-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Delaying elective surgery
after a patient is admitted to the hospital increases the risk of
complications from infections and results in higher hospital costs,
according to a new study.
U.S. researchers looked at patients who developed postoperative
infections following three common types of elective surgery: 87,318
coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures; 46,728 colon
resections; and 28,960 lung resections.
The infections included pneumonia, urinary tract infections,
postoperative sepsis and surgical site infections. For each type of
surgery, infection rates were much lower when the procedure was
performed on the day the patient was admitted to the hospital.
Infection rates after a coronary bypass graft were 5.7 percent
when surgery was performed on the day of admission, compared with
18.2 percent when surgery was performed six to 10 days after
admission. The rates after colon resection were 8.4 percent and
21.6 percent, respectively, and 10.2 percent and 20.6 percent,
respectively, after lung resection.
The mean cost for all three procedures was also much lower when
surgery was performed on the day of admission, compared with
waiting a few days: CABG, $36,079 versus $47,527; colon resection,
$20,265 versus $29,887; lung resection, $26,323 versus $30,571,
according to the study published in the December issue of the
Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
"Multiple factors can contribute to postsurgical complications, including age and coexisting health issues. This analysis, however, confirms a direct correlation between delaying procedures and negative patient outcomes," lead author Dr. Todd R. Vogel, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said in a journal news release.
"As pay-for-performance models become increasingly prevalent, it will be imperative for hospitals to consider policies aimed at preventing delays and thereby reducing infection rates," Vogel added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
surgical site infections.
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