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    Default Time of operation does not impact mortality after surgery, study finds

    The timing of surgical procedures — afternoon vs. morning or Friday vs. Monday — does not affect the risk of postoperative mortality, according to a study published in Anesthesia & Analgesia.


    The findings, according to a news release from the International Anesthesia Research Society, could help alleviate concerns that fatigue may contribute to an increased risk of safety issues for surgeries performed later in the day or week. The study also found no increase in mortality in the summer months, when new residents begin work.


    Daniel I. Sessler, MD, and his fellow colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed the outcomes of 32,001 elective surgeries performed from January 2005 to September 2010 according to the hour of the day (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.), the day of the week, the month of the year and the moon phase in which the surgery started. According to the study abstract, 30-day mortality was considered a binary endpoint.

    Overall risk of death within 30 days postoperatively was 0.43%, according to the release. Mortality risk was not significantly different for patients operated on at different times of day. The researchers also found no evidence of increased risk of death for operations performed later in the work week.


    Researchers also found that the time of year had no impact on mortality. Phase of the moon was found to have no impact as well, according to the release.


    “Elective surgery thus appears to be comparably safe at any time of the workday, any day of the workweek, and in any month of the year in our teaching hospital,” Sessler and his colleagues wrote.


    Reference:
    Sessler DI, Kurz A, Saager L, Dalton JE. Operation timing and 30-day mortality after elective general surgery. Anesth Analg. 2011. doi: 10.1213/?ANE.0b013e3182315a6d.
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