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1.  Perioperative strategy in colonic surgery; LAparoscopy and/or FAst track multimodal management versus standard care (LAFA trial) 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:16.
Recent developments in large bowel surgery are the introduction of laparoscopic surgery and the implementation of multimodal fast track recovery programs. Both focus on a faster recovery and shorter hospital stay.
The randomized controlled multicenter LAFA-trial (LAparoscopy and/or FAst track multimodal management versus standard care) was conceived to determine whether laparoscopic surgery, fast track perioperative care or a combination of both is to be preferred over open surgery with standard care in patients having segmental colectomy for malignant disease.
The LAFA-trial is a double blinded, multicenter trial with a 2 × 2 balanced factorial design. Patients eligible for segmental colectomy for malignant colorectal disease i.e. right and left colectomy and anterior resection will be randomized to either open or laparoscopic colectomy, and to either standard care or the fast track program. This factorial design produces four treatment groups; open colectomy with standard care (a), open colectomy with fast track program (b), laparoscopic colectomy with standard care (c), and laparoscopic surgery with fast track program (d). Primary outcome parameter is postoperative hospital length of stay including readmission within 30 days. Secondary outcome parameters are quality of life two and four weeks after surgery, overall hospital costs, morbidity, patient satisfaction and readmission rate.
Based on a mean postoperative hospital stay of 9 +/- 2.5 days a group size of 400 patients (100 each arm) can reliably detect a minimum difference of 1 day between the four arms (alfa = 0.95, beta = 0.8). With 100 patients in each arm a difference of 10% in subscales of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire and social functioning can be detected.
The LAFA-trial is a randomized controlled multicenter trial that will provide evidence on the merits of fast track perioperative care and laparoscopic colorectal surgery in patients having segmental colectomy for malignant disease.
PMCID: PMC1693570  PMID: 17134506
2.  Border Screening for SARS 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(1):6-10.
Screening at national borders may not be effective in controlling SARS spread.
With the rapid international spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) from March through May 2003, Canada introduced various measures to screen airplane passengers at selected airports for symptoms and signs of SARS. The World Health Organization requested that all affected areas screen departing passengers for SARS symptoms. In spite of intensive screening, no SARS cases were detected. SARS has an extremely low prevalence, and the positive predictive value of screening is essentially zero. Canadian screening results raise questions about the effectiveness of available screening measures for SARS at international borders.
PMCID: PMC3294328  PMID: 15705315
SARS; airport screening; thermal scanners; Health Alert Notices; quarantine; travelers; research
3.  Thrombin generation during cardiopulmonary bypass: the possible role of retransfusion of blood aspirated from the surgical field 
Thrombosis Journal  2003;1:3.
In spite of using heparin-coated extracorporeal circuits, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is still associated with an extensive thrombin generation, which is only partially suppressed by the use of high dosages of heparin. Recent studies have focused on the origins of this thrombotic stimulus and the possible role of retransfused suctioned blood from the thoracic cavities on the activation of the extrinsic coagulation pathway. The present study was designed to find during CPB an association between retransfusion of suctioned blood from the pericardium and pleural space, containing activated factor VIIa and systemic thrombin generation.
Blood samples taken from 12 consenting patients who had elective cardiac surgery were assayed for plasma factor VIIa, prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2), and thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) concentrations. Blood aspirated from the pericardium and pleural space was collected separately, assayed for F1+2, TAT, and factor VIIa and retransfused to the patient after the aorta occlusion.
After systemic heparinization and during CPB thrombin generation was minimal, as indicated by the lower than base line plasma levels of F1+2, and TAT after correction for hemodilution. In contrast, blood aspirated from the thoracic cavities had significantly higher levels of factor VIIa, F1+2, and TAT compared to the simultaneous samples from the blood circulation (P < 0.05). Furthermore, after retransfusion of the suctioned blood (range, 200–1600 mL) circulating levels of F1+2, and TAT rose significantly from 1.6 to 2.9 nmol/L (P = 0.002) and from 5.1 to 37.5 μg/L (P = 0.01), respectively. The increase in both F1+2, and TAT levels correlated significantly with the amount of retransfused suctioned blood (r = 0.68, P = 0.021 and r = 0.90, P = 0.001, respectively). However, the circulating factor VIIa levels did not correlate with TAT and F1+2 levels.
These data suggest that blood aspirated from the thoracic cavities during CPB is highly thrombogenic. Retransfusion of this blood may, therefore, promote further systemic thrombin generation during CPB.
PMCID: PMC179879  PMID: 12904260

Results 1-3 (3)