OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to propose a classification scheme for platforms of surgical delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and to review the literature documenting their effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and role in training. Approximately 28 % of the global burden of disease is surgical. In LMICs, much of this burden is borne by a rapidly growing international charitable sector, in fragmented platforms ranging from short-term trips to specialized hospitals. Systematic reviews of these platforms, across regions and across disease conditions, have not been performed.
METHODS: A systematic review of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases was performed from 1960 to 2013. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were defined a priori. Bibliographies of retrieved studies were searched by hand. Of the 8,854 publications retrieved, 104 were included.
RESULTS: Surgery by international charitable organizations is delivered under two, specialized hospitals and temporary platforms. Among the latter, short-term surgical missions were the most common and appeared beneficial when no other option was available. Compared to other platforms, however, worse results and a lack of cost-effectiveness curtailed their role. Self-contained temporary platforms that did not rely on local infrastructure showed promise, based on very few studies. Specialized hospitals provided effective treatment and appeared sustainable; cost-effectiveness evidence was limited.
CONCLUSIONS: Because the charitable sector delivers surgery in vastly divergent ways, systematic review of these platforms has been difficult. This paper provides a framework from which to study these platforms for surgery in LMICs. Given the available evidence, self-contained temporary platforms and specialized surgical centers appear to provide more effective and cost-effective care than short-term surgical mission trips, except when no other delivery platform exists.
The World Bank will publish the nine volumes of Disease Control Priorities, 3rd edition, in 2015-16. Volume 1--Essential Surgery--identifies 44 surgical procedures as essential on the basis that they address substantial needs, are cost effective, and are feasible to implement. This report summarises and critically assesses the volume's five key findings. First, provision of essential surgical procedures would avert about 1·5 million deaths a year, or 6-7% of all avertable deaths in low-income and middle-income countries. Second, essential surgical procedures rank among the most cost effective of all health interventions. The surgical platform of the first-level hospital delivers 28 of the 44 essential procedures, making investment in this platform also highly cost effective. Third, measures to expand access to surgery, such as task sharing, have been shown to be safe and effective while countries make long-term investments in building surgical and anaesthesia workforces. Because emergency procedures constitute 23 of the 28 procedures provided at first-level hospitals, expansion of access requires that such facilities be widely geographically diffused. Fourth, substantial disparities remain in the safety of surgical care, driven by high perioperative mortality rates including anaesthesia-related deaths in low-income and middle-income countries. Feasible measures, such as WHO's Surgical Safety Checklist, have led to improvements in safety and quality. Fifth, the large burden of surgical disorders, cost-effectiveness of essential surgery, and strong public demand for surgical services suggest that universal coverage of essential surgery should be financed early on the path to universal health coverage. We point to estimates that full coverage of the component of universal coverage of essential surgery applicable to first-level hospitals would require just over US$3 billion annually of additional spending and yield a benefit-cost ratio of more than 10:1. It would efficiently and equitably provide health benefits, financial protection, and contributions to stronger health systems.
Objective Few studies have examined operative times for cochlear implantation (CI) using multivariable linear regression analyses to identify predictors of case length. Herein, we assess whether trainee participation, among other factors, influences operating room (OR) times. Methods We retrospectively reviewed total OR and procedural times for isolated unilateral implants over a 5-year period (2009-2013) in children and adults. Total operating and procedural times were compared. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to identify predictors of procedural time. Results We identified a total of 455 unilateral CI procedures (n = 35 pediatric, n = 420 adult). Mean total OR time was 193.6 minutes (SD = 58.9 minutes) and mean procedural time was 147.1 minutes (SD = 56.2). The presence of trainees was associated with a significant difference in procedure time: 149.9 minutes (SD = 54.9) with trainees versus 136.6 minutes (SD = 59.9) without trainees, P = 0.0375. Trainee involvement did not significantly increase total OR time: 196.3 minutes (SD = 56.9) with trainees versus 183.8 minutes (SD = 65.0) without trainees, P = 0.0653. Surgeon identity was also associated with differences in procedural time (P < 0.001). Patient age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, and pediatric designation had no significant impact on length of case. Conclusions Major predictors of longer procedural OR times for CI are surgeon identity and trainee participation. Few published data exist on length of CI in an academic setting using multivariable linear regression analyses. Our data may be instructive for comparative analyses and have implications for operative planning and surgical education.
