Browsing by Subject "Treatment delay"

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  • Nieminen, Markus; Atula, Timo; Bäck, Leif; Mäkitie, Antti; Jouhi, Lauri; Aro, Katri (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)–associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is increasing. Patients with HPV-associated and HPV-unassociated OPSCC differ in many aspects, which may also impact their diagnostic and management timelines. This study aims at studying the patient, primary health care (PHC) and specialist-care (SC) delays and possible differences between these two patient groups in seeking medical care. Methods We reviewed all new patients with OPSCC treated between 2016 and 2018 at our institute, which covers a referral area of 1.6 million people. We collected data on patients’ symptoms and factors influencing why they sought medical care using a patient-reported questionnaire and hospital records. We compared delays based on patient and tumor characteristics. Results In our study population of 83 patients, the median patient delay was 30 days (range, 0–366), with a median PHC delay of 15 days (range, 0 days–2.5 years), and a median SC delay of 54 days (range, 12–231). The SC delay was further divided into diagnostic hospital delay and treatment delay, each with a median length of 16 days (range, 0–237) and 29 days (range, 0–73), respectively. Furthermore, we found that p16 status did not associate with delays. A longer patient delay associated with specific tumor factors, such as a larger primary tumor and a lower UICC 7th edition stage. Patients that had multiple visits or did not have a follow-up visit scheduled at the initial appointment had longer PHC delays. Treatment delay was significantly longer for patients scheduled for (chemo-)radiotherapy than for those undergoing surgery with or without (chemo-)radiotherapy. Conclusions Although delays remained short for the majority of OPSCC patients, long delays require further evaluation and improvement of management. Awareness of presenting symptoms among cancer risk patients and prompt referral practice or a follow-up visit at PHC represent key factors to shortening these delays. Ultimately, the causes for delays in SC appear multifactorial and require institutional quality control.
  • Nieminen, Markus; Atula, Timo; Bäck, Leif; Mäkitie, Antti; Jouhi, Lauri; Aro, Katri (2020)
    The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)–associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is increasing. Patients with HPV-associated and HPV-unassociated OPSCC differ in many aspects, which may also impact their diagnostic and management timelines. This study aims at studying the patient, primary health care (PHC) and specialist-care (SC) delays and possible differences between these two patient groups in seeking medical care.
  • Paajanen, J.; Mäkinen, L. K.; Suikkila, A.; Rehell, M.; Javanainen, M.; Lindahl, A.; Kekäläinen, E.; Kurkela, S.; Halmesmäki, K.; Anttila, V. J.; Lamminmäki, S. (2021)
    Background: Isolation precautions are essential prevent spread of COVID-19 infection but may have a negative impact on inpatient care. The impact of these measures on non-COVID-19 patients remains largely unexplored. Aim: This study aimed to investigate diagnostic and treatment delays related to isolation precautions, the associated patient outcome, and the predisposing risk factors for delays. Methods: This observational study was conducted in seven Helsinki region hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland. The study used data on all non-COVID-19 inpatients, who were initially isolated due to suspected COVID-19, to estimate whether isolation precautions resulted in diagnostic or treatment delays. Results: Out of 683 non-COVID-19 patients, 33 (4.8%) had delays related to isolation precautions. Clinical condition deteriorated non-fatally in seven (1.0%) patients. The following events were associated with an increased risk of treatment or a diagnostic delay: more than three ward transfers (P = 0.025); referral to an incorrect speciality in the emergency department (P = 0.004); more than three SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests performed (P = 0.022); and where cancer was the final diagnosis (P = 0.018). In contrast, lower respiratory tract symptoms (P = 0.013) decreased the risk. Conclusions: The use of isolation precautions for patients who did not have COVID-19 had minor negative effects on patient outcomes. The present study underlines the importance of targeting diagnostic efforts to patients with unspecified symptoms and to those with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Thorough investigations to achieve an accurate diagnosis improves the prognosis of patients and facilitates appropriate targeting of hospital resources.
