Is the Whole Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts? The Implementation and Outcomes of a Whole Blood Program in Ecuador

Background: Hemorrhagic shock is a major cause of mortality in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Many institutions in LMICs lack the resources to adequately prescribe balanced resuscitation. This study aims to describe the implementation of a whole blood program in Latin America and discuss the outcomes of the patients that received whole blood (WB).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients resuscitated with WB from 2013-2019. Five units of O+ WB were made available on a consistent basis for patients presenting in hemorrhagic shock. Variables collected included: sex, age, service treating the patient, units of WB administered, units of components administered, admission vital signs, admission hemoglobin, Shock Index, intraoperative crystalloid and colloid administration, symptoms of transfusion reaction, length-of-stay and in-hospital mortality.

Results: The sample includes a total of 101 patients, 57 of whom were trauma and acute care surgery (TACS) patients and 44 of whom were obstetrics and gynecology patients. No patients developed symptoms consistent with a transfusion reaction. Average shock index was 1.16 (±0.55). On average, patients received 1.66 (±0.80) units of whole blood. Overall mortality was 14/101 (13.86%) in the first 24 hours and 6/101 (5.94%) after 24 hours.

Conclusion: Implementing a WB protocol is achievable in LMICs. Whole blood allows for more efficient delivery of hemostatic resuscitation and is ideal for resource-restrained settings. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a whole blood program implemented in a civilian hospital in Latin America.

Outcomes of trauma education workshop in Vietnam: improving diagnostic and surgical skills

Unintentional injuries have emerged as a significant public health issue in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), especially in Vietnam, where there is a poor quality of care for trauma. A scarcity of formal and informal training opportunities contributes to a lack of structure for treating trauma in Vietnam. A collaborative trauma education project by the JW LEE Center for Global Medicine in South Korea and the Military Hospital 175 in Vietnam was implemented to enhance trauma care capacity among medical staff across Ho Chi Minh City in 2018. We aimed to evaluate a part of the trauma education project, a one-day workshop that targeted improving diagnostic and surgical skills among the medical staff (physicians and nurses).

A one-day workshop was offered to medical staff across Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2018. The workshop was implemented to enhance the trauma care knowledge of providers and to provide practical and applicable diagnostic and surgical skills. To evaluate the workshop outcomes, we utilized a mixed-methods survey data. All participants (n = 27) voluntarily completed the post-workshop questionnaire. Quality of contents, satisfaction with teaching skills, and perceived benefit were used as outcomes of the workshop, measured by 5-point Likert scales (score: 1–5). Descriptive statistics were performed, and open-ended questions were analyzed by recurring themes.

The results from the post-workshop questionnaire demonstrated that the participants were highly satisfied with the quality of the workshop contents (mean = 4.32 standard deviation (SD) = 0.62). The mean score of the satisfaction regarding the teaching skills was 4.19 (SD = 0.61). The mean score of the perceived benefit from the workshop was 4.17 (SD = 0.63). The open-ended questions revealed that the program improved their knowledge in complex orthopedic surgeries neglected prior to training.

Positive learning experiences highlighted the need for the continuation of the international collaboration of skill development and capacity building for trauma care in Vietnam and other LMIC.

Trauma system developments reduce mortality in hospitalized trauma patients in Al-Ain City, United Arab Emirates, despite increased severity of injury

Background: Trauma is a leading cause of death in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There have been major developments in the trauma system in Al-Ain City during the last two decades. We aimed to study the effects of these developments on the trauma pattern, severity, and clinical outcome of hospitalized trauma patients in Al-Ain City, United Arab Emirates.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of two separate sets of prospectively collected trauma registry data of Al-Ain Hospital. Data were collected over two periods: from March 2003 to March 2006 and from January 2014 to December 2017. Demography, injury mechanism, injury location, and clinical outcomes of 2573 trauma patients in the first period were compared with 3519 patients in the second period.

Results: Trauma incidence decreased by 38.2% in Al-Ain City over the last 10 years. Trauma to females, UAE nationals, and the geriatric population significantly increased over time (p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test for each). Falls on the same level significantly increased over time, while road traffic collisions and falls from height significantly decreased over time (p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test for each). Mortality significantly decreased over time (2.3% compared with 1%, p < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test). Conclusions: Developments in the trauma system of our city have reduced mortality in hospitalized trauma patients by 56% despite an increased severity of injury. Furthermore, the injury incidence in our city decreased by 38.2% over the last decade. This was mainly in road traffic collisions and work-related injuries. Nevertheless, falls on the same level in the geriatric population continue to be a significant problem that needs to be addressed.

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.

The global burden of musculoskeletal injury in low and lower-middle income countries

While the global burden of musculoskeletal injury is increasingly recognized, few epidemiologic studies have specifically recorded its incidence or prevalence, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Understanding the burden of musculoskeletal injury relative to other health conditions is critical to effective allocation of resources to mitigate the disability that results from trauma. The current study aims to systematically review the existing primary literature on the incidence and prevalence of pelvic and appendicular fractures, a major component of musculoskeletal injury, in low- and lower-middle income countries (LMICs).

This study conforms to the systematic review and traditional meta-analysis guidelines outlined in the PRISMA-P statement. Incidence rates were calculated as the occurrence of new fracture cases per 100,000 person-years, and prevalence as total fracture cases per population sample, reported as percentages.

The literature search yielded 3497 total citations. There were 21 full-text articles, representing 14 different countries, selected for data extraction. Included studies reported a wide range of incidence and prevalence rates, with an overall mean fracture incidence ranging from 779 (95% CI: 483.0–1188.7) to 1574 (95% CI: 1285.1–1915.1) per 100,000 person-years.

