Epidemiological Characteristics, Ventilator Management, and Clinical Outcome in Patients Receiving Invasive Ventilation in Intensive Care Units from 10 Asian Middle-Income Countries (PRoVENT-iMiC): An International, Multicenter, Prospective Study

Epidemiology, ventilator management, and outcome in patients receiving invasive ventilation in intensive care units (ICUs) in middle-income countries are largely unknown. PRactice of VENTilation in Middle-income Countries is an international multicenter 4-week observational study of invasively ventilated adult patients in 54 ICUs from 10 Asian countries conducted in 2017/18. Study outcomes included major ventilator settings (including tidal volume [V T ] and positive end-expiratory pressure [PEEP]); the proportion of patients at risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), according to the lung injury prediction score (LIPS), or with ARDS; the incidence of pulmonary complications; and ICU mortality. In 1,315 patients included, median V T was similar in patients with LIPS < 4 and patients with LIPS ≥ 4, but lower in patients with ARDS (7.90 [6.8–8.9], 8.0 [6.8–9.2], and 7.0 [5.8–8.4] mL/kg Predicted body weight; P = 0.0001). Median PEEP was similar in patients with LIPS < 4 and LIPS ≥ 4, but higher in patients with ARDS (five [5–7], five [5–8], and 10 [5–12] cmH2O; P < 0.0001). The proportions of patients with LIPS ≥ 4 or with ARDS were 68% (95% CI: 66–71) and 7% (95% CI: 6–8), respectively. Pulmonary complications increased stepwise from patients with LIPS < 4 to patients with LIPS ≥ 4 and patients with ARDS (19%, 21%, and 38% respectively; P = 0.0002), with a similar trend in ICU mortality (17%, 34%, and 45% respectively; P < 0.0001). The capacity of the LIPS to predict development of ARDS was poor (ROC AUC of 0.62, 95% CI: 0.54–0.70). In Asian middle-income countries, where two-thirds of ventilated patients are at risk for ARDS according to the LIPS and pulmonary complications are frequent, setting of V T is globally in line with current recommendations.

Feasibility and integration of an intensive emergency pediatric care curriculum in Armenia

Background: Emergency pediatric care curriculum (EPCC) was developed to address the need for pediatric rapid assessment and resuscitation skills among out-of-hospital emergency providers in Armenia. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of EPCC in increasing physicians’ knowledge when instruction transitioned to local
instructors. We hypothesize that (1) EPCC will have a positive impact on post-test knowledge, (2) this effect will be maintained when local trainers teach the course, and (3) curriculum will satisfy participants.

Methods: This is a quasi-experimental, pre-test/post-test study over a 4-year period from October 2014‑November 2017. Train-the-trainer model was used. Primary outcomes are immediate knowledge acquisition each year and comparison of knowledge acquisition between two cohorts based on North American vs local instructors.
Descriptive statistics was used to summarize results. Pre-post change and differences across years were analyzed using repeated measures mixed models.

Results: Test scores improved from pretest mean of 51% (95% CI 49.6 to 53.0%) to post-test mean of 78% (95% CI 77.0 to 79.6%, p < 0.001). Average increase from pre- to post-test each year was 27% (95% CI 25.3 to 28.7%). Improvement was sustained when local instructors taught the course (p = 0.74). There was no difference in improvement when experience in critical care, EMS, and other specialties were compared (p = 0.23). Participants reported satisfaction and wanted the course repeated. In 2017, EPCC was integrated within the Emergency Medicine residency program in Armenia. Discussion: This program was effective at impacting immediate knowledge as well as participant satisfaction and intentions to change practice. This knowledge acquisition and reported satisfaction remained constant even when the instruction was transitioned to the local instructors after 2 years. Through a partnership between the USA and Armenia, we provided OH-EPs in Armenia with an intensive educational experience to attain knowledge and skills necessary to manage acutely ill or injured children in the out-of-hospital setting. Conclusions: EPCC resulted in significant improvement in knowledge and was well received by participants. This is a viable and sustainable model to train providers who have otherwise not had formal education in this field

Healthcare in transition in the Republic of Armenia: the evolution of emergency medical systems and directions forward

Armenia, an ex-Soviet Republic in transition since independence in 1991, has made remarkable strides in development. The crisis of prioritization that has plagued many post-Soviet republics in transition has meant differential growth in varied sectors in Armenia. Emergency systems is one of the sectors which is neglected in the current drive to modernize. The legacy of the Soviet Semashko system has left a void in specialized care including emergency care. This manuscript is a descriptive overview of the current state of emergency care in Armenia using in-depth key informant interviews and review of published and unpublished internal United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Health (MOH) documents as well as data from the Yerevan Municipal Ambulance Service and international agencies. The Republic of Artsakh is briefly discussed.