BACKGROUND: Up-to-date evidence on levels and trends for age-sex-specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality is essential for the formation of global, regional, and national health policies. In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) we estimated yearly deaths for 188 countries between 1990, and 2013. We used the results to assess whether there is epidemiological convergence across countries.
METHODS: We estimated age-sex-specific all-cause mortality using the GBD 2010 methods with some refinements to improve accuracy applied to an updated database of vital registration, survey, and census data. We generally estimated cause of death as in the GBD 2010. Key improvements included the addition of more recent vital registration data for 72 countries, an updated verbal autopsy literature review, two new and detailed data systems for China, and more detail for Mexico, UK, Turkey, and Russia. We improved statistical models for garbage code redistribution. We used six different modelling strategies across the 240 causes; cause of death ensemble modelling (CODEm) was the dominant strategy for causes with sufficient information. Trends for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias were informed by meta-regression of prevalence studies. For pathogen-specific causes of diarrhoea and lower respiratory infections we used a counterfactual approach. We computed two measures of convergence (inequality) across countries: the average relative difference across all pairs of countries (Gini coefficient) and the average absolute difference across countries. To summarise broad findings, we used multiple decrement life-tables to decompose probabilities of death from birth to exact age 15 years, from exact age 15 years to exact age 50 years, and from exact age 50 years to exact age 75 years, and life expectancy at birth into major causes. For all quantities reported, we computed 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). We constrained cause-specific fractions within each age-sex-country-year group to sum to all-cause mortality based on draws from the uncertainty distributions.
FINDINGS: Global life expectancy for both sexes increased from 65.3 years (UI 65.0-65.6) in 1990, to 71.5 years (UI 71.0-71.9) in 2013, while the number of deaths increased from 47.5 million (UI 46.8-48.2) to 54.9 million (UI 53.6-56.3) over the same interval. Global progress masked variation by age and sex: for children, average absolute differences between countries decreased but relative differences increased. For women aged 25-39 years and older than 75 years and for men aged 20-49 years and 65 years and older, both absolute and relative differences increased. Decomposition of global and regional life expectancy showed the prominent role of reductions in age-standardised death rates for cardiovascular diseases and cancers in high-income regions, and reductions in child deaths from diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and neonatal causes in low-income regions. HIV/AIDS reduced life expectancy in southern sub-Saharan Africa. For most communicable causes of death both numbers of deaths and age-standardised death rates fell whereas for most non-communicable causes, demographic shifts have increased numbers of deaths but decreased age-standardised death rates. Global deaths from injury increased by 10.7%, from 4.3 million deaths in 1990 to 4.8 million in 2013; but age-standardised rates declined over the same period by 21%. For some causes of more than 100,000 deaths per year in 2013, age-standardised death rates increased between 1990 and 2013, including HIV/AIDS, pancreatic cancer, atrial fibrillation and flutter, drug use disorders, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and sickle-cell anaemias. Diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, neonatal causes, and malaria are still in the top five causes of death in children younger than 5 years. The most important pathogens are rotavirus for diarrhoea and pneumococcus for lower respiratory infections. Country-specific probabilities of death over three phases of life were substantially varied between and within regions.
INTERPRETATION: For most countries, the general pattern of reductions in age-sex specific mortality has been associated with a progressive shift towards a larger share of the remaining deaths caused by non-communicable disease and injuries. Assessing epidemiological convergence across countries depends on whether an absolute or relative measure of inequality is used. Nevertheless, age-standardised death rates for seven substantial causes are increasing, suggesting the potential for reversals in some countries. Important gaps exist in the empirical data for cause of death estimates for some countries; for example, no national data for India are available for the past decade.
FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: There is a paucity of data on junior resident training in common otolaryngology procedures such as ear debridement, nasal and laryngeal endoscopy, epistaxis management, and peritonsillar abscess drainage. These common procedures represent a critical aspect of training and are necessary skills in general otolaryngology practice. We sought to determine how a dedicated otolaryngology emergency room (ER) staffed by junior residents and a supervising attending provides exposure to common otolaryngologic procedures.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review.
METHODS: Diagnostic and procedural data for all patients examined in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ER between January 2011 and September 2013 were evaluated.
