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With ageing of the population, it is estimated that the percentage of old people aged above 65 years old will be approached to 30% in China by 2035. This presents a considerable challenge to geriatric burn treatment, as elderly burn patients have more serious injuries, longer hospital lengths of stay, and higher rates of complications and mortality. In this article, we analyze the current status of burns in the elderly in China and the factors contributing to the outcome of the elderly, and put forward therapeutic strategies so as to improve the level of prevention and treatment of burns in the elderly.

Concepts: Gerontology, Old age

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In this commentary article, we introduce the definition, evaluative contents and methods of comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), as well as its successful application in Western countries. CGA is a multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment process that identifies medical, psychosocial, and functional capabilities of elderly adults to develop plans including overall treatment, nursing, and follow-up to maximize overall health with aging. How to change this situation has become an important challenge due to the significant increase in postoperative complications, mortality, and treatment costs for elderly patients with surgical diseases. Current clinical evidence from Western countries supports that CGA can significantly improve recovery of function, reduce complications and mortality, greatly cut down medical cost, and improve medical utility of elderly patients with burn, trauma, and surgical diseases. Therefore, we advocate that CGA should be routinely used in elderly inpatients before non-cardiac surgical operation in our country.

Concepts: Medicine, Death, Hospital, Surgery, Physician, Gerontology, Aging, Geriatrics

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Objective: To compare and analyze the epidemiological characteristics of hospitalized elderly, young and middle-aged patients with severe burn in recent years, so as to provide reference for the prevention and treatment of elderly patients with severe burn. Methods: Relying on the entry system of epidemiological case data and biological sample of severe burn from multicenter in clinic, medical records of patients with severe burn, aged above 18, hospitalized in 8 burn wards from January 2012 to December 2015 were collected. Six hundred and fifteen patients who were more than 18 years old and less than or equal to 65 years old were included in young and middle-aged group (YM). Eighty-two patients aged more than 65 years old were included in elderly group (E). Data of age, gender, residence, education level, cause of injury, location of injury, season of injury, total burn area, occurrence and area of full-thickness burn injury, wound site, inhalation injury incidence and severity, post burn admission time, proportion of delayed resuscitation, proportion of escharectomy or tangential excision and skin grafting, preinjury systemic disease, system complication during hospitalization, length of hospital stay, outcome of treatment, and reason of abandoning treatment of patients were analyzed. Data were processed with chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U test. The odds ratios of preinjury systemic disease, system complication during hospitalization, and adverse outcome of patients in group YM were compared with those in group E. Results: (1) The majority of patients in the two groups were male, but the proportion of male patients in group YM was higher. There was statistically significant difference in gender distribution of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=18.727, P<0.001). The majority of patients in the two groups were from rural areas, but the proportion of rural patients in group E was higher. There was statistically significant difference in residence distribution of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=9.306, P=0.002). Patients in group YM mainly had secondary education, while patients in group E mainly had primary education. There was statistically significant difference in distribution of education level of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=146.797, P<0.001). (2) The most common causes of injury of patients in the two groups were both flame, but the proportion of patients with flame burn injury in group E was higher. There was statistically significant difference in distribution of cause of injury of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=25.063, P<0.001). The main locations of injury of patients in groups YM and E were respectively public place and private residence. There was statistically significant difference in location distribution of injury of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=46.313, P<0.001). The main seasons of injury of patients in groups YM and E were respectively summer and winter. There was statistically significant difference in season distribution of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=23.143, P<0.001). There was statistically significant difference in distribution of total burn area of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=25.799, P=0.002). The occurrences of full-thickness burn injury of patients in the two groups were similar (χ(2)=2.685, P=0.101), while there was statistically significant difference in area of full-thickness burn injury of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=26.702, P=0.002). There was no statistically significant difference in distribution of wound site of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=3.954, P=0.785). There were no statistically significant differences in incidence and severity distribution of inhalation injury of patients between the two groups (with χ(2) values respectively 0.425 and 0.672, P values above 0.05). (3) There was statistically significant difference in distribution of admission time of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=6.632, P=0.036), but there was no statistically significant difference in proportion of delayed resuscitation of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=1.261, P=0.261). The proportion of escharectomy or tangential excision and skin grafting of patients in group YM was 72.0% (443/615), which was significantly higher than 35.4% (29/82) of group E (χ(2)=44.498, P<0.001). The incidence of preinjury systemic disease of patients in group YM was 13.2% (81/615), which was significantly lower than 61.0% (50/82) of group E (χ(2)=108.337, P<0.001). The risk of preinjury systemic disease of patients in group E was 10.30 times of that of patients in group YM [with 95% confidence interval (CI) of 6.24-17.01, P<0.001]. During hospitalization, 59.8% (49/82) of patients in group E suffered from system complications, which was significantly higher than 36.6% (225/615) of group YM (χ(2)=16.282, P<0.001). The risk of system complication of patients in group E was 2.57 times of patients in group YM (with 95% CI of 1.61-4.12, P<0.001). The length of hospital stay of patients in group E was significantly shorter than that of group YM (U=36 735, P<0.001). There was statistically significant difference in treatment outcome of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=106.251, P<0.001). The risk of adverse outcome of patients in group E was 7.52 times of group YM (with 95% CI of 4.40-12.88, χ(2)=67.709, P<0.001). The proportion of abandoning treatment of patients in group E was significantly higher than that of group YM (χ(2)=150.670, P<0.001). The risk of abandoning treatment of patients in group E was 15.86 times of that of group YM (with 95% CI of 9.36-26.88, P<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in distribution of reason of abandoning treatment of patients between the two groups (χ(2)=4.178, P=0.243). Conclusions: There were significant differences in the epidemiological characteristics of patients in groups E and YM. In elderly burn patients, the proportion of rural population was higher and the education level was lower. Flame burn was common and burns mostly occurred in private residences and in winter. The total burn area was slightly lower but the area of full-thickness burn injury was larger. The length of hospital stay was shorter and the proportion of surgical treatment was lower. The incidences of preinjury systemic disease and system complication during hospitalization were higher, and therefore the risks of adverse outcome and abandoning treatment were higher.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Statistics, Hospital, Surgery, Statistical significance, Old age, Injuries, Burn

