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Eur J Surg. 1999 May;165(5):421-4; discussion 425.

Recording and classification of complications in a surgical practice.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To document the incidence and outcome of complications in the department of surgery.

DESIGN:

Retrospective study.

SETTING:

District hospital, The Netherlands.

SUBJECTS:

7455 patients operated on between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 1995.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Documentation and outcome of complications (defined as "every unwanted development in the illness of the patient or in the treatment of the patient's illness that occurs in the clinic").

RESULTS:

1078 complications were recorded after 8130 operations (13%), 337 (33%) of which had no long term effects. 175/1078 (16%) required reoperation, and in 134 of these (77%) an error in management or surgical technique was responsible for the complication. 6 patients were irreversibly harmed and of the 141 patients who died, 11 had evidence of some sort of error.

CONCLUSIONS:

Audit of complications is necessary to improve practice in a surgical department, and weekly morbidity and mortality meetings are a good opportunity for learning about them.

PMID:
10391156
DOI:
10.1080/110241599750006622
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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