A Consensus Statement for Trauma Surgery Capacity Building in Latin America

Background: Trauma is a significant public health problem in Latin America (L.A.), contributing to substantial death and disability in the region. Several LA countries have implemented trauma registries and injury surveillance systems. However, the region lacks an integrated trauma system. The consensus conference’s goal was to integrate existing L.A. trauma data collection efforts into a regional trauma program and encourage the use of the data to inform health policy.

Methods: We created a consensus group of 25 experts in trauma and emergency care with previous data collection and injury surveillance experience in the L.A. region. Experts participated in a consensus conference to discuss the state of trauma data collection in L.A. We utilized the Delphi method to build consensus around strategic steps for trauma data management in the region. Consensus was defined as the agreement of ≥ 70% among the expert panel.

Results: The consensus conference determined that action was necessary from academic bodies, scientific societies, and ministries of health to encourage a culture of collection and use of health data in trauma. The panel developed a set of recommendations for these groups to encourage the development and use of robust trauma information systems in L.A. Consensus was achieved in one Delphi round.

Conclusions: The expert group successfully reached a consensus on recommendations to key stakeholders in trauma information systems in L.A. These recommendations may be used to encourage capacity-building in trauma research and trauma health policy in the region

The ethical development and sustainability of trauma registries in low- and middle-income countries

Trauma registries are an anonymized, systematic, prospective data banks for trauma patients that may include details on demographics, injury details, hospital processes, and outcomes. They are an important component of trauma care systems and a tool for improving outcomes in trauma. Given the high rates of morbidity and mortality from trauma in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the implementation of trauma registries in LMICs is a growing area of interest; however, while many pilot trauma registries have been demonstrated to be feasible in LMICs, very few are sustainable in the long term. In this thesis, a trauma registry established in 2017 in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH), Uganda is examined. Since the establishment of this registry, data for over 3000 trauma patients has been collected, however, the registry faces questions of how to achieve long-term viability without the financial support of external partnerships. The aim of this thesis is therefore to evaluate several aspects of sustainability of trauma registries for low-income settings. First, the ethical importance of sustainability in global surgery was established through a scoping review on the literature on the ethics of global surgery. A grounded theory content analysis was completed to identify themes and gaps in the existing literature. Four major ethical domains in global surgery were identified: clinical care and delivery; education and exchange of trainees; research, monitoring, and evaluation; and engagement in collaborations and partnerships. While the literature on ethics in global surgery was sparse, mostly in the form of commentaries or editorials, and largely published by authors in high-income countries (HICs), the importance of including LMIC authors in the conversation on ethics in global surgery and the value of building sustainable collaborations and partnerships were key findings of this scoping review. Next, a literature review of considerations for the implementation of ethical and sustainable trauma registries in LMICs was completed. A number of practical challenges were identified for the development of trauma registries in LMICs and included funding sources, personnel requirements, technology access, and quality assurance mechanisms. Ethical considerations for trauma registry development were also identified, and included concerns of patient confidentiality, informed consent, and sustaining the registry. Strategies for these ethical and practical considerations for trauma registry development in LMICs are discussed, and opportunities for future research opportunities are explored. The widespread nature and accessibility of mobile phones in most low- and middle-income countries, including Uganda, makes the use of mobile phone technology in health a potential avenue for inexpensive health care innovation. A mobile application trauma registry was designed and implemented to minimize workload and contribute to sustainability of the registry. Healthcare workers involved in trauma then completed a validated questionnaire known as the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) for evaluating the usability of the mobile application trauma registry and predicting future use behaviours. Healthcare workers scored the mobile application highly, indicating a high potential for ongoing use. The UTAUT was also identified as a method for other trauma registries to predict future use and opportunities for sustainability. Finally, a potential means of financial self-sustainability for trauma registries in low-income countries was evaluated. In many public hospitals in low-income settings, government funding for patients seen is dependent on documentation of those patients. This study evaluated the improvements to patient documentation following the implementation of a trauma registry and concurrent patient registration system at MRRH. A significant improvement in patient documentation was found, with a 20-fold increase in trauma patients documented following the implementation of patient registration and a trauma registry. This more accurate documentation could then be used to apply for increased government funding for trauma patients and for sustaining the trauma registry in the long-term. The concurrent implementation of a patient registration system with a trauma registry therefore could be an avenue for financial viability for other trauma registries in low-income contexts. Taken together, these studies represent a compelling picture for the ethical imperative to develop sustainable trauma registries in LMICs and some of the strategies that may be undertaken to achieve this. By combining these techniques, we hope to achieve a sustainable, long-term trauma registry at MRRH that can serve as a model for other trauma registries in LMICs going forward.

An Analysis of 30-Day in-Hospital Trauma Mortality in Four Urban University Hospitals Using the Australia India Trauma Registry

India has one-sixth (16%) of the world’s population but more than one-fifth (21%) of the world’s injury mortality. A trauma registry established by the Australia India Trauma Systems Collaboration (AITSC) Project was utilized to study 30-day in-hospital trauma mortality at high-volume Indian hospitals.

