SURGE: Survey of Undergraduate Respondents on Global surgery Education

It is estimated that over 10% of the global burden of disease can be treated with surgery, most of which is located in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), underpinning the importance of the topic of global surgery (GS). The multidisciplinary principles of GS are increasingly recognised as being key to modern practice and as such, must be fostered at early stages of medical training. However, it is unclear whether medical students are being exposed to GS. This study aimed to assess the importance of GS and its presence in medical curricula.

A novel, 22-item online questionnaire was developed and disseminated to medical students and faculty members using social media. Data collection was conducted by a collaboration of medical students, who acted as regional leads at their institutions.

795 medical students and 141 faculty members representing 38/42 of UK medical schools (90.4%) completed the questionnaire. Only 84 students (10.6%) were previously exposed to GS. Most students (66.3%) and faculty (60.6%) agreed that GS should be an integral part of the curriculum. Only 20 students (2.5%) were or familiar with what a career in GS means.

Approximately 2/3 of students and faculty agree that global surgery should be an integral part of the mandatory curriculum. Findings of this study should underpin further incorporation of GS into curricula, as high-income countries can decisively contribute to achieving the global surgery 2030 targets, by training a new generation of clinicians who are ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

Global prevalence of traumatic non-fatal limb amputation

Reliable information on both global need for prosthetic services and the current prosthetist workforce is limited. Global burden of disease estimates can provide valuable insight into amputation prevalence due to traumatic causes and global prosthetists needed to treat traumatic amputations.

This study was conducted to quantify and interpret patterns in global distribution and prevalence of traumatic limb amputation by cause, region, and age within the context of prosthetic rehabilitation, prosthetist need, and prosthetist education.

Study design:
A secondary database descriptive study.

Amputation prevalence and prevalence rate per 100,000 due to trauma were estimated using the 2017 global burden of disease results. Global burden of disease estimation utilizes a Bayesian metaregression and best available data to estimate the prevalence of diseases and injuries, such as amputation.

In 2017, 57.7 million people were living with limb amputation due to traumatic causes worldwide. Leading traumatic causes of limb amputation were falls (36.2%), road injuries (15.7%), other transportation injuries (11.2%), and mechanical forces (10.4%). The highest number of prevalent traumatic amputations was in East Asia and South Asia followed by Western Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, high-income North America and Eastern Europe. Based on these prevalence estimates, approximately 75,850 prosthetists are needed globally to treat people with traumatic amputations.

Amputation prevalence estimates and patterns can inform prosthetic service provision, education and planning.

Estimation of the National Surgical Needs in India by Enumerating the Surgical Procedures in an Urban Community Under Universal Health Coverage

11% of the global burden of disease requires surgical care or anaesthesia management or both. Some studies have estimated this burden to be as high as 30%. The Lancet Commission for Global Surgery (LCoGS) estimated that 5000 surgeries are required to meet the surgical burden of disease for 100,000 people in LMICs. Studies from LMICs, estimating surgical burden based on enumeration of surgeries, are sparse.

We performed this study in an urban population availing employees’ heath scheme in Mumbai, India. Surgical procedures performed in 2017 and 2018, under this free and equitable health scheme, were enumerated. We estimated the surgical needs for national population, based on age and sex distribution of surgeries and age standardization from our cohort.

A total of 4642 surgeries were performed per year for a population of 88,273. Cataract (22.8%), Caesareans (3.8%), surgeries for fractures (3.27%) and hernia (2.86%) were the commonest surgeries. 44.2% of surgeries belonged to the essential surgeries. We estimated 3646 surgeries would be required per 100,000 Indian population per year. One-third of these surgeries would be needed for the age group 30–49 years, in the Indian population.

A total of 3646 surgeries were estimated annually to meet the surgical needs of Indian population as compared to the global estimate of 5000 surgeries per 100,000 people. Caesarean section, cataract, surgeries for fractures and hernia are the major contributors to the surgical needs. More enumeration-based studies are needed for better estimates from rural as well as other urban areas.

Epidemiology of severe traumatic brain injury.

About 5.48 million people are estimated to suffer from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year (73 cases per 100,000 people). The WHO estimates that almost 90% of deaths due to injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the 85% of population live. Of these trauma-related deaths TBI is the main cause of one-third to one-half and represents the greatest cause of death and disability globally among all trauma-related injuries. The primary causes of TBI vary by age, socioeconomic factors, and geographic region, so any planned interventions must take in account this variability. The road traffic injuries (RTI) scenario is still strictly connected to the analysis of the global incidence of TBI, and to the reason why the LMICs experience nearly 3 times as many cases of TBI proportionally than high-income countries (HICs). The proportion of TBIs resulting from road traffic collisions was greatest in Africa and Southeast Asia (both 56%) and lowest in North America (25%). In HICs, falls and RTIs were reported most frequently as cause of TBI, but the traumas attributable to RTIs dropped from 39% in 2003 to 24% in 2012, while those attributable to falls increased from 43% to 54% respectively, with an increase TBI in the elderly (>65 years) due to falls. Differently from HICs, the population with the peak of TBI incidence is younger in LMICs, with an age between 28.8 and 33.1, as extensively reported. The burden of disease is significant; between 1,730,000 and 1,965,000 lives could be saved if global trauma care were improved in LMICs. Clinical practice recommendation should be developed and created in environments where the severe TBI mainly occurs. The applicability of high-income-country clinical research standards in LMICs is an important topic for future international research.