RESULTS: A total of 12,234 patients were evaluated. A total of 5,673 patients (46.4%) underwent a procedure. Each second-year resident performed over 450 procedures, with the majority seen Monday through Friday (75%). The most common procedures in our study included diagnostic nasolaryngoscopy (52.0%), ear debridement (34.4%), and epistaxis control (7.0%)
CONCLUSIONS: An otolaryngology-specific ER provides junior residents with significant diagnostic and procedural volume in a concentrated period of time. This study demonstrates utility of a unique surgical education model and provides insight into new avenues of investigation for otolaryngology training.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Otologic complaints may place a significant burden on emergency departments (EDs) in the United States; however, few studies have comprehensively examined this discrete patient population. We aimed to identify utilization of EDs by patients with primary otologic complaints.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) from 2009 through 2011.
METHODS: The NEDS database was queried for patient encounters with a primary otologic diagnosis based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes (380-389). Weighted estimates for demographics, diagnostic characteristics, socioeconomic status, and trends over time were extracted. Predictors of mortality and admission were determined by multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: A weighted total of 8,611,282 visits between 2009 and 2011 were attributed to otologic diagnoses, representing 2.21% of all ED visits. Stratified by patient age, otologic diagnoses encompassed 1.01% and 6.79% of all adult and pediatric ED visits, respectively. The majority of patients were treated and released (98.17%). The average age of patients presenting with an otologic complaint was 17.9 years (standard error = 0.23). Overall, 62.7% of patients who presented with an otologic complaint were 0 to 17 years old. The most common diagnoses among all age groups included otitis media not otherwise specified (NOS) (60.6%), infected otitis externa NOS (11.8%), and otalgia NOS (6.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: We provide a comprehensive overview of otologic complaints that are an overlooked diagnostic category in public health research. NEDS data demonstrate a significant number of visits related to otologic complaints, especially in the pediatric population, that are nonemergent.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4 Laryngoscope, 2015.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Surgical education remains an important mission of academic medical centers. Financial pressures may favor improved operating room (OR) efficiency at the expense of teaching in the OR. We aim to evaluate factors, such as resident participation, associated with duration of total OR, as well as procedural time of common pediatric otolaryngologic cases.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.
METHODS: We reviewed resident and attending surgeon total OR and procedural times for isolated tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy with adenoidectomy (T&A), and bilateral myringotomy with tube insertion between 2009 and 2013. We included cases supervised or performed by one of four teaching surgeons in children with American Society of Anesthesiology classification < 3. Regression analyses were used to identify predictors of procedural time.
RESULTS: We identified 3,922 procedures. Residents had significantly longer procedure times for all procedures compared to an attending surgeon (4.9-12.8 minutes, P < 0.001). Differences were proportional to case complexity. In T&A patients, older patient age and attending surgeon identity were also significant predictors of increased mean procedural time (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Resident participation contributes to increased procedure time for common otolaryngology procedures. We found that differences in operative time between resident surgeons and attending surgeons are proportional to the complexity of the case, with additional factors, such as attending surgeon identity and older patient age, also influencing procedure times. Despite the increased procedural time, our investigation shows that resident education does not result in excessive operative times beyond what may be reasonably expected at a teaching institution.
BACKGROUND: The way in which a government chooses to finance a health intervention can affect the uptake of health interventions and consequently the extent of health gains. In addition to health gains, some policies such as public finance can insure against catastrophic health expenditures. We aimed to evaluate the health and financial risk protection benefits of selected interventions that could be publicly financed by the government of Ethiopia.
METHODS: We used extended cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the health gains (deaths averted) and financial risk protection afforded (cases of poverty averted) by a bundle of nine (among many other) interventions that the Government of Ethiopia aims to make universally available. These nine interventions were measles vaccination, rotavirus vaccination, pneumococcal conjugate vaccination, diarrhoea treatment, malaria treatment, pneumonia treatment, caesarean section surgery, hypertension treatment, and tuberculosis treatment.
FINDINGS: Our analysis shows that, per dollar spent by the Ethiopian Government, the interventions that avert the most deaths are measles vaccination (367 deaths averted per $100,000 spent), pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (170 deaths averted per $100,000 spent), and caesarean section surgery (141 deaths averted per $100,000 spent). The interventions that avert the most cases of poverty are caesarean section surgery (98 cases averted per $100,000 spent), tuberculosis treatment (96 cases averted per $100,000 spent), and hypertension treatment (84 cases averted per $100,000 spent).
