McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

More needed to stop postoperative deaths, says study

Published: December 3, 2015
P.J. Devereaux
Dr. P.J. Devereaux, professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Death during surgery is rare but dying of cardiac complications within a month of surgery is not, and more must be done, says a review article from McMaster University.

While 200 million adults around the world have major non-cardiac surgery every year, more than 10 million of them will have a major cardiac complication within the first 30 days. Safety can be improved through enhanced monitoring and rapid response to complications, the researchers say.

"If we consider perioperative death separately, it would rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. And, a third of those deaths are from cardiac complications. It is important we address the issue," said Dr. P.J. Devereaux, principal investigator of the study for the Population Health and Research Institute of McMaster and Hamilton Health Sciences and a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

The review by Devereaux and Dr. Daniel Sessler of the U.S. Cleveland Clinic was published in the New England Journal of Medicine today.

They looked at what is known about perioperative cardiac complications, preoperative ways of predicting the complications, cardiac interventions and postoperative monitoring.

Study Article

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