The development of emergency care systems is an extremely efficient way to provide care across many different conditions in many age groups. Conditions such as traumatic injuries, heart attacks, cardiac arrest, stroke, and respiratory failure are very time-dependent. Armenia has a decent emergency infrastructure in place and has the benefit of an educated and skilled physician workforce. The missing piece of the puzzle appears to be investment in graduate and post-graduate education in emergency care and development of hospital-based emergency care for stabilization of stroke, myocardial infarction, trauma, and sepsis as well as other acute conditions

Assessment of Retinoblastoma Capacity in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia Region

We aimed to evaluate the capacity to treat retinoblastoma in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia region.

A Web-based assessment that investigated retinoblastoma-related pediatric oncology and ophthalmology infrastructure and associated capacity at member institutions of the Pediatric Oncology East and Mediterranean group was distributed. Data were analyzed in terms of availability, location, and confidence of use for each resource needed for the management of retinoblastoma. Resources were categorized by diagnostics, focal therapy, chemotherapy, advanced treatment, and supportive care. Responding institutions were further divided into an asset-based tiered system.

In total, responses from 23 institutions were obtained. Fifteen institutions reported the availability of an ophthalmologist, 12 of which held primary off-site appointments. All institutions reported the availability of a pediatric oncologist and systemic chemotherapy A significant portion of available resources was located off site. Green laser was available on site at seven institutions, diode laser at six institutions, cryotherapy at 12 institutions, and brachytherapy at nine institutions. There existed marked disparity between the availability of some specific ophthalmic resources and oncologic resources.

The assessment revealed common themes related to the treatment of retinoblastoma in low- and- middle-income countries, including decentralization of care, limited resources, and lack of multidisciplinary care. Resource disparities warrant targeted intervention in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia region to advance the management of retinoblastoma in the region.

Real-world Treatment Patterns of Lung Cancerexperience of Resource Restricted Country


Lung cancer (LC) continues to be a significant worldwide public health issue. In recent years there have been several publications addressing specifics of LC worldwide, but none concerning Georgia- country with high number of smoking population and LC cases. We conducted the first study in Georgian population, that aims current LC practice.


The aim of the study was to provide an overview of treatment of LC, with discussion situation in this field and indicating the future strategies for improved cancer care in the country. Medical, radiation and surgical oncologists providing treatment of LC in main hospitals (n=13) over the country, filled questionnaire that addressed specific information regarding the treatment aspects of LC reflecting current surgical aspects, systemic treatment and radiotherapy (RT).


There is no national screening program, while radiologic imaging is readily available. The vast majority of patients in the country present with advanced stages at diagnosis and they are treated with systemic therapy and/or RT.

The surgical treatment is largely underutilized with the differences being observed among surgeons on the optimal timing and the extent of surgery, as well as role of surgery in specific clinical situations.

Improved health care system, well equipped hospitals, availability of many anticancer drugs and existence of modern RT technology, are coupled with slow appearance of country-adapted guidelines and protocols as well as enforcing MDT meetings.

There is limited access to expensive novel agents, psychological support and high quality palliative care.


There is still much work to be done, with all above steps considered mandatory to improve effectiveness and quality of care of LC patients.

General Thoracic Surgery Services Across Asia During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 posed an historic challenge to healthcare systems around the world. Besides mounting a massive response to the viral outbreak, healthcare systems needed to consider provision of clinical services to other patients in need. Surgical services for patients with thoracic disease were maintained to different degrees across various regions of Asia, ranging from significant reductions to near-normal service. Key determinants of robust thoracic surgery service provision included: preexisting plans for an epidemic response, aggressive early action to “flatten the curve”, ability to dedicate resources separately to COVID-19 and routine clinical services, prioritization of thoracic surgery, and the volume of COVID-19 cases in that region. The lessons learned can apply to other regions during this pandemic, and to the world, in preparation for the next one.

Emergency Surgery in Geriatrics: A Retrospective Evaluation in a Single Center

As life expectancy increases in humans, surgical procedures applied to the elderly people are also increasing in parallel with the developments in surgery and postoperative care. A significant number of studies investigating the morbidity-mortality of geriatric patients are related to patients who are undergoing emergency operations. The present study aims to investigate the factors affecting mortality and morbidity after emergency surgery in elderly people.

The data of 200 patients aged 65 years and over who were operated under emergency conditions in the University of Health Sciences Kartal Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital between January and December 2018 were evaluated retrospectively.

Patient’s demographic information, including age, gender, ASA physical status, comorbidities, functional dependency or non-dependency of patients, types of operation, anesthesia technique, duration of operation, intraoperative blood transfusion, the changes of hematocrit levels (during the perioperative period), the outcome after surgery (intensive care admission or ward transfer), were recorded. The risk prediction of short-term mortality has been estimated using CCI and APACHE II scoring systems.

