The use of risk stratification tools for perioperative and postoperative morbidity and mortality

Havens JM, Columbus AB, Seshadri AJ, et al. Risk stratification tools in emergency general surgery. Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. 2018 Apr 29;3(1):e000160.

Free full-text.

The use of risk stratification tools (RST) aids in clinical triage, decision making and quality assessment in a wide variety of medical fields. Although emergency general surgery (EGS) is characterized by a comorbid, physiologically acute patient population with disparately high rates of perioperative morbidity and mortality, few RST have been explicitly examined in this setting. We examined the available RST with the intent of identifying a tool that comprehensively reflects an EGS patients perioperative risk for death or complication.

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Guidelines for the perioperative management of anticoagulants

One discussion this week focused on the perioperative management of NOACs.


Reference:  DynaMed Plus [Internet]. Ipswich (MA): EBSCO Information Services. 1995 -. Record No. 227537, Periprocedural management of patients on long-term anticoagulation; [updated 2018 Oct 10, cited 2018 Oct 12; [about 26 screens]. Emory login required.

Summary: The information below is from DynaMed Plus (2018). To view full information on the topic, click on the citation above.

Vitamin K antagonists in patients undergoing major surgery or procedures

  • Consider continuing vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy in patients who require minor dental procedures, minor dermatological procedures, or cataract surgery.
  • In those having a minor dental procedure, consider coadministering an oral hemostatic agent or stopping the VKA 2 to 3 days before the procedure.
  • In those undergoing implantation of a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter device, consider continuing VKA therapy.
  • In those having a major surgery or procedure, stop VKA therapy 5 days before surgery.
  • Resume VKA therapy 12-24 hours after surgery when there is adequate hemostasis.

Bridging therapy in patients undergoing major surgery or procedures

  • If at low risk for thrombosis, consider omitting bridging therapy.
  • If at moderate risk for thrombosis, assess individual patient- and surgery-related factors when considering bridging therapy.
  • If at high risk for thrombosis consider bridging therapy with unfractionated heparin (UFH) or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH).
  • For those receiving bridging therapy with UFH, stop UFH 4-6 hours before surgery.
  • For those receiving bridging therapy with therapeutic-dose LMWH, stop LMWH 24 hours before surgery.
  • For those receiving bridging therapy with UFH or therapeutic-dose LMWH and undergoing non-high-bleeding-risk surgery, consider resuming heparin 24 hours after surgery.
  • For those receiving bridging therapy with UFH or therapeutic-dose LMWH and undergoing high-bleeding-risk surgery, consider resuming heparin 48-72 hours after surgery.

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Step-up vs open necrosectomy for pancreatitis: the PANTER trial’s 2019 followup

One discussion this week included the question of step-up approach versus open necrosectomy for pancreatitis.


Summary: 

BACKGROUND: The 2010 randomized PANTER trial in (infected) necrotizing pancreatitis found a minimally invasive step-up approach to be superior to primary open necrosectomy for the primary combined endpoint of mortality and major complications, but long-term results are unknown.

NEW FINDINGS: With extended follow-up, in the step-up group, patients had fewer incisional hernias, less exocrine insufficiency and a trend towards less endocrine insufficiency. No differences between groups were seen for recurrent or chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic endoscopic or surgical interventions, quality of life or costs.

IMPACT: Considering both short and long-term results, the step-up approach is superior to open necrosectomy for the treatment of infected necrotizing pancreatitis.

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Clinical guideline for management of sigmoid volvulus

One discussion this week included revolvulus after colonic decompression.


Reference: Vogel JD, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for colon volvulus and acute colonic pseudo-obstruction. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. 2016 Jul;59(7):589-600. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000000602

Summary: Volvulus occurs in the sigmoid colon or cecum in >95% of cases, with the remainder involving either the transverse colon or the splenic flexure of the colon. Sigmoid volvulus affects patients who are older, with more comorbid medical and neuropsychological conditions, compared with those with cecal volvulus.

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Restrictive vs liberal red-cell transfusion strategy: the Transfusions Requirements in Critical Care (TRICC) trial

One discussion this week included the TRICC trial.

