Ethical Dilemmas in Surgical Mission Trips During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Adherence to Subspecialty Guidelines in the Emergency Department
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVE:The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has published clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to guide management of common otolaryngologic (ENT) conditions. While these CPGs have been disseminated within specialty journals, many patients' first presentation of certain ENT complaints is to primary and acute care settings, including the emergency department (ED). It is less clear whether practice in these settings is concordant with specialty CPGs. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective cohort study. METHODS:A retrospective review of medical records was performed at an academic tertiary care center with ED diagnoses of 1) Bell's palsy/facial weakness (BP) or 2) acute otitis externa (AOE) from May 2014-June 2018. Individual chart abstraction was performed for all encounters with these diagnoses for the purpose of assessing providers' adherence to CPGs. RESULTS:During the study period, 224 patients were diagnosed with BP and 465 patients were diagnosed with AOE. Of the patients diagnosed with BP, 94% (n = 211/224) were prescribed oral steroids, concordant with guidelines, while 36% of these patients received head computed tomography (CT) scans and 43% received laboratory tests, counter to the guidelines. For those with a diagnosis of AOE, 28.6% received topical antibiotics only as primary treatment (n = 133/465) in accordance with guidelines while systemic antibiotics were prescribed in 42.2% (n = 196/465) discordant with the guidelines and 29.2% received both topical and systemic antibiotics (n = 136/465). CONCLUSIONS:CPGs developed by subspecialty societies provide evidence-based recommendations for the care of patients with particular conditions, but may not be disseminated broadly outside of the specialty. Further research is required to understand the reasons behind divergent management of such conditions. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:3 Laryngoscope, 2020.
Complex mediastinal infection causing bilateral airway obstruction in a young child: Pulmonary mycobacterium avium infection and the role of surgical intervention in the compromised airway
Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) is one of the most common forms of non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infection. MAC is a ubiquitous bacterium that resides in both natural and man-made environments. Surgical intervention is well established in NTM infections causing cervical lymphadenitis, but its role in airway disease is not well understood. Invasive pulmonary infection is usually associated with immunocompromised patients, but it occurs in otherwise healthy children as well. We present a challenging clinical case of an 18-month-old female with severe mediastinal MAC causing bilateral bronchogenic obstruction and respiratory compromise requiring emergent intubation and intervention, likely due to a genetic predisposition secondary to Interferon Gamma Receptor 2 (IFNGR2) haploinsufficiency. During the initial bronchoscopy, the left bronchus was 99% obstructed while the right bronchus was 60% obstructed. The right lesion was biopsied and drained whitish fluid with improvement in clinical status shortly thereafter. A culture was sent. Follow-up bronchoscopy with excision of residual right mass allowed for extubation in the operating room with discharge on azithromycin, rifabutin, and ethambutol. Repeat bronchoscopy after discharge revealed recurrence of bilateral lesions. The patient was started on nebulized amikacin in addition to her current regimen with full resolution after treatment. Despite subtotal removal of MAC lesions possibly increasing the chances of recurrence, surgical intervention in this patient resulted in rapid improvement in respiratory status, and it may represent the preferred treatment in patients with any airway concerns.
Improving thyroid function monitoring in head and neck cancer patients: A quality improvement study
OBJECTIVE:To investigate and improve compliance of thyroid function monitoring in head and neck cancer patients who received radiotherapy to the cervical region before and after instituting quality improvement interventions. METHODS:Using the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) methodology, patients with head and neck malignancies who received radiotherapy to the cervical region from 2013-2015 were identified at a tertiary medical center. The status of the patients' thyroid monitoring and related characteristics were recorded. A quality improvement project was subsequently implemented by data sharing and providing feedback to practitioners involved in head and neck cancer care and creating a tracking database for all patients who received radiotherapy to the neck. After implementation of these interventions, data was collected on patients meeting the inclusion criteria from 2015-2017. RESULTS:One hundred fifty-six patients met criteria pre-intervention and ninety-eight patients met criteria post-intervention. Compliance of thyroid monitoring went up from 34% to 80% after interventions (Pâ€‰<â€‰.0001). There was a significant increase in thyroid testing performed by radiation oncologists after interventions from 2% to 21%, while medical oncologists and otolaryngologists remained consistent in their compliance rates. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:It is possible to improve compliance with evidence-based recommendations and improve the quality-of-care for head and neck cancer survivors through simple, cost effective interventions. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:2 Laryngoscope, 2019.
In Response to "Regarding the MSAP Flap: A Better Option in Complex Head and Neck Reconstruction?" [Letter]
Medial Sural Artery Musculocutaneous Perforator (MSAP) Flap for Reconstruction of Pharyngoesophageal Defects
We describe the use of the medial sural artery musculocutaneous perforator (MSAP) flap at our institution. It is a relatively new flap, originally described in 2001 for lower extremity defects, that has become increasingly popular for head and neck reconstruction due to its versatility, thinness, pliability, long pedicle, and particularly favorable donor site. It has been described for reconstruction of oral defects, but there is little published on its use in pharyngeal reconstruction. We suggest that the MSAP is an ideal flap for addressing defects caused by pharyngoesophageal stenosis, pharyngeal fistulas, or laryngopharyngectomies. We review 5 cases at our institution from June 2016 to November 2017.
