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Construction of the secondary care administrative records frailty (SCARF) index and validation on older women with operable invasive breast cancer in England and Wales: a cohort study

Por: Jauhari · Y. · Gannon · M. R. · Dodwell · D. · Horgan · K. · Clements · K. · Medina · J. · Tsang · C. · Robinson · T. · Tang · S. S.-K. · Pettengell · R. · Cromwell · D. A.

Studies that use national datasets to evaluate the management of older women with breast cancer are often constrained by a lack of information on patient fitness. This study constructed a frailty index for use with secondary care administrative records and evaluated its ability to improve models of treatment patterns and overall survival in women with breast cancer.


Retrospective cohort study.


Women aged ≥50 years with oestrogen receptor (ER) positive early invasive breast cancer diagnosed between 2014 and 2017 in England.


The secondary care administrative records frailty (SCARF) index was based on the cumulative deficit model of frailty, using International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, 10th revision codes to define a set of deficits. The index was applied to administrative records that were linked to national cancer registry datasets. The ability of the SCARF index to improve the performance of regression models to explain observed variation in the rate of surgery and overall survival was evaluated using Harrell’s c-statistic and decision curve analysis. External validation was performed on a dataset of similar women diagnosed in Wales.


The SCARF index captured 32 deficits that cover functional impairment, geriatric syndromes, problems with nutrition, cognition and mood, and medical comorbidities. In the English dataset (n=67 925), the prevalence of frailty in women aged 50–69, 70–79 and ≥80 years was 15%, 28% and 47%, respectively. Adding a frailty measure to regression models containing age, tumour characteristics and comorbidity improved their ability to: (1) discriminate between whether a woman was likely to have surgery and (2) predict overall survival. Similar results were obtained when the models were applied to the Welsh cohort (n=4 230).


The SCARF index provides a simple and consistent method to identify frailty in population level data and could help describe differences in breast cancer treatments and outcomes.

What do we know about demand, use and outcomes in primary care out-of-hours services? A systematic scoping review of international literature

Por: Foster · H. · Moffat · K. R. · Burns · N. · Gannon · M. · Macdonald · S. · O'Donnell · C. A.

To synthesise international evidence for demand, use and outcomes of primary care out-of-hours health services (OOHS).


Systematic scoping review.

Data sources

CINAHL; Medline; PsyARTICLES; PsycINFO; SocINDEX; and Embase from 1995 to 2019.

Study selection

English language studies in UK or similar international settings, focused on services in or directly impacting primary care.


105 studies included: 54% from mainland Europe/Republic of Ireland; 37% from UK. Most focused on general practitioner-led out-of-hours cooperatives. Evidence for increasing patient demand over time was weak due to data heterogeneity, infrequent reporting of population denominators and little adjustment for population sociodemographics. There was consistent evidence of higher OOHS use in the evening compared with overnight, at weekends and by certain groups (children aged 65, women, those from socioeconomically deprived areas, with chronic diseases or mental health problems). Contact with OOHS was driven by problems perceived as urgent by patients. Respiratory, musculoskeletal, skin and abdominal symptoms were the most common reasons for contact in adults; fever and gastrointestinal symptoms were the most common in the under-5s. Frequent users of daytime services were also frequent OOHS users; difficulty accessing daytime services was also associated with OOHS use. There is some evidence to suggest that OOHS colocated in emergency departments (ED) can reduce demand in EDs.


Policy changes have impacted on OOHS over the past two decades. While there are generalisable lessons, a lack of comparable data makes it difficult to judge how demand has changed over time. Agreement on collection of OOHS data would allow robust comparisons within and across countries and across new models of care. Future developments in OOHS should also pay more attention to the relationship with daytime primary care and other services.

PROSPERO registration number


Variations in hospital resource use across stroke care teams in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: a retrospective observational study

Por: Lugo-Palacios · D. G. · Gannon · B. · Gittins · M. · Vail · A. · Bowen · A. · Tyson · S.

To identify the main drivers of inpatient stroke care resource use, estimate the influence of stroke teams on the length of stay (LoS) of its patients and analyse the variation in relative performance across teams.


For each of four types of stroke care teams, a two-level count data model describing the variation in LoS and identifying the team influence on LoS purged of patient and treatment characteristics was estimated. Each team effect was interpreted as a measure of stroke care relative performance and its variation was analysed.


