7 things to know about COVID-19 patients undergoing surgery

COVID-19 patients getting surgery may face several risks, including postoperative lung complications seen in about half of the patients in a new international study.

The study, published in The Lancet, was conducted at 235 hospitals in 24 countries. It included 1,128 patients who had surgery between Jan. 1 and March 31. All patients had COVID-19, confirmed either seven days before or 30 days after their surgery.

Seven study findings:

1. Of 1,128 patients, 268 patients (23.8 percent) died.

2. Of the 268 patients who died, 19.1 percent were undergoing elective surgery, and 29.2 percent had two or more underlying conditions.

3. About 34 percent of the patients who died were on a ventilator.

4. Lung complications occurred in 577 (51.2 percent) of the patients.

5. About 40.4 percent of patients who had postoperative lung complications had pneumonia, and 14.4 percent had acute respiratory distress syndrome.

6. A little over 21 percent of the patients with lung complications needed mechanical ventilation.

7. Overall, 219 of the patients with lung complications (38 percent) died.

More articles on patient safety & outcomes:
COVID-19 nearly triples death risk of cancer patients, study finds
6 insights into COVID-19 patient care patterns worldwide
COVID-19 is 13 times deadlier than flu, study suggests

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