Orthopedic Traumatic Injuries on the Rise; Need for Improved Protocols and Procedures to Make Surgeries Safer

Rapid socio-economic changes accompanied by increasing urbanization, a steady rise in ageing population and lifestyle shifts are set to drive an increasing burden of orthopaedic injuries in India, upping the need for improved procedures and better training of surgeons to make surgeries safer and more effective.

This was the consensus among orthopaedic experts gathered from across the country at the Delhi Orthopaedic Association’s Annual Conference DOACON 2016 in the national capital today.

Hosted by the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, DOACON 2016 has brought together leading experts, pioneers and delegates in the field of orthopaedics from across India as well as the world to discuss ways and means to deal with the increasing prevalence of traumatic orthopaedic injuries and osteoporotic fractures.

First Indian Olympic gold medalist, shooter Abhinav Bindra graced the occasion as the guest of honour. Highlighting the fact that promoting sports medicine should be made an integral part of sports training culture in India, Bindra also pointed out in his speech that timely intervention and safe surgeries can have dramatic effects on the recovery rate of injuries in athletes.

The main theme of this 3-day conference is to set protocols and share knowledge to make surgeries safer and prevent complications, arising there from. Eminent stakeholders and expert medical practitioners from government and private hospitals and associations came together to deliberate on evolving complications in the modern-day orthopaedic surgeries and sensitize the community of orthopaedic surgeons to practice safe surgical procedures.

“A number of factors today are driving a surge in orthopaedic problems as well as traumatic orthopaedic injuries. Socio economic development and resultant urbanization is accompanied by increase in use of automobiles, rise in construction activities as well as lifestyle shifts towards the sedentary that tend to weaken the muscoskeletal system. At the same time, rising life expectancy gives us a huge population of the elderly who are prone to osteoporotic fractures suffered usually in falls. In addition, trauma is an expediential increase in India which is a significant number for orthopaedic related injuries. In a nutshell, we in India are set to experience a substantial rise in burden of orthopaedic problems in the near future,” said Dr. H.S. Chabbra, Chief of Spine Service & Medical Director, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

The rise in orthopaedic problems automatically lead to a rise in demand for surgeries and joint replacement procedures, putting an onus on the medical community to improve its standards of healthcare delivery and make surgeries safer. The DOACON 2016 is a step in that direction.

With an objective to facilitate dissemination of authentic information on current trends in orthopaedic surgery, the high-level international conference aimed to cover all premiere aspects of orthopaedic ailment relevant to the present day orthopaedic surgeon in India, and outlined a sustainable road map for future orthopaedic care in the country.

The conference helped experts from across the country as well as the world share best practices and interventions with the community and sensitize surgeons and physicians about the need to adopt best practices to make surgeries safer and prevent complications.

“With increasing life expectancy, problem of Hip & Knee arthritis is also on the increase. People now days do not want to live in pain. We have the latest and most advanced technologies as well as implants for joint replacements. Which increases the precision with which such surgeries are done increasing the longevity of implant.” explains Dr. Bhushan Nariani,  Head of  Orthopaedic Department, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi.

More than 18 academic sessions were held during the conference and informative case study scenarios were discussed as a part of the conference. 50 presentations were made by eminent national and international faculties and ‘how-to-do-it’ videos were demonstrated by experienced surgeons across India. Hands on workshops helped experts share advanced expertise and knowledge within the community.

In spite of widespread deliberations and global research regarding improving patient safety protocols, regular use of checklists for surgical procedures has not yet been completely implemented in India. The ‘one-size-fits all’ surgical procedures are not successful in achieving the intended results of improved patient safety and outcomes, stressed health experts at the conference.

According to WHO, middle and low-income countries have a 2-3-fold higher frequency of ICU-acquired infections as compared to high-income economies.  Device-associated infections in India are said to be 13 times higher than in the US.

“There are many important aspects prior to the surgical incision procedure including surgical consent, anticipating the level and length of surgery, antibiotic administration, availability of surgical implants, measuring blood loss issues and other critical surgical conditions, and so on. Add to this, labelling pathological specimens, using proper needle and identifying surgical equipment problems are a must to make the entire surgery safe and hassle-free,” said Dr Chhabra.

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