February 2, 2023

Effect of postop anesthesia personnel visits on mortality

Editor's Note

This study from the Netherlands finds the addition of postoperative visits by anesthesia personnel (anesthesiologists or residents) to routine monitoring with modified early warning scores (MEWS) did not reduce 30-day mortality.

A total of 5,190 (2,490 control, 2,700 intervention) medium- to high-risk elective surgical patients from nine academic and nonacademic hospitals having noncardiac surgery were analyzed.

Among the findings:

  • 30-day mortality was 0.56% in the control group (with just MEWS monitoring) and 0.44% in the intervention group (with MEWS monitoring and postoperative visits on days 1 and 3).
  • Incidence of postoperative complications did not differ between groups, except for renal complications, which were higher in the control group (1.7% vs 1.0%).
  • Median length of stay was 4 days for both groups.
  • Recommendations given during visits on days 1 and 3 were followed up by 67% and 69% of patients, respectively.

Future research should focus on well-defined, high-risk patients and measures to embed the postoperative visits within regular surgical rounds, the authors suggest.

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