Postoperative outcomes in surgical COVID-19 patients

COVIDSurg Collaborative. Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study. Lancet. 2020 Jul 4;396(10243):27-38. Erratum in: Lancet. 2020 Jun 9.

Full-text for Emory users.

Findings: This analysis includes 1128 patients who had surgery between Jan 1 and March 31, 2020, of whom 835 (74·0%) had emergency surgery and 280 (24·8%) had elective surgery. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed preoperatively in 294 (26·1%) patients. 30-day mortality was 23·8% (268 of 1128). Pulmonary complications occurred in 577 (51·2%) of 1128 patients; 30-day mortality in these patients was 38·0% (219 of 577), accounting for 81·7% (219 of 268) of all deaths. In adjusted analyses, 30-day mortality was associated with male sex (odds ratio 1·75 [95% CI 1·28-2·40], p<0·0001), age 70 years or older versus younger than 70 years (2·30 [1·65-3·22], p<0·0001), American Society of Anesthesiologists grades 3-5 versus grades 1-2 (2·35 [1·57-3·53], p<0·0001), malignant versus benign or obstetric diagnosis (1·55 [1·01-2·39], p=0·046), emergency versus elective surgery (1·67 [1·06-2·63], p=0·026), and major versus minor surgery (1·52 [1·01-2·31], p=0·047).

Interpretation: Postoperative pulmonary complications occur in half of patients with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection and are associated with high mortality. Thresholds for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic should be higher than during normal practice, particularly in men aged 70 years and older. Consideration should be given for postponing non-urgent procedures and promoting non-operative treatment to delay or avoid the need for surgery.


Further reading: 

Carrier FM, et al. Postoperative outcomes in surgical COVID-19 patients: a multicenter cohort study. BMC Anesthesiol. 2021 Jan 12;21(1):15.

Zheng H, et al. Perioperative management of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19: review and recommendations for perioperative management from a retrospective cohort study. Br J Anaesth. 2020 Dec;125(6):895-911.

Heffernan DS, et al. Surgical Infection Society Guidance for Operative and Peri-Operative Care of Adult Patients Infected by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2020 May;21(4):301-308. Full-text for Emory users.

 

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