• A Retrospective Analysis of Pediatric Cases Handled by the MSF Tele-Expertise System

      Martinez Garcia, D; Bonnardot, L; Olson, D; Roggeveen, H; Karsten, J; Moons, P; Schaefer, M; Liu, J; Wootton, R (Frontiers Media, 2014-12-08)
      We conducted a retrospective analysis of all pediatric cases referred by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) field doctors via the MSF telemedicine system during a 4-year period from April 2010. A total of 467 pediatric cases were submitted, representing approximately 40% of all telemedicine cases. The median age of the patients was 4 years. The median response time (i.e., the interval between the case being submitted and the first response from a specialist) was 13 h (interquartile range 4-32 h). We selected a random sample of 12 pediatric cases in each of four age categories for detailed analysis by an experienced MSF pediatrician. In the 48 randomly selected cases, the mean rating for the quality of information provided by the referrer was 2.8 (on a scale from 1 = very poor to 5 = very good), and the mean rating for the appropriateness of the response was 3.3 (same scale). More than two-thirds of the responses were considered to be useful to the patient, and approximately three-quarters were considered to be useful to the medical team. The usefulness of the responses tended to be higher for the medical team than for the patient, and there was some evidence that usefulness to both groups was lower in newborns and adolescent patients. The telemedicine system allows the quality of the medical support given to medical teams in the field to be controlled objectively as there is a record of all cases and answers. Telemedicine has an important role in supporting the aims of medical humanitarian organizations such as MSF.
    • Risks and seasonal pattern for mortality among hospitalized infants in a conflict-affected area of Pakistan, 2013-2016. A retrospective chart review.

      van Deursen, B; Lenglet, A; Ariti, C; Hussain, B; Karsten, J; Roggeveen, H; Price, D; Fernhout, J; Abdi, A; Carrion Martin, AI (F1000Research, 2019-06-24)
      Background: In recent years, Médecins Sans Frontières has observed high mortality rates among hospitalized infants in Pakistan. We describe the clinical characteristics of the infants admitted between 2013 and 2016 in order to acquire a better understanding on the risk factors for mortality. Methods: We analyzed routinely collected medical data from infants (<7 months) admitted in Chaman and Dera Murad Jamali (DMJ) hospitals. The association between clinical characteristics and mortality was estimated using Poisson regression. Results: Between 2013 and 2016, 5,214 children were admitted (male/female ratio: 1.60) and 1,178 (23%) died. Days since admission was associated with a higher risk of mortality and decreased with each extra day of admission after seven days. The first 48 hours of admission was strongly associated with a higher risk of mortality. A primary diagnosis of tetanus, necrotizing enterocolitis, prematurity, sepsis and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy were strongly associated with higher rates of mortality. We observed an annual peak in the mortality rate in September. Conclusions: The first days of admission are critical for infant survival. Furthermore, the found male/female ratio was exceedingly higher than the national ratio of Pakistan. The observed seasonality in mortality rate by week has not been previously reported. It is fully recommended to do further in-depth research on male/female ratio differences and the reasons behind the annual peaks in mortality rate by week.