Br J Anaesth. 2017;118(1):100-104
Preoperative identification of high-risk surgical patients might help to reduce postoperative morbidity and mortality. Using a patient’s predicted 30 day mortality to plan postoperative high-dependency unit (HDU) care after elective colorectal surgery might be associated with reduced postoperative morbidity.
METHODS: The 30 day postoperative mortality was predicted for 504 elective colorectal surgical patients in a preoperative clinic. The prediction was used to determine postoperative surgical ward or HDU care. Those with a predicted 30 day mortality of 1-3% mortality, and thus deemed at intermediate risk, had either planned HDU care (n=68) or planned ward care (n=139). The main outcome measures were emergency laparotomy and unplanned critical care admission.
RESULTS: There were more emergency laparotomies and unplanned critical care admissions in patients with a predicted 30 day mortality of 1-3% who went to an HDU after surgery compared with patients who went to a ward: 0 vs 14 (10%), P=0.0056 and 0 vs 22 (16%), P=0.0002, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Planned postoperative critical care was associated with a lower rate of complications after elective colorectal surgery.