• Are American Surgical Residents Prepared for Humanitarian Deployment?: A Comparative Analysis of Resident and Humanitarian Case Logs

      Lin, Y; Dahm, J; Kushner, A; Lawrence, J; Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Kuwayama, D (Springer International Publishing, 2017-08-04)
      Effective humanitarian surgeons require skills in general surgery, OB/GYN, orthopedics, and urology. With increasing specialization, it is unclear whether US general surgery residents are receiving exposure to these disparate fields. We sought to assess the preparedness of graduating American surgical residents for humanitarian deployment.
    • Association Between Gender, Surgery and Mortality for Patients Treated at Médecins Sans Frontières Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

      Tounsi, LL; Daebes, HL; Warnberg, MG; Jaweed, M; Mamozai, BA; Nasim, M; Drevin, G; Trelles, M; von Schreeb, J (Springer, 2019-05-07)
      INTRODUCTION: There is paucity of literature describing type of injury and care for females in conflicts. This study aimed to describe the injury pattern and outcome in terms of surgery and mortality for female patients presenting to Médecins Sans Frontières Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, and compare them with males. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study retrospectively analysed patient data from 17,916 patients treated at the emergency department in Kunduz between January and September 2015, before its destruction by aerial bombing in October the same year. Routinely collected data on patient characteristics, injury patterns, triage category, time to arrival and outcome were retrieved and analysed. Comparative analyses were conducted using logistic regression. RESULTS: Females constituted 23.6% of patients. Burns and back injuries were more common among females (1.4% and 3.3%) than among males (0.6% and 2.0%). In contrast, open wounds and thoracic injuries were more common among males (10.1% and 0.6%) than among females (5.2% and 0.2%). Females were less likely to undergo surgery (OR 0.60, CI 0.528-0.688), and this remained significant after adjustment for age, nature of injury, triage category, multiple injuries and delay to arrival (OR 0.80, CI 0.690-0.926). Females also had lower unadjusted odds of mortality (OR 0.49, CI 0.277-0.874), but this was not significant in the adjusted analysis (OR 0.81, CI 0.446-1.453). CONCLUSION: Our main findings suggest that females seeking care at Kunduz Trauma Centre arrived later, had different injury patterns and were less likely to undergo surgery as compared to males.
    • Averted Health Burden Over 4 Years at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Trauma Centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Prior to its Closure in 2015

      Trelles, M; Stewart, B T; Hemat, H; Naseem, M; Zaheer, S; Zakir, M; Adel, E; Van Overloop, C; Kushner, A L (Elsevier, 2016-07)
    • Cesarean Section Surgical Site Infections in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Country Study from Medecins Sans Frontieres

      Chu, K; Maine, R; Trelles, M (SpringerLink, 2014-10-31)
      Surgical site infections (SSI) are a significant cause of post-surgical morbidity and mortality and can be an indicator of surgical quality. The objectives of this study were to measure post-operative SSI after cesarean section (CS) at four sites in three sub-Saharan African countries and to describe the associated risk factors in order to improved quality of care in low and middle income surgical programs.
    • Comparison of Operative Logbook Experience of Australian General Surgical Trainees With Surgeons Deployed on Humanitarian Missions: What Can Be Learnt for the Future?