Improving On-time Discharge in Otolaryngology Admissions
OBJECTIVE:We conducted a quality improvement project to increase the rate of discharges before noon (DBN) in the otolaryngology department at a tertiary care center. METHODS:Based on a Plan-Do-Study-Act framework, monthly discharge data and observed-to-expected (O:E) length of stay were collected and shared with the department members monthly. A target of 43% DBN was predetermined by the center (Plan). The following interventions were implemented (Do): discharge planning starting at the time of admission, focus on early attending-to-resident team communication, placement of discharge order prior to rounding, and weekly reminders to the entire department. RESULTS:Discharges were monitored for 3 years. For the year prior to this study, a minority of patients were discharged before noon (12 months: 75 of 190, 36%). During the first 6 months of monitoring (Study), no significant improvement was identified (34 of 95, 36%). After interventions, performance significantly improved (31 months: 250 of 548, 68%). The performance was consistently above the predetermined target of 43%. During the study time, O:E length of stay remained below the predetermined target (O:E ratio, 0.90; hospital target, 0.93). DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Comprehensive discharge planning beginning at the time of admission, weekly reminders, and improved communication (Act) can help to prioritize DBN and increase the percentage of discharges before noon. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE/CONCLUSIONS:By utilizing a quality improvement framework, significant improvements in timely discharge can be achieved and sustained with changes in workflow and departmental culture. These changes can be achieved without increases in resources or prolonging the length of stay.
The medial sural artery perforator flap: A better option in complex head and neck reconstruction?
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The medial sural artery perforator (MSAP) free flap is an uncommonly utilized soft tissue flap in head and neck reconstruction. It is a thin, pliable, fasciocutaneous flap that provides significant pedicle length. The donor site can be closed primarily, and its location is more aesthetically pleasing to patients. We aim to describe the MSAP flap and compare it to other commonly used free flaps in the head and neck. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective case series. METHODS:A retrospective review of all MSAP cases performed at New York University Langone Health was performed from July 2016 to November 2017. We examined the patients' age, diagnosis, history of prior radiation therapy, and comorbidities, as well as flap-specific information and recipient site. RESULTS:(15â€‰cmâ€‰Ã—â€‰8â€‰cm). The flaps ranged from 5 to 12â€‰mm in thickness. Venous coupler size ranged from 2.0 to 3.5â€‰mm. Primary closure of the donor site was achieved in 18 of 21 flaps. Twenty of 21 flaps were transferred successfully. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The MSAP flap is a highly versatile and reliable option for a thin, pliable soft tissue flap with a donor site that may be preferable over the radial forearm free flap and anterolateral thigh flap in complex head and neck reconstruction. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:4. Laryngoscope, 2018.
Revascularization of AlloDerm Used during Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery
Objectives â€ƒAlloDerm is an acellular dermal matrix often used for reconstruction throughout the body. AlloDerm has been shown to undergo revascularization when used to reconstruct soft tissue such as in abdominal wall reconstruction. In this study, the authors review the literature on revascularization of AlloDerm and demonstrate the histologic findings of AlloDerm after implantation during skull base reconstruction. Study Design â€ƒLiterature review and case reports. Setting â€ƒTertiary Care Institution Participants â€ƒPatients from a tertiary care institution Main Outcome Measures â€ƒHistologic slides are evaluated and compared with nonimplanted AlloDerm. Methods â€ƒThe authors review a case of explanted AlloDerm that had been used for skull base reconstruction after endoscopic skull base surgery. Results â€ƒUpon reviewing the histologic slides of explanted AlloDerm to nonimplanted AlloDerm, we demonstrate revascularization of AlloDerm when used in skull base reconstruction. Representative slides will be included. Conclusions â€ƒAlloDerm undergoes revascularization when used for skull base reconstruction.
Asystole During Direct Laryngoscopy for Vocal Fold Injection in a Healthy Patient
OBJECTIVES: This study aims (1) to present a case of asystole during direct laryngoscopy in an otherwise healthy patient at an outpatient surgery center and (2) to review literature on cardiac complications, specifically asystole and bradycardia, during direct laryngoscopy. METHODS: A 67-year-old woman with no prior cardiac history underwent induction with succinylcholine and remifentanil for direct laryngoscopy and vocal fold augmentation. During suspension laryngoscopy, the patient became asystolic, and advanced care life support measures were started. The patient regained a cardiac rhythm after chest compressions and epinephrine and was transferred to a tertiary care hospital for further treatment. She remained intubated overnight, requiring pressors, and regained normal cardiac function over the next few days. RESULTS: A structured literature review uncovered few reports of asystole during suspension laryngoscopy. Although bradycardia is common during suspension laryngoscopy, likely secondary to stimulation of afferent visceral sensory parasympathetic fibers of the vagus nerve, asystole is rare. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac complications are possible in otolaryngologic surgery, especially with activation of the oculocardiac or trigeminocardiac reflexes. Asystole during direct laryngoscopy, although rare, is not always predictable from medicine or cardiac risk indices. Awareness, rapid recognition, and early implementation of advanced care life support are crucial to avoid further complications.