Wide Dissection and Intercostal Vessel Division Allows for Repair of Hypoplastic Aortic Arch Through Thoracotomy.

The approach to coarctation of the aorta with hypoplastic aortic arch is controversial. We evaluated the outcomes in patients with coarctation of the aorta with or without hypoplastic aortic arch operated through a posterior left lateral thoracotomy.
A retrospective cohort of patients with aortic coarctation, who underwent repair between January 2009 and October 2017, was analyzed. Preoperative, postoperative, and echocardiographic characteristics were reviewed. Statistical analysis examined survival, freedom from reintervention, and freedom from recoarctation.
In nine years, 389 patients who underwent surgical treatment for coarctation of the aorta were identified; after exclusion criteria and complete echocardiographic reports, 143 patients were analyzed, of which 29 patients had hypoplastic aortic arch. The modification in the extended end-to-end anastomosis technique was a wide dissection and mobilization of the descending aorta that was achieved due to the ligation and division of 3 to 5 intercostal vessels. In both groups, patients were close to one month of age and had a median weight of 3.6 and 3.4 kg for hypoplastic and nonhypoplastic arch, respectively. In postoperative events, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups ( P = .57 for renal failure, P = .057 for transient, nonpermanent neurologic events, P = .496 for sepsis), as for intensive care unit ( P = .502) and total in-hospital stay ( P = .929). There was one case of postoperative mortality in each group and both were associated with noncardiac comorbidities. Regarding survival (log-rank = 0.060), freedom from reintervention (log-rank = 0.073), and freedom from recoarctation (log-rank = 0.568), there was no statistically significant difference between the groups.
We believe that it is the modified technique that allowed greater mobilization of the aorta and successful repair of hypoplastic arch through thoracotomy, without an increase in paraplegia or other adverse outcomes.

Rural and urban differences in treatment status among children with surgical conditions in Uganda.

In low and middle-income countries, approximately 85% of children have a surgically treatable condition before the age of 15. Within these countries, the burden of pediatric surgical conditions falls heaviest on those in rural areas. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the relationship between rurality, surgical condition and treatment status among a cohort of Ugandan children.

We identified 2176 children from 2315 households throughout Uganda using the Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Need (SOSAS) survey. Children were randomly selected and were included in the study if they were 18 years of age or younger and had a surgical condition. Location of residence, surgical condition, and treatment status was compared among children.

Of the 305 children identified with surgical conditions, 81.9% lived in rural areas. The most prevalent causes of surgical conditions reported among rural and urban children were masses (24.0% and 25.5%, respectively), followed by wounds due to injury (19.6% and 16.4%, respectively). Among children with untreated surgical conditions, 79.1% reside in rural areas while 20.9% reside in urban areas. Among children with untreated surgical conditions, the leading reason for not seeking surgical care among children living in both rural and urban areas was a lack of money (40.6% and 31.4%, respectively), and the leading reason for not receiving care in both rural and urban settings was a lack of money (48.0% and 42.8%, respectively).

Our data suggest that over half of the children with a surgical condition surveyed are not receiving surgical care and a large majority of children with surgical needs were living in rural areas. Future interventions aimed at increasing surgical access in rural areas in low-income countries are needed.

Neuroschistosomiasis mimicking lower back pain: case report of a rare differential diagnosis in a pediatric patient

Spinal myelitis is an infrequent manifestation of spinal cord infection. It is caused by the Schistosoma species, which are endemic in South America, part of the Middle East, and Africa.

Case presentation
We report the case of a 13-year-old male adolescent complaining of progressive lower back pain and weakness of the lower extremities for 3 days. Initial magnetic resonance imaging revealed typical transverse myelitis. Subsequently, parasite serology showed a markedly elevated level of Schistosoma antibody titers, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis yielded normal results. Because of our presumptive diagnosis of neuroschistosomiasis, the patient was prescribed an empirical regimen of an anti-parasitic agent, after which his neurological deficit promptly subsided. The patient was followed for 1 year and showed a complete long-term resolution of symptoms.

This case highlights the increasing prevalence of neuroschistosomiasis in recent years, particularly in patients with a history of travel to endemic regions. Moreover, the study reports the clinicoradiological features of this enigmatic disorder. This rare occurrence potentiates further studies to address unanswered questions about neuroschistosomiasis.

