Mortality related to acute illness and injury in rural Uganda: task shifting to improve outcomes.
ABSTRACT: Due to the dual critical shortages of acute care and healthcare workers in resource-limited settings, many people suffer or die from conditions that could be easily treated if existing resources were used in a more timely and effective manner. In order to address this preventable morbidity and mortality, a novel emergency midlevel provider training program was developed in rural Uganda. This is the first study that assesses this unique application of a task-shifting model to acute care by evaluating the outcomes of 10,105 patients.Nurses participated in a two-year training program to become midlevel providers called Emergency Care Practitioners at a rural district hospital. This is a retrospective analysis of the Emergency Department's quality assurance database, including three-day follow-up data. Case fatality rates (CFRs) are reported as the percentage of cases with a specific diagnosis that died within three days of their Emergency Department visit.Overall, three-day mortality was 2.0%. The most common diagnoses of patients who died were malaria (n=60), pneumonia (n=51), malnutrition (n=21), and trauma (n=18). Overall and under-five CFRs were as follows: malaria, 2.0% and 1.9%; pneumonia, 5.5% and 4.1%; and trauma, 1.2% and 1.6%. Malnutrition-related fatality (all cases <18 years old) was 6.5% overall and 6.8% for under-fives.This study describes the outcomes of emergency patients treated by midlevel providers in a resource-limited setting. Our fatality rates are lower than previously published regional rates. These findings suggest this model of task-shifting can be successfully applied to acute care in order to address the shortage of emergency care services in similar settings as part of an integrated approach to health systems strengthening.
Project description:Little attention has been paid to asthma in 'under-fives' in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 'under-fives', acute asthma and pneumonia have similar clinical presentation and most children with acute respiratory symptoms are diagnosed with pneumonia according to the WHO criteria. The mortality associated with acute respiratory diseases in Uganda is high but improving, dropping from 24% in 2004 to 11.9% in 2012. We describe the immediate clinical outcomes of children with acute asthma and pneumonia and document the factors associated with prolonged hospitalization and mortality.We enrolled 614 children aged 2 to 59 months with acute respiratory symptoms presenting at the emergency paediatric unit of Mulago hospital. Clinical histories, physical examination, blood and radiological tests were done. Children with asthma and bronchiolitis were collectively referred to as 'Asthma syndrome'. Hospitalized children were monitored every 12 hours for a maximum of 7 days. Survival analysis was done to compare outcome of children with asthma and pneumonia. Cox regression analysis was done to determine factors associated with prolonged hospitalization and mortality.Overall mortality was 3.6%. The highest case fatality was due to pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (2/4) and pulmonary tuberculosis (2/7). None of the children with asthma syndrome died. Children with 'asthma syndrome' had a significantly shorter hospital stay compared to those with pneumonia (p<0.001). Factors independently associated with mortality included hypoxemia (HR = 10.7, 95% CI 1.4- 81.1) and severe malnutrition (HR = 5.7, 95% CI 2.1- 15.8). Factors independently associated with prolonged hospitalization among children with asthma syndrome included age less than 12 months (RR = 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.4), hypoxemia (RR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.7), and severe malnutrition (RR = 1.5 95% CI 1.3-1.8). Similar factors were associated with long duration of hospital stay among children with pneumonia.This study identified a sharp decline in acute respiratory mortality compared to the previous studies in Mulago hospital. This may be related to focus on and treatment of asthma in this study, and will be analysed in a later study. Bacterial pneumonia is still associated with high case fatality. Hypoxemia, severe malnutrition, and being an infant were associated with poor prognosis among children with acute asthma and pneumonia and need to be addressed in the management protocols.
