Considerations for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in COVID-19 Era: Can We Sustain the Solutions to Keep Our Patients and Healthcare Personnel Safe?

Several uncertainties exist regarding how we will conduct our clinical, didactic, business, and social activities as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic abates and social distancing guidelines are relaxed. We anticipate changes in how we interact with our patients and other providers, how patient workflow is designed, the methods used to conduct our teaching sessions, and how we perform procedures in different clinical settings. The objective of the present report was to review some of the changes to consider in the clinical and academic oral and maxillofacial surgery workflow to allow for a smoother and more efficient transition, with less risk to our patients and healthcare personnel. New infection control policies should be strictly enforced and monitored in all clinical and nonclinical settings, with an overall goal of decreasing the risk of exposure and transmission. Screening for COVID-19 symptoms, testing when indicated, and establishing the epidemiologic linkage will be crucial to containing and preventing new COVID-19 cases until a vaccine or an alternate solution is available. Additionally, the shortage of essential supplies such as drugs and personal protective equipment, the design and ventilation of workspaces and waiting areas, the increase in overhead costs, and the possible absence of staff, if quarantine is necessary, must be considered. This shift in our workflow and patient care paths will likely continue in the short term at least through 2021 or the next 12 to 24 months. Thus, we must prioritize surgery, balancing patient preferences and healthcare personnel risks. We have an opportunity now to make changes and embrace telemedicine and other collaborative virtual platforms for teaching and clinical care. It is crucial that we maintain COVID-19 awareness, proper surveillance in our microenvironments, good clinical judgment, and ethical values to continue to deliver high-quality, economical, and accessible patient care.

Academic Advancement in Global Surgery Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Recommendations From the American Surgical Association Working Group on Global Surgery

There is growing interest in global surgery among US academic surgical departments. As academic global surgery is a relatively new field, departments may have minimal experience in evaluation of faculty contributions and how they integrate into the existing academic paradigm for promotion and tenure. The American Surgical Association Working Group on Global Surgery has developed recommendations for promotion and tenure in global surgery, highlighting criteria that: (1) would be similar to usual promotion and tenure criteria (eg, publications); (2) would likely be undervalued in current criteria (eg, training, administrative roles, or other activities that are conducted at low- and middle-income partner institutions and promote the partnerships upon which other global surgery activities depend); and (3) should not be considered (eg, mission trips or other clinical work, if not otherwise linked to funding, training, research, or building partnerships).

A Review of State Guidelines for Elective Orthopaedic Procedures During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Background:
The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in widespread cancellation of elective orthopaedic procedures. The guidance coming from multiple sources frequently has been difficult to assimilate as well as dynamic, with constantly changing standards. We seek to communicate the current guidelines published by each state, to discuss the impact of these guidelines on orthopaedic surgery, and to provide the general framework used to determine which procedures have been postponed at our institution.

Methods:
An internet search was used to identify published state guidelines regarding the cancellation of elective procedures, with a publication cutoff of March 24, 2020, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Data collected included the number of states providing guidance to cancel elective procedures and which states provided specific guidance in determining which procedures should continue being performed as well as to orthopaedic-specific guidance.

Results:
Thirty states published guidance regarding the discontinuation of elective procedures, and 16 states provided a definition of “elective” procedures or specific guidance for determining which procedures should continue to be performed. Only 5 states provided guidelines specifically mentioning orthopaedic surgery; of those, 4 states explicitly allowed for trauma-related procedures and 4 states provided guidance against performing arthroplasty. Ten states provided guidelines allowing for the continuation of oncological procedures.

Conclusions:
Few states have published guidelines specific to orthopaedic surgery during the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving hospital systems and surgeons with the responsibility of balancing the benefits of surgery with the risks to public health.

Management and outcomes following emergency surgery for traumatic brain injury – A multi-centre, international, prospective cohort study (the Global Neurotrauma Outcomes Study).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for a significant amount of death and disability worldwide and the majority of this burden affects individuals in low-and-middle income countries. Despite this, considerable geographical differences have been reported in the care of TBI patients. On this background, we aim to provide a comprehensive international picture of the epidemiological characteristics, management and outcomes of patients undergoing emergency surgery for traumatic brain injury (TBI) worldwide. The Global Neurotrauma Outcomes Study (GNOS) is a multi-centre, international, prospective observational cohort study. Any unit performing emergency surgery for TBI worldwide will be eligible to participate. All TBI patients who receive emergency surgery in any given consecutive 30-day period beginning between 1st of November 2018 and 31st of December 2019 in a given participating unit will be included. Data will be collected via a secure online platform in anonymised form. The primary outcome measures for the study will be 14-day mortality (or survival to hospital discharge, whichever comes first). Final day of data collection for the primary outcome measure is February 13th. Secondary outcome measures include return to theatre and surgical site infection. This project will not affect clinical practice and has been classified as clinical audit following research ethics review. Access to source data will be made available to collaborators through national or international anonymised datasets on request and after review of the scientific validity of the proposed analysis by the central study team.

