AEREN FOUNDATION’S Maharashtra Govt. Reg. No.: F-11724
SUB: HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION MANAGEMENT
N. B.: 1)Attempt any Four Q...
care.
In the absence of gold standard diagnostic testing for GORD, symptom assessment and understanding how
symptoms impac...
VALUABLE INSIGHTS
A randomised, double-blind study of 581 patients using ReQuest has established that pantoprazole is as e...
Case -2 --A New Concept in Annuloplasty for Valve Repair: the Biodegradable Ring - BIORING
COMPANY PROFILE
BIORING, founde...
of materials that can be used in presence of endocarditis.
In order to preserve the native annulus growth potential in chi...
2. Analyse the new concept at length in terms of Biodegradable principle.
Case -3 --Bone Substitutes to replace Transplant...
osteoconductive and osteoinductive properties and biocompatibility. Apart from natural materials
obtained from corals or a...
approximately two minutes after mixing the two components. Similar to a plastic glue, the mixture can be
applied with a sp...
In December 2005 the New York Times reported that a nurse with active TB from a New York City
hospital had exposed 1,500 p...
Issues to be Addressed
1. List out the facts of the case.
2. Project your perception on the new standard brought out in th...
radiosurgery, this non-invasive modality has rapidly grown in popularity due to its brief treatment times
and lower compli...
GKS patients generally stay in hospital for a maximum of three days, whereas those who receive
microsurgery typically need...
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Hospital Administration Management

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Hospital Administration Management

  1. 1. AEREN FOUNDATION’S Maharashtra Govt. Reg. No.: F-11724 SUB: HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION MANAGEMENT N. B.: 1)Attempt any Four Questions 2)All questions carries equal marks. Case Study 1 -- A New Approach to Managing GORD - ALTANA Pharma COMPANY PROFILE ALTANA Pharma is the pharmaceutical division of ALTANA AG. The company concentrates on innovative pharmaceutical products in therapeutics, imaging (contrast media) and OTC medication. Therapeutics, the most important business area, is based on prescription drugs for gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. INTRODUCTION A new method has been developed for diagnosing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and assessing treatment progress. Until now, assessing the progress of treatment for Gastro-Oesaphageal Reflux Disease (GORD) has relied primarily on an assessment of oesophageal healing. Documenting GORD therapy success is a difficult task, as mucosal damage does not always correspond with the severity of symptoms.1 In addition, 70% of all patients with GORD symptoms have endoscopic-negative GORD. To further complicate the GORD picture, Endoscopy-Negative Reflux Disease (ENRD), Non-Erosive Reflux Disease (NERD), functional heartburn or reflux-like dyspepsia is often diagnosed, and most patients with heartburn do not have mucosal breaks. Moreover, diagnostic approaches vary between primary and secondary AN ISO 9001 : 2008 CERTIFIED INTERNATIONAL B-SCHOOL
  2. 2. care. In the absence of gold standard diagnostic testing for GORD, symptom assessment and understanding how symptoms impact on a patient’s quality of life is critical to the successful management of a patient. Recent research has suggested that the symptom complex experienced by GORD patients is much wider than previously appreciated. Besides heartburn, acid eructation, and pain on swallowing, a variety of other GORD-related symptoms are experienced, including nausea, diarrhoea or constipation and sleep disturbance, as well as other symptoms, such as respiratory complaints. GORD is a condition of diverse and variable symptoms, many of which significantly impair quality of life. The problem for gastroenterologists trying to build a complete picture of a patient’s symptoms is that patients may find it difficult to describe accurately all the symptoms they are experiencing. Consequently, they may not be treated effectively. Even after successful acute treatment, the majority of patients suffer a recurrence of symptoms within six months. And, if the non-classic signs of GORD are not seen, patients may be misdiagnosed. The broad spectrum of symptoms in GORD patients and the high prevalence of endoscopy-negative GORD highlight the need for a robust, validated approach to symptom assessment. SIMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE