Deaths related to non-cardiac surgery occur in recovery period

Washington: A recent study has revealed that it is not the operating room that is risky for patients undergoing noncardiac surgery but the recovery period.

Most deaths related to noncardiac surgery occur after surgery and discharge from hospital, suggests the study published in ‘CMAJ’ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)
According to the study, only 0.7 per cent of deaths occurred in the operating room, whereas 29 per cent of deaths occurred after discharge from the hospital. The study included patients at 28 centres in 14 countries.

“Given that most deaths in adults undergoing noncardiac surgery occur not in the operating room, but afterwards, efforts to improve postsurgical care in hospital and at home has substantial potential to reduce mortality,” said Dr P.J. Devereaux, the study’s author.

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The study, which included 40 004 adults aged 45 years or older in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia who underwent surgery between 2007 and 2013, found that 1.8 per cent died within 30 days of noncardiac surgery. Major bleeding, injury to the heart muscle and severe infection (sepsis) accounted for a large portion of deaths (45 per cent).

“Approximately 100 million adults aged 45 or older undergo noncardiac surgery worldwide every year, therefore an estimated 1.8 million people die of complications within 30 days,” said Dr Devereaux. “This means that death after surgery is a major global health burden.”

The authors suggested that solutions focused on prevention, early identification and close management of bleeding, cardiac issues and infection may help to reduce these preventable deaths.

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