      Coventry, CA; Dominguez, L; Read, DJ; Trelles, M; Ivers, RQ; Montazerolghaem, M; Holland, AJA (Elsevier, 2019-08-23)
      OBJECTIVE: General surgical training in Australia has undergone considerable change in recent years with less exposure to other areas of surgery. General surgeons from many high-income countries have played important roles in assisting with the provision of surgical care in low- and middle-income countries during sudden-onset disasters (SODs) as part of emergency medical teams (EMTs). It is not known if contemporary Australian general surgeons are receiving the broad surgical training required for work in EMTs. DESIGN: Logbook data on the surgical procedures performed by Australian general surgical trainees were obtained from General Surgeons Australia (GSA) for the time period February 2008 to February 2017. Surgical procedures performed by Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) surgeons during 5 projects in 3 SODs (the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2013 Philippines typhoon and the 2015 Nepal earthquake) were obtained from previously published data for 6 months following each disaster. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This was carried out at the University of Sydney with input from MSF Operational Centre Brussels and GSA. RESULTS: Australian general surgical trainees performed a mean of 2107 surgical procedures (excluding endoscopy) during their training (10 6-month rotations). Common procedures included abdominal wall hernia repairs (268, 12.7%), cholecystectomies (247, 11.8%), and specialist colorectal procedures (242, 11.5%). MSF surgeons performed a total of 3542 surgical procedures across the 5 projects analyzed. Common procedures included Caesarean sections (443, 12.5%), wound debridement (1115, 31.5%), and other trauma-related procedures (472, 13.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Australian general surgical trainees receive exposure to both essential and advanced general surgery but lack exposure to specialty procedures including the obstetric and orthopedic procedures commonly performed by MSF surgeons after SODs. Further training in these areas would likely be beneficial for general surgeons prior to deployment with an EMT.
    • A Consensus Framework for the Humanitarian Surgical Response to Armed Conflict in 21st Century Warfare

      Wren, S; Wild, H; Gurney, J; Amirtharajah, M; Osmers, I; Pagano, H; Trelles, M; Brown, ZW; Burckle, FM (2019-11-13)
      Importance: Armed conflict in the 21st century poses new challenges to a humanitarian surgical response, including changing security requirements, access to patients, and communities in need, limited deployable surgical assets, resource constraints, and the requirement to address both traumatic injuries as well as emergency surgical needs of the population. At the same time, recent improvements in trauma care and systems have reduced injury-related mortality. This combination of new challenges and medical capabilities warrants reconsideration of long-standing humanitarian surgery protocols. Objective: To describe a consensus framework for surgical care designed to respond to this emerging need. Design, Setting, and Participants: An international group of 35 representatives from humanitarian agencies, US military, and academic trauma programs was invited to the Stanford Humanitarian Surgical Response in Conflict Working Group to engage in a structured process to review extant trauma protocols and make recommendations for revision. Main Outcomes and Measures: The working group's method adapted core elements of a modified Delphi process combined with consensus development conference from August 3 to August 5, 2018. Results: Lessons from civilian and military trauma systems as well as recent battlefield experiences in humanitarian settings were integrated into a tiered continuum of response from point of injury through rehabilitation. The framework addresses the security and medical requirements as well as ethical and legal principles that guide humanitarian action. The consensus framework includes trained, lay first responders; far-forward resuscitation/stabilization centers; rapid damage control surgical access; and definitive care facilities. The system also includes nontrauma surgical care, injury prevention, quality improvement, data collection, and predeployment training requirements. Conclusions and Relevance: Evidence suggests that modern trauma systems save lives. However, the requirements of providing this standard of care in insecure conflict settings places new burdens on humanitarian systems that must provide both emergency and trauma surgical care. This consensus framework integrates advances in trauma care and surgical systems in response to a changing security environment. It is possible to reduce disparities and improve the standard of care in these settings.
    • Emergency Obstetric Care in a Rural District of Burundi: What Are the Surgical Needs?

      De Plecker, E; Zachariah, R; Kumar, A M V; Trelles, M; Caluwaerts, S; van den Boogaard, W; Manirampa, J; Tayler-Smith, K; Manzi, M; Nanan-N'zeth, K; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2017-02-07)
      In a rural district hospital in Burundi offering Emergency Obstetric care-(EmOC), we assessed the a) characteristics of women at risk of, or with an obstetric complication and their types b) the number and type of obstetric surgical procedures and anaesthesia performed c) human resource cadres who performed surgery and anaesthesia and d) hospital exit outcomes.
    • Improving Effective Surgical Delivery in Humanitarian Disasters: Lessons from Haiti

