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Postoperative Lung Complications Common in Patients With SARS-CoV-2

Pulmonary complications found in 51.2 percent of patients; 30-day mortality 38 percent in these patients

FRIDAY, June 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- About half of patients with perioperative severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have postoperative pulmonary complications, which are associated with high 30-day mortality, according to a study published online May 29 in The Lancet.

Aneel Bhangu, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an international multicenter study at 235 hospitals in 24 countries, including 1,128 patients undergoing surgery who had SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed within seven days before or 30 days after surgery. Of the patients, 74 percent and 24.8 percent had emergency and elective surgery, respectively.

The researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed preoperatively in 26.1 percent of the patients. Overall 30-day mortality was 23.8 percent. In 51.2 percent of patients, pulmonary complications occurred; 38 percent of these patients had 30-day mortality, accounting for 82.6 percent of all deaths. Thirty-day mortality correlated with male sex, age 70 years or older versus younger than 70 years, American Society of Anesthesiologists grades 3 to 5 versus 1 to 2, malignant versus benign or obstetric diagnosis, emergency versus elective surgery, and major versus minor surgery in adjusted analyses (odds ratios, 1.75, 2.30, 2.35, 1.55, 1.67, and 1.52, respectively).

"Strategies are urgently required to minimize in-hospital SARS-CoV-2 transmission and mitigate the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients whose surgery cannot be delayed," the authors write.

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