The fluctuating incidence, improved survival of patients with breast cancer, and disparities by age, race, and socioeconomic status by decade, 1981-2010.

PURPOSE:
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. However, the data on breast cancer incidence and survival over a long period, especially the dynamic changes in the role of race and socioeconomic status (SES), are scant.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
To evaluate treatment outcomes of patients with breast cancer over the past 3 decades, the data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries were used to assess the survival of patients with breast cancer. Period analysis was used to analyze the incidence and survival trend; survival was evaluated by the relative survival rates (RSRs) and Kaplan-Meier analyses. The HRs for age, race, stage, and SES were assessed by Cox regression.

RESULTS:
A total of 433,366 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1981 and 2010 were identified from the original nine SEER registries. The incidences of breast cancer in each decade were 107.1 per 100,000, 117.5 per 100,000, and 109.8 per 100,000. The 10-year RSRs improved each decade, from 70.8% to 81.5% to 85.6% (P<0.0001). The lower survival in black race and high-poverty group is confirmed by Kaplan-Meier analyses and RSRs. Furthermore, Cox regression analyses demonstrated that age, race, SES, and stage are independent risk factors for patients with breast cancer in each decade.

CONCLUSION:
The current data demonstrated a fluctuating incidence trend with improving survival rates of patients with breast cancer over the past 3 decades. In addition, the survival disparity exists among different races, ages, SESs, and stages.

Factors contributing to disparities in mortality among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Historically, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are non-white, have low incomes, low educational attainment, and non-private insurance have worse survival. We assessed whether differences in survival were attributable to sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics at diagnosis, or treatments received. We surveyed a multiregional cohort of patients diagnosed with NSCLC from 2003 to 2005 and followed through 2012. We used Cox proportional hazard analyses to estimate the risk of death associated with race/ethnicity, annual income, educational attainment, and insurance status, unadjusted and sequentially adjusting for sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics, and receipt of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Of 3250 patients, 64% were white, 16% black, 7% Hispanic, and 7% Asian; 36% of patients had incomes <$20 000/y; 23% had not completed high school; and 74% had non-private insurance. In unadjusted analyses, black race, Hispanic ethnicity, income <$60 000/y, not attending college, and not having private insurance were all associated with an increased risk of mortality. Black-white differences were not statistically significant after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, although patients with patients without a high school diploma and patients with incomes <$40 000/y continued to have an increased risk of mortality. Differences by educational attainment were not statistically significant after adjustment for clinical characteristics. Differences by income were not statistically significant after adjustment for clinical characteristics and treatments. Clinical characteristics and treatments received primarily contributed to mortality disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in patients with NSCLC. Additional efforts are needed to assure timely diagnosis and use of effective treatment to lessen these disparities.

The Coming Hip and Femur Fracture Bundle: A New Inpatient Risk Stratification Tool for Care Providers.

INTRODUCTION:
In response to increasing health-care costs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has initiated several programs to transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model. One such voluntary program is Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) which includes all hip and femur fractures that undergo operative fixation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the current cost and resource utilization of operatively fixed (nonarthroplasty) hip and femur fracture procedure bundle patients at a single level 1 trauma center within the framework of a risk stratification tool (Score for Trauma Triage in the Geriatric and Middle-Aged [STTGMA]) to identify areas of high utilization before our hospitals transition to bundle period.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cohort of Medicare-eligible patients discharged with the Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) codes 480 to 482 (hip and femur fractures requiring surgical fixation) from a level 1 trauma center between October 2014 and September 2016 was evaluated and assigned a trauma triage risk score (STTGMA score). Patients were stratified into groups based on these scores to create a minimal-, low-, moderate-, and high-risk cohort. Length of stay (LOS), discharge location, need for Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Step Down Unit (SDU) care, inpatient complications, readmission within 90 days, and inpatient admission costs were recorded.

RESULTS:
One hundred seventy-three patients with a mean age of 81.5 (10.1) years met inclusion criteria. The mean LOS was 8.0 (4.2) days, with high-risk patients having 4 days greater LOS than lower risk patients. The mean number of total complications was 0.9 (0.8) with a significant difference between risk groups (P = .029). The mean total cost of admission for the entire cohort of patients was US$25,446 (US$9725), with a nearly US$9000 greater cost for high-risk patients compared to the low-risk patients. High-cost areas of care included room/board, procedure, and radiology.