      Chu, K; Stokes, C; Trelles, M; Ford, N; Médecins sans Frontières, Cape Town, South Africa; Medecins sans Frontieres, Brussels, Belgium; Medecins sans Frontieres, Geneva, Switzerland (2011-04-26)
      Kathryn Chu and colleagues describe the experiences of Médecins sans Frontières after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and discuss how to improve delivery of surgery in humanitarian disasters.
    • Introduction of a standardised protocol, including systematic use of tranexamic acid, for management of severe adult trauma patients in a low-resource setting: the MSF experience from Port-au-Prince, Haiti

      Jachetti, A; Massenat, RB; Edema, N; Woolley, SC; Benedetti, G; Van Den Bergh, R; Trelles, M (BioMed Central, 2019-10-18)
      Background Bleeding is an important cause of death in trauma victims. In 2010, the CRASH-2 study, a multicentre randomized control trial on the effect of tranexamic acid (TXA) administration to trauma patients with suspected significant bleeding, reported a decreased mortality in randomized patients compared to placebo. Currently, no evidence on the use of TXA in humanitarian, low-resource settings is available. We aimed to measure the hospital outcomes of adult patients with severe traumatic bleeding in the Médecins Sans Frontières Tabarre Trauma Centre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, before and after the implementation of a Massive Haemorrhage protocol including systematic early administration of TXA. Methods Patients admitted over comparable periods of four months (December2015- March2016 and December2016 - March2017) before and after the implementation of the Massive Haemorrhage protocol were investigated. Included patients had blunt or penetrating trauma, a South Africa Triage Score ≥ 7, were aged 18–65 years and were admitted within 3 h from the traumatic event. Measured outcomes were hospital mortality and early mortality rates, in-hospital time to discharge and time to discharge from intensive care unit. Results One-hundred and sixteen patients met inclusion criteria. Patients treated after the introduction of the Massive Haemorrhage protocol had about 70% less chance of death during hospitalization compared to the group “before” (adjusted odds ratio 0.3, 95%confidence interval 0.1–0.8). They also had a significantly shorter hospital length of stay (p = 0.02). Conclusions Implementing a Massive Haemorrhage protocol including early administration of TXA was associated with the reduced mortality and hospital stay of severe adult blunt and penetrating trauma patients in a context with poor resources and limited availability of blood products.
    • Operative mortality in resource-limited settings: the experience of Medecins Sans Frontieres in 13 countries.

      Chu, K M; Ford, N; Trelles, M; Medecines Sans Frontieres (2010-08)
      OBJECTIVE: To determine operative mortality in surgical programs from resource-limited settings. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study of 17 surgical programs in 13 developing countries by 1 humanitarian organization, Médecins Sans Frontières, was performed between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2008. Participants included patients undergoing surgical procedures. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Operative mortality. Determinants of mortality were modeled using logistic regression. RESULTS: Between 2001 and 2008, 19,643 procedures were performed on 18,653 patients. Among these, 8329 procedures (42%) were emergent; 7933 (40%) were for obstetric-related pathology procedures and 2767 (14%) were trauma related. Operative mortality was 0.2% (31 deaths) and was associated with programs in conflict settings (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.6; P = .001), procedures performed under emergency conditions (AOR = 20.1; P = .004), abdominal surgical procedures (AOR = 3.4; P = .003), hysterectomy (AOR = 12.3; P = .001), and American Society of Anesthesiologists classifications of 3 to 5 (AOR = 20.2; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Surgical care can be provided safely in resource-limited settings with appropriate minimum standards and protocols. Studies on the burden of surgical disease in these populations are needed to improve service planning and delivery. Quality improvement programs are needed for the various stakeholders involved in surgical delivery in these settings.
    • Operative Procedures in the Elderly in Low-Resource Settings: A Review of Médecins Sans Frontières Facilities

