Royi Barnea PhD, Lina Voronenko BSc, Lin Zu PhD, Iris Reychav PhD and Yossi Weiss PhD MPH
Background: Surgery is a core activity in hospitals. Operating rooms have some of the most important and vital functions in medical centers. The operating rooms and their staff are a valuable infrastructure resource and their availability and preparedness affect human life and quality of care.
Objectives: To prepare operational suggestions for improving operating room utilization by mapping current working processes in the operating rooms of a large private medical center.
Methods: Data on 23,585 surgeries performed at our medical center between August 2016 and March 2017 were analyzed by various parameters including utilization, capacity, working hours, and surgery delays.
Results: Average operating room utilization was 79%, while 21% was considered lost operating room time. The two major factors that influenced the lost operating room time were the time intervals between planned usage blocks and the partial utilization of operating room time. We calculated that each percent of utilized operating room time translates into 440 surgeries annually, resulting in a potential annual increase in income.
Conclusions: Increasing operating room utilization would result in an improvement of operating room availability and an increased number of procedures. Our analysis shows that operating room utilization in the private healthcare system is efficient compared to the public healthcare system in Israel. Therefore the private healthcare system should be treated as a contributing factor to help lower surgery waiting times and release bottlenecks, rather than being perceived as contributing to inequality.
Gassan Moady MD, Amitai Bickel MD, Alexander Shturman MD, Muhammad Khader MD and Shaul Atar MD
Background: Pneumatic sleeves (PS) are often used during laparoscopic surgery and for prevention of deep vein thrombosis in patients who cannot receive anticoagulation treatment. There is very little information on the hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effect on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in patients with severely reduced left ventricular ejection function (LVEF).
Objectives: To determine the safety and hemodynamic changes induced by PS and their effects on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).
Methods: This study comprised 14 patients classified as New York Heart Association (NYHA) II–III with severely reduced LVEF (< 40%). We activated the PS using two inflation pressures (50 or 80 mmHg, 7 patients in each group) at two cycles per minute for one hour. We measured echocardiography, hemodynamic parameters, and BNP levels in each patient prior to, during, and after the PS operation.
Results: The baseline LVEF did not change throughout the activation of PS (31 ± 10% vs. 33 ± 9%, P = 0.673). Following PS activation there was no significant difference in systolic or diastolic blood pressure, the pulse measurements, or central venous pressure. BNP levels did not change after PS activation (P = 0.074).
Conclusions: The use of PS, with either low or high inflation pressures, is safe and has no detrimental effects on hemodynamic parameters or BNP levels in patients with severely reduced LVEF following clinical stabilization and optimal medical therapy.
Nataly Zilberman Sharon MD, Yaakov Melcer MD and Ron Maymon MD
Background: Complete hydatidiform mole and a co-existing normal fetus (CHMCF) is associated with a high complication rate. A possible association with assisted conception might increase the prevalence of CHMCF.
Objectives: To study the potential association between assisted conception and the risks of CHMCF.
Methods: Case series at a single university hospital from 2008 to 2018 are presented and contrasted with data from a comprehensive literature review (1998–2018). Cases were identified from the institutional database that matched the sonographic criteria for CHMCF. A literature review showed comparable cases.
Results: None of the three pregnancies presented in this article resulted in a viable fetus, all were aborted. One of the three patients needed chemotherapy due to gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). A literature search identified 248 reported cases in which 22 fetuses (9%) reached term, 88/248 (35%) progressed to GTN, and 25/120 (21%) were conceived following assisted conception. From 2008 until 2018 at our medical facility, there were 3144 twin pregnancies of which 1667 (53%) were conceived using assisted conception. In our cohort, there was no statistical trend for assisted conception as an etiological factor for CHMCF.
Conclusions: No association between assisted conception and the risk for CHMCF was established at our hospital, although approximately one-quarter of all reported CHMCF pregnancies are attributed to assisted conception technology. However, these data are not always reported, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.
