Postoperative complications in the first 24 hours: a general surgery audit

Zeitz, Kathryn, McCutcheon, Helen and Albrecht, Annette (2004) Postoperative complications in the first 24 hours: a general surgery audit. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46 6: 633-640. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2004.03054.x

Author Zeitz, Kathryn
McCutcheon, Helen
Albrecht, Annette
Title Postoperative complications in the first 24 hours: a general surgery audit
Journal name Journal of Advanced Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-2402
Publication date 2004-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2004.03054.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 46
Issue 6
Start page 633
End page 640
Total pages 8
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Traditionally, the purpose of routine postoperative surveillance has been to detect postoperative complications. The literature reports well-documented, procedure-specific postoperative complication rates. However, there are no reports detailing the prevalence of postoperative complications in general surgical ward settings, where nurses care for patients following a variety of surgical procedures.

Aims: This paper reports an audit of the frequency and type of postoperative complications in a general surgical population occurring in the first 24 hours postoperatively.

Method: A patient record audit was undertaken for all postoperative patients who returned to two general surgical wards. This was conducted sequentially, involving a 4 week data collection phase in each participating ward during 2001.

Results: The audit sample comprised 144 patient records with an average patient age of 54 years. Statistically significant results included the rate of postoperative nausea and vomiting of 37.5% (n = 54), and 17% (n = 25) of patients experiencing another 'clinical event'.

Limitations: The findings reflect only those complications recorded/documented in postoperative patients' records, and cannot be generalized beyond the sample and setting.

Conclusions: Postoperative patients cared for on general surgical wards experienced a high level of nausea and vomiting, while the occurrence of life-threatening complications was small.
Keyword Postoperative
Record audit
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 17 Nov 2015, 00:12:46 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work