Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Study shows risk of death following surgery

  • 1 Comment

More can be done to protect hospital patients after surgery, according to a study into mortality rates.

The new research shows that the risk of death following surgery is highest on weekends, in the afternoon and throughout February.

The study, which was presented at this year’s Euroanaesthesia, is based on research is by Dr Felix Kork and Professor Claudia Spies, from Charité - University Medicine Berlin in Germany. The scientists looked at data from 218,758 patients who underwent surgery between 2006 and 2011 at the two University Hospital Campuses of Charité Tertiary Care University Center, Berlin.

Analysis of the figures show day-night, weekly and seasonal variabilities - something that has been shown in previous studies of general hospital mortality, but never before concerning patients after surgery.

It found that afternoon surgery had a 21% increased risk of death compared with surgery conducted at other times of day, while there was a 22% increased risk of death following surgery at the weekend compared with weekdays.

The study also found that February had a 16% increased risk of death compared with surgery in all other months.

The authors of the study, who will now carry out further research into the causes of the variations, said there could be a number of reasons why the standard of care varied at different times. These include the possibility that the patients treated in the afternoon and on the weekends were more severely ill.

However, they said the study did demonstrate that much more could be done to protect patients following surgery.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Study gives %rates of risk of death. Has been calculated on the number of ACTUAL deaths and why?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.