Project description:Few studies have reported long-term data on mortality rates for children admitted to hospital with pneumonia in Africa. We examined trends in case fatality rates for all-cause clinical pneumonia and its risk factors in Malawian children between 2001 and 2012.Individual patient data for children (<5 years) with clinical pneumonia who were admitted to hospitals participating in Malawi's Child Lung Health Programme between 2001 and 2012 were recorded prospectively on a standardised medical form. We analysed trends in pneumonia mortality and children's clinical characteristics, and we estimated the association of risk factors with case fatality for children younger than 2 months, 2-11 months of age, and 12-59 months of age using separate multivariable mixed effects logistic regression models.Between November, 2012, and May, 2013, we retrospectively collected all available hard copies of yellow forms from 40 of 41 participating hospitals. We examined 113?154 pneumonia cases, 104?932 (92·7%) of whom had mortality data and 6903 of whom died, and calculated an overall case fatality rate of 6·6% (95% CI 6·4-6·7). The case fatality rate significantly decreased between 2001 (15·2% [13·4-17·1]) and 2012 (4·5% [4·1-4·9]; ptrend<0·0001). Univariable analyses indicated that the decrease in case fatality rate was consistent across most subgroups. In multivariable analyses, the risk factors significantly associated with increased odds of mortality were female sex, young age, very severe pneumonia, clinically suspected Pneumocystis jirovecii infection, moderate or severe underweight, severe acute malnutrition, disease duration of more than 21 days, and referral from a health centre. Increasing year between 2001 and 2012 and increasing age (in months) were associated with reduced odds of mortality. Fast breathing was associated with reduced odds of mortality in children 2-11 months of age. However, case fatality rate in 2012 remained high for children with very severe pneumonia (11·8%), severe undernutrition (15·4%), severe acute malnutrition (34·8%), and symptom duration of more than 21 days (9·0%).Pneumonia mortality and its risk factors have steadily improved in the past decade in Malawi; however, mortality remains high in specific subgroups. Improvements in hospital care may have reduced case fatality rates though a lack of sufficient data on quality of care indicators and the potential of socioeconomic and other improvements outside the hospital precludes adequate assessment of why case-fatality rates fell. Results from this study emphasise the importance of effective national systems for data collection. Further work combining this with data on trends in the incidence of pneumonia in the community are needed to estimate trends in the overall risk of mortality from pneumonia in children in Malawi.Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project description:Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of under-5 mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Clinical prediction tools may aide case classification, triage, and allocation of hospital resources. We performed an external validation of two published prediction tools and compared this to a locally developed tool to identify children admitted with pneumonia at increased risk for in-hospital mortality in Malawi.We retrospectively analyzed the performance of the Respiratory Index of Severity in Children (RISC) and modified RISC (mRISC) scores in a child pneumonia dataset prospectively collected during routine care at seven hospitals in Malawi between 2011-2014. RISC has both an HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected tool. A local score (RISC-Malawi) was developed using multivariable logistic regression with missing data multiply imputed using chained equations. Score performances were assessed using c-statistics, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and likelihood statistics.16,475 in-patient pneumonia episodes were recorded (case-fatality rate (CFR): 3.2%), 9,533 with complete data (CFR: 2.0%). The c-statistic for the RISC (HIV-uninfected) score, used to assess its ability to differentiate between children who survived to discharge and those that died, was 0.72. The RISC-Malawi score, using mid-upper arm circumference as an indicator of malnutrition severity, had a c-statistic of 0.79. We were unable to perform a comprehensive external validation of RISC (HIV-infected) and mRISC as both scores include parameters that were not routinely documented variables in our dataset.In our population of Malawian children with WHO-defined pneumonia, the RISC (HIV-uninfected) score identified those at high risk for in-hospital mortality. However the refinement of parameters and resultant creation of RISC-Malawi improved performance. Next steps include prospectively studying both scores to determine if incorporation into routine care delivery can have a meaningful impact on in-hospital CFRs of children with WHO-defined pneumonia.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Pneumonia remains the leading cause of hospitalisations and deaths among children aged <5 years. Diverse respiratory pathogens cause acute respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Here, we analysed viral and bacterial pathogens and risk factors associated with death of hospitalised children. DESIGN:A 9-year case series study. SETTING:Two secondary-care hospitals, one tertiary-care hospital and one research centre in the Philippines. PARTICIPANTS:5054 children aged <5 years hospitalised with severe pneumonia. METHODS:Nasopharyngeal swabs for virus identification, and venous blood samples for bacterial culture were collected. Demographic, clinical data and laboratory findings were collected at admission time. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the factors associated with death. RESULTS:Of the enrolled patients, 57% (2876/5054) were males. The case fatality rate was 4.7% (238/5054), showing a decreasing trend during the study period (p<0.001). 55.0% of the patients who died were either moderately or severely underweight. Viruses were detected in 61.0% of the patients, with respiratory syncytial virus (27.0%) and rhinovirus (23.0%) being the most commonly detected viruses. In children aged 2-59 months, the risk factors significantly associated with death included age of 2-5 months, sensorial changes, severe malnutrition, grunting, central cyanosis, decreased breath sounds, tachypnoea, fever (≥38.5°C), saturation of peripheral oxygen <90%, infiltration, consolidation and pleural effusion on chest radiograph.Among the pathogens, adenovirus type 7, seasonal influenza A (H1N1) and positive blood culture for bacteria were significantly associated with death. Similar patterns were observed between the death cases and the aforementioned factors in children aged <2 months. CONCLUSION:Malnutrition was the most common factor associated with death and addressing this issue may decrease the case fatality rate. In addition, chest radiographic examination and oxygen saturation measurement should be promoted in all hospitalised patients with pneumonia as well as bacteria detection to identify patients who are at risk of death.