Featured Articles in Oct 2019

Surgical Residents’ Proficiency and Turnover May Affect the Overall Efficiency in an Emergency Department

 

 

Author list 

Francesco Mongelli, Henning Fischer, Michael Stickel, Miriam Patella, Nickolaus Heeren, Michael Christ, Markus Gass

 

Abstract

Background

Within Emergency Department (ED), problem responsiveness and organizational capacity are extremely important for providing acute care. The “July effect” has been described as the period when junior doctors start new turnovers, possibly reflecting on hospital and ED efficiency. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of residents’ turnover on ED efficiency at a Swiss teaching hospital.

 

Methods

We retrospectively evaluated patients presenting with surgical needs to ED from June 2014 to January 2019. Data regarding gender, age, length of stay (LOS), resident doctors and level of urgency were collected and analyzed.

 

Results

We identified 27,767 surgical admissions treated by 92 residents. The LOS analysis within residents’ period in the ED showed a progressive reduction over time, with 80% of proficiency achieved after 98 patients. The mean LOS was 257.3 and 237.6 min during and after the learning curve (p < 0.0001), although no difference was noted in triage level 1 patients (p = 0.813). By replacing 40–70% of residents (January and July), the LOS raised from 243.1 to 259.7 min (absolute difference 16.6 min, p < 0.001), but if only 10–20% of residents newly started, no difference was detected (p = 0.071).

 

Conclusions

Our study demonstrates that surgical residents’ turnover within the ED could affect the overall efficiency. The training period for new resident physicians was a caseload of 98 patients, respectively, 3 weeks of work. The impact of trainees’ turnover was only relevant if more than 40% of the resident team is replaced at one time and only less urgent cases were affected.

 

 


Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Redosing Reduces Surgical Site Infection Risk in Prolonged Duration Surgery Irrespective of Its Timing

 

 

Author list 

Daniela Bertschi, Walter P. Weber, Jasmin Zeindler, Daniel Stekhoven, Robert Mechera, Lilian Salm, Marco Kralijevic, Savas D. Soysal, Marco von Strauss, Edin Mujagic, Walter R. Marti

 

Abstract

Background

Long-duration surgery requires repeated administration of antimicrobial prophylaxis (amp). Amp “redosing” reduces incidence of surgical site infections (SSI) but is frequently omitted. Clinical relevance of redosing timing needs to be investigated. Here, we evaluated the effects of compliance with amp redosing and its timing on SSI incidence in prolonged duration surgery.

 

Methods

Data from >9000 patients undergoing visceral, trauma, or vascular surgery with elective or emergency treatment in two tertiary referral Swiss hospitals were analyzed. All patients had to receive amp preoperatively and redosing, if indicated. Antibiotics used were cefuroxime (1.5 or 3 g, if weight >80 kg), or cefuroxime and metronidazole (1.5 and 0.5 g, or 3 and 1 g doses, if weight >80 kg). Alternatively, in cases of known or suspected allergies, vancomycin (1 g), gentamicin (4 mg/Kg), and metronidazole or clindamycin (300 mg) with or without ciprofloxacin (400 mg) were used. Association of defined parameters, including wound class, ASA scores, and duration of operation, with SSI incidence was explored.

 

Results

In the whole cohort, SSI incidence significantly correlated with duration of surgery (ρ = 0.73, p = 0.031). In 593 patients undergoing >240 min long interventions, duration of surgery was the only parameter significantly (p < 0.001) associated with increased SSI risk, whereas wound class, ASA scores, treatment areas, and emergency versus elective hospital entry were not. Redosing significantly reduced SSI incidence as shown by multivariate analysis (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.37–0.96, p = 0.034), but exact timing had no significant impact.

 

Conclusions

Long-duration surgery associates with higher SSI incidence. Irrespective of its exact timing, amp redosing significantly decreases SSI risk.

