Associations Between Care Bundles and Postoperative Outcomes After Major Emergency Abdominal Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Published:November 24, 2022DOI:



      Care bundles were found to improve postoperative outcomes in elective surgery. However, in major emergency general surgery studies show a divergent impact on mortality and length of stay. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate associations between care bundles and mortality, complications, and length of stay when applied in major emergency general surgery.


      A systematic literature search in PubMed and Embase was performed on the May 1, 2021. Only comparative studies on care bundles in major emergency general surgery were included. Meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis were performed on 30-d mortality. We undertook a narrative approach of long-term mortality, complications, and length of stay.


      Meta-analysis of 13 studies with 35,771 patients demonstrated that care bundles in emergency surgery were not associated with a significant reduction in odds of 30-d mortality (odds ratio = 0.8, 95% confidence interval 0.62-1.03). Trial sequential analysis confirmed that the meta-analysis was underpowered with a minimum of 78,901 patients required for firm conclusions. Seven studies reported complication rates whereof six reported lower complication rates using care bundles.


      Care bundles were reported to decrease postoperative complications in five out of seven studies and seven out of 11 studies reported a shortening in length of stay.


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