One such approach is ReQuest™, a simple and effective questionnaire, which patients use to assess themselves daily for a wide range of GORD symptoms. It was created following discussions with patients and physicians to identify the spectrum of symptoms reported and establish how they were described by GORD patients. The questionnaire was also based on an evaluation of relevant medical literature and clinical trial data. ReQuest is divided into seven dimensions covering acid complaints, upper abdominal/stomach complaints, lower abdominal / digestive complaints, nausea, sleep disturbances, general well-being and other complaints. A short version of the questionnaire, which can be completed in less than five minutes, focuses solely on these seven dimensions, while the full version, which takes approximately 20 minutes, is more wide-ranging. Both tests have undergone extensive clinical trial evaluation and statistical analysis, which has confirmed their internal consistency, test-retest reliability, construct validity, and responsiveness to changes during treatment. ReQuest fulfils the criteria set by the regulatory authorities for a validated symptom-based system for use as the primary outcome measure in clinical trials of GORD therapy. It has now been validated in 26 languages and tested in 20 countries. REQUEST / LA CLASSIFICATION The ReQuest / LA classification system is the first to effectively integrate a highly sensitive patient questionnaire (ReQuest) with an adaptation of the LA classification for esophagitis. The new index allows the combined assessment of symptom relief and the healing of oesophageal lesions in GORD. The adapted LA classification (N = lesions not present, grade A–D) was paired with a grading of patients’ symptom burdens from 0–4 (0 = no disease, 1 = minor, 2 = tolerable, 3 = troublesome, 4 = intense), as assessed by the rescaled subscale of the established GORD symptom evaluation instrument ReQuest. By comparing both scales in a matrix, clinicians are able to quantify both aspects of GORD and assign an index to each patient. An index of 0N indicates optimal treatment outcome, in other words complete remission (relief from symptoms and the healing of oesophageal lesions).
  3. 3. VALUABLE INSIGHTS A randomised, double-blind study of 581 patients using ReQuest has established that pantoprazole is as effective as esomeprazole (both 40mg/day) over 12 weeks in achieving the complete remission of erosive GORD. With respect to endoscopically confirmed healing, pantoprazole was superior to esomeprazole. A second randomised, double-blind ReQuest study, this time of four weeks’ duration (561 patients), again comparing pantoprazole and esomeprazole (both 40mg/day), demonstrated parity between the two PPIs in terms of symptom relief scores, but it also showed that the beneficial effects of pantoprazole were sustained for longer, with significantly fewer symptomatic relapses in the seven-day post-treatment phase. Professor K D Bardhan, consultant physician and gastroenterologist at the District General Hospital, Rotherham, in the UK, who was instrumental in developing the ReQuest/ L A classification, says: ‘We need a device that enables an accurate assessment of treatment success in GORD patients that combines the main parameters of symptom relief and oesophageal healing. The new ReQuest / LA classification enables a detailed clinical and treatment outcome assessment of GORD patients at any stage of their disease using a single and reliable global measure. In my view, ReQuest / LA classification represents a helpful step in the right direction and provides a means of standardising the assessment and reporting of GORD clinical trials.’ An extensive ReQuest database, which provides information on patient demographics, symptom profiles and treatment outcomes, now exists for over 8,000 patients with GORD. Use of the combined endpoint ‘complete remission’, evaluated using the ReQuest™/LA classification, will permit even greater insights by helping to analyse patient populations and shed light on the factors that dictate whether a treatment works. Such a source of GORD treatment outcomes, during various stages of the disease, could be of major benefit to patients, physicians and the organisations that fund healthcare in the future. ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED 1. Discuss the salient features put up in the case. 2. Evaluate the new approach based on your understanding of the case. 3. The case indicates two research studies. Give your insights based on these two studies.
