Management and Outcomes of Acute Surgical Patients at a District Hospital in Uganda with Non-physician Emergency Clinicians.

TitleManagement and Outcomes of Acute Surgical Patients at a District Hospital in Uganda with Non-physician Emergency Clinicians.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDresser C, Periyanayagam U, Dreifuss B, Wangoda R, Luyimbaazi J, Bisanzo M
Corporate AuthorsGlobal Emergency Care Collaborative Investigators
JournalWorld J Surg
Date Published2017 Apr 12
ISSN Number1432-2323
Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Acute surgical care services in rural Sub-Saharan Africa suffer from human resource and systemic constraints. Developing emergency care systems and task sharing aspects of acute surgical care addresses many of these issues. This paper investigates the degree to which specialized non-physicians practicing in a dedicated Emergency Department contribute to the effective and efficient management of acute surgical patients.

METHODS: This is a retrospective review of an electronic quality assurance database of patients presenting to an Emergency Department in rural Uganda staffed by non-physician clinicians trained in emergency care. Relevant de-identified clinical data on patients admitted directly to the operating theater from 2011 to 2014 were analyzed in Microsoft Excel.

RESULTS: Overall, 112 Emergency Department patients were included in the analysis and 96% received some form of laboratory testing, imaging, medication, or procedure in the ED, prior to surgery. 72% of surgical patients referred by ED received preoperative antibiotics, and preoperative fluid resuscitation was initiated in 65%. Disposition to operating theater was accomplished within 3 h of presentation for 73% of patients. 79% were successfully followed up to assess outcomes at 72 h. 92% of those with successful follow-up reported improvement in their clinical condition. The confirmed mortality rate was 5%.

CONCLUSION: Specialized non-physician clinicians practicing in a dedicated Emergency Department can perform resuscitation, bedside imaging and laboratory studies to aid in diagnosis of acute surgical patients and arrange transfer to an operating theater in an efficient fashion. This model has the potential to sustainably address structural and human resources problems inherent to Sub-Saharan Africa's current acute surgical care model and will benefit from further study and expansion.

DOI10.1007/s00268-017-4014-7
Alternate JournalWorld J Surg
PubMed ID28405807
Faculty Reference: 
Bradley A. Dreifuss, MD