Patients who undergo elective total hip or total knee replacements at hospitals with lower surgical volume have a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and mortality following the procedure, according to an American study.
Researchers looked at the records of around 10,000 patients who had undergone a hip replacement and about 20,000 who had a knee replacement.
The study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, found complications at low volume sites could be reduced by modifying procedures before and after surgery.
Compared to high-volume hospitals, patients who underwent elective primary THA at low-volume hospitals had a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and one-year mortality.
Patients aged more than 60 years who underwent elective primary TKA at low-volume hospitals had significantly higher risk of one-year mortality compared with high volume hospitals.
The researchers said: “Modifiable system-based factors/processes should be targeted to reduce complications.”