March 28, 2023

Risk of adverse surgical outcomes in patients with recent COVID-19 infection

Editor's Note

This study by researchers from Veteran Affairs Boston finds that recent COVID-19 infection was not associated with risk of postoperative outcomes, regardless of timing within the previous 60 days.

A total of 29,093 patients who had surgery at 123 hospitals were included in the analysis.

Of 15,553 surgical procedures performed on inpatients:

  • Mean length of stay was 5.0 days
  • Median time between COVID-19 infection and surgery was 30 days
  • Adverse postoperative outcomes occurred in 1,337 of 28, 635 (4.7%) patients without COVID-19 infection; 18 of 238 (7.6%) patients with infection in preoperative days 1 to 30; 7 of 220 (3.2%) patients with infection in preoperative days 31 to 60.

The findings suggest that the decision to proceed with surgery should be based on clinical expertise rather than a fixed time interval after COVID-19 infection, the authors say.

JAMA (healthcare publication) Network logo



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