Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

surgical skills Related Abstracts

2 Posterior Acetabular Fractures-Optimizing the Treatment by Enhancing Practical Skills

Authors: Olivera Lupescu, Taina Elena Avramescu, Mihail Nagea, Alexandru Dimitriu


Acetabular fractures represent a real challenge due to their impact upon the long term function of the hip joint, and due to the risk of intra- and peri-operative complications especially that they affect young, active people. That is why treating these fractures require certain skills which must be exercised, regarding the pre-operative planning, as well as the execution of surgery.The authors retrospectively analyse 38 cases with acetabular fractures operated using the posterior approach in our hospital between 01.01.2013- 01.01.2015 for which complete medical records ensure a follow-up of 24 months, in order to establish the main causes of potential errors and to underline the methods for preventing them. This target is included in the Erasmus + project ‘Collaborative learning for enhancing practical skills for patient-focused interventions in gait rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery COR-skills’. This paper analyses the pitfalls revealed by these cases, as well as the measures necessary to enhance the practical skills of the surgeons who perform acetabular surgery. Pre-op planning matched the intra and post-operative outcome in 88% of the analyzed points, from 72% at the beginning to 94% in the last case, meaning that experience is very important in treating this injury. The main problems detected for the posterior approach were: nervous complications - 3 cases, 1 of them a complete paralysis of the sciatic nerve, which recovered 6 months after surgery, and in other 2 cases intra-articular position of the screws was demonstrated by post-operative CT scans, so secondary screw removal was necessary in these cases. We analysed this incident, too, due to lack of information about the relationship between the screws and the joint secondary to this approach. Septic complications appeared in 3 cases, 2 superficial and 1 profound (requiring implant removal). The most important problems were the reduction of the fractures and the positioning of the screws so as not to interfere with the the articular space. In posterior acetabular fractures, pre-op complex planning is important in order to achieve maximum treatment efficacy with minimum of risk; an optimal training of the surgeons insisting on the main points of potential mistakes ensure the success of the procedure, as well as a favorable outcome for the patient.

Keywords: Vocational training, acetabular fractures, articular congruency, surgical skills

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1 Surgical Skills in Mulanje

Authors: Nick Toossi, Joseph Hartland


Background: Malawi is an example of a low resource setting which faces a chronic shortage of doctors and other medical staff. This shortfall is made up for by clinical officers (COs), who are para-medicals trained for 4 years. The literature suggests to improve outcomes surgical skills training specifically should be promoted for COs in district and mission hospitals. Accordingly, the primary author was tasked with developing a basic surgical skills teaching package for COs of Mulanje Mission Hospital (MMH), Malawi, as part of a 4th year medical student External Student Selected Component field trip. MMH is a hospital based in the South of Malawi near the base of Mulanje Mountain and works in an extremely isolated environment with some of the poorest communities in the country. Traveling to Malawi the medical student author performed an educational needs assessment to develop and deliver a bespoke basic surgical skills teaching package. Methodology: An initial needs assessment identified the following domains: basic surgical skills (instrument naming & handling, knot tying, suturing principles and suturing techniques) and perineal repair. Five COs took part in a teaching package involving an interactive group simulation session, overseen by senior clinical officers and surgical trainees from the UK. Non-organic and animal models were used for simulation practice. This included the use of surgical skills boards to practice knot tying and ox tongue to simulate perineal repair. All participants spoke and read English. The impact of the session was analysed in two different ways. The first was via a pre and post Single Best Answer test and the second a questionnaire including likert’s scales and free text response questions. Results: There was a positive trend in pre and post test scores on competition of the course. There was increase in the mean confidence of learners before and after the delivery of teaching in basic surgical skills and simulated perineal repair, especially in ‘instrument naming and handling’. Whilst positively received it was discovered that learners desire more frequent surgical skills teaching sessions in order to improve and revise skills. Feedback suggests that the learners were not confident in retaining the skills without regular input. Discussion: Skills and confidence were improved as a result of the teaching provided. Learner's written feedback suggested there was an overall appetite for regular surgical skills teaching in the clinical environment and further opportunities to allow for deliberate self-practice. Surgical mentorship schemes facilitating supervised theatre time among trainees and lead surgeons along with improving access to surgical models/textbooks were some of the simple suggestions to improve surgical skills and confidence among COs. Although, this study is limited by population size it is reflective of the small, isolated and low resource environment in which this healthcare is delivered. This project does suggest that current surgical skills packages used in the UK could be adapted for employment in low resource settings, but it is consistency and sustainability that staff seek above all in their on-going education.

Keywords: Education, Malawi, surgical skills, clinical officers

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