7 Emergency Surgeries Leading to the Highest Mortality Rates and Costs
Millions of Americans undergo surgery each year. Any operation, regardless of its invasiveness, has associated risks, including the possibility of surgical error. Both elective and emergency surgeries carry staggering mortality rates. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, seven operations stand out above the others in casualties and in financial costs. These procedures account for nearly 80% of the national operative burden.Risky Emergency General Surgery
The term “Emergency General Surgery” (EGS) sounds relatively non-threatening to those unfamiliar with medical terminology. However, these cases involve the most acutely ill, highest-risk, and most costly patients. Nearly three million patients fall into this category annually within the United States alone, yet surgical benchmarks are undeveloped for EGS cases. This oversight may attribute to these statistics:
- EGS patients are up to eight times more likely to die postoperatively than their elective surgery counterparts.
- Half of all EGS procedures develop postoperative complications.
- 15% of EGS surgery patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of surgery.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the following surgeries accounted for the 80% of the volume, complications, death, and costs associated with EGS:
- Removal of part of the colon (partial colectomy)
- Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)
- Appendix removal (appendectomy)
- Peritoneal adhesion removal
- Small-bowel resection
- Peptic ulcer surgeries
- Abdominal incisions (laparotomy)
The findings show that the most dangerous procedures are those related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The most common complications stemming from these surgeries include internal bleeding, infections, adhesion, and shock. Partial colectomy, or partial removal of the colon, carried the highest burden, possibly because, in an emergency situation, the colon is not being adequately cleaned to avoid further complications.A Doctor’s Responsibilities
All professionals within the medical field owe a duty of care to their patients, but the need for focus and attention to detail becomes greater under emergency circumstances. A surgeon lessens the risk of complications by:
- Ensuring that they and all equipment are sterilized and prepared.
- Carrying out the pre-planned procedure.
- Utilizing the hospital team appropriately.
- Monitoring patient stats.
- Carefully performing postoperative care.
As patients, we openly entrust our lives to our medical team. We hope they treat us with the utmost care, the way they would a close family member. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If a surgeon or other medical professional did not meet their duty of care, and you suffered an injury as a result, you deserve to receive financial compensation for your damages. The attorneys of Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. will actively seek to uncover the responsible parties and hold them accountable for their negligence. Contact our San Jose, CA medical malpractice lawyers today at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.Sources