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World Journal of Emergency Surgery

, 2:29

First Online: 31 October 2007Received: 04 May 2007Accepted: 31 October 2007


IntroductionIn the past the National Confidential Enquiry into Peri-operative deaths NCEPOD have advocated a reduction in non-essential night-time operating in NHS hospitals. In this study a retrospective analysis of the emergency general surgical operative workload at a London Teaching centre was performed.

MethodsAll general surgical and vascular emergency operations recorded prospectively on the theatre database between 1997 and 2004 were included in the study. Operations were categorised according to whether they commenced during the daytime08:01–18:00 hours, evening18:01–00:00 hours or night-time00:01–08:00 hours. The procedure type and grade of the participating surgical personnel were also recorded. Bivariate correlation was used to analyse changing trends in the emergency workload.

ResultsIn total 5,316 emergency operations were performed over the study period. The numbers of daytime, evening and night-time emergency procedures performed were 2,96355.7%, 1,83234.5%, and 5219.8% respectively. Laparotomies and complex vascular procedures collectively accounted for half of all cases performed after midnight whereas they represented only 30% of the combined daytime and evening emergency workload. Thirty-two percent n = 166 of all night-time operations were supervised or performed by a consultant surgeon. The annual volume of emergency cases performed increased significantly throughout the study period. Enhanced daytime r = 0.741, p < 0.01 and evening r = 0.548, p < 0.01 operating absorbed this increase in workload. There was no significant change in the absolute number of cases performed at night but the proportion of the emergency workload that took place after midnight decreased significantly throughout the study r = -0.742, p < 0.01.

ConclusionA small but consistent volume of complex cases require emergency surgery after midnight. Provision of an emergency general surgical service must incorporate this need.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1749-7922-2-29 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Omar Faiz - Saswata Banerjee - Paris Tekkis - Savvas Papagrigoriadis - John Rennie - Andrew Leather

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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