Science in 140 characters: Cost of operations

However, the researchers suggested that since the fatalities have been narrowed down to just seven procedures, it would be rather easy to target just those procedures to drastically change the global surgery figures.

Written by Jamie Mullick | Updated: May 1, 2016 2:08 am
However, the researchers suggested that since the fatalities have been narrowed down to just seven procedures, it would be rather easy to target just those procedures to drastically change the global surgery figures.

@atul_gawande
Atul Gawande, Surgeon and researcher

It is estimated that roughly 1 out of every 100 people undergo at least one surgery every year. According to an article tweeted by surgeon and researcher Atul Gawande, around 80 per cent of all deaths, complications and costs incurred during emergency surgeries happen during seven surgical procedures.

The research published in JAMA Surgery analysed data from over 4,00,000 surgeries conducted across the United States over the past year and found that the seven dangerous procedures are mostly related to the digestive system — removing part of the colon, small-bowel resection, removing the gall bladder, operations related to peptic ulcer, removing abdominal adhesions and appendectomy.

However, the researchers suggested that since the fatalities have been narrowed down to just seven procedures, it would be rather easy to target just those procedures to drastically change the global surgery figures. “Given their high prevalence and the high proportion of burden they represent… the seven procedures identified in this study could lead to better clinical decision making, patient outcomes, and cost savings,” they wrote. The study, however, warned that inactivity in raising awareness about these procedures, on the other hand, could lead to a “looming catastrophe” that could make “what is now a national burden” into a global crisis.

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