This study used data from 145 396 admissions in 256 inpatient stroke care teams between June 2013 and July 2015 included in the national stroke register of England, Wales and Northern Ireland—Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme.


The main driver of LoS, and thus resource use, was the need for stroke therapy even after stroke severity was taken into account. Conditional on needing the therapy in question, an increase in the average amount of therapy received per inpatient day was associated with shorter LoS. Important variations in stroke care performance were found within each team category.


Resource use was strongly associated with stroke severity, the need for therapy and the amount of therapy received. The variations in stroke care performance were not explained by measurable patient or team characteristics. Further operational and financial analyses are needed to unmask the causes of this unexplained variation.

Study protocol: NITric oxide during cardiopulmonary bypass to improve Recovery in Infants with Congenital heart defects (NITRIC trial): a randomised controlled trial

Por: Schlapbach · L. J. · Horton · S. B. · Long · D. A. · Beca · J. · Erickson · S. · Festa · M. · dUdekem · Y. · Alphonso · N. · Winlaw · D. · Johnson · K. · Delzoppo · C. · van Loon · K. · Gannon · B. · Fooken · J. · Blumenthal · A. · Young · P. · Jones · M. · Butt · W. · Schibler · A. · On beh

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of infant mortality. Many infants with CHD require corrective surgery with most operations requiring cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). CPB triggers a systemic inflammatory response which is associated with low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS), postoperative morbidity and mortality. Delivery of nitric oxide (NO) into CPB circuits can provide myocardial protection and reduce bypass-induced inflammation, leading to less LCOS and improved recovery. We hypothesised that using NO during CPB increases ventilator-free days (VFD) (the number of days patients spend alive and free from invasive mechanical ventilation up until day 28) compared with standard care. Here, we describe the NITRIC trial protocol.

Methods and analysis

The NITRIC trial is a randomised, double-blind, controlled, parallel-group, two-sided superiority trial to be conducted in six paediatric cardiac surgical centres. One thousand three-hundred and twenty infants

Ethics and dissemination

The study has ethical approval (HREC/17/QRCH/43, dated 26 April 2017), is registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12617000821392) and commenced recruitment in July 2017. The primary manuscript will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Trial registration number


Transnasal Humidified Rapid Insufflation Ventilatory Exchange in children requiring emergent intubation (Kids THRIVE): a protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Por: George · S. · Humphreys · S. · Williams · T. · Gelbart · B. · Chavan · A. · Rasmussen · K. · Ganeshalingham · A. · Erickson · S. · Ganu · S. S. · Singhal · N. · Foster · K. · Gannon · B. · Gibbons · K. · Schlapbach · L. J. · Festa · M. · Dalziel · S. · Schibler · A. · on behalf of the Pa

Emergency intubation of children with abnormal respiratory or cardiac physiology is a high-risk procedure and associated with a high incidence of adverse events including hypoxemia. Successful emergency intubation is dependent on inter-related patient and operator factors. Preoxygenation has been used to maximise oxygen reserves in the patient and to prolong the safe apnoeic time during the intubation phase. Transnasal Humidified Rapid Insufflation Ventilatory Exchange (THRIVE) prolongs the safe apnoeic window for a safe intubation during elective intubation. We designed a clinical trial to test the hypothesis that THRIVE reduces the frequency of adverse and hypoxemic events during emergency intubation in children and to test the hypothesis that this treatment is cost-effective compared with standard care.

Methods and analysis

The Kids THRIVE trial is a multicentre randomised controlled trial performed in participating emergency departments and paediatric intensive care units. 960 infants and children aged 0–16 years requiring emergency intubation for all reasons will be enrolled and allocated to THRIVE or control in a 1:1 allocation with stratification by site, age (7 years) and operator (junior and senior). Children allocated to THRIVE will receive weight appropriate transnasal flow rates with 100% oxygen, whereas children in the control arm will not receive any transnasal oxygen insufflation. The primary outcomes are defined as follows: (1) hypoxemic event during the intubation phase defined as SpO2

Ethics and dissemination

Ethics approval for the protocol and consent process has been obtained (HREC/16/QRCH/81). The trial has been actively recruiting since May 2017. The study findings will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Trial registration number