Advanced

Surgical Care in Liberia and Implications for Capacity Building

Chao, T. E.; Patel, P. B.; Kikubaire, M.; Niescierenko, M.; Hagander, Lars LU and Meara, J. G. (2015) In World Journal of Surgery 39(9). p.2140-2146
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Situational needs of health care facilities inform the optimal allocation of resources and quality improvement efforts. This study examines surgical care delivery metrics at a tertiary care institution in Liberia. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed operative and ward logbooks from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Data parameters included patients' age, diagnosis, procedure, mortality, and perioperative provider information. RESULTS: In 2012, 1,036 operations were performed. The breakdown of adult surgical cases reveals 452 (45.1 %) general surgery operations, 192 (18.5 %) orthopedic operations, and 180 (17.4 %) ophthalmic operations. Other significant case volume included urologic 53 (5.1 %), ENT 36 (3.5 %), neurosurgical 31... (More)
BACKGROUND: Situational needs of health care facilities inform the optimal allocation of resources and quality improvement efforts. This study examines surgical care delivery metrics at a tertiary care institution in Liberia. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed operative and ward logbooks from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Data parameters included patients' age, diagnosis, procedure, mortality, and perioperative provider information. RESULTS: In 2012, 1,036 operations were performed. The breakdown of adult surgical cases reveals 452 (45.1 %) general surgery operations, 192 (18.5 %) orthopedic operations, and 180 (17.4 %) ophthalmic operations. Other significant case volume included urologic 53 (5.1 %), ENT 36 (3.5 %), neurosurgical 31 (3.0 %), vascular 24 (2.3 %), and plastic 14 (1.4 %) operations. Pediatric patients accounted for 24.5 % (243) of surgical cases, and 9 % of pediatric surgical cases were for hydrocephalus. General, spinal, and total intravenous anesthesia was provided by non-physician personnel, except when surgeons provided their own anesthesia. Ward logs documented 7.4 % mortality among all patients admitted to the surgical ward, most of which occurred after exploratory laparotomy (44 %), in burn (14 %) patients, and in patients with head/neck emergencies (12 %). CONCLUSIONS: This operative log review can be used to identify surgical practice patterns, needs, and deficits in order to inform the growth of surgical capacity at Liberia's only tertiary medical institution. Using this data to identify critical areas of high-yield operations (e.g., for pediatric hydrocephalus), or excessively high mortality rates (e.g., in burn care), can focus the direction of limited resources toward areas of need. While the heavy reliance on non-consultant surgeons reflects human capacity shortages and a pressing need for postgraduate training programs, identifying the breadth of surgical expertise demonstrated in these operative logs reveals the proficiencies required of surgeons to provide comprehensive surgical care in this setting. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
World Journal of Surgery
volume
39
issue
9
pages
2140 - 2146
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000359447800006
  • scopus:84938991755
ISSN
1432-2323
DOI
10.1007/s00268-014-2905-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
416c19b5-dcf8-4514-b3fc-df2476b6d7e4 (old id 7695844)
date added to LUP
2015-07-28 15:10:45
date last changed
2017-06-20 13:54:43
@article{416c19b5-dcf8-4514-b3fc-df2476b6d7e4,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: Situational needs of health care facilities inform the optimal allocation of resources and quality improvement efforts. This study examines surgical care delivery metrics at a tertiary care institution in Liberia. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed operative and ward logbooks from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Data parameters included patients' age, diagnosis, procedure, mortality, and perioperative provider information. RESULTS: In 2012, 1,036 operations were performed. The breakdown of adult surgical cases reveals 452 (45.1 %) general surgery operations, 192 (18.5 %) orthopedic operations, and 180 (17.4 %) ophthalmic operations. Other significant case volume included urologic 53 (5.1 %), ENT 36 (3.5 %), neurosurgical 31 (3.0 %), vascular 24 (2.3 %), and plastic 14 (1.4 %) operations. Pediatric patients accounted for 24.5 % (243) of surgical cases, and 9 % of pediatric surgical cases were for hydrocephalus. General, spinal, and total intravenous anesthesia was provided by non-physician personnel, except when surgeons provided their own anesthesia. Ward logs documented 7.4 % mortality among all patients admitted to the surgical ward, most of which occurred after exploratory laparotomy (44 %), in burn (14 %) patients, and in patients with head/neck emergencies (12 %). CONCLUSIONS: This operative log review can be used to identify surgical practice patterns, needs, and deficits in order to inform the growth of surgical capacity at Liberia's only tertiary medical institution. Using this data to identify critical areas of high-yield operations (e.g., for pediatric hydrocephalus), or excessively high mortality rates (e.g., in burn care), can focus the direction of limited resources toward areas of need. While the heavy reliance on non-consultant surgeons reflects human capacity shortages and a pressing need for postgraduate training programs, identifying the breadth of surgical expertise demonstrated in these operative logs reveals the proficiencies required of surgeons to provide comprehensive surgical care in this setting.},
  author       = {Chao, T. E. and Patel, P. B. and Kikubaire, M. and Niescierenko, M. and Hagander, Lars and Meara, J. G.},
  issn         = {1432-2323},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {2140--2146},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {World Journal of Surgery},
  title        = {Surgical Care in Liberia and Implications for Capacity Building},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-014-2905-4},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {2015},
}