Hyper-Realistic Advanced Surgical Skills Package with Cut Suit Simulator Improves Trainee Surgeon Confidence in Operative Trauma
BACKGROUND:Adequate exposure to operative trauma is not uniform across surgical residencies, and therefore it can be challenging to achieve competency during residency alone. This study introduced the Cut Suit surgical simulator with an Advanced Surgical Skills Package, which replicates traumatic bleeding and organ injury, into surgery resident training across multiple New York City trauma centers. METHODS:Trainees from 6 ACS-verified trauma centers participated in this prospective, observational trial. Groups of 3-5 trainees (post-graduate year 1-6) from 6 trauma centers within the largest public healthcare network in the U.S. participated. Residents were asked to perform various operative tasks including rescucitative thoracotomy, exploratory laprotomy, splenectomy, hepatorrhaphy, retroperitoneal exploration, and small bowel resection on a severely injured simulated patient. Pre- and post-course surveys were used to evaluate trainees' confidence performing these procedures and quizzes were used to evaluate participants' knowledge acquisition after the simulation. RESULTS:< .01). There was a significant increase in the proportion of residents reporting being "more confident" or "most confident" managing all procedures performed. Post-activity quiz scores improved by an average of 20.4 points. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:The Cut Suit surgical simulator with ASSP is a realistic and useful adjunct in training surgeons to manage complex operative trauma.
Changes in US Mass Shooting Deaths Associated With the 1994-2004 Federal Assault Weapon Ban: Analysis of Open-Source Data
BACKGROUND:A federal assault weapons ban has been proposed as a way to reduce mass shootings in the U.S. (U.S). The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (A.W.B.) of 1994 made the manufacture and civilian use of a defined set of automatic and semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines illegal. The ban expired in 2004. The period from 1994 to 2004 serves as a single-arm pre-post observational study to assess the effectiveness of this policy intervention. METHODS:Mass shooting data for 1981 to 2017 were obtained from three well-documented, referenced, and open-source sets of data, based on media reports. We calculated the yearly rates of mass shooting fatalities as a proportion of total firearm homicide deaths and per U.S. POPULATION/METHODS:We compared the 1994-2004 federal ban period to non-ban periods, using simple linear regression models for rates and a Poison model for counts with a year variable to control for trend. The relative effects of the ban period were estimated with odds ratios. RESULTS:Assault rifles accounted for 430 or 85.8% of the total 501 mass-shooting fatalities reported (95% CI 82.8, 88.9) in 44 mass-shooting incidents. Mass shootings in the U.S. accounted for an increasing proportion of all firearm-related homicides (coefficient for year = 0.7, p = 0.0003), with increment in year alone capturing over a third of the overall variance in the data (Adjusted R-squared = 0.3). In a linear regression model controlling for yearly trend, the federal ban period was associated with a statistically significant 9 fewer mass shooting related deaths per 10,000 firearm homicides (p = 0.03). Mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur during the federal ban period (Relative Rate = 0.30, 95% CI 0.22,0.39). CONCLUSIONS:Mass-shooting related homicides in the U.S. were reduced during the years of the federal assault weapons ban of 1994 to 2004. STUDY TYPE/METHODS:Observational LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III/IV.
Acute Care Surgeons' Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Observations and Strategies From the Epicenter of the American Crisis
Acute Appendicitis During The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multicenter, Retrospective Analysis From The US Epicenter
BACKGROUND:Acute appendicitis (AA) is the most common surgical emergency, with a relatively stable yearly incidence. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as New York City (NYC) emerged as the US epicenter, hospitals saw a marked reduction in patients presenting with non-COVID-related diseases. The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of the pandemic on the incidence, presentation, and management of AA. METHODS:A retrospective analysis of patients with AA who presented to two academic medical centers during the NYC COVID peak (March 22nd-May 31st, 2020) was performed. This group was compared to a control cohort presenting during the same period in 2019. Primary outcomes included the incidence of AA, complicated disease, and management. Secondary outcomes included duration of symptoms, hospital length of stay, and complication rates. Statistical analyses were performed using Mann-Whitney U, Chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS:< .02). Hospital length of stay and complication rates were similar between years. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Significantly fewer AA patients presented during the initial phase of the pandemic. Patients presented later, which may have contributed to a higher proportion of complicated disease. Surgeons were also more likely to treat uncomplicated AA nonoperatively than they were prior. Further research is needed to understand the long-term consequences of these changes.
