Trauma Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Background Trauma-related injury causes higher mortality than a combination of prevalent infectious diseases. Mortality secondary to trauma is higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than high-income countries. This review outlines common issues, and potential solutions for those issues, identified in trauma care in LMICs that contribute to poorer outcomes.

Methods A literature search was performed on PubMed and Google Scholar using the search terms “trauma,” “injuries,” and “developing countries.” Articles conducted in a trauma setting in low-income countries (according to the World Bank classification) that discussed problems with management of trauma or consolidated treatment and educational solutions regarding trauma care were included.

Results Forty-five studies were included. The problem areas broadly identified with trauma care in LMICs were infrastructure, education, and operational measures. We provided some solutions to these areas including algorithm-driven patient management and use of technology that can be adopted in LMICs.

Conclusion Sustainable methods for the provision of trauma care are essential in LMICs. Improvements in infrastructure and education and training would produce a more robust health care system and likely a reduction in mortality in trauma-related injuries.

Diagnosis and Management of Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Protocol for a Scoping Review

Background:
Globally, 69 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year and TBI is the most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Traumatic SAH (TSAH) has been described as an adverse prognostic factor leading to progressive neurological deterioration and an increase in morbidity and mortality, but there are a limited number of studies which evaluate recent trends in the diagnostic and management of SAH in the context of trauma.

Objective:
The objective of this scoping review was to understand the extent and type of evidence in relation to the diagnostic criteria and management of TSAH.

Methods:
This scoping review will be conducted in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews. A 3-step search strategy (an initial limited search in PubMed and Scopus databases; a main search of EMBASE, Web of Science, EBSCO, MEDLINE; and manual searches of reference lists of included articles) will be utilized. The search will be limited to studies with human participants and published in English, Spanish, and French between 2005 and 2020. This review will consider studies of adolescent and adult patients with SAH secondary to trauma. Study selection will be performed by 2 authors (DG and LF) in a 2-phase process; if any disagreement arises, a third author (AR) will be consulted. Data to be extracted from each study will include population, intervention, comparator and outcome measures, and a summary of findings. Citation screening, full-text review, risk of bias assessment, and extraction of study characteristics and outcomes will be carried out using a web-based software platform that streamlines the production of scoping reviews.

Results:
Ethics approval is not required for this systematic review, as there will be no patient involvement. The search for this systematic review commenced in December 2020, and we expect to publish the findings in early 2021. The plan for dissemination is to publish review findings in a peer-reviewed journal and present findings at conferences that engage the most pertinent stakeholders.

Conclusions:
This scoping review will serve as an initial step in providing more evidence for health care professionals, economists, and policymakers so that they might devote more resources toward this significant problem affecting both health and economic outcomes worldwide.

Measuring socioeconomic outcomes in trauma patients up to one year post-discharge: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Introduction
Trauma accounts for nearly one-tenth of the global disability-adjusted life-years, a large proportion of which is seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Trauma can affect employment opportunities, reduce social participation, be influenced by social support, and significantly reduce the quality of life (QOL) among survivors. Research typically focuses on specific trauma sub-groups. This dispersed knowledge results in limited understanding of these outcomes in trauma patients as a whole across different populations and settings. We aimed to assess and provide a systematic overview of current knowledge about return-to-work (RTW), participation, social support, and QOL in trauma patients up to one year after discharge.

Methods
We undertook a systematic review of the literature published since 2010 on RTW, participation, social support, and QOL in adult trauma populations, up to one year from discharge, utilizing the most commonly used measurement tools from three databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. We performed a meta-analysis based on the type of outcome, tool for measurement, and the specific effect measure as well as assessed the methodological quality of the included studies.

Results
A total of 43 articles were included. More than one-third (36%) of patients had not returned to work even a year after discharge. Those who did return to work took more than 3 months to do so. Trauma patients reported receiving moderate social support. There were no studies reporting social participation among trauma patients using the inclusion criteria. The QOL scores of the trauma patients did not reach the population norms or pre-injury levels even a year after discharge. Older adults and females tended to have poorer outcomes. Elderly individuals and females were under-represented in the studies. More than three-quarters of the included studies were from high-income countries (HICs) and had higher methodological quality.

