Epidemiology of injured patients in rural Uganda: A prospective trauma registry’s first 1000 days

Trauma is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Data characterizing the burden of injury in rural Uganda is limited. Hospital-based trauma registries are a critical tool in illustrating injury patterns and clinical outcomes. This study aims to characterize the traumatic injuries presenting to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital (SRRH) in order to identify opportunities for quality improvement and policy development. From October 2016 to July 2019, we prospectively captured data on injured patients using a locally designed, context-relevant trauma registry instrument. Information regarding patient demographics, injury characteristics, clinical information, and treatment outcomes were recorded. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted. A total of 4109 injured patients were treated during the study period. Median age was 26 years and 63% were male. Students (33%) and peasant farmers (31%) were the most affected occupations. Falls (36%) and road traffic injuries (RTIs, 35%) were the leading causes of injury. Nearly two-thirds of RTIs were motorcycle-related and only 16% involved a pedestrian. Over half (53%) of all patients had a fracture or a sprain. Suffering a burn or a head injury were significant predictors of mortality. The number of trauma patients enrolled in the study declined by five-fold when comparing the final six months and initial six months of the study. Implementation of a context-appropriate trauma registry in a resource-constrained setting is feasible. In rural Uganda, there is a significant need for injury prevention efforts to protect vulnerable populations such as children and women from trauma on roads and in the home. Orthopedic and neurosurgical care are important targets for the strengthening of health systems. The comprehensive data provided by a trauma registry will continue to inform such efforts and provide a way to monitor their progress moving forward.

Morbidity and Mortality of Typhoid Intestinal Perforation Among Children in Sub-Saharan Africa 1995-2019: A Scoping Review

Background: Typhoid fever incidence and complications, including intestinal perforation, have declined significantly in high-income countries, with mortality rates <1%. However, an estimated 10.9 million cases still occur annually, most in low- and middle-income countries. With the availability of a new typhoid conjugate vaccine licensed for children and recommended by the World Health Organization, understanding severe complications, including associated mortality rates, is essential to inform country-level decisions on introduction of this vaccine. This scoping review summarizes over 20 years of the literature on typhoid intestinal perforation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We searched EMBASE, PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane databases for studies reporting mortality rates due to typhoid intestinal perforation in children, under 18 years old, in sub-Saharan Africa published from January 1995 through June 2019.

Results: Twenty-four papers from six countries were included. Reported mortality rates ranged from 4.6-75%, with 16 of the 24 studies between 11 and 30%. Thirteen papers included postoperative morbidity rates, ranging from 16-100%. The most documented complications included surgical site infections, intra-abdominal abscesses, and enterocutaneous fistulas. High mortality rates can be attributed to late presentation to tertiary centers, sepsis and electrolyte abnormalities requiring preoperative resuscitation, prolonged perforation-to-surgery interval, and lack of access to critical care or an intensive care unit postoperatively.

Conclusions: Current estimates of mortality related to typhoid intestinal perforation among children in sub-Saharan Africa remain unacceptably high. Prevention of typhoid fever is essential to reduce mortality, with the ultimate goal of a comprehensive approach that utilizes vaccination, improvements in water, sanitation, and hygiene, and greater access to surgical care.

Reversal of Hartmann’s procedure is still a high-morbid surgery?

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the outcome of the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure based on preoperative and intraoperative risk factors.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 78 cases, whom we applied the Hartmann’s procedure either electively or under emergency conditions in our clinic between the years 2010 and 2016.
RESULTS: Of the cases reviewed in this study, 45 patients were males, and 33 patients were females. Of all cases included in this study, 32 cases were operated due to malignancies, 15 cases were operated due to a perforated diverticulum, and 11 cases were operated due to sigmoid volvulus. Reversal of Hartmann’s was performed in 32 cases. The morbidity and mortality rates for the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure were 37.5% and 0.0%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The reversal of Hartmann’s procedure appears to be a safe operation with acceptable morbidity rates. If the correct patient selection, correct operation timing and meticulous surgical preparation are performed, the risk of morbidity and mortality of the reversal of Hartmann’s procedure can be minimized.