Reference: Herbert PC, et al…the Transfusion Requirements in Critical Care Investigators for the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group. A multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial of transfusion requirements in critical care. NEJM. 1999 Feb 11;340(6):409-417.

Summary:  The aim of the study was to determine whether a restrictive strategy of red-cell transfusion and a liberal strategy produced equivalent results in critically ill patients, we compared the rates of death from all causes at 30 days and the severity of organ dysfunction.

Methods: Between 1994 and 1997, the trial enrolled 838 critically ill patients with euvolemia after initial treatment who had hemoglobin concentrations of less than 9.0 g per deciliter within 72 hours after admission to the intensive care unit and randomly assigned 418 patients to a restrictive strategy of transfusion, in which red cells were transfused if the hemoglobin concentration dropped below 7.0 g per deciliter and hemoglobin concentrations were maintained at 7.0 to 9.0 g per deciliter, and 420 patients to a liberal strategy, in which transfusions were given when the hemoglobin concentration fell below 10.0 g per deciliter and hemoglobin concentrations were maintained at 10.0 to 12.0 g per deciliter.

Results: The use of a threshold for red-cell transfusion as low as 7.0 g of hemoglobin per deciliter, combined with maintenance of hemoglobin concentrations in the range of 7.0 to 9.0 g per deciliter, was at least as effective as and possibly superior to a liberal transfusion strategy (threshold, 10.0 g per deciliter; maintenance range, 10.0 to 12.0) in critically ill patients with normovolemia. There was a trend toward decreased 30-day mortality among patients who were treated according to the restrictive transfusion strategy. The significant differences in mortality rates during hospitalization, rates of cardiac complications, and rates of organ dysfunction all favored the restrictive strategy.

TRICC trial

Overall, 30-day mortality was similar in the two groups (18.7 percent vs. 23.3 percent, P= 0.11). However, the rates were significantly lower with the restrictive transfusion strategy among patients who were less acutely ill — those with an Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score of < or =20 (8.7 percent in the restrictive-strategy group and 16.1 percent in the liberal-strategy group; P=0.03) — and among patients who were less than 55 years of age (5.7 percent and 13.0 percent, respectively; P=0.02), but not among patients with clinically significant cardiac disease (20.5 percent and 22.9 percent, respectively; P=0.69). The mortality rate during hospitalization was significantly lower in the restrictive-strategy group (22.3 percent vs. 28.1 percent, P=0.05).

Conclusion:  On the basis of the trial’s results, the authors recommend that critically ill patients receive red-cell transfusions when their hemoglobin concentrations fall below 7.0 g per deciliter and that hemoglobin concentrations should be maintained between 7.0 and 9.0 g per deciliter. The diversity of the patients enrolled in this trial and the consistency of the results suggest that these conclusions may be generalized to most critically ill patients, with the possible exception of patients with active coronary ischemic syndromes.

 

Enterocutaneous fistulas: causes, management, and Emory authors

One discussion this week involved enterocutaneous fistulas.

Reference: Haak CI, Galloway JR, Srinivasan J. Enterocutaneous fistulas: a look at causes and management. Current Surgery Reports. 2014 Oct;2:71.

Summary: Despite advances in medical technology and surgical care, the management of enterocutaneous fistulas (ECF) remains one of the most challenging problems faced by physicians. Success depends on an expert multidisciplinary team, access to long-term enteral and parenteral nutrition support, advanced wound care, optimal medical management and meticulous, methodical, surgical decision-making and technique.

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The STITCH trial: a summary

One discussion this week mentioned the STITCH trial.

Reference: Deerenberg EB, et al. Small bites versus large bites for closure of abdominal midline incisions (STITCH): a double-blind, multicentre, randomised control trial. Lancet. 2015 Sep 26;386(10000):1254-1260. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60459-7.

Summary: Incisional hernia is a frequent complication of abdominal operations with an incidence of 10–23%, which can increase to 38% in specific risk groups. It is associated with pain and discomfort, resulting in a decreased quality of life. Incarceration and strangulation of abdominal contents can take place, for which emergency surgery is indicated, with associated morbidity and mortality. The authors (2015) estimate about 348,000 operations for incisional hernia are done every year in the US with $3.2 billion in annual associated costs.

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