Epidemiological characteristics of child injury in a tertiary paediatric surgical centre in Bangladesh

While high income countries (HICs) have reduced the mortality from child injury, it is increasing in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, injury registry and reporting are inconsistent and not well developed in the LMICs. This study aims at describing the epidemiology of child injury in a tertiary paediatric surgical centre in Bangladesh. We retrospectively analysed all patients of injury between 0 and 12 years of age admitted in the Department of Paediatric Surgery, Chattogram Medical College Hospital during January 2017 to June 2020. Analysis was done for the hospital prevalence, age and sex distribution, seasonal variations, mechanism of injury, site of involvement, and mortality from injury. There were a total of 538 patients and male to female ratio was 2.01:1. Hospital prevalence was 6.71%. Mean age was 6.60 ± 3.32 years. School age children were affected more (51.7%); and “6-10 years” age group had the highest number injuries (251 patients, 46.65%). The most common mechanisms of injuries were road-traffic accident (RTA, 35.32%), followed by fall (26.39%) and „stab or cut injury‟ (20.63%). Males experienced more abdominal injuries and females had more perineal injuries (P=0.00). RTA was the commonest mechanism in males (37.05%) and falls were the commonest mechanism in females (32.96%). „Stab or cut injury‟ was the commonest mechanism in infants and toddlers, and RTA was commonest among pre-school and school age children. There were no significant seasonal variations (P=0.09). There were 5.76% intentional injuries. Mortality was 2.60% and major causes of mortality were RTA and animal assaults. Injuries were more prevalent during the mid-childhood with an overall increasing trend with age. Mechanism of injury and site of involvement were different among different age groups and between sexes.

Exploring the factors motivating continued Lay First Responder participation in Uganda: a mixed-methods, 3-year follow-up

Background The WHO recommends training lay first responders (LFRs) as the first step towards establishing emergency medical services (EMS) in low-income and middle-income countries. Understanding social and financial benefits associated with responder involvement is essential for LFR programme continuity and may inform sustainable development.

Methods A mixed-methods follow-up study was conducted in July 2019 with 239 motorcycle taxi drivers, including 115 (75%) of 154 initial participants in a Ugandan LFR course from July 2016, to evaluate LFR training on participants. Semi-structured interviews and surveys were administered to samples of initial participants to assess social and economic implications of training, and non-trained motorcycle taxi drivers to gauge interest in LFR training. Themes were determined on a per-question basis and coded by extracting keywords from each response until thematic saturation was achieved.

Results Three years post-course, initial participants reported new knowledge and skills, the ability to help others, and confidence gain as the main benefits motivating continued programme involvement. Participant outlook was unanimously positive and 96.5% (111/115) of initial participants surveyed used skills since training. Many reported sensing an identity change, now identifying as first responders in addition to motorcycle taxi drivers. Drivers reported they believe this led to greater respect from the Ugandan public and a prevailing belief that they are responsible transportation providers, increasing subsequent customer acquisition. Motorcycle taxi drivers who participated in the course reported a median weekly income value that is 24.39% higher than non-trained motorcycle taxi counterparts (p<0.0001).

Conclusions A simultaneous delivery of sustained social and perceived financial benefits to LFRs are likely to motivate continued voluntary participation. These benefits appear to be a potential mechanism that may be leveraged to contribute to the sustainability of future LFR programmes to deliver basic prehospital emergency care in resource-limited settings.

Recording patient data in burn unit logbooks in Rwanda – who and what are we missing?

Systematic data collection in high-income countries has demonstrated a decreasing burn morbidity and mortality, whereas lack of data from low- and middle-income countries hinder a global overview of burn epidemiology. In low- and middle-income countries, dedicated burn registries are few. Instead, burn data are often recorded in logbooks or as one variable in trauma registries, where incomplete or inconsistently recorded information is a known challenge. The University Teaching Hospital of Kigali hosts the only dedicated burn unit in Rwanda and has collected data on patients admitted for acute burn care in logbooks since 2005. This study aimed to assess the data registered between January 2005 and December 2019, to evaluate the extent of missing data, and to identify possible factors associated with “missingness”. All data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Fisher’s exact test, and Wilcoxon Rank Sum test. In this study, 1,093 acute burn patients were included and 64.2% of them had incomplete data. Data completeness improved significantly over time. The most commonly missing variables were whether the patient was referred from another facility and information regarding whether any surgical intervention was performed. Missing data on burn mechanism, burn degree, and surgical treatment were associated with in-hospital mortality. In conclusion, missing data is frequent for acute burn patients in Rwanda, although improvements have been seen over time. As Rwanda and other low- and middle-income countries strive to improve burn care, ensuring data completeness will be essential for the ability to accurately assess the quality of care, and hence improve it.

