcare during the current pandemic and invest in strategies for better health system resilience for future emergencies.

Association Between Adherence to Clinical Practice Guidelines for Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer and Survival in a Resource-Limited Setting

Addressing unwarranted clinical variation in oncology practices is expected to lead to improved cancer outcomes. Particularly, the application and impact of treatment guidelines on breast cancer outcomes are poorly studied in resource-limited settings. We measured adherence to a set of locally developed adjuvant treatment guidelines in a middle-income setting. Importantly, the impact of guidelines adherence on survival following breast cancer was determined.

Data of 3,100 Malaysian women with nonmetastatic breast cancer diagnosed between 2010 and 2017 were analyzed. Adherence to the Malaysian Clinical Practice Guidelines for Management of Breast Cancer second Edition was measured. Outcomes comprised overall survival and event-free survival.

Guideline adherence for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy were 61.7%, 79.2%, 85.1%, and 26.2%, respectively. Older age was generally associated with lower adherence to guidelines. Compared with patients who were treated according to treatment guidelines, overall survival and event-free survival were substantially lower in patients who were not treated accordingly; hazard ratios for all-cause mortality were 1.69 (95% CI, 1.29 to 2.22), 2.59 (95% CI, 1.76 to 3.81), 3.08 (95% CI, 1.94 to 4.88), and 4.48 (95% CI, 1.98 to 10.13) for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy, respectively. Study inferences remain unchanged following sensitivity analyses.

Our study findings appear to suggest that adherence to treatment guidelines that have been adapted for resource-limited settings may still provide effective guidance in improving breast cancer outcomes.

Real-time diabetic retinopathy screening by deep learning in a multisite national screening programme: a prospective interventional cohort study

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of preventable blindness, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Deep-learning systems have the potential to enhance diabetic retinopathy screenings in these settings, yet prospective studies assessing their usability and performance are scarce.

We did a prospective interventional cohort study to evaluate the real-world performance and feasibility of deploying a deep-learning system into the health-care system of Thailand. Patients with diabetes and listed on the national diabetes registry, aged 18 years or older, able to have their fundus photograph taken for at least one eye, and due for screening as per the Thai Ministry of Public Health guidelines were eligible for inclusion. Eligible patients were screened with the deep-learning system at nine primary care sites under Thailand’s national diabetic retinopathy screening programme. Patients with a previous diagnosis of diabetic macular oedema, severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, or proliferative diabetic retinopathy; previous laser treatment of the retina or retinal surgery; other non-diabetic retinopathy eye disease requiring referral to an ophthalmologist; or inability to have fundus photograph taken of both eyes for any reason were excluded. Deep-learning system-based interpretations of patient fundus images and referral recommendations were provided in real time. As a safety mechanism, regional retina specialists over-read each image. Performance of the deep-learning system (accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value [PPV], and negative predictive value [NPV]) were measured against an adjudicated reference standard, provided by fellowship-trained retina specialists. This study is registered with the Thai national clinical trials registry, TCRT20190902002.

Between Dec 12, 2018, and March 29, 2020, 7940 patients were screened for inclusion. 7651 (96·3%) patients were eligible for study analysis, and 2412 (31·5%) patients were referred for diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular oedema, ungradable images, or low visual acuity. For vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy, the deep-learning system had an accuracy of 94·7% (95% CI 93·0–96·2), sensitivity of 91·4% (87·1–95·0), and specificity of 95·4% (94·1–96·7). The retina specialist over-readers had an accuracy of 93·5 (91·7–95·0; p=0·17), a sensitivity of 84·8% (79·4–90·0; p=0·024), and specificity of 95·5% (94·1–96·7; p=0·98). The PPV for the deep-learning system was 79·2 (95% CI 73·8–84·3) compared with 75·6 (69·8–81·1) for the over-readers. The NPV for the deep-learning system was 95·5 (92·8–97·9) compared with 92·4 (89·3–95·5) for the over-readers.