William Nseir MD, Rola Khamisy-farah MD, Amir Amara MD and Raymond Farah MD
Background: The incidence of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is increasing and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Therefore, there is a need to find new tools to determine the severity of the disease.
Objectives: To investigate the prognostic values of inflammatory markers such as mean platelet volume (MPV), neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with CDAD.
Methods: The study comprised of 100 patients diagnosed with CDAD. The study included an additional control group of 69 patients with diarrhea who were negative for C. difficile toxin. The control group was age- and sex-matched and hospitalized at the same time period. NLR and MPV were obtained from complete blood count results. Serum CRP levels were measured by the latex particle enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay. Blood samples for all inflammatory markers were collected at time of diagnosis and prior to initiating the antibiotic therapy. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and prognostic data were collected from medical records for a period of 90 days from the initial diagnosis of CDAD.
Results: The mean age of the CDAD group was 68.6 ± 21.5 years compared to 65.6 ± 24.5 in the control group (P = 0.29). Our findings show that patients with CDAD had significantly higher NLR, MPV and serum CRP levels compared to the control group (P < 0.001)). Moreover, significantly higher levels were observed when CDAD was fatal (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Elevated NLR, MPV, and serum CRP levels may serve as biomarkers for prediction of recurrence and mortality in patients with CDAD.
Mahmud Mahamid MD, Ariella Bar-Gil Shitrit MD, Hana Amara MD, Benjamin Koslowsky MD, Rami Ghantous RN and Rifaat Safadi MD
Background: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two major classic presentations of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Studies have shown a wide variation in the incidence and prevalence attributed to different geographic and ethnic populations.
Objectives: To assess the clinical characteristics of IBD among Arabs in Israel and to compare them to characteristics of IBD among Ashkenazi Jews.
Methods: This retrospective, comparative study compared the clinical characteristics of IBD among 150 Arabs from the Holy Family Hospital and the Nazareth Hospital EMMS, both located in Nazareth, Israel, to those of 97 age- and sex-matched Ashkenazi Jewish patients from Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.
Results: The Arab cohort, which included 106 patients (70%) with Crohn's disease and 44 (29%) with ulcerative colitis, was compared to 97 Ashkenazi patients (81% with Crohn's disease and 17% with ulcerative colitis) (P < 0.05). Alcohol consumption was found in both groups, but Arabs smoked more (46% vs. 12%, respectively, P < 0.05). Obstructive phenotype was lower in Arabs (10% vs. 32%, P < 0.05). 5-aminosalicylic acid and anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha were prescribed for the Arab and Ashkenazi groups (89% and 21%, respectively). The need for surgical intervention due to disease severity and/or complications was not significant (22% vs. 24%).
Conclusions: Despite similar reports of NOD2/CARD15 mutations, Crohn's disease is more common than ulcerative colitis within the Arab-Israeli population. Increased smoking rates may explain milder disease severities in Arabs, as reflected by lower obstructive pattern and frequent use of milder therapeutic modalities.
Philip Lawson MD, Noam Nissan MD PhD, Renata Faermann MD, Osnat Halshtok MD, Anat Shalmon MD, Michael Gotleib MD, Merav Akiva Ben David MD and Miri Sklair Levy MD
Background: Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease representing less than 1% of breast cancers. In the absence of a screening program, such as for females, the diagnostic workup is critical for early detection of MBC.
Objectives: To summarize our institutional experience in the workup of male patients referred for breast imaging, emphasizing the clinical, imaging, and histopathological characteristics of the MBC cohort.
Methods: All male patients who underwent breast imaging between 2011 and 2016 in our institution were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical, radiological, and histopathological data were collected and statistically evaluated. All images were reviewed using the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.
Results: 178 male patients (average age 61 years, median age 64), underwent breast imaging in our institution. The most common indication for referral was palpable mass (49%) followed by gynecomastia (16%). Imaging included mostly mammography or ultrasound. Biopsies were performed on 56 patients, 38 (68%) were benign and 18 (32%) were malignant. In all, 13 patients had primary breast cancer and 5 had metastatic disease to the breast. Palpable mass at presentation was strongly associated with malignancy (P = 0.007).