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in December 2019; the outbreak was caused by a novel coronavirus previously never observed in humans. China has imposed the strictest quarantine and closed management measures in history to control the spread of the disease. However, a high level of evidence to support the surgical management of potential trauma patients during the novel coronavirus outbreak is still lacking. To regulate the emergency treatment of trauma patients during the outbreak, we drafted this paper from a trauma surgeon perspective according to practical experience in Wuhan. MAIN BODY:The article illustrates the general principles for the triage and evaluation of trauma patients during the outbreak of COVID-19, indications for emergency surgery, and infection prevention and control for medical personnel, providing a practical algorithm for trauma care providers during the outbreak period. CONCLUSIONS:The measures of emergency trauma care that we have provided can protect the medical personnel involved in emergency care and ensure the timeliness of effective interventions during the outbreak of COVID-19.
Project description:In the past decade, the Republic of Ireland has undertaken significant reconfiguration programmes to improve emergency services. During this time the public healthcare system experienced a large real decrease in resources. This study assesses national and regional population outcomes over the period 2002-2014, and whether changes coincide with system reconfiguration and the financial restrictions imposed by the 2008 recession.Case fatality ratios (CFRs) were constructed for emergency conditions for 2002-2014. Total emergency conditions and individual condition trends were analysed nationally using joinpoint analysis. National results informed the investigation of trends at a regional and county level using an inverse standard error weighted generalised linear model with a log link to construct funnel plots. County-level CFRs were compared for the first and last 3 years of the period to further investigate the changes to county results over the 13 year period, specifically in comparison to the national-level CFR.Nationally, there was an annual fall in CFRs (2.1%). The decline was faster from 2002 to 2007 (annual percentage change?=?-?3.4; 95% CI-4.4, -?2.4), compared to 2007-2014 (annual percentage change?=?-?1.2; 95% CI -1.9, -?0.5). The South-East had a lower rate of decrease and the West had a higher rate. Cross sectional analysis of two periods (2002-2004 and 2012-2014) showed high consistency in the counties performance relative to the national CFR in both periods.Change in the national trend coincided with the onset of economic stress on the public health system. Attributing the decline in CFR improvement to economic factors is weakened by the uneven nature of the trend change. No distinct pattern of change was identified among regions which underwent substantial reconfiguration of emergency services.
Project description:Background:The literature indicates that cardiovascular disease (CVD; including stroke), older age, and availability of health care resources affect COVID-19 case fatality rates (CFRs). The cumulative effect of COVID-19 CFRs in global CVD populations and the extrapolated effect on access to health care services in the CVD population in Canada are not fully known. In this study we explored the relationships of factors that might affect COVID-19 CFRs and estimated the potential indirect effects of COVID-19 on Canadian health care resources. Methods:Country-level epidemiological data were analyzed to study the correlation, main effect, and interaction between COVID-19 CFRs and: (1) the proportion of the population with CVD; (2) the proportion of the population 65 years of age or older; and (3) the availability of essential health services as defined by the World Health Organization Universal Health Coverage index. For indirect implications on health care resources, estimates of the volume of postponed coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous coronary intervention, and valve surgeries in Ontario were calculated. Results:Positive correlations were found between COVID-19 CFRs and: (1) the proportion of the population with CVD (? = 0.40; P = 0.001); (2) the proportion of the population 65 years of age or older (? = 0.43; P = 0.0005); and (3) Universal Health Coverage index (? = 0.27; P = 0.03). For every 1% increase in the proportion of the population 65 years of age or older or proportion of the population with CVD, the COVID-19 CFR was 9% and 19% higher, respectively. Approximately 1252 procedures would be postponed monthly in Ontario because of current public health measures. Conclusions:Countries with more prevalent CVD reported higher COVID-19 CFRs. Strain on health care resources is likely in Canada.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To explore the reasons why lay community first responders (CFRs) volunteer to participate in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest response and the realities of their experience in providing this service to the community. DESIGN:A qualitative study, using in-depth semistructured interviews that were recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was undertaken and credibility checks conducted. SETTING:Nine geographically varied lay CFR schemes throughout Ireland. PARTICIPANTS:Twelve experienced CFRs. RESULTS:CFRs were motivated to participate based on a variety of factors. These included altruistic, social and pre-existing emergency care interest. A proportion of CFRs may volunteer because of experience of cardiac arrest or illness in a relative. Sophisticated structures and complex care appear to underpin CFR involvement in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Strategic and organisational issues, multifaceted cardiac arrest care and the psychosocial impact of participation were considered. CONCLUSIONS:Health systems that facilitate CFR out-of-hospital cardiac arrest response should consider a variety of relevant issues. These issues include the suitability of those that volunteer, complexities of resuscitation/end-of-life care, responder psychological welfare as well as CFRs' core role of providing early basic life support and defibrillation in the community.