INTERPRETATION: Our approach incorporates financial risk protection into the economic evaluation of health interventions and therefore provides information about the efficiency of attainment of both major objectives of a health system: improved health and financial risk protection. One intervention might rank higher on one or both metrics than another, which shows how intervention choice-the selection of a pathway to universal health coverage-might involve weighing up of sometimes competing objectives. This understanding can help policy makers to select interventions to target specific policy goals (ie, improved health or financial risk protection). It is especially relevant for the design and sequencing of universal health coverage to meet the needs of poor populations.
BACKGROUND: More than 2 billion people are unable to receive surgical care based on operating theatre density alone. The vision of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery is universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed. We aimed to estimate the number of individuals worldwide without access to surgical services as defined by the Commission's vision.
METHODS: We modelled access to surgical services in 196 countries with respect to four dimensions: timeliness, surgical capacity, safety, and affordability. We built a chance tree for each country to model the probability of surgical access with respect to each dimension, and from this we constructed a statistical model to estimate the proportion of the population in each country that does not have access to surgical services. We accounted for uncertainty with one-way sensitivity analyses, multiple imputation for missing data, and probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
FINDINGS: At least 4·8 billion people (95% posterior credible interval 4·6-5·0 [67%, 64-70]) of the world's population do not have access to surgery. The proportion of the population without access varied widely when stratified by epidemiological region: greater than 95% of the population in south Asia and central, eastern, and western sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to care, whereas less than 5% of the population in Australasia, high-income North America, and western Europe lack access.
INTERPRETATION: Most of the world's population does not have access to surgical care, and access is inequitably distributed. The near absence of access in many low-income and middle-income countries represents a crisis, and as the global health community continues to support the advancement of universal health coverage, increasing access to surgical services will play a central role in ensuring health care for all.
BACKGROUND: Surgical delivery varies 200-fold across countries. No direct correlation exists, however, between surgical delivery and health outcomes, making it difficult to pinpoint a goal for surgical scale-up. This report determines the amount of surgery that would be delivered worldwide if the world aligned itself with countries providing the best health outcomes.
METHODS: Annual rates of surgical delivery have been published previously for 129 countries. Five health outcomes were plotted against reported surgical delivery. Univariate and multivariate polynomial regression curves were fit, and the optimal point on each regression curve was determined by solving for first-order conditions. The country closest to the optimum for each health outcome was taken as representative of the best-performing health system. Monetary inputs to and surgical procedures provided by these systems were scaled to the global population.
RESULTS: For 3 of the 5 health outcomes, optima could be found. Globally, 315 million procedures currently are provided annually. If global delivery mirrored the 3 best-performing countries, between 360 million and 460 million cases would be provided annually. With population growth, this will increase to approximately half a billion cases by 2030. Health systems delivering these outcomes spend approximately 10% of their GDP on health.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study to provide empirical evidence for the surgical output that an ideal health system would provide. Our results project ideal delivery worldwide of approximately 550 million annual surgical cases by 2030.
BACKGROUND: Approximately 150 million individuals worldwide face catastrophic expenditure each year from medical costs alone, and the non-medical costs of accessing care increase that number. The proportion of this expenditure related to surgery is unknown. Because the World Bank has proposed elimination of medical impoverishment by 2030, the effect of surgical conditions on financial catastrophe should be quantified so that any financial risk protection mechanisms can appropriately incorporate surgery.
METHODS: To estimate the global incidence of catastrophic expenditure due to surgery, we built a stochastic model. The income distribution of each country, the probability of requiring surgery, and the medical and non-medical costs faced for surgery were incorporated. Sensitivity analyses were run to test the robustness of the model.
FINDINGS: 3·7 billion people (posterior credible interval 3·2-4·2 billion) risk catastrophic expenditure if they need surgery. Each year, 81·3 million people (80·8-81·7 million) worldwide are driven to financial catastrophe-32·8 million (32·4-33·1 million) from the costs of surgery alone and 48·5 million (47·7-49·3) from associated non-medical costs. The burden of catastrophic expenditure is highest in countries of low and middle income; within any country, it falls on the poor. Estimates were sensitive to the definition of catastrophic expenditure and the costs of care. The inequitable burden distribution was robust to model assumptions.
INTERPRETATION: Half the global population is at risk of financial catastrophe from surgery. Each year, surgical conditions cause 81 million individuals to face catastrophic expenditure, of which less than half is attributable to medical costs. These findings highlight the need for financial risk protection for surgery in health-system design.
FUNDING: MGS received partial funding from NIH/NCI R25CA92203.