The characteristics and outcomes of trauma admissions to an adult general surgery ward in a tertiary teaching hospital

Traumatic injuries are proportionally higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than high-income counties. Data on trauma epidemiology and patients’ outcomes are limited in LMICs.

A retrospective review of medical records was performed for trauma admissions to the Princess Marina Hospital general surgical (GS) wards from August 2017 to July 2018. Data on demographics, mechanisms of injury, body parts injured, Revised Trauma Score, surgical procedures, hospital stay, and outcomes were analysed.

During the study period, 2610 patients were admitted to GS wards, 1307 were emergency admissions. Trauma contributed 22.1% (576) of the total and 44.1% of the emergency admissions. Among the trauma admissions, 79.3% (457) were male. The median[interquartile range(IQR)](range) age in years was 30[24–40](13–97). The main mechanisms of injury were interpersonal violence (IPV), 53.1% and road traffic crashes (RTCs), 23.1%. More females than males suffered animal bites (5.9% vs. 0.9%), and burns (8.4% vs. 4.2%), while more males than females were affected by IPV (57.8% vs. 35.3%) and self-harm (5.5% vs. 3.4%). Multiple body parts were injured in 6.6%, mainly by RTCs. Interpersonal violence (IPV) and RTCs resulted in significant numbers of head and neck injuries, 57.3% and 22.2% respectively. More females than males had multiple body-parts injury 34.5% vs. 18.5%. Revised Trauma Score (RTS) of ≤11 was recorded in IPV, 38.4% and RTCs, 33.6%. Surgical procedures were performed on 44.4% patients. The most common surgical procedures were laparotomy (27.8%), insertion of chest tube (27.8%), and craniotomy/burr hole(25.1%). Complications were recorded in 10.1% of the patients(58) including 39 deaths, 6.8% of the 576.

Trauma contributed significantly to the total GS and emergency admissions. The most common mechanism of injury was IPV with head and neck the most frequently injured body part. Further studies on IPV and trauma admissions involving paediatric and orthopaedic patients are warranted.

Factors Associated with Serious Injuries among Adolescents in Ghana: Findings from 2012 Global School Health Survey

Introduction. Injuries are of public health concern and the leading cause of residual disability and death among teenagers, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In Ghana, the burden of injury among adolescents is under-reported. Hence, the study sought to determine the prevalence of serious injuries (SI) and the potential factors influencing these injuries among school children in Ghana. Methods. This study was conducted in Ghana among Junior High School (JHS) and senior high school students (SHS) using the 2012 Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data. The GSHS employed two-stage cluster sampling method. Serious injuries (SI) and independent factors were measured via self-administered questionnaires. Pearson chi-square test between each explanatory variable and serious injuries was conducted and the level of statistical significance was set at 5%. The significant variables from the chi-square test were selected for multiple logistic regression analysis. Multiple logistic regression was performed to estimate the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI). Results. The prevalence of SI in the past 12 months was 66% [CI=61.8–70.2] . The most common cause of SI was fall, 36%. The common types of injuries were cut/stab wounds and broken/dislocated bone. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, after controlling for other variables, educational level (AOR = 0.64, CI = 0.44–0.90,  < 0.015), suicidal ideation (AOR = 1.58, CI = 1.00–2.48,  < 0.002), suicidal attempt (AOR = 1.88, CI = 1.29–2.72,  < 0.001), having at least one close friend (AOR = 1.49, CI = 1.17–1.89,  < 0.002), school truancy (AOR = 1.66, CI = 1.31–2.09,  < 0.000), smoking marijuana (AOR = 2.64, CI = 1.22–5.69), and amphetamine use (AOR = 2.95, CI = 1.46–5.69) were independently associated with SI. Conclusion. The findings of the study established a high prevalence of SI among adolescents in Ghana, with cut/stab wound and broken/dislocated bone being the most reported type of injuries. This study also revealed that factors such as educational level, suicidal ideation, suicidal attempt, at least one close friend, school truancy, smoking marijuana, and amphetamine use are associated with SI among the adolescents. Therefore, pragmatic interventional programs should be targeted at these factors to curb the rate of SI among junior and senior school students.

Tracking global development assistance for trauma care: A call for advocacy and action

Background: This study aimed to track development assistance for trauma care (DAH-TC), uncover funding trends and gaps, and compare DAH-TC to development assistance for other health conditions.