Totally endoscopic atrial septal defect repair using transthoracic aortic cannulation in a 10.5-kg-boy

Although totally endoscopic surgery (TES) has been widely applied for the treatment of atrial septal defect (ASD), small children receive few benefits from this technique due to risks of the femoral cannulation.
A 23-month-old boy, weighing 10.5 kg, with the diagnosis of sinus venosus ASD underwent successful repair by TES. We performed this surgery through 4 small trocars (one 12 mm trocar and three 5 mm trocars), without robotic assistance. In this case, we inserted the arterial cannula directly into the ascending aorta instead of the femoral artery (FA). The defects were repaired on the beating heart with CO2 insufflation.
Femoral cannulation in small children pose some risks, such as increased arterial line pressure, critical lower limb ischaemia, and post-operative iliac or femoral arterial stenosis. Putting the arterial cannula directly into the ascending aorta is a good solution but is difficult to be performed through TES, especially in small children. The major concern of operating on the beating heart is the air embolism, which requires special preventative methods.
Transthoracic aortic cannulation may facilitate TES in small children. However, the safety and efficacy of this approach needs to be validated by larger studies preferably randomised controlled trials.

Pediatric neurosurgical workforce, access to care, equipment and training needs worldwide.

The presence and capability of existing pediatric neurosurgical care worldwide is unknown. The objective of this study was to solicit the expertise of specialists to quantify the geographic representation of pediatric neurosurgeons, access to specialist care, and equipment and training needs globally.

A mixed-question survey was sent to surgeon members of several international neurosurgical and general pediatric surgical societies via a web-based platform. Respondents answered questions on 5 categories: surgeon demographics and training, hospital and practice details, surgical workforce and access to neurosurgical care, training and equipment needs, and desire for international collaboration. Responses were anonymized and analyzed using Stata software.

A total of 459 surgeons from 76 countries responded. Pediatric neurosurgeons in high-income and upper-middle-income countries underwent formal pediatric training at a greater rate than surgeons in low- and lower-middle-income countries (89.5% vs 54.4%). There are an estimated 2297 pediatric neurosurgeons in practice globally, with 85.6% operating in high-income and upper-middle-income countries. In low- and lower-middle-income countries, roughly 330 pediatric neurosurgeons care for a total child population of 1.2 billion. In low-income countries in Africa, the density of pediatric neurosurgeons is roughly 1 per 30 million children. A higher proportion of patients in low- and lower-middle-income countries must travel > 2 hours to seek emergency neurosurgical care, relative to high-income countries (75.6% vs 33.6%, p < 0.001). Vast basic and essential training and equipment needs exist, particularly low- and lower-middle-income countries within Africa, South America, the Eastern Mediterranean, and South-East Asia. Eighty-nine percent of respondents demonstrated an interest in international collaboration for the purposes of pediatric neurosurgical capacity building.

Wide disparity in the access to pediatric neurosurgical care exists globally. In low- and lower-middle-income countries, wherein there exists the greatest burden of pediatric neurosurgical disease, there is a grossly insufficient presence of capable providers and equipped facilities. Neurosurgeons across income groups and geographic regions share a desire for collaboration and partnership.

Decreasing birth asphyxia: utility of statistical process control in a low-resource setting.

The neonatal period is a critical time for survival of the child. A disproportionate amount of neonatal deaths occur in low-resource countries and are attributable to perinatal events, especially birth asphyxia. This project aimed to reduce the incidence of birth asphyxia by 20% by June 2014 through training in neonatal resuscitation and improving the availability of resuscitation equipment in the delivery room in the National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria. A prospective, longitudinal study using statistical process control analytical methods was done enrolling babies delivered at the National Hospital Abuja. Low Apgar scores or birth asphyxia (defined a priori as any score <7 at 1, 5 and/or at 10 min) was assessed. To ensure reliability and validity of Apgar scoring, trainings on scoring were held for labour and delivery staff. Interventions included provision of additional equipment and trainings on neonatal resuscitation. Apgar scores were aggregated weekly over 25 months. Control charts with three SE confidence limits were used to monitor the proportion of scores ≤7. The baseline incidence of low Apgar scores, as defined a priori, was 33%, 17% and 10% while postintervention the incidence was 18%, 17% and 6% at 1, 5 and 10 min, respectively-a reduction of 45% and 40% in the 1-min and 10-min low Apgar scores. Increased communication, additional resuscitation equipment and training of delivery personnel on neonatal resuscitation are associated with reductions in measures of birth asphyxia. These improvements have been sustained and efforts are ongoing to spread our interventions to other special care delivery units/nursery in adjoining states. Our study demonstrates the feasibility and utility of using improvement science methods to assess and improve perinatal outcome in low-resource settings.

The power of practice: simulation training improving the quality of neonatal resuscitation skills in Bihar, India.