Outcome of management of gastroschisis: comparison of improvised surgical silo and extended right hemicolectomy

Gastroschisis is onea of the major abdominal wall defects encountered commonly in pediatric surgery. Whereas complete reduction and abdominal closure is achieved easily sometimes, a daunting situation arises when the eviscerated bowel loops and other viscera cannot be returned immediately into the abdominal cavity. This situation is a major contributor to the outcome of the treatment of gastroschisis in our region. In our efforts to improve our outcome, we have adopted the technique of extended right hemicolectomy for cases where complete reduction and primary abdominal wall closure is otherwise not possible. This study compared the management outcome of gastroschisis using our improvised silo, and performing an extended right hemicolectomy.

Thirty-nine cases were analyzed. Simple closure could not be achieved in 28 cases. In the absence of standard silos, improvised ones were constructed from the amniotic membrane (3 cases), urine bag (4 cases), and latex gloves (9 cases) giving a total of 16 cases managed with silos. Extended right hemicolectomy was performed in 12 cases.

Given the peculiarities of circumstances in our region regarding human and material resources in the care of gastroschisis patients, an extended right hemicolectomy, to make it possible to close the abdomen primarily in gastroschisis is a more viable option than the use of improvised silo.

Frequency of Vertebral Fractures in Patients presenting with Hip Fractures

Objective:To determine the frequency of vertebral fractures in patients presenting with hip fractures. Methods:This prospective study was conducted at The Indus Hospital, Karachi, from May 2018 to November 2018. All patients above 40 years presenting with hip fractures were enrolled and a dorsal lumbar lateral view radiograph was obtained to investigate for vertebral fractures. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS. Post-stratification, Chi-square/Fisher exact test was applied as appropriate to assess the significant association. P value of ≤0.05 was considered significant. Results:Three hundred thirty five patients were enrolled. Of these, 189 (56.4%) were females and 165 (49.3%) presented with neck of femur fractures. Out of 335 hip fractures patients, 77 (23%) were found to have concomitant vertebral fractures, with 73 (96.1%) having a compression fracture. T12 was the most common vertebra involved and 68.8% of patients were asymptomatic. Co-morbid conditions were statistically significantly associated with vertebral fractures. Conclusion:There is a high prevalence of asymptomatic vertebral fractures in our population, but low compared to studies from western countries. There is a need to evaluate these fractures separately for the prevention of morbidity and mortality.

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.

Developing Process Maps as a Tool for a Surgical Infection Prevention Quality Improvement Initiative in Resource-Constrained Settings.

Surgical infections cause substantial morbidity and mortality in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). To improve adherence to critical perioperative infection prevention standards, we developed Clean Cut, a checklist-based quality improvement program to improve compliance with best practices. We hypothesized that process mapping infection prevention activities can help clinicians identify strategies for improving surgical safety.We introduced Clean Cut at a tertiary hospital in Ethiopia. Infection prevention standards included skin antisepsis, ensuring a sterile field, instrument decontamination/sterilization, prophylactic antibiotic administration, routine swab/gauze counting, and use of a surgical safety checklist. Processes were mapped by a visiting surgical fellow and local operating theater staff to facilitate the development of contextually relevant solutions; processes were reassessed for improvements.Process mapping helped identify barriers to using alcohol-based hand solution due to skin irritation, inconsistent administration of prophylactic antibiotics due to variable delivery outside of the operating theater, inefficiencies in assuring sterility of surgical instruments through lack of confirmatory measures, and occurrences of retained surgical items through inappropriate guidelines, staffing, and training in proper routine gauze counting. Compliance with most processes improved significantly following organizational changes to align tasks with specific process goals.Enumerating the steps involved in surgical infection prevention using a process mapping technique helped identify opportunities for improving adherence and plotting contextually relevant solutions, resulting in superior compliance with antiseptic standards. Simplifying these process maps into an adaptable tool could be a powerful strategy for improving safe surgery delivery in LMICs.