Why are heart operations postponed?
AuthorTagarakis, G. I.; Karangelis, D.; Voucharas, C.; Daskalopoulos, M. E.; Koufakis, T.; Mouzaki, M.; Lampoura, S.; Papadopoulos, D.; Sataitidis, I.; Tsilimingas, N. B.
Aim: To investigate the reasons that lead to postponement of cardiac operations, in order to elucidate the problem and help patients through modes of prevention. Methods-Design: We retrospectively included in the study all patients submitted to elective adult heart surgery in our department during the 4-year period 2007-2010 and noted all cases of postponement after official inclusion in the operating schedule. Results: 94 out of a total of 575 patients (16.34%) scheduled for elective cardiac operation had their procedure postponed. The reasons were mainly organisatory (in 49 cases, 52.12%), which in order of significance were: unavailability in operating rooms, shortage in matching erythrocyte units and shortage in anaesthetic/nursing staff. The rest of the cases (45, 47.88%) were postponed due to medical reasons, which in order of significance were: febrile situations, including infections of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary system, problems with the regulation of antiplatelet and antithrombotic drugs, neurological manifestations such as stroke and transient ischaemic attacks, exacerbation of asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arrhythmias, renal problems and allergic reactions to drugs. Patients with advanced age and increased Euroscore values were most possible to have their heart operation postponed. Conclusions: Heart operations are postponed due to organisatory as well as medical reasons, the latter mainly affecting older, morbid patients who therefore require advanced preoperative care.