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Objective: To explore effects of perforator flaps combined with muscle flaps for repairing grade Ⅳ pressure ulcers in ischial tuberosity of elderly patients. Methods: Nine elderly patients with grade Ⅳ pressure ulcers in ischial tuberosity were hospitalized in our burn ward from April 2014 to April 2017. Size of wounds ranged from 5 cm×3 cm to 12 cm×7 cm, and depth of sinus ranged from 6 to 22 cm. After admission, emergency debridement or debridement in selective time was performed. After debridement, the wounds were treated with continuous vacuum assisted closure therapy. After the treatment for 1 to 2 weeks, tissue flaps repair operations were performed. Four patients were repaired with inferior gluteal artery perforator flaps combined with long head of biceps femoris muscle flaps. Three patients were repaired with inferior gluteal artery perforator flaps combined with semimembranous muscle flaps. One patient was repaired with inferior gluteal artery perforator flap combined with gracilis muscle flap. One patient was repaired with femoral profound artery perforator flap combined with gluteus maximus muscle flap, and the distal area of femoral profound artery perforator flap of the patient which showed intraoperative cyanosis of 6 cm×4 cm was thinned to medium thickness skin to cover the muscle flap. The other eight patients showed no abnormality during operation. Size of perforator flaps ranged from 7 cm×5 cm to 14 cm×12 cm, and size of muscle flaps ranged from 11 cm×4 cm to 24 cm×6 cm. The donor sites of flaps were all sutured directly. Results: The tissue flaps and skin graft of all patients survived well after operation. During follow-up of 8 to 35 weeks, operative area of all patients showed good shape and texture, with no local diabrosis or recurrence of pressure ulcers. Conclusions: The combination of perforator flaps and muscle flaps is effective in repairing and reducing recurrence of grade Ⅳ pressure ulcers in ischial tuberosity of elderly patients.

