Intended for healthcare professionals


Emergency bowel surgery: organisational change is needed to improve outcomes

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 06 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m21
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Just a fifth of patients (19.4%) who underwent emergency laparotomy and who had signs of sepsis on admission received antibiotics within the recommended 60 minutes, an audit has shown.1

The 2017-2018 national emergency laparotomy audit, carried out on behalf of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said that this outcome had not improved over the past five years and had worsened since the last audit (24% in 2016-17).

The report found that progress on other outcomes had also stalled, including average 30 day mortality after emergency laparotomy, which remained static at 9.6%. This had previously been improving, from 11.8% in 2013 to 9.5% in 2017.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists said that …

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