Frequency and predictors of complications in neurological surgery: national trends from 2006 to 2011
ABSTRACT Object Surgical complications increase the cost of health care worldwide and directly contribute to patient morbidity and mortality. In an effort to mitigate morbidity and incentivize best practices, stakeholders such as health insurers and the US government are linking reimbursement to patient outcomes. In this study the authors analyzed a national database to determine basic metrics of how comorbidities specifically affect the subspecialty of neurosurgery. Methods Data on 1,777,035 patients for the years 2006-2011 were acquired from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. Neurosurgical cases were extracted by querying the data for which the surgical specialty was listed as "neurological surgery." Univariate statistics were calculated using the chi-square test, and 95% confidence intervals were determined for the resultant risk ratios. A multivariate model was constructed using significant variables from the univariate analysis (p < 0.05) with binary logistic regression. Results Over 38,000 neurosurgical cases were analyzed, with complications occurring in 14.3%. Cranial cases were 2.6 times more likely to have complications than spine cases, and African Americans and Asians/Pacific Islanders were also at higher risk. The most frequent complications were bleeding requiring transfusion (4.5% of patients) and reoperation within 30 days of the initial operation (4.3% of patients), followed by failure to wean from mechanical ventilation postoperatively (2.5%). Significant predictors of complications included preoperative stroke, sepsis, blood transfusion, and chronic steroid use. Conclusions Understanding the landscape of neurosurgical complications will allow better targeting of the most costly and harmful complications of preventive measures. Data from the ACS NSQIP database provide a starting point for developing paradigms of improved care of neurosurgical patients.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose of review Anemia is common in neurosurgical patients, and is associated with secondary brain injury. Although recent studies in critically ill patients have shifted practice toward more restrictive red blood cell (RBC) transfusion strategies, the evidence for restrictive versus liberal transfusion strategies in neurosurgical patients has been controversial. In this article, we review recent studies that highlight issues in RBC transfusion in neurosurgical patients. Recent findings Recent observational, retrospective studies in patients with traumatic brain injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and intracranial hemorrhage have demonstrated that prolonged anemia and RBC transfusions were associated with worsened outcomes. Anemia in patients with ischemic stroke was associated with increased ICU length of stay and longer mechanical ventilation requirements, but mortality and functional outcomes did not improve with RBC transfusion. In elective craniotomy, perioperative anemia was associated with increased hospital length of stay but no difference in 30-day morbidity or mortality. Summary There is a lack of definitive evidence to guide RBC transfusion practices in neurosurgical patients. Large randomized control trials are needed to better assess when and how aggressively to transfuse RBCs in neurosurgical patients.Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology 07/2014; 27(5). DOI:10.1097/ACO.0000000000000109 · 2.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Object Venous thromboembolisms (VTEs) occur frequently in surgical patients and can manifest as pulmonary emboli (PEs) or deep venous thromboses (DVTs). While many medical therapies have been shown to prevent VTEs, neurosurgeons are concerned about the use of anticoagulants in the postoperative setting. To better understand the prevalence of and the patient-level risk factors for VTE, the authors analyzed data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). Methods Retrospective data on 1,777,035 patients for the years from 2006 to 2011 were acquired from the American College of Surgeons NSQIP database. Neurosurgical cases were extracted by querying the data for which the surgical specialty was listed as "neurological surgery." Univariate statistics were calculated using the chi-square test, with 95% confidence intervals used for the resultant risk ratios. Multivariate models were constructed using binary logistic regression with a maximum number of 20 iterations. Results Venous thromboembolisms were found in 1.7% of neurosurgical patients, with DVTs roughly twice as common as PEs (1.3% vs 0.6%, respectively). Significant independent predictors included ventilator dependence, immobility (that is, quadriparesis, hemiparesis, or paraparesis), chronic steroid use, and sepsis. The risk of VTE was significantly higher in patients who had undergone cranial procedures (3.4%) than in those who had undergone spinal procedures (1.1%). Conclusions Venous thromboembolism is a common complication in neurosurgical patients, and the frequency has not changed appreciably over the past several years. Many factors were identified as independently predictive of VTEs in this population: ventilator dependence, immobility, and malignancy. Less anticipated predictors included chronic steroid use and sepsis. Venous thromboembolisms appear significantly more likely to occur in patients undergoing cranial procedures than in those undergoing spinal procedures. A better appreciation of the prevalence of and the risk factors for VTEs in neurosurgical patients will allow targeting of interventions and a better understanding of which patients are most at risk.Journal of Neurosurgery 08/2014; 121(4):1-11. DOI:10.3171/2014.6.JNS131419 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Object There have been no large-scale analyses on cost drivers in CSF shunt surgery for the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus. The objective of this study was to develop a cost model for hospitalization costs in pediatric CSF shunt surgery and to examine risk factors for increased costs. Methods Data were extracted from the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Children with initial CSF shunt placement in the 2009 KID were examined. Patient charge was converted to cost using a cost-to-charge ratio. The factors associated with costs of CSF shunt hospitalizations were examined, including patient demographics, hospital characteristics, and clinical data. The natural log transformation of cost per inpatient day (CoPID) was analyzed. Three multivariate linear regression models were used to characterize the cost. Variance inflation factor was used to identify multicollinearity for each model. Results A total of 2519 patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in study. Average cost and length of stay (LOS) for initial shunt placement were $49,317 ± $74,483 (US) and 18.2 ± 28.5 days, respectively. Cost per inpatient day was $4249 ± $2837 (median $3397, range $80-$22,263). The average number of registered nurse (RN) full-time equivalents (FTEs) per 1000 adjusted inpatient days was 5.8 (range 1.6-10.8). The final model had the highest adjusted coefficient of determination (R(2) = 0.32) and was determined to be the best among 3 models. The final model showed that child age, hydrocephalus etiology, weekend admission, number of chronic diseases, hospital type, number of RN FTEs per 1000 adjusted inpatient days, number of procedures, race, insurance type, income level, and hospital regions were associated with CoPID. Conclusions A patient's socioeconomic status, such as race, income level, and insurance, in addition to hospitalrelated factors such as number of hospital RN FTEs, hospital type, and US region, could affect the costs of initial CSF shunt placement, in addition to clinical factors such as hydrocephalus origin and LOS. To create a cost model of initial CSF shunt placement in the pediatric population, consideration of such nonclinical factors may be warranted.Neurosurgical FOCUS 11/2014; 37(5):E5. DOI:10.3171/2014.8.FOCUS14454 · 2.14 Impact Factor