Concepts: Flexion, Extension, Gluteus maximus muscle, Gluteal muscles, Superior gluteal artery, Inferior gluteal artery, Tuberosity of the ischium, Gracilis muscle

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With the development of society and the improvement of medical level, the average life span of human has been increasing year by year. The proportion of elderly burn patients is also increasing yearly, which has become a social problem that can not be ignored. Because of physiological characteristics, such as decreased function of heart, lung, and kidney, degenerative changes of neural system, reduced gastrointestinal function and immunological function, and mostly accompanied by primary diseases of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, elderly burn patients suffer from high shock rate and mortality, and their wounds are not easy to heal. With the purpose of providing ideas for prevention and treatment of elderly burn patients, this review summarizes the physiological characteristics, wound treatment, fluid resuscitation, organ protection, nutrition support, and psychological guidance of elderly burn patients.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Death, Function, Heart, Sociology, Life expectancy, First aid

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Objective: To explore the clinical effects of repair of wounds in the fingers after electrical burn with wrist perforator free flaps. Methods: Twelve patients (13 fingers) with electrical burn were hospitalized in our burn ward from January 2016 to January 2017. After radical debridement, the size of wounds ranged from 5.0 cm×2.0 cm to 10.0 cm×7.0 cm. Wounds with size below or equal to 6.0 cm ×2.5 cm were repaired with free flaps based on the superficial palmar branch of radial artery, with flap area ranging from 2.5 cm×2.2 cm to 6.0 cm×4.5 cm. The superficial palmar branch of radial artery, subcutaneous vein, and palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve underwent end-to-end anastomosis with digital proper artery, dorsal superficial vein, and digital proper nerve in the finger, respectively. The donor sites were sutured directly. Wounds with size larger than 6.0 cm×2.5 cm were repaired with free flaps based on the dorsal carpal branch of ulnar artery, with flap area ranging from 4.5 cm×3.0 cm to 12.0 cm×8.5 cm. The dorsal carpal branch of ulnar artery, subcutaneous vein, and medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve underwent end-to-end anastomosis with digital proper artery, dorsal superficial vein, and digital proper nerve in the finger, respectively. The donor sites were sutured directly or covered by full-thickness skin graft from abdomen. Results: Five free flaps based on the superficial palmar branch of radial artery and 8 free flaps based on the dorsal carpal branch of ulnar artery were used in the patients. In one week after surgery, 12 flaps survived completely, while one free flap based on the dorsal carpal branch of ulnar artery suffered from slight infection, after depressing change, it survived in the end. After the follow-up of half a year, the flaps were full in shape and the distance of two-point discrimination of ranged from 4.0 to 7.0 mm. The fingers showed good functional recovery and no deformity. The grade of function of the fingers was excellent in 10 cases and good in 3 cases. There were small incision scars in donor sites. Conclusions: The wrist perforator free flap is safe and reliable for repairing electrical burn wound of finger. The wounded finger shows good appearance and function after operation.

Concepts: Forearm, Ulnar nerve, Brachial plexus, Brachial artery, Radial artery, Arteries of the upper limb, Ulnar artery, Cubital fossa

