In an astonishing revelation, scientists found that patients who were operated upon in the night are twice more likely to die than those who undergo surgery during the regular working hours.
While those who lived through the night-long operations thank their luck, researchers from McGill University in Canada say surgeries done in the early evening too have a higher mortality risk, while the night operations are far more risky. They based their study on a review of all surgical procedures for the past 5 years, starting from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2015.
The day was divided into three time blocks — 7 am to 3:29 pm, evening 3:30-11:29 pm and night time 11:30 PM-7:29 am. The time the anaesthesia given is taken into consideration during the block. They found out that there were 41,716 elective and emergency surgeries performed on 33,942 patients in 40,044 cases of hospitalisation. Of these, 10,480 were emergency procedures and out of them 3,445 during the first block; 4,951 in the second slot; and 2,084 emergency procedures with anaesthesia starting in the night.
There were 226, 97 and 29 deaths of all cases during day, evening and night surgery respectively, which means patients operated in the night were 2.17 times more likely to die than those operated upon duing regular daytime working hours. Those operated in the late evening were 1.43 times more likely to die than those operated on during regular daytime working hours.
“Postoperative 30-day in-hospital mortality rate should include start time of anaesthesia, along with other known variables, as a risk factor,” researchers said.
Several causes have been cited for the increased incidence of deaths in night operations attributed to — fatigue during anaesthesia and surgery, overnight hospital staffing issues, delays in treatment, non-availability of operating rooms during the day, or the patient being too sick and deferring the operation to later in the day.
So, the question is whether to accommodate all operations during the daytime and if so, the pressure on doctors or surgeons all over the world. The related question is about jet lag where those arriving from other time zones undergoing surgery in another time zone but technically their body clock recording it as night time zone. Perhaps more research is required to ascertain the impact.[ tags Surgery,hospitals,hospital medicine, Night Time Surgery,Doubles Death Risk ] [ category, health]