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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Perioperative Anticoagulation Management in Spine Surgery: Initial Findings From the AO Spine Anticoagulation Global Survey

Study Design: Cross-sectional, international survey.
Objectives: This study addressed the global perspectives concerning perioperative use of pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis
during spine surgery along with its risks and benefits.
Methods: A questionnaire was designed and implemented by expert members in the AO Spine community. The survey was
distributed to AO Spine’s spine surgeon members (N ¼ 3805). Data included surgeon demographic information, type and region
of practice, anticoagulation principles, different patient scenarios, and comorbidities.
Results: A total of 316 (8.3% response rate) spine surgeons completed the survey, representing 64 different countries. Completed surveys were primarily from Europe (31.7%), South/Latin America (19.9%), and Asia (18.4%). Surgeons tended to be 35 to
44 years old (42.1%), fellowship-trained (74.7%), and orthopedic surgeons (65.5%) from academic institutions (39.6%). Most
surgeons (70.3%) used routine anticoagulation risk stratification, irrespective of geographic location. However, significant differences were seen between continents with anticoagulation initiation and cessation methodology. Specifically, the length of a
procedure (P ¼ .036) and patient body mass index (P ¼ .008) were perceived differently when deciding to begin anticoagulation,
while the importance of medical clearance (P < .001) and reference to literature (P ¼ .035) differed during cessation. For specific
techniques, most providers noted use of mobilization, low-molecular-weight heparin, and mechanical prophylaxis beginning on
postoperative 0 to 1 days. Conversely, bridging regimens were bimodal in distribution, with providers electing anticoagulant
initiation on postoperative 0 to 1 days or days 5-6
Conclusion: This survey highlights the heterogeneity of spine care and accentuates geographical variations. Furthermore, it
identifies the difficulty in providing consistent perioperative anticoagulation recommendations to patients, as there remains no
widely accepted, definitive literature of evidence or guidelines.

Determinants of surgeons’ adherence to preventive intraoperative measures of surgical site infection in Gaza Strip hospitals: a multi-centre cross-sectional study

Surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections and is associated with serious impact on the rates of morbidity, mortality as well as healthcare costs. This study examined factors influencing the application of several intraoperative preventive measures of SSI by surgeons and surgical residents in the Gaza Strip.

A cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2016 to February 2017 at the operation rooms of the three major hospitals located in the Gaza-Strip, Palestine. Inclusion criteria for patients were being adult (aged ≥18 years), no history of wound infection at time of operation and surgical procedure under general anaesthesia with endotracheal intubation. The association between different patient- and procedure-related SSI risk factors and adherence to several intraoperative SSI preventive measures was tested.

In total, 281 operations were observed. The mean patient age ± standard deviation (SD) was 38.4 ± 14.6 years and the mean duration of surgery ± SD was 58.2 ± 32.1 minutes. A hundred-thirty-two patients (47.0%) were male. Location and time of the operation were found to have significant associations with adherence to all SSI preventive measures except for antibiotic prophylaxis. Type of operation had a significant association with performing all measures except changing surgical instruments. Patient age did not have a statistically significant association with adherence to any measure.

The results suggest that the surgeon could be a major factor that can lead to a better outcome of surgical procedures by reducing postoperative complications of SSI. Operating department professionals would benefit from clinical guidance and continuous training, highlighting the importance of persistent implementation of SSI preventive measures in everyday practice to improve the quality of care provided to surgical patients.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury at a Tertiary Referral Center in Tanzania: Epidemiology and Adherence to Brain Trauma Foundation Guidelines

BACKGROUND: Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Prospective TBI data from sub-Saharan Africa are sparse. This study examines epidemiology and explores management of patients with severe TBI and adherence to Brain Trauma Foundation Guidelines at a tertiary care referral hospital in Tanzania.
METHODS: Patients with severe TBI hospitalized at Bugando Medical Centre were recorded in a prospective registry including epidemiologic, clinical, treatment, and outcome data.
RESULTS: Between September 2013 and October 2015, 371 patients with TBI were admitted; 33% (115/371) had severe TBI. Mean age was 32.0 years 20.1, and most patients were male (80.0%). Vehicular injuries were the most common cause of injury (65.2%). Approximately half of the patients (47.8%) were hospitalized on the day of injury. Computed tomography of the brain was performed in 49.6% of patients, and 58.3% were admitted to the intensive care unit. Continuous arterial blood pressure monitoring and intracranial pressure monitoring were not performed in any patient. Of patients with severe TBI, 38.3% received hyperosmolar therapy, and 35.7% underwent craniotomy. The 2-week mortality was 34.8%.
CONCLUSIONS: Mortality of patients with severe TBI at Bugando Medical Centre, Tanzania, is approximately twice that in high-income countries. Intensive care unit care, computed tomography imaging, and continuous arterial blood pressure and intracranial pressure monitoring are underused or unavailable in the tertiary referral hospital setting. Improving outcomes after severe TBI will require concerted investment in prehospital care and improvement in availability of intensive care unit resources, computed tomography, and expertise in multidisciplinary care.

Global Surgery 2030: a roadmap for high income country actors.

The Millennium Development Goals have ended and the Sustainable Development Goals have begun, marking a shift in the global health landscape. The frame of reference has changed from a focus on 8 development priorities to an expansive set of 17 interrelated goals intended to improve the well-being of all people. In this time of change, several groups, including the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, have brought a critical problem to the fore: 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. The magnitude of this problem and the world’s new focus on strengthening health systems mandate reimagined roles for and renewed commitments from high income country actors in global surgery. To discuss the way forward, on 6 May 2015, the Commission held its North American launch event in Boston, Massachusetts. Panels of experts outlined the current state of knowledge and agreed on the roles of surgical colleges and academic medical centres; trainees and training programmes; academia; global health funders; the biomedical devices industry, and news media and advocacy organisations in building sustainable, resilient surgical systems. This paper summarises these discussions and serves as a consensus statement providing practical advice to these groups. It traces a common policy agenda between major actors and provides a roadmap for maximising benefit to surgical patients worldwide. To close the access gap by 2030, individuals and organisations must work collectively, interprofessionally and globally. High income country actors must abandon colonial narratives and work alongside low and middle income country partners to build the surgical systems of the future.