Conclusion
RTW and QOL are affected by trauma even a year after discharge and the social support received was moderate, especially among elderly and female patients. Future studies should move towards building more high-quality evidence from LMICs on long-term socioeconomic outcomes including social support, participation and unpaid work.

Misconceptions About Traumatic Brain Injuries in Five Sub-Saharan African Countries

Background
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) remains a significant problem in certain regions of the world but receives little attention despite its enormous burden. This discrepancy could consequently lead to various misconceptions among the general public. This study evaluated misconceptions about TBI in five African countries.

Methods
Data for this cross-sectional study were collected using the Common Misconception about Traumatic Brain Injury (CM-TBI) questionnaire, which was electronically disseminated from January 16 to February 6, 2021. Associations between the percentage of correct answers and independent variables (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics and experience with TBI) were evaluated with the ANOVA test. Additionally, answers to the question items were compared against independent variables using the Chi-Square test. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results
A total of 817 adults, 50.2% female (n=410), aged 24.3 ± 4.3 years, and majoritarily urban dwellers (94.6%, n=773) responded to the survey. They had received tertiary education (79.2%, n=647) and were from Nigeria (77.7%, n=635). Respondents had few misconceptions (mean correct answers=71.7%, 95% CI=71.0-72.4%) and the amnesia domain had the highest level of misconception (39.3%, 95% CI=37.7-40.8%). Surveyees whose friends had TBI were more knowledgeable about TBI (mean score difference=4.1%, 95% CI=1.2-6.9, P=0.01). Additionally, surveyees whose family members had experienced TBI had a better understanding of brain damage (mean score difference=5.7%, 95% CI=2.1-9.2%, P=0.002) and recovery (mean score difference=4.3%, 95% CI=0.40-8.2%, P=0.03).

Conclusion
This study identified some misconceptions about TBI among young adult Africans. This at-risk population should benefit from targeted education strategies to prevent TBI and reduce TBI patients' stigmatization in Africa.

Unmet Surgical Need in Malawi

Introduction
Globally, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa, including Malawi, surgical conditions receive a low level of priority in national health systems. The burden of surgical diseases is not well documented and the reasons for which people still live with treatable conditions and disabilities or sometimes present late for care have also not been studied. There is also little information on surgical deaths from untreated conditions in both adults and children, including trauma, as well as potential barriers to obtaining surgical care.
Objectives
The aim of this thesis was therefore to describe the untreated surgical conditions, in both adults and children, the barriers to surgical health care, as well as to document information about deaths from surgical conditions in Malawi.
Methods
This thesis is based on four papers. All four involved data collected using the SOSAS tool, which is a questionnaire-based data collection tool for documenting household information in the communities. The tool had three sections, the first section capturing demographic data for the households; including number of occupants, ages, gender, location and type of household, and tribe. The next two sections were similar but involved interviewing two different people and asking about information relating to surgical conditions present for both adults and paediatric age groups, including injuries, associated disability from acquired or congenital disorders, transportation to health facility and location of death from different surgical conditions. The two household members interviewed, included the head of household and another random member within the household. Data collection was centrally organized by a project group, and performed by third year medical students from the University of Malawi, College of Medicine.
Data was collected as a national survey from the 28 districts in Malawi. The National Statistics Board helped us to identify the villages used in the study.
Results
We found that a third of the Malawian population were living with a surgical condition and were in need of a surgical consultation or treatment. These conditions were either congenital or the result of a traumatic or other non-traumatic condition. We also found that almost one fifth of the children with a surgical condition that could have been treated by surgery, instead remained with a disability that affected their daily lives.
In addition, we found that transportation poses a barrier to timely access to surgical health care. Transportation barriers included the lack of efficient public transportation, cost implications, and long travel distances to get to a health facility capable of offering care by either consultation or surgical procedures.
Other findings were that acute abdominal distention, body masses and trauma, contribute to surgical conditions that are highly associated with mortality in Malawian communities. We also noted that there are various reasons that lead to delays in obtaining formal health care, including initial consultations with traditional herbalists before going to the hospital.
Conclusion
Almost 6 million Malawian people, including an estimated 2 million children, are living with a condition that could be treated by either a surgical procedure or consultation. There are an estimated 1 million disabled children currently living with such surgically treatable conditions. The treatment of these conditions is hampered by transportation barriers. The transportation barriers have led to delays in obtaining timely surgical health care service, something that often leads to mortality. The common causes of these deaths are from injuries, but also other surgical emergencies. Most of these deaths occur outside a health facility environment.

