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Daniel R. Cleary, Dominic A. Siler, Nathaniel Whitney, and Nathan R. Selden

OBJECTIVE

Surgical simulation has the potential to supplement and enhance traditional resident training. However, the high cost of equipment and limited number of available scenarios have inhibited wider integration of simulation in neurosurgical education. In this study the authors provide initial validation of a novel, low-cost simulation platform that recreates the stress of surgery using a combination of hands-on, model-based, and computer elements. Trainee skill was quantified using multiple time and performance measures. The simulation was initially validated using trainees at the start of their intern year.

METHODS

The simulation recreates intraoperative superior sagittal sinus injury complicated by air embolism. The simulator model consists of 2 components: a reusable base and a disposable craniotomy pack. The simulator software is flexible and modular to allow adjustments in difficulty or the creation of entirely new clinical scenarios. The reusable simulator base incorporates a powerful microcomputer and multiple sensors and actuators to provide continuous feedback to the software controller, which in turn adjusts both the screen output and physical elements of the model. The disposable craniotomy pack incorporates 3D-printed sections of model skull and brain, as well as artificial dura that incorporates a model sagittal sinus.

RESULTS

Twelve participants at the 2015 Western Region Society of Neurological Surgeons postgraduate year 1 resident course (“boot camp”) provided informed consent and enrolled in a study testing the prototype device. Each trainee was required to successfully create a bilateral parasagittal craniotomy, repair a dural sinus tear, and recognize and correct an air embolus. Participant stress was measured using a heart rate wrist monitor. After participation, each resident completed a 13-question categorical survey.

CONCLUSIONS

All trainee participants experienced tachycardia during the simulation, although the point in the simulation at which they experienced tachycardia varied. Survey results indicated that participants agreed the simulation was realistic, created stress, and was a useful tool in training neurosurgical residents. This simulator represents a novel, low-cost approach for hands-on training that effectively teaches and tests residents without risk of patient injury.

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Ross P. Martini, Jonathan Ward, Dominic A. Siler, Jamie M. Eastman, Jonathan W. Nelson, Rohan N. Borkar, Nabil J. Alkayed, Aclan Dogan, and Justin S. Cetas

Object

Patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are at high risk for delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and stroke. Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) play an important role in cerebral blood flow regulation and neuroprotection after brain injury. Polymorphisms in the gene for the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which inactivates EETs, are associated with ischemic stroke risk and neuronal survival after ischemia. This prospective observational study of patients with SAH compares vital and neurologic outcomes based on functional polymorphisms of sEH.

Methods

Allelic discrimination based on quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to differentiate wild-type sEH from K55R heterozygotes (predictive of increased sEH activity and reduced EETs) and R287Q heterozygotes (predictive of decreased sEH activity and increased EETs). The primary outcome was new stroke after SAH. Secondary outcomes were death, Glasgow Outcome Scale score, and neurological deterioration attributable to DCI.

Results

Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for age at admission and Glasgow Coma Scale scores revealed an increase in the odds of new stroke (OR 5.48 [95% CI 1.51–19.91]) and death (OR 7.52 [95% CI 1.27–44.46]) in the K55R group, but no change in the odds of new stroke (OR 0.56 [95% CI 0.16–1.96]) or death (OR 3.09 [95% CI 0.51–18.52]) in patients with R287Q genotype, compared with wild-type sEH. The R287Q genotype was associated with reduced odds of having a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of ≤ 3 (OR 0.23 [95% CI 0.06–0.82]). There were no significant differences in the odds of neurological deterioration due to DCI.

Conclusions

Genetic polymorphisms of sEH are associated with neurological and vital outcomes after aneurysmal SAH.

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Stephen G. Bowden, Dominic A. Siler, Maryam N. Shahin, David J. Mazur-Hart, Daniel N. Munger, Miner N. Ross, Brannan E. O’Neill, Caleb S. Nerison, Michael Rothbaum, Seunggu J. Han, James M. Wright, Josiah N. Orina, Jesse L. Winer, and Nathan R. Selden

OBJECTIVE

To comply with the removal of the 88-hour week exemption and to support additional operative experience during junior residency, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) switched from a night-float call schedule to a modified 24-hour call schedule on July 1, 2019. This study compared the volumes of clinical, procedural, and operative cases experienced by postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2) and PGY-3 residents under these systems.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively studied billing and related clinical records, call schedules, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs for PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents at OHSU, a tertiary academic health center, for the first 4 months of the academic years from 2017 to 2020. The authors analyzed the volumes of new patient consultations, bedside procedures, and operative procedures performed by each PGY-2 and PGY-3 resident during these years, comparing the volumes experienced under each call system.

RESULTS

Changing from a PGY-2 resident–focused night-float call system to a 24-hour call system that was more evenly distributed between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents resulted in decreased volume of new patient consultations, increased volume of operative procedures, and no change in volume of bedside procedures for PGY-2 residents. PGY-3 residents experienced a decrease in operative procedure volume under the 24-hour call system.

CONCLUSIONS

Transition from a night-float system to a 24-hour call system altered the distribution of clinical and procedural experiences between PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents. Further research is necessary to understand the impact of these changes on educational outcomes, quality and safety of patient care, and resident satisfaction.