  4. 4. Case -2 --A New Concept in Annuloplasty for Valve Repair: the Biodegradable Ring - BIORING COMPANY PROFILE BIORING, founded in 2000, develops and commercializes biodegradable medical devices that lower surgical risk and reduce post-surgical complications. The first device in the series, The Kalangos® ring, received the CE Mark in March 2005. BIORING is currently working on obtaining the FDA approval for this device INTRODUCTION The Kalangos® ring was developed for pediatric annuloplasty to preserve the growth potential of the child's heart. It is also suitable for adult annuloplasty by extension. This now commercially available device made of biodegradable polydioxanone induces the growth of autologous fibrous tissue that reinforces the deficient annulus. The good functioning of the native, or repaired valve depends on coaptation capacity of its leaflets. Annuloplasty rings have been used since 1968 to remodel the shape, correct the dilatation, and consolidate the repair of heart valves by improving coaptation of the valve's leaflets during systole. The further understanding of the three-dimensional geometry of the native valve annulus during the normal cardiac cycle lead to the evolution of the rings from the first rigid, planar stainless steel-based Carpentier ring to the fexible Duran ring and to the more recent Cosgrove-Edwards bands. All these devices, which actually fulfil the requirements of the application on adults, do not allow the further growth of the native annulus if implanted in children. Indeed, implantation in growing hearts could result in a stenotic effect which could worsen with time. For this reason, these current traditional rings do not exist in pediatric sizes (under 26). A NEW CONCEPT IN ANNULOPLASTY VALVE REPAIR The above considerations were the driving elements for the development of a new concept in annuloplasty valve repair: the future device had to allow growth of the native annulus. Based on some encouraging results reported in annoloplasty practices performed in the pediatric population with different biodegradable materials and especially polydioxanone1-3, Bioring (Lonay, Switzerland) has developed the Kalangos® mitral and tricuspid rings, which are biodegradable annuloplasty devices made of polydioxanone. These advanced devices, do not work like traditional rings. Indeed, the device does not provide a mechanical support, except in the first short period following implantation, but induces the creation of endogenous fibrous tissue which will take on this function subsequently. Moreover, it was designed to facilitate its implantation. The device is introduced within the native annulus and simply secured to the anterior and posterior trigones by knotting the integrated monofilament sutures equipped with crimped stainless steel atraumatic needles. This intra-annular implantation prevents the device from being in contact with blood. This avoids thromboembolic complications which require systemic anticoagulation therapies until the endocardium covers the traditional rings sutured on the native annulus. In addition, Bioring's device is solely composed
  5. 5. of materials that can be used in presence of endocarditis. In order to preserve the native annulus growth potential in children, the non-resorbable suture that is incorporated in the polydioxanone segment, in order to prevent further degenerative dilatation of the annulus in adults, is cut in pediatric sizes of the ring under 26. Ultrasound imaging follow-up of the first implantations performed on animals demonstrated the preservation of the valve's functional efficacy and of the ventricular contractility while allowing the physiological growth of the orifice. This was revealed by measures of the valve orifices on the sacrificed pigs which had seen their body weight increased by an average of more than 500% over a year. Six months or more following implantation, a fibrous autologous tissue was developed in all dissected hearts, in replacement of the implanted polydioxanone device, resorbed by hydrolysis. Moreover, it was discovered that the fibrous tissue continues on growing for a few months after complete resorption of the device. The newly grown fibrous tissue remodells the annulus and prevents it against redilatative stretch without interfering with its dynamical physiological motion. CLINICAL STUDIES AND TRIALS The preliminary clinical study that focussed on pediatric population gave positive outcomes and confirmed the results obtained in the animal trials. This demonstrated the biodegradable device's main feature for pediatric applications: the preservation of the growth potential of the native annulus4. In the frame of a clinical trial performed between April 2004 and May 2006, 111 patients affected by valve insufficiency, mostly of congenital, degenerative or rheumatic origin, received a mitral and/or a tricuspid Kalangos® ring. The patients included in this investigation were comprised between one and 75 years of age; 51 were aged 16 or less and 60 were aged 17 or more on the implantation date. Among them, 57 (51.3%) patients were female and 54 (48.7%) were male. This population was monitored with a mean follow-up of approximately 10 months. The benefits of the valve repair with Bioring's biodegradable annuloplasty device were assessed in terms of NYHA Grade for the 105 patients in whom the follow-up was complete. They were immediately tested post-op and monitored at 6, and 12 months. This evaluation was utilized as it is one of the most commonly used scoring systems worldwide. It can be seen that all patients fully recovered and are presently scored Grade 0 or Grade 1. Moreover, in this study it is also demonstrated that the degradation of the polymeric segment of the device occurs without any observable consequences for the patient. In conclusion, the Kalangos® ring is a new biodegradable device that has proven to be safe and efficient. Moreover it is the only commercial device available in pediatric sizes for correcting, remodelling the shape, reinforcing, and restoring the function of the valves' annuli, that preserves the native annulus growth potential in children. The tissue-growth properties associated with the intra-tissular implantation of this device introduce a completely new concept in annuloplasty. . ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED 1. Bring out the facts as enumerated in the case.