      Wong, E G; Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Mupenda Mwania, J; Kasonga Tshibangu, C; Haq Saqeb, S; Hazrati, K U R; Gupta, S; Burnham, G; Kushner, A L (SpringerLink, 2014-12-02)
      As the demographic transition occurs across developing countries, an increasing number of elderly individuals are affected by disasters and conflicts. This study aimed to evaluate the elderly population that underwent an operative procedure at MSF facilities.
    • Operative Procedures in the Elderly in Low-Resource Settings: A Review of Médecins Sans Frontières Facilities: Reply

      Wong, E G; Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Mupenda Mwania, J; Kasonga Tshibangu, C; Saqeb, S H; Hazrati, K U R; Gupta, S; Burnham, G; Kushner, A L (SpringerLink, 2015-04-22)
    • Providing Anesthesia Care in Resource-limited Settings: A 6-year Analysis of Anesthesia Services Provided at Médecins Sans Frontières Facilities

      Ariyo, P; Trelles, M; Helmand, R; Amir, Y; Hassani, G H; Mftavyanka, J; Nzeyimana, Z; Akemani, C; Ntawukiruwabo, I B; Charles, A; et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016-03-01)
      Anesthesia is integral to improving surgical care in low-resource settings. Anesthesia providers who work in these areas should be familiar with the particularities associated with providing care in these settings, including the types and outcomes of commonly performed anesthetic procedures.
    • Providing surgical care in Somalia: A model of task shifting.

      Chu, K M; Ford, N P; Trelles, M; Médecins sans Frontières, 49 Jorrisen St, Braamfontein 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa. kathryn_chu@yahoo.com. (2011-07)
      ABSTRACT:
    • Quality of Care in Humanitarian Surgery

      Chu, K M; Trelles, M; Ford, N P; Médecins Sans Frontières-South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; Médecins Sans Frontières–Belgium, Brussels, Belgium (2011-04-13)
      Humanitarian surgical programs are set up de novo, within days or hours in emergency or disaster settings. In such circumstances, insuring quality of care is extremely challenging. Basic structural inputs such as a safe structure, electricity, clean water, a blood bank, sterilization equipment, a post-anesthesia recovery unit, appropriate medications should be established. Currently, no specific credentials are needed for surgeons to operate in a humanitarian setting; the training of more humanitarian surgeons is desperately needed. Standard perioperative protocols for the humanitarian setting after common procedures such as Cesarean section, burn care, open fractures, and amputations and antibiotic prophylaxis, and post-operative pain management must be developed. Outcome data, especially long-term outcomes, are difficult to collect as patients often do not return for follow-up and may be difficult to trace; standard databases for post-operative infections and mortality rates should be established. Checklists have recently received significant attention as an instrument to support the improvement of surgical quality; knowing which items are most applicable to humanitarian settings remains unknown. In conclusion, the quality of surgical services in humanitarian settings must be regulated. Many other core medical activities of humanitarian organizations such as therapeutic feeding, mass vaccination, and the treatment of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus, are subject to rigorous reporting of quality indicators. There is no reason why surgery should be exempted from quality oversight. The surgical humanitarian community should pull together before the next disaster strikes.
    • Regional Anesthesia for Painful Injuries after Disasters (RAPID): Study Protocol For A Randomized Controlled Trial

      Levine, AC; Teicher, C; Aluisio, AR; Wiskel, T; Valles, P; Trelles, M; Glavis-Bloom, J; Grais, RF (BioMed Central, 2016-11-14)
      Lower extremity trauma during earthquakes accounts for the largest burden of disaster-related injuries. Insufficient pain management is common in resource-limited disaster settings, and regional anesthesia (RA) may reduce pain in injured patients beyond current standards of care. To date, no controlled trials have been conducted to evaluate the use of RA for pain management in a disaster setting.
    • Rethinking surgical care in conflict.

