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David J. Mazur-Hart, Stephen G. Bowden, Brandi W. Pang, Nasser K. Yaghi, Joseph G. Nugent, Laurie D. Yablon, Wendy O. Domreis, Erika T. Ohm, and Christina M. Sayama

OBJECTIVE

Amid national and local budget crises, cutting costs while maintaining quality care is a top priority. Chiari malformation is a relatively common pediatric neurosurgical pathology, and postoperative care varies widely. The postoperative course can be complicated by pain and nausea, which can extend the hospital stay. In this study, the authors aimed to examine whether instituting a standardized postoperative care protocol would decrease overall patient hospital length of stay (LOS) as well as cost to families and the hospital system.

METHODS

A retrospective study of pediatric patients who underwent an intradural Chiari decompression with expansile duraplasty at a single institution from January 2016 to September 2019 was performed. A standardized postoperative care protocol was instituted on May 17, 2018. Pre- and postprotocol groups were primarily analyzed for demographics, LOS, and the estimated financial expense of the hospital stay. Secondary analysis included readmissions, opioid consumption, and follow-up.

RESULTS

The analysis included 132 pediatric patients who underwent an intradural Chiari decompression with expansile duraplasty. The preprotocol group included 97 patients and the postprotocol group included 35 patients. Patient age ranged from 0.5 to 26 years (mean 9.5 years). The mean LOS preprotocol was 55.48 hours (range 25.90–127.77 hours), and the mean postprotocol LOS was 46.39 hours (range 27.58–77.38 hours). The comparison between means showed a statistically significant decrease following protocol initiation (95% CI 1.87–16.31 hours, p = 0.014). In the preprotocol group, 21 of 97 patients (22%) were discharged the first day after surgery compared with 14 of 35 patients (40%) in the postprotocol group (p = 0.045). The estimated cost of one night on the pediatric neurosurgical intermediate ward was approximately $4500, which gives overall cost estimates for 100 theoretical cases of $927,800 for the preprotocol group and $732,900 for the postprotocol group.

CONCLUSIONS

By instituting a Chiari protocol, postoperative LOS was significantly decreased, which resulted in decreased healthcare costs while maintaining high-quality and safe care.

Free access

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.

Free access

Justin A. Neira, Timothy H. Ung, Jennifer S. Sims, Hani R. Malone, Daniel S. Chow, Jorge L. Samanamud, George J. Zanazzi, Xiaotao Guo, Stephen G. Bowden, Binsheng Zhao, Sameer A. Sheth, Guy M. McKhann II, Michael B. Sisti, Peter Canoll, Randy S. D'Amico, and Jeffrey N. Bruce

OBJECTIVE

Extent of resection is an important prognostic factor in patients undergoing surgery for glioblastoma (GBM). Recent evidence suggests that intravenously administered fluorescein sodium associates with tumor tissue, facilitating safe maximal resection of GBM. In this study, the authors evaluate the safety and utility of intraoperative fluorescein guidance for the prediction of histopathological alteration both in the contrast-enhancing (CE) regions, where this relationship has been established, and into the non-CE (NCE), diffusely infiltrated margins.

METHODS

Thirty-two patients received fluorescein sodium (3 mg/kg) intravenously prior to resection. Fluorescence was intraoperatively visualized using a Zeiss Pentero surgical microscope equipped with a YELLOW 560 filter. Stereotactically localized biopsy specimens were acquired from CE and NCE regions based on preoperative MRI in conjunction with neuronavigation. The fluorescence intensity of these specimens was subjectively classified in real time with subsequent quantitative image analysis, histopathological evaluation of localized biopsy specimens, and radiological volumetric assessment of the extent of resection.

RESULTS

Bright fluorescence was observed in all GBMs and localized to the CE regions and portions of the NCE margins of the tumors, thus serving as a visual guide during resection. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 84% of the patients with an average resected volume of 95%, and this rate was higher among patients for whom GTR was the surgical goal (GTR achieved in 93.1% of patients, average resected volume of 99.7%). Intraoperative fluorescein staining correlated with histopathological alteration in both CE and NCE regions, with positive predictive values by subjective fluorescence evaluation greater than 96% in NCE regions.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative administration of fluorescein provides an easily visualized marker for glioma pathology in both CE and NCE regions of GBM. These findings support the use of fluorescein as a microsurgical adjunct for guiding GBM resection to facilitate safe maximal removal.