The mean age of the patients was 74.8±6.7 and the number of females (n=134, 67%) outweighed the males. Higher ASA physical status scores, dependent living conditions, long operation time, general anesthesia, intraoperative blood transfusion, low Htc values (<25%), high APACHE II scores and lower scores of 10-years survival by CCI were the factors that affected the acceptance into ICU.

Comparison on Frequencies of Pericardial Effusion and Tamponade Following Open Heart Surgery in Patients With or Without Low Negative Pressure Suction on Chest Tube

Pericardial effusion and tamponade are accounted as the two most important complications following open-heart surgeries which are known to increase mortality and morbidity rates. Putting a low negative pressure suction on the chest tube of patients might be a useful way for better drainage and also reducing the occurrence of pericardial effusion and tamponade. In the present study, we aimed to compare the prevalence of pericardial effusion and tamponade in patients undergoing open-heart surgeries with and without low negative pressure suction on the chest tube.
This clinical trial was performed in 2018-2019 in Tehran, Iran. 100 patients who were candidates for open-heart surgery were entered. After surgeries, patients were divided into two groups: group 1 had a low negative pressure suction on their chest tube and group 2 had no suction. Patients were then observed for clinical and imaging characteristics of pleural effusion and tamponade. Data were gathered and analyzed using SPSS software.
In the present study, we indicated that the prevalence of pericardial effusion is significantly lower in patients with low negative pressure on their chest tube (P=0.04). No significant differences were observed between two groups regarding to: frequency of tamponade and post-operative ejection fraction (P> 0.05).
The usage of a low negative pressure suction on the chest tube following open cardiac surgeries is associated with a lower prevalence of pericardial effusion. We suggest that such systems could be commonly used in cardiac surgeries or surgeries of the thorax.

Ultrasound-guided Thrombin Injection for Treatment of Iatrogenic Femoral Artery Pseudoaneurysms Compared With Open Surgery: First Experiences From a Single Institution

The frequency of iatrogenic femoral artery pseudoaneurysm (FAP) diagnoses has recently increased due to the growing use of diagnostic and interventional procedures involving large diameter sheaths, as well as more potent anticoagulation procedures. In this study, we aimed to present our experience with ultrasound-guided thrombin injection (UGTI) in patients with iatrogenic FAP.
We studied patients with FAP who were under anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapies preoperatively, or who had received a loading dose during an interventional procedure. The outcomes of patients with FAP treated with UGTI were compared with those of patients who underwent open surgical repair for pseudoaneurysms.
Among the 55 patients included in this study, 24 had UGTI while 31 had open surgery. The success rate was 95.8% when taking into consideration primary and secondary attempts. The mean duration of the procedure was shorter in patients with UGTI (10.1 ± 3.54 minutes) when compared with those who underwent open surgery (76.55 ± 26.74 minutes, P ≤ 0.001). In addition, the total complication frequency was significantly higher in the open surgery group (P = 0.005), as was their length of hospital stay (P < 0.001). Cost analysis showed significant differences between UGTI ($227.50 ± $82.90) and open surgery ($471.20 ± $437.60, P = 0.01).
We have found that UGTI is the safer and more effective choice of treatment in appropriate patients with FAP, as opposed to surgery

Effect of Dexmedetomidine Combined with Inhalation of Isoflurane on Oxygenation Following One-Lung Ventilation in Thoracic Surgery

Background: One-lung ventilation (OLV) is commonly used during thoracic surgery. At this time, hypoxemia is considered one of the remarkable consequences of the anesthesia management. Hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction (HPV) is the defense mechanism against hypoxia.
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of infusion of dexmedetomidine on improving the oxygenation during OLV among the adult patients undergoing thoracic surgery.
Methods: A total of 42 patients undergoing OLV by general anesthesia with isoflurane inhalation were randomly assigned into two groups: IV infusion of dexmedetomidine at 0.3 microgram/kg/h (DISO) and IV infusion of normal saline (NISO). Three Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) samples were obtained throughout the surgery. Hemodynamic parameters, PaO2, PaCO2, and complications at recovery phase were recorded. The collected information was analyzed using SPSS software version 22.
Results: In the dexmedetomidine group, the mean hemodynamic parameters had a significant reduction at 30 and 60 minutes following OLV. Administration of dexmedetomidine resulted in a significant increase in the PaCO2 and a reduction in the PaO2 when changing from two-lung ventilation to OLV, where PaO2 reached its maximum value within 10 minutes after OLV in the DISO group, and it began to gradually increase to the end of operation. The duration of the recovery phase, also complications at the recovery phase decreased significantly in DISO group.
Conclusions: The results of the study showed that, dexmedetomidine may improve arterial oxygenation during OLV in adult patients undergoing thoracic surgery, and can be a suitable anesthetic agent for thoracic surgery.