An analysis of emergency care delays experienced by traumatic brain injury patients presenting to a regional referral hospital in a low-income country

Trauma is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), trauma patients have a higher risk of experiencing delays to care due to limited hospital resources and difficulties in reaching a health facility. Reducing delays to care is an effective method for improving trauma outcomes. However, few studies have investigated the variety of care delays experienced by trauma patients in LMICs. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of pre- and in-hospital delays to care, and their association with poor outcomes among trauma patients in a low-income setting.

We used a prospective traumatic brain injury (TBI) registry from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania to model nine unique delays to care. Multiple regression was used to identify delays significantly associated with poor in-hospital outcomes.

Our analysis included 3209 TBI patients. The most common delay from injury occurrence to hospital arrival was 1.1 to 4.0 hours (31.9%). Most patients were evaluated by a physician within 15.0 minutes of arrival (69.2%). Nearly all severely injured patients needed and did not receive a brain computed tomography scan (95.0%). A majority of severely injured patients needed and did not receive oxygen (80.8%). Predictors of a poor outcome included delays to lab tests, fluids, oxygen, and non-TBI surgery.

Time to care data is informative, easy to collect, and available in any setting. Our time to care data revealed significant constraints to non-personnel related hospital resources. Severely injured patients with the greatest need for care lacked access to medical imaging, oxygen, and surgery. Insights from our study and future studies will help optimize resource allocation in low-income hospitals thereby reducing delays to care and improving trauma outcomes in LMICs.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of tranexamic acid for the treatment of traumatic brain injury, based on the results of the CRASH-3 randomised trial: a decision modelling approach

Introduction An estimated 69 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur each year worldwide, with most in low-income and middle-income countries. The CRASH-3 randomised trial found that intravenous administration of tranexamic acid within 3 hours of injury reduces head injury deaths in patients sustaining a mild or moderate TBI. We examined the cost-effectiveness of tranexamic acid treatment for TBI.

Methods A Markov decision model was developed to assess the cost-effectiveness of treatment with and without tranexamic acid, in addition to current practice. We modelled the decision in the UK and Pakistan from a health service perspective, over a lifetime time horizon. We used data from the CRASH-3 trial for the risk of death during the trial period (28 days) and patient quality of life, and data from the literature to estimate costs and long-term outcomes post-TBI. We present outcomes as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and 2018 costs in pounds for the UK, and US dollars for Pakistan. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) per QALY gained were estimated, and compared with country specific cost-effective thresholds. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were also performed.

Results Tranexamic acid was highly cost-effective for patients with mild TBI and intracranial bleeding or patients with moderate TBI, at £4288 per QALY in the UK, and US$24 per QALY in Pakistan. Tranexamic acid was 99% and 98% cost-effective at the cost-effectiveness thresholds for the UK and Pakistan, respectively, and remained cost-effective across all deterministic sensitivity analyses. Tranexamic acid was even more cost-effective with earlier treatment administration. The cost-effectiveness for those with severe TBI was uncertain.

Conclusion Early administration of tranexamic acid is highly cost-effective for patients with mild or moderate TBI in the UK and Pakistan, relative to the cost-effectiveness thresholds used. The estimated ICERs suggest treatment is likely to be cost-effective across all income settings globally.

Choices for operative management of fractures in a developing country.

Aims: Operative management of fractures has changed significantly in the 21st century with the introduction of simple but effective devices and procedures to improve fracture care and healing outcomes. This study describes the commonest fractures treated surgically, type of fractures and operative fixation methods used for patients seeking orthopaedic services in two hospitals in Ghana.

Methods: Review of all patients who have had operative fracture fixation at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital and St. Joseph Orthopaedic Hospital between January 2016 to December 2018. Operation records of 1,168 were reviewed for their age, gender, fractured bone, type of fracture, operative fixation method and devices used for fixation.

Results: A total of 1,168 fractured patients were treated operatively irrespective of age in the 3 year period reviewed. Males (817)compared to females (351) in a ratio of 2.3:1. The 21 – 40 year age group had the highest number of fractures (50% of femur fractures, 52% of tibial and 56% of forearm fractures) managed operatively. Plate osteosynthesis was found to be the most preferred method of fixation for the major long bones; femur 360(66 %), Humerus 69(78% ), radius and ulna 81(78%).

Conclusion: Fractures of the femur and tibial shafts represent an overwhelming majority of operatively managed long bone fractures. Plating as opposed to the gold standard of intramedullary nailing was the most commonly employed fixation method for femur and tibial fractures, so scarce resources should be channelled towards acquiring the requisite instrumentation and skill set for the fixation of these fractures.

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.

The physical impact of long bone fractures on adults in KwaZulu-Natal

Background: Limb fractures are increasingly common in low-income and middle-income countries due to an increase in motor vehicle and other accidents. Fractures may often lead to physical impairment that affects an individual’s ability to carry out tasks.

