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Type: Journal article
Title: Impact of consultant operative supervision and surgical mortality in Australia
Author: Wong, T.
Guy, G.
Babidge, W.
Maddern, G.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 2012; 82(12):895-901
Publisher: Blackwell Science Asia
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1445-1433
Statement of
Teresa Hoi Ian Wong, Gordon Guy, Wendy Babidge and Guy J. Maddern
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In this study, the Australian and New Zealand Audit of Surgical Mortality evaluated the effect of operative supervision on certain post-operative outcomes in the surgical death subset. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was based upon mortality data collected in 2009 which included 1673 patients who died and had surgery within 30 days of death or during the last admission. Cases were divided into three groups: consultant not supervising (group NS), consultant supervising (group S) and consultant performing the operation (group C). A comparison was done nationally and between participating states in Australia. Certain post-operative outcomes were compared between the three groups as well as between elective and emergency operations. RESULTS: There were significant variations in the levels of operative supervision among states in Australia. Group NS (n = 468) generally had more favourable postoperative outcomes than group S (n = 147) and group C (n = 1058), with post-operative complication rates of 24.8%, 37.4% and 40.9% for groups NS, S and C, respectively. The level of operative supervision in emergency operations was half that of elective operations. Nevertheless, the post-operative complications rate was significantly lower in emergency operations (30.6%) compared with elective operations (64.4%). The same trend was seen with clinical management deficiencies and unplanned return to theatre. CONCLUSION: Operative supervision in emergency setting within Australian hospitals appears to be potentially inadequate. However, the available data suggest that unsupervised surgery did not result in worse post-operative outcomes. In appropriately selected cases, the data support surgical registrars performing surgery without consultant supervision.
Keywords: Mortality; seniority; supervision; surgery; trainee
Rights: © 2012 The Authors. ANZ Journal of Surgery © 2012 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
RMID: 0020123340
DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2012.06310.x
Appears in Collections:Surgery publications

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