Reducing Inappropriate Urinary Catheter Use by Involving Patients Through the Participatient App: Before-and-After Study

Background: The risk of urinary tract infections is increased by the inappropriate placement and unnecessary prolongation of the use of indwelling urinary catheters. Sustained behavior change in infection prevention could be promoted by empowering patients through a smartphone app.
Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility and efficacy of implementation actions on patients’ use of the Participatient app on a clinical ward and to compare 3 survey methods for urinary catheter use.
Methods: Participatient was introduced for all admitted patients at the surgical nursing ward in a university hospital in the Netherlands. Over a period of 3 months, the number of new app users, days of use, and sessions were recorded. In a comparison of urinary catheter use before and after the implementation of the app, 3 methods for point prevalence surveys of catheter use were tested. Surveys were conducted through manual parsing of the text in patients’ electronic medical records, parsing a survey of checkbox items, and parsing nursing notes.
Results: In all, 475 patients were admitted to the ward, 42 (8.8%) installed the app, with 1 to 5 new users per week. The actions with the most ensuing app use were the kick-off with the clinical lesson and recruiting of the intake nurse. Between the survey methods, there was considerable variation in catheter use prevalence. Therefore, we used the standard method of manual parsing in further analyses. Catheter use prevalence decreased from 38% (36/96) to 27% (23/86) after app introduction (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.32-1.14).
Conclusions: The clinical application of Participatient, the infection prevention app for patients, could be feasible when implementation actions are also used. For surveying indwelling urinary catheter use prevalence, manual parsing is the best approach.

Undergraduate Surgical Education: a Global Perspective

Undergraduate surgical education is failing to prepare medical students to care for patients with surgical conditions, and has been significantly compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic. We performed a literature review and undertook semi-structured reflections on the current state of undergraduate surgical education across five countries: Egypt, Morocco, Somaliland, Kenya, and the UK. The main barriers to surgical education at medical school identified were (1) the lack of standardised surgical curricula with mandatory learning objectives and (2) the inadequacy of human resources for surgical education. COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges by depleting the pool of surgical educators and reducing access to learning opportunities in clinical environments. To address the global need for a larger surgical workforce, specific attention must be paid to improving undergraduate surgical education. Solutions proposed include the development of a standard surgical curriculum with learning outcomes appropriate for local needs, the incentivisation of surgical educators, the incorporation of targeted online and simulation teaching, and the use of technology.

Management of major obstetric hemorrhage prior to peripartum hysterectomy and outcomes across nine European countries

Peripartum hysterectomy is applied as a surgical intervention of last resort for major obstetric hemorrhage. It is performed in an emergency setting except for women with a strong suspicion of placenta accreta spectrum (PAS), where it may be anticipated before cesarean section. The aim of this study was to compare management strategies in the case of obstetric hemorrhage leading to hysterectomy, between nine European countries participating in the International Network of Obstetric Survey Systems (INOSS), and to describe pooled maternal and neonatal outcomes following peripartum hysterectomy.

Material and methods
We merged data from nine nationwide or multi‐regional obstetric surveillance studies performed in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK collected between 2004 and 2016. Hysterectomies performed from 22 gestational weeks up to 48 h postpartum due to obstetric hemorrhage were included. Stratifying women with and without PAS, procedures performed in the management of obstetric hemorrhage prior to hysterectomy between countries were counted and compared. Prevalence of maternal mortality, complications after hysterectomy and neonatal adverse events (stillbirth or neonatal mortality) were calculated.

A total of 1302 women with peripartum hysterectomy were included. In women without PAS who had major obstetric hemorrhage leading to hysterectomy, uterotonics administration was lowest in Slovakia (48/73, 66%) and highest in Denmark (25/27, 93%), intrauterine balloon use was lowest in Slovakia (1/72, 1%) and highest in Denmark (11/27, 41%), and interventional radiology varied between 0/27 in Denmark and Slovakia to 11/59 (79%) in Belgium. In women with PAS, uterotonics administration was lowest in Finland (5/16, 31%) and highest in the UK (84/103, 82%), intrauterine balloon use varied between 0/14 in Belgium and Slovakia to 29/103 (28%) in the UK. Interventional radiology was lowest in Denmark (0/16) and highest in Finland (9/15, 60%). Maternal mortality occurred in 14/1226 (1%), the most common complications were hematologic (95/1202, 8%) and respiratory (81/1101, 7%). Adverse neonatal events were observed in 79/1259 (6%) births.