A deep-learning system can deliver real-time diabetic retinopathy detection capability similar to retina specialists in community-based screening settings. Socioenvironmental factors and workflows must be taken into consideration when implementing a deep-learning system within a large-scale screening programme in LMICs.

Survival rate of pediatric osteosarcoma in Indonesia: a single center study

Background Over the years, the survival rate of children with osteosarcoma has increased with improved management. However, survival tends to be lower in low-middle-income countries.

Objective To report the survival rate of children with osteosarcoma in a single center in Indonesia and to evaluate the outcomes of treatment modalities currently used.

Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of the medical records of pediatric osteosarcoma patients in Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital from 2015 to 2019. Patients were categorized based on age group, sex, primary tumor location, treatment modalities, disease metastasis, and disease outcome.

Results We included 83 children with osteosarcoma, with an age range of 4-17 years (median 13 years). Mean estimated overall survival and event-free survival were 28 (95%CI 24 to 32) months and 10 (95%CI 8 to 13) months, respectively. Overall survival duration between treatment modality groups was significantly different (P<0.05). The mean estimated overall duration of survival was 9 (95%CI 3 to 15) months for chemotherapy, 18 (95%CI 14 to 22) months for chemotherapy with surgery, and 21 (95%CI 14 to 27) months for chemotherapy with surgery and radiation.

Conclusion The survival rate of childhood osteosarcoma in Indonesia remains low. The current treatment option currently used in our center may contribute to the low rate of survival.

Patient Safety Culture in Nurses in Karawang, Indonesia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Patient safety is crucial for health care quality and is one of the major parameters monitored by all health care organizations around the world. Nurses play a critical role in improving the quality of care and patient safety because they take care of patients for the full 24 hours and engage with families and other health professionals. Thus, this study aimed to identify patient safety culture and its associated factors among nurses in Karawang, Indonesia. This study was conducted using a cross-sectional design. It was estimated that 220 participants would be needed to have confidence in the results at a medium-effect size. A convenience sampling technique was applied to select participants. This study used the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture questionnaire. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate the factors associated with patient safety culture. Most of the nurses (52.79%) had a nursing diploma and 7% had been married. Approximately 70% were nurses at the level 1 to 3 range. The mean score was 3.05 (SD = 1.43). The highest domains score was teamwork (4.03, SD = 1.76), and the lowest score was reporting patients’ safety events (2.21, SD = 1.43). Gender, education level, and working unit contributed significantly to the variance in patient safety culture and the R-squared was 28.8%. This study found that patient safety culture among nurses was moderate. Therefore, in order to improve patient safety, a training program for nurses is needed alongside strategies to improve professional communication.

Too many yet too few caesarean section deliveries in Bangladesh: Evidence from Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys data

Caesarean section (CS) use is rising rapidly in Bangladesh, though lack of CS use remains common among disadvantage women. This increases risks of long-term obstetric complications as well as maternal and child deaths among disadvantage women. We aimed to determine the interaction effects of women’s disadvantage characteristics on CS use in Bangladesh. For this we have analysed a total of 27,093 women’s data extracted from five rounds of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey conducted during 2004 and 2017/18. The outcome variable was CS use, coded as use (1) and non-use (0). The major exposure variables were individual level, household level, and community level characteristics. Multilevel logistic regression model was used to determine association of CS use with socio-demographic characteristics and the interactions of three variables: working status, wealth quintile, and place of residence. We found a 751% increase of CS use over the last 13 years—from 3.88% in 2004 to 33% in 2017/18. Nearly, 80% of the total CS operation occurred in the private health facilities followed by the government health facilities (15%). Women living in rural areas with no engagement in formal income generating activities showed a 11% (OR, 0.89, 95% CI, 0.71–0.99) lower use of CS in 2004. This association was further strengthened over time, and a 51% (OR, 0.49, 0.03–0.65) lower in CS use was reported in 2017/18. Similarly, around 12%-83% lower likelihoods of CS use were found among rural poor and poorer women. These indicate Bangladesh is facing a double burden of CS use, that is a group of women with improved socio-economic condition are using this life saving procedure without medical necessity while their counterpart of disadvantage characteristics could not access the service. Improved monitoring from the government along with support to use CS services for the disadvantage groups on necessity are important.