Objectives: To assess the physical impact of long bone fractures on adults in KwaZulu-Natal.

Method: A standardised questionnaire pertaining to activities at home and leisure was used to establish patient-reported outcomes at nine public hospitals. English-speaking and isiZulu-speaking participants who had sustained a single long bone fracture in the preceding 4 to 12 weeks at the time of data collection were included. The following activities were evaluated: walking, running, exercising, driving, performing household chores, writing, answering telephones, texting on a cell phone, bathing, using crockery and preparing meals.

Results: A total of 821 participants completed the questionnaire. Ninety-three per cent had closed long bone fractures and 69 per cent were lower limb fractures. Fifty-seven per cent of the fractures were caused by a fall. Female participants (p = 0.19) with lower limb fractures were more likely to have greater difficulty in performing tasks and participants 60 years of age and older (p = 0.001) were significantly more likely to have difficulty performing tasks.

Conclusion: These findings illustrate the daily limitations in patients’ everyday activities at home, leisure and in activities such as driving.

Clinical implications: This study highlights the difficulty that some individuals, particularly women and individuals 60 years of age and older, face in performing daily tasks after experiencing a long bone fracture.

The EQ-5D-3L administered by text message compared to the paper version for hard-to-reach populations in a rural South African trauma setting: a measurement equivalence study

Administering patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) by text message may improve response rate in hard-to-reach populations. This study explored cultural acceptability of PROMs and compared measurement equivalence of the EQ-5D-3L administered on paper and by text message in a rural South African setting.

Materials and methods
Participants with upper or lower limb orthopaedic pathology were recruited. The EQ-5D was administered first on paper and then by text message after 24 h and 7 days. Differences in mean scores for paper and text message versions of the EQ-5D were evaluated. Test–retest reliability between text message versions was evaluated using Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICCs).

147 participants completed a paper EQ-5D. Response rates were 67% at 24 h and 58% at 7 days. There were no differences in means between paper and text message responses for the EQ-5D Index (p = 0.95) or EQ-5D VAS (p = 0.26). There was acceptable agreement between the paper and 24-h text message EQ-5D Index (0.84; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.78–0.89) and EQ-5D VAS (0.73; 95% CI 0.64–0.82) and acceptable agreement between the 24-h and 7-day text message EQ-Index (0.72; CI 0.62–0.82) and EQ-VAS (0.72; CI 0.62–0.82). Non-responder traits were increasing age, Xhosa as first language and lower educational levels.

Text messaging is equivalent to paper-based measurement of EQ-5D in this setting and is thus a viable tool for responders. Non-responders had similar socioeconomic characteristics and attrition rates to traditional modes of administration. The EQ-5D by text message offers potential clinical and research uses in hard-to-reach populations.

Postoperative Pulmonary Complications in Complex Pediatric and Adult Spine Deformity: A Retrospective Review of Consecutive Patients Treated at a Single Site in West Africa

Study Design:
Retrospective review of consecutive series.

This study sought to assess the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of pulmonary complication following complex spine deformity surgery in a low-resourced setting in West Africa.

Data of 276 complex spine deformity patients aged 3 to 25 years who were treated consecutively was retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorized into 2 groups during data analysis based on pulmonary complication status: group 1: yes versus group 2: no. Comparative descriptive and inferential analysis were performed to compare the 2 groups.

The incidence of pulmonary complication was 17/276 (6.1%) in group 1. A total of 259 patients had no events (group 2). There were 8 males and 9 females in group 1 versus 100 males and 159 females in group 2. Body mass index was similar in both groups (17.2 vs 18.4 kg/m2, P = .15). Average values (group 1 vs group 2, respectively) were as follows: preoperative sagittal Cobb angle (90.6° vs 88.7°, P = .87.), coronal Cobb angle (95° vs 88.5°, P = .43), preoperative forced vital capacity (45.3% vs 62.0%, P = .02), preoperative FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 second) (41.9% vs 63.1%, P < .001). Estimated blood loss, operating room time, and surgery levels were similar in both groups. Thoracoplasty and spinal osteotomies were performed at similar rates in both groups, except for Smith-Peterson osteotomy. Multivariate logistic regression showed that every unit increase in preoperative FEV1 (%) decreases the odds of pulmonary complication by 9% (OR = 0.91, 95% CI 0.84-0.98, P = .013). Conclusion: The observed 6.1% incidence of pulmonary complications is comparable to reported series. Preoperative FEV1 was an independent predictor of pulmonary complications. The observed case fatality rate following pulmonary complications (17%) highlights the complexity of cases in underserved regions and the need for thorough preoperative evaluation to identify high-risk patients.