February 3, 2022

Elderly male COVID-19 patients have high risk for postop complications

Editor's Note

This multicenter study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, finds that COVID-19 patients have a significantly high risk for postoperative complications, particularly elderly males.

Of 1,581 patients analyzed, more than half were males over 50 years of age, and most procedures (1,261, 79.8%) were emergent and laparotomies (538, 34.1%).

Postoperative mortality in these patients was 11%, and the pulmonary complication rate was 39.5%.

Independent predictors of mortality include:

  • age 70 years or more
  • male gender
  • ASA grades 3 to 5
  • emergent surgery
  • malignancy
  • respiratory comorbidities
  • higher Revised Cardiac Risk Index.

Because COVID-19 patients, especially elderly males, have a significantly high risk for postoperative complications, postponing elective surgery and adopting nonoperative management, when reasonable, should be considered during pandemic peaks, the researchers say.


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