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.

Using modified Delphi method to propose and validate components of child injury surveillance system for Iran

Child injuries are a public health concern globally. Injury Surveillance Systems (ISSs) have a beneficial impact on child injury prevention. There is a need for evidence-based consensus on frameworks to establish child ISSs. This research aims to investigate the key components of a child ISS for Iran and to propose a framework for implementation.

Data were gathered through interview with experts using unstructured questions from January 2017 to December 2018 to identify child ISS functional components. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis method. Then, modified Delphi method was used to validate the functional components. Based on the outcomes of the content analysis, a questionnaire with closed questions was developed to be presented to a group of experts. Consensus was achieved in two rounds.

In round one, 117 items reached consensus. In round two, 5 items reached consensus and were incorporated into final framework. Consensus was reached for 122 items comprising the final framework and representing 7 key components: goals of the system, data sources, data set, coalition of stakeholders, data collection, data analysis and data distribution. Each component consisted of several sub-components and respective elements.

This agreed framework will assist in standardizing data collection, analysis and distribution to detect child injury problems and provide evidence for preventive measures.

Outcomes of trauma education workshop in Vietnam: improving diagnostic and surgical skills

Unintentional injuries have emerged as a significant public health issue in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), especially in Vietnam, where there is a poor quality of care for trauma. A scarcity of formal and informal training opportunities contributes to a lack of structure for treating trauma in Vietnam. A collaborative trauma education project by the JW LEE Center for Global Medicine in South Korea and the Military Hospital 175 in Vietnam was implemented to enhance trauma care capacity among medical staff across Ho Chi Minh City in 2018. We aimed to evaluate a part of the trauma education project, a one-day workshop that targeted improving diagnostic and surgical skills among the medical staff (physicians and nurses).

A one-day workshop was offered to medical staff across Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2018. The workshop was implemented to enhance the trauma care knowledge of providers and to provide practical and applicable diagnostic and surgical skills. To evaluate the workshop outcomes, we utilized a mixed-methods survey data. All participants (n = 27) voluntarily completed the post-workshop questionnaire. Quality of contents, satisfaction with teaching skills, and perceived benefit were used as outcomes of the workshop, measured by 5-point Likert scales (score: 1–5). Descriptive statistics were performed, and open-ended questions were analyzed by recurring themes.

The results from the post-workshop questionnaire demonstrated that the participants were highly satisfied with the quality of the workshop contents (mean = 4.32 standard deviation (SD) = 0.62). The mean score of the satisfaction regarding the teaching skills was 4.19 (SD = 0.61). The mean score of the perceived benefit from the workshop was 4.17 (SD = 0.63). The open-ended questions revealed that the program improved their knowledge in complex orthopedic surgeries neglected prior to training.

Positive learning experiences highlighted the need for the continuation of the international collaboration of skill development and capacity building for trauma care in Vietnam and other LMIC.

Cost-Effectiveness of Operating on Traumatic Spinal Injuries in Low-Middle Income Countries: A Preliminary Report From a Major East African Referral Center

Study Design:
Retrospective cost-effectiveness analysis.

While the incidence of traumatic spine injury (TSI) is high in low-middle income countries (LMICs), surgery is rarely possible due to cost-prohibitive implants. The objective of this study was to conduct a preliminary cost-effectiveness analysis of operative treatment of TSI patients in a LMIC setting.

At a tertiary hospital in Tanzania from September 2016 to May 2019, a retrospective analysis was conducted to estimate the cost-effectiveness of operative versus nonoperative treatment of TSI. Operative treatment included decompression/stabilization. Nonoperative treatment meant 3 months of bed rest. Direct costs included imaging, operating fees, surgical implants, and length of stay. Four patient scenarios were chosen to represent the heterogeneity of spine trauma: Quadriplegic, paraplegic, neurologic improvement, and neurologically intact. Disability-adjusted-life-years (DALYs) and incremental-cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated to determine the cost per unit benefit of operative versus nonoperative treatment. Cost/DALY averted was the primary outcome (i.e., the amount of money required to avoid losing 1 year of healthy life).

A total of 270 TSI patients were included (125 operative; 145 nonoperative). Operative treatment averaged $731/patient. Nonoperative care averaged $212/patient. Comparing operative versus nonoperative treatment, the incremental cost/DALY averted for each patient outcome was: quadriplegic ($112-$158/DALY averted), paraplegic ($47-$67/DALY averted), neurologic improvement ($50-$71/DALY averted), neurologically intact ($41-$58/DALY averted). Sensitivity analysis confirmed these findings without major differences.