  6. 6. 2. Analyse the new concept at length in terms of Biodegradable principle. Case -3 --Bone Substitutes to replace Transplantation? INTRODUCTION An osteoconductive and osteoinductive biphasic ceramic replacement for bone loss could be an alternative to grafts. The safety and efficacy of this material has been shown in preclinical and clinical trials, demonstrating its suitability. Tumours, bone cysts and traumas, as well as osteomyelitis and osteolysis, can cause massive bone loss. The primary method used today for filling such defects is autogenic or allogeneic bone transplantation. As both approaches are associated with considerable problems there is an ongoing critical debate as to whether these procedures should still be considered the treatments of choice. Autogenic bone transplantation, for instance, is always associated with another surgery. For the patient, the surgical removal of graft material means additional stress and a higher postoperative morbidity due to local complications. In addition, the amount of graft material that can be harvested from the patient’s own body is limited. Economic analyses provide additional arguments for challenging the use of autogenic bone material. Given the extended duration of surgery, the use of autogenic bone grafts involves higher costs. Although allogeneic bone transplantats have the advantage of higher availability, their inherent antigenicity is a major disadvantage. BENEFITS OF BONE SUBSTITUTES Given the multitude of problems associated with autogenic and allogeneic bone transplantation, the search for bone substitutes similar to bone grafts in terms of biomechanical strength and biological properties has intensified over the past few years. Such materials should support the bone healing process and ideally should be associated with
  7. 7. osteoconductive and osteoinductive properties and biocompatibility. Apart from natural materials obtained from corals or algae, there are inorganic materials such as ceramics made of hydroxyapatite or tricalcium phosphate. Other materials include xenografts and glass ionomer cements. BIPHASIC CERAMICS The development of Tricos® represents real progress in the field of bone substitutes. The idea behind this bone substitute was to ensure structured, physiological formation of bone substance. The biphasic ceramic containing hydroxyapatite (HA, 60%) and beta-tricalcium phosphate (ß-TCP, 40%), fulfills these requirements in several ways. This is used in combination with a fibrin matrix made of human plasma. In the new material there is a balanced equilibrium between the quickly resorbable beta-tricalcium phosphate and the slowly resorbable hydroxyapatite. ß-TCP has a high osteogenetic potential and constitutes a source of P+ and Ca++ ions. Simultaneously, with the progressive biodegradation of ß-TCP, biological apatite crystals begin to form, gradually replacing the bone substitute analogously to natural remodelling. Hydroxyapatite guarantees the long-term stability of the material; it ensures that the bone substitute supports cell adhesion in the long run, acting as a carrier. In its chemical structure the substance resembles the bone’s biological apatite crystals, and it is only mildly osteogenic. The new bone substitute has an interconnective pore system consisting of micropores and macropores; the granules are 1–2mm in size . The micropores less than 10µm in size provide for a rapid exchange of fluid and ions by means of diffusion. With their size of 300µm–600µm, macropores permit the adhesion and proliferation of osteogenetic cells. This ensures that the bone substitute material is successively replaced, by cells spreading from the periphery to the middle of the ceramic material FIBRIN MATRIX In order to optimise physiological bone regeneration the biological two-component matrix of