A Call to Action to Train Underrepresented Minorities in Surgical Subspecialties and Fellowships
BACKGROUND:With each succession along the surgical career pathway, from medical school to faculty, the percentage of those who identify as underrepresented in medicine (URiM) decreases. We sought to evaluate the demographic trend of surgical fellowship applicants, matriculants, and graduates over time. STUDY DESIGN:The Electronic Residency Application Service and the Graduate Medical Education Survey for general surgery fellowships in colorectal surgery, surgical oncology, pediatric surgery, thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery were retrospectively analyzed (2005 to 2020). The data were stratified by race and gender, descriptive statistics were performed, and time series were evaluated. Race/ethnicity groups included White, Asian, other, and URiM, which is defined as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino(a), Alaskan or Hawaiian Native, and Native American. RESULTS:From 2005 to 2020, there were 5,357 Electronic Residency Application Service applicants, 4,559 matriculants, and 4,178 graduates to surgery fellowships. Whites, followed by Asians, represented the highest percentage of applicants (62.7% and 22.3%, respectively), matriculants (65.4% and 23.8% respectively), and graduates (65.4% and 24.0%, respectively). For URiMs, the applicants (13.4%), matriculants (9.1%), and graduates (9.1%) remained significantly low (p < 0.001). When stratified by both race and gender, only 4.6% of the applicants, 2.7% of matriculants, and 2.4% of graduates identified as both URiM and female compared to White female applicants (20.0%), matriculants (17.9%), and graduates (16.5%, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Significant disparities exist for URiMs in general surgery subspecialty fellowships. These results serve as a call to action to re-examine and improve the existing processes to increase the number of URiMs in the surgery subspecialty fellowship training pathway.
Disparity in Transport of Critically Injured Patients to Trauma Centers: Analysis of the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS)
BACKGROUND:Patient morbidity and mortality decrease when injured patients meeting CDC Field Triage Criteria (FTC) are transported by emergency medical services (EMS) directly to designated trauma centers (TCs). This study aimed to identify potential disparities in the transport of critically injured patients to TCs by EMS. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:We identified all patients in the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) database in the National Association of EMS State Officials East region from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019, with a final prehospital acuity of critical or emergent by EMS. The cohort was stratified into patients transported to TCs or non-TCs. Analyses consisted of descriptive epidemiology, comparisons, and multivariable logistic regression analysis to measure the association of demographic features, vital signs, and CDC FTC designation by EMS with transport to a TC. RESULTS:A total of 670,264 patients were identified as sustaining an injury, of which 94,250 (14%) were critically injured. Of those 94,250 critically injured, 56.0% (52,747) were transported to TCs. Among all critically injured women (n = 41,522), 50.4% were transported to TCs compared with 60.4% of critically injured men (n = 52,728, p < 0.001). In a multivariable logistic regression model, critically injured women were 19% less likely to be taken to a TC compared with critically injured men (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.71-0.93, p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS:Critically injured female patients are less likely to be transported to TCs when compared with their male counterparts. Performance improvement processes that assess EMS compliance with field triage guidelines should explicitly evaluate for sex-based disparities. Further studies are warranted.
Examination of Intersectionality and the Pipeline for Black Academic Surgeons
Importance/UNASSIGNED:The lack of underrepresented in medicine physicians within US academic surgery continues, with Black surgeons representing a disproportionately low number. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To evaluate the trend of general surgery residency application, matriculation, and graduation rates for Black trainees compared with their racial and ethnic counterparts over time. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:In this nationwide multicenter study, data from the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for the general surgery residency match and Graduate Medical Education (GME) surveys of graduating general surgery residents were retrospectively reviewed and stratified by race, ethnicity, and sex. Analyses consisted of descriptive statistics, time series plots, and simple linear regression for the rate of change over time. Medical students and general surgery residency trainees of Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino of Spanish origin, White, and other races were included. Data for non-US citizens or nonpermanent residents were excluded. Data were collected from 2005 to 2018, and data were analyzed in March 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures/UNASSIGNED:Primary outcomes included the rates of application, matriculation, and graduation from general surgery residency programs. Results/UNASSIGNED:Over the study period, there were 71â€¯687 applicants, 26â€¯237 first-year matriculants, and 24â€¯893 graduates. Of 71â€¯687 applicants, 24â€¯618 (34.3%) were women, 16â€¯602 (23.2%) were Asian, 5968 (8.3%) were Black, 2455 (3.4%) were Latino, and 31â€¯197 (43.5%) were White. Women applicants and graduates increased from 29.4% (1178 of 4003) to 37.1% (2293 of 6181) and 23.5% (463 of 1967) to 33.5% (719 of 2147), respectively. When stratified by race and ethnicity, applications from Black women increased from 2.2% (87 of 4003) to 3.5% (215 of 6181) (Pâ€‰<â€‰.001) while applications from Black men remained unchanged (3.7% [150 of 4003] to 4.6% [284 of 6181]). While the matriculation rate for Black women remained unchanged (2.4% [46 of 1919] to 2.3% [52 of 2264]), the matriculation rate for Black men significantly decreased (3.0% [57 of 1919] to 2.4% [54 of 2264]; Pâ€‰=â€‰.04). Among Black graduates, there was a significant decline in graduation for men (4.3% [85 of 1967] to 2.7% [57 of 2147]; Pâ€‰=â€‰.03) with the rate among women remaining unchanged (1.7% [33 of 1967] to 2.2% [47 of 2147]). Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:Findings of this study show that the underrepresentation of Black physicians at every stage in surgical training pipeline persists. Black men are especially affected. Identifying factors that address intersectionality and contribute to the successful recruitment and retention of Black trainees in general surgery residency is critical for achieving racial and ethnic as well as gender equity.
High resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta procedural volume is associated with improved outcomes: An analysis of the AORTA registry
BACKGROUND:The use of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is controversial. We hypothesize that REBOA outcomes are improved in centers with high REBOA utilization. METHODS:We examined the Aortic Occlusion in Resuscitation for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery registry over a 5-year period (2014-2018). Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta outcomes were analyzed by stratifying institutions into low-volume (<10), average-volume (11-30), and high-volume (>30) deployment centers. A multivariable model adjusting for volume group, mechanism of injury, signs of life, systolic blood pressure at initiation, operator level, device type, zone of placement, and hemodynamic response to aortic occlusion was created to analyze REBOA mortality and REBOA-related complications. RESULTS:Four hundred ninety-five REBOA placements were included. High-volume centers accounted for 63%, while low accounted for 13%. High-volume institutions were more likely to place a REBOA in the emergency department (81% vs. 63% low volume, p = 0.003), had a lower mean systolic blood pressure at insertion (53 Â± 38 vs. 64 Â± 40, p = 0.001), and more Zone I deployments (64% vs. 55%, p = 0.002). Median time from admission to REBOA placement was significantly less in patients treated at high-volume centers (15 [7-30] minutes vs. 35 [20-65] minutes, p = 0.001). Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta mortality was significantly higher at low-volume centers (67% vs. 57%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.29; adj p = 0.040), while average- and high-volume centers were similar. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta complications were less frequent at high-/average-volume centers, but did not reach statistical significance (adj p = 0.784). CONCLUSION:Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta survival is increased at high versus low utilization centers. Increased experience with REBOA may be associated with earlier deployment and subsequently improved patient outcomes. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Therapeutic/Care Management, level IV.
Race and Insurance Status are Associated With Different Management Strategies After Thoracic Trauma
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Health-care disparities based on race and socioeconomic status among trauma patients are well-documented. However, the influence of these factors on the management of rib fractures following thoracic trauma is unknown. The aim of this study is to describe the association of race and insurance status on management and outcomes in patients who sustain rib fractures. METHODS:The Trauma Quality Improvement Program database was used to identify adult patients who presented with rib fractures between 2015 and 2016. Patient demographics, injury severity, procedures performed, and outcomes were evaluated. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the effect of race and insurance status on mortality and the likelihood of rib fixation surgery and epidural analgesia for pain management. RESULTS:A total of 95,227 patients were identified. Of these, 2923 (3.1%) underwent rib fixation. Compared to White patients, Asians (AOR: 0.57, PÂ =Â 0.001), Blacks or African-Americans (AA) (AOR: 0.70, PÂ <Â 0.001), and Hispanics/Latinos (HL) (AOR: 0.78, PÂ <Â 0.001) were less likely to undergo rib fixation surgery. AA patients (AOR: 0.67, PÂ =Â 0.004), other non-Whites (ONW) (AOR: 0.61, PÂ =Â 0.001), and HL (AOR 0.65, PÂ =Â 0.006) were less likely to receive epidural analgesia. Compared to privately insured patients, mortality was higher in uninsured patients (AOR: 1.72, PÂ <Â 0.001), Medicare patients (AOR: 1.80, PÂ <Â 0.001), and patients with other non-private insurance (AOR: 1.23, PÂ <Â 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Non-White race is associated with a decreased likelihood of rib fixation and/or epidural placement, while underinsurance is associated with higher mortality in patients with thoracic trauma. Prospective efforts to examine the socioeconomic disparities within this population are warranted.
Response Regarding: "Elderly Patients With Cervical Spine Fractures After Ground Level Falls are at Risk for Blunt Cerebrovascular Injury" [Letter]