This preliminary cost-effectiveness analysis suggests that the upfront costs of spine trauma surgery may be offset by a reduction in disability. LMIC governments should consider conducting more spine trauma cost-effectiveness analyses and including spine trauma surgery in universal health care.

Trauma system developments reduce mortality in hospitalized trauma patients in Al-Ain City, United Arab Emirates, despite increased severity of injury

Background: Trauma is a leading cause of death in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There have been major developments in the trauma system in Al-Ain City during the last two decades. We aimed to study the effects of these developments on the trauma pattern, severity, and clinical outcome of hospitalized trauma patients in Al-Ain City, United Arab Emirates.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of two separate sets of prospectively collected trauma registry data of Al-Ain Hospital. Data were collected over two periods: from March 2003 to March 2006 and from January 2014 to December 2017. Demography, injury mechanism, injury location, and clinical outcomes of 2573 trauma patients in the first period were compared with 3519 patients in the second period.

Results: Trauma incidence decreased by 38.2% in Al-Ain City over the last 10 years. Trauma to females, UAE nationals, and the geriatric population significantly increased over time (p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test for each). Falls on the same level significantly increased over time, while road traffic collisions and falls from height significantly decreased over time (p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test for each). Mortality significantly decreased over time (2.3% compared with 1%, p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test). Conclusions: Developments in the trauma system of our city have reduced mortality in hospitalized trauma patients by 56% despite an increased severity of injury. Furthermore, the injury incidence in our city decreased by 38.2% over the last decade. This was mainly in road traffic collisions and work-related injuries. Nevertheless, falls on the same level in the geriatric population continue to be a significant problem that needs to be addressed.

Trauma in pregnancy at a major trauma centre in South Africa

Background. Trauma in pregnancy poses a unique challenge to clinicians. Literature on this topic is limited in South Africa (SA).

Objectives. To review our institution’s experience with the management of trauma in pregnancy in a developing-world setting.

Methods. This study was based at Grey’s Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, SA. All pregnant patients who were admitted to our institution following trauma between December 2012 and December 2018 were identified from the Hybrid Electronic Medical Registry (HEMR).

Results. During the 6-year study period, 2 990 female patients were admitted by the Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service (PMTS), of whom 89 were pregnant. The mean age of these patients was 25.64 (range 17 – 43) years. The mechanism of injury was road traffic crash (RTC) in 39, stab wounds (SW) in 19, assault other than SW or gunshot wounds (GSW) in 19, GSW in 8, snake bite in 5, impalement in 1, dog bite in 1, hanging in 1, sexual assault in 1 and a single case of a patient being hit by a falling object. A subset of patients sustained >1 mechanism of injury. Thirty patients were managed operatively. The mean time of gestation was 19.16 (5 – 36) weeks. Three patients died, and there were 16 fetal deaths (including 3 lost after the mother’s death). Forty-five fetuses were recorded as surviving at discharge, while 25 fetal outcomes were not specifically recorded. There were 2 threatened miscarriages and/or patients with vaginal bleeding, 1 positive pregnancy test with no recorded outcome and no premature births as a result of trauma.

Conclusions. Trauma in pregnancy is relatively uncommon and mostly due to a RTC or deliberately inflicted trauma. Fetal outcome is largely dependent on the severity of the maternal injury, with injuries requiring laparotomy leading to a high fetal mortality rate.

The ratio of shock index to pulse oxygen saturation predicting mortality of emergency trauma patients

Objective: To test the following hypothesis: the ratio of shock index to pulse oxygen saturation can better predict the mortality of emergency trauma patients than shock index.

Methods: 1723 Patients of trauma admitted to the Emergency Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University from 1 November 2016 to 30 November 2019 were retrospectively evaluated. We defined SS as the ratio of SI to SPO2, and the mortality of trauma patients in the emergency department as end-point of outcome. We calculated the crude HR of SS and adjusted HR with the adjustment for risk factors including sex, age, revised trauma score (RTS) by Cox regression model. ROC curve analyses were performed to compare the area under the curve (AUC) of SS and SI.

Results: The crude HR of SS was: 4.31, 95%CI (2.89-6.42) and adjusted HR: 3.01, 95%CI(1.86-4.88); ROC curve analyses showed that AUC of SS was higher than that of shock index (SI), and the difference was statistically significant: 0.69, 95%CI(0.55-0.83) vs 0.65, 95%CI (0.51-0.79), P = 0.001.

Conclusion: The ratio of shock index to pulse oxygen saturation is good predictor for emergency trauma patients, which has a better prognostic value than shock index.