Rates and patterns of death after surgery in the United States, 1996 and 2006

Brigham andWomen’s Hospital, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.11). 02/2012; 151(2):171-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.07.021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nationwide rates and patterns of death after surgery are unknown.
Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we compared deaths within 30 days of admission for patients undergoing surgery in 1996 and 2006. International Classification of Diseases codes were used to identify 2,520 procedures for analysis. We examined the inpatient 30-day death rate for all procedures, procedures with the most deaths, high-risk cardiovascular and cancer procedures, and patients who suffered a recorded complication. We used logistic regression modeling to adjust 1996 mortality rates to the age and gender distributions for patients undergoing surgery in 2006.
In 1996, there were 12,573,331 admissions with a surgical procedure (95% confidence interval [CI], 12,560,171-12,586,491) and 224,111 inpatient deaths within 30 days of admission (95% CI, 221,912-226,310). In 2006, there were 14,333,993 admissions with a surgical procedure (95% CI, 14,320,983-14,347,002) and 189,690 deaths (95% CI, 187,802-191,578). Inpatient 30-day mortality declined from 1.68% in 1996 to 1.32% in 2006 (P < .001). Of the 21 procedures with the most deaths in 1996, 15 had significant declines in adjusted mortality in 2006. Among these 15 procedures, 8 had significant declines in operative volume. The inpatient 30-day mortality rate for patients who suffered a complication decreased from 12.10% to 9.84% (P < .001).
Nationwide reporting on surgical mortality suggests that the number of inpatient deaths within 30 days of surgery has declined. Additional research to determine the underlying causes for decreased mortality is warranted.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Death within 1 month of surgery is considered treatment related and serves as an important healthcare quality metric. We sought to identify the incidence of and factors associated with 1-month mortality after cancer-directed surgery. We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program to study a cohort of 1,110,236 patients diagnosed from 2004-2011 with cancers that are among the 10 most common or most fatal who received cancer-directed surgery. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with 1-month mortality after cancer-directed surgery. 53,498 patients (4.8%) died within 1 month of cancer-directed surgery. Patients who were married, insured, or who had a top 50th percentile income or educational status had lower odds of 1-month mortality from cancer-directed surgery ([adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.80; 95% CI 0.79 - 0.82; P<0.001], [AOR 0.88; (0.82 - 0.94); P<0.001], [AOR 0.95; (0.93 - 0.97); P<0.001], and [AOR 0.98; (0.96 - 0.99); P=0.043], respectively). Patients who were non-white minority, male, or older (per year increase), or who had advanced tumor stage 4 disease all had a higher risk of 1-month mortality after cancer-directed surgery, with AORs of 1.13 (1.11 - 1.15), P<0.001; 1.11 (1.08 - 1.13), P<0.001; 1.02 (1.02 - 1.03), P<0.001; and 1.89 (1.82 - 1.95), P<0.001 respectively. Unmarried, uninsured, non-white, male, older, less educated, and poorer patients were all at a significantly higher risk for death within 1 month of cancer-directed surgery. Efforts to reduce 1-month surgical mortality and eliminate sociodemographic disparities in this adverse outcome could significantly improve survival among patients with cancer. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:
    Annals of Oncology 11/2014; 26(2). DOI:10.1093/annonc/mdu534 · 6.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the wide acceptance of Failure-to-Rescue (FTR) as a patient safety indicator (defined as the deaths among surgical patients with treatable complications), no study has explored the geographic variation of FTR in a large health jurisdiction. Our study aimed to explore the spatiotemporal variations of FTR rates across New South Wales (NSW), Australia. We conducted a population-based study using all admitted surgical patients in public acute hospitals during 2002-2009 in NSW, Australia. We developed a spatiotemporal Poisson model using Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA) methods in a Bayesian framework to obtain area-specific adjusted relative risk. Local Government Area (LGA) was chosen as the areal unit. LGA-aggregated covariates included age, gender, socio-economic and remoteness index scores, distance between patient residential postcode and the treating hospital, and a quadratic time trend. We studied 4,285,494 elective surgical admissions in 82 acute public hospitals over eight years in NSW. Around 14% of patients who developed at least one of the six FTR-related complications (58,590) died during hospitalization. Of 153 LGAs, patients who lived in 31 LGAs, accommodating 48% of NSW patients at risk, were exposed to an excessive adjusted FTR risk (10% to 50%) compared to the state-average. They were mostly located in state's centre and western Sydney. Thirty LGAs with a lower adjusted FTR risk (10% to 30%), accommodating 8% of patients at risk, were mostly found in the southern parts of NSW and Sydney east and south. There were significant spatiotemporal variations of FTR rates across NSW over an eight-year span. Areas identified with significantly high and low FTR risks provide potential opportunities for policy-makers, clinicians and researchers to learn from the success or failure of adopting the best care for surgical patients and build a self-learning organisation and health system.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10-10):e109807. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109807 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although advancements in perioperative care have been made over the last decades, the perioperative outcome could not be improved adequately. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies are required to decrease morbidity and all-cause mortality in surgical patients. Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC), defined as brief and transient episodes of ischemia at a remote site before a subsequent injury of the target organ, is an adaptive response to protect for organ injury elicited by different stimuli. This review evaluates the current clinical evidence for RIPC as a potential tissue-protective strategy and discusses the underlying mechanism. Several studies demonstrated the tissue-protective effect of RIPC in various organs, including the heart, brain, and kidney. However, the existence of controversial results may be explained by the fact that different study protocols were used and different patient populations were recruited. RIPC may offer a novel inexpensive and noninvasive therapeutic strategy to alleviate organ injury in the perioperative period. However, adequately powered, large, multicenter clinical studies are necessary to accurately determine whether ischemic conditioning can improve the clinical outcomes of patients at risk for ischemia-reperfusion injury.