Tissucol/Tisseel® is added to the inorganic material. The two-component matrix consists of fibrinogen, plasmafibronectin, factor XIII and plasminogen as well as the plasmin inhibitor aprotinin. The human thrombin contained as a second component triggers the final step of physiological blood clotting, the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin. The completely resorbable fibrin is used in all surgical fields. The fibrin matrix penetrates both micropores and macropores, and provides high stability through adhesion to the walls of the bone defect. Simultaneously, the fibrin matrix serves as a binding agent for the granules. Its content of polymerised fibrin, fibronectin and growth factors helps trigger cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and enhances wound healing. On a cellular level the artificial bone induces signals similar to physiological material. Diffusion of biological fluids into the ceramic´s micropores and macropores triggers the release of calcium ions; macrophages, mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts and osteoclasts will then enter the ceramic´s macropores. Cell adhesion is followed by cell proliferation, and gradually, osteoclasts will resorb the so-called artificial bone in a process similar to physiological remodelling, while osteoblasts will build new bone material. Application of Tricos is simple and straightforward. The preparation is ready for application
  8. 8. approximately two minutes after mixing the two components. Similar to a plastic glue, the mixture can be applied with a spatula and used for anatomical reconstruction. PRECLINICAL AND CLINICAL DATA The benefits of biphasic ceramics combined with a fibrin matrix have been shown in many preclinical and clinical trials over the past few years. The easy-to-use, pliable material allows successful anatomical reconstruction, proving both biocompatible and stable. Histological examinations reveal the polymerised fibrin to have a stable structure on which ions crystallize, thus enhancing intrinsic osteogenic properties. Biopsis shows that the material is progressively replaced by new lamellar bone within two or three months. A retrospective long-term trial over 16 years supported the material´s long-term tolerability, good bioactivity and high osteointegration rate. SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT TRAIL At Würzburg Orthopaedic University Clinic further comprehensive clinical data on Tricos was collected between 10/2004–08/2005. During a one-year clinical trial, bone defects in a total of 17 patients aged between ten and 69 were treated using the new bone substitute. The material was used for filling various bone defects caused by benign tumours or tumour-like lesions. There were five patients with benign bone tumours (enchondrome, chondromyxoid fibroma, chondroblastoma, osteoma, osteoblastoma, osteoclastoma) and 12 with tumour-like lesions (juvenile bone cyst, non-ossifying fibroma, eosinophilic granuloma, intraosseous ganglion, fibrous dysplasia). The cysts were surgically removed and each bone defect then filled with two to ten syringes containing 3.5cm3 of Tricos, i.e. 7–35cm3 in total. During this one-year trial the bone substitute proved both easy to use and safe. There were no complications. The long-term data after nine months showed that the biomaterial had successfully integrated into the bone; resorption was not yet complete. Points to be addressed 1. Outline the salient facts of the case. 2. Discuss at length on the line of the salient features. Case -4--Eliminating Latent TB INTRODUCTION Latent TB in healthcare workers is a major threat to patients. Traditional tests have too often been unable to detect the condition reliably. A new blood test looks set to change this, which is good news for patients - and healthcare workers.
