Surgeons Have Identified A High Risk Of Death After Operations On The Background Of COVID-19

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Surgeons Have Identified A High Risk Of Death After Operations On The Background Of COVID-19
Surgeons Have Identified A High Risk Of Death After Operations On The Background Of COVID-19

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Surgeons have identified a high risk of death after operations on the background of COVID-19

A new study published by the Lancet highlights the importance of balancing the risk of surgery for coronavirus with the risk of delaying surgery.

Surgeons have identified a high risk of death after operations on the background of COVID-19
Surgeons have identified a high risk of death after operations on the background of COVID-19

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People who are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus die more often after surgery than those who did not become infected. A new study, published in The Lancet, showed that with COVID-19, after surgery, the risk of death increases to levels that were recorded in the most severe patients in intensive care units before the pandemic.

Scientists analyzed data from more than 1,100 patients from 235 hospitals in 24 countries (mainly in Europe). It turned out that the prognosis for patients who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is significantly worse than for uninfected ones.

During planned operations in this study, mortality against the background of COVID-19 was 18.9%, with urgent - 25.6%, with small interventions (for appendicitis, hernia) - 16.3%, with major operations (for cancer) - 26.9%. Mortality was higher among men (28.4%) than among women (18.2%), as well as among people over 70 years old and with concomitant diseases. It is noteworthy that patients who end up on the operating table are especially prone to the development of complications from the lungs.

“Under normal circumstances, we would expect patient mortality from elective surgery to be below 1%. But our study indicates that the mortality rate of patients with SARS-CoV-2 is much higher in both elective and minor surgeries. In fact, this is higher than the reported risk of death for patients who would have been at highest risk for surgery before the pandemic,”said Aneel Bhangu, senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the study.

Bangu pointed out that a 2019 review that included data from 59 countries found that the mortality rate of patients in the highest risk group (the most severe patients) with abdominal surgery averaged 16.9%.

Scientists point out that such high death rates after operations against the background of COVID-19 require doctors to carefully weigh the risks of performing an operation on an infected person, comparing them with the danger of postponing operations.

“Our data suggests that postponing surgery was the right step at times when there was a risk of infecting SARS-CoV-2 patients in the hospital,” said Dmitri Nepogodiev, a researcher at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the study. In his opinion, governments should invest in the safety of surgeries when they resume.

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