      Chu, K; Trelles, M; Ford, N; Médecins Sans Frontières, Braamfontein 2017, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. (2010-01-23)
    • Surgeons Without Borders: A Brief History of Surgery at Médecins Sans Frontières.

      Chu, K; Rosseel, P; Trelles, M; Gielis, P; Médecins Sans Frontières, 49 Jorrisen St., Braamfontein 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa, kathryn.chu@joburg.msf.org. (2009-08-12)
      Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a humanitarian organization that performs emergency and elective surgical services in both conflict and non-conflict settings in over 70 countries. In 2006 MSF surgeons departed on approximately 125 missions, and over 64,000 surgical interventions were carried out in some 20 countries worldwide. Historically, the majority of MSF surgical projects began in response to conflicts or natural disasters. During an emergency response, MSF has resources to set up major operating facilities within 48 h in remote areas. One of MSF strengths is its supply chain. Large pre-packaged surgical kits, veritable "operating theatres to go," can be readied in enormous crates and quickly loaded onto planes. In more stable contexts, MSF has also strengthened the delivery of surgical services within a country's public health system. The MSF surgeon is the generalist in the broadest sense and performs vascular, obstetrical, orthopaedic, and other specialized surgical procedures. The organization aims to provide surgical services only temporarily. When there is a decrease in acute needs a program will be closed, or more importantly, turned over to the Ministry of Health or another non-governmental organization. The long-term solution to alleviating the global burden of surgical disease lies in building up a domestic surgical workforce capable of responding to the major causes of surgery-related morbidity and mortality. However, given that even countries with the resources of the United States suffer from an insufficiency of surgeons, the need for international emergency organizations to provide surgical assistance during acute emergencies will remain for the foreseeable future.
    • Surgery in low-income countries during crisis: experience at Médecins Sans Frontières facilities in 20 countries between 2008 and 2014

      Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Stewart, B (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015-04-16)
      The global burden of trauma and surgical conditions fall disproportionately on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).(1, 2) Inopportunely, developing countries are least equipped to provide essential surgical care.(3) Consequently, LMICs have a significant burden of unmet surgical needs.(4) When these fragile health systems are disrupted by conflict, a natural disaster or an epidemic the volume and quality of surgical care decreases even further. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    • Surgical Burn Care by Médecins Sans Frontières-Operations Center Brussels: 2008 to 2014.

      Stewart, B; Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Wong, E; Fiozounam, H T; Hassani, G H; Akemani, C; Naseer, A; Ntawukiruwabo, I B; Kushner, A (Wolters Kluwer, 2015-08-27)
      Humanitarian organizations care for burns during crisis and while supporting healthcare facilities in low-income and middle-income countries. This study aimed to define the epidemiology of burn-related procedures to aid humanitarian response. In addition, operational data collected from humanitarian organizations are useful for describing surgical need otherwise unmet by national health systems. Procedures performed in operating theatres run by Médecins Sans Frontières-Operations Centre Brussels (MSF-OCB) from July 2008 through June 2014 were reviewed. Surgical specialist missions were excluded. Burn procedures were quantified, related to demographics and reason for humanitarian response, and described. A total of 96,239 operations were performed at 27 MSF-OCB projects in 15 countries between 2008 and 2014. Of the 33,947 general surgical operations, 4,280 (11%) were for burns. This proportion steadily increased from 3% in 2008 to 24% in 2014. People receiving surgical care from conflict relief missions had nearly twice the odds of having a burn operation compared with people requiring surgery in communities affected by natural disaster (adjusted odds ratio, 1.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.46-2.58). Nearly 70% of burn procedures were planned serial visits to the theatre. A diverse skill set was required. Unmet humanitarian assistance needs increased US$400 million dollars in 2013 in the face of an increasing number of individuals affected by crisis and a growing surgical burden. Given the high volume of burn procedures performed at MSF-OCB projects and the resource intensive nature of burn management, requisite planning and reliable funding are necessary to ensure quality for burn care in humanitarian settings.