  • Tuppurainen, Kati Marjatta; Ritvanen, Jaakko Gabriel; Mustonen, Harri; Kämppi, Leena Sinikka (2019)
    Background: Status epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening neurologic emergency, which requires prompt medical treatment. Little is known of the long-term survival of SE. The aim of this study was to investigate which factors influence 90 days and 1-year mortality after SE. Materials and methods: This retrospective study includes all consecutive adult (>16 years) patients (N = 70) diagnosed with generalized convulsive SE (GCSE) in Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) emergency department (ED) over 2 years. We defined specific factors including patient demographics, GCSE characteristics, treatment, complications, delays in treatment, and outcome at hospital discharge and determined their relation to 90 days and 1-year mortality after GCSE by using logistic regression models. Survival analyses at 1 year after GCSE were performed with Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Results: In-hospital mortality was 7.1%. Mortality rate was 14.3% at 90 days and 24.3% at 1 year after GCSE. In the univariate logistic regression analysis, Status Epilepticus Severity Score > 4 (STESS) (ODDS = 7.30, p = 0.012), worse-than-baseline condition at hospital discharge (ODDS = 3.5, p = 0.006), long delays in attaining seizure freedom (ODDS = 2.2, p = 0.041), and consciousness (ODDS = 3.4, p = 0.014) were risk factors for mortality at 90 days whereas epilepsy (ODDS = 0.2, p = 0.014) and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) > 3 at hospital discharge (ODDS = 0.05, p = 0.006) were protective factors. Risk factors for mortality at 1 year were STESS >4 (ODDS = 5.1, p = 0.028), use of vasopressors (ODDS = 8.2, p = 0.049), and worse-than-baseline condition at discharge (ODDS = 7.8, p = 0.010) while GOS >3 (ODDS = 0.2, p = 0.005) was protective. The univariate survival analysis at 1 year confirmed the significant findings regarding parameters STESS >4 (Hazard ratio (HR) = 4.1, p = 0.009), worse-than-baseline condition (HR = 6.2, p = 0.015), GOS >3 (HR = 0.2, p = 0.004) at hospital discharge and epilepsy (HR = 0.4, p = 0.044). Additionally, diagnostic delay over 6 h (HR = 3.8, p = 0.022) and Complication Burden Index (CBI) as an ordinal variable (0-2, 3-6, >6) (HR = 2.7, p = 0.027) were predictive for mortality. In the multivariate survival analysis, STESS > 4 ( HR = 5.1, p = 0.007), CBI (HR = 3.2, p = 0.025, ordinal variable), diagnostic delay over 6 h (HR = 7.2, p = 0.003), and worse-than-baseline condition at hospital discharge (HR = 5.8, p = 0.027) were all independent risk factors for mortality at 1 year. Conclusions: Severe form of SE, delayed recognition of GCSE, high number of complications during treatment period, and poor condition at hospital discharge are all independent predictors of long-term mortality. Most of these factors are also associated with mortality at 90 days, though at that point, delays in treatment seem to have a greater impact on prognosis than at 1 year. This article is part of the Special Issue "Proceedings of the 7th London-Innsbruck Colloquium on Status Epilepticus and Acute Seizures (c) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Ojala, Kaisu; Meretoja, Tuomo J.; Mattson, Johanna; Salminen-Peltola, Paivi; Leutola, Suvi; Berggren, Marianne; Leidenius, Marjut H. K. (2016)
    Background and objectives: This study aims to clarify quality of breast cancer surgery in population-based setting. We aim to elucidate factors influencing waiting periods, and to evaluate the effect of hospital volume on surgical treatment policies. Special interest was given to diagnostic and surgical processes and their impact on waiting times. Methods: All 1307 patients having primary breast cancer surgery at the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District during 2010 were included in this retrospective study. Results: Median waiting time for primary surgery was 24 days and significantly affected by additional imaging and diagnostic biopsies as well as hospital volume. Final rate of breast conserving surgery was surprisingly low, 51%, not affected by hospital volume, p = 0.781. Oncoplastic resection and immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) were performed more often in high volume units, p <0.001. Quality of axillary surgery varied with unit size. Multiple operations, IBR and high volume unit were factors prolonging initiation of adjuvant treatment. Conclusion: Quality of preoperative diagnostics play a crucial role in minimizing the need of repeated imaging and biopsies as well as multiple operations. Positive impact of high-volume hospitals becomes evident when analyzing procedures requiring advanced surgical techniques. High-volume hospitals achieved better quality in axillary surgery. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.