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Why are patients readmitted after general surgery?

The occurrence of postop complications was found to be the single most significant risk factor for hospital readmission within 30 days, according to this study of over 1400 general surgery patients at one academic medical center between 2009 and 2011.  The 30-day readmission rate was found to be just over 11 percent.  Here is more specific information on the reasons for readmission (I’ve rounded off the following percentages):

  • 28% gastrointestinal problems or complications
  • 22% surgical infection
  • 10% failure to thrive / malnutrition

Another interesting thing that the researchers analyzed was the types of general surgery procedures most likely to result in readmission:

  • Pancreatectomy
  • Colectomy
  • Liver resection

Source: Kassin, M.T., and others.  Risk factors for 30-day hospital readmission among general surgery patients.  Journal of the American College of Surgeons;215(3):322-330, Sept. 2012.  Click here to purchase the full text: http://www.journalacs.org/article/S1072-7515(12)00413-9/abstract  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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