Rise in post-op deaths in Europe, Iceland remains lowest

hospital European medical experts have expressed concern over a significant jump in the amount of post-op deaths in recent years. The average post-operative death rate is now four percent for 68 European countries, according to a recent study. The report, which was featured in last week’s edition of The Lancet medical journal, notes that the figure is nearly twice recent estimates.

However, the individual rates of countries studied varied immensely, with the fewest deaths taking place in Iceland (1.2 percent) and whilst Latvia saw an alarmingly high rate (21.5 percent). Other countries with the high figures included Poland and Romania, whilst Ireland saw the highest in Western Europe at 6.4 percent.

Physicians examined the cases of more than 46,000 patients over a 60-day period following surgery last spring. The report said, “In our study, the overall crude mortality rate of four percent was higher than anticipated. We identified important variations in risk-adjusted mortality rates between nations, and critical care resources did not seem to be allocated to patients at greatest risk of death. Our findings raise important public health concerns about the provision of care for patients undergoing surgery in Europe,” the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Study head Dr Rupert Pearse from the University of London said, “Nearly three-quarters of patients who died were never admitted to intensive care. Failure to allocate critical care resources to patients at greatest risk of death is a serious public health concern for patients undergoing surgery in Europe.”