Successful Implementation of Expanded Newborn Screening in the Philippines Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) began as a research project in the Philippines in 1996 and was mandated by law in 2004. The program initially included screening for five conditions, with a sixth added in 2012. As screening technology and medical knowledge have advanced, NBS programs in countries with developed economies have also expanded, not only in the number of newborns screened but also in the number of conditions included in the screening. Various approaches have been taken regarding selection of conditions to be screened. With limited resources, low- and middle-income countries face significant challenges in selecting conditions for screening and in implementing sustainable screening programs. Building on expansion experiences in the U.S. and data from California on Filipinos born and screened there, the Philippine NBS program has recently completed its expansion to include 29 screening conditions. This report focuses on those conditions detectable through tandem mass spectrometry. Expanded screening was implemented in a stepwise fashion across the seven newborn screening laboratories in the Philippines. A university-based biochemical genetics laboratory provides confirmatory testing. Follow-up care for confirmed cases is monitored and provided through the NBS continuity clinics across the archipelago. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic, the coverage was 91.6% but dropped to 80.4% by the end of 2020 due to closure of borders between cities, provinces, and islands.

Bacterial Species and Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinical Isolates from Pediatric Patients in Yangon, Myanmar, 2020

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a concern in medical care for children who have high burden of infectious diseases. We investigated the prevalence of bacterial species and their susceptibility to antimicrobials of 1019 clinical isolates from pediatric patients in a tertiary-care hospital in Yangon, Myanmar for one-year period (2020). The most frequently recovered species was Escherichia coli, followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which accounted for 43% of clinical isolates, while 25% of isolates comprised non-fermenter, including Pseudomonas sp. and Acinetobacter sp. Phenotypically determined ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase)-positive rates in E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and Enterobacter sp. were 82%, 88%, and 65%, respectively. High rates of multiple drug resistance were noted for E. coli (84%), K. pneumoniae (81%), and Acinetobacter sp. (65%), associated with carbapenem resistance in 48%, 42%, and 59% of isolates, respectively. In contrast, S. aureus isolates exhibited low resistance rates (<30%) to most of antimicrobials, with 22% being resistant to oxacillin/cefoxitin. Fluoroquinolone resistance was found in most of bacterial species with different prevalence rates. The present study revealed the current status on prevalence of bacterial species causing infections in pediatric patients in Myanmar, highlighting the significance to monitor AMR among children. View Full-Text

Assessment of Health Service Delivery to Address Cardiovascular Diseases in Nepal

A health care delivery system is the organization of people, institutions, and resources designed to deliver health services. A comprehensive study to explore cardiovascular health service delivery in Nepal is lacking.
This study attempted to assess Nepal’s health system gap on organization and delivery of cardiovascular disease prevention and management services.
This mixed-method study used the six building blocks of the World Health Organization health system framework: organization; access; coverage, utilization and demand; equity; quality of services; and outcomes. We conducted the desk reviews of national and international documents, performed several key informant interviews, calculated the relevant indicators, and assessed the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the cardiovascular health service delivery.
We found that most of the cardiovascular services are concentrated in urban areas, and suffer from poor access, quality, utilization, and coverage in most of the areas resulting in poor health outcomes. Though the services have recently improved due to increased primary care interventions, there is scope for the development of competent human resources, advancement of technologies, development of national protocols, and improved monitoring and supervision. Improved disease system including the medical recording and reporting mechanism to incorporate and reflect the true burden of CVD in Nepal is lacking.
Despite having health facilities from grassroots to the central level, availability, access, and quality of cardiovascular health services are poor. Further improvement and equitable expansion of promotive, preventive, diagnostic, referral, and rehabilitative cardiovascular services are needed to ensure universal health coverag