Methods: A systematic search of the OECD Creditor Reporting System (CRS) and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) databases was performed to capture projects related to trauma care. Reports from large foundations and public-private partnerships were also searched. DAH-TC was described, and comparisons were made between DAH-TC and other health conditions.

Results: The search yielded 1754 records; after applying exclusion criteria, 301 records were included for analysis. During the 25-year period, US$93.7M of DAH-TC was disbursed to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (0.02% of total DAH). Contributions were dominated by a few donors and fluctuated dramatically over time. A sizable portion of DAH-TC came in the form of investments to build infrastructure (38% of DAH-TC); information and research activities (17%); and training (16%). Nearly US$58M (62% of DAH-TC) was funneled to projects that targeted victims of war. Trauma care received US$0.04 per DALY incurred, while malaria, TB, HIV and MCH received US$9.62 per DALY, US$25.09 per DALY, US$4.05 per DALY and US$45.75 per DALY, respectively.

Conclusions: DAH-TC is critically underfunded, particularly compared to other health foci. To improve the DAH-TC landscape, stakeholders can better mobilize domestic resources; use advocacy more effectively by catalyzing network convergence, grafting trauma care onto related high-priority issues, and seeking broader coalitions; and develop partners within the donor and channel communities to promote strategic DAH-TC disbursements.

Assessing barriers to quality trauma care in low and middle-income countries

Most deaths from injury occur in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) with one third potentially avoidable with better health system access. This study aimed to establish consensus on the most important barriers, within a Three Delays framework, to accessing injury care in LMICs that should be considered when evaluating a health system.
A three round electronic Delphi study was conducted with experts in LMIC health systems or injury care. In round one, participants proposed important barriers. These were synthesized into a three delays framework. In round 2 participants scored four components for each barrier. Components measured whether barriers were feasible to assess, likely to delay care for a significant proportion of injured persons, likely to cause avoidable death or disability, and potentially readily changed to improve care. In round 3 participants re-scored each barrier following review of feedback from round 2. Consensus was defined for each component as ≥70% agreement or disagreement.
There were 37 eligible responses in round 1, 30 in round 2, and 27 in round 3, with 21 countries represented in all rounds. Of the twenty conceptual barriers identified, consensus was reached on all four components for 11 barriers. This included 2 barriers to seeking care, 5 barriers to reaching care and 4 barriers to receiving care. The ability to modify a barrier most frequently failed to achieve consensus.
11 barriers were agreed to be feasible to assess, delay care for many, cause avoidable death or disability, and be readily modifiable. We recommend these barriers are considered in assessments of LMIC trauma systems.

Cross-sectional survey of treatments and outcomes among injured adult patients in Kigali, Rwanda

Traumatic injuries and their resulting mortality and disability impose a disproportionate burden on sub-Saharan countries like Rwanda. An important facet of addressing injury burdens is to comprehend injury patterns and aetiologies of trauma. This study is a cross-sectional analysis of injuries, treatments and outcomes at the University Teaching Hospital-Kigali (CHUK).

A random sample of Emergency Centre (EC) injury patients presenting during August 2015 through July 2016 was accrued. Patients were excluded if they had non-traumatic illness. Data included demographics, clinical presentation, injury type(s), mechanism of injury, and EC disposition. Descriptive statics were utilised to explore characteristics of the population.

A random sample of 786 trauma patients met inclusion criteria and were analysed. The median age was 28 (IQR 6–50) years and 69.4% were male. Of all trauma patients 49.4% presented secondary to road traffic injuries (RTIs), 23.9% due to falls, 10.9% due to penetrating trauma. Craniofacial trauma was the most frequent traumatic injury location at 36.3%. Lower limb trauma and upper limb trauma constituted 35.8% and 27.1% of all injuries. Admission was required in 68.2% of cases, 23.3% were admitted to the orthopaedic service with the second highest admission to the surgical service (19.2%). Of those admitted to the hospital, the median LOS was 6 days (IQR 3–14), in the subset of patients requiring operative intervention, the median LOS was also 6 days (IQR 3–16). Death occurred in 5.5% of admitted patients in the hospital.

The traumatic injury burden is borne more proportionally by young males in Kigali, Rwanda. Blunt trauma accounts for a majority of trauma patient presentations; of these RTIs constitute nearly half the injury mechanisms. These findings suggest that this population has substantial injury burdens and prevention and care interventions focused in this demographic group could provide positive impacts in the study setting.