  9. 9. In December 2005 the New York Times reported that a nurse with active TB from a New York City hospital had exposed 1,500 patients and infected four infants, after 11 years of latency. As this case shows, the successful detection, monitoring and treatment of Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI) after risk-assessment are crucial to reducing the number of active cases in patient healthcare settings. The detection of latently infected persons has been the objective of healthcare workers in patient-care settings in hospitals for decades, but has often yielded unsatisfactory results. The blame for this has been placed largely on the lack of a truly effective test for LTBI. REPLACING THE TST The Tuberculin Skin Test (TST), developed more than 100 years ago, has been the only tool available for detecting LTBI, and the limitations of that procedure are well documented. Although the TST may be a useful epidemiological tool, its poor specificity, vulnerability to false positives and subjective interpretation mean that it does not meet the standards required for today's medical decisions. As a consequence of this poor medical return, programmes to detect LTBI, which could include prophylactic treatment of the infection, have often been poorly established, and control programmes themselves neglected. In May 2005 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a whole blood test to aid the diagnosis of LTBI. The new test, QuantiFERON(r)-TB Gold (QFT-G), also eliminates the logistical challenges of skin testing: a simple venipuncture procedure followed by a standard, batchable laboratory procedure is all that is required to obtain a definitive yes or no response to the question of LTBI. New guidelines from the US Center for Disease Control, published in December 2005, affirm that QFT-G can be used in all situations in which a skin test is used, thereby recognising its potential as a replacement for the TST.Unlike the TST, QFT-G is not confounded by BCG vaccination or infection by non-TB mycobacteria. Furthermore, it eliminates the logistical challenges of skin testing because of its simple application and laboratory procedure. A NEW STANDARD Hospitals around the world have started to use QFT-G as their standard for LTBI testing. Those that have implemented QFT-G programmes have recognised significant cost savings over TST. These come mainly from significantly lower rates of positivity, leading to reduced caseloads and elimination of working time losses for follow-up visits to the occupational health office. Case Example: HOW A FALSE POSITIVE WAS ALMOST A REAL NEGATIVE Keiko, a 19-year-old Japanese exchange student in the USA, took a routine Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) before beginning training to become a nurse. Although she showed no symptoms of TB, the test gave a positive result of 15mm. Her doctor insisted that nine months of preventive treatment with isoniazid was the standard of care recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. However, Keiko argued that her test was positive because of two BCG vaccinations she received as a child, and denied exposure to active disease. A chest X-ray confirmed that she did not have TB, but she was worried that her refusal of treatment might jeopardise her entry into the nursing programme. Her doctor then found out that the local TB programme used QFT-G and obtained a test for her. The result: no TB infection. Treatment was determined to be unnecessary.
  10. 10. Issues to be Addressed 1. List out the facts of the case. 2. Project your perception on the new standard brought out in the testing. 3. Analyse the case example provided. Case-5 --Gamma Knife Surgery – Saving Lives and Money? INTRODUCTION For years neurospecialists have been performing microsurgery on acoustic neuromas. Pär Nordström looks at the case for radiosurgical techniques, and the advantages for both patients and the health service. Hearing loss, vertigo, difficulty in maintaining balance and facial paralysis–these are just a few of the symptoms that patients with Vestibular Schwannomas (VS) experience on a daily basis. Also known as neurinloma, schwannomas are slow growing tumours of the central nervous system. The most common form of the disease is known as vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma), in which the eighth, or acoustic cranial nerve is affected. This combines the vestibular and the cochlear nerves, which are responsible for our senses of balance and hearing. When the nerves are disrupted by a neuroma, victims of the condition can experience a range of symptoms related to hearing and ocular function. An untreated tumour may expand to compress other local nerve structures, leading to facial paralysis, hydrocephalus, and various complications of facial control, salivation and sight. The neuroma may also become life threatening. Historically, treatment of this condition has been handled through the use of microsurgery – a delicate and technically demanding procedure in which the tumour and affected tissue are excised through the use of an operating microscope and finely scaled instruments. In recent years, however, evidence has indicated some drawbacks to this complicated method. Patients can experience symptoms years later, caused by damage sustained to the acoustic and facial nerves during tumour removal. Despite advances in surgical technique and operating equipment, these risks have persisted. As an alternative to microsurgery, many neurospecialists are now employing radiosurgical techniques, where a precise dose of radiation is directed to the lesion to be treated. Also known as stereotactic