Globally, neonatal mortality accounts for nearly half of under-five mortality, and intrapartum related events are a leading cause. Despite the rise in neonatal resuscitation (NR) training programs in low- and middle-income countries, their impact on the quality of NR skills amongst providers with limited formal medical education, particularly those working in rural primary health centers (PHCs), remains incompletely understood.This study evaluates the impact of PRONTO International simulation training on the quality of NR skills in simulated resuscitations and live deliveries in rural PHCs throughout Bihar, India. Further, it explores barriers to performance of key NR skills. PRONTO training was conducted within CARE India’s AMANAT intervention, a maternal and child health quality improvement project. Performance in simulations was evaluated using video-recorded assessment simulations at weeks 4 and 8 of training. Performance in live deliveries was evaluated in real time using a mobile-phone application. Barriers were explored through semi-structured interviews with simulation facilitators.In total, 1342 nurses participated in PRONTO training and 226 NR assessment simulations were matched by PHC and evaluated. From week 4 to 8 of training, proper neck extension, positive pressure ventilation (PPV) with chest rise, and assessment of heart rate increased by 14%, 19%, and 12% respectively (all p ≤ 0.01). No difference was noted in stimulation, suction, proper PPV rate, or time to completion of key steps. In 252 live deliveries, identification of non-vigorous neonates, use of suction, and use of PPV increased by 21%, 25%, and 23% respectively (all p < 0.01) between weeks 1-3 and 4-8. Eighteen interviews revealed individual, logistical, and cultural barriers to key NR skills.PRONTO simulation training had a positive impact on the quality of key skills in simulated and live resuscitations throughout Bihar. Nevertheless, there is need for ongoing improvement that will likely require both further clinical training and addressing barriers that go beyond the scope of such training. In settings where clinical outcome data is unreliable, data triangulation, the process of synthesizing multiple data sources to generate a better-informed evaluation, offers a powerful tool for guiding this process.

Establishing a children’s orthopaedic hospital for Malawi: an assessment after 5 years.

Beit Cure International Hospital (BCIH) is a specialist orthopaedic hospital providing surgical services to the children of Malawi. The hospital started treating patients in late 2002, and this analysis represents an attempt to assess the impact of the hospital, and develop strategies for future partnerships and development. Analysis was made of all the 563 case files of new patients treated operatively in the fifth year of hospital services. Data recorded included district and region of origin of patient, diagnosis, age and sex. Patients were treated from all 3 regions, with almost 50% coming from Southern region. Club foot, burn contracture, and genu varus were the most common diagnoses. Half the children were infants up to 5 years of age, while 60% were male. The underlying reasons behind these findings are analysed and their implications in terms of future hospital strategy are discussed.

Peters anomaly with post axial polydactyly, bilateral camptodactyly and club foot in a Kenyan neonate: a case report.

A case of bilateral Peters anomaly with bilateral post axial polydactyly, bilateral camptodactyly, and club foot was examined in a neonatal Kenyan baby girl of African descent who had been delivered in the hospital and admitted to the newborn unit. She died aged five days. There are no cases of Peters anomaly recorded in Africa according to a literature search. In addition, available data point to the majority of the principal associations in Peters anomaly to be genitourinary anomalies, making this case a rare one in its isolated collection of musculoskeletal associations.A Kenyan baby girl of African descent who was born through a caesarean section presented in the new born unit of our hospital with bilateral corneal opacities, bilateral polydactyly, camptodactyly and club foot.This is a rare case of Peters anomaly and its association with multiple musculoskeletal abnormalities makes it special.

Surgical treatment of femoral diaphyseal fractures in children using elastic stable intramedullary nailing by open reduction at Yopougon Teaching Hospital.

Elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) has transformed children’s femoral shaft fracture treatment, but this technique requires an image intensifier. Without it, open reduction is used to check fracture reduction and pin passage. The aim of this study was to describe our techniques and to evaluate our results at the middle term.

The open reduction and ESIN technique provides satisfactory results with few major complications.

Patients and methods
This was a retrospective study that focused on femoral diaphyseal fractures treated in the pediatric surgery unit at Yopougon Teaching Hospital (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) between January 2007 and December 2013. Twenty children older than 6 years of age who underwent open reduction and ESIN without image intensifier assistance were included. Functional outcomes were assessed using Flynn’s criteria. Postoperative complications and sequelae were recorded.

At the 16-month follow-up, the results were excellent in 11 (55%) cases, good in eight (40%), and poor in one (5%) case. The mean duration of surgery was 71 min (range, 57–103 min). The mean time for bone healing was 11.6 weeks (range, 7–15 weeks) and the average time to nail removal was 6 months. Complications included wood infection (n = 3), skin irritation (n = 3), knee stiffness (n = 2), malunion (n = 3), scar (n = 5), and leg length discrepancy (n = 3).

Open reduction and ESIN yielded satisfactory results with few major complications. This method could be an alternative in low-income countries where the image intensifier is often unavailable.