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Objective: To observe the effects of arnebia root oil on wound healing of rats with full-thickness skin defect, and to explore the related mechanism. Methods: Eighty SD rats were divided into arnebia root oil group and control group according to the random number table, with 40 rats in each group, then full-thickness skin wounds with area of 3 cm×3 cm were inflicted on the back of each rat. Wounds of rats in arnebia root oil group and control group were treated with sterile medical gauze and bandage package infiltrated with arnebia root oil gauze or Vaseline gauze, respectively, with dressing change of once every two days. On post injury day (PID) 3, 7, 14, and 21, 10 rats in each group were sacrificed respectively for general observation and calculation of wound healing rate. The tissue samples of unhealed wound were collected for observation of histomorphological change with HE staining, observation of expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) with immunohistochemical staining, and determination of mRNA expressions of VEGF and bFGF with real time fluorescent quantitive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Data were processed with analysis of variance of factorial design, t test, and Bonferroni correction. Results: (1) On PID 3, there were a few secretions in wounds of rats in the two groups. On PID 7, there were fewer secretions and more granulation tissue in wounds of rats in arnebia root oil group, while there were more secretions and less granulation tissue in wounds of rats in control group. On PID 14, most of the wounds of rats in arnebia root oil group were healed and there was much red granulation tissue in unhealed wounds, while part of wounds of rats in control group was healed and there were a few secretions and less granulation tissue in unhealed wounds. On PID 21, wounds of rats in arnebia root oil group were basically healed, while there were still some unhealed wounds of rats in control group. (2) On PID 3 and 7, the wound healing rates of rats in arnebia root oil group were (39±5)% and (46±4)% respectively, which were close to (34±3)% and (44±4)% of rats in control group (with t values respectively 0.807 and 0.481, P values above 0.05). On PID 14 and 21, the wound healing rates of rats in arnebia root oil group were (76±4)% and (90±3)% respectively, which were significantly higher than (60±6)% and (73±5)% of rats in control group (with t values respectively 2.308 and 3.072, P<0.05 or P<0.01). (3) On PID 3, 7, and 14, granulation tissue, fibroblasts, and nascent capillaries in unhealed wound tissue of rats in the two groups both gradually increased, and more ranulation tissue, fibroblasts, and nascent capillaries were seen in unhealed wound tissue of rats in arnebia root oil group. On PID 21, granulation tissue, fibroblasts, and nascent capillaries in unhealed wound tissue of rats in the two groups both gradually decreased. (4) On PID 3, 7, and 14, the numbers of VEGF positive cells and bFGF positive cells in unhealed wound tissue of rats in the two groups both gradually increased; there were more VEGF positive cells and bFGF positive cells in unhealed wound tissue of rats in arnebia root oil group than those in control group. On PID 21, positive expressions of VEGF and bFGF both decreased in unhealed wound tissue of rats in the two groups. (5) On PID 3, 7, and 14, mRNA expressions of VEGF in unhealed wound tissue of rats in arnebia root oil group were higher than those of control group (with t values from 2.967 to 4.173, P values below 0.01). On PID 21, mRNA expression of VEGF in unhealed wound tissue of rats in arnebia root oil group was lower than that of control group (t=-4.786, P<0.001). From PID 3 to 21, mRNA expressions of bFGF in unhealed wound tissue of rats in arnebia root oil group were higher than those of control group (with t values from 2.326 to 4.702, P<0.05 or P<0.01). Conclusions: Arnebia root oil can promote wound healing of rats with full-thickness skin defect, which may relate to increasing expressions of VEGF and bFGF.

Concepts: Wound healing, Collagen, Extracellular matrix, Healing, Angiogenesis, Fibroblast growth factor, Wound, Granulation tissue

