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OBJECTIVE - To assess the association of 0.9% saline use versus a calcium-free physiologically balanced crystalloid solution with major morbidity and clinical resource use after abdominal surgery.
BACKGROUND - 0.9% saline, which results in a hyperchloremic acidosis after infusion, is frequently used to replace volume losses after major surgery.
METHODS - An observational study using the Premier Perspective Comparative Database was performed to evaluate adult patients undergoing major open abdominal surgery who received either 0.9% saline (30,994 patients) or a balanced crystalloid solution (926 patients) on the day of surgery. The primary outcome was major morbidity and secondary outcomes included minor complications and acidosis-related interventions. Outcomes were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression and propensity scoring models.
RESULTS - For the entire cohort, the in-hospital mortality was 5.6% in the saline group and 2.9% in the balanced group (P < 0.001). One or more major complications occurred in 33.7% of the saline group and 23% of the balanced group (P < 0.001). In the 3:1 propensity-matched sample, treatment with balanced fluid was associated with fewer complications (odds ratio 0.79; 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.97). Postoperative infection (P = 0.006), renal failure requiring dialysis (P < 0.001), blood transfusion (P < 0.001), electrolyte disturbance (P = 0.046), acidosis investigation (P < 0.001), and intervention (P = 0.02) were all more frequent in patients receiving 0.9% saline.
CONCLUSIONS - Among hospitals in the Premier Perspective Database, the use of a calcium-free balanced crystalloid for replacement of fluid losses on the day of major surgery was associated with less postoperative morbidity than 0.9% saline.
BACKGROUND - School-based influenza vaccination campaigns could mitigate the effects of influenza epidemics. A large countywide school-based vaccination campaign was launched in Knox County, Tennessee, in 2005. Assessment of campaign effects requires identification of appropriate control populations. We hypothesized that contiguous counties would share similar pre-campaign patterns of influenza activity.
METHODS - We compared the burden of influenza emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations between Knox County (Knox) and eight counties surrounding Knox (Knox-surrounding) during five consecutive pre-campaign influenza seasons (2000-01 through 2004-05). Laboratory-defined influenza seasons were used to measure the weekly incidence of medically attended acute respiratory illnesses (MAARI) attributable to influenza in school-aged children 5-17 years old (campaign target) as well as in other age groups. Seasonal rates of MAARI attributable to influenza for Knox and Knox-surrounding counties were compared using rate ratios.
RESULTS - During five consecutive influenza seasons, MAARI attributable to influenza showed synchronous temporal patterns in school-aged children from Knox and Knox-surrounding counties. The average seasonal rates of ED visits attributable to influenza were 12.37 (95% CI: 10.32-14.42) and 13.14 (95% CI: 11.23-15.05) per 1000, respectively. The respective average seasonal influenza hospitalization rates for Knox and Knox-surrounding were 0.38 (95% CI: 0-0.79) and 0.46 (95% CI: 0.07-0.85) per 1000 children. Rate ratio analyses indicated no significant differences in the incidence of MAARI attributable to influenza between school-aged children from Knox and Knox-surrounding counties. Estimates for other age groups showed similar patterns.
CONCLUSION - Before the Knox school-based influenza vaccination campaign, influenza resulted in an average of about 12 ED visits and 0.4 hospitalizations per 1000 school-aged children annually in Knox County. Since similar morbidity was observed in surrounding counties, they could serve as a control population for the assessment of the campaign effects.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
PURPOSE - To determine whether the clinical outcome of buckle fractures in children differs between those treated acutely on the same day of trauma and those treated subacutely, and whether a change in practice patterns based on these data would result in cost savings.
METHODS - In this retrospective cohort study-approved by the institutional review board-we reviewed the cases of 341 consecutive patients younger than 18 years of age seen by the pediatric orthopedic clinic for treatment of isolated extremity buckle fractures between July 1, 2004 and August 31, 2007. Time from injury to treatment was used to divide patients into 2 groups: acute (1 day or less; n=155) and subacute treatment (more than 1 day; n=186). Clinical outcome at final orthopedic follow-up was recorded for each patient. We defined adverse outcome as fractures requiring manipulation, clinically apparent deformity, or functional impairment. Charge analysis compared differences in management costs for patients with buckle fractures presenting initially to the emergency department (ED) and those seen solely in the orthopedic clinic.