Management of obstetric hemorrhage in women who eventually underwent peripartum hysterectomy varied greatly between these nine European countries. This potentially life‐saving procedure is associated with substantial adverse maternal and neonatal outcome.

Surgical residents’ opinions on international surgical residency in Flanders, Belgium

International electives benefit training of medical residents due to exposure to an increased scope of pathologies, improved physical examination skills, communication across cultural boundaries and more efficient resource utilization. Currently there is no mechanism for Belgian surgical residents to participate in international training opportunities and little research has addressed the international mobility of Belgian residents. The goal of this study was to examine the attitudes of Belgian residents towards international training among surgical residents.

An anonymous, structured electronic questionnaire was sent to a cohort of Belgian residents, including surgical residents, by e-mail and social media.

In total, 342 respondents filled out the questionnaire out of a total of 5906 Belgian residents. The results showed that 334 of the residents came from Flanders (10.8%) and 8 came from French-speaking Brussels and Wallonia (0.28%). Surgical specialties represented 46% of respondents and included surgical, obstetric and anaesthesiology residents. The majority (98%) were interested in an international rotation, both in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in high-income countries. A total of 84% were willing to conduct an international rotation during holidays and 91% would participate even when their international stay would not be recognised as part of their residency training. A minority (38%) had undertaken an international rotation in the past and, of those, 5% went to an LMIC.

The majority of surgical residents consider an international rotation as educationally beneficial, even though they are rarely undertaken. Our survey shows that in order to facilitate foreign rotations, Flemish universities and governmental institutions will have to alleviate the regulatory, logistical and financial constraints.

Perianesthetic Concerns for the non-COVID-19 Patients Requiring Surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak: An Observational Study

The global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, has being marked by a rapid spread, numerous severe respiratory cases and an elevated mortality rate [1]. It has forced World Health Organization to declare global emergency and governments to apply confinement measures and stop the scheduled medical activities [2]. Recommendations have been developed for the management of patients with COVID-19 requiring endotracheal intubation and critical cares [3]. In addition of surgical emergencies and cesarean sections, certain surgical or diagnostic procedures cannot be postponed due to the risk of unacceptable morbidity. Therefore, Health Ministries have authorized the performance of these procedures in accordance with specific rules. Data on this type of perioperative management for COVID-19 negative patients are rare.

Management Strategies and Role of Telemedicine in a Surgery Unit During COVID-19 Outbreak

At the end of 2019, in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei (China) were reported 27 cases of death caused by “severe acute respiratory virus coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) [1]. The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic [2]. Officially, Italian lockdown started on March 10th and ended on May 3rd, 2020. From 4 May a new phase of coexistence with the coronavirus began. This is characterized by a gradual reopening of commercial activities and by persistence of some important rules such as social distancing and use of masks in public transport. At the 20/05/2020 in Italy there are 226.699 total cases and 32.169 deaths, while in Campania region, total cases are 4.707 with 400 deaths [3]. In this situation, there was a rapid reorganization of public health system and hospitals. Also, for surgery there have been several changes. As part of COVID-19 containment strategy and with Intensive Care Unit (ICU) near collapse, elective operations were suspended while emergency surgery and the operative therapy of oncological patients continued. Moreover, have been deleted all non-urgent outpatients visits and endoscopic procedures.

Critical Adjustments in a Department of Orthopaedics Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Purpose: SARS-CoV-2’s new scenario has forced health systems to work under extreme stress urging to perform a complete reorganization of the way our means and activities were organized. The orthopaedic and trauma units have rescheduled their activities to help SARS-CoV-2 units, but trauma patients require also treatment, and no standardized protocols have been established.

Methods: A single-centre cross-sectional study was performed in a tertiary hospital. Two different periods of time were analyzed: a two week period of time in March 2019 (pre-SARS-CoV-2) and the same period in March 2020 (SARS-CoV-2 pandemic time). Outpatient’s data, emergency activity, surgical procedures, and admissions were evaluated. Surgeons’ and patient’s opinion was also evaluated using a survey.