Project description:In low-resource settings, inpatient case fatality for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) remains high despite evidenced-based protocols and resources to treat SAM. Key reasons include a combination of insufficiently trained staff, poor teamwork and inadequate compliance to WHO treatment guidelines which are proven to reduce mortality. Checklists have been used in surgery and obstetrics to ameliorate similarly complicated yet repetitive work processes and may be a key strategy to improving inpatient SAM protocol adherence and reducing unnecessary death. Here, we share our experience developing and piloting an inpatient malnutrition checklist (MLNC) for children 6 to 59 months and associated scoring system to coordinate care delivery, improve team documentation, strengthen WHO malnutrition protocol adherence and facilitate quality improvement in a district hospital in rural Rwanda. MLNC was developed after careful review of the 2009 Rwandan National Nutrition Protocol and 2013 WHO malnutrition guidelines. Critical steps were harmonized, extracted and designed into an initial MLNC with input from pediatric ward nurses, doctors, a locally based pediatrician and a registered dietitian. A scoring system was developed to facilitate quality improvement. Using the standard Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, MLNC was modified and progress assessed on a monthly to bimonthly basis. Significant modifications occurred in the first 6 months of piloting including incorporation of treatment reminders and formatting improvements, as well as initiation of the MLNC from the emergency department. The MLNC is the first checklist to be developed that unifies WHO 10 steps of treatment of inpatient SAM with local standards. Anecdotally, MLNC was observed to identify gaps in key malnutrition care, promote protocol adherence and facilitate quality improvement. Data gathering on the MLNC local facility impact is underway. Collaborative international efforts are needed to create an inpatient malnutrition checklist for wider use to improve quality and reduce unnecessary, facility-based child mortality.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak infected 8,422 individuals leading to 916 deaths around the world. However, there have been few epidemiological studies of SARS comparing epidemiologic features across regions. The aim of this study is to identify similarities and differences in SARS epidemiology in three populations with similar host and viral genotype. METHODS: We present a comparative epidemiologic analysis of SARS, based on an integrated dataset with 3,336 SARS patients from Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan, epidemiological and clinical characteristics such as incubation, onset-to-admission, onset-to-discharge and onset-to-death periods, case fatality ratios (CFRs) and presenting symptoms are described and compared between regions. We further explored the influence of demographic and clinical variables on the apparently large differences in CFRs between the three regions. RESULTS: All three regions showed similar incubation periods and progressive shortening of the onset-to-admission interval through the epidemic. Adjusted for sex, health care worker status and nosocomial setting, older age was associated with a higher fatality, with adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 2.10 (95% confidence interval: 1.45, 3.04) for those aged 51-60; AOR: 4.57 (95% confidence interval: 3.32, 7.30) for those aged above 60 compared to those aged 41-50 years. Presence of pre-existing comorbid conditions was also associated with greater mortality (AOR: 1.74; 95% confidence interval: 1.36, 2.21). CONCLUSION: The large discrepancy in crude fatality ratios across the three regions can only be partly explained by epidemiological and clinical heterogeneities. Our findings underline the importance of a common data collection platform, especially in an emerging epidemic, in order to identify and explain consistencies and differences in the eventual clinical and public health outcomes of infectious disease outbreaks, which is becoming increasingly important in our highly interconnected world.