Audit shows shortfall in care for emergency bowel surgery patients

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 30 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3496
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The death rate in emergency bowel surgery is up to five times greater than that in high risk elective surgery, shows an audit carried out by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.1

The first national emergency laparotomy audit included data on over 20 000 patients (83% of those eligible) from 192 NHS hospitals in England and Wales between 1 December 2013 and 30 November 2014. It found that 11% of patients who underwent emergency laparotomy died within 30 days of the operation. Although this figure was lower than the 15% reported in other studies, it was nevertheless still much higher …

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