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Int J Surg. 2018 Feb;50:114-120. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2017.12.033. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Impact of an acute surgical unit in appendicectomy outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Colorectal Surgery, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Electronic address:
Department of Colorectal Surgery, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.



The provision of emergency general surgical services is undergoing a paradigm shift towards a consultant led, patient centered model in order to improve patient outcomes. The aim of this current study is to use meta-analytical techniques to assess the efficacy of acute surgical unit (ASU) in appendectomy.


A meta-analysis was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. A comprehensive literature search of PubMed, Embase and Scopus for published studies comparing ASU and traditional (TRAD) model on appendectomy outcomes was performed. Random-effects methods were used to analyze key outcomes with data presented as odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).


Fourteen comparative studies describing outcomes in 7980 patients were identified, 4258 patients were included in the ASU model (53.4%). ASU model had a shorter time to theatre (WMD: -0.40, 95% CI: -0.65 to 0.15, p: 0.002), length of hospital stay (WMD: -0.25, 95% CI: -0.46 to -0.05, p: 0.02) and complication rate (OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.59 to 0.99, p: 0.04) for appendectomy patients. ASU model did not significantly affect night time operating (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.66 to 1.65, p: 0.86) negative appendectomy rates (OR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.77-1.27, p: 0.91) or conversion rate (OR: 1.45, 95% CI: 0.70 to 2.98, p: 0.32).


ASU model improves outcomes and quality of care in patients undergoing emergency appendectomy without any adverse implications.


Acute care surgery; Acute surgical unit; KPI; Key performance indexes

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