Improving patient outcomes after surgeryBMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4580 (Published 10 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4580
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After discussing the topic published this week by BMJ: Clare Marx and Derek Alderson's Improving patient outcomes after surgery, they motivated us to write some of our considerations on the subject.
Worldwide, some 234 million major surgery interventions are performed annually, roughly equivalent to one operation per 25 people. Each year 63 million people with traumatic injuries, 10 million women with complications related to pregnancy and 31 million patients who need cancer treatment are operated. According to various studies, complications attributable to surgical interventions cause disability or prolong hospitalization between 3% and 25% of patients, depending on the complexity of the operation and the hospital environment. This means that the number of patients susceptible to postoperative complications is at least 7 million per year.
The Global Alliance for Patient Safety includes such important issues as explaining to the patient before surgery risks and the risks of not operating, so that the patient decides about his health and respects himself as a person. Its goal is to achieve "safe surgery".
We consider that there are multiple factors that intervene in the results after surgery, some depend on the cause that motivates, others depend on whether it is urgent or elective and much depends on the patient's condition, physical condition and co morbidities. Without neglecting that a part no less important depends on the skill and experience of the surgeon, the frequency, in a certain time, with which it exposes itself to solve situations similar to those that motivate the surgery in a patient.
No less despicable is the safety of operating theaters and the team of anesthesiologists involved in the operative event, without discarding the important of the immediate and immediate post-operative.
We should never forget to involve patients throughout the surgical process and this would be able to achieve a positive balance in a surgery performed.
Ensuring patient safety is essential in surgical care.
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Competing interests: No competing interests