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Objective: To systcmatically evaluate the effectiveness and safety of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) in treating adults with severe burn. Methods: Databases including PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase were searched using key words “ burns, thermal, human growth hormone, growth hormone, hGH, and somatropin (human)” , and China Biology Medicine disc, Chinese Journals Full-text Database, VIP Database, and Wanfang Database were searched using key words in Chinese version “,” to obtain the randomized controlled trials about rhGH in the treatment of adults with severe burn from the establishment of each database to December 2016. The measurement indexes included hemoglobin (Hb) and plasma total protein, inflammatory factors [including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)], incidence rate of sepsis, incidence rate of hyperglycemia, wound healing time, length of stay, and mortality rate. Meta-analysis was conducted by RevMan 5.3 statistical software. Results: A total of 8 trials involving 534 patients were included; 276 patients in rhGH group were treated with rhGH and 258 patients in placebo control group were treated with placebo. One trial had low risk of bias, while the other 7 trials had unclear risk of bias. The levels of Hb and plasma total protein of patients in rhGH group were higher than those in placebo control group, with standardized mean differences (SMDs) respectively 2.00 and 2.23 [with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) respectively 0.19-3.82 and 1.21-3.26, P<0.05 or P<0.01]. The levels of IL-6 and TNF-α of patients in rhGH group were lower than those in placebo control group, with SMDs respectively -1.46 and -1.13 (with 95% CIs respectively -2.40--0.53 and -1.75--0.51, P values below 0.05). Incidence rate of sepsis and mortality rate of patients in rhGH group were lower than those in placebo control group, with relative risks (RRs) respectively 0.60 and 0.35 (with 95% CIs respectively 0.42-0.85 and 0.15-0.83, P values below 0.05). Incidence rate of hyperglycemia of patients in rhGH group was higher than that in placebo control group, with RR of 2.39 (with 95% CI 1.79-3.18, P<0.001). The wound healing time and length of stay of patients in rhGH group were lower than those in control group, with SMDs respectively -1.54 and -2.00 (with 95% CIs respectively -2.22--0.86 and -3.51--0.49, P<0.05 or P<0.01). Hb, plasma total protein, inflammatory factors, incidence rate of sepsis, wound healing time, length of stay, and mortality rate showed no significant publication bias (P values above 0.05), while there may be publication bias in incidence rate of hyperglycemia (P=0.026). Conclusions: rhGH can inhibit the breakdown of Hb and plasma total protein, reduce the level of inflammatory factors and incidence rate of sepsis, thus shorten the wound healing time and length of stay, thereby reduce mortality rate of adult patients with severe burn. However rhGH may cause hyperglycemia.

Concepts: Immune system, Hypothalamus, Epidemiology, Wound healing, Medical statistics, Recombinant DNA, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth hormone

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Dry eye is the second most common ocular disease. In China, the incidence rate of dry eye has reached 21% to 30%, and dry eye patients have accounted for more than 30% of the total ophthalmology outpatients. Dry eye has become a common health problem that affects the working efficiency and life quality of Chinese people. Over the past decade, due to the rapid development of diagnostic equipments and new treatments for dry eye, dry eye has become one of the areas with greatest concerns in ophthalmology, and many eye institutions have set up their dry eye clinics. Although the diagnosis and treatment of dry eye has been improved in recent years, the awareness of dry eye in Chinese ophthalmologists is still too simple. In the diagnosis, the interrogation and basic examination are not given enough attention, and we are over-relying on equipments. Clinical examination and instrument operation also have not been standardized. This article emphasizes that we should pay attention to the interrogation, basic examination and standardization of clinical examination and equipment operation in diagnosing dry eye. The treatment regimen should be mostly refined and optimized to be individualized and comprehensive based on the causes, types and severity of dry eye. In addition, the physical and adjuvant therapy of dry eye should be given sufficient attention and applied reasonably. (Chin J Ophthalmol, 2017, 53: 641-644).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Han Chinese, Ophthalmology, Physical examination, Overseas Chinese, Chinese people, Optometry

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Nowadays, diabetes is quickly emerging as one of the biggest health-related catastrophes over the world. Its impact on people’s quality of life has been gradually taken seriously. In the past few years, the connection linking dry eye to diabetes has been substantially confirmed by a series of studies. However, many areas remain uncertain due to the complex and diverse pathogeneses of diabetes related dry eye syndrome. Furthermore, the slow progression of dry eye symptoms easily conceals its connection with diabetes, which brings great challenges to timely diagnosis and effective interventions. This article aims at improving the clinical understanding of this kind of disease and standardizing its diagnosis and treatment by outlining the correlation between diabetes and dry eye. (Chin J Ophthalmol, 2017, 53: 645-647).

Concepts: Time, Clinical trial, The Canon of Medicine, Syndromes, Ophthalmology, Past, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca