• 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)
    • 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.
    • Negative pressure wound therapy versus standard treatment in patients with acute conflict-related extremity wounds: a pragmatic, multisite, randomised controlled trial

      Älgå, A; Haweizy, R; Bashaireh, K; Wong, S; Lundgren, KC; von Schreeb, J; Malmstedt, J (Elsevier, 2020-03-01)
      Background: In armed conflict, injuries among civilians are usually complex and commonly affect the extremities. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is an alternative to standard treatment of acute conflict-related extremity wounds. We aimed to compare the safety and effectiveness of NPWT with that of standard treatment. Methods: In this pragmatic, randomised, controlled superiority trial done at two civilian hospitals in Jordan and Iraq, we recruited patients aged 18 years or older, presenting with a conflict-related extremity wound within 72 h after injury. Participants were assigned (1:1) to receive either NPWT or standard treatment. We used a predefined, computer-generated randomisation list with three block sizes. Participants and their treating physicians were not masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was wound closure by day 5. The coprimary endpoint was net clinical benefit, defined as a composite of wound closure by day 5 and freedom from any bleeding, wound infection, sepsis, or amputation of the index limb. Analysis was by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02444598, and is closed to accrual. Findings: Between June 9, 2015, and Oct 24, 2018, 174 patients were randomly assigned to either the NPWT group (n=88) or the standard treatment group (n=86). Five patients in the NPWT group and four in the standard treatment group were excluded from the intention-to-treat analysis. By day 5, 41 (49%) of 83 participants in the NPWT group and 49 (60%) of 82 participants in the standard treatment group had closed wounds, with an absolute difference of 10 percentage points (95% CI -5 to 25, p=0·212; risk ratio [RR] 0·83, 95% CI 0·62 to 1·09). Net clinical benefit was seen in 33 (41%) of 81 participants in the NPWT group and 34 (44%) of 78 participants in the standard treatment group, with an absolute difference of 3 percentage points (95% CI -12 to 18, p=0·750; RR 0·93, 95% CI 0·65 to 1·35). There was one in-hospital death in the standard treatment group and none in the NPWT group. The proportion of participants with sepsis, bleeding leading to blood transfusion, and limb amputation did not differ between groups. Interpretation: NPWT did not yield superior clinical outcomes compared with standard treatment for acute conflict-related extremity wounds. The results of this study not only question the use of NPWT, but also question the tendency for new and costly treatments to be introduced into resource-limited conflict settings without supporting evidence for their effectiveness. This study shows that high-quality, randomised trials in challenging settings are possible, and our findings support the call for further research that will generate context-specific evidence. Funding: The Stockholm County Council, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, and Médecins Sans Frontières.
    • North American pediatric surgery fellows' preparedness for humanitarian surgery

      Traynor, MD; Trelles, M; Hernandez, MC; Dominguez, LB; Kushner, AL; Rivera, M; Zielinski, MD; Moir, CR (Elsevier, 2019-11-29)
      Introduction: The overwhelming burden of pediatric surgical need in humanitarian settings has prompted mutual interest between humanitarian organizations and pediatric surgeons. To assess adequate fit, we correlated pediatric surgery fellowship case mix and load with acute pediatric surgical relief efforts in conflict and disaster zones. Methods: We reviewed pediatric (age < 18) cases logged by the Médecins Sans Frontières Operational Centre Brussels (MSF-OCB) from a previously validated and published database spanning 2008-2014 and cases performed by American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) pediatric surgery graduates from 2008 to 2018. Non-operative management for trauma, endoscopic procedures, and basic wound care were excluded as they were not tracked in either dataset. ACGME procedures were classified under 1 of 32 MSF pediatric surgery procedure categories and compared using chi-squared tests. Results: ACGME fellows performed procedures in 44% of tracked MSF-OCB categories. Major MSF-OCB pediatric cases were comprised of 62% general surgery, 23% orthopedic surgery, 9% obstetrical surgery, 3% plastic/reconstructive surgery, 2% urogynecologic surgery, and 1% specialty surgery. In comparison, fellows' cases were 95% general surgery, 0% orthopedic surgery, 0% obstetrical surgery, 5% urogynecologic surgery, and 1% specialty surgery. Fellows more frequently performed abdominal, thoracic, other general surgical, urology/gynecologic, and specialty procedures, but performed fewer wound and burn procedures (all p < 0.05). Fellows received no experience in Cesarean section or open fracture repair. Fellows performed a greater proportion of surgeries for congenital conditions (p < 0.05). Conclusion: While ACGME pediatric surgical trainees receive significant training in general and urogynecologic surgical techniques, they lack sufficient case load for orthopedic and obstetrical care - a common need among children in humanitarian settings. Trainees and program directors should evaluate the fellow's role and scope in a global surgery rotation or provide advanced preparation to fill these gaps. Upon graduation, pediatric surgeons interested in humanitarian missions should seek out additional orthopedic and obstetrical training, or select missions that do not require such skillsets.
    • The short musculoskeletal functional assessment (SMFA) score amongst surgical patients with reconstructive lower limb injuries in war wounded civilians

      Teicher, C; Foote, N L; Al Ani, A M K; Alras, M S; Alqassab, S I; Baron, E; Ahmed, K; Herard, P; Fakhri, R M (Elsevier, 2014-10-24)
      The MSF programme in Jordan provides specialized reconstructive surgical care to war-wounded civilians in the region. The short musculoskeletal functional assessment score (SMFA) provides a method for quantitatively assessing functional status following orthopaedic trauma. In June 2010 the Amman team established SMFA as the standard for measuring patients' functional status. The objective of this retrospective study is to evaluate whether the SMFA scores can be useful for patients with chronic war injuries.