Night Surgeries Cause More Complications Than Day Surgeries

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Night Surgeries Cause More Complications Than Day Surgeries
Night Surgeries Cause More Complications Than Day Surgeries

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Night surgeries cause more complications than day surgeries

Surgery at night (compared to daytime) increases the risk of complications, according to an international study conducted in 29 countries and published in the British Journal of Anesthesia. Perhaps this problem is largely the result of physician fatigue and other human factors.

Night surgeries cause more complications than day surgeries
Night surgeries cause more complications than day surgeries

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Surgery at night (compared to daytime) increases the risk of complications, according to an international study conducted in 29 countries and published in the British Journal of Anesthesia. This is the first study to investigate the incidence of side effects of night and day surgery.

“The results of this study will apply to all clinicians. It is possible that the increased incidence noted in this study is largely a result of physician fatigue and other human factors,”said Dr. William Harrop-Griffiths, Chair of the Clinical Research Quality Council at the Royal College of Anesthesiologists (Royal College of Anesthetists).

An international research team examined 9,861 adult surgeries in 146 hospitals in the UK, Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Eurasia and Southeast Asia.

555 operations (5.6%) were carried out at night (from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am), the rest - during the day. Moreover, 74% of patients operated on at night had planned, rather than urgent or urgent operations.

Considering the types of surgeries and patient characteristics, the researchers found that the total number of adverse events was much higher during night surgeries. Side effects (decreased blood oxygen levels, blood loss, partial collapse of lung tissue and a drop in blood pressure) were encountered in 44% of patients. Whereas among patients who underwent surgery during the day, complications occurred in 34%. Also, night operations were associated with the need for a longer hospital stay.

“Patients who undergo surgery at night are at greater risk of complications and death. Patients should avoid overnight surgery if possible, although there will be times when waiting will be more risky,”said one of the authors of the publication, Professor Gary Mills of the University of Sheffield, UK.

The researchers noted that the literature has already highlighted the impact of factors such as mental or physical fatigue and decreased vigilance on night work of medical teams. Fewer nurses and more experienced team members in the hospital at night may also play a role.

“Since our analysis suggests that the timing of surgery affects patient outcomes, it seems necessary to balance the risks and benefits in each case,” explained the report's author, Dr. Andrea Cortegiani of the University of Palermo.), Italy. “It can be argued that operations outside daytime hours should only be carried out if this is normal practice, which means that the teams in charge are united and ready to carry out these operations during these time intervals.”

The total number of adverse events was much higher than scientists expected, due to the comprehensive nature of the study. However, the results are generally the same in all regions of the world, which indicates the global relevance of the findings.

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