Why is surgery cancelled? A retrospective evaluation
South African Journal of Surgery
Department of General Surgery, Prince Mishyeni Memorial Hospital, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Introduction. The cancellation of surgery wastes theatre time and creates hardship for patients, who often plan their working and family lives around the proposed operation date. Methods. A retrospective evaluation of cancellations of scheduled elective and urgent operations was done using theatre records from May 2006 to April 2007. The reasons for cancellation were examined. Results. Of a total of 5 786 operations, 5.6% were cancelled or postponed. Lack of medical clearance and patient preparation (65.1%) was the most common reason for cancellation. Lack or failure of instruments and patient cancellation constituted 2.8% and 1.8% of the cancellations respectively. Conclusion. Last-minute cancellation of surgery was a significant problem, and appreciation of the usual reasons for cancellations can improve theatre utilisation and avoid inconveniencing patients and their families.
article; elective surgery; emergency; hospital; hospital management; human; operating room; patient; retrospective study; South Africa; statistics; surgery; time; utilization review; Appointments and Schedules; Emergencies; Hospitals; Humans; Operating Rooms; Patient Dropouts; Retrospective Studies; South Africa; Surgical Procedures, Elective; Surgical Procedures, Operative; Time Factors