Intended for healthcare professionals


Elderly patients are dying after surgery because of poor care, review says

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 11 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6412
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Only a third of elderly patients who died in UK hospitals within 30 days of undergoing surgery were considered to have received good care, warns an expert review of more than 800 cases by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD), published this week.

The NCEPOD survey looked at the hospital care given to patients over the age of 80 who had had surgery and died within 30 days—most of whom had undergone emergency surgery. NCEPOD identified 1756 cases and sent out questionnaires concerning these. The hospitals returned 820 sets of case notes and 1120 surgical, 957 anaesthetic, and 283 organisational questionnaires.

The reviewers …

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