Pediatric Surgery Reference

25. November 2016

Update on an AO Strategy Fund project: pediatric surgery reference comes to life.

The world’s first comprehensive pediatric surgery reference available on the internet goes live during the Davos Courses 2016, thanks in large part to a grant from the AO Strategy Fund (AOSF). The AO Surgery Reference-Pediatric Trauma (AOSR-PT), four years in the making, will be published during the first week of the Davos Courses.

Encompassing 150 surgical procedures and 1,000 illustrations presented over 550 pages, the AOSR-PT makes its debut with two anatomical regional modules, distal forearm and distal humerus, as well as an Essential Concepts module. A third regional module, proximal femur, will be published before December 2017 to conclude the AOSF-supported phase of the AOSR-PT.

Prof Chris Colton, AOSR-PT General Editor, said that the pediatric surgery reference arose from a substantial need. In Europe and North America, for example, children represent 27 percent of fracture care and hospital admissions. In low and middle income countries, the AOSR-PT is a sorely needed educational resource.

“In Ghana, 34 percent of the population is under 15 years old and there are 60,000 children’s fractures there per year, the vast majority of which are not treated by trained surgeons,” Colton explained. “Around the world, there is a massive challenge in terms of pediatric fractures.”

The need for a comprehensive pediatric surgery reference is further substantiated by a 2014 AO Surgery Reference user survey showing that 85 percent of respondents with a main interest in trauma contend with at least one pediatric case per month. Fifty-seven percent of respondents handle three or more pediatric cases per month, survey results showed.

In 2013, with a small amount of seed funding from the AOTrauma Education Commission, Colton and AOTK System Pediatric Expert Group (Trauma) Chairman James Hunter began designing a concept, including structure, anatomical regions, basic texts and images for the Essential Concepts resource.

The biggest milestone in bringing the new AOSR-PT to life was securing an AOSF grant in 2014. That grant, which runs until the end of 2017, funds the first three regional modules.

“I had vowed all along to the AO Surgery Reference Editorial College that in return for their support of our concept, I would ensure that the AOSR-PT would in no way be parasitic on their budget,” said Colton. “The AOSF grant was the game changer for us.”

Other important milestones in development of the AOSR-PT were the appointments of Projects Manager Carolina Salenius; illustrators Marcel Erismann and Ruth Angliker; Fergal Monsell (Executive Editor Distal Humerus and Proximal Femur); distal forearm authors Dalia Sapulvada and Monsell; and distal humerus authors Theddy Slongo and Andrew Howard. Colton was Acting Executive Editor for the distal forearm module. Grant applicants for the AOSR-PT were Colton, Lars Veum, Joseph Schatzker, Steve Krikler, Richard Buckley and Peter Trafton.

Colton said AO staff members made significant contributions to the project.

“Carolina brought technical expertise in management of documents and presenting at editorial meetings, a general background in administration, and perfect knowledge of the English language, and great people skills,” Colton said. “Lars, as Manager AO Surgery Reference, brought perfect command of English, immense industry, people skills, and great attention to editorial and operational details, while maintaining a detailed overview of the whole project.”

Colton looks forward to AOSR-PT users’ feedback.

“By and large, I think the content is utterly superb,” said Colton. “The artwork is stunning. I hope that the surgical community will give us such good feedback that AOSR-PT will secure funding to continue after the AOSF grant expires at the end of 2017.”

The AOSR-PT has already received funding from the AO United Kingdom and Ireland to conduct a professional, global survey among AOSR-PT users in 2018.