 

 


Radiofrequency Ablation for Benign Thyroid Nodules: 1-Year Follow-Up

 

 

Author list 

Nguyen Lam Vuong, Le Quang Dinh, Ho Tat Bang, Tran Thi Mai Thuy, Nguyen Hoang Bac, Tran Thanh Vy

 

Abstract

Background

Benign thyroid nodules are common, and must be treated when symptomatic. Non-surgical minimally invasive modalities, including radiofrequency ablation (RFA), have been widely used with good results. The factors related to the efficacy of RFA are still debated. This study was to evaluate the safety, efficacy and related factors of RFA in the treatment of benign thyroid nodules.

 

Methods

A retrospective single-center study was conducted on 251 benign thyroid nodules in 184 patients treated with RFA. The procedure was performed under ultrasound (US) guidance using the trans-isthmic approach and the moving-shot technique. Clinical and US examinations were performed at 1, 3, 6, 12 months, and then at 6 month intervals. Study outcomes were volume reduction ratio (VRR) and complications.

 

Results

There were 153 women and 31 men included in the study. The mean age was 43.9 years. The median initial largest diameter and volume of nodules were 30 mm and 6.18 ml. The median length of follow-up was 12 months. Two minor complications were found. The mean VRR was 66.8; 74.3; and 81% after 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Initial solidity was a factor related to the efficacy: cystic nodules had higher VRR compared to solid ones.

 

Conclusions

RFA is safe, effective and can be used as a routine treatment for benign thyroid nodules. More prospective multicenter studies with long-term follow-up are required to improve the safety and efficacy of RFA.

 

 


Long-Term Results After Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: A 15-Year Follow-Up

 

 

Author list 

Ralph Schneider, Pia Jäger, Andreas Ommer

 

Abstract

Background

The stapled hemorrhoidopexy is reported to have a low recurrence while treating the major hemorrhoidal symptoms of bleeding and prolapse. The aim of this study is to obtain long-term results on the outcome of the stapled hemorrhoidopexy.

 

Methods

All patients with a hemorrhoidal disease grade III, who underwent stapled hemorrhoidopexy from May 1999–December 2003, were included. Data collection was based on a standardized telephone interview. In the questionnaire, we recorded information regarding the postoperative recurrence and severity of hemorrhoidal symptoms (defined as bleeding, prolapse, burning, itching and moisture), further hemorrhoidal treatments and functional results (incontinence, fecal urgency and outlet obstruction) as well as patients’ satisfaction.

 

Results

Of the 257 patients, who underwent stapled hemorrhoidopexy, follow-up data were available in 140 patients. In 47.4% of the patients, a recurrence of at least one hemorrhoidal symptom was registered, whereas this recurrence was observed in 47.3% of these patients more than 10 years postoperatively. A surgical re-intervention was necessary in 15.2%. We found a postoperative new incontinence in 15.5%, a fecal urgency in 28.0% and an outlet obstruction in 9.4%. Of all patients, 62.3% were “very satisfied” with the operation.

 

Conclusions

The results of the study revealed a relatively high recurrence of hemorrhoidal symptoms after a mean follow-up of 15 years with a high recurrence rate more than 10 years postoperatively. In consideration of not negligible risk of incontinence, fecal urgency and outlet obstruction, the indication for a stapled hemorrhoidopexy should be made well considered. However, patients’ satisfaction is very high.

 

 

 


Adverse Events in the Operating Room: Definitions, Prevalence, and Characteristics. A Systematic Review

 

 

Author list 

James J. Jung, Jonah Elfassy, Peter Jüni, Teodor Grantcharov

 

Abstract

Background

Adverse events occur commonly in the operating room (OR) and often contribute to morbidity, mortality, and increased healthcare spending. Validated frameworks to measure and report postoperative outcomes have long existed to facilitate exchanges of structured information pertaining to postoperative complication rates in order to improve patient safety. However, systematic evidence regarding measurement and reporting of intraoperative adverse events (iAE) is still lacking.

 

Methods

We searched Ovid Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases for articles published up to June 2016 that measured and reported iAE. We presented the terms and definitions used to describe iAE. We identified the types of reported iAE and summarized them into discrete categories. We reported frequencies of iAE by detection methods.

