Outcomes of hospitalized patients undergoing emergency general surgery remote from admission
Emergency general surgery during hospitalization has not been well characterized. We examined emergency operations remote from admission to identify predictors of postoperative 30-day mortality, postoperative duration of stay >30 days, and complications.Methods:
Patients >18 years in The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (2011–2014) who had 1 of 7 emergency operations between hospital day 3–18 were included. Patients with operations >95th percentile after admission (>18 days; n = 581) were excluded. Exploratory laparotomy only (with no secondary procedure) represented either nontherapeutic or decompressive laparotomy. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify predictors of study outcomes.Results:
Of 10,093 patients with emergency operations, most were elderly (median 66 years old [interquartile ratio: 53–77 years]), white, and female. Postoperative 30-day mortality was 12.6% (n = 1,275). Almost half the cohort (40.1%) had a complication. A small subset (6.8%) had postoperative duration of stay >30 days. Postoperative mortality after exploratory laparotomy only was particularly high (>40%). In multivariable analysis, an operation on hospital day 11–18 compared with day 3–6 was associated with death (odds ratio 1.6 [1.3–2.0]), postoperative duration of stay >30 days (odds ratio 2.0 [1.6–2.6]), and complications (odds ratio 1.5 [1.3–1.8]). Exploratory laparotomy only also was associated with death (odds ratio 5.4 [2.8–10.4]).Conclusion:
Emergency general surgery performed during a hospitalization is associated with high morbidity and mortality. A longer hospital course before an emergency operation is a predictor of poor outcomes, as is undergoing exploratory laparotomy only.