Editor’s note: Media around the world, including social media, frequently report on American College of Surgeons (ACS) activities. Following are brief excerpts from news stories covering research and activities from the ACS Clinical Congress 2017, held in San Diego, CA, October 22–26. To access the news items in their entirety, visit the online ACS Newsroom.
Gunshot sensors improve odds for shooting victims
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 24, 2017
“Gunshot sensors may help speed treatment of shooting victims and potentially improve outcomes for those with the most serious injuries, a new study suggests.
About 90 U.S. cities have installed the sensors to help pinpoint shooting scenes and find victims. Fewer than 20 percent of shots fired are reported to police, according to the researchers.”
Surgery process maps may reduce infection risks in low resource settings
Medscape, October 24, 2017
“Process maps can reduce the risk for perioperative infection in low-income countries by pinpointing barriers to good procedures, researchers say.
A process map implemented at a pilot site in Jimma, Ethiopia, significantly improved such measures as hand-washing and the timing of prophylactic antibiotics, said Jared Forrester, MD, a surgical fellow at Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, [CA]. ‘This can be a powerful tool,’ he said.”
Acoustic gunshot sensors help speed treatment of shooting victims
Yahoo! Finance, October 25, 2017
“Acoustic gunshot sensors have been pinpointing shooting scenes and victims for years. The tech can be found in around 90 U.S. cities in total. Meanwhile, the American military has been using it to track down the source of gunshots on the battlefield since 2011. But, the effectiveness of the sensors in saving the lives of ordinary citizens has never been quantified. That’s all changing, courtesy of a new study by surgeons at the University of California, San Francisco-East Bay. The key finding from the analysis of shooting victims (identified through the sensors) is that the tech is potentially beneficial for those who have suffered serious injuries.”
Checklist aims to help prevent surgical infections in Africa
Scope, October 26, 2017
“For the last year, Stanford surgery resident Jared Forrester, MD, has been living in Ethiopia, tackling one of surgery’s most troubling issues—how to prevent infections after an operation. Infection is always a risk with surgery, but those risks can be as much as five times higher among patients in low- and middle-income countries, Forrester said.”
Many high-risk women skip breast cancer screenings, even if they’re free
United Press International, October 26, 2017
“Knowing they’re at increased risk for breast cancer isn’t enough to persuade many women to get [magnetic resonance imaging] screenings—even if they’re free.
Researchers studied more than 1,000 women in a U.S. military health system who had a 20 percent or greater lifetime risk of breast cancer due to genetics or personal or family history.”
More than 80% of women with a high risk of breast cancer are not getting screened, study warns
Daily Mail, October 27, 2017
“Earlier MRI screening is recommended for women with genetic predisposition to breast cancer, or personal or family history of the disease.
But the study presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in San Diego found the vast majority of these women choose not to get it.”
Treating appendicitis without surgery: Fears raised
Medscape, October 27, 2017
“By managing older, sicker patients’ appendicitis without surgery, U.S. physicians may be increasing their risk for death by a slight but statistically significant degree, data suggest.
‘Mortality, we were surprised to find, was significantly higher in the patients managed nonoperatively,’ said lead author Isaiah Turnbull, MD, PhD, [FACS,] an assistant professor of surgery at Washington University in Saint Louis, [MO].”
Belly fat widens odds of emergency surgery troubles
Health, October 30, 2017
“Excess belly fat dramatically increases the risk of complications and death after emergency surgery, a new study finds.
The research included more than 600 patients who had emergency surgery and underwent [computed tomography] scans of the abdomen and pelvis before surgery. These scans were used to calculate waist-to-hip ratios, a measure of belly fat. A healthy ratio should not exceed .90 in men and .85 in women, according to the World Health Organization.”