A broken bone no longer a burden to carry: a destination in sight

Worldwide the third leading cause of death among persons under 40 years is attributed to trauma(1). In Ghana road traffic accidents have a case fatality rate of about 17%(3). Over the years with interventions and policies by AO Alliance the burden and morbidity following trauma especially road traffic accidents have reduced; with a destination in sight where a broken bone is no longer a burden to carry.

Assessment of clinical and radiographic outcomes following retrograde versus antegrade nailing of infraisthmic femoral shaft fractures without the use of intraoperative fluoroscopy in Tanzania

To compare clinical and radiographic outcomes following antegrade versus retrograde intramedullary nailing of infraisthmic femoral shaft fractures.

Secondary analysis of prospective cohort study.

Tertiary hospital in Tanzania.

Adult patients with infraisthmic diaphyseal femur fractures.

Antegrade or retrograde SIGN intramedullary nail.

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL), radiographic healing, knee range of motion, pain, and alignment (defined as less than or equal to 5 degrees of angular deformity in both coronal and sagittal planes) assessed at 6, 12, 24, and 52 weeks postoperatively.

Of 160 included patients, 141 (88.1%) had 1-year follow-up and were included in analyses: 42 (29.8%) antegrade, 99 (70.2%) retrograde. Antegrade-nailed patients had more loss of coronal alignment (P = .026), but less knee pain at 6 months (P = .017) and increased knee flexion at 6 weeks (P = .021). There were no significant differences in reoperations, HRQOL, hip pain, knee extension, radiographic healing, or sagittal alignment.

Antegrade nailing of infraisthmic femur fractures had higher incidence of alignment loss, but no detectable differences in HRQOL, pain, radiographic healing, or reoperation. Retrograde nailing was associated with increased knee pain and decreased knee range of motion at early time points, but this dissipated by 1 year. To our knowledge, this is the first study to prospectively compare outcomes over 1 year in patients treated with antegrade versus retrograde SIGN intramedullary nailing of infraisthmic femur fractures.

Timing of surgery following SARS‐CoV‐2 infection: an international prospective cohort study

Peri‐operative SARS‐CoV‐2 infection increases postoperative mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal duration of planned delay before surgery in patients who have had SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. This international, multicentre, prospective cohort study included patients undergoing elective or emergency surgery during October 2020. Surgical patients with pre‐operative SARS‐CoV‐2 infection were compared with those without previous SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. The primary outcome measure was 30‐day postoperative mortality. Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted 30‐day mortality rates stratified by time from diagnosis of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection to surgery. Among 140,231 patients (116 countries), 3127 patients (2.2%) had a pre‐operative SARS‐CoV‐2 diagnosis. Adjusted 30‐day mortality in patients without SARS‐CoV‐2 infection was 1.5% (95%CI 1.4–1.5). In patients with a pre‐operative SARS‐CoV‐2 diagnosis, mortality was increased in patients having surgery within 0–2 weeks, 3–4 weeks and 5–6 weeks of the diagnosis (odds ratio (95%CI) 4.1 (3.3–4.8), 3.9 (2.6–5.1) and 3.6 (2.0–5.2), respectively). Surgery performed ≥ 7 weeks after SARS‐CoV‐2 diagnosis was associated with a similar mortality risk to baseline (odds ratio (95%CI) 1.5 (0.9–2.1)). After a ≥ 7 week delay in undertaking surgery following SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, patients with ongoing symptoms had a higher mortality than patients whose symptoms had resolved or who had been asymptomatic (6.0% (95%CI 3.2–8.7) vs. 2.4% (95%CI 1.4–3.4) vs. 1.3% (95%CI 0.6–2.0), respectively). Where possible, surgery should be delayed for at least 7 weeks following SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. Patients with ongoing symptoms ≥ 7 weeks from diagnosis may benefit from further delay

A study protocol for a Pilot Masked, Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating Locally-applied Gentamicin versus Saline in Open Tibia Fractures (pGO-Tibia) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Open tibia fractures are a major source of disability in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to the high incidence of complications, particularly infection and chronic osteomyelitis. One proposed adjunctive measure to reduce infection is prophylactic local antibiotic delivery, which can achieve much higher concentrations at the surgical site than can safely be achieved with systemic administration. Animal studies and retrospective clinical studies support the use of gentamicin for this purpose, but no high-quality clinical trials have been conducted to date in high- or low-income settings.

We describe a protocol for a pilot study conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to assess the feasibility of a single-center masked randomized controlled trial to compare the efficacy of locally applied gentamicin to placebo for the prevention of fracture-related infection in open tibial shaft fractures.

The results of this study will inform the design and feasibility of a definitive trial to address the use of local gentamicin in open tibial fractures. If proven effective, local gentamicin would be a low-cost strategy to reduce complications and disability from open tibial fractures that could impact care in both high- and low-income countries.