The AITSC Project collected data prospectively between April 2016 and March 2018 at four Indian university hospitals in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad. Patients admitted with an injury mechanism of road or rail-related injury, fall, assault, or burns were included. The associations between demographic, physiological on-admission vitals, and process-of-care parameters with early (0–24 h), delayed (1–7 days), and late (8–30 days) in-hospital trauma mortality were analyzed.

Of 9354 patients in the AITSC registry, 8606 were subjected to analysis. The 30-day mortality was 12.4% among all trauma victims. Early (24-h) mortality was 1.9%, delayed (1–7 days) mortality was 7.3%, and late (8–30 days) mortality was 3.2%. Abnormal physiological parameters such as a low SBP, SpO2, and GCS and high HR and RR were observed among non-survivors. Early initiation of trauma assessment and monitoring on arrival was an important process of care indicator for predicting 30-day survival.

One in ten admitted trauma patients (12.4%) died in urban trauma centers in India. More than half of the trauma deaths were delayed, beyond 24 h but within one week following injury. On-admission physiological vital signs remain a valid predictor of early 24-h trauma mortality.

Barriers and facilitators to implementing trauma registries in low- and middle-income countries: Qualitative experiences from Tanzania

The burden of trauma in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is disproportionately high: LMICs account for nearly 90% of the global trauma deaths. Lack of trauma data has been identified as one of the major challenges in addressing the quality of trauma care and informing injury-preventing strategies in LMICs. This study aimed to explore the barriers and facilitators of current trauma documentation practices towards the development of a national trauma registry (TR).

An exploratory qualitative study was conducted at five regional hospitals between August 2018 and December 2018. Five focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 49 participants from five regional hospitals. Participants included specialists, medical doctors, assistant medical officers, clinical officers, nurses, health clerks and information communication and technology officers. Participants came from the emergency units, surgical and orthopaedic inpatient units, and they had permanent placement to work in these units as non-rotating staff. We analysed the gathered information using a hybrid thematic analysis.

Inconsistent documentation and archiving system, the disparity in knowledge and experience of trauma documentation, attitudes towards documentation and limitations of human and infrastructural resources in facilities we found as major barriers to the implementation of trauma registry. Health facilities commitment to standardising care, Ministry of Health and medicolegal data reporting requirements, and insurance reimbursements criteria of documentation were found as major facilitators to implementing trauma registry.

Implementation of a trauma registry in regional hospitals is impacted by multiple barriers related to providers, the volume of documentation, resource availability for care, and facility care flow processes. However, financial, legal and administrative data reporting requirements exist as important facilitators in implementing the trauma registry at these hospitals. Capitalizing in the identified facilitators and investing to address the revealed barriers through contextualized interventions in Tanzania and other LMICs is recommended by this study.

Maximizing the potential of trauma registries in low-income and middle-income countries

Injury is a major global health issue, resulting in millions of deaths every year. For decades, trauma registries have been used in wealthier countries for injury surveillance and clinical governance, but their adoption has lagged in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Paradoxically, LMICs face a disproportionately high burden of injury with few resources available to address this pandemic. Despite these resource constraints, several hospitals and regions in LMICs have managed to develop trauma registries to collect information related to the injury event, process of care, and outcome of the injured patient. While the implementation of these trauma registries is a positive step forward in addressing the injury burden in LMICs, numerous challenges still stand in the way of maximizing the potential of trauma registries to inform injury prevention, mitigation, and improve quality of trauma care. This paper outlines several of these challenges and identifies potential solutions that can be adopted to improve the functionality of trauma registries in resource-poor contexts. Increased recognition and support for trauma registry development and improvement in LMICs is critical to reducing the burden of injury in these settings.

Preliminary radiological result after establishment of hospital-based trauma registry in level-1 trauma hospital in developing country setting, prospective cohort study.

Injuries are the second most common cause of disability, the fifth most common cause of healthy years of life lost per 1000 people and unfortunately 90% of mortality takes place in low-to middle-income countries. Trauma registries guide policymakers and health care providers in decision making in terms of resource allocation as well as enhancing trauma care outcomes. Furthermore data from these registries inform policy makers to decrease the rate of death and disability occurring as a result of injuries. We present our experience in setting up an orthopedic trauma registry and the first short term follow-up of radiological outcomes.

Our study is a non-funded, non-commercial, prospective cohort study that was registered at Research Registry. The primary objectives of our study included assessing pattern of injuries in patients with upper and lower limb skeletal trauma presenting to our tertiary care academic university hospital and their respective outcomes. Data was collected by the musculoskeletal service line team members supervised by an experienced research associate and trauma consultants. The work has been reported in line with the STROCSS criteria.

A total of 177 patients were included in this analysis, of whom 101 (57.1%) patients had lower limb fractures, 64(36.1%) patients ad upper limb fractures and 12 (6.8%) patients had both upper and lower limbs involved. A total of 189 upper and lower limb fracture cases were recorded. 176 patients (93.1%) underwent surgeries and 13(6.9%) were managed nonoperatively. Roentgenographic outcomes were assessed using radiological criteria for each bone fractured.

Establishing a trauma registry assists in identification of the pattern of injuries presenting to the hospital which helps in priority setting, care management and planning. This continuous audit of outcomes in turn, plays a significant role in quality improvement.