Defining the burden, scope, and future of vascular acute care surgery

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Abstract

Objective

The paradigm of acute care surgery has revolutionized nonelective general surgery. Similarly, nonelective vascular surgery may benefit from specific management and resource capabilities. To establish the burden and scope of vascular acute care surgery, we analyzed the characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized for vascular surgical procedures in Maryland.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of a statewide inpatient database was performed to identify patients undergoing noncardiac vascular procedures in Maryland from 2009 to 2013. Patients were stratified by admission acuity as elective, urgent, or emergent, with the last two groups defined as acute. The primary outcome was inpatient mortality, and secondary outcomes were critical care and hospital resource requirements. Groups were compared by univariate analyses, with multivariable analysis of mortality based on acuity level and other potential risk factors for death.

Results

Of 3,157,499 adult hospital admissions, 154,004 (5%) patients underwent a vascular procedure; most were acute (54% emergent, 13% urgent), whereas 33% were elective. Acute patients had higher rates of critical care morbidity and required more hospital resource utilization. Admission for acute vascular surgery was independently associated with mortality (urgent odds ratio, 2.1; emergent odds ratio, 3.0).

Conclusions

The majority of inpatient vascular care in Maryland is for acute vascular surgery, which is an independent risk factor for mortality. Acute vascular surgical care entails greater critical care and hospital resource utilization and—similar to emergency general surgery—may benefit from dedicated training and practice models.

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