Evaluating mechanism and severity of injuries among trauma patients admitted at Sina Hospital, the National Trauma Registry of Iran

Injuries are one of the leading causes of death and lead to a high social and financial burden. Injury patterns can vary significantly among different age groups and body regions. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between mechanism of injury, patient comorbidities and severity of injuries.

The study included trauma patients from July 2016 to June 2018, who were admitted to Sina Hospital, Tehran, Iran, for 2 years. The inclusion criteria were all injured patients who had at least one of the following: hospital length of stay more than 24 h, death in hospital, and transfer from the intensive care unit of another hospital. Data collection was performed using the National Trauma Registry of Iran (NTRI) minimum dataset.

The most common injury mechanism was road traffic injuries (49.0%), followed by falls (25.5%). The mean age of those who fell was significantly higher in comparison with other mechanisms (p < 0.001). Severe extremity injuries occurred more often in the fall group than in the vehicle collision group (69.0% vs. 43.5%, p < 0.001). Moreover, cases of severe multiple trauma were higher amongst vehicle collisions than injuries caused by falls (27.8% vs. 12.9%, p = 0.003). Conclusion Comparing falls with motor vehicle collisions, patients who fell were older and sustained more extremity injuries. Patients injured by motor vehicle collision were more likely to have sustained multiple trauma than those presenting with falls. Recognition of the relationship between mechanisms and consequences of injuries may lead to more effective interventions.

Trends and patterns of antibiotic prescribing at orthopedic inpatient departments of two private-sector hospitals in Central India: A 10-year observational study

Frequent antibiotic prescribing in departments with high infection risk like orthopedics prominently contributes to the global increase of antibiotic resistance. However, few studies present antibiotic prescribing patterns and trends among orthopedic inpatients.

To compare and present the patterns and trends of antibiotic prescription over 10 years for orthopedic inpatients in a teaching (TH) and a non-teaching hospital (NTH) in Central India.

Data from orthopedic inpatients (TH-6446; NTH-4397) were collected using a prospective cross-sectional study design. Patterns were compared based on the indications and corresponding antibiotic treatments, mean Defined Daily Doses (DDD)/1000 patient-days, adherence to the National List of Essential Medicines India (NLEMI) and the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines (WHOMLEM). Antibiotic prescriptions were analyzed separately for the operated and the non-operated inpatients. Linear regression was used to analyze the time trends of antibiotic prescribing; in total through DDD/1000 patient-days and by antibiotic groups.

Third generation cephalosporins were the most prescribed antibiotic class (TH-39%; NTH-65%) and fractures were the most common indications (TH-48%; NTH-48%). Majority of the operated inpatients (TH-99%; NTH-97%) were prescribed pre-operative prophylactic antibiotics. The non-operated inpatients were also prescribed antibiotics (TH-40%; NTH-75%), although few of them had infectious diagnoses (TH-8%; NTH-14%). Adherence to the NLEMI was lower (TH-31%; NTH-34%) than adherence to the WHOMLEM (TH-65%; NTH-62%) in both hospitals. Mean DDD/1000 patient-days was 16 times higher in the TH (2658) compared to the NTH (162). Total antibiotic prescribing increased over 10 years (TH-β = 3.23; NTH-β = 1.02).

Substantial number of inpatients were prescribed antibiotics without clear infectious indications. Adherence to the NLEMI and the WHOMLEM was low in both hospitals. Antibiotic use increased in both hospitals over 10 years and was higher in the TH than in the NTH. The need for developing and implementing local antibiotic prescribing guidelines is emphasized.

Epidemiology of injured patients in rural Uganda: A prospective trauma registry’s first 1000 days

Trauma is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Data characterizing the burden of injury in rural Uganda is limited. Hospital-based trauma registries are a critical tool in illustrating injury patterns and clinical outcomes. This study aims to characterize the traumatic injuries presenting to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital (SRRH) in order to identify opportunities for quality improvement and policy development. From October 2016 to July 2019, we prospectively captured data on injured patients using a locally designed, context-relevant trauma registry instrument. Information regarding patient demographics, injury characteristics, clinical information, and treatment outcomes were recorded. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted. A total of 4109 injured patients were treated during the study period. Median age was 26 years and 63% were male. Students (33%) and peasant farmers (31%) were the most affected occupations. Falls (36%) and road traffic injuries (RTIs, 35%) were the leading causes of injury. Nearly two-thirds of RTIs were motorcycle-related and only 16% involved a pedestrian. Over half (53%) of all patients had a fracture or a sprain. Suffering a burn or a head injury were significant predictors of mortality. The number of trauma patients enrolled in the study declined by five-fold when comparing the final six months and initial six months of the study. Implementation of a context-appropriate trauma registry in a resource-constrained setting is feasible. In rural Uganda, there is a significant need for injury prevention efforts to protect vulnerable populations such as children and women from trauma on roads and in the home. Orthopedic and neurosurgical care are important targets for the strengthening of health systems. The comprehensive data provided by a trauma registry will continue to inform such efforts and provide a way to monitor their progress moving forward.

