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Type: Journal article
Title: Appendicectomy mortality: an Australian national audit
Author: Young, E.
Stewart, S.
McCulloch, G.A.J.
Maddern, G.J.
Citation: ANZ Journal of Surgery, 2019; 89(11):1441-1445
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1445-1433
Statement of
E. Young, S. Stewart, G. A. J. McCulloch, G. J. Maddern
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Appendicectomy is a safe surgical procedure with minimal risks. Low mortality rates (0.04-0.24%) have been reported from a number of countries. Appendicectomy mortality rates have not been reported in Australia in recent years. The aim of the study was to conduct an appendicectomy mortality audit, to identify clinical management issues and to calculate the mortality rate of appendicectomy in Australia. METHODS:This study analysed data from a peer review of appendicectomy deaths in Australian hospitals of all states and territories, from 2006 to 2017. Additional procedural data were obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for the calculation of mortality rates. RESULTS:The final analysis included 82 patients of whom 62 were elderly (age >65 years) with 47 males and 35 females. Two or more comorbidities were present in 68 patients. Open operation was performed in 62 patients, with complicated appendicitis found in 50 cases. The majority of management issues were non-surgical. Of the 16 surgical management issues identified, 11 issues occurred post-operatively in the elderly, which were potentially preventable. The overall mortality was 0.02% with 0.01% in the young (age <65 years) and 0.20% in the elderly. CONCLUSION:Australia's appendicectomy mortality rate was very low and comparable to international figures. Surgical management of appendicectomy was satisfactory in general. However, post-operative care in the elderly was found to be poor at times, with room for improvement. Further research is needed whether improvements in post-operative care could alter the clinical course to death in the elderly.
Keywords: Appendicectomy, audit, mortality
Rights: © 2019 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
DOI: 10.1111/ans.15439
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