Impact of COVID-19 on the practice of orthopaedics and trauma—an epidemiological study of the full pandemic year of a tertiary care centre of New Delhi

In an observational study, we studied the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on our clinical practice of trauma and orthopaedics, in tertiary care hospital of New Delhi.

We collated the hospital data for 2019 and 2020 and analyzed and compared it extensively. We looked for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on several important clinical practice parameters like outpatient attendance, inpatients admissions, and surgery. The correlation of the number of surgeries done during the pandemic time was done with the number of positive cases in Delhi, monthwise. A trend of recovery was also observed.

During the pandemic period, the attendance of outpatients fell by 71.93%, admissions by 59.35%, and surgery by 55.78%. Adult trauma surgery was the least affected (42.21%), followed by arthroscopic surgery (49.81%). Fragility hip fractures requiring bipolar hip arthroplasty were reduced by 34.15%. The maximum adverse impact of the pandemic was seen on arthroplasty surgery (hip > knee), followed by on the paediatric orthopaedic cases, and spinal surgery. We notice a “lazy V-shaped” recovery after the lockdown period.

COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on all aspects of orthopaedics and trauma’s clinical practice in our setup. These adverse effects were maximally seen during the lockdown period, with a reduction of 90.77% in the outpatients, 84.63% in the admissions, and 86.67% in the surgery.

The treatment challenges and limitation in high-voltage pediatric electrical burn at rural area: A case report

Although rare, electrical injury in pediatrics is potentially life threatening and has significant and long-term impact in life. It is challenging to manage such cases in rural areas.

Presentation of case
A fully conscious 13-year-old boy was admitted to the emergency room after being electrocuted by high-voltage power cable, with superficial partial thickness burn over right arm, trunk, and left leg (26 % of total body surface area). Tachycardia and non-specific ST depression was found on ECG examination and was diagnosed with high-voltage electrical injury. Treatments were based on ANZBA algorithm with several modifications, i.e., administering lower concentration of oxygen with nasal cannula instead of non-rebreathing mask as well as Ketorolac and Antrain® for analgesic instead of morphine.

Different choices of treatments were given due to limited resources. Despite possible cardiac and renal complication, further tests could not be done. Fortunately, after strict monitoring, no signs of abnormality were found. We used silver sulfadiazine, Sofratulle® and dry sterile gauze as a dressing of choice following immediate surgical debridement. The patient was observed daily through 7 days of hospitalization and followed-up for 1 year, achieving normal physiologic function of the affected area but unsatisfactory esthetic result.

Lack of infrastructure, drugs, and trained personnel are some of the challenges that still exist in most rural areas. Thus, implementation of available standardized guidelines such as ANZBA, and giving similar training to personnel as well as providing feasible equipment followed by strict monitoring for the patient are needed to achieve maximum results.

Prevention of road traffic collisions and associated neurotrauma in Colombia: An exploratory qualitative study

Neurotrauma is an important but preventable cause of death and disability worldwide, with the majority being associated with road traffic collisions (RTCs). The greatest burden is seen in low -and middle- income countries (LMICs) where variations in the environment, infrastructure, population and habits can challenge the success of conventional preventative approaches. It is therefore necessary to understand local perspectives to allow for the development and implementation of context-specific strategies which are effective and sustainable.

This study took place in Colombia where qualitative data collection was carried out with ten key informants between October and November 2019. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and explored perceptions on RTCs and neurotrauma, preventative strategies and interventions, and the role of research in prevention. Interview transcripts were analysed by thematic analysis using a framework approach.

Participants’ confirmed that RTCs are a significant problem in Colombia with neurotrauma as an important outcome. Human and organisational factors were identified as key causes of the high rates of RTCs. Participants described the current local preventative strategies, but were quick to discuss limitations and challenges to their success. Key barriers reported were poor attitudes and knowledge, particularly in the community. Suggestions were provided on ways to improve prevention through better education and awareness, stricter enforcement and new policies on prevention, proper budgeting and resource allocation, as well as through collaboration and changes in attitudes and leadership. Participants identified four key research areas they felt would influence prevention of RTCs and associated neurotrauma: causes of RTCs; consequences and impact of RTCs; public involvement in research; improving prevention.

RTCs are a major problem in Colombia despite the current preventative strategies and interventions. Findings from this study have a potential to influence policy, practice and research by illustrating different solutions to the challenges surrounding prevention and by highlighting areas for further research.

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.