American College of Surgeons, Oct. 22-25

The annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons was held this year from Oct. 22 to 25 in Boston and attracted participants from around the world, including surgeons, medical experts, allied health professionals, and administrators. The conference included hundreds of general and specialty sessions, postgraduate courses, scientific paper presentations, video-based education presentations, and posters focusing on the latest advances in surgical care.

In one study, Aaron Jensen, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco and Benioff Children”s Hospital Oakland, and colleagues found that children initially receiving treatment at trauma centers reporting pediatric readiness scores in the highest quartile have the best risk-adjusted survival.

The authors analyzed data from the 2021 national assessment administered by the National Pediatric Readiness Project, which aims to ensure that all U.S. emergency departments are prepared to provide high-quality emergency care to adolescents and children. The investigators found that emergency departments reporting pediatric readiness in the top 25th percentile had the best risk-adjusted survival. The researchers suggest that all trauma centers should optimize the readiness of their emergency departments to provide initial postinjury care, even if most children will be transferred to a verified pediatric trauma center.

“These data support the American College of Surgeons trauma center quality standard that calls for all trauma centers to assess their own emergency department pediatric readiness and generate a plan to address any deficiencies,” Jensen said. “Only approximately 60 percent of children have timely access to a pediatric trauma center nationally, but approximately 90 percent have access to a high-level trauma center. Optimizing emergency department pediatric readiness at adult trauma centers could improve timely access to high-quality initial postinjury care at trauma centers and improve survival for injured children nationally.”

Press Release

In another study, Emily Palmquist, M.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues found that educational materials about breast surgery are difficult to locate and present at higher reading levels than recommended.

The authors analyzed patient education materials about types of breast surgery, including breast-conserving surgery, mastectomy, and lymph node surgery, provided by National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCI-CCC) websites. The researchers found that patient education materials on NCI-CCC sites far exceeded the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommendations, with the mean readability score being above the 11th grade reading level.

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