Long-term mortality after lower extremity amputation: A retrospective study at a second-level government hospital in Cape Town, South Africa

Long-term mortality after lower extremity amputation (LEA) is not well reported in low- and middle-income countries. The primary aim of this study was to report 30-day and one-year mortality after LEA in South Africa. The secondary objective was to report risk factors for one-year mortality.
This was a retrospective study of patients undergoing LEA at New Somerset Hospital, a second-level government facility in Cape Town, South Africa from October 1, 2015 to October 31, 2016. A medical record review was undertaken to identify co-morbidities, operation details, and perioperative mortality rate. Outcome status was defined as alive, dead, or lost to follow-up. Outcomes at 30 days and one-year were reported.
There were 152 patients; 90 (59%) males and the median age was 60 years. Co-morbidities were available for 137 (90%). One hundred and eight (79%) had peripheral vascular disease and 91 (66%) had diabetes mellitus. Fifty-three (35%) had more than one LEA on the same or contralateral limb. There were 183 LEAs in 152 patients. The most common LEA was above knee amputation (n=104, 57%) followed by below-knee amputation (n=36, 20%). At 30 days, 102 (67%) of 152 were traced and 12 (12%) were dead. At one year, 86 (57%) were traced and 37 (43%) were dead.
At this second-level South African hospital, 43% of patients undergoing LEA were dead after one year. In resource-constrained settings, mortality data are necessary when considering resource allocation for LEA and essential surgical care packages.

A baseline review of the ability of hospitals in Kenya to provide emergency and critical care services for COVID-19 patients

As the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Kenya begin to rise, the number of severe and critical COVID-19 patients has the potential to quickly overload the local healthcare system beyond its capacity to treat people.

The purpose of this study was to gather information about the ability of hospitals in Kenya to provide emergency and critical care services and to identify priority actions for use by policymakers and other stakeholders as a roadmap toward strengthening the COVID-19 response in the country.

This was a comprehensive review of the published and grey literature on emergency and critical care services in Kenya published in the last three years through April 2020. Screening of articles was conducted independently by the authors and the final decision for inclusion was made collaboratively. A total of 15 papers and documents were included in the review.

Key recommendations.

There is an urgent need to strengthen prehospital emergency care in Kenya by establishing a single toll-free ambulance access number and an integrated public Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system to respond to severe and critical COVID-19 patients in the community and other emergency cases. Functional 24-h emergency departments (EDs) need to be established in all the level 4, 5 and 6 hospitals in the country to ensure these patients receive immediate lifesaving emergency care when they arrive at the hospitals. The EDs should be equipped with pulse oximeters and functioning oxygen systems and have the necessary resources and skills to perform endotracheal intubation to manage COVID-19-induced respiratory distress and hypoxia. Additional intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators are also needed to ensure continuity of care for the critically ill patients seen in the ED. Appropriate practical interventions should be instituted to limit the spread of COVID-19 to healthcare personnel and other patients within the healthcare system. Further research with individual facility levels of assessment around infrastructure and service provision is necessary to more narrowly define areas with significant shortfalls in emergency and critical care services as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country increase.

Estimation of the National Surgical Needs in India by Enumerating the Surgical Procedures in an Urban Community Under Universal Health Coverage

11% of the global burden of disease requires surgical care or anaesthesia management or both. Some studies have estimated this burden to be as high as 30%. The Lancet Commission for Global Surgery (LCoGS) estimated that 5000 surgeries are required to meet the surgical burden of disease for 100,000 people in LMICs. Studies from LMICs, estimating surgical burden based on enumeration of surgeries, are sparse.

We performed this study in an urban population availing employees’ heath scheme in Mumbai, India. Surgical procedures performed in 2017 and 2018, under this free and equitable health scheme, were enumerated. We estimated the surgical needs for national population, based on age and sex distribution of surgeries and age standardization from our cohort.

A total of 4642 surgeries were performed per year for a population of 88,273. Cataract (22.8%), Caesareans (3.8%), surgeries for fractures (3.27%) and hernia (2.86%) were the commonest surgeries. 44.2% of surgeries belonged to the essential surgeries. We estimated 3646 surgeries would be required per 100,000 Indian population per year. One-third of these surgeries would be needed for the age group 30–49 years, in the Indian population.

A total of 3646 surgeries were estimated annually to meet the surgical needs of Indian population as compared to the global estimate of 5000 surgeries per 100,000 people. Caesarean section, cataract, surgeries for fractures and hernia are the major contributors to the surgical needs. More enumeration-based studies are needed for better estimates from rural as well as other urban areas.