Trauma Registry Data as a Policy-Making Tool: A Systematic Review on the Research Dimensions

Objective: To review the research dimensions of trauma registry data on health policy making.
Methods: PubMed and EMBASE were searched until July 2020. Keywords were used on the search process included Trauma, Injury, Registry and Research, which were searched by using appropriate search strategies. The included articles had to: 1. be extracted from data related to trauma registries; 2- be written in English; 3- define a time period and a patient population; 4- preferably have more details and policy recommendations; and 5- preferably have a discussion on how to improve diagnosis and treatment. The results obtained from the included studies were qualitatively analyzed using thematic synthesis and comparative tables.
Results: In the primary round of search, 19559 studies were retrieved. According to PRISMA statement and also performing quality appraisal process, 30 studies were included in the final phase of analysis. In the final papers’ synthesis, 14 main research domains were extracted and classified in terms of the policy implication and research priority. The domains with the highest frequency were “The relationship between trauma registry data and hospital care protocols for trauma patients” and “The causes of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to trauma”.
Conclusion: Using trauma registry data as a tool for policy-making could be helpful in several ways, namely increasing the quality of patient care, preventing injuries and decreasing their number, figuring out the details of socioeconomic status effects, and improving the quality of researches in practical ways. Also, follow-up of patients after trauma surgery as one of the positive effects of the trauma registry can be the focus of attention of policy-making bodies.

Barriers to Trauma Care in South and Central America: a systematic review

Introduction
Trauma is widespread in Central and South America and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Providing high quality emergency trauma care is of great importance. Understanding the barriers to care is challenging; this systematic review aims to establish current the current challenges and barriers in providing high-quality trauma care within the 21 countries in the region.

Methods
OVID Medline, Embase, EBM reviews and Global Health databases were systematically searched in October 2020. Records were screened by two independent researchers. Data were extracted according to a predetermined proforma. Studies of any type, published in the preceding decade were included, excluding grey literature and non-English records. Trauma was defined as blunt or penetrating injury from an external force. Studies were individually critically appraised and assessed for bias using the RTI item bank.

Results
57 records met the inclusion criteria. 20 countries were covered at least once. Nine key barriers were identified: training (37/57), resources and equipment (33/57), protocols (29/57), staffing (17/57), transport and logistics (16/57), finance (15/57), socio-cultural (13/57), capacity (9/57), public education (4/57).

Conclusion
Nine key barriers negatively impact on the provision of high-quality trauma care and highlight potential areas for improving care in Central & South America. Many countries in the region, along with rural areas, are under-represented by the current literature and future research is urgently required to assess barriers to trauma management in these countries.

Shock index as a prognosticator for emergent surgical intervention and mortality in trauma patients in Johannesburg: A retrospective cohort study

Introduction
Trauma is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide with exsanguination being the primary preventable cause through early surgical intervention. We assessed two popular trauma scoring systems, injury severity scores (ISS) and shock index (SI) to determine the optimal cut off values that may predict the need for emergent surgical intervention (ESI) and in-hospital mortality.

Methods
A retrospective analysis of patient records from a tertiary hospital’s trauma unit for the year 2019 was done. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted and area under the curve (AUC) reported for predicting the need for ESI in all study participants, as well as in patients with penetrating injuries alone, based on continuous variables of ISS, SI or a combination of ISS and SI. The Youdin Index was applied to determine the optimal ISS and SI cut off values.