 

Results

Of the 47 included studies, 30 were cross-sectional, 14 were case-series, and 3 were cohort studies. The studies used 16 different terms and 22 unique definitions to describe 74 types of iAE. Frequencies of iAE appeared to vary depending on the detection methods, with higher numbers reported when direct observation in the OR was used to detect iAE. Twenty studies assessed severity of iAE, which were mostly based on whether they resulted in postoperative outcomes.

 

Conclusions

This study systematically reviewed the current evidence on prevalence and characteristics of iAE that were detected by direct observation, reviews of patient charts, administrative data and incident reports, and surveys and interviews of healthcare providers. Our findings suggest that direct observation method has the most potential to identify and characterize iAE in detail.

 

 


Robotic Single-Port Platform in General, Urologic, and Gynecologic Surgeries: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-analysis

 

Author list 

S. Cianci, A. Rosati, V. Rumolo, S. Gueli Alletti, V. Gallotta, L. C. Turco, G. Corrado, G. Vizzielli, A. Fagotti, F. Fanfani, G. Scambia, S. Uccella

 

Abstract

Background

Robotic platforms have recently acquired progressive importance in different surgical fields, such as urology, gynecology, and general surgery. Through the years, new surgical robots have become available as single-port robotic platform. The study is aimed to value the single-port robotic platform characteristics in different surgical specialties.

 

Methods

The terms “LESS” OR “single port” OR “single site” AND “robot” OR “robotic” were systematically used to search the PubMed and Scopus databases. A total of 57 studies were considered eligible for the present review. The articles included were divided according to the surgical field in which the study was conducted: General surgery (29 articles), Gynecology (18 articles), Urology (10 articles).

 

Results

Most part of the articles showed the feasibility of robotic single-port surgical procedures and described advantages in terms of cosmetic, hospital stay, and in some series even cost reduction. A meta-analysis was conducted, showing a significant increment of complications using RSP if compared with SLPS and a trend (P = 0.008) when RSP was compared with LESS. The comparison of different techniques in terms of conversion to laparotomy did not show any significant difference.

 

Conclusion

Robotic single port potentially furnishes an important surgical and post-operatory improvement; however, some limits still prolong the surgical time and complication rate.

 

 


Are Pre-hospital Trauma Deaths Preventable? A Systematic Literature Review

 

 

Author list 

Roman Pfeifer, Sascha Halvachizadeh, Sylvia Schick, Kai Sprengel, Kai Oliver Jensen, Michel Teuben, Ladislav Mica, Valentin Neuhaus, Hans-Christoph Pape

 

Abstract

Background

The first and largest peak of trauma mortality is encountered on the trauma site. The aim of this study was to determine whether these trauma-related deaths are preventable. We performed a systematic literature review with a focus on pre-hospital preventable deaths in severely injured patients and their causes.

 

Methods

Studies published in a peer-reviewed journal between January 1, 1990 and January 10, 2018 were included. Parameters of interest: country of publication, number of patients included, preventable death rate (PP = potentially preventable and DP = definitely preventable), inclusion criteria within studies (pre-hospital only, pre-hospital and hospital deaths), definition of preventability used in each study, type of trauma (blunt versus penetrating), study design (prospective versus retrospective) and causes for preventability mentioned within the study.

 

Results

After a systematic literature search, 19 papers (total 7235 death) were included in this literature review. The majority (63.1%) of studies used autopsies combined with an expert panel to assess the preventability of death in the patients. Pre-hospital death rates range from 14.6 to 47.6%, in which 4.9–11.3% were definitely preventable and 25.8–42.7% were potentially preventable. The most common (27–58%) reason was a delayed treatment of the trauma victims, followed by management (40–60%) and treatment errors (50–76.6%).

 

Conclusion

According to our systematic review, a relevant amount of the observed mortality was described as preventable due to delays in treatment and management/treatment errors. Standards in the pre-hospital trauma system and management should be discussed in order to find strategies to reduce mortality.

 

 


 

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