Better understanding the unmet burden of musculoskeletal injury in LMICs is critical to effectively allocating resources and advocating for underserved populations. To address existing gaps and heterogeneity within the literature, future research should incorporate population-based sampling with broader geographic representation in LMICs to more accurately capture the burden of disease.

Emergency department management of traumatic brain injuries: A resource tiered review

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability globally with an estimated African incidence of approximately 8 million cases annually. A person suffering from a TBI is often aged 20–30, contributing to sustained disability and large negative economic impacts of TBI. Effective emergency care has the potential to decrease morbidity from this multisystem trauma.

Identify and summarize key recommendations for emergency care of patients with traumatic brain injuries using a resource tiered framework.

A literature review was conducted on clinical care of brain-injured patients in resource-limited settings, with a focus on the first 48 h of injury. Using the AfJEM resource tiered review and PRISMA guidelines, articles were identified and used to describe best practice care and management of the brain-injured patient in resource-limited settings.

Key recommendations
Optimal management of the brain-injured patient begins with early and appropriate triage. A complete history and physical can identify high-risk patients who present with mild or moderate TBI. Clinical decision rules can aid in the identification of low-risk patients who require no neuroimaging or only a brief period of observation. The management of the severely brain-injured patient requires a systematic approach focused on the avoidance of secondary injury, including hypotension, hypoxia, and hypoglycaemia. Most interventions to prevent secondary injury can be implemented at all facility levels. Urgent neuroimaging is recommended for patients with severe TBI followed by consultation with a neurosurgeon and transfer to an intensive care unit. The high incidence and poor outcomes of traumatic brain injury in Africa make this subject an important focus for future research and intervention to further guide optimal clinical care.

Resurgence of “Bow and Arrow” Related Ocular Trauma: Collateral Damage Arising From COVID-19 Lockdown in India?

Penetrating ocular trauma in children often presents late and may be associated with complications due to delayed presentation as children are not always able to verbalize their injuries. Previous studies have shown that children aged 5 and above were more frequently affected and it was also noted that boys were more frequently affected than girls. Children involved in unsupervised games often get injured and “bow and arrow” injuries were known to be a fairly common cause of penetrating trauma in children, in the past.

Use of vital signs in Predicting surgical intervention in a South African population: A cross-sectional study

While vital signs are widely obtained for trauma patients around the world, the association of these signs with need for surgical intervention has yet to be defined. Early detection of preventable outcomes is essential to timely intervention and reduction of morbidity and mortality.

The aim of this study was to determine the association of vital signs and surgical intervention in a population of patients in South Africa.

This retrospective cohort included 8722 trauma patients admitted at **** Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa over a five-year period December 2012-April 2018. Exclusion criteria included missing key data points. Variables for analysis included sex, mechanism of injury, admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Surgical intervention was defined by the need for treatment requiring time in the operating room. Data were analyzed using a univariate and multivariate logistic regression to determine an association between admission vital signs and surgical intervention and compared to the association of the Revised Trauma Score to surgical intervention.

Of the 8722 trauma patient records available, exclusion of patients with incomplete data resulted in 7857 patient records available for analysis. Two thousand two hundred and ninety-six (29.2%) patients required surgical intervention in the operating room. Multivariate analysis revealed that male sex [odds ratio (OR) 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.48], stab wound (OR 3.42, CI 2.99-3.09), gunshot wound (OR 4.27, CI 3.58-5.09), systolic hypotension (OR 1.81, CI 1.32- 2.48), hypothermia(OR 1.77, CI 1.34-2.34), tachycardia (OR 1.84, CI 1.61- 2.10), and tachypnea (OR 1.26, CI 1.08-1.45) as factors ssociated withan increased likelihood of surgical intervention.

In this cohort of patients, the need for surgical intervention was best predicted by penetrating mechanisms of injury, tachycardia, and systolic hypotension. These data show that rapid and focused patient assessments should be used to triage patients foremergency surgery to avoid delays at any stage.

Comparison of intraarticular distal humerus fracture outcomes treated with or without olecranon osteotomy – A case series

A case series was extracted from the trauma registry at Aga Khan University Hospital from the period June 2015 to June 2019. Included were 16 adult patients who presented with intra-articular distal humerus fracture type C2. The functional, clinical and radiological outcomes of fractures treated with or without olecranon osteotomy up to 12 months follow-up were compared. Outcomes were assessed at 6 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months re-visits. Among the 16 studied patients, 9 (56%) were males and 7 (44%) were females. In the group without osteotomy, there was a good functional and clinical outcome with a mean Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score of 32±30 at 3 months post-procedure. Bone healing was noticed at 6 months after surgery. In the osteotomy group, 50%-70% bone union was seen at 3 months post-surgery while fair functional and clinical outcome was achieved at 6 months after surgery

The Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury Due to Traffic Accidents in Latin America: A Narrative Review

Objective Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are devastating injuries and represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Traffic accidents are one of the main causes, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The epidemiology of TBI due to road traffic in Latin America is not clearly documented.

Methods A narrative review was conducted using PubMed, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar, looking for TBI studies in Latin America published between 2000 and 2018. Seventeen studies were found that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results  It was found that TBI due to road traffic accidents (RTAs) is more frequent in males between the ages of 15 and 35 years, and patients in motor vehicles accounted for most cases, followed by pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists.

Conclusion Road traffic accidents is a common cause of TBI in Latin America. More studies and registries are needed to properly document the epidemiological profiles of TBI related to RTAs.