Groundbreaking Study Finds That Patients Whose Emergency Surgeries Are Delayed Have Higher Risk of Dying

Surprise surprise, the boffins behind a new study have found that patients who’s emergency surgeries are delayed to a lack of operating room resources have an increased risk of death or a need for extra recovery time in the hospital. Who would have thunk it?

Researchers at Canada’s Ottawa University recently found that patients that experienced surgical delays for serious injuries or life-threatening conditions such as a hip fracture or appendicitis have an almost 60 percent higher risk of dying compared to patients who received more timely treatment.

The study pretty much found what we all suspected- and knew- for a while: if you don’t get treated for a serious medical condition then you’re pretty much fucked compared to someone who does.


“For the first time, we have strong evidence that the sooner you get to the operating room for an emergency surgery, the better off you are, regardless of your condition before surgery,” said senior author Dr. Alan Forster, vice-president of quality, performance and population health at the Ottawa Hospital.

The study aimed to provide some insight into what illness should be treated pronto and who shouldn’t be left to dilly dally in the waiting room for too long. The most common causes for delay were that operating rooms were already in use or surgeons, anaesthetists or surgical nursing staff were not available, he said.

“If you only have minutes or hours to plan, then you really have to have those resources available,” said Forster. He went on to say that it’s pretty difficult for everyone involved when an urgent surgery has to be put off.

The researchers examined data from over 15,000 adults who had emergency surgery at the Ottawa Hospital between January 2012 and October 2014. They found that almost 3,000 of those patients had experienced a delay.

The hospital has adopted a new approach since viewing the data that allows for easier rescheduling and using rooms specifically for certain surgeries to improve waiting times.

So there you go, hopefully, this leads to not having to wait 8 hours in a waiting room for an easily solvable problem.

Source and image: CityNews


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