Conclusion: Mammography and ultrasound remain the leading modalities in breast imaging among males for diagnostic workup of palpable mass, with gynecomastia being the predominant diagnosis. However, presentation with palpable mass was also associated with malignancy. Despite a notable MBC rate in our cohort, the likelihood of cancer is low in young patients and in cases of gynecomastia.
Ayelet Shapira-Daniels MD, Orit Blumenfeld PhD, Amit Korach MD, Ehud Rudis MD, Uzi Izhar MD and Oz M. Shapira MD
Background: Recently, Israel established the first national-level adult cardiac surgery database, which was linked to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).
Objectives: To validate and compare the STS predicted risk of mortality (PROM) to logistic EuroSCORE I (LESI) and EuroSCORE II (ESII) in Israeli patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
Methods: We retrospectively studied 1279 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac surgeries with a calculable PROM. Data were prospectively entered into our database and used to calculate PROM, LESI, and ESII. Scores were normalized and correlated using linear regression and Pearson's test. To examine model calibration, we plotted the total observed versus expected mortality for each score and across five risk-score subgroups. Model discrimination was assessed by measuring the area under the receiver operating curves.
Results: The observed 30-day operative mortality was 1.95%. The median (IQ1; IQ3) PROM, LESI, and the ESII scores were 1.45% (0.69; 3.22), 4.54% (2.28; 9.27), and 1.88% (1.18; 3.54), respectively, with observed over expected ratios of 0.63 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.42–0.93), 0.59 (95%CI 0.40–0.87), and 0.24 (95%CI 0.17–0.36), respectively, (STS vs. ESII P = 0.36, STS vs. LESI P = 0.0001). There was good correlation among all scores. All models overestimated mortality. Model discrimination was high and similar for all three scores. Model calibration of the STS, PROM, and ESII were more accurate than the LESI, particularly in higher risk subgroups.
Conclusions: All scores overestimated mortality. In Israeli patients, the STS, PROM, and ESII risk-scores were more reliable metrics than LESI, particularly in higher risk patients.
David Hakimian MD, Elliot Turvall MSc, Sarah Israel MD and Zvi Ackerman MD AGAF
Background: In developed countries, hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection occurs mainly in adults. It is usually symptomatic and may cause acute liver failure (ALF). In patients with chronic liver disease, serum ferritin levels (SFL) can predict short-term prognosis.
Objectives: To determine whether admission SFL can serve as a prognostic marker in patients with HAV infection.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 33 adults with HAV infection was conducted. Because none of our patients presented with ALF, the parameter "length of hospital stay," was used as a surrogate marker of disease severity.
Results: The mean (± SD) at admission SFL was 2529 ± 4336 ng/ml. SFL correlated with the levels of international normalized ratio (INR), liver enzymes, and degree of hemolysis that occurred during the disease course. SFL did not correlate with the levels of either albumin or bilirubin or with the length of the hospital stay. The mean length of hospital stay was 5.1 ± 2.0 days, which correlated with the levels of INR, albumin, and bilirubin as well as the degree of hemolysis. However, in multivariate analysis only albumin and bilirubin predicted the length of the hospital stay. Follow-up SFL, which were available only in eight patients, decreased during the hospital stay.
Conclusions: In adults with acute HAV infection, SFL may be increased. SFL correlated with the degree of liver injury and hemolysis that occur during the disease. However, in our cohort of HAV patients, who had a relatively benign disease course, SFL were of no prognostic value.
Adi Elias MD, Rudi Hamoudi MD, Naama Schwartz PHD, Gilat Ron MPH and Mazen Elias MD
Background: Recurrent miscarriages are associated with a high prevalence of thrombophilia. Use of a calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT) can serve as a universal test for thrombophilia.
Objectives: To examine whether thrombin generation measured by CAT is elevated during the first trimester in women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages.