RESULTS - No adverse outcomes were identified in either acute or subacute treatment groups. Total clinical visits did not vary (acute, 3.2 vs subacute, 3.1; P=.051). Presence of mild angulation of fractures on radiographs did not differ significantly between acute and subacute management groups at initial presentation (6.5% vs 8.6%; P=.541) or at final follow-up (12.2% vs 12.4%; P=1.0). A cost savings of approximately $3000 could have been realized for each patient referred to the ED who might otherwise have been seen subacutely in the orthopedic clinic.
CONCLUSIONS - No adverse clinical outcomes resulted from subacute treatment of stable buckle fractures. Cost and time savings may be realized with subacute management of buckle fractures without affecting clinical outcome.
BACKGROUND - Civilian and military mass casualty incidents (MCI) are an unfortunate reality in the 21st century, but there are few situational training exercises (STX) to prepare for them. To fill this gap, we developed a MCI STX for U.S. Army Forward Surgical Teams (FST) in conjunction with the U.S. Army Trauma Training Center.
METHODS - After a standardized briefing, each FST has 60 minutes to unpack, setup, and organize a standard equipment cache into an emergency room, operating room, and intensive care unit. In an adjacent room, five anesthetized swine are prepared with standardized, combat-relevant injuries. The number and acuity of the total casualties are unknown to the FST and arrive in waves and without warning. A realistic combat environment is simulated by creating resource limitations, power outages, security breaches, and other stressors. The STX concludes when all casualties have died or are successfully treated. FSTs complete a teamwork self-assessment card, while staff and FST surgeons evaluate organization, resource allocation, communication, treatment, and overall performance. Feedback from each FST can be incorporated into an updated design for the next STX.
RESULTS - From 2003-2005, 16 FSTs have completed the STX. All FSTs have had collapses in situational triage, primary/ secondary surveys, and/or ATLS principles (basic ABCs), resulting in approximately 20% preventable deaths.
CONCLUSIONS - We concluded (1) a MCI can overwhelm even combat- experienced FSTs; (2) adherence to basic principles of emergency trauma care by all FST members is essential to effectively and efficiently respond to this MCI; (3) by prospectively identifying deficiencies, future military or civilian performance during an actual MCI may be improved; and (4) this MCI STX could provide a template for similar programs to develop, train, and evaluate civilian surgical disaster response teams.
BACKGROUND - The disease burden of influenza infection among children is not well established. We conducted a population-based surveillance of medical visits associated with laboratory-confirmed influenza.
METHODS - Eligible children were younger than five years of age, resided in three U.S. counties, and had a medical visit for an acute respiratory tract infection or fever. Nasal and throat swabs were tested for the influenza virus by viral culture and polymerase-chain-reaction assay. Epidemiologic data were collected from parental surveys and chart reviews. Children who were hospitalized were enrolled prospectively from 2000 through 2004. Population-based rates of hospitalizations associated with influenza were calculated. Children who were seen in selected pediatric clinics and emergency departments during two influenza seasons (2002-2003 and 2003-2004) were systematically enrolled. The rates of visits to clinics and emergency departments associated with influenza were estimated.
RESULTS - The average annual rate of hospitalization associated with influenza was 0.9 per 1000 children. The estimated burden of outpatient visits associated with influenza was 50 clinic visits and 6 emergency department visits per 1000 children during the 2002-2003 season and 95 clinic visits and 27 emergency department visits per 1000 children during the 2003-2004 season. Few children who had laboratory-confirmed influenza were given a diagnosis of influenza by the treating physician in the inpatient (28 percent) or outpatient (17 percent) settings.
CONCLUSIONS - Among young children, outpatient visits associated with influenza were 10 to 250 times as common as hospitalizations. Few influenza infections were recognized clinically.
Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Typhlitis or neutropenic enterocolitis is a life-threatening, necrotizing process of the cecum whose incidence is increasing. It is usually encountered in patients with leukemia who have recently undergone chemotherapy. Neutropenic enterocolitis presents as fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in neutropenic patients. As the incidence of neutropenic enterocolitis increases, emergency physicians must be aware of this rapidly progressive and potentially fatal disease.