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A National Evaluation of Emergency General Surgery Outcomes Among Hospitalized Cardiac Patients

Published:November 08, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2022.10.016

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Emergency general surgery among cardiac surgery patients is increasingly common and consequential. We sought to characterize the true burden of emergency general surgery among hospitalized complex cardiac patients.

      Methods

      We performed a retrospective analysis of the 2016-2017 National Inpatient Sample. We included adult patients with a primary diagnosis of complex cardiac disease. We then compared patients who underwent emergency general surgery (GS-OR) with those who did not (non–GS-OR). The primary outcome was mortality; secondary outcomes included length of stay and hospitalization costs.

      Results

      We identified 10.2 million patients with a primary diagnosis of complex cardiac disease, of which 148,309 (1.4%) underwent GS-OR. Mortality rates were significantly higher in the GS-OR group (11.0% versus 5.0%, P < 0.001). Among all cardiac patients, GS-OR was associated with 2.2 times increased odds of death (aOR: 2.2, P < 0.001). GS-OR patients also had longer length of stays (14.1 versus 5.8 d, P < 0.001). Among all cardiac patients, GS-OR was associated with an 8.1-day longer length of stay (P < 0.001). GS-OR patients were less often routinely discharged home (31.7% versus 45.3%, P < 0.001) and incurred higher inpatient costs ($46,136 versus $16,303, P < 0.001). Among all cardiac patients, GS-OR patients incurred $30,102 higher hospitalization costs (P < 0.001).

      Conclusions

      Emergency general surgery among cardiac surgery patients is associated with a greater than two-fold increase in mortality, longer length of stays, higher rates of nonroutine discharge, and higher hospitalization costs. Emergency general surgery complications account for 4.0% of total inpatient costs of cardiac surgery patients and merit further study.

      Keywords

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