Results
A total of 1964 patients’ records were included, 89.0% were male and the median age (IQR) was 30 (26–37) years. Penetrating injuries accounted for 65.9% of all injuries. ISS and SI were higher in the ESI group with median (IQR) 11 (10–17) and 0.74 (0.60–0.95), respectively. The overall mortality rate was 4.5%. The optimal cut-off values for ESI and mortality by ISS (AUC) were 9 (0.74) and 12 (0.86) (p = 0.0001), with optimal values for SI (AUC) being 0.72 (0.60), and 0.91 (0.68) (p = 0.0001), respectively.

Respiratory morbidity and mortality of traumatic cervical spinal cord injury at a level I trauma center in India

Study design
Descriptive retrospective.

Objectives
To evaluate the burden of respiratory morbidity in terms of ventilator dependence (VD) days and length of stay in neurotrauma ICU (NICU) and hospital, and to determine mortality in patients with traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI) in a low middle-income country (LMIC).

Setting
Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center (JPNATC), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India.

Methods
A total of 135 patients admitted with CSCI in the NICU between January 2017 to December 2018 were screened. Information regarding age, gender, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale (AIS), level of injury, duration of VD, length of NICU, hospital stay, and outcome in terms of mortality or discharge from the hospital were obtained from the medical records.

Results
A total of 106 CSCI patients were analyzed. The mean (SD) age of patients was 40 (±16) years and male: female ratio was 5:1. The duration of VD, duration of NICU, and hospital stay was a median of 8 days (IQR 1127), 6 days (IQR 1118), and 15 days (IQR 3127) respectively. Mortality was 19% (20/106). The mortality was significantly associated with poorer AIS score, VD, and duration of ICU and hospital stay. All patients were discharged to home only after they became ventilator-free.

Conclusions
The ventilator burden, hospital stay, and mortality are high in patients with CSCI in LMICs. Poor AIS scores, prolonged VD, ICU and hospital stay are associated with mortality. There is a need for comprehensive CSCI rehabilitation programs in LMICs to improve outcome.

The characteristics and outcomes of trauma admissions to an adult general surgery ward in a tertiary teaching hospital

Background
Traumatic injuries are proportionally higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than high-income counties. Data on trauma epidemiology and patients’ outcomes are limited in LMICs.

Methods
A retrospective review of medical records was performed for trauma admissions to the Princess Marina Hospital general surgical (GS) wards from August 2017 to July 2018. Data on demographics, mechanisms of injury, body parts injured, Revised Trauma Score, surgical procedures, hospital stay, and outcomes were analysed.

Results
During the study period, 2610 patients were admitted to GS wards, 1307 were emergency admissions. Trauma contributed 22.1% (576) of the total and 44.1% of the emergency admissions. Among the trauma admissions, 79.3% (457) were male. The median[interquartile range(IQR)](range) age in years was 30[24–40](13–97). The main mechanisms of injury were interpersonal violence (IPV), 53.1% and road traffic crashes (RTCs), 23.1%. More females than males suffered animal bites (5.9% vs. 0.9%), and burns (8.4% vs. 4.2%), while more males than females were affected by IPV (57.8% vs. 35.3%) and self-harm (5.5% vs. 3.4%). Multiple body parts were injured in 6.6%, mainly by RTCs. Interpersonal violence (IPV) and RTCs resulted in significant numbers of head and neck injuries, 57.3% and 22.2% respectively. More females than males had multiple body-parts injury 34.5% vs. 18.5%. Revised Trauma Score (RTS) of ≤11 was recorded in IPV, 38.4% and RTCs, 33.6%. Surgical procedures were performed on 44.4% patients. The most common surgical procedures were laparotomy (27.8%), insertion of chest tube (27.8%), and craniotomy/burr hole(25.1%). Complications were recorded in 10.1% of the patients(58) including 39 deaths, 6.8% of the 576.

Conclusion
Trauma contributed significantly to the total GS and emergency admissions. The most common mechanism of injury was IPV with head and neck the most frequently injured body part. Further studies on IPV and trauma admissions involving paediatric and orthopaedic patients are warranted.