  11. 11. radiosurgery, this non-invasive modality has rapidly grown in popularity due to its brief treatment times and lower complication rates. INTRA-CRANIAL RADIOSURGERY Although the scientific basis of radiosurgery is a complex exercise in physics and medicine, the procedure is comparatively simple. Despite its name, no incisions are made during Gamma Knife Surgery (GKS). A specially designed helmet, comprised of 201 hemispherically arrayed cobalt sources, delivers multiple beams of radiation originating from different locations. Scan data enables these individually weak beams to be directed at a precise target, resulting in a strong peak dose of radiation. Areas surrounding the target lesion are not affected, so many forms of intra-cranial tumours may be treated, leaving healthy tissues intact with near-zero exposure to radiation. Although it may take a few months for the results of GKS to take full effect, the entire procedure is pain-free and has fewer associated side effects. RADIOSURGERY AND MICROSURGERY HEAD TO HEAD Debate remains over whether radiosurgery is most appropriate for VS patients, with many still in favour of microsurgery. A recent study from French neurosurgeons Dr Jean Regis and Dr William Pellet may, however, have some impact on current opinion. Published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, the analysis considers the clinical outcomes of patients treated with GKS versus those treated with microsurgery. Over 430 patients treated using radiosurgery were examined during the study, with four-year follow-up data evaluated for the first 104 patients. This was compared to 110 patients who had undergone microsurgery for the removal of similarly sized tumours. Patients were interviewed three years after their treatment and were examined for side effects and hearing loss. Within the study group, almost half of those patients who had received microsurgery as their primary form of treatment developed facial tremors or paralysis, while none of those in the GKS group suffered this effect. Equally large differences were seen between the two populations in the development of hemispasm (facial spasms), hearing loss, hypaesthesia (impaired facial sensitivity) and ocular (sight- related) problems. Patients who had received microsurgery experienced a number of additional side effects of varying severity, from meningitis and facial pain to leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid. In one case, a patient suffered a fatal haematoma. None of these complications occurred in the GKS group. Most importantly, for over a third of the microsurgery recipients, symptoms were severe enough to prevent a return to work three years after their operation. By comparison, only one per cent of GKS patients did not return to work over the same period. This was further exemplified by their mean time away from work, with an average of just seven days, compared to a mean of over four months among the microsurgery patients. SO WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? Despite dramatic improvements in techniques and equipment, microsurgery is still associated with a comparatively high level of risk. The advent of modern imaging systems, however, has greatly advanced the ability of neurosurgeons to treat VS with GKS. This has had a significant impact on post-operative patient quality of life and the socio-economic impact of the treatment of VS, with constant and sizeable differences in the after-care costs of these patients.
  12. 12. GKS patients generally stay in hospital for a maximum of three days, whereas those who receive microsurgery typically need one to three weeks’ stay, adding substantial after-care costs for the latter group. Most GKS-treated patients will return to work after leaving hospital, while their microsurgery counterparts have to rely on insurance and government funds for an average of three months post- treatment. Additionally, many will not return to work for over three years. Furthering the evidence for the use of GKS, Dr Regis and his team have recently released a second study in the French journal Neurochirurgie, which confirms the results of their original analysis. This larger study consists of over 1,700 VS cases treated with a gamma knife, and supports the use of the instrument over microsurgery for Koos Grade II and III tumours (the most common sizes and forms of acoustic neuromas). Taking both the clinical evidence for GKS, as well as its long-term economic benefit, it has become clear that the standard of VS treatment is taking a new direction. With support from government health authorities and hospital administration, the future of patients with acoustic neuromas and intra-cranial tumours looks set to improve. Issues to Addressed 1. Identify the facts of the case. 2. How would you consider this surgery as an innovative. 3. What exactly is the recourse action the case tried to put forth in terms of saving life and money?

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