Methods: This study comprised 25 pregnant women with recurrent pregnancy loss referred for thrombophilia screening and treated with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). Thrombin generation parameters were measured in women who had miscarriages or live births and who were diagnosed as positive or negative for thrombophilia.
Results: Of the pregnancies, 76% resulted in live birth and 24% ended in miscarriages. Among the women, 76% were positive for thrombophilia. Thrombin generation parameters between pregnancies that ended in miscarriage compared to live births were not significantly different, and CAT parameters failed to predict pregnancy outcome. Although the CAT parameters demonstrated a trend toward a hypercoagulable state in women with thrombophilia, there was no statistical significance (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Women with unexplained pregnancy loss demonstrated similar thrombin generation in the first trimester, regardless of the pregnancy outcome. CAT parameters failed to predict pregnancy outcome in women with recurrent unexplained pregnancy loss. Our results should be interpreted with caution due to the small number of participants.
Galina Goltzman MD, Sivan Perl MD, Lior Cohen Mendel MD, Eyal Avivi MD and Micha J Rapoport MD
Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) blood level is associated with clinical outcomes of several diseases. However, the independent predictive role of CRP in the heterogeneous population of patients admitted to internal medicine wards is not known.
Objectives: To determine whether single CRP levels at admission independently predicts clinical outcome and flow of patients in general medicine wards.
Methods: This study comprised 275 patients (50.5% female) with a mean age of 68.25 ± 17.0 years, hospitalized with acute disease in a general internal medicine ward. The association between admission CRP levels and clinical outcomes including mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, duration of hospitalization, and re-admission within 6 months was determined.
Results: A significant association was found between CRP increments of 80 mg/L and risk for the major clinical outcomes measured. The mortality odds ratio (OR) was 1.89 (95% confidence interval (95%CI, 1.37–2.61, P < 0.001), mechanical ventilation OR 1.67 (95%CI, 1.10–2.34, P = 0.006), re-admission within 6 months OR 2.29 (95%CI, 1.66–3.15 P < 0.001), and prolonged hospitalization >7 days OR 2.09 (95%CI, 1.59–2.74, P < 0.001). Lower increments of10 mg/L in CRP levels were associated with these outcomes although with lower ORs. Using a stepwise regression model for admission CRP levels resulted in area under the receiver operating characteristics curves between 0.70 and 0.76 for these outcomes.
Conclusions: A single admission CRP blood level is independently associated with major parameters of clinical outcomes in acute care patients hospitalized in internal medicine wards.
David Zahler MD, Elena Izkhakov MD PhD, Keren-Lee Rozenfeld MD, Dor Ravid MD, Shmuel Banai MD, Yan Topilsky MD and Yacov Shacham MD
Background: Data suggest that subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is associated with progression of chronic renal disease; however, no study to date has assessed the possible relation between SCH and acute deterioration of renal function.
Objectives: To investigate the possible relation between SCH and acute kidney injury (AKI) in a large cohort of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) treated with primary coronary intervention (PCI).
Methods: We evaluated thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free T4 levels of 1591 STEMI patients with no known history of hypothyroidism or thyroid replacement treatment who were admitted to the coronary care unit (October 2007–August 2017). The presence of SCH was defined as TSH levels ≥ 5 mU/ml in the presence of normal free T4 levels. Patients were assessed for development of AKI ( 0.3 mg/dl increase in serum creatinine, according to the KDIGO criteria).
Results: The presence of SCH was demonstrated in 68/1593 (4.2%) STEMI patients. Patients presenting with SCH had more AKI complications during the course of STEMI (20.6% vs. 9.6 %; P = 0.003) and had significantly higher serum creatinine change throughout hospitalization (0.19 mg/dl vs. 0.08 mg/dl, P = 0.04). No significant difference was present in groups regarding baseline renal function and the amount of contrast volume delivered during coronary angiography. In multivariate logistic regression model, SCH was independently associated with AKI (odds ratio = 2.19, 95% confidence interval 1.05–4.54, P =0.04).
Conclusions: Among STEMI patients treated with PCI, the presence of SCH is common and may serve as a significant marker for AKI.