Results: A total of ~ 16k (15,953) patients were evaluated. Scheduled clinical appointments decreased by ~ 22%. Urgent consultations and discharge from clinics also descended (~ 37% and ~ 20% respectively). Telemedicine was used in 90% of outpatient clinical evaluations. No elective surgical procedures during SARS-CoV-2 time were scheduled, and subtracting the effect of elective surgeries, there was a reduction of inpatient surgeries, from ~ 85% to ~ 59%. Patients delayed trauma assistance more than 48 hours in 13 cases (35%). Pre-operative admission for hip fractures decreased in ten hours on average. Finally, surveys stated that patients were more in favour than surgeons were to this new way to evaluate orthopaedic and trauma patients based strongly on telemedicine.

Conclusion: Detailed protocols should be standardized for surgical departments during the pandemic. This paper offers a general view in how this virus affects an orthopaedic unit and could serve as a protocol and example for orthopaedic and trauma units. Even in the worst scenario, an orthopaedic and trauma unit could offer an effective, efficient, and quality service. SARS-CoV-2 will set up a new paradigm for health care in orthopaedics and trauma.

The Role of the Orthopaedic Surgeon in the COVID-19 Era: Cautions and Perspectives

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has revolutionized global healthcare in an unprecedented way and with unimaginable repercussions. Resource reallocation, socioeconomic confinement and reorganization of production activities are current challenges being faced both at the national and international levels, in a frame of uncertainty and fear. Hospitals have been restructured to provide the best care to COVID-19 patients while adopting preventive strategies not to spread the infection among healthcare providers and patients affected by other diseases. As a consequence, the concept of urgency and indications for elective treatments have been profoundly reshaped. In addition, several providers have been recruited in COVID-19 departments despite their original occupation, resulting in a profound rearrangement of both inpatient and outpatient care. Orthopaedic daily practice has been significantly affected by the pandemic. Surgical indications have been reformulated, with elective cases being promptly postponed and urgent interventions requiring exceptional attention, especially in suspected or COVID-19+ patients. This has made a strong impact on inpatient management, with the need of a dedicated staff, patient isolation and restrictive visiting hour policies. On the other hand, outpatient visits have been limited to reduce contacts between patients and the hospital personnel, with considerable consequences on post-operative quality of care and the human side of medical practice.

In this review, we aim to analyze the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the orthopaedic practice. Particular attention will be dedicated to opportune surgical indication, perioperative care and safe management of both inpatients and outpatients, also considering repercussions of the pandemic on resident education and ethical implications.

Giant Mesenteric Cyst: Successful Management in Low-Resource Setting

Introduction: Mesenteric cysts are rare, generally benign intra-abdominal lesions with a wide range of presentation in terms of size, clinical presentation, etiology, radiological features, and pathological characteristics.

Presentation of case: We reported a case of giant mesenteric cyst in a 16-month-old girl successfully managed in a low-resource setting.

Discussion: This case is particularly important not only due to the rarity of the presented case, but also for the highlighted aspects from a public health point of view. We faced of the problem of a late stage disease and the lack of preoperative diagnosis due to cultural and economic reasons and the weaknesses of healthcare systems, as in the majority of low- and middle-income countries.

Conclusion: Despite all these limitation, this case illustrates that complex, rare diseases can also be managed successfully in a low-resource setting. It is mandatory to strengthen and improve the health system both in terms of equipment both in terms of public health policies in order to offer a better and more effective quality of care to patients also in low-income countries.

Endometriosis and Pregnancy: A Single Institution Experience

Endometriosis may compromise the physiological course of pregnancy. The aim of this prospective observational study was to evaluate whether endometriosis causes a higher prevalence of obstetric and neonatal complications as well as a higher risk of caesarean section and to detect a possible correlation between the presence, type, and location of endometriosis and obstetric complications, previous surgery, and pregnancy outcome, as well as the influence of pregnancy on the course of the disease. We compared two cohorts of women with spontaneous pregnancy, with and without endometriosis. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes, mode of delivery, presence, type, and location of endometriotic lesions and the effect of pregnancy on the disease were analyzed. A total of 425 pregnancies were evaluated: 145 cases and 280 controls. Patients with endometriosis showed a higher incidence of miscarriage, threatened miscarriage, threatened preterm labor, preterm delivery, placental abruption, and a higher incidence of caesarean section. A significant correlation with pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia was found in the presence of adenomyosis. No difference in fetal outcome was found. One case of hemoperitoneum during pregnancy was observed. Pregnancy in women with endometriosis carries a higher risk of obstetric complications, such as miscarriage, threatened miscarriage, preterm labor, preterm birth, and a higher caesarean section rate. Endometriosis does not seem to influence fetal well-being.