Jacksonville personal injury lawyers report that just seven types of procedures account for about 80% of all hospital admissions, deaths, complications, and costs attributed to emergency general surgeries across the country, according to new research published in ‘A Surgery.’
Prior to the study, lead researcher Dr. Joaquim M. Havens, director of Emergency Surgical Services at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, said he noticed that patients who were coming in with serious medical problems requiring unplanned emergency surgery were not faring as well as he thought they should.
In this study, published in late April in JAMA Surgery, Havens and his colleagues looked at procedures that meet the definition of emergency general surgery as created by the American Association of Surgery for Trauma, he said. These mainly include operations to deal with gastrointestinal problems, soft tissue infections, and hernias.
“When you look at surgeries done emergently and surgeries done electively, the outcomes are so different,” he told CBS News. “It really challenged me to look deeper into what was going on.”
Havens and a team of researchers analyzed 421,476 patient records from a national database of hospital inpatients, and they discovered that a mere seven procedures accounted for approximately 80% of all admissions, deaths, complications and inpatient costs related to emergency surgeries. Jacksonville personal injury lawyers report the sample included only adults who underwent a procedure within two days of admission from 2008 to 2011.
The researchers ranked procedures by total burden, taking into account frequency, complications, mortality rates, and financial costs. In the end, they found seven operations that collectively accounted for 80% of procedures, 80% of deaths, 79% of complications, and 80% of inpatient costs nationwide.
Havens, a researcher at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues said some limitations of the study include the fact that it was based on claims data, which sometimes have missing information and other issues, and that patients who did not undergo operations were excluded but might have provided valuable information about possible differences in care when it’s managed by surgeons and non-surgeons.
Moreover, the analysis was limited to patients who had an operation within two days of being admitted, so it doesn’t account for the full burden of these kinds of procedures.
However, the authors suggested that there’s value in having quality benchmarks and cost-reduction strategies focus on these procedures. Jacksonville personal injury lawyers see the following seven dangerous and costly procedures are mostly related to the organs of the digestive system:
1. Removing Part of the Colon
2. Small-Bowel resection
3. Removing the gallbladder
4. Operations Related to Peptic Ulcer Disease
5. Removing Abdominal Adhesions
7. Other Operations to Open the Abdomen.
Some of the top seven operations are simply very risky, particularly when performed on an emergency basis, said Dr. Martin Paul, regional director of minimally invasive surgery for Johns Hopkins in the Washington, D.C., area.
“Bowel resection (surgery to remove portions of the bowel) is probably, even as an elective procedure, considered a risky operation,” said Paul, author of an accompanying journal editorial. “To do that under emergency circumstances when you don’t have the benefit of a bowel that’s been cleansed ahead of time, it sets the stage for some serious and expensive complications.” – Paul
Jacksonville personal injury lawyers are commonly asked, ‘what can we as patients and loved ones of patients be aware of as these surgeries are conducted?’ Given their high prevalence nationally and high proportion of burden they represent the 7 procedures identified in this study could lead to better clinical decision making, patient outcomes, and cost savings, the researchers wrote in their analysis.
The surgeries that topped this list that Jacksonville personal injury lawyers commonly see all involve the abdominal area. There are several reasons for this, Havens said. First, surgeries involving the abdomen are very common. “When we look at the numbers, there may be only 4,000 amputations compared to 600,000 gall bladder surgeries, he said.
Second, the complication rate is fairly high. “When you operate on the intestines, if you think about it, it’s full of bacteria, which puts you at a high risk of infection,” Havens said. “And if you’re getting an operation on your intestine, you’re likely not eating. You may not have been eating before the surgery. You won’t eat for a while after the surgery. So, often nutrition is a problem.”
Finally, many of these procedures are done more commonly in elderly patients, which can increase risk of complications and death according to Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Edwards & Ragatz. Havens said the findings shed light on the procedures that need more attention and resources. He said future research needs to identify why these particular surgeries are so burdensome and what can be done to improve outcomes.
“I think emergency general surgery needs to be defined as a separate and unique specialty like cardiac surgery or vascular surgery,” he said. “This could stimulate discussion and perhaps lead to training changes to improve the quality and make emergency general surgeries safer so patients could get through this with less burden.”
If you or loved one has been injured or died as a result of medical negligence, contact a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer at Edwards & Ragatz for a free consultation (904)399.1609 or toll-free at (800)366.1609 or Feel free to e-mail our office at email@example.com or through our website at https://www.edwardsragatz.com