Post-Acute Care Crucial: 42% of Complications Arise After Discharge

A new U.S. study finds that 41.5% of post-surgery complications arise after patients have been discharged, furthering the importance of post-care attention hospitals must provide, according to the November issue of Archives of Surgery.

Written by Hadiza S. Kazaure, of Stanford University at Palo Alto in California, the study concentrated on 2005-2012 data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. The results turned up 16.7% of survey patients had experienced a complication, with 41.% experiencing complications after discharge from hospitals.

The study covered 551,510 patients whose average age was 55-years-old. Of the patients who suffered post discharge complications, the study found that 75% of complications occurred within 14 days of leaving the hospital.


Focusing on certain types of procedures and calculating the risk factors for post-discharge complications, Kazaure and her colleagues found that 78.7% of breast, 69.4% of bariatric, and 62% of hernia repairs procedures experienced complications.

Kasaure’s team noted that the complications stemmed mostly from infections and blood clots.

To treat these ailments, many patients had to be readmitted, which in turn led to higher re-operation rates. Researchers found that patients with post-discharge complications accounted for 17.9%.


The study concludes by imploring the need for more research to develop better cost-effective post-discharge follow-up system, not only to reduce the number of readmissions, but for the welfare of outgoing patients.

Read the study here.

Written by Jason Oliva

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