The Most Risky Period For Surgical Patients Outside The Operating Room

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The Most Risky Period For Surgical Patients Outside The Operating Room
The Most Risky Period For Surgical Patients Outside The Operating Room

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The most risky period for surgical patients outside the operating room

A new study found that most surgical patients do not die on the operating table, but during postoperative recovery in the hospital or at home. The main causes of death are complications associated with heavy bleeding, heart failure, and bloodstream infections.

The most risky period for surgical patients outside the operating room
The most risky period for surgical patients outside the operating room

Photo: pxhere.com /

The most dangerous time for many surgical patients is when they are not lying on the operating table, but recovering in the hospital and recovering at home, according to new research. The results of the study were published in the online journal CMAJ.

The study authors examined the histories of more than 40,000 patients over the age of 45 who had undergone surgery (other than heart surgery) in 28 hospitals in 14 countries. Researchers monitored the materials for complications and death for 30 days after surgery.

As it turned out, 5 people (less than 1% of patients) died on the operating table. Another 500 patients (70%) died in the hospital. 210 deaths (29%) occurred after being discharged home.

Nearly half of the deaths were attributed to three complications: severe bleeding, heart failure, and bloodstream infection.

“Many families are anxious to hear from the surgeon if their loved one has survived the surgery. But our study shows that very few patients die in the operating room,”noted PJ Devereaux, lead author of the study, director of the intraoperative patient management unit at McMaster University in Canada.

“Our research has proven that it is more important to focus on post-operative and home patient care,” added Devereaux.

Worldwide, 100 million patients over the age of 45 undergo surgery in hospitals every year that are not related to heart problems, researchers at the CMAJ show statistics.

The team notes that in recent years, many advances in medical technology have made surgery safer and less invasive. But at the same time, patients are admitted to hospitals in a more serious condition and are sent home, requiring complex and careful care, although in such situations they were previously left in a medical facility for a long time.

According to the authors, about half of the patients had high blood pressure, one in five had diabetes, and 13% had coronary heart disease.

More than a third of patients undergo low-risk, low-urgency procedures. Many of the remaining two-thirds undergo orthopedic, urological, gynecological, vascular or neurological surgery.

Patients who experience heavy bleeding after surgery are twice as likely to die within 30 days as patients who do not have this complication. Patients who develop heart problems (even if they have not had heart surgery) also die more than twice as often. Patients with sepsis die within 30 days more than five times more often than those without infection.

The study was not a controlled experiment and was not intended to identify complications that lead to death.

Barnaby Charles Reeves of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, the author of the editorial accompanying the study, said inflammation was a common complication of death.

"The operation results in an inflammatory response," Reeves says. - In turn, it causes disruption of the work of one or more organs: kidneys, heart, lungs, etc. This leads to death."

Coming out of anesthesia or taking pain relievers after surgery, Devereaux said, patients may not even be aware that something is going wrong.

“In this regard, after surgery, it is difficult to quickly recognize the complication and take action,” concluded Devereaux.

The operation triggers inflammatory, stressful mechanisms and clotting, which is fraught with serious complications. Therefore, it is necessary to research and improve methods for monitoring the condition of patients after surgery, to look for ways to reduce the risk of death after the intervention of surgeons.

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