DISCUSSION:
High-risk patients were more likely to have longer and more costly admissions with average index admission costs nearly US$9000 more than the lower risk patient cohorts. These high-risk patients were also more likely to develop inpatient complications and require higher levels of care.

CONCLUSION:
This analysis of a 2-year cohort of patients who would qualify for the BPCI Advanced hip and femur procedure bundle demonstrates that the STTGMA tool can be used to identify high-risk patients who fall outside the bundle.

Global Unmet Needs in Cardiac Surgery.

More than 6 billion people live outside industrialized countries and have insufficient access to cardiac surgery. Given the recently confirmed high prevailing mortality for rheumatic heart disease in many of these countries together with increasing numbers of patients needing interventions for lifestyle diseases due to an accelerating epidemiological transition, a significant need for cardiac surgery could be assumed. Yet, need estimates were largely based on extrapolated screening studies while true service levels remained unknown. A multi-author effort representing 16 high-, middle-, and low-income countries was undertaken to narrow the need assessment for cardiac surgery including rheumatic and lifestyle cardiac diseases as well as congenital heart disease on the basis of existing data deduction. Actual levels of cardiac surgery were determined in each of these countries on the basis of questionnaires, national databases, or annual reports of national societies. Need estimates range from 200 operations per million in low-income countries that are nonendemic for rheumatic heart disease to >1,000 operations per million in high-income countries representing the end of the epidemiological transition. Actually provided levels of cardiac surgery range from 0.5 per million in the assessed low- and lower-middle income countries (average 107 ± 113 per million; representing a population of 1.6 billion) to 500 in the upper-middle-income countries (average 270 ± 163 per million representing a population of 1.9 billion). By combining need estimates with the assessment of de facto provided levels of cardiac surgery, it emerged that a significant degree of underdelivery of often lifesaving open heart surgery does not only prevail in low-income countries but is also disturbingly high in middle-income countries.

Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Clinical Outcomes with Ventricular Assist Devices.

Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is a known risk factor for worse outcomes after major cardiovascular interventions. Furthermore, individuals with lower SES face barriers to evaluation for advanced heart failure therapies, including ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation.Examination of the effects of individual determinants of SES on VAD outcomes will show similar survival benefit in patients with lower compared with higher SES.All VAD implants at the University of Florida from January 2008 through December 2015 were reviewed. Patient-level determinants of SES included place of residence, education level, marital status, insurance status, and financial resources stratified by percent federal poverty level. Survival or transplantation at 1 year, 30-day readmission, implant length of stay (LOS), and an aggregate of VAD-related complications were assessed in univariate fashion and multivariable regression modelling.A total of 111 patients were included (mean age at time of implant 57.6 years, 82.8% men). More than half received destination therapy. At 1 year, 78.3% were alive on device support or had undergone successful transplantation. There were no differences in survival, 30-day readmission, or aggregate VAD complications by SES category. Although patients with lower levels of education had longer LOS in univariate analysis, on multivariable ordinal regression modelling, this relationship was no longer seen.Patients with lower SES receive the same survival benefit from VAD implantation and are not more likely to have 30-day readmissions, complications of device support, or prolonged implant LOS. Therefore, VAD implantation should not be withheld based on these parameters alone.

Disparate outcomes of global emergency surgery – A matched comparison of patients in developed and under-developed healthcare settings.

Access to surgical care is an essential element of health-systems strengthening. This study aims to compare two diverse healthcare settings in South Asia and the United States (US).Patients at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Pakistan were matched to patients captured in the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample (US-NIS) from 2009 to 2011. Risk-adjusted differences in mortality, major morbidity, and LOS were compared using logistic and generalized-linear (family gamma, link log) models after coarsened-exact matching.A total of 2,244,486 patients (n?=?4867 AKUH; n?=?2,239,619 US-NIS) were included. Of those in the US-NIS, 990,963 (42.5%) were treated at urban-teaching hospitals, 332,568 (14.3%) in rural locations. Risk-adjusted odds of reported mortality were higher for Pakistani patients (OR[95%CI]: 3.80[2.68-5.37]), while odds of reported complications were lower (OR[95%CI]: 0.56[0.48-0.65]). No differences were observed in LOS. The difference in outcomes was less pronounced when comparing Pakistani patients to American rural patients.These results demonstrate significant reported morbidity, mortality differences between healthcare systems. Comparative assessments such as this will inform global health policy development and support.