Obstetric neonatal emergency simulation workshops in remote and regional South India: a qualitative evaluation

Background
Healthcare facilities in remote locations with poor access to a referral centre have a high likelihood of health workers needing to manage emergencies with limited support. Obstetric and neonatal clinical training opportunities to manage childbirth emergencies are scant in these locations, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Objectives
This study aimed to explore the factors, which influenced healthcare worker experience of attending birth emergencies in remote and regional areas of South India, and the perceived impact of attending the Obstetric and Neonatal Emergency Simulation (ONE-Sim) workshop on these factors.

Design
Qualitative descriptive study using pre- and post-workshop qualitative surveys.

Settings
Primary healthcare facilities in remote/regional settings in three states of South India.

Participants
A total of 125 healthcare workers attended the workshops, with 85 participants completing the pre- and post-workshop surveys included in this study. Participants consisted of medical and nursing staff and other health professionals involved in care at childbirth.

Methods
ONE-Sim workshops (with a learner-centred approach) were conducted across three different locations for interprofessional teams caring for birthing women and their newborns, using simulation equipment and immersive scenarios. Thematic analysis was employed to the free-text responses obtained from the surveys consisting of open-ended questions.

Results
Participants identified their relationship with the patient, the support provided by other health professionals, identifying their gaps in knowledge and experience, and the scarcity of resources as factors that influenced their experience of birth emergencies. Following the workshops, participant learning centred on improving team and personal performance and approaching future emergencies with greater confidence.

Conclusions
Challenges experienced by healthcare workers across sites in remote and regional South India were generally around patient experience, senior health professional support and resources. The technical and interpersonal skills introduced through the ONE-Sim workshop may help to address some of these factors in practice.

Pediatric Patients in a Local Nepali Emergency Department: Presenting Complaints, Triage and Post-Discharge Mortality

Background. In low-income countries, pediatric emergency care is largely underdeveloped although child mortality in emergency care is more than twice that of adults, and mortality after discharge is high. Aim. We aimed at describing characteristics, triage categories, and post-discharge mortality in a pediatric emergency population in Nepal. Methods. We prospectively assessed characteristics and triage categories of pediatric patients who entered the emergency department (ED) in a local hospital. Patient households were followed-up by telephone interviews at 90 days. Results. The majority of pediatric emergency patients presented with injuries and infections (~40% each). Girls attended ED less frequent than boys. High triage priority categories (orange and red) were strong indicators for intensive care need and for mortality after discharge. Conclusion. The study supports the use and development of a pediatric triage systems in a low-resource general ED setting. We identify a need for interventions that can reduce mortality after pediatric emergency care. Interventions to reduce pediatric emergency disease burden in this setting should emphasize prevention and effective treatment of infections and injuries.

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

Background
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.

Methods
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.

Results
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.

Conclusion
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.

Trauma burden, patient demographics and care-process in major hospitals in Tanzania: A needs assessment for improving healthcare resource management

Background
Appropriate referrals of injured patients could improve clinical outcomes and management of healthcare resources. To gain insights for system development, we interrogated the current situation by assessing burden, patient demography, causes of injury, trauma mortality and the care-process.

Methods
We used an observational, cross-sectional study design and convenience sampling to review patient charts from 3 major hospitals and the death registry in Tanzania.

Results
Injury constitutes 9–13% of the Emergency Centre census. Inpatient trauma-deaths were 8%; however, the trauma death registry figures exceeded the ‘inpatient deaths’ and recorded up to 16%. Most patients arrive through a hospital referral system (82%) and use a hospital transport network (76%). Only 8% of the trauma admissions possessed National Health Insurance. Road traffic collision (RTC) (69%), assault (20%) and falls (9%) were the leading causes of injury. The care process revealed a normal primary-survey rate of 73–90%. Deficiencies in recording were in the assessment of: Airway and breathing (67%), circulation (40%) and disability (80%). Most patients had non-operative management (42–57%) or surgery for wound care or skeletal injuries (43%). Laparotomies were performed in 26%, while craniotomy and chest drain-insertion were each performed in 10%.

Conclusion
The burden of trauma is high, and the leading causes are: RTC, assault, and falls. Deaths recorded in the death registries outweigh in-hospital deaths for up to twofold. There are challenges in the care process, funding and recording. We found a functional hospital referral-network, transport system, and death registry.

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.

Emergency-to-Elective Surgery Ratio: A Global Indicator of Access to Surgical Care.

Background
Surgical care is essential to health systems but remains a challenge for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Current metrics to assess access and delivery of surgical care focus on the structural components of surgery and are not readily applicable to all settings. This study assesses a new metric for surgical care access and delivery, the ratio of emergent surgery to elective surgery (Ee ratio), which represents the number of emergency surgeries performed for every 100 elective surgeries.

Methods
A systematic search of PubMed and Medline was conducted for studies describing surgical volume and acuity published between 2006 and 2016. The relationship between Ee ratio and three national indicators (gross domestic product, per capital healthcare spending, and physician density) was analyzed using weighted Pearson correlation coefficients (r w) and linear regression models.

Results
A total of 29 studies with 33 datasets were included for analyses. The median Ee ratio was 14.6 (IQR 5.5–62.6), with a range from 1.6 to 557.4. For countries in sub-Saharan Africa the median value was 62.6 (IQR 17.8–111.0), compared to 9.4 (IQR 3.4–13.4) for the United States and 5.5 (IQR 4.4–10.1) for European countries. In multivariable linear regression, the per capita healthcare spending was inversely associated with the Ee ratio, with a 63-point decrease in the Ee ratio for each 1 point increase in the log of the per capita healthcare spending (regression coefficient β = −63.2; 95% CI −119.6 to −6.9; P = 0.036).

Conclusions
The Ee ratio appears to be a simple and valid indicator of access to available surgical care. Global health efforts may focus on investment in low-resource settings to improve access to available surgical care.